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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Return the video camcorder
by jrincayc on Mon 3rd May 2010 02:17 UTC
jrincayc
Member since:
2007-07-24

On thing to do if you purchase a professional video camcorder and it had a non-commercial use restriction is return it to the store that you bought it from. If it is not obvious from the packaging that this restriction is present, you can probably argue that it violates an implicit warranty, i.e. you should be able to use a professional camcorder for professional work (This probably would even override no-return policies and restocking fees, but might require a trip to small claims court). I am betting if enough people did this the manufacturers would get the hint and negotiate a better contract with MPEG-LA, or switch video codecs.

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