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05-02-2010, 06:35 PM   #1
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Interesting legal useage restrictions on some DSLR videos...

I ran across this article that I found interesting. Apparently the h.264 or mpeg2 formats have legal restrictions associated with them as in "professional royalties". It looks like that Pentax uses the mJPG format, which is apparently royalty free.
"You see, there is something very important, that the vast majority of both consumers and video professionals don't know: 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 was first made aware of such a restriction when someone mentioned that in a forum, about the Canon 7D dSLR. I thought it didn't apply to me, since I had bought the double-the-price, professional (or at least prosumer), Canon 5D Mark II. But looking at its license agreement last night (page 241), I found out that even my $3000 camera comes with such a basic license. So, I downloaded the manual for the Canon 1D Mark IV, which costs $5000, and where Canon consistently used the word "professional" and "video" on the same sentence on their press release for that camera. Nope! Same restriction: you can only use your professional video dSLR camera (professional, according to Canon's press release), for non-professional reasons. And going even further, I found that even their truly professional video camcorder, the $8000 Canon XL-H1A that uses mpeg2, also comes with a similar restriction. You can only use your professional camera for non-commercial purposes. For any other purpose, you must get a license from MPEG-LA and pay them royalties for each copy sold. ... "
... more in the article.

Why Our Civilization's Video Art and Culture is Threatened by the MPEG-LA

05-03-2010, 03:03 AM   #2
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See https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-dslr-discussion/100016-its-good-th...ose-mjpeg.html

You're just as bad as I am
05-03-2010, 05:09 AM   #3
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Actually, a company can't put a legally binding restriction on how their product is used.
Only lawmakers can do that.
Any caveats that limit usage that get put into owners manuals are just words on paper.
05-03-2010, 05:40 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
Actually, a company can't put a legally binding restriction on how their product is used.
Only lawmakers can do that.
Any caveats that limit usage that get put into owners manuals are just words on paper.
You need to qualify your statement.

The people who own the MPEG2 format and lisence it would differ.

You are correct however that canon cannot put a restriction on the use of their camera, BUT they have a leagal responsibility to advise the user that there are lisencing requirements that apply to any of the formats they use, if applicable.

All they are doing is making sure the end user is responsible for the lisence not canon

05-03-2010, 06:05 AM   #5
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So far this is just words on paper, there hasn't been any litigation on the fact yet. The words on paper are designed to suckle money from the likes of Rupert Murdoch, George Lucas, etc, not Joe the Photographer. When it was announced House was filmed on a Canon, I'm sure the mpeg group made a note in their little black book to pay Mr. Murdoch a visit after 2015 and ask for some huge chunk of change.

How is the mpeg licensing group even going to know about Joe the Photographer, unless your reseller rats you out?
05-03-2010, 07:36 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by justDIY Quote
How is the mpeg licensing group even going to know about Joe the Photographer, unless your reseller rats you out?
It has less to do with "getting caught" than it does with "covering your behind" from all angles... just in case. (Also, this thread is about knowing something critical, like Facebook owning the rights to photos you upload or something equally silly.)

So, imagine you're "joe the photographer" and you capture some great video with your 5D (like alien first-contact, or Angelina Jolie on a trampoline). Well, hey, you decide to sell it and make a mint! It goes viral. You get an award! Maybe a new career! A few months later some lawyers from the MPEG group take you to court and you're left with the "but I didn't read that part" defense, which isn't even poop. You'll definitely lose any money you made, and probably much more than that.

That's an extreme example, but lawyers go ga-ga for less. Think it's never gonna happen? Do you skip getting insurance as well?
05-03-2010, 07:53 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by sterretje Quote
... I guess I am - I didn't see your post. Sorry about that!

The GIF format had the same type of problems, and that is why JPG is dominate today for still images.
05-03-2010, 08:53 AM   #8
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Wasn't mine

05-03-2010, 09:59 AM   #9
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Encoder royalty is different for commercial and personal usage. As far as I remember, even royalty structure is different- for personal usage, it's one time royalty while for commercial/recording/broadcast, it's per usage. (I wrote mpeg2 encoder YMPEG: Fast MPEG-1, MPEG-2, VCD, SVCD, DVD, KDVD, KVCD Codec and hence came across similar situation earlier - though it's a long time and things might have changed now).

So it's understandable why such restriction has been put by camera manufacturers keeping in mind the larger segment who is buying just for personal usage.

Update: Just did a quick search and here is details from MPEGLA website.

QuoteQuote:

MPEG LA - The Standard for Standards - MPEG-2 Agreement

This sublicense does not grant a license to use MPEG-2 Encoding Products to encode/produce DVDs or other MPEG-2 Packaged Medium for other than personal use of Licensee’s customer, however; the grant to encode/produce DVDs or other MPEG-2 Packaged Medium for other than personal use of Licensee’s customer is covered by the sublicense for MPEG-2 Packaged Medium, and the royalties for that sublicense are assessed on the MPEG-2 Packaged Medium itself (see (3) below). Encoding Product Licensees are required to give notice (covering the exclusion from the sublicense granted by Section 2.2) that Encoding Products may not be used in any manner for encoding MPEG-2 Packaged Media without a license under applicable patents (Section 7.16.1).

(3) For MPEG-2 Packaged Medium, the royalty is $0.03 from March 1, 2003 for the first MPEG-2 Video Event per copy (US $0.04 before Sept. 1, 2001, $0.035 from Sept. 1, 2001 – Feb. 28, 2003), but $0.0176 during 2010 and $0.016 after 2010 from the later of January 1, 2010 or execution date of the new extended License, plus $0.01 for each additional 30 minutes or portion recorded on the same copy, but not to exceed (a) US $0.03 from March 1, 2003 for a Single Movie (US $0.04 before September 1, 2001, $0.035 from September 1, 2001 – Feb. 28, 2003) or $0.0176 during 2010 and $0.016 after 2010 from the later of January 1, 2010 or execution date of the new extended License, plus (b) US $0.02 for the second Movie recorded on the same copy as the first Movie, and (c) US $0.01 for each copy having a normal playing time up to and including but not more than 12 minutes of video programming encoded into an MPEG-2 compliant format (Sections 2.3 and 3.1.4.-3.1.4.3). "MPEG-2 Video Event" (Section 1.20) is a unit of video information having a normal playing time of any length up to and including 133 minutes, and "Movie" (Section 1.9) is a single motion picture and related materials but not a second motion picture whether or not related.
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