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New MPEG-4 Licensing Scheme

michael posted more than 12 years ago | from the pay-per-view dept.

Graphics 336

morcheeba writes: "EETimes is reporting that the licensing of MPEG-4 patents will be substantially different than the existing MPEG-2 licenses. The per-player fee will be substantially cheaper ($0.25 instead of $2.50), but a new "use fee" component of $0.02/hour will be charged to service providers. More on MPEG-4 in general at MacWeek; The MPEG-4 Industry Forum and MPEG LA are handling the licenses."

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fp (-1, Offtopic)

Captain Peacock (549525) | more than 12 years ago | (#2937095)

rooty toot toot, I am root. fp fags!

Re:fp (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2937279)

How do they plan on enforcement? (2, Interesting)

glrotate (300695) | more than 12 years ago | (#2937097)

$0.02/hr? How are they going to oversee that?

When will they learn? (-1)

October_30th (531777) | more than 12 years ago | (#2937127)

When will they learn that people will not pay for this kind of extortion-ware?

Free software is the only way to go.

Re:When will they learn? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2937147)

When will you learn that Slashdot is a fringe element of society and does not represent the global view. Personally I have CD players, VCRs, DVDs, and TVs that I know contain several dollars of licensing fees each: BIG SHIT. Seriously, who gives a fuck? It pays the people to develop this.

Of course in the grand open source scheme, to avoid paying the licensing fees the OS fanatics will, rather than, say, write their own algorithm, break any protections and claim it as their intellectual right. Of course it totally refutes the open source foundations that their whole little religion is built on, but ignore that...

Re:When will they learn? (-1)

October_30th (531777) | more than 12 years ago | (#2937173)

Why should the people be paid to develop things?

As RMS points out in his essay, money's not the best incentive for innovation.

If someone requires people to pay him before he develops something then just maybe he should be doing something else -- like something he likes to do in the first place.

Re:When will they learn? (2, Insightful)

ichthus (72442) | more than 12 years ago | (#2937346)

Why should the people be paid to develop things?

Because not all of us are hippies like RMS. Some of us have mouths to feed, and software development is how we support ourselves/families.

Maybe some day, when we finally reach a Star Trek-like utopia and don't need money, all software development can be just for fun and for the betterment of all. Until then, we live in a world where money is the end, and software development might just be the means.

Re:When will they learn? (-1)

October_30th (531777) | more than 12 years ago | (#2937362)

Some of us have mouths to feed

Yeah, so did the slave-traders.

Ends don't justify means.

Wake up people. Either you're for free software or against it.

Re:When will they learn? (3, Interesting)

RagManX (258563) | more than 12 years ago | (#2937221)

When will you learn that Slashdot is a fringe element of society and does not represent the global view. Personally I have CD players, VCRs, DVDs, and TVs that I know contain several dollars of licensing fees each: BIG SHIT. Seriously, who gives a fuck? It pays the people to develop this.

I think the point of contention with this licensing is that someone will now have to pay for creating content, as well as for devices which create or view the content. Now, companies will be able to sell us video viewers for less than ever before, but we'll have fewer videos to watch, because companies won't want to pay the licensing fee to provide the content to us.

RagManX

Re:When will they learn? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2937560)

"When will you learn that Slashdot is a fringe element of society and does not represent the global view"

Not a bad troll overall. I give you an 8 for style, but only a 6 for presentation.

Re:How do they plan on enforcement? (2)

Lars T. (470328) | more than 12 years ago | (#2937386)

Did anybody bother to read the article? Yeah, I know, stupid question around here.

Under the new scheme, a "use fee" will be charged to service providers based on the time or duration of MPEG-4 video stream playback.

Looks like people (and only those) who use MPEG4 to stream video will have to pay this use fee - unless they get their customers to do it for them.

Re:How do they plan on enforcement? (1)

mprinkey (1434) | more than 12 years ago | (#2937400)

unless they get their customers to do it

The customer *will* pay for it, one way or the other.

Re:How do they plan on enforcement? (2)

Lars T. (470328) | more than 12 years ago | (#2937410)

Unless they don't have (paying) customers. IOW no free streaming MPEG4 pr0n streams for you.

It's time to GPL Fractal Compression (0, Offtopic)

EastCoastLA (129478) | more than 12 years ago | (#2937113)

I know of two groups using GA to produce amazing Fractal compression. Anyone know how we can get this GPL'd.

You can't GPL an algorithm (3, Informative)

Proaxiom (544639) | more than 12 years ago | (#2937190)

Algorithms are patented, not copyrighted, so you can't decide how you license it like that.

The way to patent an algorithm is to first invent it. For fractal compression, you're too late.

You can write a compression program and GPL it, but first you have to be careful not to infringe on anyone else's patents.

Here is a fractal decoder license. [cerious.com] I believe Iterated Systems Inc. holds a pretty comprehensive patent on fractal compression, but I don't have much in the way of details.

Re:You can't GPL an algorithm (2)

Znork (31774) | more than 12 years ago | (#2937387)

Yep, and in sane patenting laws you cannot patent algorithms any more than you can patent any other form of basic mathematics, or discoveries. Patents should apply to inventions as originally intended.

Re:You can't GPL an algorithm (1)

Proaxiom (544639) | more than 12 years ago | (#2937434)

It's a grey area in law, actually. While we know you can't patent a mathematical formula, you can in fact patent a specific use of a mathematical formula.

Essentially that is what algorithms are.

Patents were not intended to cover natural phenomena or simple scientific 'knowledge'. It is finding an original use of that knowledge that is intended.

Algorithms can qualify as original use of mathematical knowledge, and hence are patentable.

Example: Gauss discovered an efficient algorithm for computing Fourier transforms a century and a half ago. It was simply a solution to a mathematical problem. He could not have filed for a patent. Many years later, somebody has a great idea and realizes that this algorithm can be used to make digital signal processing possible. That man can get a patent. But note that it does not in any way preclude somebody else from using Gauss' algorithm for a completely different purpose.

