SAN MATEO, Calif. MPEG LA, an independent agency designed to provide one-stop technology standards licensing, will disclose the terms and conditions of its licensing structure for MPEG-4 video on Thursday (Jan. 31), EE Times has learned. Some service providers and content owners of are reportedly unhappy with the new licensing structure.
MPEG LA facilitated talks among licensors representatives of the essential patent owners to determine the details of its licensing plan.
The licensing fee per MPEG-4 client video decoder, whether implemented in software or hardware, is expected to be much cheaper than the fee for MPEG-2 video, but some licensors are reportedly unhappy with a specific feature of the license related to a so-called "use fee." The "use fee" is not a part of the license for MPEG-2 video.
Under the new scheme, a "use fee" will be charged to service providers based on the time or duration of MPEG-4 video stream playback, industry sources said. Some licensors are concerned about the terms and price of that model, the sources said.
Rob Koenen, president of MPEG-4 Industry Forum, said he was not yet informed of the MPEG-4 licensing structure, but is "really glad that finally things are clear for MPEG-4 video licensing." He is looking forward to "an open debate in the industry" to see if the new licensing structure is the right model for MPEG-4, he said.
Representatives of the Internet Streaming Media Alliance, one of the initial users of MPEG-4-based video streaming technology, declined to comment, noting that they are not yet familiar with the MPEG-4 video licensing terms.