MPEG-4 license to be finalized in April

MPEG LA said this week that it plans to meet with patent holders of MPEG-4 video compression technology in late April to hammer out its controversial licensing agreements. In January, the licensing body issued a long-awaited proposal for compensating the 18 patent holders of MPEG-4 technology, which promises to bring interactivity to digital video. The current plan includes per-use royalty fees for digital content playback. But the blueprint upset many people in multimedia circles, who are concerned that adoption of the technology could be cost-prohibitive. "It's been a healthy dialogue," said Lawrence Horn, spokesman for MPEG LA. "People get this idea that patent holders can demand whatever they want, but at the end of the day, if no one uses the technology...it doesn't matter what you ask for. You have to be responsive to the marketplace needs."

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MPEG LA said this week that it plans to meet with patent holders of MPEG-4 video compression technology in late April to hammer out its controversial licensing agreements. In January, the licensing body issued a long-awaited proposal for compensating the 18 patent holders of MPEG-4 technology, which promises to bring interactivity to digital video. The current plan includes per-use royalty fees for digital content playback. But the blueprint upset many people in multimedia circles, who are concerned that adoption of the technology could be cost-prohibitive.

"It's been a healthy dialogue," said Lawrence Horn, spokesman for MPEG LA. "People get this idea that patent holders can demand whatever they want, but at the end of the day, if no one uses the technology...it doesn't matter what you ask for. You have to be responsive to the marketplace needs."

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