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Old May 2, 2010, 8:12 PM   #1
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Default Legal Restrictions on DSLR Videos?

I ran across this - and found it interesting, to say the least....
"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.

http://www.osnews.com/story/23236/Wh...by_the_MPEG-LA

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Old May 2, 2010, 8:42 PM   #2
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I think that falls into the category of "unenforceable", but I look forward to seeing them try.
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Old May 2, 2010, 9:07 PM   #3
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I want to see the license fee the series House, MD paid to shoot the season finale with Canon DSLR. That was surely commercial usage.

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Old May 2, 2010, 9:37 PM   #4
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I want to see the license fee the series House, MD paid to shoot the season finale with Canon DSLR. That was surely commercial usage.
If I were to pick, I'd wait for a bigger prize. After I won that, I'd come back and mop up the small fish like all the series on Fox.
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Old May 3, 2010, 8:07 AM   #5
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If I were to pick, I'd wait for a bigger prize. After I won that, I'd come back and mop up the small fish like all the series on Fox.
If they're waiting for CSI, NCIS or Law & Order I think they're going to wait a while. Since Fox ties back to Murdock it would seem fairly precedent setting.

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Old May 3, 2010, 8:17 AM   #6
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If they're waiting for CSI, NCIS or Law & Order I think they're going to wait a while. Since Fox ties back to Murdock it would seem fairly precedent setting.
As much as I would like to see someone take a bite out of Rupert's butt, I was thinking more of a summer blockbuster with ticket sales in the hundreds of millions. Maybe not this year, maybe not next, but soon.
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Old May 3, 2010, 10:16 AM   #7
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As much as I would like to see someone take a bite out of Rupert's butt, ...
I didn't say anything but I'm OK with that
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Old May 3, 2010, 10:53 PM   #8
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I think that falls into the category of "unenforceable", but I look forward to seeing them try.
I wouldn't look forward to it at all. Negotiating a license fee prior to commercial use may be a lot of hassle and expense, but nothing like trying to negotiate the fee afterwards.

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Old May 3, 2010, 11:00 PM   #9
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I am pretty sure the fox's lawyers and canon's lawyers already took care of all that. I am also pretty sure Canon provided all the camera equipment to Fox to film House free of charge and give them technical support. So Rupert has no problems. His wallet will not get hurt one bit, and I am sure canon paid to have fox advertise they were going to use the 5DMKII.
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Old May 4, 2010, 8:12 AM   #10
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The following is an excerpt from the Wikipedia article on H.264 found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H.264/MPEG-4_AVC .

"Patent licensing
In countries where patents on software algorithms are upheld, vendors and commercial users of products which make use of H.264/AVC are expected to pay patent licensing royalties for the patented technology[8] that their products use. This applies to the Baseline Profile as well.[9] A private organization known as MPEG LA, which is not affiliated in any way with the MPEG standardization organization, administers the licenses for patents applying to this standard, as well as the patent pools for MPEG-2 Part 1 Systems, MPEG-2 Part 2 Video, MPEG-4 Part 2 Video, and other technologies. The last US MPEG LA patents for H.264 may not expire until 2028[10].
On February 2, 2010 MPEG LA announced that H.264-encoded Internet Video that is free to end users would continue to be exempt from royalty fees until at least December 31, 2015.[11] However, other fees remain in place. The license terms are updated in 5-year blocks.[12]
In 2005, Qualcomm, which was the assignee of US Patents 5,452,104,[13] and 5,576,767[14] sued Broadcom in US District Court, alleging that Broadcom infringed the two patents by making products that were compliant with the H.264 video compression standard.[15] In 2007, the District Court found that the patents were unenforceable because Qualcomm had partially withheld information from the United States Patent and Trademark Office prior to the release of the H.264 standard in May 2003.[15] In December 2008, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed the District Court's order that the patents be unenforceable but remanded to the District Court with instructions to limit the scope of unenforceability to H.264 compliant products.[15]"

On the surface at least it appears that end users are in the clear regardless of the intended purpose of the video.

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