Latest post Tue, May 18 2010 4:29 AM by DylanReeve. 10 replies.
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  • Fri, May 14 2010 12:39 PM

    • magus
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    MPEG-LA only for consumers ?

    I just read this:

    "...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!"

    "ALL modern video cameras and camcorders that shoot in h.264 or mpeg2, come with a license agreement that says that you can only use that camera to shoot video for "personal use and non-commercial" purposes (go on, read your manuals)."

    I'd be interested in your comments as professional (future) owners/users of e.g. MediaComposer 5, that will be capable to mount these codecs nativly by AMA.

    I had a first worried client/producer call. After reading about the royalities issue they decided to not use an EOS 5D as additional B-Camera for an upcoming production. Pitty for me as the editor- I love B-Cam material and the look of the 5D.

    So what do you think/know? Is it safe to use material gathered on these consumer-cams ?

    cheers

     

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  • Fri, May 14 2010 12:51 PM In reply to

    • Neil J
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    Re: MPEG-LA only for consumers ?

    How would "they" know?

    If you won't tell - i won't tell...

  • Sat, May 15 2010 4:17 AM In reply to

    • jwrl
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    Re: MPEG-LA only for consumers ?

    It looks like MPEG-LA might have shot themselves in the foot with this one.  There is a trail of dumped "standards" that have had aggressive licensing terms imposed on them.  Does anyone remember EISA expansion cards, for example?

    What MPEG-LA have done by this measure is, in the short term, potentially opened up an after market in add-ons that take the RAW image files and convert them to something else.  In the long term if the camera manufacturers perceive lost sales because of this, they'll adopt another codec.  If history is any precedent it will also be a much better codec, too.  Again, compare PCI to EISA.

    MPEG-LA believe that they have the market cornered and can dictate terms.  They really can't.  What will most likely end up happening is that this will just become unenforceable.  For example, how many people are really affected by the mandatory zone restrictions on DVDs?  When was there last a prosecution for bypassing them in your area?

    Bottom line: this is an absurd unenforceable counter-productive attempt at a cash grab.  The market will inevitably find ways around it.

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  • Sat, May 15 2010 5:18 AM In reply to

    Re: MPEG-LA only for consumers ?

    One of the last things we need is another JVC milking the market it with VHS rights or another Dolby type licence.

    jwrl:
    how many people are really affected by the mandatory zone restrictions on DVDs?
    More are by Sony winning the Blu Ray HDDVD war. Simple answer dont buy Sony Blu Ray players. They are the most restrictive of the major brands as to what they will play. Turning their nose up at disks with no zones because a PAL disk in a NTSC player would not be correctly zoned if it had a zone restriction on it.

  • Sun, May 16 2010 9:09 PM In reply to

    • berga
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    Re: MPEG-LA only for consumers ?

    I hate mpeg-la because they can only write in law and not pure english. Therefore it is very difficult to understand what they are writing. After talking with people this is my conclusion.

    1. the license we are to be worried about is for distribution. If we use dvd or blue-ray from a dublicator they will pay the license. If a broadcaster send it, they will reencode the movie and pay the license.

    2. The most practical restriction to production companies is you can not use the camera for encoding for broadcast or web-service which is not free.

    3. The license restrictions on the camera is not the use of the camera, but the result from the camera.  But if You deliver the mpeg-4 source file in another format, you may not pay license for mpeg-4.

    But I am not shure if it is correct, but to me, this is the praxis in the industry.

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  • Mon, May 17 2010 1:05 AM In reply to

    • jwrl
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    Re: MPEG-LA only for consumers ?

    berga:
    The license restrictions on the camera is not the use of the camera, but the result from the camera.  But if You deliver the mpeg-4 source file in another format, you may not pay license for mpeg-4.
    I have always assumed that too.  That's what you or I, being sensible people, would think, berga.  But unfortunately the following clause would appear to act to override that assumption.
    magus:
    ALL modern video cameras and camcorders that shoot in h.264 or mpeg2, come with a license agreement that says that you can only use that camera to shoot video for "personal use and non-commercial" purposes
    Putting it in plain English, any camera that uses the H.264 or MPEG2 codecs for capture cannot be used professionally.  MPEG-LA may believe that this will gain them extra cash in professional user licensing fees.  It won't.  It will just ensure that people who care about the legality won't use those cameras professionally.  People who don't care will continue as they always have done - they'll use the cameras illegally, knowing that it's a pretty near unenforceable restraint.

