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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Do your bloody homework
by fartz on Mon 3rd May 2010 10:39 UTC
fartz
Member since:
2010-05-03

It's a shame you and so many other wannabe Internet lawyers are a bunch of shrill alarmists that can't do a minute's worth of Googling, because if you'd taken a moment to stop raging against the Man you'd have found this:

http://news.cnet.com/8301-30685_3-20000101-264.html

You're only responsible for paying a license as a content creator if you're also the replicator of, say, a physical medium such as a Blu-ray disc. This means that even if you *are* a band selling a concert disc as in the article's example, if you're not the one pressing the disc, you're not paying the fee--the plant pays that fee, which they're going to pass on to you anyway. If you're burning the discs and selling them yourself, then you're responsible for paying up, which will surely kill you at all of two cents per disc. Even if you don't pay, MPEG LA are far more concerned about large corporations than your two-bit garage band. Furthermore, you don't have to pay anything if you're offering videos for free streaming.

Seriously suggesting distribution of video in MJPEG (huge) or Theora (macroblock dance party viewed through Vaseline-smeared screen) isn't even deserving of further comment.

Edited 2010-05-03 10:47 UTC

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