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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Bad Assumption
by lstroud on Sun 2nd May 2010 15:09 UTC
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Does everyone really think that this many major corporations would risk their future income by adopting a product that is so encumbered? We are not just talking about tech companies, but we are including the likes of Sony, Kodak, Fox, etc. It could be a case of the blind following the blind, but I have to assume that some of these companies are satisfied that they and their customers are not in danger. If there is nothing else that corporations are good at, it is risk management. ;)

More that likely, if this ever did become an issue you would have enough of a patent portfolio on the other side to squelch the issue. You could argue that some early adopters did not understand the extent of the issue. With Microsoft coming this late to the game, though, you have to imagine that they have done their homework. I just one of these companies would step up and offer indemnification.

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