The article says that you don't need an extra license to shoot commercial video with h.264 cameras, but I wonder why the license says otherwise, and Engadget's "quotes" of user/filmmaker indemnification by MPEG-LA are anonymous... So according to him, the quotes are not anonymous, but organization-wide on purpose. 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 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.
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. And no, this is not just a Canon problem (which to me sounds like false advertising).
And if only big corporations can shoot video that they can share (for free or for money), then we end up with what Creative Commons' founder, Larry Lessig, keeps saying: a READ-ONLY CULTURE. We can't go further, advance our own species, go to the next level, without art.
We need every member of the society to be free to express him/herself via any modern means of art that can REACH OTHERS.
We've all heard how the h.264 is rolled over on patents and royalties.
Even with these facts, I kept supporting the best-performing "delivery" codec in the market, which is h.264. But it wasn't until very recently when I was made aware that the problem is way deeper. It's not just a matter of just "picking Theora" to export a video to Youtube and be clear of any litigation. The [street-smart] people at MPEG-LA have made sure that from the moment we use a camera or camcorder to shoot an mpeg2 (e.g. digicams, HD d SLRs, AVCHD cams), we owe them royalties, even if the final video distributed was not encoded using their codecs! UPDATE: Engadget just wrote a reply to this article. UPDATE 3: And regarding royalties (as opposed to just licensing), one more reply by Engadget's editor.
So until then, users can use a licensed encoder (x264 doesn't count, in their view this makes both the video producer AND every random viewer of that video *liable*), to stream online royalty-free, as long as that video is free to stream. For all we know, they can still go against Youtube/Vimeo for not paying them [extra] royalties (to what, I assume, they already pay) for EVERY video viewed via their service, or go against the video producer himself.
And then there's the other thing too: Both Youtube and Vimeo use the open source x264 encoder to encode their videos, as far as I know. But I still don't like the language of the license and the restrictions it opposes.
So, I downloaded the manual for the Canon 1D Mark IV, a camera that costs 00, and where Canon consistently used the word "professional" and "video" on the same sentence on their press release for that camera. Same restriction: you can only use your professional video d SLR camera (professional, according to Canon's press release), for non-professional reasons.