Linked by Eugenia Loli on Sat 1st May 2010 22:17 UTC
Legal We've all heard how the h.264 is rolled over on patents and royalties. Even with these facts, I kept supporting the best-performing "delivery" codec in the market, which is h.264. "Let the best win", I kept thinking. But it wasn't until very recently when I was made aware that the problem is way deeper. No, my friends. It's not just a matter of just "picking Theora" to export a video to Youtube and be clear of any litigation. MPEG-LA's trick runs way deeper! The [street-smart] people at MPEG-LA have made sure that from the moment we use a camera or camcorder to shoot an mpeg2 (e.g. HDV cams) or h.264 video (e.g. digicams, HD dSLRs, AVCHD cams), we owe them royalties, even if the final video distributed was not encoded using their codecs! Let me show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.

UPDATE: Engadget just wrote a reply to this article. The article says that you don't need an extra license to shoot commercial video with h.264 cameras, but I wonder why the license says otherwise, and Engadget's "quotes" of user/filmmaker indemnification by MPEG-LA are anonymous...

UPDATE 2: Engadget's editor replied to me. So according to him, the quotes are not anonymous, but organization-wide on purpose. If that's the case, I guess this concludes that. And I can take them on their word from now on.

UPDATE 3: And regarding royalties (as opposed to just licensing), one more reply by Engadget's editor.

Order by: Score:
So...
by drcoldfoot on Sat 1st May 2010 22:24 UTC
drcoldfoot
Member since:
2006-08-25

Which camera manufacturer will produce a Theora Based camera?

Reply Score: 1

RE: So...
by Eugenia on Sat 1st May 2010 22:30 UTC in reply to "So..."
Eugenia Member since:
2005-06-28

As I explained in the article, even if there was such a Theora camera, MPEG-LA would probably still sue them for patent infringement (if one fine day they decided to become patent trolls). And MPEG-LA are the kind of organization (judging from their current licensing agreements) that could go against the consumers who purchased and used such a camera too -- not just the manufacturer.

The solution is to completely dissolve, or invalidate, MPEG-LA as an organization, and its patents. There's no way going around it. They have created such an extreme situation (as explained in the article), that only an extreme solution would fix the problem.

Edited 2010-05-01 22:46 UTC

Reply Score: 8

RE[2]: So...
by drcoldfoot on Sat 1st May 2010 23:15 UTC in reply to "RE: So..."
drcoldfoot Member since:
2006-08-25

Talk about lock-in

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: So... so VP8 makes a whole lot more sense now!
by kragil on Sat 1st May 2010 23:21 UTC in reply to "RE: So..."
kragil Member since:
2006-01-04

Great find and great article, Eugenia.

Now it is clear why Google want to establish a free codec for Youtube. Without a free codec there could be a situation where they have to pay for every video they stream. (Not likely, but still possible and businesses have to ensure those situations are handled.)

Now I am sure that they will open source VP8 and Firefox, Opera and Chrome will ship it in 2011.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: So...
by Luis on Sat 1st May 2010 23:21 UTC in reply to "RE: So..."
Luis Member since:
2006-04-28

The solution is to completely dissolve, or invalidate, MPEG-LA as an organization, and its patents. There's no way going around it.


And I think that MPEG-LA knows that if they start an open war, it will end in the invalidation of all these patents (simply because they can't have the monopoly on codec design as they pretend to have).

I'm sure that they won't start a war, and I'm sure that if they start it they'll lose. And I think they know it.

So what can they do? Spread FUD. Scare everyone but without ever actually starting a war. Just threatening with it again and again.

And what can WE do? Use Free codecs and believe that they are really Free. If we start to get scared that they might not be Free after all, they win. If they think that those codecs are not Free, let them take that to court. We'll see what happens.

But yes, for the cameras it's a problem. For now use MJPEG and for the future, hope for Theora ones.

Reply Score: 8

RE[3]: So...
by Zbigniew on Sat 1st May 2010 23:32 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: So..."
Zbigniew Member since:
2008-08-28

I'm sure that they won't start a war [..] So what can they do? Spread FUD. Scare everyone but without ever actually starting a war. Just threatening with it again and again.

I think, the problem isn't that they will "declare war on the rest of the world" - but rather, that anyone can be blamed for using codec. That anyone - "in case of need" - can be sued.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: So...
by bhtooefr on Sat 1st May 2010 23:48 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: So..."
bhtooefr Member since:
2009-02-19

The other thing is, it's in Google's interest to see all these patents get destroyed, at least right now.

And Google owns VP3, which predates H.264, and which Apple is possibly assembling a patent pool to combat.

Time for a pre-emptive strike against H.264. Google, sue the hell out of the MPEG LA for infringing on On2's patents.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: So...
by shotsman on Sun 2nd May 2010 06:34 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: So..."
shotsman Member since:
2005-07-22

All that will happen is that the various patent owners who have stuff in H.264 will sue Google. Google will countersue. Look at the antics around Touch Screens on Mobile Phones.

Then we will be into 7+ years of lawsuits, appeals, trials, appeals, trials and yet more appeals. And that is just in the USA. Look at the SCO case...

The ONLY winners will be the hordes of Lawyers employed by both sides.

The ONLY way for this to be resolved is for SCOTUS to rule on Bilski and outlaw software patents.
Then we will have a much more level playing field.
IANAL etc but all I can say to them all is
-
A plague on all of you.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: So...
by bhtooefr on Sun 2nd May 2010 11:00 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: So..."
bhtooefr Member since:
2009-02-19

Right, it would be everyone suing everyone with entire patent portfolios.

A lot of patents would get invalidated, so while the lawyers would win, I think the patent system would be band-aided in that way. In addition, it would cripple the economy, and companies would be desperate to get patent reform pushed through.

Reply Score: 1

It is not so simple
by jrincayc on Sun 2nd May 2010 14:20 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: So..."
jrincayc Member since:
2007-07-24

VP3 came after some of MPEG-LA's H.264 patents. Take a look at the complete list. Basically, there are H.264 patents that predate VP3. So it is possible that MPEG-LA does have patents that read on VP3.

It is possible that there are H.264 patents that VP3 would count as prior art for and are invalid. It is also possible that the H.264 patents that were filed after VP3 are on new techniques, and cannot be invalidated that way.

http://lists.whatwg.org/htdig.cgi/whatwg-whatwg.org/2009-July/02073...

Reply Score: 1

RE: It is not so simple
by lemur2 on Mon 3rd May 2010 07:11 UTC in reply to "It is not so simple"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

So it is possible that MPEG-LA does have patents that read on VP3.


How is it possible? If for ten years VP3 used technology for which someone had a valid prior patent, why didn't they sue On2?

It is possible that there are H.264 patents that VP3 would count as prior art for and are invalid.


True. However, if it was patentable, why didn't On2 include it in the patents that they DID get for VP3 (and which they subsequently gave Xiph.org permission to use in Theora). If a technology wasn't patentable by On2 at the time of release of VP3, then why would it be patentable for some other party later on?

It is also possible that the H.264 patents that were filed after VP3 are on new techniques, and cannot be invalidated that way.


If they are new techniques after VP3, then VP3 doesn't use them.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: It is not so simple
by jrincayc on Mon 3rd May 2010 12:23 UTC in reply to "RE: It is not so simple"
jrincayc Member since:
2007-07-24

If for ten years VP3 used technology for which someone had a valid prior patent, why didn't they sue On2?


There is no requirement that they sue. I agree that not suing is evidence that their is no H.264 patents that read on VP3. However I think that this does not provide an iron clad guarantee of VP3's patent freeness. If there are patent lawsuits that involve the Doctrine of Laches, then maybe I am wrong.

If they are new techniques after VP3, then VP3 doesn't use them.


True probably for decoding, but since Theora encoders continue to have improvements made on them, some of them may infringe even though it is possible to encode Theora patent free.

Edited 2010-05-03 12:24 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: So...
by wovel on Tue 4th May 2010 01:13 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: So..."
wovel Member since:
2010-05-04

That might be a steep hill to climb since On2 is a licensee of MPEG-LA...So is google, but that is less relevant to your idea.

Microsoft, Apple, and Samsung (maybe even Sony) all would be better of if the patents were disolved (They pay more than they make from the pool). I am not sure who is actually making the lions share of the profits from the pool, but it would take a significant portion of the rest of the group to put pressure on them.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: So...
by -APT- on Sun 2nd May 2010 01:10 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: So..."
-APT- Member since:
2007-03-20

So what can they do? Spread FUD. Scare everyone but without ever actually starting a war. Just threatening with it again and again.

And what can WE do? Use Free codecs and believe that they are really Free. If we start to get scared that they might not be Free after all, they win. If they think that those codecs are not Free, let them take that to court. We'll see what happens.


What can we do?

Spread FUD regarding h.264. So far h.264 has had such an easy ride from people who merely look at it from the technical point of view. Yes, it's probably a better codec than the alternatives - but if it's close to impossible to use a product which uses h.264 for business use without another license then it becomes a useless format.

Remind businesses that any h.264 camera they've got is potentially illegal usage. Remind people who export h.264 video that they can't use it in any slightly commercial way.

It's amazing how some people are getting slightly scared of the potential Ogg Theora minefield when h.264 is a confirmed legal minefield.

Edited 2010-05-02 01:11 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: So...
by Morgan on Sun 2nd May 2010 00:35 UTC in reply to "RE: So..."
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

I just checked my lowly Nikon Coolpix L12 and it shoots in 640x480 30fps MJPEG with PCM Wave audio, in an AVI container. Obviously I'm not going to be making any epic movies with this format, but it's nice to know I'm relatively safe from litigation should I upload family movies to America's Funniest Home Videos.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: So...
by shotsman on Sun 2nd May 2010 06:36 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: So..."
shotsman Member since:
2005-07-22

Until you get paid for said home movie. Then you fall into a completely different licensing category. MPEG-LA will come a knocking for their dues which will probably be several orders of magnitude greater than the pittance you get for your Video.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: So...
by vivainio on Sun 2nd May 2010 07:02 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: So..."
vivainio Member since:
2008-12-26

Until you get paid for said home movie. Then you fall into a completely different licensing category. MPEG-LA will come a knocking for their dues which will probably be several orders of magnitude greater than the pittance you get for your Video.


If you want to become an activist in this, why not put up a website that exposes companies that are probably infringing MPEG-LA's licensing terms?

Just crawl for websites that have ads and embed video. Shouldn't be too hard.

Reply Score: 3

MJPEG is as safe as any format
by jrincayc on Sun 2nd May 2010 14:29 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: So..."
jrincayc Member since:
2007-07-24

MJPEG video with PCM audio is probably completely patent free. Therefore, MPEG-LA has no power over it. Motion JPEG is basically a sequence of JPEGs, so very few video patents would read on it. PCM is basically just a list of the sound volume at each time, the same as a wave file. gstreamer-good can decode MJPEG with PCM sound so the patent issue is considered very low.

Of course, MJPEG and PCM take something like 10 or more times the bandwidth that OGG Theora and Vorbis.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: So...
by membrain on Mon 3rd May 2010 13:36 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: So..."
membrain Member since:
2008-06-19

I was a little p-o'd when I found out that my new Pentax Optio P80 shoots HD video (1280x720 30fps) in MJPEG, but after reading that article, I'm more than glad.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: So...
by pepa on Thu 6th May 2010 05:29 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: So..."
pepa Member since:
2005-07-08

Starting to wonder how many camera's actually use the MJPEG codec, because my Canon A480, my Ricoh Caplio G3, and my Konica/Minolta Dimage Z3 all use MJPEG. MJPEG might be more popular than Eugenia suggested, probably precisely because of licensing cost.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: So...
by macUser on Sun 2nd May 2010 19:05 UTC in reply to "RE: So..."
macUser Member since:
2006-12-15

As I explained in the article, even if there was such a Theora camera, MPEG-LA would probably still sue them for patent infringement (if one fine day they decided to become patent trolls). And MPEG-LA are the kind of organization (judging from their current licensing agreements) that could go against the consumers who purchased and used such a camera too -- not just the manufacturer.

The solution is to completely dissolve, or invalidate, MPEG-LA as an organization, and its patents. There's no way going around it. They have created such an extreme situation (as explained in the article), that only an extreme solution would fix the problem.


