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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Make way for the public
by leonard_ritter on Mon 3rd May 2010 07:56 UTC
leonard_ritter
Member since:
2010-05-03

I have a solution to propose that involves political intervention, but comes with a good precedent case.

Streets and highways are seen as an important part of our public infrastructure. It is not unusual that a private property owner is forced to sell his house in order to make way for e.g. an interstate highway, because this is in the interest of the public.

We should have similar rules for technologies that are of vital importance to society. In this case, as with highways, not only private freedom of expression is obstructed, the business sectors ability to trade information is similarly impaired.

Therefore, when an invention grows to such paramount importance that the enforcement of its associated patents restricts society on public and economic levels, the patent owner must be disowned.

The patent will be transferred to a government organization that serves as a patent graveyard. There, the patent is no longer enforced and rests for indetermined time. In exchange, the patent owner receives a single compensation payment by the treasury.

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