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[2]: So...
by Morgan on Sun 2nd May 2010 00:35 UTC in reply to "RE: So..."
Morgan
Member since:
2005-06-29

I just checked my lowly Nikon Coolpix L12 and it shoots in 640x480 30fps MJPEG with PCM Wave audio, in an AVI container. Obviously I'm not going to be making any epic movies with this format, but it's nice to know I'm relatively safe from litigation should I upload family movies to America's Funniest Home Videos.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: So...
by shotsman on Sun 2nd May 2010 06:36 in reply to "RE[2]: So..."
shotsman Member since:
2005-07-22

Until you get paid for said home movie. Then you fall into a completely different licensing category. MPEG-LA will come a knocking for their dues which will probably be several orders of magnitude greater than the pittance you get for your Video.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: So...
by vivainio on Sun 2nd May 2010 07:02 in reply to "RE[3]: So..."
vivainio Member since:
2008-12-26

Until you get paid for said home movie. Then you fall into a completely different licensing category. MPEG-LA will come a knocking for their dues which will probably be several orders of magnitude greater than the pittance you get for your Video.


If you want to become an activist in this, why not put up a website that exposes companies that are probably infringing MPEG-LA's licensing terms?

Just crawl for websites that have ads and embed video. Shouldn't be too hard.

Reply Parent Score: 3

MJPEG is as safe as any format
by jrincayc on Sun 2nd May 2010 14:29 in reply to "RE[3]: So..."
jrincayc Member since:
2007-07-24

MJPEG video with PCM audio is probably completely patent free. Therefore, MPEG-LA has no power over it. Motion JPEG is basically a sequence of JPEGs, so very few video patents would read on it. PCM is basically just a list of the sound volume at each time, the same as a wave file. gstreamer-good can decode MJPEG with PCM sound so the patent issue is considered very low.

Of course, MJPEG and PCM take something like 10 or more times the bandwidth that OGG Theora and Vorbis.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: So...
by membrain on Mon 3rd May 2010 13:36 in reply to "RE[2]: So..."
membrain Member since:
2008-06-19

I was a little p-o'd when I found out that my new Pentax Optio P80 shoots HD video (1280x720 30fps) in MJPEG, but after reading that article, I'm more than glad.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: So...
by pepa on Thu 6th May 2010 05:29 in reply to "RE[2]: So..."
pepa Member since:
2005-07-08

Starting to wonder how many camera's actually use the MJPEG codec, because my Canon A480, my Ricoh Caplio G3, and my Konica/Minolta Dimage Z3 all use MJPEG. MJPEG might be more popular than Eugenia suggested, probably precisely because of licensing cost.

Reply Parent Score: 2