Is H.264 going to be a 'bag of hurt' down the road?

Steve Jobs recently responded to a customer’s email on video codecs by saying that the Ogg Theora Open Source format was about to be attacked by a pool of patent holders.  Some disagree very strongly with this, saying that the statement is FUD.

Whether or not that is the case, are we, as Apple users, entirely happy with H.264 licensing terms?  In a lengthy post entitled ‘Why Our Civilization’s Video Art and Culture is Threatened by the MPEG-LA’, Eugenia Loli-Queru presents a very scary future where the patent holders can flip a switch and pretty much require us to pay them every time we record, edit or play back our videos. 

Ed Bott at ZDNet has a pretty informed take on the whole thing, saying that in the end, it is in everyone’s best interests to keep H.264 free for casual users.

 

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Avatar for Seth Weintraub Seth Weintraub

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