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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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.

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