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Hello, this is my first post to videomaker, and I discovered this web site while googling about this issue.
I have just requested a copy of the licence, (I didn’t ask for fedex, though, I hope that bill is on the house, as it looks like they spent more than what I’ll end up paying them:)
I do intend to register, but have concern about some hidden risks.
Here is a letter I’d like to send mpgel-la. I thought I should post it here and get your thoughts first.
To whom it may concerned, regarding the mpeg licence:
What does this mean for the” garage band” or “backyard moviemaker”: Could the mpeg licence issue effectively criminalize them? A possible solution? How about charging the royalty to the company manufacturing the DVD-R and Blu-Ray-R discs, on the theory that they are likely to be used for mpeg video. That way the patent holders would make more money, and the local musician, political critic, or minister that distributes a few home-burned DVDR’s, for example, doesn’t have to run like a drug dealer. Most in that situation are not aware of the existence of mpeg patents, or assume it wouldn’t be enforced- e.g. who would want sue a group of teenagers for 30 cents? (for example, a patent holder catches a high school punk band with 10 copies of their performance video on DVD-R discs) If that really happened, it’s bad PR for the patent holders, and could trigger a congressional hearing on intelectual property being used in betrayal of its original purpose “to encourage useful science and arts…”
Most “consumer personal use” of a video recorder is piracy, therefore illegal anyway. At least the major movie companies think so.
In my opinion, the non-creative person who only uses his top of the line high definition video studio in the basement for mundane family picture types of uses, not that there is anything wrong with that, does not deserve to have that equipment MORE than a media artist does, and would have no grounds for complaint for paying a royalty hidden in the price of a DVD-R, RIAA already does this to music formatted CD-Rs.
Another concern: any surprises in the deal such as four-figure minimum charges? That is, for example, if I intend to confess my mpeg-2 usage for five discs, and prepare my check for 30 cents, could I get hit with a surprise minimum charge that only a company could afford to deal with? That leads into the next punch line question, a sort of EITLR (Elephant In The Living Room that no one is talking about):
The agreement looks like it’s written for companies. Can and/or should I register with mpeg-la from a private residence? I’m talking here about the artists who are utterly themselves. That is the role in which I make music and video. I would like to make them available in DVD, and all I want here is to make sure I am doing it safely.
I understand the importance of intellectual property.
I wish for any hope of success with mine.
Glade A. Swope