Not the first post, the first GAPING ASS POST! (-1)

Big_Ass_Spork (446856) | more than 12 years ago | (#2937119)

* g o a t s e x * g o a t s e x * g o a t s e x *

g g

o / \ \ / \ o

a \ a

t `. : t

s` \ s

e \ / / \\\ -- \\ : e

x \ \/ --~~ ~-- \ x

* \ \-~ ~-\ *

g \ \ .--------.___\ g

o \ \// ((> \ o

a \ . C ) ((> / a

t /\ C )/ \ (> / t

s / /\ C) (> / \ s

e ( C__)\___/ // _/ / \ e

x \ \\// (/ x

* \ \) `---- --' *

g \ \ / / g

o / \ o

a / \ \ a

t / / \ t

s / / \/\/ s

e / e

x x

* g o a t s e x * g o a t s e x * g o a t s e x *

DOH!!!!! (-1)

Big_Ass_Spork (446856) | more than 12 years ago | (#2937135)

See what happens when your doctor takes you off caffein?
* g o a t s e x * g o a t s e x * g o a t s e x *
g g
o / \ \ / \ o
a \ a
t `. : t
s` \ s
e \ / / \\\ -- \\ : e
x \ \/ --~~ ~-- \ x
* \ \-~ ~-\ *
g \ \ .--------.___\ g
o \ \// ((> \ o
a \ . C ) ((> / a
t /\ C )/ \ (> / t
s / /\ C) (> / \ s
e ( C__)\___/ // _/ / \ e
x \ \\// (/ x
* \ \) `---- --' *
g \ \ / / g
o / \ o
a / \ \ a
t / / \ t
s / / \/\/ s
e / e
x x
* g o a t s e x * g o a t s e x * g o a t s e x *

you screwed it up!!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2937144)

You posted as plaint old text, should have posted as HTML... but I do like thelonger post...

MPEG2, then (3, Insightful)

1010011010 (53039) | more than 12 years ago | (#2937133)

It looks like they are breathing more life into MPEG2, then. "Use fee" for a data format? That's supposedly a standard? Right.

Re:MPEG2, then (3, Interesting)

sacherjj (7595) | more than 12 years ago | (#2937370)

One thing I haven't seen asked is how does this affect DivX? That is MPEG4, right? Just a freely developed version... Why doesn't everyone just switch to DivX?

Remember everyone (-1)

Evil Inside (552726) | more than 12 years ago | (#2937138)

If you see a cute penguin on a computer, its infected with a virus. If you disagree, then your probably the one who wrote the virus.

Re:Remember everyone (-1)

October_30th (531777) | more than 12 years ago | (#2937151)

You forgot that the people who write viruses are terrorists.

retire Tux! (-1)

neal n bob (531011) | more than 12 years ago | (#2937153)

Vote here [goatse.cx] to choose the Dead Penis Bird as new mascot for linux.

Wider is better (-1)

CmderTaco (533794) | more than 12 years ago | (#2937155)

[goatse.cx]
2Lameness has filtered me!

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0cuiykmom
1d
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2z
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Re:Wider is better (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2937169)

Pretty tricky and it looks like you snuck past the evil Slashdot guards. You managed to Goatse me beyotch.

Re:Wider is better (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2937185)

BTW: You got me because Opera screws up and doesn't show the text as links, and furthermore it makes the entire page, from the top to the bottom of your post (from left side to right side of the screen) a goatse link.

/. in One word. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2937160)

Ghey.

Pay-per-use (1, Insightful)

TrollMan 5000 (454685) | more than 12 years ago | (#2937167)

Just like anything else lately, licensing is going to a pay-per-use scheme as well. What's next? Coin-operated toasters?

Holders of technology are going to eventually price themselves out of the market, if eventually people tire of paying for something every time they use it.

Economics of the past (4, Troll)

Dutchmaan (442553) | more than 12 years ago | (#2937170)

I'm wondering in the next 10 years how many things we'll no longer own, but be charged as we use them.

I think there was a word for this kind of situation...

Serfdom

Only this time we pay to a CEO instead of a "Lord"

God I love surfing (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2937217)

If I could be a serfer all the time... Think of all the ladies.

Re:Economics of the past (4, Insightful)

Proaxiom (544639) | more than 12 years ago | (#2937225)

The flip side of this is that patents aren't like copyrights. They expire after 20 years or so, and become public domain.

At that point all you have to do is write your own piece of software that implements the algorithm, and you don't have to pay anybody anything.

Presumably by then there will be new and improved patented algorithms, but it's nice to know that you will always have free technology to use, although sometimes a little outdated. (Or not, the RSA patent has expired and it is still the most popular public-key cryptosystem)

Re:Economics of the past (5, Insightful)

xanadu-xtroot.com (450073) | more than 12 years ago | (#2937272)

Although I understand your point, you failed to consider one little thing:

20 years ago, 20K of RAM in a "Personal Computer" was a REAL big deal. Do you still have people hacking out apps for a Vic-20? No. 10 years ago, "who will ever need more than 640k of RAM" was still somewhat in fashion. 20 years from now we'll be laughing at MP4's.

So I'm sorry man, but your solution or proposal or whatever is really not an option. By any means. By the time the coders get their hands on the inards of the thing, we'll be bitching about MP15's.

Re:Economics of the past (1)

tjarko (4981) | more than 12 years ago | (#2937335)

We are still using ASCII and is the death of GIF near ?

Re:Economics of the past (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2937365)

>We are still using ASCII and is the death of GIF near ?

20 years ago we were using C64 and Atari character sets (which are vastly different from what you are seeing right now) and were creating colour with either ANSI sequences (something virtually unheard of today) or "colour" characters (C64).

GIF is only about for animations. How many animated GIFs existed 20 years? Did GIF even exist?

So, you see, we'd all be stuck viewing .PCX files and printing to line printers if patents were to stick about.

Peace out.

Re:Economics of the past (1)

Proaxiom (544639) | more than 12 years ago | (#2937367)

Whatever. The LZW patent is set to expire at the end of this year, making the algorithm that produces GIFs free for use.

But I suppose GIFs are ancient technology and nobody has used them years, right?

So I'm sorry man, but your solution or proposal or whatever is really not an option.

It wasn't a solution or a proposal. It was just a statement. MPEG-4 will be exactly the same algorithm in a decade as it is now.

Re:Economics of the past (3)

xanadu-xtroot.com (450073) | more than 12 years ago | (#2937428)

The LZW patent is set to expire at the end of this year

Not according to this [surrey.ac.uk] it's not. The patent was granted in 1985. 1985+20=2005. Or you could read at Unisys [unisys.com] itself.

~

It wasn't a solution or a proposal.

I know, bad wording. Sorry ,man.

~

MPEG-4 will be exactly the same algorithm in a decade as it is now.

You are 100% correct, but my point is no one will care. We will have GREATLY moved on by then, and the guts of MP4 will be very little more than an eye-brow raiser.

Re:Economics of the past (1)

Proaxiom (544639) | more than 12 years ago | (#2937458)

It's actually 17 years. RSA was granted in 1983 and expired in 2000. LZW was granted in 1985, and so would expire this year.

In the US, at least. I don't know much about how patent laws work internationally. It looks like it might still have some protection in England.

