Jim Manley said:
So, who pays the MPEG license fees for freeware like MythTV on Linux - the receiver/tuner card/stick manufacturers? MP3 is an MPEG layer, but, a lot of people aren"t paying any license fees for that, AFAIK. I recall that DIRECTiVo recorded encrypted MPEG2 directly off the satellite, then hardware decrypted/decoded the recordings during playback, since they had a business relationship (and both paid MPEG fees, I guess). Does broadcast ATSC encode MPEG and, if so, where are the fees paid there, by the broadcasters? Do you only pay fees if you"re selling something that uses it?
Using "freeware" mpeg decoders without paying any fees is arguably illegal. Many people don't pay these fees, but they are suppose to. However, it's impractical (and possibly even unnecessary) to track down all these users and force them to pay fees.
[Disclaimer: IDK if I had the details as to where the illegality actually is. (use, distribution, etc etc. not sure)
However, hardware vendors and paid software vendors can't get around the fees so easily.
So, yes, DirectTV (or one of it's vendors) pays MPEG fees.
Same thing with the ATSC broadcasters.
Same thing with any ipod, cell phone, bluray player, etc, etc.