Would love to have some links or follow up articles on legal analysis on all this...

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: So...
by TemporalBeing on Mon 3rd May 2010 18:26 UTC in reply to "RE: So..."
TemporalBeing Member since:
2007-08-22

As I explained in the article, even if there was such a Theora camera, MPEG-LA would probably still sue them for patent infringement (if one fine day they decided to become patent trolls). And MPEG-LA are the kind of organization (judging from their current licensing agreements) that could go against the consumers who purchased and used such a camera too -- not just the manufacturer.


IANAL The problem for MPEG-LA to go after Theora is that the makers of Theora have done their due diligence to try to NOT infringe. This ways heavily in court. So MPEG-LA may not be able to do as much as they would like, even to Theora.

The solution is to completely dissolve, or invalidate, MPEG-LA as an organization, and its patents. There's no way going around it. They have created such an extreme situation (as explained in the article), that only an extreme solution would fix the problem.



Dissolving MPEG-LA won't do any good. The companies will just reform under a new entity. The ONLY solution is to invalidate the patents MPEG-LA holds - ALL of them. The removal of Software Patents would pretty much solve the issue.

Reply Score: 2

There's a better way: Elphel.com RAW cameras
by bogdanbiv on Tue 4th May 2010 03:38 UTC in reply to "RE: So..."
bogdanbiv Member since:
2008-01-23

I don't quite get to know why recording to Theora is encumbered by patents, but maybe that's because I'm just an amateur.

However, I thin http://www3.elphel.com/files/Elphel_Brochure.pdf fits your needs better than other cameras, here is an excerpt from their spec pages:
"Recording formats: Quicktime, OGM, JPEG Image Sequence, JP4 RAW Image Sequence, RAW sensor data, HDR (experimental)"
- I suppose MJPEG is the same as JPEG Image Sequence and if that doesn't fit I'm sure the RAW sensor data does so.

Here's another excerpt, this time from their website home page:
"Elphel, Inc. was started in 2001 to provide high performance cameras based on free software and hardware designs. Freedom of the users of Elphel products is our top priority - we value and protect it with the GNU General Public License that covers all the Elphel software and hardware designs."

As for the moment I don't have the money to buy any camera, including Elphel's, I can't try their products myself.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: So...
by ArneBab on Tue 4th May 2010 06:24 UTC in reply to "RE: So..."
ArneBab Member since:
2009-11-10

Your assumption that theora is unfit revolves around breaking patents. But if a big company with its own patents would throw its weight behind it (or VP8) it could just counter-sue the MPEG alliance.

And that might be another reason why Google bought On2: The MPEG alliance won’t dare sue them when in the same instance they would also lose their right to license h.264 (which surely breaks some On2 patents, too).

Reply Score: 1

wow.
by rebel787 on Sat 1st May 2010 22:32 UTC
rebel787
Member since:
2007-01-13

i don't know what to say.

Reply Score: 2

Great article
by dmrio on Sat 1st May 2010 22:59 UTC
dmrio
Member since:
2005-08-26

Great eye-opener article. I never thought this hole could be so deep. Let's be aware of what is going on and alert the people who do not work directly with technology.

Reply Score: 4

v Arrogance at it's finest
by tyrione on Sat 1st May 2010 22:59 UTC
RE: Arrogance at it's finest
by Kroc on Sat 1st May 2010 23:04 UTC in reply to "Arrogance at it's finest"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

And I bet you, statistically speaking, the BBC, National Geographic, and James Cameron have slipped up a licence somewhere at least once; such that if the MPEG-LA had the powers to bust in and check everything with a fine-toothed comb they would find a violation. This has happened to companies before with software licences when FACT have busted down the door (which they have the legal authority to do) and someone in the business accidentally, and innocently installed something wrong on the wrong machine, and BLAMO—$20’000 fine.

Licencing is crazy complicated, and human beings don’t think and act in a common-sense fashion that matches with what licencing dictates. All it takes is one video engineer to copy one video to the wrong computer to just 'fix a problem'.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Arrogance at it's finest
by Eugenia on Sat 1st May 2010 23:04 UTC in reply to "Arrogance at it's finest"
Eugenia Member since:
2005-06-28

It is not arrogance, it's common sense and experience with the video community (where I'm very active at).

The kind of pros you're mentioning have lawyers, so they're probably covered.

But so many of these other videographers, who shoot weddings, and many indie filmmakers, I can assure you, they don't know of that license restriction. Most people don't read their license agreements. And let's not forget that these pro/semi-pros are making up the vast majority of all pro filmmakers anyway. So if I was going to make a guess and say that 99% of the video pros don't know about this restriction, I would probably not be too far off. Sure, it's still a number out of my ass, but I'm confident that it's not far off.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Arrogance at it's finest
by Soulbender on Sun 2nd May 2010 04:56 UTC in reply to "Arrogance at it's finest"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Truly ignorant.


It takes one to know one.

Reply Score: 4

Congratulations
by visconde_de_sabugosa on Sat 1st May 2010 23:01 UTC
visconde_de_sabugosa
Member since:
2005-11-14

Congratulations for your article, Eugenia. I agree entirely with your ideas.

I think that the root of the problem is that today in USA companies are patenting signal-processing algorithms ! It is like patenting mathematics !

Processing an unidimensional signal like sound or bidimensional signal like an image or a tridimensional signal like a video is a mathematical algorithm.

Imagine if in the past companies had patented the Fourier Transform

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourier_transform

and we had to pay royalties to use it. We simply would not have many communication and electronic products and services.

Reply Score: 9

RE: Congratulations
by Trenien on Sun 2nd May 2010 21:30 UTC in reply to "Congratulations"
Trenien Member since:
2007-10-11

Which is exactly why this part of Eugenia's otherwise very insightful article is actually not true:
that they could make liable the whole EU/US population, and beyond

So far, the pro-patent lobbies haven't been able to have the software patents validated over here in Europe. So for now, European countries are safe from that nightmare mechanism.

Of course, it may not last as said the pro-patents (the Commission, among others) have used every loophole they could so that Parliament couldn't forbid them right out. But I think that may be one of the reason the MPEG-LA won't really try to flex its legal muscle too much in the US. Doing so would be too great an argument against to play in the EU Parliament (whose MPs have been renewed last year).
I guess the pro-patents are going to give it another try before 2015 (third or fourth, I can't remember)

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Congratulations
by TemporalBeing on Mon 3rd May 2010 18:27 UTC in reply to "RE: Congratulations"
TemporalBeing Member since:
2007-08-22

Which is exactly why this part of Eugenia's otherwise very insightful article is actually not true:
that they could make liable the whole EU/US population, and beyond

So far, the pro-patent lobbies haven't been able to have the software patents validated over here in Europe. So for now, European countries are safe from that nightmare mechanism.


And it looks like SCOTUS may invalidate software patents in the US with the Bilski ruling expected in June too; or at the very least make it a lot harder to obtain/enforce software patents.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Congratulations
by FunkyELF on Mon 3rd May 2010 21:06 UTC in reply to "RE: Congratulations"
FunkyELF Member since:
2006-07-26

So far, the pro-patent lobbies haven't been able to have the software patents validated over here in Europe. So for now, European countries are safe from that nightmare mechanism.


"Safe, for now" is not the same as "Safe". Its rather uncertain (the U in FUD).

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Congratulations
by Trenien on Mon 3rd May 2010 21:55 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Congratulations"
Trenien Member since:
2007-10-11

Oh yes, I'm perfectly aware of that. As I said in another reply somewhere in these comments, the pricks that want these so much have managed to prevent the EU Parliament from voting the soft' patents into oblivion.

For now, we must be happy they couldn't convince technologically illiterate Mps to make them into law.

As a side note, the Parliament has already shot down any attempt for such patent to crammed down our throats through ACTA (since the extent of what ACTA can do was severely limited in a law that was passed a couple of months ago).
Well, that's the way I have understood it anyway; but I must say I didn't really have the time to really get into that in the last few months, so any correction is welcome.

Reply Score: 1

Patent Armageddon
by Zifre on Sat 1st May 2010 23:03 UTC
Zifre
Member since:
2009-10-04

*prays for Patent Armageddon*

I've waited so long AND IT STILL HASN'T COME! When will the gods bless us with long awaited end of patents...

Reply Score: 8

RE: Patent Armageddon
by Morgan on Sun 2nd May 2010 00:37 UTC in reply to "Patent Armageddon"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Who is to say the outcome of the patent war would be the end of software patents? I would not be surprised at all to see the government side heavily with the industry rather than the populace.

Business as usual, so they say.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Patent Armageddon
by Zifre on Sun 2nd May 2010 11:57 UTC in reply to "RE: Patent Armageddon"
Zifre Member since:
2009-10-04

Who is to say the outcome of the patent war would be the end of software patents? I would not be surprised at all to see the government side heavily with the industry rather than the populace.

The government always sides with industry. However, Patent Armageddon is an opportunity to align the industry with the programmers. If an enormous patent war is started, most companies will lose much more than they will gain from patents. Most of the money will go to the lawyers. And the companies will come crying to the government to end software patents, or even better, all patents.

Reply Score: 2

Another "Edison Movie Monopoly"?
by Zbigniew on Sat 1st May 2010 23:05 UTC
Zbigniew
Member since:
2008-08-28

Somewhat similar situation (could be) - isn't it?

Reply Score: 1

Thought provoking
by braddock on Sat 1st May 2010 23:09 UTC
braddock
Member since:
2005-07-08

I liked the thought provoking article...much in the same way I liked watching "The Day After".

Everyone should know how a nuclear patent war will end the world so that it will never happen.

That said, if MPEG LA tried to assert these powers, they would quickly find themselves stripped of those powers (whether via member self interests, DoJ, court ruling, or consumer backlash, etc).

It certainly isn't in Apple's or Microsoft's interests to creatively stifle their user base, for example.

Reply Score: 1

There is another way around it
by mrhasbean on Sat 1st May 2010 23:10 UTC
mrhasbean
Member since:
2006-04-03

I'm going to go buy a film camera, then there'll be no fees at all. /nods

Oh wait, I'd have to buy film every time.

Oh yer, then pay for the developing each time. Hmmm, lots of wastage 'cause I never use everything I film.

Nah, come to think of it I think I'll pay 500 bucks once for a digital camcorder and stick with the "Free for personal and non-commercial use" license...

Reply Score: 1

RE: There is another way around it
by Eugenia on Sat 1st May 2010 23:17 UTC in reply to "There is another way around it"
Eugenia Member since:
2005-06-28

This is doable (which means that you can't even upload to youtube, you have to really keep your videos for yourself and your family only). However, as I explained in the article, art is only useful when it's shared.

If you're only interested in family videos, that's cool. But don't destroy it for the rest of us who want to reach others. Just because you don't care about sharing video, doesn't mean you should not care about the larger picture and what that entails for our culture. Basically, Youtube would not exist in that culture. And I'm sorry to say, that Youtube/Vimeo are important to the modern culture. A lot of us can express through them.

Reply Score: 4

vivainio Member since:
2008-12-26

This is doable (which means that you can't even upload to youtube, you have to really keep your videos for yourself and your family only).


Doesn't codec licensing become the responsibility of Google after you've uploaded it?

EDIT: nevermind, probably not. The video is contaminate at the time you film it. Caveat consumer.

Basically, Youtube would not exist in that culture. And I'm sorry to say, that Youtube/Vimeo are important to the modern culture.


Culture or "culture"...

Edited 2010-05-02 06:32 UTC

Reply Score: 3

andydread Member since:
2009-02-02

"mrhasbean" is a cronic Apple apologist. And since Apple is a member of MPEG-LA and Apple has come out in favor of this mess, you get the diatribe that mrhasbean spewed above. Not worthy of a response really.

Reply Score: 1

OSNews
by Thom_Holwerda on Sat 1st May 2010 23:23 UTC
Thom_Holwerda
Member since:
2005-06-29

This is going to pose a major problem for OSNews, too. We're working on OSNews v5, which makes heavy use of HTML5. One of the features we'll most likely have is the option for editors to upload videos, and embed them in articles using the video tag (source as both Theora and H264), with Flash as a fallback. I'm sure it'll work something like Kroc's Video For Everybody.

