Volker Dirr
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MPEG2 Patent expires this month

Fri Apr 10, 2015 8:53 am

I read that the MPEG2 patent expires April 27, 2015.
See:
http://www.mpegla.com/main/programs/m2/ ... 2-att1.pdf

So the MPEG2 key in the store will be free soon?!

mikerr
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Re: MPEG2 Patent expires this month

Fri Apr 10, 2015 8:55 am

or maybe just a new unlock firmware for everyone with no key required.
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troombatzia
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Re: MPEG2 Patent expires this month

Fri Apr 10, 2015 5:21 pm

It's too late for April Fools'. isn't? ;)
English isn’t my first language, so please excuse any mistakes.

troombatzia
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Re: MPEG2 Patent expires this month

Fri Apr 10, 2015 5:24 pm

Or is it true? :?:
English isn’t my first language, so please excuse any mistakes.

troombatzia
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Re: MPEG2 Patent expires this month

Fri Apr 10, 2015 5:29 pm

I read on wikipedia and it seems that is true. The date of publication fooled me :-) so today is my Fools' Day.
English isn’t my first language, so please excuse any mistakes.

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Paul Webster
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Re: MPEG2 Patent expires this month

Fri Apr 10, 2015 9:11 pm

Many expire but there will still be some left - and since all are deemed "essential" then they would still expect to be paid for shipments to/from any country that still has a non-expired patent.
MPEG LA has argued in the past that they did not put up their prices when the pool expanded and have brought it down over time and it seems that they do not intend to drop it even when 90%+ of the patents have expired.

toxibunny
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Re: MPEG2 Patent expires this month

Fri Apr 10, 2015 10:02 pm

well, I guess that's the end of that, then...
note: I may or may not know what I'm talking about...

AndyPi
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Re: MPEG2 Patent expires this month

Tue Feb 27, 2018 11:36 am

Seems last patents expired 2 weeks ago! https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/02/1 ... g2_patent/

jamesh
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Re: MPEG2 Patent expires this month

Tue Feb 27, 2018 12:27 pm

No, still two extant patents for a couple of smaller countries. Until they lapse there will be no change in the licencing.
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Paul Webster
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Re: MPEG2 Patent expires this month

Tue Feb 27, 2018 12:35 pm

See the list I posted at
viewtopic.php?f=67&t=201449#p1278465

paulslocum
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Re: MPEG2 Patent expires this month

Wed Feb 28, 2018 8:43 pm

If it's not going to be free, then I really wish the Raspberry Pi foundation would improve their license purchasing system. For the project I'm currently working on, we would have purchased hundreds of licenses. But it's just too cumbersome to create a spreadsheet of every Raspberry Pi we're planning to use, wait for a reply, and then somehow apply all those unlock codes. There really needs to be an API or some way to buy them already unlocked.

jamesh
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Re: MPEG2 Patent expires this month

Mon Mar 19, 2018 4:47 pm

paulslocum wrote:
Wed Feb 28, 2018 8:43 pm
If it's not going to be free, then I really wish the Raspberry Pi foundation would improve their license purchasing system. For the project I'm currently working on, we would have purchased hundreds of licenses. But it's just too cumbersome to create a spreadsheet of every Raspberry Pi we're planning to use, wait for a reply, and then somehow apply all those unlock codes. There really needs to be an API or some way to buy them already unlocked.
Please email [email protected] for bulk purchases of licence keys.
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Please direct all questions to the forum, I do not do support via PM.

paulslocum
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Re: MPEG2 Patent expires this month

Tue Mar 20, 2018 12:11 am

Please email [email protected] for bulk purchases of licence keys.
I was specifically referring to the bulk purchase process in my comment. It's adds too much complication to be worth it for us. We just decided to do without MPEG2 support (maybe we'll add software MPEG2 decoding later)

You have to assemble a spreadsheet of the serial numbers of all the Pis you want to unlock, send that to them, get the invoice back and pay it, and then you get the serials back in a spreadsheet after some unpredictable amount of time. If there were some kind of API, then we could write a simple script to unlock them one at a time as we assemble our product -- that would be great.

Note that automation using the web interface and email response isn't really an good option either because the email responses oddly don't contain the serial number that goes with the purchased unlock code. I asked if it was possible to modify their system to include the corresponding RPi serial number in the response email, and they said that it was not possible even though people often requested it.

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rurwin
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Re: MPEG2 Patent expires this month

Tue Mar 20, 2018 9:53 am

Maybe look into xlwings, albeit I don't know if it works with open-source spreadsheet programs, just Excel.

xlwings allows you to write a Python program that either creates or interrogates a spreadsheet. So you can write a program that compiles serial numbers, sends in an order, receives the reply and applies the license keys.

jamesh
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Re: MPEG2 Patent expires this month

Tue Mar 20, 2018 10:00 am

Was talking to the people who have to deal with this stuff, and they are not entirely happy with the system either - it's labour intensive. Its actually run by a third party site, so options are limited. We did try to change at some point, but were not able to get anything better, that still gave the same level of security (required for MPEGLA).

We do have customers who by LARGE numbers of serial numbers (1000's), so clearly they have figured out how to deal with it somehow.
Principal Software Engineer at Raspberry Pi (Trading) Ltd.
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paulslocum
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Re: MPEG2 Patent expires this month

Tue Mar 20, 2018 12:38 pm

Thanks for asking about it, I figured the problems were largely related to MPEGLA. I think part of our issue is that we're doing a product in the hundreds instead of thousands. If we were doing something in the thousands, then we could probably more easily absorb the additional setup cost and time related to the unlocking process.