    As I said earlier, it seems like a pointless move on the part of MPEG-LA.

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  • Mon, May 17 2010 2:07 AM In reply to

    • DylanReeve
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    Re: MPEG-LA only for consumers ?

    Linking to my blog again...

    I wrote about the issues with MPEG-LA licenses a while ago:
    The MPEG and H.264 Problem

    Since then (I should update the post) MPEG-LA have clarified that the licence terms are only supposed to apply to broadcasting and distribution uses. However I think that's a cop out - the terms as they are written in most cases don't make that at all clear and appear to suggest that any professional use of the licensed codecs is prohibited.

    Of course you're also infringing if you use your licenced software or hardware to decode anything that has been encoded without a properly licence - so playing anything encoded with an x264 implementation (like FFMPEG) would be also against the terms of your licence. This is especially problematic for H.264 as a "open web" format, as I believe x264 features quite heavily in the backend of YouTube and other video sites.

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    Auckland, New Zealand

     

  • Mon, May 17 2010 11:53 AM In reply to

    • jwrl
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    Re: MPEG-LA only for consumers ?

    It makes me wonder how "House" handled it.  Or do MPEG-LA regard cable as non-broadcast?

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  • Mon, May 17 2010 11:10 PM In reply to

    • DylanReeve
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    Re: MPEG-LA only for consumers ?

    Well it's much more complicated than that... It's actually hard to know what activity needs to be licenced. However as MPEG-LA has similar licencing on MPEG2 as well then one presumes all the digital broadcasters using MPEG2 DVB signals must already be licenced, as MPEG4 H.264 also (UHF-based HD broadcasting in NZ is H.264 DVB-T).

    If a broadcaster needed to pay licencing to broadcast anything that had been originated on a MPEG-LA licenced codec then it would be very complex as that covers the main file-based formats including AVC-Intra and XDCAM.

    HP Workstations with MC 8.4 64TB EditShare XStream Storage [view my complete system specs]

    Dylan Reeve - Edit Geek // Online/Offline Editor // Post Production Supervisor
    Auckland, New Zealand

     

  • Tue, May 18 2010 1:06 AM In reply to

    • jwrl
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    Re: MPEG-LA only for consumers ?

     

    Sycophant:
    If a broadcaster needed to pay licencing to broadcast anything that had been originated on a MPEG-LA licenced codec then it would be very complex as that covers the main file-based formats including AVC-Intra and XDCAM.
    jwrl:
    As I said earlier, it seems like a pointless move on the part of MPEG-LA.

     

    MC 7.0.4 - Asus P6T Deluxe V2 mobo - Intel i7 920 2.66GHz - Windows 7 Ult64 SP1 - nVidia Quadro FX 1800 - 16 Gbyte low latency DDR3 RAM - Internal 8 Tb... [view my complete system specs]
  • Tue, May 18 2010 4:29 AM In reply to

    • DylanReeve
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    Re: MPEG-LA only for consumers ?

    The biggest problem is that it's incredibly unclear what people can do, and what needs to be licenced. It's a great big question mark.

    I'd personally like to see Avid promote DNxHD (SMPTE VC3) more as an acquisition codec, presumably they have clear rights to the format and can make it very clear from the outset what conditions exist on its use and implementation.

    HP Workstations with MC 8.4 64TB EditShare XStream Storage [view my complete system specs]

    Dylan Reeve - Edit Geek // Online/Offline Editor // Post Production Supervisor
    Auckland, New Zealand

     

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