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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Question
by Radio on Sun 2nd May 2010 01:06 UTC
Radio
Member since:
2009-06-20

Is this restriction enforcable outside the US?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Question
by Soulbender on Sun 2nd May 2010 05:19 in reply to "Question"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

It's possible that its not enforceable at all. Just because it's in a shrink-wrap license doesn't make it a valid contract.

Reply Parent Score: 3

Leonine partnership.
by RogerBryce on Sun 2nd May 2010 08:36 in reply to "Question"
RogerBryce Member since:
2008-07-07

I think this is what falls under the definition of patto leonino in Italy, that is leonine partnership. In Italian it is more precisely called a leonine agreement, according to which one of the partners, in this case it could be MPEG-LA, enjoys all the benefits, while the other bears the disadvantages or losses. Such agreements are void in Italy as are all the unreasonbable clauses in a contract that are not signed separately one by one.

Edited: misplaced tag.

Edited 2010-05-02 08:37 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Leonine partnership.
by toast88 on Sun 2nd May 2010 16:39 in reply to "Leonine partnership."
toast88 Member since:
2009-09-23

Such agreements are void in Italy as are all the unreasonbable clauses in a contract that are not signed separately one by one.

Yeah, I was about to say the same about Germany. I'm glad that our jurisdictional system is rather consumer-friendly than enterprise-biased.

We call such contracts "sittenwidrig" which translated means immoral and makes them totally void.

So, my personal consequence is simple: I will use H.264 by using libx264 to convert videos (e.g.: I'm about to convert about 24 family home video tapes into H.264, almost 500GB of raw data) and just ignore those idiots from MPEG-LA. If they're not willing to do fair business, I won't do either and just "steal" their stuff (even though I wouldn't call that stealing for the aforementioned reasons).

Adrian

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Leonine partnership.
by Trenien on Sun 2nd May 2010 21:39 in reply to "Leonine partnership."
Trenien Member since:
2007-10-11

ditto for France, with the same terms:
clause léonine

Reply Parent Score: 2