6by9
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Re: MPEG2 patents expiring

Thu May 24, 2018 9:18 am

jamesh wrote:
Thu May 24, 2018 9:03 am
The charge for H264, for example, is already paid in the cost of the Pi because its a) A much better codec than MPEG2 b) Used by a lot more people c) Needed to run the camera. We only charge for these other codecs separately because the number of users is small, and not everyone wants to pay for something they don't use. Most other SBC suppliers are either charging upfront, or breaking the licence terms. However, their sales are small compared with the Pi, so charging upfront does not, as you point out, have such a huge affect on total revenue. You are correct, $7M less revenue if we had added the MPEG2 0.35c to every Pi from first launch.
It only dropped to $0.35 on January 1, 2018
All Pi's sold from January 1, 2016 through December 31, 2017 would be at $0.50 per unit.
And all before that would have been $2.00 as they are all after January 1, 2010.

So one for the genuine lawyers, is it at the date of sale of the board that the licence cost is determined? If someone were to purchase a licence now for a 2014 board, is that still going to cost $2.00? If so then the cost to licence it on all devices is going to be much greater than $7M.
As I said before, it's complicated.
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Burngate
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Re: MPEG2 patents expiring

Thu May 24, 2018 9:37 am

Have I got the wrong end of the stick?

For several years, I've understood the ethos of Raspberry Pi to be about education, and in particular computer science - getting young people involved in, and enthused by, the nuts'n'bolts of computers rather than just a black-box-that-does-stuff.

Just as a by-product, The Pi can also be used as a black-box-that-does-stuff, such as taking pictures of nesting owls, or translating Persian into Hindustani, or storing your haute cuisine recipes, which is useful for other subjects but isn't its raison d'etre.
And it can be used for playing games or watching HD videos, but again that isn't its raison d'etre.

So it's not very good at doing those other things. So a different black-box-that-does-stuff would be cheaper and better for those things. So what?
So a Pi with MPEG2 costs more than a Pi without, and still isn't quite as good as other black boxes. So What?

hippy
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Re: MPEG2 patents expiring

Thu May 24, 2018 2:00 pm

Burngate wrote:
Thu May 24, 2018 9:37 am
For several years, I've understood the ethos of Raspberry Pi to be about education, and in particular computer science - getting young people involved in, and enthused by, the nuts'n'bolts of computers rather than just a black-box-that-does-stuff.
Depends on what you consider "Raspberry Pi" to be.

All you describe is what the goals and aims of the charitable Raspberry Pi Foundation ("RPF") are.

The role of the commercial subsidiary Raspberry Pi (Trading) Limited ("RPT") is to do things which bring in revenue; to cover their costs and provide profit which can be gift-aided to the Foundation.

While RPT exists to support the RPF in its purpose, RPT's role is to generate profits and it is generally unconstrained in how it can do that or what it does. Hence why producing Compute Modules which are primarily targeted at commercial users rather than educating people is entirely acceptable.

"Raspberry Pi" may best be considered as a branding, the ecosystem around that consisting of three main parts; the RPF promoting educating and understanding of computers, RPT generating money for the RPF, and the computer boards RPT develop or produce.

There is also Raspberry Pi Press which I understand is just an internal arm of RPT which I believe produces MagPi and HackSpace magazines.

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bensimmo
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Re: MPEG2 patents expiring

Thu May 24, 2018 3:32 pm

And CodeClub and CoderDojo being wings of RPF.

RPF need to pay for that somehow of which the majority of it is free for people to use.
(Even all the RP Press is free to use)

Of which it seems none/negligible come from the cost to use a hardware MPEG2 decoder.

jamesh
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Re: MPEG2 patents expiring

Thu May 24, 2018 3:42 pm

bensimmo wrote:
Thu May 24, 2018 3:32 pm
And CodeClub and CoderDojo being wings of RPF.

