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: It is not so simple
by lemur2 on Mon 3rd May 2010 07:11 UTC in reply to "It is not so simple"
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So it is possible that MPEG-LA does have patents that read on VP3.

How is it possible? If for ten years VP3 used technology for which someone had a valid prior patent, why didn't they sue On2?

It is possible that there are H.264 patents that VP3 would count as prior art for and are invalid.

True. However, if it was patentable, why didn't On2 include it in the patents that they DID get for VP3 (and which they subsequently gave permission to use in Theora). If a technology wasn't patentable by On2 at the time of release of VP3, then why would it be patentable for some other party later on?

It is also possible that the H.264 patents that were filed after VP3 are on new techniques, and cannot be invalidated that way.

If they are new techniques after VP3, then VP3 doesn't use them.

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