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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by Thom_Holwerda on Sat 1st May 2010 23:23 UTC
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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?

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