Only the thing is - we cannot. We cannot upload and spread videos in H264. OSNews LLC is a commercial entity, and we have both ads as well as subscribers. I cannot mak a video of a reviewed product and upload it on OSNews. I'd make OSNews liable.

This means that we really have to think about this. It might even mean we'll have to stick to an open source codec, forcing IE and Safari users to play the video using Flash-- oh wait, we can't do that ether, can we? Flash would still deliver the H264 version...

We're fcuked, aren't we?

Reply Score: 1

RE: OSNews
by Kroc on Sat 1st May 2010 23:42 UTC in reply to "OSNews"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

There’s a Silverlight OGG player. Safari will play OGG if you have Xiph QT component installed. Oh and there’s a cortado Java OGG player.

There’s ways. Just not very pretty ones. *shrug*

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: OSNews
by DigitalAxis on Sun 2nd May 2010 10:32 UTC in reply to "RE: OSNews"
DigitalAxis Member since:
2005-08-28

Yeah, but if Monty from Xiph is correct in his analysis of Steve Jobs' email, MPEG-LA is claiming that ALL video codecs infringe on their patents, Ogg/Theora included.

The issue then becomes what to do about a consortium you cannot legally compete with (as Monty says), but that's a case for the courts provided you can make them understand and care. Ultimately, I suspect that'd be Patentmageddon, which MPEG-LA hopefully wouldn't survive, and thus they would never actually instigate.

Edited 2010-05-02 10:33 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: OSNews
by lemur2 on Sun 2nd May 2010 10:38 UTC in reply to "RE: OSNews"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

There’s a Silverlight OGG player. Safari will play OGG if you have Xiph QT component installed. Oh and there’s a cortado Java OGG player.

There’s ways. Just not very pretty ones. *shrug*


Google Chrome Frame is perhaps also worth a mention in this context.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: OSNews
by henderson101 on Sun 2nd May 2010 19:03 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: OSNews"
henderson101 Member since:
2006-05-30

Krocs Mac OS X discussion deleted

Google Chrome Frame is perhaps also worth a mention in this context.


let's see.... "Google Chrome Frame is a free open sourced plugin for Internet Explorer..." no, no relevance what so ever to Mac OS X.

Edit : added clarity with Kroc ref.

Edited 2010-05-02 19:17 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: OSNews
by korpenkraxar on Sat 1st May 2010 23:49 UTC in reply to "OSNews"
korpenkraxar Member since:
2005-09-10

Yup. The future of OSNews is to train groups of performers, send them to many corners of the world and help spreading the news word by mouth by reenacting them for soup and somewhere to sleep.

That is, unless IBM already has a patent for that of course.

Reply Score: 3

RE: OSNews
by bhtooefr on Sat 1st May 2010 23:52 UTC in reply to "OSNews"
bhtooefr Member since:
2009-02-19

Wait a year, use MPEG1. Far better than MJPEG, and in a year, the original reference implementation will have passed the time in which any patents applying to it could have expired. And use the good ol' Netscape 2.0 <embed>+HTML4 <object> combo.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: OSNews
by pgeorgi on Sun 2nd May 2010 06:22 UTC in reply to "RE: OSNews"
pgeorgi Member since:
2010-02-18

Wait a year, use MPEG1. Far better than MJPEG, and in a year, the original reference implementation will have passed the time in which any patents applying to it could have expired.

Did you factor in the year that patent applicant have after initial publication to register?
Also, were patents pending at that time, and kept in the loop for as long as possible (back then, submarine patents still worked)?

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: OSNews
by jrincayc on Sun 2nd May 2010 14:43 UTC in reply to "RE: OSNews"
jrincayc Member since:
2007-07-24

I think that you actually need to wait until Dec 2012 in the US, since patents can be filed up to a year after initial publication, and the earliest publication that had practically all of MPEG-1 was the committee draft on December 6, 1991.

Note that patents could be delayed and so sometimes the patent lifetime could exceed 20 years in the US, but this does not seem to be the case for the patents I have found publicly listed for MPEG-2 (which should cover MPEG-1 video) and MP3.

If you don't care about MPEG-1 layer 3 audio (MP3), the rest of MPEG-1 may already be patent free or maybe after US 5214678 expires on May 31, 2010.

I have created a summary of this at:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MPEG-1#Patents
and a fuller article at:
http://scratchpad.wikia.com/wiki/MPEG_patent_status

MPEG is also discussing the possibility of a royalty free codec. See:
http://www.robglidden.com/2010/04/mpeg-resolution-on-royalty-free-s...
and
http://www.itscj.ipsj.or.jp/sc29/open/29view/29n11151c.htm

Reply Score: 2

RE: OSNews
by Alex Forster on Sun 2nd May 2010 04:24 UTC in reply to "OSNews"
Alex Forster Member since:
2005-08-12

How's V5 coming? I ran a search to see if Google had spidered some kind of secret beta development site but couldn't find anything, heh.

Reply Score: 2

RE: OSNews
by dmantione on Sun 2nd May 2010 08:13 UTC in reply to "OSNews"
dmantione Member since:
2005-07-06

OSNews LLC is a commercial entity, and we have both ads as well as subscribers. I cannot mak a video of a reviewed product and upload it on OSNews. I'd make OSNews liable.


Maybe you need an OSNews B.V.? Switching country probably eliminates most of the patents that could be of worry.

Reply Score: 4

RE: OSNews
by Neko on Sun 2nd May 2010 11:26 UTC in reply to "OSNews"
Neko Member since:
2010-05-02

Ogg Theora can be viewed with:

Firefox 3.5
Opera 10.5
Google Chrome/Chromium
Safari 4.0 with XiphQT plugin
Internet Explorer with VLC plugin
Internet Explorer with Java applet

The vast majority of your users are likely to have one of the above. I can't imagine you will have any major problems using Theora instead of H.264. You'll need some javascript to detect what plugin to use with IE, and the rest can use HTML5.

Reply Score: 1

RE: OSNews
by Trenien on Sun 2nd May 2010 21:34 UTC in reply to "OSNews"
Trenien Member since:
2007-10-11

Were are the OSnews server based?

If it's in Europe, let me remind you that software patents are not valid here (so far).

Edited 2010-05-02 21:35 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: OSNews
by ephracis on Sun 2nd May 2010 22:54 UTC in reply to "OSNews"
ephracis Member since:
2007-09-23

I might be wrong here but isn't OSnews LCC based in UK and the UK doesn't have software patents, right? So if you would go with HTML5 and H.264 you would not put OSnews in any risk.

Though, you might put U.S. visitors at risk since they would break their law by watching the videos.

Damn, I am lucky I live in a country where we don't have software patents... yet.

I bet a lot of the big corps will keep making empty patents threats until we have software patents in most of EU. If they start too soon they might scare us into never getting into the mess U.S. is in right now.

Now, who said software patents were a good idea? I don't see the benefit of no one being able to program a video decoder/encoder. That's stupid! Stop treating software as something real. That's what hardware is for. Intellectual Property, my ass. More like Imaginary Property.

Oh, and by the way: congratz, Eugina. Great find, and great journalism!

Edited 2010-05-02 22:55 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: OSNews
by henderson101 on Sun 2nd May 2010 23:02 UTC in reply to "RE: OSNews"
henderson101 Member since:
2006-05-30

I might be wrong here but isn't OSnews LCC based in UK and the UK doesn't have software patents, right?


LLC is US. In the UK we have LTD (Private Limited Company) and PLC (Public Limited Company) that are commonly used.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: OSNews
by ephracis on Mon 3rd May 2010 00:11 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: OSNews"
ephracis Member since:
2007-09-23

I see, so OSNews is US-based then. Shame...

Reply Score: 1

Good article
by TBPrince on Sat 1st May 2010 23:26 UTC
TBPrince
Member since:
2005-07-06

Good article with good material in it.

However the conclusion is a bit weak IMHO because that way of behaving will undoubtedly make big corporations stronger not weaker.

If the alternative is to use something older, inaccurate, delivering a lower quality, those criminals will have an easy, very easy way to claim a small group of radical extremists want people not to use best tools and technologies for God-knows-what-purpose. If you look carefully, that's how they do that now (didn't Jobs state that Flash was OLD technology? Don't these guys talk about the future ?)

Is the Google way an alternative ? Of course not. How long would it take for big G to side the other big guys the same way Microsoft and Apple are more than happy to sit in MPEG committee.

The only way is to join forces to develop an alternative, guaranteed to be free because property of no-one, or better property of everyone. That alternative MUST be more advanced and deliver higher quality so attacks about "the future" would be void.

Patents ? Let then the guys sue us and join forces to combat in courts and let's see if this is all about "communists" wanting to bring you into the past or big bad boys wanting to squeeze your pockets. Let's see which pockets are deeper and who's going to lost more in a way to money.

I, for one, would provide as much funds I can for that.

However, it is MANDATORY we don't take the FSF way of telling people that "Flash is bad and you don't need it" while you don't have a suitable alternative, expecially a BETTER alternative. Those reasons only help the bad guys.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Good article
by bhtooefr on Sun 2nd May 2010 00:02 UTC in reply to "Good article"
bhtooefr Member since:
2009-02-19

The other thing is, Streisand it. Make it so that there's too many targets for MPEG LA to take down.

If they sue, just don't pay. Worst they can do is garnish your wages. Debtor's prison doesn't exist any more.

Better yet, GET them to sue. It would be GOOD if a large percentage of the general public were sued. This would cause massive riots, and people would be voted into office against the MPEG LA menace, and patent reform would happen damn quickly.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Good article
by nt_jerkface on Sun 2nd May 2010 03:54 UTC in reply to "RE: Good article"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

They wouldn't sue unless you were making a lot of money, and if you're making a lot of money then you can probably afford the 2 cents per disc royalty fee.

They would likely send you a letter first asking for any back dues that they could show you clearly didn't pay.

Reply Score: 2

Word!
by korpenkraxar on Sat 1st May 2010 23:28 UTC
korpenkraxar
Member since:
2005-09-10

Marry this perspective to ACTA and you get the feeling that Western culture is trying its hardest to loose relevancy and die :-(

And it is coming to law enforcement near you, too!

The Darknets of the world are not going to fill up with perverted imagery of sexual abuse, they are going to be jammed with pets scratching their buts and grandmas falling of their chairs.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Word!
by Soulbender on Sun 2nd May 2010 04:59 UTC in reply to "Word!"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Marry this perspective to ACTA and you get the feeling that Western culture is trying its hardest to loose relevancy and die :-(


Yes, isn't that just wonderful? ;)

Reply Score: 2

What about the Dirac codec?
by walnut tree on Sat 1st May 2010 23:31 UTC
walnut tree
Member since:
2005-11-15

I don't understand why there hasn't been more momentum or enthusiasm from the open source community for the open source Dirac codec developed by the BBC. Here's the description on the BBC's R&D website:

"Dirac is a general-purpose video compression family suitable for everything from internet streaming to HDTV and electronic cinema"

http://www.bbc.co.uk/rd/projects/dirac/

There are both hardware and software implementations. What's more the BBC, with it's own legal department, would not release an open source codec without being sure it did not infringe any existing patents.

I think it's pretty reasonable to assume that an organisation with decades of expertise in broadcasting would produce nothing less than a professional, high-quality codec. Perhaps the recent flurry of publicity around H.264 will generate more interest in Dirac. I certainly hope so.

Reply Score: 1

RE: What about the Dirac codec?
by kragil on Sat 1st May 2010 23:37 UTC in reply to "What about the Dirac codec?"
kragil Member since:
2006-01-04

Dirac is still very young and has a few issues (hw requirements for example)

And the BBC only checked for european patent laws, I guess. The US laws are very very different (patens on biology (genes) and math (software))

Reply Score: 2

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

And the BBC only checked for european patent laws, I guess. The US laws are very very different (patens on biology (genes) and math (software))


I don't see the problem. The rest of the world is, after all, much bigger than the U.S. If everyone else went ahead with Dirac the U.S would be the ones left behind. Of course, being left behind and making themselves irrelevant seems to be what the U.S wants.