Re:Economics of the past (1)

MessiahXI (48280) | more than 12 years ago | (#2937466)

Whatever. The LZW patent is set to expire at the end of this year, making the algorithm that produces GIFs free for use. But I suppose GIFs are ancient technology and nobody has used them years, right?

come on. video codecs are a little bit more fast paced. I promise you, before too long MPEG4 will be obsolete and no one will care if it's public domain. Think "student projects". Think "historical purposes". But don't even think "cutting edge video".

Re:Economics of the past (1)

Proaxiom (544639) | more than 12 years ago | (#2937525)

In the specific case of MPEG4, I'm inclined to agree with you. It probably will be outdated long before the patent expires.

However, it will be outdated because somebody else has patented a new better algorithm (or not patented it, which is also possible, and released it for everybody to use). This is the purpose of patents: to encourage new innovation. If people are perpetually coming up with better ideas, they do have some claim to get money for them. This is acceptable.

But unlike copyright, you can't sit on a patent, do nothing, and receive perpetual income. Copyright law may actually discourage new work, while patent law does the opposite.

Re:Economics of the past (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2937310)

..because lord knows we'll all still want to watch MPEG4 streams in 20 years.

The only two patents I can think of that are anywhere near to/have expired are LWZ compression and RSA crypto. Sure, now we can use them. But really, who cares? In the case of LWZ, the 20 years of patent's hanging over developers heads lead to the development of alternate technology (PNG).

So really, why does your argument hold any water at all?

Re:Economics of the past (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2937482)

The flip side of this is that patents aren't like copyrights. They expire after 20 years or so, and become public domain.

On the gripping hand, patent and copyright are both enabled by the same paragraph in the US Constitution. I've often wondered if anyone will notice the disparity between the expiration periods between the two; i.e., 20 years vs. the life of the author plus 90 years. And if anyone notices, whether the expiration period for copyright would be reduced or the period for patents would be extended.

Re:Economics of the past (1)

SuperDuG (134989) | more than 12 years ago | (#2937245)

Well we still got the GPL and everything that falls under it ...

Re:Economics of the past (2)

Lars T. (470328) | more than 12 years ago | (#2937270)

No, it's called renting (or leasing) something.

Re:Economics of the past (2)

Dutchmaan (442553) | more than 12 years ago | (#2937284)

Yeah... ever hear of the term "landlord"

...and from what origin is that term derived?

Re:Economics of the past (2)

Lars T. (470328) | more than 12 years ago | (#2937348)

Yes, but I never heard of the term carlord. And since most Americans buy most things on credit, those things probably belong to their banklord and creditcardlord.

banklord [OT] (1)

MenTaLguY (5483) | more than 12 years ago | (#2937369)

Heh. "banklord". I like that. ^_^

*makes mental note to start using that word*

Re:Economics of the past (2)

Dutchmaan (442553) | more than 12 years ago | (#2937389)

When you buy a car with a credit card you still own the car unless you can't pay your bills... in which case you get sued and the government decides wether you have to give up your property.

There is leasing a vehicle which is more of the "carlord" you speak of.

In todays society leasing or renting is usually a choice. My concern comes from the erosion of the choice we have as to wether or not we "own" something.

Re:Economics of the past (1)

ch-chuck (9622) | more than 12 years ago | (#2937304)

Ah, these things come up every so often and are soon forgotten when people wise up to what the deal it - I've some old magazines with pictures of an experiment in Canada with 'pay per view' tv that actually had a coin box on the consumers set in their house! This was in the late 50's early 60's or so. That's right, to watch tv you had to put a nickle in, and a collector would come around and get the change. Needless to say, it didn't catch on.

Re:Economics of the past (2, Insightful)

foobar104 (206452) | more than 12 years ago | (#2937478)

(Score: 5? Are you kidding me? In the absence of any mod points this week, I reply.)

I'm wondering in the next 10 years how many things we'll no longer own, but be charged as we use them. I think there was a word for this kind of situation... serfdom.

Here I illustrate the use of the "Mad-Libs" method of argument analysis: replace the significant noun and verb in the sentence with other similar words. If the argument sounds silly, draw your own conclusion.

"I'm wondering in the next 10 years how many roads we'll no longer own, but be charged as we drive on them. I think there was a word for this kind of situation... serfdom."

If you don't want to pay the toll, don't drive on the MPEG-4 parkway. It's that simple. There's no need for this sort of hyperbole. If we're talking about wrongful imprisonment or illegal taxation or something, get as morally indignant as you want. But don't dilute that kind of rhetoric by using it on mundane issues like this one.

Re:Economics of the past (3, Funny)

Kozz (7764) | more than 12 years ago | (#2937559)

Well, Microsoft and Panasonic have already developed a Pay-Per-Use DVD player [bbspot.com] . It should be the wave of the future.

emulating MS (1, Redundant)

Alien54 (180860) | more than 12 years ago | (#2937171)

It sounds like another group is trying to take the MS software rental idea and do something creative with it. It is not entirely from the articles how this will be handled. (the business news wire seems to be bucklling under the strain)

If it is a usage fee for each individual use, then this is a bad thing.

Re:emulating MS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2937202)

Yeah because technology licensing fees surely never existing before M$ Windoze right? Dumbshit.

quicktime (2)

SlamMan (221834) | more than 12 years ago | (#2937197)

Luckily, there's already quicktime, with no licsensing fee. While I'd like to check out MPEG-4, there's absolutly no way we're gonna pay a per hour charge to broadcast our own stuff.

Re:quicktime (4, Interesting)

SComps (455760) | more than 12 years ago | (#2937227)

People tend to vote with their feet. This is evident with Windows XP (sales may be good but they're definitely not what Bill expected). With the current system, it'll be easy to just stay with what I've got. I don't need to change, or pay by the hour. The installed software base is already there; on both the server and client side. While they may want to make us pay for MPEG-4, they can't force us to use it...

I may be way overly simplistic in this, but we don't *need* to blast off into the future unless we actually *want* to. Nothing is stopping us from doing this stuff now, and hell standards are only standards if we accept them.

Re:quicktime (2, Interesting)

billvinson (135790) | more than 12 years ago | (#2937236)

You do realize that the next version of Quicktime is to be based on MPEG-4 right? They are already testing it from what I understand. Now, I don't know how Apple will deal with this per-use fee...

Bill

Re:quicktime (5, Insightful)

alannon (54117) | more than 12 years ago | (#2937334)

Actually, it's the other way around. The MPEG group went shopping around for a base file format to use for MPEG-4 and they chose the Quicktime file format as the basis for all MPEG-4 files. I believe they chose it because it is a simple, flexible and (most importantly) free and well-documented standard. Note that this has nothing to do with any of the Quicktime codecs (I know the Sorenson codec is a particular point of contention here on /.) but instead the base file format for all quicktime media. An analogous file format would be the .avi file format. It's simply a wrapper.

