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[2]: It is not so simple
by jrincayc on Mon 3rd May 2010 12:23 UTC in reply to "RE: It is not so simple"
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If for ten years VP3 used technology for which someone had a valid prior patent, why didn't they sue On2?

There is no requirement that they sue. I agree that not suing is evidence that their is no H.264 patents that read on VP3. However I think that this does not provide an iron clad guarantee of VP3's patent freeness. If there are patent lawsuits that involve the Doctrine of Laches, then maybe I am wrong.

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

True probably for decoding, but since Theora encoders continue to have improvements made on them, some of them may infringe even though it is possible to encode Theora patent free.

Edited 2010-05-03 12:24 UTC

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