Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 25th Mar 2013 21:09 UTC
Legal Late last week, Nokia dropped what many consider to be a bomb on the WebM project: a list of patents that VP8 supposedly infringes in the form of an IETF IPR declaration. The list has made the rounds around the web, often reported as proof that VP8 infringes upon Nokia's patents. All this stuff rang a bell. Haven't we been here before? Yup, we have, with another open source codec called Opus. Qualcomm and Huawei made the same claims as Nokia did, but they turned out to be complete bogus. As it turns out, this is standard practice in the dirty business of the patent licensing industry.
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RE[10]: Big picture...
by galvanash on Tue 26th Mar 2013 22:59 UTC in reply to "RE[9]: Big picture..."
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I don't care about what everyone can use, because there is always someone that will only change from a rotary telephone because they have to.

That is a patently stupid analogy in this discussion. You are equating h.264 to technological progress, as if users who don't want to use it are trying to stay in the stone age. No one wants to use VP8 or Theora because they are ludites - they want to use them because they are licensed liberally - and h.264 is not.

You cannot support everyone well, you can only support the majority well.

Why the hell not? You saying that Microsoft and Apple are incapable of including a liberally licensed video codec? They are perfectly capable of doing so - they choose not to...

There is no charge for streaming. Only for people that make an encoder or an decoder.

There is no charge for streaming free content... If I want to sell my video (I don't, but if I did) why should I pay MPEGLA for the privilege of doing so? They had nothing to do with creating it, and I don't want them to have anything to do with me distributing it...

The streaming exemption also doesn't apply to downloadable videos (free or not)... So if you supply a download link you have to pay for that (at some point).. Also, and I cant stress this point enough, it isn't only about streaming. You have to pay for licensing to include h.264 encode/decode in software. You technically can't even use x264 freely (the most popular encoder on the planet) without purchasing a patent license from MPEGLA

Do you really understand how the licensing works?

ps. x264 does offer commercial licensing now. This is an excerpt from their terms of use:

4. You're responsible for patent licensing if you're based in a
nation where patents are an issue. This isn't our choice; the rules of MPEG-LA require that if Company A uses Company B's encoder in their product, Company A must pay the fees, not Company B. FYI, MPEG-LA's fees are zero for the first 100,000 units, 20 cents per unit until 5 million, and 10 cents beyond that, capping at around $5m per year.

Sure, the licensing only really costs money at high volumes... 100,000 units may seem like a whole lot of breathing room, until you create something popular and hit the limit. In my world 100,000 ain't all that much...

Wouldn't you rather have something that doesn't have such strings attached?

Edited 2013-03-26 23:11 UTC

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