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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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

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