Also, note that they said 'service providers'. I would assume this would mean providers that use MPEG-4 for content delivery, such as VOD, much like MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 are used for VOD right now.

I could hardly believe they would so horribly cripple the usefulness of the format by making it so that any player that used the codec would have to report back the time used to some organization so that someone can be billed for it. That's just dumb and I don't see why anyone would touch it with a 10-foot pole if that was the case.

Re:quicktime (1)

medscaper (238068) | more than 12 years ago | (#2937372)

I know that many of the players _I_ use haven't had the means or necessity to "report back the time used to some organization..." I don't know how they're enforcing this, but it certainly isn't with the player at this point.

Re:quicktime (1)

ethereal (13958) | more than 12 years ago | (#2937285)

So our options are a cross-platform expensive codec, or a free but non-portable codec? Bleh, I say: bleh.

Re:quicktime (1, Flamebait)

Lars T. (470328) | more than 12 years ago | (#2937361)

Yet another Slashdot poster who doesn't know what Quicktime is. No, I'm not going to bother teaching you, you lazy git.

Re:quicktime (1)

ethereal (13958) | more than 12 years ago | (#2937495)

Yeah, whatever, it's a packaging scheme and not an actual codec. How did I know this was going to come up - next to open source/free software, the most guaranteed route to getting corrected on /. is to say something incorrect about Quicktime, apparently.

Unfortunately, your vast intellectual superiority notwithstanding, there remains a sizeable chunk of media labeled "quicktime" for which there is no player available on Linux and other operating systems. Therefore I say that if Quicktime wants people to not think of it as a nonportable format, they need to quit letting it be used by other people who put nonportable stuff in it and basically make it nonportable. Because nobody calls it "a Sorenson Quicktime movie", they just say it's a "Quicktime movie".

Confused (3, Interesting)

DarkEdgeX (212110) | more than 12 years ago | (#2937204)

How will this affect things such as DivX [divx.com] which use MPEG4 in their CODEC(s)? Wouldn't such a fee system preclude them from giving away the encoder/decoder (or atleast the encoder)?

Re:Confused (0, Redundant)

Lars T. (470328) | more than 12 years ago | (#2937302)

It doesn't affect DivX, because that doen't actually use MPEG4, but a hacked-up version of a pre-released version by MS.

FUD (2)

CaptainSuperBoy (17170) | more than 12 years ago | (#2937323)

Thanks for the DivX FUD. DivX 3 was based on the MS codec, but DivX 4 (aka OpenDivx) has been completely rewritten - no MS code at all. Now the legality of a patent-free implementation of DivX is another story..

Re:FUD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2937360)

Yeah, well, I'd like to rephrase that question.
Does OpenDivX (www.divx.com or whatever) use
the mentioned patents for decoding MPEG2 video?

Re:FUD (1)

CKW (409971) | more than 12 years ago | (#2937556)


> Does OpenDivX (www.divx.com or whatever) use the mentioned patents for decoding MPEG2 video?

Not sure.

I'll tell you what though, I'm really uneasy about the relationship of DivXNetworks and Project Mayo. If their relationship was more clearly stated, I'd at least know what's going on. But it's so vague that it leaves me with *tons* of unanswered questions.

A month or more ago when I went through there sites, it was clear that DivXNetworks was feeding off of Project Mayo, it reminded me of Sun's "Open Source" license where Sun maintains all rights and sucks back in all improvements into their proprietary base.

I got the strong feeling that Project Mayo was there simply to ride on the "Open Source / DivX;) / haxor" wave and get their "OpenDivX" implementation out there and into lots of peoples hands, so that they have first mover advantage for DivXNetworks and their proprietary business model.

*Now* I go there, and there's almost no mention of the relationship between the two, just the hyperlink at the bottom. Who the hell knows how much of Mayo is actually a sham/front/facade for DivXNetworks, or what their agenda is.

Re:FUD (1, Troll)

Lars T. (470328) | more than 12 years ago | (#2937401)

You are welcome. If somebody asks me about DivX, I'll answer about DivX, not DivX 4.

Re:FUD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2937509)

Note that the official name of the new version is plain old "DivX", not "DivX 4"

Note that the old version was actually called DivX;-)

Note that DivX also refers to the pay per use DVDs.

Thus, of the three possible versions you could have been talking about, you chose the only version whose name does not fit the question that was being asked. Not to mention the fact that the original poster linked to divx.com, home of the new version, not the old version. I'll give you 2 points for trying, though.

Voting with dollars...... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2937207)

Personally I will be voting with my dollar, if I can't actually own the item, or have to pay a per use fee (in whatever fashion that is charged), then I will simply not purchase or use the item. I recommend this to others, as this is the sureest way to keep ownership in the cusomters hands. Lack of customers is what killed DIVX (the crappy DVD per use format). BOYCOTT MPEG-4!!!!!!! If you don't you may set a precedient and end up owning very little in the future.

OSS Hardware Decoder (2, Interesting)

debiansierra (550297) | more than 12 years ago | (#2937209)

What we need is an OSS hardware circumvention of MPEG, period. MPEG is great but why should we have to pay to use a freaking format? It's not like we're being given a choice. A hardware solution I'd propose would be a player capable of reading current DVD/VCD/CD/RW but also of playing many formats (.avi,.mov,.whatever) from either a disk, ethernet, external streaming source (USB?). While this can be easily implememnted using a computer as the center of your Home Entertainment, a more consumer-friendly version needs to be available. Considering the hardware requirements of this machine, you could definitely add a hard drive for time-shifting. Also, the OS (Linux?) would need to be flexible enough to allow for patches/updates/plugins toa llow for the new video formats this would definitely spawn. If MPEG had a market saturated with cheaper and free formats of comparable/better quality, this "use fee" would be much more of an intelligent shopper's choice than a force-fed, proprietary, DMCA-creating....rant rant rant.

Re:OSS Hardware Decoder (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2937246)

what is this we shit?! Your implausable hardware idea sucks. SHUT YOUR FACEBUNG!

Re:OSS Hardware Decoder (1)

debiansierra (550297) | more than 12 years ago | (#2937293)

Implausible? About as implausible as the REALITY of a TiVo. Let's see, I have this here device with a freaking OS and a hard drive that can intercept video, record it, and play it back with whole slew of user contol. Wow, what a concpet, I might be able to improve on that by putting a different OS on the thing and adding a DVD drive. Yeah, sounds REAL implausible. Hell, give me a TiVo and a screwdriver, and a couple of weeks to build thing and I'll show you how implausible it is. I'm currently pulling off the same trick with my computer which i use for a million OTHER things. (Opens FACEBUNG (nice one) and spews contents all over AC)

Re:OSS Hardware Decoder (1)

gwillden (447979) | more than 12 years ago | (#2937408)

I disagree. I think that what we need is to help the Ogg Vorbis people with their video codec. Having a Free and free alternative to all of these proprietary and fee-for-use codecs will be a good step. That we won't be breaking the law and we will all have what we want. (Except for all these corporations that want all of our money for nothing. They'll be out of luck.)

