[theora] MPEG-LA answers some questions about AVC/H.264 licensing

Jason Self jason at bluehome.net
Mon Jun 14 12:00:15 PDT 2010

Basil Mohamed Gohar <abu_hurayrah at hidayahonline.org> wrote ..
> I've compiled all the e-mails between me & MPEG-LA, along with an
> explanation and some major conclusions, here:
> http://www.librevideo.org/blog/2010/06/14/mpeg-la-answers-some-questions-
> Comments welcome, discussion even more so (preferably some of that on
> the site, too...).

For #2 and #3 in the list I tried to get a license about a year ago. They had 
sent me the paperwork to sign, which I did & returned but they later refused. 
They said that the supplier was responsible for getting the license. Here is 
their email. I plan to keep it in case anything comes up.

Does this change anything in #2 or #3 since they won't license to end users??

Hello Jason,

Thank you for your message. Please allow me to clarify how our Licenses work, 
as I believe it will be helpful to your understanding.

As explained below, MPEG LA's Patent Portfolio Licenses provide coverage under 
patents that are essential for use of various technology standards, including 
MPEG-2, MPEG-4 Visual (Part 2) and AVC/H.264 (MPEG-4 Part 10). As a result, the 
party that offers the end product to the end user is responsible for being 
licensed and paying the royalty.

Therefore, in the normal course, the provider of the ffmpeg player or VLC 
player would be responsible for being licensed and paying the royalty. 
Unfortunately, the providers of these products have not taken a License or paid 
the applicable royalties.  As a result, the products are not licensed.

Although our Licenses do not directly provide coverage for an end user and 
anyone in the product chain may be held responsible for an unlicensed product, 
a royalty paid for an end product by the end product supplier would render the 
product licensed in the hands of the end user. Therefore, the end user would 
not normally pay a royalty to MPEG LA for using such a product, but where a 
royalty has not been paid, such product is unlicensed.

In this case, as you appear to be the end user, we suggest that you choose a 
player from a licensed supplier. In that regard, we maintain lists of Licensees 
in Good Standing to each of our Licenses in the corresponding sections of our 
website http://www.mpegla.com.

Finally, please note that since you will not benefit from coverage under the 
Licenses, we will not execute the signed Licenses that you have returned to us.

I hope the above information is helpful. If you have any further questions, 
please do not hesitate to contact me directly.

Best regards,


Peter Hagen
Licensing Associate

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