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]: So...
by macUser on Sun 2nd May 2010 19:05 UTC in reply to "RE: So..."
macUser
Member since:
2006-12-15

As I explained in the article, even if there was such a Theora camera, MPEG-LA would probably still sue them for patent infringement (if one fine day they decided to become patent trolls). And MPEG-LA are the kind of organization (judging from their current licensing agreements) that could go against the consumers who purchased and used such a camera too -- not just the manufacturer.

The solution is to completely dissolve, or invalidate, MPEG-LA as an organization, and its patents. There's no way going around it. They have created such an extreme situation (as explained in the article), that only an extreme solution would fix the problem.


Would love to have some links or follow up articles on legal analysis on all this...

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