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26 August 2010, 13:01

MPEG LA extends fee free use of H.264

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MPEGLA Logo MPEG LA, the organisation responsible for administering the H.264 patent pool, has announced that the patent holders will now continue waiving licensing fees (royalties) for use of the codec in free web streaming services, extending the previous royalty free cut off point to the end of life of the licence. The H.264 administrator appears to be responding to the pressure exerted by Google's Open Web Media Project (WebM).

A previous plan to impose licensing fees for free web services streaming video content, following the end of H.264's first licensing period on the 1st of January 2011, had been shelved. In February of this year patent holders represented by MPEG LA had extended this period to the 31st of December 2015.

However, in May, Google purchased codec specialist On2 Technologies and published the VP8 video codec under an irrevocable, license fee-free open source licence and founded the WebM project in conjunction with Mozilla, Opera, Adobe and 40 other companies, with the aim of creating a license and patent fee-free web video standard.

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