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.

Permalink for comment 422135
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
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