RPF need to pay for that somehow of which the majority of it is free for people to use.
(Even all the RP Press is free to use)

Of which it seems none/negligible come from the cost to use a hardware MPEG2 decoder.
Negligible would be an overstatement. Not nothing, but if we could stop having to do it, we would.
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RichardS
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Re: MPEG2 patents expiring

Fri May 25, 2018 6:12 am

I have an idea, why don't you follow the lead of Ubuntu, the largest distro out there, and simply create a menu entry within raspi-config called:

Raspbian Restricted Extras

Then when the user selects this option present exactly the SAME kind of disclaimer they use, telling the user that this will enable MPEG2 decoding, which may be restricted in their country, and the the responsibility for insuring legal use rests with the user. Then if they hit the OK button, they bear the responsibility for setting the MPEG2 codec enable bit.

Since this approach HAS WORKED for Ubuntu now for more than a decade, it should certainly work now in the waning days of MPEG2, when the patents have lapsed for 99% of the planet.

Problem solved!

See, that wasn't so hard. ;)
Last edited by RichardS on Fri May 25, 2018 6:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

6by9
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Re: MPEG2 patents expiring

Fri May 25, 2018 6:24 am

RichardS wrote:
Fri May 25, 2018 6:12 am
I have an idea, why don't you follow the lead of Ubuntu, the largest distro out there, and simply create a menu entry within raspi-config called:

Raspbian Restricted Extras

Then when the user selects this option present exactly the SAME kind of disclaimer they use, telling the user that this will enable MPEG2 decoding, which may be restricted in their country, and the the responsibility for insuring legal use rests with the user. Then if they hit the OK button, they bear the responsibility for setting the MPEG2 codec enable bit.

Since this HAS WORKED for Ubuntu now for more than a decade, it should certainly work now in the waining days of MPEG2, when the patents have lapsed for 99% of the planet.

Problem solved!

See, that wasn't so hard. ;)
But falls foul of the lawyers big time.
Ubuntu enables software decoding. The codec licence enables hardware decoding. Software is mainly viewed that you can't stop a user doing as they please. Hardware is expected to be locked down unless the fees are paid.
Software Engineer at Raspberry Pi Trading. Views expressed are still personal views.
Please don't send PMs asking for support - use the forum.
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RichardS
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Re: MPEG2 patents expiring

Fri May 25, 2018 8:08 am

6by9 wrote:
Fri May 25, 2018 6:24 am
But falls foul of the lawyers big time.
Ubuntu enables software decoding. The codec licence enables hardware decoding. Software is mainly viewed that you can't stop a user doing as they please. Hardware is expected to be locked down unless the fees are paid.
You better run that by your lawyer's again - the "you can't stop a user part" DOES apply to Ubuntu, because, they didn't sign a contract with MPEG LA - but apparently YOU DID.

So, what it would seem applies to you is http://www.mpegla.com/main/programs/M2/ ... ement.aspx
(1) For MPEG-2 Decoding Products in hardware or software (such as those found in set-top boxes, DVD players and computers . . .
Hmm, "hardware *OR* software", no distinction, that why Microsoft started charging for their media center "software" codec.

So what would it matter if the user did as I described above and typed 'raspi-config' and after a stern warning elected to install the MPEG2 hardware codec, verses using the ones built into the Raspberry Pi's Official "Raspbian OS" - the difference is that at least I proposed a "stern warning" - which is more than we get when using the built in codecs in Raspbian.

Raspbian has been this way FOR YEARS NOW, so what happens when someone decides to "enforce the contract" you seem to thinks it's so cool to keep yourself locked into, and go after back fees plus penalties? Someone mentioned 7 million dollars; what would that be with Triple or Quadruple "damages" ?

But by all means, don't run with the herd and adopt the tried and true "restricted extras" model, just be aware that like certain folks recently in the news, you might come to regret the contract you locked yourself into.

Because if you are arguing that you can not let ME decide that a hardware MPEG2 codec is now free and unencumbered and therefore ok to install, because that would subject YOU to liability, then you have already admitted that you are equally culpable for ALL those Raspbian SOFTWARE codecs out there which were made freely available in Raspbian.

