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.

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RE[2]: So...
by Luis on Sat 1st May 2010 23:21 UTC in reply to "RE: So..."
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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.

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