Reply Score: 5

RE: What about the Dirac codec?
by JLF65 on Sun 2nd May 2010 03:29 UTC in reply to "What about the Dirac codec?"
JLF65 Member since:
2005-07-06

I don't understand why there hasn't been more momentum or enthusiasm from the open source community for the open source Dirac codec developed by the BBC. Here's the description on the BBC's R&D website:

"Dirac is a general-purpose video compression family suitable for everything from internet streaming to HDTV and electronic cinema"

http://www.bbc.co.uk/rd/projects/dirac/

There are both hardware and software implementations. What's more the BBC, with it's own legal department, would not release an open source codec without being sure it did not infringe any existing patents.

I think it's pretty reasonable to assume that an organisation with decades of expertise in broadcasting would produce nothing less than a professional, high-quality codec. Perhaps the recent flurry of publicity around H.264 will generate more interest in Dirac. I certainly hope so.


Sorry, but take a quick look at the Dirac technology page: http://www.bbc.co.uk/rd/projects/dirac/technology.shtml

There are literally HUNDREDS of patents on using wavelets in just that manner. There's not a chance in heck that Dirac doesn't infringe less than a hundred patents. I'm not saying those patents would survive a challenge, but the US courts consider them valid until they are invalidated in a suit.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: What about the Dirac codec?
by liber on Sun 2nd May 2010 09:49 UTC in reply to "RE: What about the Dirac codec?"
liber Member since:
2008-10-26

the parent probably meant european patents.

Reply Score: 1

walnut tree Member since:
2005-11-15

Well, here's a cut and paste from the Dirac FAQ

http://diracvideo.org/wiki/index.php/FAQ

Do the BBC have patents in Dirac?

No. We did have patent applications in train which included some of the techniques involved in Dirac, but we let those parts that related to Dirac lapse. If we had allowed them to continue, users of the Dirac code would still have been covered in perpetuity by the licence: by letting them lapse, the BBC has no IPR interest in any implementation of Dirac by anyone, based on the Dirac software or not.

Do you infringe any patents?

The short answer is that we don't know for certain, but we're pretty sure we don't.

We haven't employed armies of lawyers to trawl through the tens of thousands of video compression techniques. That's not the way to invent a successful algorithm. Instead we've tried to use techniques of long standing in novel ways.

What will you do if you infringe patents?

Code round them, first and foremost. There are many alternative techniques to each of the technologies used within Dirac.

Dirac is relatively modular (which is one reason why it's a conventional hybrid codec rather than, say, 3D wavelets) so removing or adding tools was relatively easy, even though this may mean issuing a new version of the specification.

Reply Score: 2

A fact of life
by Preston5 on Sat 1st May 2010 23:42 UTC
Preston5
Member since:
2010-03-19

In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes. --Benjamin Franklin


For millenia we have had taxes in one form or another, and it won't be changing in the foreseeable future.

Reply Score: 1

Apple and Microsoft
by Cody Evans on Sun 2nd May 2010 00:18 UTC
Cody Evans
Member since:
2009-08-14

Apple and Microsoft supporting the behemoth called MPEG-LA makes me sick to my stomach. They should both be ashamed of themselves. Instead, they should all be lobbying to get them out of the way completely -- and not via just picking a different codec, but completely invalidating most of their patents.


Except that Apple and Microsoft are part of MPEG-LA. They both get a cut of the MPEG-LA's plunder, and more control over their users. For them, it is a Win-Win situation.

P.S. Ironic that the ad directly above this article for me is for AVS video converter, listing nearly every proprietary codec in its compatibility list...

Edited 2010-05-02 00:32 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Question
by Radio on Sun 2nd May 2010 01:06 UTC
Radio
Member since:
2009-06-20

Is this restriction enforcable outside the US?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Question
by Soulbender on Sun 2nd May 2010 05:19 UTC in reply to "Question"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

It's possible that its not enforceable at all. Just because it's in a shrink-wrap license doesn't make it a valid contract.

Reply Score: 3

Leonine partnership.
by RogerBryce on Sun 2nd May 2010 08:36 UTC in reply to "Question"
RogerBryce Member since:
2008-07-07

I think this is what falls under the definition of patto leonino in Italy, that is leonine partnership. In Italian it is more precisely called a leonine agreement, according to which one of the partners, in this case it could be MPEG-LA, enjoys all the benefits, while the other bears the disadvantages or losses. Such agreements are void in Italy as are all the unreasonbable clauses in a contract that are not signed separately one by one.

Edited: misplaced tag.

Edited 2010-05-02 08:37 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Leonine partnership.
by toast88 on Sun 2nd May 2010 16:39 UTC in reply to "Leonine partnership."
toast88 Member since:
2009-09-23

Such agreements are void in Italy as are all the unreasonbable clauses in a contract that are not signed separately one by one.

Yeah, I was about to say the same about Germany. I'm glad that our jurisdictional system is rather consumer-friendly than enterprise-biased.

We call such contracts "sittenwidrig" which translated means immoral and makes them totally void.

So, my personal consequence is simple: I will use H.264 by using libx264 to convert videos (e.g.: I'm about to convert about 24 family home video tapes into H.264, almost 500GB of raw data) and just ignore those idiots from MPEG-LA. If they're not willing to do fair business, I won't do either and just "steal" their stuff (even though I wouldn't call that stealing for the aforementioned reasons).

Adrian

Reply Score: 2

RE: Leonine partnership.
by Trenien on Sun 2nd May 2010 21:39 UTC in reply to "Leonine partnership."
Trenien Member since:
2007-10-11

ditto for France, with the same terms:
clause léonine

Reply Score: 2

Let's put it out there
by 3rdalbum on Sun 2nd May 2010 01:21 UTC
3rdalbum
Member since:
2008-05-26

We really need to start trying to push people to stop using H.264. Tell them that if they want to be assured of not getting a 'knock on the door', that they need to use Motion JPEG which is archaic and inefficient, or Theora which is modern and fairly good.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Let's put it out there
by bhtooefr on Sun 2nd May 2010 11:35 UTC in reply to "Let's put it out there"
bhtooefr Member since:
2009-02-19

Except Theora runs the risk of getting a knock on the door.

Reply Score: 1

MPEG-LA is in the movie business
by nt_jerkface on Sun 2nd May 2010 03:25 UTC
nt_jerkface
Member since:
2009-08-26


Apparently, MPEG-LA makes it difficult for camera manufacturers, or video editor software houses, to obtain a cheap-enough license that allows their users to use their codec any way they want!


Their main source of revenue is from movie companies, not cameras or software. Allowing an unlimited license with a camera would destroy their revenue from movie companies.

What they want is a cut from every Blu-ray sold, not a tiny cut from your camera. They're in the movie business and if you don't want to do business with them then use a different codec. It's not some conspiracy to get you hooked. Camera companies like Canon and Sony include H.264 since it can be used for non-commercial use, which is what those cameras are mostly used for. However if you want to sell a commercial product that uses H.264 then you need to pay a cut to the organization that created it.


Apple and Microsoft supporting the behemoth called MPEG-LA makes me sick to my stomach.


And again another OSNews writer doesn't mention Google who originally pushed H.264 with Apple against Mozilla and Opera. But now that MS recently sided with Google and Apple all of a sudden it is MS and Apple vs The People.

Reply Score: 4

bhtooefr Member since:
2009-02-19

However, Google has supported Theora as well. And, Google claims to be open sourcing VP8. YouTube was H.264 before all of this, so Google does have to invest a significant amount of money in moving YouTube to another codec, and they'd lose a large amount of mobile devices until that other codec has sufficiently penetrated.

Google is in a "wait and see what they do" state. They may choose to stick with H.264, in which case they deserve flak. They may also choose to use Theora (and, if there's a lawsuit against Theora, they now own the patents behind Theora, and H.264 likely infringes on those.) Or, they might just open VP8, and we can bypass all of this. (My guess is, Google's legal department is combing through VP8, to try to avoid patent troubles with it.)

Reply Score: 1

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

However, Google has supported Theora as well.

Supported by including it in the browser but not in YouTube and not at the W3C, which effectively amounts to putting far more weight behind H.264 than MS.


And, Google claims to be open sourcing VP8.

They're likely hoping that VP8 gives them pricing leverage with MPEG-LA in the future. It's a long play against H.264 and a fruit basket for the open source crowd.


YouTube was H.264 before all of this, so Google does have to invest a significant amount of money in moving YouTube to another codec, and they'd lose a large amount of mobile devices until that other codec has sufficiently penetrated.

What you're saying is that it's not in their business interest to use a different codec. But they get to be free from criticism since they are open sourcing a codec that they don't plan on using. Oh and just ignore the fact that they have over 20 billion in cash on hand and could switch to any codec with pocket change.


Google is in a "wait and see what they do" state.

No they are in a "let's push H.264 while acting like we are for open codecs" state.


They may choose to stick with H.264, in which case they deserve flak.

Oh that's when they would deserve flak? What they want is for H.264 to get widely adopted in browsers and devices so they can just claim that they are forced to support it. This is why they are moving slowly on VP8 and didn't bring it up when they were pushing H.264 with Apple.

If they actually cared about patent-free codecs they wouldn't have pushed so hard for H.264. They didn't tell the W3C to wait for VP8, they told the W3C to adopt H.264. It was Google that helped Apple stop Theora from getting adopted by the W3C.

Google is the absolute master at maintaining their "good guy image" while in cases like this one being more aggressive than MS at getting what they want. Everyone knew that MS would only adopt Theora if was specified by the W3C which did not happen thanks to Google. But now it is somehow an evil alliance by MS and Apple to push H.264. Meanwhile Google laughs all the way to the bank as open source advocates direct their rage at MS and Apple.

At least I am not the only one that notices how Google is throwing their massive influence behind H.264:. Here's an interesting comment from Mozilla's CTO from last July:
"and I'm saddened that Google is choosing to use its considerable leverage -- especially in the Web video space, where they could be a king-maker if ever there was one -- to create a future in which one needs an H.264 patent license to view much of the video content on the Web."

http://www.betanews.com/article/Stalemate-for-Web-standards-continu...

Reply Score: 3

bhtooefr Member since:
2009-02-19

And, they JUST GOT VP8. They didn't know for sure that they'd get it. Give it at least 6 months.

Reply Score: 1

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

Just got VP8? They purchased VP8 last august:
http://techcrunch.com/2009/08/05/google-acquires-video-compression-...

They've been pushing H.264 since then.

Reply Score: 2

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Just got VP8? They purchased VP8 last august: http://techcrunch.com/2009/08/05/google-acquires-video-compression-... They've been pushing H.264 since then.


Can't you read? Your own link says this:
jointly announced today that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Google will acquire On2


"Will" is future tense.

This acquisition actually occurred in Feb 2010.

http://news.cnet.com/8301-30684_3-10455446-265.html

http://www.unbeatable.co.uk/news/Google-buys-On2-for-1065-Millons-D...

http://www.betanews.com/article/What-does-Google-gain-from-having-p...

February 22, 2010 to be exact. That was when Google finally bought On2. Just over two months ago.

Google have been using H.264, but also they have been actively seeking a replacement.

After all, Google purchased On2 two months ago, and they have been funding various Theora projects.

Edited 2010-05-03 07:00 UTC

Reply Score: 2

nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26


"Will" is future tense.

This acquisition actually occurred in Feb 2010.

What difference does it make? They made an agreement to buy last year which means they had their hands on the technology. They could have asked W3C for more time instead of pushing H.264. They could have proposed a compromise. But instead they pushed H.264 to be defined as the default codec. Why were they so adamant about getting it into the W3C? Why not just use H.264 on the side and let W3C use a codec like Theora?

Reply Score: 2

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

What difference does it make? They made an agreement to buy last year which means they had their hands on the technology.


No, they did not. Ownership of the technology transfers with ownership of the company (or the On2 shareholdings if you will), which ocurred on Feb 22nd 2010. Until that time, On2 and Google were separate companies with separate ownership.

They could have asked W3C for more time instead of pushing H.264.


They didn't push H.264. This is just your fantasy. All that they said, in June 2009, was that they did not believe Theora had sufficient quality-per-bit for the purposes of YouTube. At the time, this was true.

http://lwn.net/Articles/340132/
Google has implemented H.264 and Ogg Theora in Chrome, but cannot provide the H.264 codec license to third-party distributors of Chromium, and have indicated a belief that Ogg Theora's quality-per-bit is not yet suitable for the volume handled by YouTube.


