Internet Technology & Software Engineering

H.264 Free for Internet Broadcast

Posted by Shiv Kumar on Senior Software Engineer, Software Architect
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MPEG LA, the group that oversees licensing for a number of Internet media standards, 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. Products and services other than Internet Broadcast AVC Video continue to be royalty-bearing.

Does this change anything for Html 5 Video?

It changes the game somewhat, in that the content providers, such as YouTube, ExposureRoom, Vimeo et all can continue to provide video encoded using the H.264 codec and not have to worry about licensing fees at a later date, as long as the video is free. However, browser vendors don't benefit from this announcement since the announcement does not cover companies intending to incorporate H.264 technology into their products. In other words, the MPEG-LA's license change does not apply to H.264 products and services other than free video broadcasts.