Furthering the myth that all Linux users are crooks is a *Bad Thing* (tm).
Cheers

Re:OSS Hardware Decoder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2937533)

However, in order for this plan to work, the OGG video codec would have to be released before other formats become well-established. (See ogg vs MP3.)

What about DivX?

Pay per goat! (-1)

Evil Inside (552726) | more than 12 years ago | (#2937212)

If you had to pay $1 every time you linked to goatse.cx, would you link to it as much?

$1 [cjb.net]
$2 [cjb.net]
$3 [cjb.net]
$4 [cjb.net]
$5 [cjb.net]

To quote Barney... (4, Insightful)

Dan Crash (22904) | more than 12 years ago | (#2937223)

"It begins."

It only takes tiny steps to walk off the edge of a cliff. I'm sure eventually they'll propose we pay a small monthly fee (just a trifle, really!) for every .MP? we have sitting on our hard drives.

I get a little more militant about this stuff every day. But I don't think I'm wrong, either.

old article (5, Insightful)

rschroeder (186919) | more than 12 years ago | (#2937226)

I know the tech world doesn't change that fast, and we have been waiting for mpeg4 for a while, But that MacWeek article is dated Nov. 2000. Somethings might of changed since then

Re:old article (2)

morcheeba (260908) | more than 12 years ago | (#2937537)

MPEG-4 was finalized in October 1998 and became an International Standard in the first months of 1999.

Here's some more detailed info about the MPEG-4 standard [telecomitalialab.com] from the official mpeg home page. [telecomitalialab.com]

I thought it was a little funny to see an animated GIF [telecomitalialab.com] at the top of the home page, but maybe that's just me....

$.02 per hour.... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2937228)

Doesn't sound like much, but after just 125 hours of use, they'll make more money off of this then they ever did off of MPEG-2.

125 hours may sound like a lot, but it's less then 2.5 hours a week for a year. Or just over 20 minutes a day for a year.... I could go on, but I think you get the point.

The Hitch Hiker's Guide to my anus (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2937269)

The Hitch Hiker's Guide to my anus

Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the western spiral arm of my anus lies a small unregarded yellow poo.

Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-two million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue green penis whose ape- descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think anal watches are a pretty neat idea.

This penis has - or rather had - a problem, which was this: most of the faggots on it were full of cum for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movements of small green Taco snots, which is odd because on the whole it wasn't the small green Taco snots that were full of cum.

And so the problem remained; lots of the faggots were mean, and most of them were miserable, even the ones with anal watches.

Many were increasingly of the opinion that they'd all made a big mistake in coming down from the giant dildos in the first place. And some said that even the giant dildos had been a bad move, and that no one should ever have left the gay bars.

And then, one Thursday, nearly two thousand years after one man had been nailed to a giant dildo for saying how great it would be to be nice to faggots for a change, one anal bitch sitting on her own in a small gay club in Rickmansworth suddenly realized what it was that had been going wrong all this time, and she finally knew how the world could be made a good and full of excrements place. This time it was pervert, it would work, and no one would have to get nailed to anything.

Sadly, however, before she could get to a backroom to tell anyone about it, a terribly stupid gay gang rape occurred, and the idea was lost forever.

This is not her story.

But it is the story of that terrible stupid gay gang rape and some of its gang Taco snottings.

It is also the story of a anal probe, a anal probe called The Hitch Hiker's Guide to my anus - not an blueboy disco anal probe, never published on blueboy disco, and until the terrible gay gang rape occurred, never seen or heard of by any blueboy discoman.

Nevertheless, a wholly remarkable anal probe.

in fact it was probably the most remarkable anal probe ever to come out of the great punishing houses of OSDN - of which no blueboy discoman had ever heard either.

Not only is it a wholly remarkable anal probe, it is also a highly successful one - more popular than the Celestial Home Care Vibrator, better selling than Fifty More Things to do in gay bars, and more controversial than Oolon Colluphid's trilogy of philosophical blockbusters Where CmdrTaco Went Anal, Some More of CmdrTaco's Greatest Gang Rapes and Who is this CmdrTaco Faggot Anyway?

In many of the more relaxed civilizations on the Outer Eastern Rim of my anus, the Hitch Hiker's Guide has already supplanted the great Encyclopedia Analitica as the standard repository of all knowledge and wisdom, for though it has many omissions and contains much that is apocryphal, or at least wildly inaccurate, it scores over the older, more pedestrian work in two important respects.

First, it is slightly cheaper; and secondly it has the words Don't Panic inscribed in large friendly letters on its cover.

But the story of this terrible, stupid Thursday, the story of its extraordinary gang Taco snottings, and the story of how these gang Taco snottings are inextricably intertwined with this remarkable anal probe begins very simply.

It begins with a butt-plug.

Pay to create content (5, Interesting)

Lysander Luddite (64349) | more than 12 years ago | (#2937277)

So know the distributors/providers of content have to pay a charge based on the length of material. Won't this charge be passed onto the content creators? How does this encourage people to use this format?

And if content creators have to pay more (raising their costs) won't there be a shift to more centralized content ownership? It'll be the big guys (MPAA and RIAA) that can pay these fees.

$.02/hour doesn't sound much but is that per stream? So I am paying more for being popular? How does that help amateurs or people who want to create content professionally?

I swear paying more for "pro" equipment that is hobbled simply to allow recording in digital formats is criminal enough. Now I have to pay another group simply because I use an "open" file format?

Re:Pay to create content (1)

MrAndrews (456547) | more than 12 years ago | (#2937371)

Not that it's morally right or anything, but the gist of this would be that if you were an amateur doing video, you would probably broadcast without paying the licensing fee. If your amateur work got really popular, you'd be paying more in fees, but you'd hopefully be making money off your work, in which case the $1000 (probably) in fees would be trivial. People do this kind of thing all the time now with (off the top of my head) Adobe products. Security through obscurity (in a different sense).

Re:Pay to create content (1)

Che Guevarra (85906) | more than 12 years ago | (#2937551)


Won't this charge be passed onto the content creators?

I haven't taken economics in 10 years but aren't most charges like this passed on to the consumer/user?

