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MPEG-LA declares free H.264 video permanently royalty-free

updated 03:15 pm EDT, Thu August 26, 2010

MPEG group makes free H264 use permanent

The MPEG-LA video standards group today revised its AVC License to permanently exempt free H.264 and AVC video Internet use from any royalties. It had previously planned to start charging companies for streaming H.264 at the start of 2016 but now will allow free use indefinitely as long as viewers aren't charged. Paid video, as well as corporate use of offline video, will still carry a licensing cost.

The deal effectively sanctions the use of H.264 for HTML5 video as well as within Flash containers at YouTube and other sites. Google co-developed its WebM standard in part to guarantee a royalty-free standard for HTML5 and would still have an advantage for paid content, but much of the regular use would be negated.

Apple and Microsoft have both sided with H.264 as they believe its legality and licensing are clearer than with WebM. MPEG-LA has warned that WebM may violate patents in spite of Google's claims and that anyone who used it could face a mandatory change in the long term.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. Spacemoose

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2004

    -1

    That is the sound of Flash dying.

    The last hurdle has just been removed (small as it was) from the path to abandoning Flash as the de-facto video content container. While Flash certainly can make use of this codec, there's absolutely no reason for a website to have that Flash container now that there's a superior and completely free standardized codec.

  1. martinX

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2008

    +2

    A bit bad for me

    "corporate use of offline video, will still carry a licensing cost" sounds like it means we can't distribute MP4s on CD/DVD. Good luck collecting on that though...

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    0

    Re: A bit bad for me

    "corporate use of offline video, will still carry a licensing cost" sounds like it means we can't distribute MP4s on CD/DVD. Good luck collecting on that though...


    So, you have no problem stealing the work of the patent-holders that make up H.264 because you don't think you should have to?

    I guess you're one of those who also think that you shouldn't be held to the GPL since the software is open and who's going to know.

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