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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Already debunked
by Wes Felter on Tue 2nd Mar 2010 00:59 UTC
Wes Felter
Member since:
2005-11-15

CNet investigated this and it's not as big a deal as it sounds: http://news.cnet.com/8301-30685_3-20000101-264.html

Reply Score: 3

RE: Already debunked
by ba1l on Tue 2nd Mar 2010 01:42 in reply to "Already debunked"
ba1l Member since:
2007-09-08

CNet investigated this and it's not as big a deal as it sounds: http://news.cnet.com/8301-30685_3-20000101-264.html


Not really.

As that guy said, products like Final Cut Pro or Premiere may come with a licensed h.264 encoder, but you can not use it commercially unless you take out a separate h.264 license with the MPEG-LA.

Since there are a multitude of possible commercial uses, which come with different license requirements, it's not possible for a blanket commercial license to be included with any h.264 encoder.

That's kind of the point of the article - these programs make it easy to produce h.264 video, without even being aware of the license, or the fact that you may have to pay extra depending on how you use the resulting video.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE: Already debunked
by AlexandreAM on Tue 2nd Mar 2010 03:12 in reply to "Already debunked"
AlexandreAM Member since:
2006-02-06

CNet investigated this and it's not as big a deal as it sounds: http://news.cnet.com/8301-30685_3-20000101-264.html


I've read both articles and, while the attorney in the article you linked says all is well and there's nothing to fear there because the "intent" is not what we're thinking, it still scares me that the written text of the license seems to be exactly what we're thinking.

It's everything fine and dandy claiming that it's only there to "ensure the license doesn't cover commercial distribution" (emphasis mine) but as far as I can see the license clearly says that you're given the license to "DECODE AVC VIDEO THAT WAS ENCODED BY A CONSUMER ENGAGED IN A PERSONAL AND NON-COMMERCIAL ACTIVITY AND/OR AVC VIDEO THAT WAS OBTAINED FROM A VIDEO PROVIDER LICENSED TO PROVIDE AVC VIDEO.".

Sure, English is not my primary language so I might be missing some subtlety here but, is there anywhere I can read in this license that states that "we're actually only trying to prevent you to distribute them videos commercially"?

It's even odder to think about the idea of those software packages "Pro" having only a license to encode for personal or non-commercial use.

I mean, I give it that since it's able to decode things encoded for personal use or anything published by anyone licensed to provide the videos, the decoding part can be lightened a lot, almost to being meaningless (considering that streaming for free already gives you a license to publish it, from what I read in the second link).

But when you can only ENCODE for personal or non-commercial use, it says absolutely nothing about distribution. So I'd really like to know how the attorney came to his conclusion other than from his own wishful thinking.

Edited 2010-03-02 03:15 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4