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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penny by penny
by transputer_guy on Sun 2nd May 2010 19:13 UTC
transputer_guy
Member since:
2005-07-08

great article.

I don't make videos, don't have a decent quality camera but I'll bare this in mind if I ever get one.


Anyway, if making a video should earn these gits their 2c, then by all means pay up, just 2c at a time. Write to MPEG LA and tell them you are making a pro movie and insist on paying the fee, but make sure their costs to receive your 2c is many orders larger than your own costs.

It sets a bad precedent that you have to pay, but make them pay far more to get what they want. If they raise the fee to cover their payment costs, they would then be seen for what they really are, thieves! It would really force them to clarify what they really want and it would get into court sooner. If loads of people did this, it would annoy them pretty quick.

just a thought based on a trick we did to teacher 40 years ago.

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