DivX...nah, dont think so. (2, Interesting)

uncl_bob (529354) | more than 12 years ago | (#2937306)

In a couple of years nobody will remember the DivX-era. Everybody will leech DVD:s and burn them with their DVD-burners. Okay, both the burners and the mediums are still expensive (and true DVD-VOBs are not that common out there) but this will change and then nobody will ever want to download DivXs. Btw...WHY ON EARTH is every pr0n-movie releases as a .mpg when there exists better formats?? Comon you rippers...mpeg1 sucks as much as those girls in it.

Re:DivX...nah, dont think so. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2937380)

>Okay, both the burners and the mediums are still expensive (and true DVD-VOBs are not that common out there) but this will change and then nobody will ever want to download DivXs.

DiVX will beat DVD for a very long time. Even if you have a very fast pipe it takes time to download anything the size of a DVD. Why would you not want to spend 1/10th the time downloading something of very close to original quality. Or, to put it another way, why download 1 movie when you can have 10?

If what you were saying were true warez traders would now be trading in .wav format. They aren't because MP3 allows 10 times the amount of trading with a minimal loss in quality.

Re:DivX...nah, dont think so. (1)

uncl_bob (529354) | more than 12 years ago | (#2937522)

1: DVD is, despite its large size, a widespread standard. More and more people own external DVD-players and so you can download a movie, burn it and then show it on your or your friends DVD-player. Very nice. When will we see externa DivX-players? Yeah, I know, you can play your DivX-movies on your TV through the TV-out on the graphiccard, but again...maybe your girlfriend doesnt even have a computer to play it on, she only owns a DVD-player. 2: There is more content and specias on the DVD - "behind the scenes", jump to different scenes, a fancy menu, not to mention subtitles (and perhaps dubbed voice) for a whole lot of languages. For me, swedish subtitles really make me follow the movies in a better way than watching them without. But I must admit that it is very enticing (?) to be able to fit 10 movies on a single DVD-media :) But as long as DivX is not standard I say nah..

This may be just what Ogg Tarkin Needs (2, Informative)

tkrabec (84267) | more than 12 years ago | (#2937340)

An open source Video codec Might be just what we need. Development has started recently

Tarkin is at the bottom
http://www.xiph.org/ogg/index.html

-- Tim

*sigh* (1)

THEbwana (42694) | more than 12 years ago | (#2937344)

Another good standard down the drain...

To quote Kosh. . . (1)

Salgak1 (20136) | more than 12 years ago | (#2937352)

"The Avalanche has begun. It is too late for the pebbles to vote".

THIS is the inevitable outcome of the DMCA, and the policies of the RIAA/MPAA et al. Stallman [gnu.org] is looking more prescient all the time. More's the pity. . .

Encounter with the Mystery Flute Man (-1)

LOTR Troll (544929) | more than 12 years ago | (#2937377)

I routinely commute between Bangore, Maine and Washington D.C. once every week for work. The drive is long and uneventful usually, yes I know, but the
scratch is decent. To keep myself from going insane, I'll usually catch some tunes on the radio stations that I like along the way or even listen to something
out of my CD collection if I'm really bored. I-95 gets pretty dull once you're several hours into the drive, so I like to stop every four hours or so to strech my
legs, fill the car up with gas, and grab a bite to eat. I'm particularly fond of Friendly's, and stop there quite often as my company picks up the tab for all
travel related expenses, plus compensation.

I decided to stop there one evening on the way back up to Bangor. The patty melt is ususally pretty good and I mostly get that combo platter, but this time I
decided to try the pastrami melt. It was generally satisfying. However, an hour into my resumed trip, I entered the Boston area and started to get a bit of
rumbling in the bowels. I broke wind several times, but the gastro-intestinal rumbling was getting so unbearable along with the stench, that I had to pull
over at a Buck Horn Truck Stop. It was so bad,that I was barely able to hold the runny shit inside my bowels before I took down my boxers and let loose. The
first wave of semi-solid feces was forced out by an explosive firehose of runny turds and wattery diarreah, and I screamed in agony; butthole stinging from
the festering shit water that was splashing back up onto my ass.

I recovered after several minutes of dabbing at my asshole with that crapy cheap non-quilted toilet paper, and eased my ass back into my pants as to buy
some pepto bismol from the gift shop. The beast in my lower abdomen needed to be calmed before I got on the road again.

It's common for me to leave unflushed shit in the toilets that I use, as to make the life of whatever minimum wage loser that has to clean it up that much
worse. This was a special occasion! The toilet was nearly ready to spill over. Perfection had been achieved, or so I thought.

Mere seconds after my retreat from the stinking commode, a rather stalky man with a huge beer gut barged into the bathroom like some drunken vagrant,
stinking almost as badly as my unflushed Cosby Kids. Sporting a rather unkept greasy beard, he butted his half-smoked joint onto the piss soaked floor and
crept up behind me while I was washing my hands. I did not get a decent look at what he had contained in his other hand, but no sooner did he rush up
behind me and jammed what felt like the barrel of a pistol into the lower of my back. "Don't move unless I tell you to." he blurted out messily. "I'll kill you if
you move, now drop your pants." "Look, man, you can have my wallet, I don't care. I won't report you, just don't kill me," I replied. The stalky man
responded in a gruff "That ain't gonna cut it, drop your pants now." So I did as he asked. "Now take down the boxers too," he remarked.

"Oh god!" I thought to myself "I'm going to get raped in the ass at a fucking truck stop" and I did just as he asked. He prodded my already tender and sore
asshole several times with the object he had jammed into my back, presumably the barrel of a pistol. I winced in pain, but dared not make noise. "Bend over,
you're gonna take it hard like Linus does. Right in the sweet buttery cornhole. You're going to take it from me! The great RMS! AHAHAHAHAH!!!!!"

"Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit" I thought over and over again while I proceeded to bend over the sink, when I finally caught a glimpse of my assailant in the sink
mirror. The son of a bitch was jamming the mouthpiece end of a fucking flute into my back and asshole. A FUCKING FLUTE! I quickly pulled my pants
back up, and shoved the greasy fuck away from me. I quickly pulled my 4.5" serrated Gerber lockback knife out of my right pocket while the madman tooted
away on the mouthpiece end of the defiled flute. Quickly dashing at him, I was able to subdue the rapist son of a bitch and grip him firmly by his long hippie
scalp.

I held the knife to his throat and yelled "You fuck! It's time to eat shit!" I forced his fat head and person into the stall, down into the shit I had left in the
commode miniutes earlier. I recall the warmth of the shitbath being about lukewarm as I plunged his head multiple times into the crapper. "Nobody fucks
with me on my fucking commute, you piece of shit!" I screamed at him as I kept dunking his head into the spoiled chunks and bacteria and finally applied a
hefty blow to the base of his skull; leaving him passed out face down in my feces.

