MPEG LA, the consortium of patent holders that developed MPEG-4, has officially released the license for the technology. MPEG-4 is the basis for QuickTime 6, and Apple is a member of the consortium. It was a tiff over licensing terms for MPEG-4 that caused the delayed release of QuickTime 6 earlier this year. Apple, and other technology companies, wanted MPEG-4 to have a royalty-free license, while many of the patent holders wanted to see the standard become a revenue stream.
In July, MPEG LA did finally come to an internal agreement that offered a middle-of-the-road compromise that capped the royalty agreement on the high end, and established a floor, below which no royalties would be paid. According to C|Net, the final version of that license has now been officially released. From the article:
The license released Monday is essentially the same as one proposed by the consortium, MPEG LA, in July. That proposed license set a cap of $1 million per licensee, as well as a threshold that exempts MPEG-4 users with fewer than 50,000 implementations from royalty payments.
"As I understand it, nothing has changed except that itis available right now with all the legal language," Rob Koenen, president of the MPEG 4 Industry Forum, said in an interview. "I look forward to seeing...people start taking up the license. Because the proof of the pudding is in the eating."
MPEG-4 is a video and audio standard under development by the Moving Pictures Experts Group (MPEG) under the auspices of the International Organization for Standardization . The MPEG group, founded in 1988, created MPEG-1 for the video compact disc and for MP3 audio, and MPEG-2 for DVD and digital television set-top boxes.
According to the article, Apple has deferred comment on the license release until they have had a chance to look over the license. Read the full article at C|Net News for all the details