Heiko Recktenwald on Wed, 6 Feb 2002 10:44:01 +0100 (CET)


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[Nettime-bold] MPEG-4 Goes Pay-Per-View (fwd)


I doubt that this is valid anywhere, anybody ?

H.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 1 Feb 2002 12:32:48 -0500
From: Henry Huang <hwh6k@hotmail.com>
To: Cyber Rights <cyber-rights@cpsr.org>
Subject: MPEG-4 Goes Pay-Per-View

It's been pointed out that many small Web sites have essentially been
driven out of business by their own popularity -- as rising hits = more
use of bandwidth = big bill$$$$

Well, now it gets worse.  MPEG LA, the holding firm that manages
patent rights for MPEG-2 and MPEG-4, has announced their new
licensing terms for MPEG-4:

http://www.mpegla.com/news_release31Jan2002.html

Of particular interest are new pay-per-stream and pay-per-encoded-
copy fees that the content distributor has to pay (quoted below):

--

  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.

--

It's known that Fraunhofer put some pretty onerous (albeit unenforcable)
licensing fees in their license terms for MP3, but this goes way beyond that.
Forcing the content provider to cough up a NON-CAPPED fee for every
second of every stream is ridiculous.  Forcing them to cough up a fee for
every DVD or CD with MPEG-4 content that they sell is even worse.

This is exactly the sort of nickel-and-dime scheme that favors large media
providers at the expense of the smaller artists.  Only large companies have
the infrastructure and money to deal with the massive overhead that
tracking and paying these costs will require -- just as only large companies
have the money to finance the massive amounts of bandwidth generated
by a really popular Web site.

Worse, tracking time usage for each stream could very well lead to having
more spyware-type code in individual players.  Anyone with any basic
knowledge of client-server architecture knows it's not *required* (you
should be able to track all of this on the server side) -- but it's an awfully
convenient excuse if the customer doesn't know any better.  "You see,
we NEED to uniquely identify your player, or we aren't legal [COUGH
SNORTGIGGLE]."

-H



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