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: What about x264
by lemur2 on Tue 4th May 2010 01:07 UTC in reply to "What about x264"
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Eugenia, this is a very interesting article, but what I don't understand is, x264 has been around for years and it keeps going strong, in fact it's the best h.264 encoder. How come they haven't been sued or at least send a cease and desist letter by the MPEG LA lawyers?

MPEG LA charge "per transmission" of a digital video file (primarily, they mean when a digital TV transimission is made, or when a Bluray disk is stamped). In addition, they have put a temporary hold on charging for transmission over the web ... for the time being, this is not charged.

At the moment, x264 is actually helping MPEG LA to get their H.264 codec entrenched for use on the web.

Why (for the moment) would MPEG LA want x264 to stop?

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