A MPEG-4 Waterloo?
Via Mobile Media Japan:
In a confusing move, US-based MPEG LA, LLC, which manages the collective MPEG related patents for the MPEG-4 visual compression standard, delivered a 47-page agreement (in English) to befuddled Japanese content providers laying out new terms for paying royalties on video download content formatted in MPEG-4. […] Japanese content providers were shocked to read MPEG LA could ask them to pay from 25 cents per user up to US$1,000,000 per year, depending on the volume and manner in which users download content. Japanese content providers have been given 30 days to sign the agreement in order to take advantage of an “early bird” special that waives royalties until the end of 2003. Some say Japan’s budding video-download market won’t bear the high royalities, which will either erase profits or drive up content costs. The development risks driving content companies away from download services that use MPEG-4, or toward other compression formats such as Office Noa’s “Nancy” video codec (used by J-Phone) or other alternatives.
Well, it seems the MPEG-LA is again – remember the Quicktime 6 case – messing it up.
Instead of supporting the companies who are using MPEG-4 and which are sometimes, like KDDI, even MPEG-4 patent holders, they just do the opposite. Do they feel so secure that everybody will converge to MPEG-4? There are other competing formats around – to name but Windows Media …