Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 10th Mar 2013 13:07 UTC
Multimedia, AV A few days ago, Google and the MPEG-LA announced that they had come to an agreement under which Google received a license for techniques in VP8 that may infringe upon MPEG-LA patents (note the 'if any'). Only a few days later, we learn the real reason behind Google and the MPEG-LA striking a deal, thanks to The H Open, making it clear that the MPEG-LA has lost. Big time. Update: Chris Montgomery: "The wording suggests Google paid some money to grease this along, and the agreement wording is interesting [and instructive] but make no mistake: Google won. Full stop."
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Comment by Nelson
by Nelson on Sun 10th Mar 2013 15:20 UTC
Nelson
Member since:
2005-11-29

H264 licenses are not covered under commercial usage that includes subscription video in excess of 100,000 users, at which point, the license fee is not to exceeed $0.02 per title.

It is worth putting into context "End-users" here, end users cannot be targeted by the MPEG LA for patent litigation unless they are part of the distribution chain of the unlicensed publication -- in other words, if you're just hitting play on a video on the web, the extent of your liability is limited by United States patent law.
harass the hell out of end users while patent trolls
Ironically, the bar for claiming damages against individuals is significantly higher for patents than for, say, copyright which is why the RIAA is free to are exactly that, trolls, if they start to go after users.

Basically, if you have video on which you make profit exceeding minimum thresholds, you pay a ridiculously small licensing fee.

At that point, it is questionable if its still honest to classify these people as normal end users -- given that that much revenue makes the license insignificant comparatively.

There is a distinction between content owner and content distributors, even if under certain circumstances they may be one in the same.

I don't really think this opinion piece is grounded in reality with regards to the situation with VP8, FOSSPatents goes into the issue pretty well:

While the MPEG LA might have gotten their share, things remain more dubious for VP8 because there are likely legitimate stake owners with patents that are not part of the deal with the MPEG LA and are not obligated to any FRAND terms.

One such example is Nokia, that the day of the agreement, launched an offensive against HTC for patents it believes that VP8 infringes.

To claim that VP8 is more safe than H264 is ludicrous.

Reply Score: -2

RE: Comment by Nelson
by Thom_Holwerda on Sun 10th Mar 2013 15:29 in reply to "Comment by Nelson"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

While the MPEG LA might have gotten their share, things remain more dubious for VP8 because there are likely legitimate stake owners with patents that are not part of the deal with the MPEG LA and are not obligated to any FRAND terms.


Sigh.

You do realise that the same applies to H.264, right? A patent holder who didn't pledge his patent to MPEG-LA could just as much target H.264 as it could target VP8. This point has been raised a million times over the years, and H.264 and MPEG-LA supporters never address it.

Edited 2013-03-10 15:30 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Comment by Nelson
by Nelson on Sun 10th Mar 2013 15:38 in reply to "RE: Comment by Nelson"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Great, allow me to address it then: It doesn't matter.

What does matter is VP8 proponents claiming that VP8 is magically safer. No one is claiming that H264 is completely absolved from any and all patent risk, precisely because such a claim is absurd.

This has never been about saying that H264 is safer, but that VP8 is not safer.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Comment by Nelson
by JAlexoid on Mon 11th Mar 2013 03:41 in reply to "Comment by Nelson"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

It is worth putting into context "End-users" here, end users cannot be targeted by the MPEG LA for patent litigation unless they are part of the distribution chain of the unlicensed publication -- in other words, if you're just hitting play on a video on the web, the extent of your liability is limited by United States patent law.

Nope. End users can be targeted with patent infringement lawsuits. Anyone benefiting from the invention is liable. The law only has patent exhaustion, that is if you have a licensed decoder you are free from liability(and even that has limitations). If you do not have a licensed decoder, you are as liable as anyone in the distribution chain.

The patent owner can sue everyone, but usually sues the most valuable target.

If end users were free from patent lawsuits, then patents on manufacturing processes would be useless.(As the end-user of the patented manufacturing process is the manufacturer)

Reply Parent Score: 2