They even said "not YET suitable". In June 2009, Theora wasn't then suitable for YouTube, it was true.

They could have proposed a compromise.


They did exactly that. See above: "Google has implemented H.264 and Ogg Theora in Chrome".

But instead they pushed H.264 to be defined as the default codec. Why were they so adamant about getting it into the W3C? Why not just use H.264 on the side and let W3C use a codec like Theora?


I think you must have very serious comprehension issues. It was Apple who insisted on H.264, not Google.

Apple refuses to implement Ogg Theora in Quicktime by default (as used by Safari), citing lack of hardware support and an uncertain patent landscape.


Of course, Apple were (and still are) lying. It is certain that there are NO patent claims on Theora at this time, and it is also certain that there are royalties on H.264, making H.264 unsuitable (according to W3C policy) for use in W3C's HTML5 standard.

Furthermore, where Apple actually had the audacity to claim "lack of hardware support", Google had already sponsored this project in the Google Summer of Code in '08

http://www.bitblit.org/gsoc/g3dvl/index.shtml
(general purpose hardware accelerated video decoding to GPUs using the Gallium3D driver framework)

and Google also funded this project:
http://wss.co.uk/pinknoise/theorarm/
http://www.ditii.com/2010/04/10/google-backs-theorarm-free-optimise...
(Theora for ARM SoCs)

and of course there is this project (Google SoC '05, '06 and '07):
http://people.xiph.org/~j/bzr/theora-fpga/doc/leon3_integration/

... any of which Apple could have included in its iDevices.

PS BTW: I told you, "After all, Google purchased On2 two months ago, and they have been funding various Theora projects". Didn't you believe me or something? Or is it just your severe lack of comprehension at work again?

Edited 2010-05-03 10:03 UTC

Reply Score: 2

maybe you're misreading it
by mikesum32 on Sun 2nd May 2010 03:46 UTC
mikesum32
Member since:
2005-10-22

This is the only thing I could find in the manual you linked to.

ANY USE OF THIS PRODUCT OTHER THAN CONSUMER PERSONAL USE IN ANY MANNER THAT COMPLIES WITH THE MPEG-2 STANDARD FOR ENCODING VIDEO INFORMATION FOR PACKAGED MEDIA IS EXPRESSLY PROHIBITED WITHOUT A LICENSE UNDER APPLICABLE PATENTS IN THE MPEG-2 PATENT PORTFOLIO, WHICH LICENSE IS AVAILABLE FROM MPEG LA, L.L.C, 250 STEELE STREET, SUITE 300, DENVER, COLORADO 80206.

According to mpeg licensing agreement
http://www.mpegla.com/main/programs/M2/Pages/Agreement.aspx

This sublicense does not grant a license to use MPEG-2 Encoding Products to encode/produce DVDs or other MPEG-2 Packaged Medium for other than personal use of Licensee’s customer, however; the grant to encode/produce DVDs or other MPEG-2 Packaged Medium for other than personal use of Licensee’s customer is covered by the sublicense for MPEG-2 Packaged Medium

The key here being "Packaged Medium," which seems to me rather clear, even if it's in legaleze. I read it to mean you can't sell dvds or anything else that encodes in to mpeg-2 without a license, which should not come as a surprise.

Reply Score: 3

RE: maybe you're misreading it
by Eugenia on Sun 2nd May 2010 05:08 UTC in reply to "maybe you're misreading it"
Eugenia Member since:
2005-06-28

The h.264 dSLR manual does not mention packaged media:

"About MPEG-4 Licensing

This product is licensed under AT&T patents for the MPEG-4 standard and may be used for encoding MPEG-4 compliant video and/or decoding MPEG-4 compliant video that was encoded only (1) for a personal and non-commercial purpose or (2) by a video provider licensed under the AT&T patents to provide MPEG-4 compliant video. No license is granted or implied for any other use for MPEG-4 standard."


As you can see, while the mpeg2 licensing might have been about packaged media, the h.264 is not. Because since the mpeg2 thing, the Internet happened. So MPEG-LA adjusted their licensing agreement to be MORE broad.

Edited 2010-05-02 05:10 UTC

Reply Score: 4

Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Then wouldn't it be fine to use MPEG-2 for internet-related purposes ? It has pretty good quality already, and MPEG-2 camcorders are way more common and more modern than MJPEG ones...

Edited 2010-05-02 06:10 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: maybe you're misreading it
by n4cer on Sun 2nd May 2010 06:14 UTC in reply to "RE: maybe you're misreading it"
n4cer Member since:
2005-07-06

The h.264 dSLR manual does not mention packaged media: "About MPEG-4 Licensing This product is licensed under AT&T patents for the MPEG-4 standard and may be used for encoding MPEG-4 compliant video and/or decoding MPEG-4 compliant video that was encoded only (1) for a personal and non-commercial purpose or (2) by a video provider licensed under the AT&T patents to provide MPEG-4 compliant video. No license is granted or implied for any other use for MPEG-4 standard." As you can see, while the mpeg2 licensing might have been about packaged media, the h.264 is not. Because since the mpeg2 thing, the Internet happened. So MPEG-LA adjusted their licensing agreement to be MORE broad.


I don't expect anything to come of this given the proliferation of MPEG-2/MPEG-4 devices and content creation tools over the past decade, but regarding the quoted text, the key would be how "video provider" is defined.

Google, for example, is a licensee and is the distributor of content on YouTube. It may be reasonable (depending on other references to "video provider" excluded from the quote) to conclude that in uploading to YouTube, the creator the video is meeting the "personal and non-commercial" clause as long as they aren't directly benefiting from the video's availability. Google is "a video provider licensed under the AT&T patents to provide MPEG-4 compliant video" who then alters the content for their (not the user's) commercial interests by re-encoding, re-distributing, or attaching ads not in the original work. The provider could be the entity distributing the video to the end user, or it could be the encoder implementation that produces the video.

A narrow reading of the quote may imply the video provider is the camera user, but even professional videographers aren't personally licensees. The entities they shoot for may be. I think MPEG-LA just wants to be sure they're getting paid for the encoders/decoders. The license text could be clearer to better convey that intent.

Reply Score: 2

mikesum32 Member since:
2005-10-22

Ok, let's break that down.

This product is licensed under AT&T patents for the MPEG-4 standard and may be used for encoding MPEG-4 compliant video.

I see no problem with that...

and/or decoding MPEG-4 compliant video that was encoded only (1) for a personal and non-commercial purpose or (2) by a video provider licensed under the AT&T patents to provide MPEG-4 compliant video. No license is granted or implied for any other use for MPEG-4 standard.

Here's where it might get sticky, this is saying you can't use the camera to decode commercial video unless it's licensed under AT&T's patents. I'd say since you bought the camera, that Canon has payed a fee to AT&T for you to watch what you recorded, but it almost seems to disallow you to preview the video if you are considered commercial, a "provider". In this case though, you are the author, and any licensing to edit the files would be taken care of by your editor of choice and to distribute a film on a disc would probably come as something similar to the mpeg-2 license. I'm thinking the personal and non-commercial clause is meant to apply to your home movies vs decoding a blu-ray stream.

So remember, don't watch movies on your camera.

Reply Score: 3

Eugenia Member since:
2005-06-28

BTW, the video editor's h.264 license agreements are also about personal and non-commercial usage. So having a video editor, does not make you eligible to sell or upload your video on a site with ads. Even if everyone is doing it.

Reply Score: 1

What about JPEG then?
by Bringbackanonposting on Sun 2nd May 2010 06:01 UTC
Bringbackanonposting
Member since:
2005-11-16

CLI, Forgent and now Asure?
Is MJPEG really safe?
I have been out of that loop for a while but from memory Forgent not so long ago was patent trolling the big companies. I wonder if they still have a chance of getting in on the act again?

Reply Score: 1

RE: What about JPEG then?
by jrincayc on Sun 2nd May 2010 15:00 UTC in reply to "What about JPEG then?"
jrincayc Member since:
2007-07-24

Are any of those patents still in effect? For example the Forgent patent 4698672 expired in October of 2006.

Reply Score: 1

Art
by vivainio on Sun 2nd May 2010 06:47 UTC
vivainio
Member since:
2008-12-26

Humans are intellectual species. We can't go further, advance our own species, go to the next level, without art. We need every member of the society to be free to express him/herself via any modern means of art that can REACH OTHERS.


I'm not so sure about that, esp. as far as video goes.

Video material has contributed very little to advancement of human condition; many would say that on the contrary, it has a dampening impact (as anyone who reads youtube comments can testify).

Reply Score: 2

RE: Art
by Eugenia on Sun 2nd May 2010 07:30 UTC in reply to "Art"
Eugenia Member since:
2005-06-28

Then you're viewing the wrong site. I'm only using Vimeo, and we have a great community in there, mostly filmmakers, and viewers who appreciate art. I personally hate youtube.

Check these videos for example: http://eugenia.gnomefiles.org/2009/11/14/the-best-hv203040-videos/
These are made by the community that I belong to, the Canon HV20 consumer HDV camera. These videos are made mostly by non-pros, and yet they're amazing. And there's a reason why most of these videos are uploaded on Vimeo instead of Youtube. Because people on Vimeo appreciate this kind of thing.

So, yes, video has had a major impact to our culture. But minimizing video's importance by just mentioning the trolls at youtube doesn't paint a full picture.

Edited 2010-05-02 07:51 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Art
by bhtooefr on Sun 2nd May 2010 11:44 UTC in reply to "RE: Art"
bhtooefr Member since:
2009-02-19

Even then, there's still quite a few interesting videos on YouTube.

I think the 10 minute limit actually hurts that, because people don't want to spend the time splitting interesting, long videos, so YouTube naturally ends up attracting short attention spans.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Art
by nt_jerkface on Sun 2nd May 2010 22:42 UTC in reply to "RE: Art"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

Most movies are total garbage and I don't buy into the concept of a human condition.

I remember an aid worker in Haiti writing about how movies have a negative influence there since they encourage unrealistic expectations. That's the real problem with movies, they provide a distorted view of reality.

Removing print from the world would certainly set it back but removing movies would have mixed results. There's be less entertainment but it would encourage people to find satisfaction in their own lives.

You could even argue that internet video is some of the most negative. YouTube allows you to just sit all day and watch nut shots. Not that I don't enjoy a good nut shot once in a while, but YouTube allows people to watch hours of nut shots or baby fart vidoes instead of at least spending a few hours on a movie to get another point of view, meaning, plot, something. It's the fast food equivalent of video, not something that a society should take pride in.

Edited 2010-05-02 22:43 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Art
by nt_jerkface on Sun 2nd May 2010 23:07 UTC in reply to "RE: Art"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

But YouTube is a mainstream site which represents that advancing species you speak of.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Art
by Eugenia on Sun 2nd May 2010 23:08 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Art"
Eugenia Member since:
2005-06-28

Youtube sucks. Except for reach (==number of viewers), none of the serious videographers and filmmakers I know want to use it. Everyone uses Vimeo. Much more art-friendly.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Art
by nt_jerkface on Sun 2nd May 2010 23:20 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Art"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

Youtube is what happens when you let everyone express themselves. You end up with 10k crazy frog remixes for every video worth watching.

Reply Score: 2

Shameless plug for Pentax
by evangs on Sun 2nd May 2010 07:18 UTC
evangs
Member since:
2005-07-07

Pentax DSLRs produce images in the DNG format which is non-proprietary and videos are shot in MJPEG. As a camera manufacturer, they've been embracing open standards far better than the other big manufacturers.

I use a K-7 for my work, which is weddings and portraits and it's in no way lacking compared to the big two's offerings.

Reply Score: 2

WHOA! Hold on there...
by tupp on Sun 2nd May 2010 07:26 UTC
tupp
Member since:
2006-11-12

Thankfully, there are still some MJPEG HD cameras in the market, although they are getting fewer and fewer: Nikon's dSLRs, and the previous generation of Panasonic's HD digicams. Other cameras that might be more acceptable to use codec-wise are the Panasonic HVX-200 (DVCPro HD codec, $6000), the SILICON IMAGING SI-2K (using the intermediate format Cineform to record, costs $12,000), and the RED One (using the R3D intermediate format, costs $16,000+). Every other HD camera in the market is unsuitable, if you want to be in the clear 100%...

