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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MJPEG is as safe as any format
by jrincayc on Sun 2nd May 2010 14:29 UTC 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.

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