Maciej, why do you write as if Mozilla doesn't ask for (not "insist" on) things with Google and fail to prevail? We do that all the time. Some in Mozilla are still waiting for the good thing to happen.
In VP8's case, what alternative do we have that isn't OS-dependent? We can't afford the gangster fee.
I am wholeheartedly convinced that you asked privately. It might have made a difference if Mozilla had publicly asked for an open standards commitment. As things stand, Google got PR cover for a power grab. I also think it was a reasonable choice for Mozilla to sign onto VP8 anyway, given the lack of better alternatives for you. However, I think VP8 is still a better example of the phenomenon of Google's increasing promotion of purely Google-controlled technologies than WebSQL is.
The video codec situation is really quite sad. There is no technology option that is all of an open standard, RF licensed and sufficient quality. Vendors all have to make their choices out of the imperfect options we have.