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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RE[2]: Umh, seriously?
by Kuukunen on Sun 2nd May 2010 18:25 UTC in reply to "RE: Umh, seriously?"
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Why not? I am not a lawyer either, but as I understandi it patent infringement is includes using a patented technique. This is not copyright infringment.

Ok, I'll elaborate on it for a bit.
Yes, to be safe from litigation, whenever you do ANYTHING with H.264, in theory you need to make a license agreement with MPEG LA.

But in the case of encoders, it's more a problem of the Seller of the encoders. (Selling also includes providing a free download.)

I'd think the fact Youtube, Vimeo, Hulu and Facebook are using x264 says something.

Did I mention I hate software patents and they should just die.

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