There might be a couple of other cameras which are "in the clear":

www.ikonoskop.com/dii/

www.sumix.com/products/cameras/smx-12a2c.html

http://www.kinor.ru/en/products/camera/dc2k/

http://cinema.elphel.com/elphelcamera

www.panavision.com/product_detail.php?maincat=1&cat=36&id=375&node=c0, c136,c137

www.visionresearch.com/index.cfm?sector=htm/files&page=camera_HD_new

www.weisscam.com/products/hs-1/features.html

www.arridigital.com/technical

www.grassvalley.com/products/ldk_8000_elite

www.visionresearch.com/index.cfm?sector=htm/files&page=Phantom_Flex

www.sbfinalcut.org/community/index.php?option=com_content&view=article &id=68:sony-f35&catid=1:latest-news&Itemid=50

Furthermore, some of these manufacturers have more than one HD camera.

Reply Score: 3

RE: WHOA! Hold on there...
by Eugenia on Sun 2nd May 2010 07:29 UTC in reply to "WHOA! Hold on there..."
Eugenia Member since:
2005-06-28

The kind of cameras most people want to use are not made by these manufacturers, sorry. For example, I have very specific needs, and price range in mind when I buy a cam.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: WHOA! Hold on there...
by tupp on Sun 2nd May 2010 08:03 UTC in reply to "RE: WHOA! Hold on there..."
tupp Member since:
2006-11-12

The kind of cameras most people want to use are not made by these manufacturers, sorry.

Most cinematographers want to shoot with the Genesis, the F35, the Phantom, etc.


For example, I have very specific needs, and price range in mind when I buy a cam.

All the of Elphel cameras (including the Apertus), and the Sumix SMX-12A2C are priced at around (or under) 1/3rd of the price of the Panasonic HVX-200, which is listed in the article as one of the "suitable" cameras. I would guess that the Kinor costs less than an HVX-200, too.

Certainly, the A-cam dII costs much less than the SI-2K and the Red (both deemed "suitable" in the article), and it is only a little more than an HVX-200.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: WHOA! Hold on there...
by Eugenia on Sun 2nd May 2010 08:23 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: WHOA! Hold on there..."
Eugenia Member since:
2005-06-28

Yes, but the kind of cinematographers who want to shoot with these cams already have lawyers and money to pay for licenses anyway. And these kinds of cinematographers only make up 1% of the overall filmmaking community.

But the rest of us, who are indie filmmakers, or wedding videographers, or prosumers, or consumers with a soft spot for art, can't afford -- neither we want -- such cameras. We want the kind of cameras Canon, or Panasonic, do.

Edited 2010-05-02 08:25 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Comment by koki
by koki on Sun 2nd May 2010 08:45 UTC
koki
Member since:
2005-10-17

This article, which can be considered a call to stop using MPEG-LA's codecs, is surrounded by ads of products that do exactly that. Ah, the ironies of the modern world. ;)

Reply Score: 1

But why should I care?
by Auxx on Sun 2nd May 2010 08:58 UTC
Auxx
Member since:
2007-04-05

I live in Latvia, EU. Software patents do not exist here and EULAs don't have any legal power here unless signed by BOTH parties on PAPER. Oh, and it must be in Latvian language. So, why should I care? I'm full protected here from MPEG LA.

Reply Score: 2

RE: But why should I care?
by darknexus on Sun 2nd May 2010 11:23 UTC in reply to "But why should I care?"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Isn't that attitude exactly what we in the US are accused of? I can't help but love the irony here.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: But why should I care?
by Auxx on Wed 5th May 2010 16:57 UTC in reply to "RE: But why should I care?"
Auxx Member since:
2007-04-05

Good irony here ;)

Reply Score: 1

don't hate the Player hate the Game!
by darwinOS on Sun 2nd May 2010 10:32 UTC
darwinOS
Member since:
2009-11-02

MPEG-LA is just a Player; why don't you go to your local senator and talk to them; of course are the lobbyist real strong out the i n the USA but if you really can mobilize a big group of people who are interested to change this you can reach something.
The patent politic in the USA is broken, it's time to start something; all this online discuss will not change anything.

Reply Score: 1

MS and Apple are part of MPEG-LA
by NolF on Sun 2nd May 2010 12:41 UTC
NolF
Member since:
2010-05-02

"Apple and Microsoft supporting the behemoth called MPEG-LA makes me sick to my stomach. They should both be ashamed of themselves. Instead, they should all be lobbying to get them out of the way completely -- and not via just picking a different codec, but completely invalidating most of their patents. Put lobbying to the government to good use, for once."

Apple has one patent in the patent pool for the h.264 codec whilst Microsoft has 65, so they will be making money out of the codec -.-"

Reply Score: 1

Umh, seriously?
by Kuukunen on Sun 2nd May 2010 12:55 UTC
Kuukunen
Member since:
2010-03-28

Ok, I'm sorry beforehand, but this post was utter crap laced with very uninformed FUD.

I am not a lawyer, but it seems I've spent more time reading the actual license than pretty much anyone here. So I figured I'd break some of the stuff down.

However, what's "free to stream"? According to the interpretation of the U.S. law, if you stream your video with ads (e.g. Youtube, Vimeo), then that's a non-free usage.

But according to the license terms, "free to stream" means it's free for the end-user and the company can get remuneration through other means.* The other option for internet video is either title-by-title payment or a subscription based arrangement. For title-by-title the company does have to pay 2% or $0.02 per title (videos under 12 minutes are free, though) or for subscription service you have to start paying once you get more than 100,000 subscribers. So no, what you're saying is just FUD.
Since we know for a fact that x264 is breaking the MPEG-LA license agreements (because their devs didn't license it with MPEG-LA), can this make Vimeo, myself the video producer, AND every of these millions of viewers, liable, in the eyes of MPEG-LA?

No, they're not breaking the license agreements. How could they break license agreements if they haven't agreed on a license? ;)
Anyway, there is NOTHING that would prevent people from programming a H.264 encoder. When you want to spread that encoder, it gets a bit harder though. Basically you have to start paying royalties if you "Sell" an "AVC Product". But being legalese, they redefine Selling to even include providing non-commercial free download. AVC Product on the other hand is defined as "product that contains a fully functional AVC encoder and/or decoder". I don't know if a source code you have to compile yourself would qualify as "fully functional" and they're not providing binaries themselves. Other sites are doing that, but that's their problem. (And it's a problem only after 100,000 products "Sold")

Anyway, the answer to your question: No, using x264 can't make you liable.*

Let's go to the main thing that started it:
You can only use your professional camera for non-commercial purposes. For any other purpose, you must get a license from MPEG-LA and pay them royalties for each copy sold.

First of all, at least the two manuals I checked didn't even have it as "license agreement", but more like "Here's what you might want to know about the licensing." And they don't really seem to be enforcing any additional restrictions than what there already are.

Secondly, even if they were adding restrictions, they'd be shrink wrap contracts, which is kind of hazy:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shrink_wrap_contract

Anyway, as far as I can tell, there is nothing in the H.264 licenses that would make you pay royalties if you just re-encode your H.264 video into other formats internally and then sell those.* If you don't re-encode and start selling them, of course you need to pay royalties, but I thought we already knew that.


* Ok, one thing about these licenses is that if you ask MPEG LA "Do I need a license for ..." the answer is probably "Yes, you need a license for everything.", even if it wouldn't mean you have to pay any royalties. So yea, even under 100,000 units, or 12 minutes etc etc, in theory you need to make a license agreement with them. It's just that they don't have much interest in it if you don't have to pay them anything. But that's the same with everything these days: Getting sued for using H.264 in a way where you wouldn't even have to pay royalties is pretty much the same threat level of getting sued for using Theora or riding a bike.

So for the next time, please, actually do some research for your articles.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Umh, seriously?
by jrincayc on Sun 2nd May 2010 15:07 UTC in reply to "Umh, seriously?"
jrincayc Member since:
2007-07-24

No, using x264 can't make you liable.


Why not? I am not a lawyer either, but as I understandi it patent infringement is includes using a patented technique. This is not copyright infringment.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Umh, seriously?
by Kuukunen on Sun 2nd May 2010 18:25 UTC in reply to "RE: Umh, seriously?"
Kuukunen Member since:
2010-03-28

Why not? I am not a lawyer either, but as I understandi it patent infringement is includes using a patented technique. This is not copyright infringment.

Ok, I'll elaborate on it for a bit.
Yes, to be safe from litigation, whenever you do ANYTHING with H.264, in theory you need to make a license agreement with MPEG LA.

But in the case of encoders, it's more a problem of the Seller of the encoders. (Selling also includes providing a free download.)

I'd think the fact Youtube, Vimeo, Hulu and Facebook are using x264 says something.

Did I mention I hate software patents and they should just die.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Umh, seriously?
by jrincayc on Mon 3rd May 2010 02:28 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Umh, seriously?"
jrincayc Member since:
2007-07-24

Thank you for elaborating. I think for source code, it might be the case that the source code is not considered infringement, just the compiled version running. I could be wrong though. For example the ISO has freely downloadable implementations of MPEG-2.

I am guessing that Youtube, Vimeo, Hulu and Facebook had their lawyers talk to MPEG-LA's lawyers and banged out an agreement that let them use whatever encoding software they choose.

I think no software patents would be vastly preferable to the situation that we have today. Crosses fingers and hopes for a good ruling in Bilski.

Reply Score: 1

Not just cameras
by Grandt on Sun 2nd May 2010 13:27 UTC
Grandt
Member since:
2010-05-02

I just looked up the "Legal notices" on Sony Vegas Pro 9, a video editing suite aimed at professionals. I'm pretty sure that the other major players in that field have similar provisions: (transcribed from the manual).

MPEGLA and MPEG 2
USE OF THIS PRODUCT IN ANY MANNER THAT COMPLIES WITH THE MPEG-2 STANDARD IS EXPRESSLY PROHIBITED WITHOUT A LICENSE UNDER APPLICABLE PATENTS IN THE MPEG-2 PATENT PORTFOLIO, WHICH LICENSE IS AVAILABLE FROM MPEG-LA, LLC, 250 STEELE STREET, SUITE 300, DENVER, COLORADO 80206


Sony AVC
THIS PRODUCT IS LICENSED UNDER THE AVC PATENT PORTFOLIO LICENSE FOR THE PERSONAL AND NON-COMMERCIAL USE OF A CONSUMER TO (i)ENCODE VIDEO IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE AVC STANDARD ("AVC VIDEO") AND/OR (ii)DECODE AVC VIDEO THAT WAS ENCODED BY A CONSUMER ENGAGED IN A PERSONAL AND NON-COMMERCIAL ACTIVITY AND/OR WAS OBTAINED FROM A VIDEO PROVIDER LICENSED TO PROVIDE AVC VIDEO. NO LICENSE IS GRANTED OR SHALL BE IMPLIED FOR ANY OTHER USE. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM MPEG LA. L.L.C. SEE HTTP://MPEGLA.COM

Thomson Fraunhofer MP3
MPEG Layer-3 audio coding technology licensed from Fraunhofer IIS and Thomson.
Supply of this product does not convey a license nor imply any right to distribute content created with this product in revenue generating broadcast systems (terrestrial, satellite, cable and/or other distribution channels), streaming applications (via internet, intranets and/or other networks), other content distribution systems (pay-audio or audio on demand applications and the like) or on physical media (compact discs, digital versatile discs, semiconductor chips, hard drives, memory cards and the like). An independent license for such use is required. For details visit: http://mp3licensing.com

Reply Score: 1

Impartial Jury Impossible
by npa202reboot on Sun 2nd May 2010 13:44 UTC
npa202reboot
Member since:
2010-05-02

At the risk of introducing class warfare into the argument, here goes. Let us consider who could be selected for jury service arising from these cases. Unless there were installed a system like in Logan's Run of eliminating people at retirement age (like people in power DO NOT ALREADY have this idea), people will need retirement income. Retirement income is derived from investments. Investments will invariable involve entities that create intellectual property, because currently that is 'where the money is'. The nexus between a perspective juror and intellectual property has been established and therefore the perception and/or presumption of conflict of interest. I would like to see among the questions asked at voir dire: Do you derive wage income from the creation and/or development of intellectual property? Do you have investments and/or a retirement plan? If so, do you realize that those investments may be in companies that create and/or develop intellectual property? Would it not be reasonable to believe that you have a personal interest that the defendant be found guilty/liable? Would it not be reasonable to believe that your presence on the jury would be seen as contaminating due process should the defendant be found guilty/liable and thus risk such finding to reversal on appeal?

