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: Arrogance at it's finest
by Kroc on Sat 1st May 2010 23:04 UTC in reply to "Arrogance at it's finest"
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And I bet you, statistically speaking, the BBC, National Geographic, and James Cameron have slipped up a licence somewhere at least once; such that if the MPEG-LA had the powers to bust in and check everything with a fine-toothed comb they would find a violation. This has happened to companies before with software licences when FACT have busted down the door (which they have the legal authority to do) and someone in the business accidentally, and innocently installed something wrong on the wrong machine, and BLAMO—$20’000 fine.

Licencing is crazy complicated, and human beings don’t think and act in a common-sense fashion that matches with what licencing dictates. All it takes is one video engineer to copy one video to the wrong computer to just 'fix a problem'.

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