Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 1st Mar 2010 21:59 UTC
Multimedia, AV "A lot of commercial software comes with H.264 encoders and decoders, and some computers arrive with this software preinstalled. This leads a lot of people to believe that they can legally view and create H.264 videos for whatever purpose they like. Unfortunately for them, it ain't so."
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Greed
by iskios on Mon 1st Mar 2010 22:32 UTC
iskios
Member since:
2005-07-06

The Greed here is just so patently obvious. Not only do they want to license it to companies, but to everyone who uses it both actively and passively. Dare I suggest that if you have more than one person using the computer in your household and you all watch the video you should all have to pay a licensing fee?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Greed
by vivainio on Mon 1st Mar 2010 22:34 in reply to "Greed"
vivainio Member since:
2008-12-26

The Greed here is just so patently obvious. Not only do they want to license it to companies, but to everyone who uses it both actively and passively. Dare I suggest that if you have more than one person using the computer in your household and you all watch the video you should all have to pay a licensing fee?


It's no more greedy than selling gold watches for a premium price. The problem is just that customers got suckered into believing these codecs were a commodity.

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE[2]: Greed
by urkrobshaw on Tue 2nd Mar 2010 00:56 in reply to "RE: Greed"
urkrobshaw Member since:
2009-02-01

It's no more greedy than selling gold watches for a premium price. The problem is just that customers got suckered into believing these codecs were a commodity.


If I understand things properly, it truly is pure greed. If a content creator (mum & dad posting a home video on the internet, or NBC doing an international broadcast) uses the codec, and somebody watching is is violating the IP licence, then both sides can be sued for compensation (note - both sides, not either side).

Gold watches don't come for free with computers you buy as an enticement to use the watch. A watch which you can do anything you like with.

If you use that gold watch to pay for a drug deal or fake passport etc, you are held accountable.

If you are the end receiver of h264/mpeg4 etc and do something against the EULA with it, you can be sued, but so can your "gold watch" retailer, and so can their wholesaler because they are all obligated to ensure the licence is always adhered to .

So <insert relevant codec IP right holders> could sue 3 times and obtain 3 times the payout, because an end user "abused" the software licence.

So mum & dad post a video, someone uses an unlicenced decoder, and both can be sued.

Someone on the net views a video (e.g on youtube) which was created by an unlicensed codec, and the viewer and creator could both be sued - even though neither knew that the codec wasn't licenced properly.

Got your own little website making $0.01 per year in adsense income? Are you also posting that home made video on your site which displays adsense? You've breached IP rights unless you paid $2,500 for a commercial licence! You could be sued.

Obviously they won't make much from the consumer/viewer, but they might get a bit from the hosting provider who is hosting the video file, and if you posted to youtube? How much money does Google actually have???

That is pure greed.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Greed
by elsewhere on Tue 2nd Mar 2010 07:30 in reply to "RE: Greed"
elsewhere Member since:
2005-07-13

It's no more greedy than selling gold watches for a premium price. The problem is just that customers got suckered into believing these codecs were a commodity.


Not the same thing. I own a gold mine, I sell gold to a company that makes watches. I get my money, end of story. The watchmaker goes on to sell their watches through whatever distribution chain they decide, maybe directly to stores, maybe through wholesalers, whatever. Somebody buys the watch, and maybe it becomes a family heirloom that they pass down, or maybe it becomes something that they need to pawn one day for cash. None of this matters to me, because my part of the equation ended when I sold the gold to the watchmaker.

Under the MPEG-LA model, I will sell the gold to the watchmaker. And then I will expect a payment when the watch is sold. And if the watch is sold through a wholesaler, I'll want a piece of that too. I may even want a payment every time the owner looks at the watch to tell the time, and I'll certainly want a payment if they transfer the watch to anyone else. I may even want a payment every time the watch owner tells someone the time, but I'm going to wait until there are enough watches out there with my gold that I can get away with that, so for now, I'll let them do that for "free", and reserve the right to change my mind and start charging down the road.