Reply Score: 1

Not a new probelm
by Morty on Sun 2nd May 2010 14:59 UTC
Morty
Member since:
2005-07-06

This kind of royalties "scam" is unfortunately not new, as similar tactics has been used for years. It's very widespread in the multimedia industry. Anyone having equipment for recording audio should look into what the manuals have to say, more likely than not you wild find some similar text regarding license fees to Dolby Laboratories.

This of course does not make in any better, imposing a monopoly like condition on the tools for creating videos are plain wrong and needs to be remedied. Along with other similar practices.

A while back I found another nice one in a motherboard manual:"IMPORTANT: If the TV-Out option is available then you must make agreement with Macrovision (http://www.macrovision.com/) about lincence fee. Only Macrovision (not Kontron) can determine the actual licence fee which depends on the application."
So paying for the hardware are in many case not longer adequate, and you may end up with additional cost.

Edited 2010-05-02 15:00 UTC

Reply Score: 3

Bad Assumption
by lstroud on Sun 2nd May 2010 15:09 UTC
lstroud
Member since:
2010-05-02

Does everyone really think that this many major corporations would risk their future income by adopting a product that is so encumbered? We are not just talking about tech companies, but we are including the likes of Sony, Kodak, Fox, etc. It could be a case of the blind following the blind, but I have to assume that some of these companies are satisfied that they and their customers are not in danger. If there is nothing else that corporations are good at, it is risk management. ;)

More that likely, if this ever did become an issue you would have enough of a patent portfolio on the other side to squelch the issue. You could argue that some early adopters did not understand the extent of the issue. With Microsoft coming this late to the game, though, you have to imagine that they have done their homework. I just one of these companies would step up and offer indemnification.

Reply Score: 1

Screw Em
by Dano on Sun 2nd May 2010 15:11 UTC
Dano
Member since:
2006-01-22

We should go back to using Super 8 film and slide projectors, that'll teach em. ;)

Reply Score: 2

Just do not "buy" it
by Janvl on Sun 2nd May 2010 15:36 UTC
Janvl
Member since:
2007-02-20

Good article!

If you do not like the way apple is behaving, do not buy their stuff.
If you do not like Microsoft change to linux, do not buy ms-stuff.
That is the only power consumers have.

BTW I do not understand people talking about "design" when they mention an iphone. Go count how many small boxes with a metall "border" and two smooth sides exist.

Reply Score: 1

Patents Expired
by dspark76 on Sun 2nd May 2010 15:40 UTC
dspark76
Member since:
2010-05-02

With so many of MPEG LA's patents expired as of last year or the begining of this year, their claims about being unable to make a decoder without their patents might not be as true as it once was. Remember patents only last about 20 years, so any technology ideas that was available in 1990 is now public domain...

See: http://www.mpegla.com/main/programs/M2/Pages/PatentList.aspx

For a the MPEG 2 patent list...

Reply Score: 1

H.261 and MASCAM
by jrincayc on Mon 3rd May 2010 02:45 UTC in reply to "Patents Expired"
jrincayc Member since:
2007-07-24

Yes, a usable version of H.261 came out in December 1990, so that counts as prior art for any US patent filed after December 1991. MASCAM, a subband audio coding system similar to MPEG-1 layer 2 audio came out in 1988. So if someone wanted, they could make a video and audio codec out of those, and probably be fairly safe. It would take more bandwidth than Ogg Theora and Vorbis, but would be better than Motion JPEG and PCM.

Reply Score: 1

Getting to the root of the issue
by galvanash on Sun 2nd May 2010 17:03 UTC
galvanash
Member since:
2006-01-25

I think your article fails to explain the underlying issue very well - it focuses on camera use and by doing so makes it hard to understand the real problem.

h.264 usage requires a license. Period. People need to understand this clearly. Any and all usage of h.264, no matter how it is used or by whom, no matter if there is a profit motive involved, requires a license. The camera makers have negotiated a "free for non-commerical use" license for their end users, but regardless by using a product that includes h.264 you are entering a licensing agreement for its usage. If your usage of the codec is not covered by the manufacturers license, you have to negotiate your own license - its as simple as that.

I'm trying to clarify that, because it seems a lot of people are interpreting this as if the license is limiting them by taking something away that they already had. It isn't - what it is doing is explicitly describing what you CAN do - because by default you can do NOTHING. Without a license with MPEG-LA, ALL use of h.264 is restricted.

MPEG-LA, to my knowledge, does not under any circumstances do 3rd party licensing of its codec - with the exception of the "free for non-commercial use" license. There is no product of any kind that you can buy which grants you commercial rights to use h.264 - none. To use h.264 commercially you have to negotiate a license directly with MPEG-LA.

I have posted many times on the issue of h.264 and its usage on on the internet. I am violently opposed to it - the primary reason is because of the above. I'm not posting this because I want to somehow reduce the impact of your article - Im simply trying to clarify the problem. If you want to be able to use a codec in any manner you see fit without legal concerns, h.264 is not the codec you want to use...

Reply Score: 6

penny by penny
by transputer_guy on Sun 2nd May 2010 19:13 UTC
transputer_guy
Member since:
2005-07-08

great article.

I don't make videos, don't have a decent quality camera but I'll bare this in mind if I ever get one.


Anyway, if making a video should earn these gits their 2c, then by all means pay up, just 2c at a time. Write to MPEG LA and tell them you are making a pro movie and insist on paying the fee, but make sure their costs to receive your 2c is many orders larger than your own costs.

It sets a bad precedent that you have to pay, but make them pay far more to get what they want. If they raise the fee to cover their payment costs, they would then be seen for what they really are, thieves! It would really force them to clarify what they really want and it would get into court sooner. If loads of people did this, it would annoy them pretty quick.

just a thought based on a trick we did to teacher 40 years ago.

Reply Score: 2

Software patents are not legal in EU
by Lyrik on Sun 2nd May 2010 20:16 UTC
Lyrik
Member since:
2010-05-02

There are a diskussion in EU about software patents. And a strong trend not to allow it. In the meantime in the US they are patenting and patenting and...but it has no legal effects in Europe!

Here in this thread are very good reasons for EU to reject software patenting.Which I hope will be the final decission.

If we compare mp3, then Fraunhofer in Germany has "The patent" and They tried to prohibit users from using the unlicensed versions with bitrate over 64 KBts.
Have anybody seen Fraunhofer sueing ordinary people for the use of mp3?

Jens

Reply Score: 1

Nothing to worry
by banolette on Sun 2nd May 2010 20:27 UTC
banolette
Member since:
2010-05-02

I'm not going to lose sleep over h.264 patents and the endangerment of human creativity and expression. People aren't about to be limited by legal and technical constraints. We have overcome a lot worse during our short existence on this Earth, and some faceless corporation isn't about to stop that.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Nothing to worry
by stuffedcrust on Mon 3rd May 2010 06:26 UTC in reply to "Nothing to worry"
stuffedcrust Member since:
2010-05-03

What you said is true only because there are people who do lose sleep over this sort of thing and fight it. They win our freedom, and for the rest of us who sit back and take advantage, the least we can do is recognise their importance.

Reply Score: 1

Return the video camcorder
by jrincayc on Mon 3rd May 2010 02:17 UTC
jrincayc
Member since:
2007-07-24

On thing to do if you purchase a professional video camcorder and it had a non-commercial use restriction is return it to the store that you bought it from. If it is not obvious from the packaging that this restriction is present, you can probably argue that it violates an implicit warranty, i.e. you should be able to use a professional camcorder for professional work (This probably would even override no-return policies and restocking fees, but might require a trip to small claims court). I am betting if enough people did this the manufacturers would get the hint and negotiate a better contract with MPEG-LA, or switch video codecs.

Reply Score: 1

Make way for the public
by leonard_ritter on Mon 3rd May 2010 07:56 UTC
leonard_ritter
Member since:
2010-05-03

I have a solution to propose that involves political intervention, but comes with a good precedent case.

Streets and highways are seen as an important part of our public infrastructure. It is not unusual that a private property owner is forced to sell his house in order to make way for e.g. an interstate highway, because this is in the interest of the public.

We should have similar rules for technologies that are of vital importance to society. In this case, as with highways, not only private freedom of expression is obstructed, the business sectors ability to trade information is similarly impaired.

Therefore, when an invention grows to such paramount importance that the enforcement of its associated patents restricts society on public and economic levels, the patent owner must be disowned.

The patent will be transferred to a government organization that serves as a patent graveyard. There, the patent is no longer enforced and rests for indetermined time. In exchange, the patent owner receives a single compensation payment by the treasury.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by ChrisColes
by ChrisColes on Mon 3rd May 2010 09:29 UTC
ChrisColes
Member since:
2010-05-03

In responding to this article and the resulting debate I need to introduce you all to a part of the text of a free PDF book, The Road Ahead from a Grass Roots Perspective that I have placed on my own web site. www.chriscoles.com

There are two aspects to this debate, the application of true free market rules and the consideration that the rule of the law is today; Moot!

Taking the free market first, I argue in Chapter 5 The Rules for a True Free Market that the seller may not retain any ownership of whatever is sold, downstream of the moment of sale.

Page 62 reads:

"Returning to the auction, that sale price is determined by creating an opportunity for the maximum number of potential buyers to immediately bid based upon the perceived worth, (of their purchase), to them downstream from that purchase. We call that a marketplace. The moment the bid is accepted the sale takes place; payment is made and immediately the ownership of what is being sold changes.

This point of sale is fundamentally important. If the seller retained ownership, the free market would not work as there would be an obligation upon the buyer that transferred value created by the buyer back to the seller beyond the power of the market to adjust.
The immediate transfer of ownership is thus a fundamental aspect of a free market.

The seller has to accept the price the market will deliver that day for the concept of the free market to work. The price paid must be the market price of that day. The buyer has priced his bid based upon their knowledge of the cost of whatever onward process they have in mind. The price to the final consumer is adjusted accordingly. If that buyer fails to sell on at their final market price, then they cannot afford to go back and buy more at that price and must adjust their bid accordingly."

In which case, imposing royalties downstream of the sale breaches these rules.

In chapter 12, The Responsibilities of Government I am arguing that my own patents have been openly infringed by the US government. Now, at first sight you might consider this to be a counter argument, but if you read the whole book you will see that instead, I am arguing that the US is a Feudal nation and is not operating to the rules of a true free market. In which case, I believe that the entirety of my input to the debate is that law has become adversarial and unrepresentative to the needs of a free society.

In part, page 108 reads:

“What I have found myself through my dealings with government, particularly the government of the United States, is that in fact, that relationship has broken down.

That the government of the United States is quite prepared to ignore their own law, if that will suite their own purposes.

I believe that we have to face the truth of this breakdown and seek a way forward; back to re-establishing the full rule of the law by government itself.

A great part of the problem is that attorneys employed by government today, have lost contact with their ethics. By that, I mean that the high principle engendered by the concept of the rule of law has been usurped. Rather than abide by the rule of the law to the highest ethical standards and accept that sometimes even a great government can have duties engendered by the law it enacts; the principle of unjust, unethical actions designed to usurp the true meaning of the law, rather than strictly abide has gained credence and today, the rule of the law is as a result moot. That governments, by the action of their attorneys, have placed themselves into the position of both being the font of all law while at the same time, refusing to accept the responsibilities engendered by the rule of law.

I believe that makes such governments lawless, Ultra Vires; Law beyond one's legal power and authority.”

Move forward to page 112, I go on to say:

“I believe that there is a clear perception today, held by the attorneys of the government, that a government department may do as it wishes with an individual’s property that comes its way.

I believe that that is theft and there is no other way to look at it. Consideration was not agreed or paid, no transaction has taken place. No deal accepted. Ownership remains with the individual.

I believe that the Government of the United States must recognise that there is this perception at large and that it is causing great damage to the reputation of the law in the United States. I further believe that it is the responsibility of the lawmakers to look again at this matter and create a set of clear, unambiguous rules of engagement, a framework of ethical rules to the highest standard, that we on the outside can see in place and that those on the inside can see they must abide by.