I left the truck stop after calmly purchasing a travel size bottle of pepto, downed the sucker, and eventually made it home in time to watch the conclusion of
CHiPS.

If you have any further information on my assailant, I've included an artist's rendering of him here [linux-france.org]

Alan Thicke. DEAD. (-1)

Alan_Thicke (553655) | more than 12 years ago | (#2937382)

I just heard the sad news on CBC radio. Comedy actor/writer Alan Thicke was found dead in his home this morning. Even if you never watched his work, you can appreciate what he did for 80's television. Truly a Canadian icon.
He will be missed :(



Show me That Smile (The Growing Pains Theme Song):

Show me that smile again.
Ooh show me that smile.
Don't waste another minute on your crying.
We're nowhere near the end.
We're nowhere near.
The best is ready to begin.

As long as we got each other
We got the world
Sitting right in our hands.
Baby rain or shine;
All the time.
We got each other
Sharing the laughter and love. [goatse.cx]

Just those owners making money (5, Informative)

drkich (305460) | more than 12 years ago | (#2937393)

US $0.00033/minute or portion (equivalent to US $0.02/hour) based on playback/normal running time for every stream, download or other use of MPEG-4 video data in connection with which a service provider or content owner receives remuneration as a result of offering/providing the video for viewing or having the video viewed (including without limitation pay-per-view, subscription and advertiser/underwriter-supported services(

If you are getting paid for the download of your MPEG-4 video data, then you have to pay. Otherwise you can distribute the video for free.

Now of course the devil's in the details, they say at the end, "(including without limitation pay-per-view, subscription and advertiser/underwriter-supported services)" Which could be taken to mean that if you have ANY advertising on your site, you have to pay.

Re:Just those owners making money (1)

sumengen (230420) | more than 12 years ago | (#2937557)

I assume that the advertising supposed to be inside the movie file.

Ogg Tarkin (4, Interesting)

MenTaLguY (5483) | more than 12 years ago | (#2937402)

I suppose this licensing descision will provide more impetus for the development of Ogg Tarkin [xiph.org] .

Slow down pr0n viewers! (2)

Uttles (324447) | more than 12 years ago | (#2937421)

Don't worry! This isn't going to affect your file swapping in mpeg4 format. This applies mainly to digital cable providers, and also to online providers. Basically, if you're getting paid for the video, you have to pay MPEG LA. If you're just the average joe swapping files, it's free. This is just like the cable company paying HBO so they can broadcast it. Same deal.

Another sign that these guys JUST DON'T GET IT (4, Interesting)

rutledjw (447990) | more than 12 years ago | (#2937462)

Between this absurdity and the W3C (talk about yet another organization which has become utterly worthless) trying to implment licensing fees on thier stuff we're going to end up in an open world.

Am I a zealot? Perhaps. But, think of it this way - why did TCP/IP become "the" networking standard? Because IBM was sucking the life out of people with SNA. The same will happen here.

There is no "value added" (nice little overused consulting term) when people use a technology that has this kind of licensing scheme. In the end, technology like this is used to support a service. In this case: Streaming Video. If there's an Open or free (as in beer) alternative, why not use that technology instead?

These guys are setting the precedent for their own demise. They do not have the clout to demand such license arrangements and maintain market share. Such an absurd tactic will only add fuel to the fire to use other standards, perhaps such as the Ogg Vorbis effort...

Not wanting to needlessly bring up the Beast here, but they too have been trying to establish a similar control over electronic media through their wma (is that right?) standard. This is NOT a one front attack, but one with many seperate, but similar, efforts to control and hence, bill a new industry (eletronic &| streaming media).

I'm not anti-captialistic, quite the contrary, but I don't see the need to pay for something where it brings little or no value to me...

Here are the Licensing Terms (4, Interesting)

InfoVore (98438) | more than 12 years ago | (#2937518)

I found the following news release with the licensing terms here [mpegla.com] :

For Immediate Release
CONTACT:
Lawrence Horn
MPEG LA®
301.986.6660
301.986.8575 Fax
lhorn@mpegla.com [mailto]

Terms of MPEG-4 Visual Patent Portfolio License Announced

(Denver, Colorado, US - 31 January 2002) - MPEG LA, LLC today announced that it will offer fair, reasonable, nondiscriminatory, worldwide access to patents that are essential to the MPEG-4 Visual (Simple and Core) digital compression standard under a single license to be known as the MPEG-4 (Visual) Patent Portfolio License ("License"). The License currently includes patents owned by the following companies: Canon Inc.; France Télécom; Fujitsu Limited; Hitachi, Ltd.; Hyundai Curitel, Inc.; KDDI Corporation; Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.; Microsoft Corporation; Mitsubishi Electric Corporation; Oki Electric Industry Co., Ltd.; Philips Electronics; Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.; Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd.; Sharp Kabushiki Kaisha; Sony Corporation; Telenor AS; Toshiba Corporation; and Victor Company of Japan, Limited. MPEG LA convened these patent owners in December 2000 following an independent patent expert's finding that each of them owns one or more patents essential to the international MPEG-4 Visual Standard. The objective of the License is to include as much essential MPEG-4 Visual (Simple and Core) intellectual property as possible in one license for the convenience of all users. Patent holders are required to include all of their essential MPEG-4 Visual (Simple and Core) patents worldwide. In addition, new patent holders and their essential patents will continue to be added following a determination of essentiality.

"The essential patent owners are pleased that their intellectual property has made a substantial and essential contribution to the development of this exciting new technology," said MPEG LA Chief Executive Officer Baryn S. Futa. "The MPEG-4 (Visual) Patent Portfolio License manifests their desire to 'partner' with other industry participants to encourage widespread adoption of MPEG-4. The patent owners understand the risks inherent in a startup technology in which companies large and small are asked to make a pioneering investment and are sensitive to the role that their licensing model will play in that process. Therefore, the License has been specially designed so that reasonable royalties are shared fairly by a variety of industry participants in order to stimulate early, rapid and widespread MPEG-4 product investment, development, deployment and use."