Now you are trying to argue simultaneously that you let users use the software MPEG2 capabilities built into Raspbian, when depending on where they were living, this might have violated the restrictions on MPEG2 then in effect in their country (probably did) but this is not the responsibility of the Pi Foundation, BECAUSE THE CHOICE WAS ALL THEIRS -- but at the same time -- you expect me to believe that the Pi Foundation CAN'T POSSIBLY allow me make a similar choice for hardware MPEG2 decoding, even though here in the U.S.A. (your largest market, I'm sure) ALL PATENTS HAVE EXPIRED AND MPEG2 IS NOW FREE TO USE.

Honestly, I wouldn't want to be in your shoes right now - not be a good legal position to be in - but you can't have it both ways.

jamesh
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Re: MPEG2 patents expiring

Fri May 25, 2018 8:50 am

RichardS wrote:
Fri May 25, 2018 8:08 am
6by9 wrote:
Fri May 25, 2018 6:24 am
But falls foul of the lawyers big time.
Ubuntu enables software decoding. The codec licence enables hardware decoding. Software is mainly viewed that you can't stop a user doing as they please. Hardware is expected to be locked down unless the fees are paid.
You better run that by your lawyer's again - the "you can't stop a user part" DOES apply to Ubuntu, because, they didn't sign a contract with MPEG LA - but apparently YOU DID.

So, what it would seem applies to you is http://www.mpegla.com/main/programs/M2/ ... ement.aspx
(1) For MPEG-2 Decoding Products in hardware or software (such as those found in set-top boxes, DVD players and computers . . .
Hmm, "hardware *OR* software", no distinction, that why Microsoft started charging for their media center "software" codec.

So what would it matter if the user did as I described above and typed 'raspi-config' and after a stern warning elected to install the MPEG2 hardware codec, verses using the ones built into the Raspberry Pi's Official "Raspbian OS" - the difference is that at least I proposed a "stern warning" - which is more than we get when using the built in codecs in Raspbian.

Raspbian has been this way FOR YEARS NOW, so what happens when someone decides to "enforce the contract" you seem to thinks it's so cool to keep yourself locked into, and go after back fees plus penalties? Someone mentioned 7 million dollars; what would that be with Triple or Quadruple "damages" ?

But by all means, don't run with the herd and adopt the tried and true "restricted extras" model, just be aware that like certain folks recently in the news, you might come to regret the contract you locked yourself into.

Because if you are arguing that you can not let ME decide that a hardware MPEG2 codec is now free and unencumbered and therefore ok to install, because that would subject YOU to liability, then you have already admitted that you are equally culpable for ALL those Raspbian SOFTWARE codecs out there which were made freely available in Raspbian.

Now you are trying to argue simultaneously that you let users use the software MPEG2 capabilities built into Raspbian, when depending on where they were living, this might have violated the restrictions on MPEG2 then in effect in their country (probably did) but this is not the responsibility of the Pi Foundation, BECAUSE THE CHOICE WAS ALL THEIRS -- but at the same time -- you expect me to believe that the Pi Foundation CAN'T POSSIBLY allow me make a similar choice for hardware MPEG2 decoding, even though here in the U.S.A. (your largest market, I'm sure) ALL PATENTS HAVE EXPIRED AND MPEG2 IS NOW FREE TO USE.

Honestly, I wouldn't want to be in your shoes right now - not be a good legal position to be in - but you can't have it both ways.
Are you a lawyer, and an expert in this area? If not then I suggest you let our lawyers, who are experts in this area, deal with it. I suspect you are encountering this https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E ... ger_effect

TBH, you are just making yourself look silly.
Principal Software Engineer at Raspberry Pi (Trading) Ltd.
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jamesh
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Re: MPEG2 patents expiring

Fri May 25, 2018 8:53 am

In fact, this thread has descended in to such concern trolling and misinformation that I'm going to close it. Simply not worth moderator time dealing with this nonsense.

You have an opinion. It's wrong. Deal with it.
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Please direct all questions to the forum, I do not do support via PM.

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