Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
55,031
17,414



164049-mpeg_la_logo.jpg


MPEG LA, the group that oversees licensing for a number of Internet media standards, today announced that Internet broadcast content using the H.264 video coding standard will remain royalty-free for the entire life of the license, quashing fears that the standard could suddenly become subject to royalty payments in 2016 after the current licensing term expires and is required to be renewed.
MPEG LA announced today that its AVC Patent Portfolio License will continue not to charge royalties for Internet Video that is free to end users (known as "Internet Broadcast AVC Video") during the entire life of this License. MPEG LA previously announced it would not charge royalties for such video through December 31, 2015, and today's announcement makes clear that royalties will continue not to be charged for such video beyond that time.
H.264 is the video content standard that has been embraced by a broad array of content providers including Apple, which owns several of the patents included in the technology's portfolio. Today's announcement also paves the way for H.264 to become the standard video format for HTML5, which had seen some contributors, such as Mozilla and Opera, supporting Ogg Theora as a royalty-free video standard.

Earlier this year, Google announced its own video standard, WebM, claiming that it would be a royalty-free alternative to H.264. Questions were raised, however, about whether WebM truly could be royalty-free, with MPEG LA even going as far as to suggest that it was looking into putting together a patent pool to assert the rights of intellectual property holders associated with the WebM/VP8 standard.

Article Link: MPEG LA Declares H.264 Standard Permanently Royalty-Free
 

macus3r

macrumors regular
Aug 30, 2005
105
28
WOW. This is a BIG DEAL for Apple and makes the content providers look like asses if they don't sign on to iTunes download model.

Apple was never in the business to make royalties through H.264, doing that would jeopardize the ultimate goal of selling more profitable hardware devices.

GoogleTV? what?
 

Small White Car

macrumors G4
Aug 29, 2006
10,943
1,303
Washington DC
Well, that's just great.

There goes several thousand man-hours wasted on Macrumors arguments.

THANKS A LOT, MPEG LA! Don't you know how hard we worked on those threads?

Poof. All useless now.
 

sziehr

macrumors 6502a
Jun 11, 2009
673
488
well this is great news. There is no question apple won this war after what they learned with firewire free is the way to fly. This is going to hurt googles own project and solidly kill flash. There is now no reason not to do html5 and h.264 encoding of all online content
 

Small White Car

macrumors G4
Aug 29, 2006
10,943
1,303
Washington DC
Oh, and does this mean Firefox can finally get off their high horse and join everyone else's HTML 5 plans?

Or did they have other reasons for going it alone on that one?
 

BaldiMac

macrumors 604
Jan 24, 2008
7,412
8,750
Oh, and does this mean Firefox can finally get off their high horse and join everyone else's HTML 5 plans?

Or did they have other reasons for going it alone on that one?

Nope. This does not change the licensing fees that Firefox would have to pay. (I think I read that it would be in the $5 million range.) It only applies to video distribution that is free to end users, which has always been free.
 

PaperMacWriter

macrumors 6502
Apr 5, 2009
260
0
Google's $106.6 Million spent on On2 just became worthless. Poof.
But thank god we're not stuck in a war with formats now. Now Mozilla can have a good product without needing to pay any of their money to people.
This makes me happy.
~SG
 

superstrikertwo

macrumors 65816
Jun 9, 2008
1,089
99
California
well this is great news. There is no question apple won this war after what they learned with firewire free is the way to fly. This is going to hurt googles own project and solidly kill flash. There is now no reason not to do html5 and h.264 encoding of all online content

Google supported H.264 as well. They also supported other formats which in my opinion was the smart thing to do at the time as there was no clear "winner" in the format war.
 

Erwin-Br

macrumors 6502a
Feb 6, 2008
595
20
The Netherlands
Hurray! Fantastic news! I'm not so sure this would've happened without the competition of a free alternative, so hurray for Google as well.
 

sciwizam

macrumors regular
Jul 10, 2010
181
0
Don't Opera and Mozilla still have to pay for a license to include the decoders? Note that the PR says it's "free to end users".


Got this from one of the comments on Arstechnica:

In page 2 of The AVC Licensing terms (http://www.mpegla.com/main/programs/avc/Documents/AVC_TermsSummary.pdf)

Quote:
In the case of the (a) encoder and decoder manufacturer sublicenses:

For (a) (1) branded encoder and decoder products sold both to end users and on an OEM
basis for incorporation into personal computers but not part of an operating system (a
decoder, encoder, or product consisting of one decoder and one encoder = “unit”),
royalties (beginning January 1, 2005) per legal entity are 0 - 100,000 units per year = no
royalty (this threshold is available to one legal entity in an affiliated group); US $0.20 per
unit after first 100,000 units each year; above 5 million units per year, royalty = US $0.10
per unit. The maximum annual royalty (“cap”) for an enterprise (commonly controlled
legal entities) is $3.5 million per year 2005-2006, $4.25 million per year 2007-08, $5
million per year 2009-10.8


For (a) (2) branded encoder and decoder products sold on an OEM basis for incorporation
into personal computers as part of a computer operating system, a legal entity may pay
for its customers as follows (beginning January 1, 2005): 0 - 100,000 units/year = no
royalty (available to one legal entity in an affiliated group); US $0.20 per unit after first
100,000 units/year; above 5 million units/year, royalty = US $0.10 per unit. The
maximum annual royalty (“cap”) for an enterprise (commonly controlled legal entities) is
$3.5 million per year in 2005-2006, $4.25 million per year in 2007-08 and $5 million per
year in 2009-10.9
 

ruinfx

macrumors 6502a
Feb 20, 2008
894
0
this actually hasnt changed anything as far as mozilla/opera are concerned...it would be nice if the original article covered that. too many uninformed people will (and apparently already have judging by the first couple of replies) misinterpret this posting.
 

PeterQVenkman

macrumors 68020
Mar 4, 2005
2,023
0

Take a closer look:

MPEG LA announced today that its AVC Patent Portfolio License will continue not to charge royalties for Internet Video that is free to end users (known as "Internet Broadcast AVC Video") during the entire life of this License. MPEG LA previously announced it would not charge royalties for such video through December 31, 2015, and today's announcement makes clear that royalties will continue not to be charged for such video beyond that time.

If you charge money for your content you will still have to pay royalties. I don't know if that counts content with advertising or not (like hulu or youtube) - because you would be making money off of h264 content that way.

Sites like Digital Tutors, lynda.com, etc, if they provide a downloadable version in h264, they would be obligated to pay. All my classes from FXPHD.com are h264 encoded. I'm sure they'll switch to something else now.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.