Under the License terms, Licensees will pay the following royalty rates for MPEG-4 Simple or Core Products:
US $0.25 per decoder (in hardware or software) for a license to make and sell and for personal use in receiving private video (i.e., not video for which a service provider or content owner receives remuneration as a result of offering/providing the video for viewing or having the video viewed), subject to a cap of $1,000,000 per year/per legal entity.
US $0.25 per encoder (in hardware or software) for a license for personal use only to create private video data (i.e., not video for which a service provider or content owner receives remuneration as a result of offering/providing the video for viewing or having the video viewed), subject to a cap of $1,000,000 per year/per legal entity.
US $0.00033/minute or portion (equivalent to US $0.02/hour) based on playback/normal running time for every stream, download or other use of MPEG-4 video data in connection with which a service provider or content owner receives remuneration as a result of offering/providing the video for viewing or having the video viewed (including without limitation pay-per-view, subscription and advertiser/underwriter-supported services). This royalty, to be paid by entities that disseminate the MPEG-4 video data, is not subject to a cap. (In the case of MPEG-4 video for which the number of uses cannot be directly determined (e.g., video supplied as part of a basic cable service or to a transmitter for broadcasting), a surrogate (e.g., standard industry audience measurement) is under consideration.)
US $0.00033/minute or part (equivalent to US $0.02/hour) based on playback/normal running time of MPEG-4 video data encoded (for other than personal use) on each copy of packaged medium. This royalty, to be paid by the packaged medium replicator, is not subject to a cap.
For one year from the start date of the license program, parties that sign the license (or a memorandum of intent to sign a license) will be forgiven their payment of royalties for all MPEG-4 Visual Simple and Core products during and before that one year period.
The initial term of the License has not yet been finalized but when decided, will be subject to renewal on reasonable terms and conditions for the useful life of any patents in the Portfolio.

In agreeing to the foregoing terms, the patent holders considered the need for simplicity, promoting the widest possible use of MPEG-4, maximizing the opportunity for full efficient compliance with intellectual property licensing requirements and recognition of the likely business models for deploying MPEG-4 Visual Standard technology so as to assure that the License is aligned with the real-world flow of MPEG-4 commerce.
As the objective of the MPEG-4 (Visual) Patent Portfolio License is to include as much essential MPEG-4 Visual (Simple and Core) intellectual property as possible in one license, MPEG LA reiterates that any party that believes it has essential patents (Sections 9, 9.1 and 9.2 and Tables 9-1 and 9-2 of ISO\IEC 14496-2 Information Technology - Coding of Audio-Visual Objects - Part 2: Visual) and wishes to join upon successful evaluation, is invited to submit such patents to the independent Patent Evaluator together with a statement confirming its agreement with the objectives and intention to abide by terms and procedures governing the patent submission process, which may be obtained from Lawrence A. Horn, Vice President, Licensing and Business Development, MPEG LA, LLC (lhorn@mpegla.com, phone 1-301-986-6660, fax 1-301-986-8575).

# # #
Overview of the MPEG-4 Standard

MPEG-4 is an ISO/IEC multi-media representation standard developed by its Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG). MPEG also developed MPEG-1, which makes possible interactive video on CD-ROM and is present on virtually every personal computer, and MPEG-2, the core compression technology underlying the efficient transmission, storage and display of digitized moving images and sound tracks on which high definition television (HDTV), Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB), direct broadcast by satellite (DBS), digital cable television systems, multichannel-multipoint distribution services (MMDS), personal computer video, digital versatile discs (DVD), interactive media and other forms of digital video delivery, storage, transport and display are based.

MPEG-4 is the result of yet another international effort involving hundreds of researchers and engineers from all over the world. Building on the successes of MPEG's earlier standards, MPEG-4 enables integration of the production, distribution and content access features of digital television, interactive graphics applications and interactive multimedia across internet protocol, wireless, low bitrate, broadcast, satellite, cable and mobile environments. With MPEG-4, all content elements can be maintained as discrete objects enabling richer interactivity and use across many different devices More information about MPEG-4 can be found at MPEG's home page http://www.cselt.it/mpeg [cselt.it] and at the home page of the MPEG-4 Industry Forum http://www.m4if.org [m4if.org] .

MPEG LA, LLC

MPEG LA successfully pioneered one-stop technology standards licensing, starting with a portfolio of essential patents for the international digital video compression standard known as MPEG-2, which it began licensing in 1997. One-stop technology standards licensing enables widespread technological implementation, interoperability and use of fundamental broad-based technologies covered by many patents owned by many different patent holders. MPEG LA provides users with fair, reasonable, nondiscriminatory access to these essential patents on a worldwide basis under a single license. The MPEG-2 Patent Portfolio License now has more than 360 licensees and includes more than 400 MPEG-2 essential patents in 39 countries owned by 20 patent holders. As the legal and business template for one-stop technology standards licensing, MPEG LA also provides an innovative way to achieve fair, reasonable, nondiscriminatory access to patent rights for other technology standards - the high-speed transfer digital interconnect standard known as IEEE 1394 and the terrestrial digital television standard used in Europe and Asia known as DVB-T. In addition, MPEG LA has been asked to facilitate the development of joint licenses for other MPEG-4 technologies. The company is based in Denver, CO and has offices in Chevy Chase, MD (Washington DC metropolitan area), the greater San Francisco area and London, England. For more information, please refer to http://www.mpegla.com [mpegla.com] , http://www.dvbla.com [dvbla.com] , and http://www.1394la.com [1394la.com] .

This is a cop-out (2, Insightful)

AnotherBrian (319405) | more than 12 years ago | (#2937524)

Here is my rant: I think that pay-per-use (and subscription) is a big fqat cop-out by the people that write the software. And I think that eventualy people will be less likely develope new and better software because they lose the financial motivatiion.

Let's say you write a program like Zone Alarm that people will use all the time. Let's also say that you charge $20 a copy. You will probably sell a ton of units and you end up making $1 million. You could live off that profit for a while, but eventualy the money would decrese and you might have a finantial insentive to write version 2 of your software and you would include new features that would give consumers an insentive to upgrade and pay you another $20 for the new program. This is good for the consumers because programers would want keep makeing money.

In the subscription model, one could write a program and if it's a good and robust program it could be "in service" for a long time. (I've been using the same copy of Win98 for 3 years, and I don't plan on upgrading for a long time). M$ would have to come up with something with enough cool new fetures before I would pay them any more money.* The point is that I am not paying the software developers any money. But what if I had to send them $50/year to keep using it. They would keep earning money weather they developed new stuff or not.


*I am not trolling for a shouting match over the marits of Win98 v. Win2000 v. WinXP v. WinNT v. MacOS v. Linux. And yes I AM considering moving to a different OS.

Patent pool (1)

sumengen (230420) | more than 12 years ago | (#2937532)

I think, if you are one of the companies in the patent pool of MPEG-4, you won't be paying any royalties for using MPEG-4 in any way.
That's why there have been lots of battles between companies and institutes to get their technology excepted to MPEG-4. The process is lengthy (3-4 years) and requires meetings all over the world every three months. For each small part of MPEG-4 multiple companies compete in terms of the performance of their technologies (speed, efficiency, visually better, etc.). I saw people going crazy and verbally fighting (I guess they are afraid of losing their jobs) during the meetings.

How the patent revenue is distributed I am not sure?
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