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.

Thread beginning with comment 422222
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
Not a new probelm
by Morty on Sun 2nd May 2010 14:59 UTC
Member since:

This kind of royalties "scam" is unfortunately not new, as similar tactics has been used for years. It's very widespread in the multimedia industry. Anyone having equipment for recording audio should look into what the manuals have to say, more likely than not you wild find some similar text regarding license fees to Dolby Laboratories.

This of course does not make in any better, imposing a monopoly like condition on the tools for creating videos are plain wrong and needs to be remedied. Along with other similar practices.

A while back I found another nice one in a motherboard manual:"IMPORTANT: If the TV-Out option is available then you must make agreement with Macrovision ( about lincence fee. Only Macrovision (not Kontron) can determine the actual licence fee which depends on the application."
So paying for the hardware are in many case not longer adequate, and you may end up with additional cost.

Edited 2010-05-02 15:00 UTC

Reply Score: 3