Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 24th May 2010 10:45 UTC
Legal Nero AG, a company with one of the most fitting names ever (can you imagine a company called Hitler or Stalin 2000 years from now?), has filed an anti-trust lawsuit against the MPEG-LA. The German technology company claims the licensing body has abused its monopoly power, and that is has not honoured agreements made with the US Department of Justice. There's some juicy stuff in here.
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Comment by fgrasset
by fgrasset on Mon 24th May 2010 14:49 UTC
fgrasset
Member since:
2005-12-02

Wow, I love the h264 codec, it’s really the best audio/video codec out there.

However MPEG-LA was - and still is - an horrible organization that have unclear and obviously unfair policy...
The simple fact that they can’t precise their licensing policy after 2015 made them evil for business and end-users...

However the MPEG-4 norms including h264 are internationals standards and the MPEG-LA is only responsible for collecting money from the licensing... where patents apply...

Thus I see 2 things:
- First: Web sites hosted in country where software patents don’t apply shouldn’t have to care about MPEG-LA and h264 licensing (please correct me if I’m wrong)
- Second: the action by Nero may lead to make MPEG-LA clarify it’s licensing policy in the long term. And hopefully, non business use of the h264 codec will remain free as it is now.

It’s only make sense that international standards must follow some rule regarding the licensing as it create some king of monopoly.

And having to switch to the inferior VP8 codec is shameful... and not always possible...

Reply Score: 0

RE: Comment by fgrasset
by darknexus on Mon 24th May 2010 16:36 in reply to "Comment by fgrasset"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Wow, I love the h264 codec, it’s really the best audio/video codec out there.


Actually, just to clear things up, H.264 only handles video. It has nothing to do with audio, you can pair any audio codec you wish with H.264 provided the container you choose supports that.

First: Web sites hosted in country where software patents don’t apply shouldn’t have to care about MPEG-LA and h264 licensing (please correct me if I’m wrong)


True, the content providers in a lot of countries don't have to care. However, according to MPEG-LA, they can go after *anyone* in the chain, from distributor all the way down to the viewer. So in theory, even if they can't go after the web site in a non-patent country, they could go after a viewer in the US who visits that page for example, as their patents apply there. Now, would they actually do such a thing? That is the question. They've vaguely hinted they would, but even if they did I doubt most courts would even hear such a case. Just because MPEG-LA threatens doesn't make their threats legal, however it could cost more money to fight them off than the average person typically has.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Comment by fgrasset
by fgrasset on Mon 24th May 2010 20:33 in reply to "RE: Comment by fgrasset"
fgrasset Member since:
2005-12-02


Actually, just to clear things up, H.264 only handles video. It has nothing to do with audio, you can pair any audio codec you wish with H.264 provided the container you choose supports that.


Your right, I was referring to the other MPEG-4 standard that do the job, ie: AAC for audio and MP4 as the container.
And by the way, it’s a shame that there’s no good open-source AAC codec...

True, the content providers in a lot of countries don't have to care. However, according to MPEG-LA, they can go after *anyone* in the chain, from distributor all the way down to the viewer. So in theory, even if they can't go after the web site in a non-patent country, they could go after a viewer in the US who visits that page for example, as their patents apply there. Now, would they actually do such a thing? That is the question. They've vaguely hinted they would, but even if they did I doubt most courts would even hear such a case. Just because MPEG-LA threatens doesn't make their threats legal, however it could cost more money to fight them off than the average person typically has.


Well, I don’t think that the end-user is taking any risk by watch h264 Video that does’t have been encoded with MPEG-LA approved codec (ie: licensing fee...)
1) They recently explain that they have never sued any end-user...
2) End user actually have been given the license to watch h264 movie
3) End-user can’t decently know whenever a movie have been encoded with a MPEG-LA blessed codec... thus as you said, this will probably hard to support any legal action for MPEG-LA...
They talk a lot... who really know the truth ??
As for money, I think this is the primary reason with end-user are safe: individually there are potentially violating a license that cost... $0! I don’t think any sane justice make big case for that...

Any way it seem that the treat is working... the Godfather way...

And the point of Nero AG is that MPEG-LA abuse of their dominant position to impose unfair licensing term.
Typically, the treat to the end-user is unacceptable...

Reply Parent Score: -1