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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Not just cameras
by Grandt on Sun 2nd May 2010 13:27 UTC
Grandt
Member since:
2010-05-02

I just looked up the "Legal notices" on Sony Vegas Pro 9, a video editing suite aimed at professionals. I'm pretty sure that the other major players in that field have similar provisions: (transcribed from the manual).

MPEGLA and MPEG 2
USE OF THIS PRODUCT IN ANY MANNER THAT COMPLIES WITH THE MPEG-2 STANDARD IS EXPRESSLY PROHIBITED WITHOUT A LICENSE UNDER APPLICABLE PATENTS IN THE MPEG-2 PATENT PORTFOLIO, WHICH LICENSE IS AVAILABLE FROM MPEG-LA, LLC, 250 STEELE STREET, SUITE 300, DENVER, COLORADO 80206


Sony AVC
THIS PRODUCT IS LICENSED UNDER THE AVC PATENT PORTFOLIO LICENSE FOR THE PERSONAL AND NON-COMMERCIAL USE OF A CONSUMER TO (i)ENCODE VIDEO IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE AVC STANDARD ("AVC VIDEO") AND/OR (ii)DECODE AVC VIDEO THAT WAS ENCODED BY A CONSUMER ENGAGED IN A PERSONAL AND NON-COMMERCIAL ACTIVITY AND/OR WAS OBTAINED FROM A VIDEO PROVIDER LICENSED TO PROVIDE AVC VIDEO. NO LICENSE IS GRANTED OR SHALL BE IMPLIED FOR ANY OTHER USE. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM MPEG LA. L.L.C. SEE HTTP://MPEGLA.COM

Thomson Fraunhofer MP3
MPEG Layer-3 audio coding technology licensed from Fraunhofer IIS and Thomson.
Supply of this product does not convey a license nor imply any right to distribute content created with this product in revenue generating broadcast systems (terrestrial, satellite, cable and/or other distribution channels), streaming applications (via internet, intranets and/or other networks), other content distribution systems (pay-audio or audio on demand applications and the like) or on physical media (compact discs, digital versatile discs, semiconductor chips, hard drives, memory cards and the like). An independent license for such use is required. For details visit: http://mp3licensing.com

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