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[4]: So...
by shotsman on Sun 2nd May 2010 06:34 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: So..."
shotsman
Member since:
2005-07-22

All that will happen is that the various patent owners who have stuff in H.264 will sue Google. Google will countersue. Look at the antics around Touch Screens on Mobile Phones.

Then we will be into 7+ years of lawsuits, appeals, trials, appeals, trials and yet more appeals. And that is just in the USA. Look at the SCO case...

The ONLY winners will be the hordes of Lawyers employed by both sides.

The ONLY way for this to be resolved is for SCOTUS to rule on Bilski and outlaw software patents.
Then we will have a much more level playing field.
IANAL etc but all I can say to them all is
-
A plague on all of you.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[5]: So...
by bhtooefr on Sun 2nd May 2010 11:00 in reply to "RE[4]: So..."
bhtooefr Member since:
2009-02-19

Right, it would be everyone suing everyone with entire patent portfolios.

A lot of patents would get invalidated, so while the lawyers would win, I think the patent system would be band-aided in that way. In addition, it would cripple the economy, and companies would be desperate to get patent reform pushed through.

Reply Parent Score: 1