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Royalty payment: H.264 compressor / MPEG-4 container

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Hello,

Could someone please clarify following:

If I offer in my application the possibility to record videos based on the application's content (openGL drawings) using for example the H264 compressor with the MPEG-4 container, do I have to pay royalties to both of those organizations?

I was told that only those that distribute videos that are coded with above's technologies have to pay royalties. So in my case I could integrate the H264 compressor and MPEG container without having to pay?

Thanks for any advice

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The organization MPEG LA, which handles the patent licensing for H.264 said in 2010 that if you are only distributing for free H.264 encoded video, you do not pay patent royalties. (Source). (since many different companies own patents associated with H.264, MPEG LA serves as sort of a clearing house, taking in the payments and distributing the royalties appropriately).

However, if your application ships code that encodes video to H.264, you will need to pay the appropriate license fees to MPEG-LA, since you are shipping code that utilizes patented technology.
If your application doesn't actually contain any H.264 encoding code (but maybe makes use of a dll that already exists on the user's machine), then you would probably not need to pay.

The best thing to do is to check with MPEG LA Directly . They do (or did when I was having to deal with this stuff) have provisions for low-volume applications not needing to pay.

Brian Schmidt
Executive Director, GameSoundCon
Brian Schmidt Studios, LLC

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