Without that structure, a level playing field if you like, the actions taking place today stain the reputation of what many of us do sincerely believe to be the finest country on the planet.

I was led to believe that the United States of America wanted individuals like me; but I now believe that the government attorneys will do anything in their power to prevent someone like me prosper.

That, ladies and gentlemen; is feudalism.

It has always been my understanding that the United States was founded upon the realisation that feudalism is a failed concept. That the efforts of the free individual and their intellectual property coupled to capital has made your nation wealthy, powerful and strong. I believe that within the United States government, that lesson has been lost.

Think about that? Why has this come about?

The answer has to be that the practice of law has become totally adversarial. Everyone is the enemy.
In corporate law, yes, the attorney is there to protect the interests of the corporation; but it must be seen that in government, particularly where competition law comes into play, the primary responsibility has to be to encourage competition. The government attorney has a much wider responsibility – the encouragement of a successful nation.

If the government attorney has only a view that their responsibility is to protect the government, then everyone outside the government is an enemy. That the citizen is to be held at bay and controlled; that success is to be trammelled by the idea that they must not interfere with the aiming point of the government.

I would argue instead that it is the governments responsibility to do everything it can to encourage the success of any citizen, (or in my case anyone wanting to join your nation as a citizen), in their lawful pursuit of making the most of their particular talents and aspirations.

It is a very real aspect of a feudal society, that those with power will do everything in their power to prevent the success of the ordinary citizen. Why? Easy to answer, merit always shines so brightly.

The great embarrassment of an “old school tie” without merit is to see themselves outshone by a bright shining upstart. In those circumstances, they have every vested interest in the failure of the more successful.

As His Grace The Earl of Clanwilliam once said to me: “Everyone has a vested interest in your failure”. (Private comment made at a UK Department of Transport conference on the subject of the Stonehenge).

I argue that it must be recognised that the greatest responsibility of the government attorney, in any government; is to see that, in the pursuit of lawful gain, those with merit are encouraged to succeed; that by so encouraging, they prevent the establishment of a feudal society and encourage a free and prosperous nation.”

The answer to the question first posed is that ALL Law needs to be reviewed with the objective of on the one hand opposing anything that continues to impose a feudal society on the people, while on the other hand, empowering the individual citizens in their own, personal, creativity.

If you can show government are themselves outside of the law, Ultra Vires, then you empower any argument regarding the way existing law is applied.

Reply Score: 1

license agreement
by Mellin on Mon 3rd May 2010 09:52 UTC
Mellin
Member since:
2005-07-06

a license agreement isn't a legally binding document here in Sweden

Reply Score: 2

Do your bloody homework
by fartz on Mon 3rd May 2010 10:39 UTC
fartz
Member since:
2010-05-03

It's a shame you and so many other wannabe Internet lawyers are a bunch of shrill alarmists that can't do a minute's worth of Googling, because if you'd taken a moment to stop raging against the Man you'd have found this:

http://news.cnet.com/8301-30685_3-20000101-264.html

You're only responsible for paying a license as a content creator if you're also the replicator of, say, a physical medium such as a Blu-ray disc. This means that even if you *are* a band selling a concert disc as in the article's example, if you're not the one pressing the disc, you're not paying the fee--the plant pays that fee, which they're going to pass on to you anyway. If you're burning the discs and selling them yourself, then you're responsible for paying up, which will surely kill you at all of two cents per disc. Even if you don't pay, MPEG LA are far more concerned about large corporations than your two-bit garage band. Furthermore, you don't have to pay anything if you're offering videos for free streaming.

Seriously suggesting distribution of video in MJPEG (huge) or Theora (macroblock dance party viewed through Vaseline-smeared screen) isn't even deserving of further comment.

Edited 2010-05-03 10:47 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Do your bloody homework
by lemur2 on Mon 3rd May 2010 11:37 UTC in reply to "Do your bloody homework"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Seriously suggesting distribution of video in ... Theora (macroblock dance party viewed through Vaseline-smeared screen) isn't even deserving of further comment.


http://videoonwikipedia.org/

http://jilion.com/sublime/video

http://www.html5video.org/

http://www.mediafront.org/project/osmplayer

Your out-of-date comment isn't even deserving of further comment.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Do your bloody homework
by fartz on Mon 3rd May 2010 12:23 UTC in reply to "RE: Do your bloody homework"
fartz Member since:
2010-05-03

You also seem to be entirely lacking in reading comprehension, as not one of these links has anything at all to do with the fact that Theora's quality is horrendous. Being able to pick whatever codec a given browser happens to support doesn't change this. Did you even see the link earlier in the thread?

http://saintdevelopment.com/media/

(There's a reason the x264 folks use Touhou for encoding tests (beyond liking mediocre shooters--go play Mars Matrix): high motion, chroma and luma variation, large static areas, sharp/well-defined borders, etc.)

Reply Score: 1

Practically speaking...
by Madison on Mon 3rd May 2010 13:19 UTC
Madison
Member since:
2010-05-03

Is anyone trying to enforce these provisions? Have there been any attempts to collect such royalties? Have there been any attempts to pay such royalties?

Of course I'm against the ridiculously broad claims of legal rights that abound these days.

Every time I break shrinkwrap, install software, and click yes on a little box or button that says I accept a EULA, I know I've agreed to something absurd.

But, perhaps foolishly, I've become inured to it as a formality that makes no difference.

Reply Score: 2

What about x264
by sebsation on Mon 3rd May 2010 14:26 UTC
sebsation
Member since:
2010-05-03

Eugenia, this is a very interesting article, but what I don't understand is, x264 has been around for years and it keeps going strong, in fact it's the best h.264 encoder. How come they haven't been sued or at least send a cease and desist letter by the MPEG LA lawyers?

Reply Score: 1

RE: What about x264
by lemur2 on Tue 4th May 2010 01:07 UTC in reply to "What about x264"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Eugenia, this is a very interesting article, but what I don't understand is, x264 has been around for years and it keeps going strong, in fact it's the best h.264 encoder. How come they haven't been sued or at least send a cease and desist letter by the MPEG LA lawyers?


MPEG LA charge "per transmission" of a digital video file (primarily, they mean when a digital TV transimission is made, or when a Bluray disk is stamped). In addition, they have put a temporary hold on charging for transmission over the web ... for the time being, this is not charged.

At the moment, x264 is actually helping MPEG LA to get their H.264 codec entrenched for use on the web.

Why (for the moment) would MPEG LA want x264 to stop?

Reply Score: 2

Thank you, I'm in the same boat...
by indiworks on Mon 3rd May 2010 20:44 UTC
indiworks
Member since:
2010-05-03

Thank you Eugenia for that article.

A couple of weeks ago I got a Samsung WB1000 that does 1280x720 H.264 encoded video @ 30 fps. I was going to test an open-source work flow for video post production using Blender. And I was thinking of investing in a Canon 5D Mark II. I can only imagine how cheated you must feel!

I might - in theory - be a bit more lucky here, since I live in Europe (no software patents) and I also (so far) can't find that licensing restriction in my camera's manual. It could be because I live in Europe and/or because Samsung is one (of many) H.264 patent holders.

But: until software patents are abolished and/or the MPEG LA has been dissolved, I consider the footage I filmed in my own (life) time - with the camera that I paid for with my own money - as *not* commercially usable because of the H.264 patent fiasco that Apple, (now also) MS and the MPEG LA have brought us to. I'm *not so stupid* and will *risk* my (in the not so far future to be launched) *video business* with patent encumbered footage. (I remix stuff and mix video with 3D using Blender.)

I can think of so many scenarios why all of this is really bad. Just one: think of an (indie) film maker in ten years time doing a YouTube/online video etc. documentary and s/he needs lots of original footage. The film maker might be able to track down all people, get their original footage (the one uploaded), s/he may be able to clear all the rights with the subjects, but... what if 90% of that footage is *H.264 tainted*...?!

H.264 will be an indie film maker's nightmare - in the long run. First one is always free, once hooked you pay. And if you can't pay then there is one competitor less for big media. And maybe *that's* the whole point (too).

How can anyone claim to own the very concept to any moving pictures compression algorithm and this at the same time be legal? That's like saying you own the concept of a piece of paper and everyone who writes stuff has to pay. What a business model!

What I also would like to know: is not the way the human eyes/perception works the same as the basic idea of the MPEG codec: only the changes from the previous moment/frame get "updated". Does not every human with working eyesight have this concept built-in, is this not prior art...?

Valentin

Reply Score: 1

Eugenia ...
by FunkyELF on Mon 3rd May 2010 21:16 UTC
FunkyELF
Member since:
2006-07-26

You mention that you have the 5DmkII.
I went for the 7D as my first dSLR.

Anyway, I am curious if you are going to actually do anything different with your camera now?
Are you going to capture in motion jpeg?

You also must be wondering, if you were to make money off your videos or even get into it professionally... how would anyone know the intermediate formats your video was stored in? I guess the problem is that MPEG-LA can with over 99% certainty say if it is HD video it was at some point stored in a format infringing our patents. Without a subpoena they wouldn't be able to tell that it was.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Eugenia ...
by Eugenia on Mon 3rd May 2010 22:40 UTC in reply to "Eugenia ..."
Eugenia Member since:
2005-06-28

As explained in the article, how you edit or what intermediate format you used doesn't matter. By the moment you use their format to record, you can already be liable if you used that video for commercial works later. Sure, you can always never divulge what camera you used to record it, but many of us on Vimeo, rely on that information towards our viewers.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Eugenia ...
by FunkyELF on Tue 4th May 2010 13:32 UTC in reply to "RE: Eugenia ..."
FunkyELF Member since:
2006-07-26

So, the question remains.... are you going to do anything differently now that this information has come to light? Are you going to capture in motion jpeg and change all your workflows to be compliant?

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Eugenia ...
by Eugenia on Tue 4th May 2010 18:30 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Eugenia ..."
Eugenia Member since:
2005-06-28

Is that a trick question? I don't answer trick questions.

Edited 2010-05-04 18:32 UTC

Reply Score: 1

BitterPhil
Member since:
2010-05-03

I see you listed DVCPro HD as OK; does that also mean that standard definition DV cams are not encumbered? Is another alternative avoiding HD and just sticking with SD and DV?

Reply Score: 1

Eugenia Member since:
2005-06-28

SD DV cameras use DV AVI, not mpeg2/4. So they're probably ok. Check your manual.

Reply Score: 1

Exhaustion?
by ciaran on Tue 4th May 2010 09:55 UTC
ciaran
Member since:
2006-11-27

I was reading the 2008 opinion by the US Supreme Court in Quanta v. LGE, and it certainly seems possible that MPEG-LA's patent rights are exhausted when the camera gets sold:

http://news.swpat.org/2010/05/mpeglas-patents-exhausted/

Edited 2010-05-04 09:56 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Thank goodness for Engadget sanity!
by Smeagol on Wed 5th May 2010 13:26 UTC
Smeagol
Member since:
2006-01-16

At least someone asked some questions before extolling the end of the human race! Whew! I can sleep better tonight...this was a close one!

http://www.engadget.com/2010/05/04/know-your-rights-h-264-patent-li...

Reply Score: 1

Eugenia Member since:
2005-06-28

Engadget agreed that the language of the license is not right. And I find funny the fact that the mpeg-la lawyers told engadget that they will do the opposite of what their license requires people to do.

Reply Score: 1

indiworks Member since:
2010-05-03

From the engadget article:

"...the person who sells the content are the ones who have to pay.”

So you are forced to pass *licensing fees* on to *your clients* - guess where the bill for that might land in the end if this is your video business...?!

This is *still* not ok. *H.264* is the *appropriation of a film/video maker's work* from the moment you press that record button on your H.264 camera.

And what will hold up in court: the written manual/EULA from your camera or what someone on the internet said in article that starts of with "This isn't legal advice or analysis"...?!

It's still a trap!!!

Here my "for dummies" explanation:

H.264 licensing explained: it’s like “Schwarzer Peter” (“Old Maid”)

http://indiworks.wordpress.com/2010/05/06/h-264-licensing-explained...

Reply Score: 1