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]: WHOA! Hold on there...
by tupp on Sun 2nd May 2010 08:03 UTC in reply to "RE: WHOA! Hold on there..."
Member since:

The kind of cameras most people want to use are not made by these manufacturers, sorry.

Most cinematographers want to shoot with the Genesis, the F35, the Phantom, etc.

For example, I have very specific needs, and price range in mind when I buy a cam.

All the of Elphel cameras (including the Apertus), and the Sumix SMX-12A2C are priced at around (or under) 1/3rd of the price of the Panasonic HVX-200, which is listed in the article as one of the "suitable" cameras. I would guess that the Kinor costs less than an HVX-200, too.

Certainly, the A-cam dII costs much less than the SI-2K and the Red (both deemed "suitable" in the article), and it is only a little more than an HVX-200.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: WHOA! Hold on there...
by Eugenia on Sun 2nd May 2010 08:23 in reply to "RE[2]: WHOA! Hold on there..."
Eugenia Member since:

Yes, but the kind of cinematographers who want to shoot with these cams already have lawyers and money to pay for licenses anyway. And these kinds of cinematographers only make up 1% of the overall filmmaking community.

But the rest of us, who are indie filmmakers, or wedding videographers, or prosumers, or consumers with a soft spot for art, can't afford -- neither we want -- such cameras. We want the kind of cameras Canon, or Panasonic, do.

Edited 2010-05-02 08:25 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1