This is what is wrong with codec licensing (or, frankly, anything related to IP). When I buy a laptop from HP or Dell, regardless of price, I expect that I'll be able to use it without Intel or AMD knocking on my door and demanding royalties. Among the many problems that IP licensing presents, it often tries to sidestep the concept of transfer, and tries to grab payment out of anyone that touches it. Not so much of an issue in hardware, where this is mostly worked out between the manufacturers and IP holders, to ensure that rights are transferred, but it's a clusterfsck when it comes to software or processes.

That all said, I do agree mostly with your point, but as to customers being suckered into thinking it's a commodity, there's the rub. I don't think customers understand the issue at all, and that's what MPEG-LA is banking on. They're building the world's biggest botnet, and just waiting to pull the trigger, as far as licensing revenue goes.

Just my two pennies...

Reply Parent Score: 9

RE: Greed
by nt_jerkface on Tue 2nd Mar 2010 06:35 in reply to "Greed"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

The Greed here is just so patently obvious. Not only do they want to license it to companies, but to everyone who uses it both actively and passively.


They couldn't sell per media unit encoding licenses to companies if those same companies could just claim to be exempt since their movies were made with Final Cut Pro.

Or another way of looking at this is just because I sell you a product that makes use of a patent doesn't mean that you can sell derivative products that also make use of the patent without paying me.

But it is my position that h.264 is too inflexible for HTML5 video. Web standards are supposed to be open for everyone to implement, including for-profit websites.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Greed
by deathshadow on Tue 2nd Mar 2010 08:33 in reply to "Greed"
deathshadow Member since:
2005-07-12

Oh yes, greed. God forbid anyone get paid for any of this...

Rah rah, fight the power.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Greed
by r_a_trip on Tue 2nd Mar 2010 10:09 in reply to "RE: Greed"
r_a_trip Member since:
2005-07-06

Oh yes, greed. God forbid anyone get paid for any of this...

Well, if it is offered at inequitable terms this is exactly what should happen. The product should just wither away; unused and unpaid.

You are free to manufacture something and try to sell it at whatever terms you set to the market, but that is where it ends. If the market balks at your terms, you should not have the "right" to force a sale to someone who doesn't want it.

H.264 may be the best video codec in existence in the universe right now, but technical aspects aside, the licensing aspect makes a contract with the devil seem like a picnic. At least the devil does it on a per soul basis and keeps his sales voluntary. MPEG-LA owns (or tries to own) everybodies hide who has watched an H.264 encoded video.

The most funny thing about H.264 is that it is akin to a tin can. It is a container, not the stuff that people really want. We want to watch the video, not marvel in what tin can it is wrapped. I'd rather pay in time or bandwith or even in lower quality, before I'm criminalized by a fancy tin can.

MPEG-LA should choke in their codec. This is not about "fighting the power". This is telling an overbearing, soulless entity to just shove it.

Reply Parent Score: 8

RE[2]: Greed
by Anonymous Coward on Tue 2nd Mar 2010 11:07 in reply to "RE: Greed"
Anonymous Coward Member since:
2005-07-06

Oh yes, greed. God forbid anyone get paid for any of this...

Rah rah, fight the power.


No problem with them getting paid for their codec, greed, etc. I'll just use a competing free product, and someone else can pay them. Fortunately, I don't have any need for h264.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Greed
by theTSF on Tue 2nd Mar 2010 13:52 in reply to "Greed"
theTSF Member since:
2005-09-27

I don't think it is greed really...

It is a basic idea. Ill give this software for free. However if you are going to make money from it then I want a piece of the action.

There is a lot of time and research that goes into such products, and they should be compensated for their work. However they are not greedy because they are going well you can use it if you are not making money off of it. If it was just pure greed they would ding us for every thing we produce as well there would be a ton of lawsuits against the guy who made a video and has ad-words on his page. Which I havn't heard much of that happening yet.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Greed
by kriston on Wed 3rd Mar 2010 14:10 in reply to "Greed"
kriston Member since:
2007-04-11

Iskios gets the nod for best use of a pun ever on OSNews.

In other forums people say to use "xvid" because it's FOSS, but it's free as in beer, not free as in speech. The methods used for H.264 encoding and decoding are encumbered by patents and they are not free.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Greed
by apswartz on Thu 4th Mar 2010 01:21 in reply to "Greed"
apswartz Member since:
2008-02-01

"patently obvious" -- I love it!

Reply Parent Score: 1