Writing a script to do it isn't that hard, but you still have to hook up to power and ethernet and boot every single Pi to beforehand to get the serial numbers, and then again to unlock after the codes are purchased. And you have to make sure your manufacturer understands the entire process end to end and knows how to deal with any errors or problems.

RichardS
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Re: MPEG2 Patent expires this month

Sun May 27, 2018 6:41 am

Since the explanation given above relates to MPEG LA licensing royalties, I will be contacting them directly to get clarification as to whether they wish to be a party to fraudulently collecting royalty fees for patents which have expired here in the USA - I hope that they will be amenable to reason and agree that the collection of MPEG2 licensing royalties in countries where the remaining patents in the pool DO NOT APPLY could be interpreted as FRAUD, and subject's them to considerable legal jeopardy.

If you don't think that MPEG LA takes note of such things, consider that they stubbornly refused to adjust licensing fees as the number of applicable patents in the pool still in force decreased till, magically in 2002 when, not coincidentally this case was launched against the international DRAM cartel here in the U.S.. I guess it's kind of hard to ignore 310 Million in total fines, plus actual jail time for the guy in charge.

MPEG LA has already been listed as a defendant in this case filed in United States District Court Northern District of New York, where the plaintiff, Haier America lists a litany of complaints against MPEG LA and several of it's members, including that they padded the patent pool with bogus non-essential patents to fraudulently extend the life of the pool, and the royalties received by MPEG LA, and MPEG LA members, and also acted in restraint of trade and engaged in monopolistic practices by making it difficult or impossible to negotiate patent royalty agreements outside MPEG LA. The above linked page has a pdf file of the actual court filing, which makes very interesting reading for anyone interested.

So long story short, I don't think MPEG LA is going to have much stomach for charging bogus royalties on expired patent technology, at least not just now, given their present legal exposure.

If MPEG LA says to STOP charging this fee in their name in countries were it does not apply, may I assume that you will stop?

I am sensitive to the fact that the mods and representatives of the Pi Foundation have requested not to have further open discussion of this topic here in the forum - so by all means, please PM me if an alternate solution is already in the works, as I have no wish to stir up and complicate the situation unnecessarily.

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PeterO
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Re: MPEG2 Patent expires this month

Sun May 27, 2018 7:24 am

RichardS wrote:
Sun May 27, 2018 6:41 am
I am sensitive to the fact that the mods and representatives of the Pi Foundation have requested not to have further open discussion of this topic here in the forum
Clearly you are NOT sensitive to this request because here you are banging on about it yet again....
PeterO
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fruitoftheloom
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Re: MPEG2 Patent expires this month

Sun May 27, 2018 7:47 am

RichardS wrote:
Sun May 27, 2018 6:41 am
Since the explanation given above relates to MPEG LA licensing royalties, I will be contacting them directly to get clarification as to whether they wish to be a party to fraudulently collecting royalty fees for patents which have expired here in the USA - I hope that they will be amenable to reason and agree that the collection of MPEG2 licensing royalties in countries where the remaining patents in the pool DO NOT APPLY could be interpreted as FRAUD, and subject's them to considerable legal jeopardy.

If you don't think that MPEG LA takes note of such things, consider that they stubbornly refused to adjust licensing fees as the number of applicable patents in the pool still in force decreased till, magically in 2002 when, not coincidentally this case was launched against the international DRAM cartel here in the U.S.. I guess it's kind of hard to ignore 310 Million in total fines, plus actual jail time for the guy in charge.

MPEG LA has already been listed as a defendant in this case filed in United States District Court Northern District of New York, where the plaintiff, Haier America lists a litany of complaints against MPEG LA and several of it's members, including that they padded the patent pool with bogus non-essential patents to fraudulently extend the life of the pool, and the royalties received by MPEG LA, and MPEG LA members, and also acted in restraint of trade and engaged in monopolistic practices by making it difficult or impossible to negotiate patent royalty agreements outside MPEG LA. The above linked page has a pdf file of the actual court filing, which makes very interesting reading for anyone interested.

So long story short, I don't think MPEG LA is going to have much stomach for charging bogus royalties on expired patent technology, at least not just now, given their present legal exposure.

If MPEG LA says to STOP charging this fee in their name in countries were it does not apply, may I assume that you will stop?

I am sensitive to the fact that the mods and representatives of the Pi Foundation have requested not to have further open discussion of this topic here in the forum - so by all means, please PM me if an alternate solution is already in the works, as I have no wish to stir up and complicate the situation unnecessarily.

Already discussed:

viewtopic.php?f=63&t=178513&p=1137241#p1137241
Adieu

jamesh
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Re: MPEG2 Patent expires this month

Sun May 27, 2018 9:37 am

Well goodness me, the backroom lawyer turns up again.

Please feel free to contact MPEGLA, if you come up with anything, please let our lawyers know, because clearly their many years getting their law degrees was a waste of time.

Just as a matter of interest, the cost of obtaining a licence from us is about £2.50 or thereabouts (less than a cup of coffee/pint of beer). On an average salary of £25k a tear, doing a normal working week, that's about £14/hr. The amount of time you have spent wittering on about this has come close to an hour, so you have spent about 5x to cost of a codec licence so far on this. You will spend obviously a lot more approaching MPEGLA.

Now of course, you are perfectly entitled to spend your time/money on whichever crusade/witchhunt you like. But surely there are better things to spend you time on? You seem to be one of the few people in the world (and that includes some companies who are happy to buy the licence in large numbers, even after talking to their own lawyers) who seems to be upset about this.

I refer you again to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E ... ger_effect.

Also note, that since you may have libelled the RPF in your post above, I have taken a copy of this thread which I will pas on to management for further action. Meanwhile this thread is locked.
Principal Software Engineer at Raspberry Pi (Trading) Ltd.
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