Royalties on DASH? Say it Isn’t So!

Just a quick note regarding an article in Streaming Media Magazine that you should read entitled, An Unhappy Surprise: MPEG LA Is Forming a Patent Pool for DASH. As the article details, we’ve known for a long time that the Dynamic Adaptive Streaming Over HTTP (DASH) standard may include licensable IP. However, it’s been years since we’ve heard anything about it. Now patent licensing group MPEG LA is forming a patent group to explore whether royalties are in order. 

To say the least, the timing is unfortunate. Just as DASH and the Media Source Extensions (MSE) are about to bring HTML5 video out of the Stone Age, we have an unexpected bump in the road. Given HEVC Advance’s recent proclimation that they will charge content royalties for HEVC, it’s not hard to create a mental parade of horribles that may chill DASH’s integration and success. Will there be royalties on DASH-encoded content? Unfortunately, it certainly seems a lot more likely today than it did a few weeks ago. 

Anyway, if you’ve been considering the transition from Flash to DASH, better send a link to my Streaming Media article to your legal team, as there may be an unexpected cost appearing sometime down the road. 

About Jan Ozer

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I help companies train new technical hires in streaming media-related positions; I also help companies optimize their codec selections and encoding stacks, and evaluate new encoders and codecs.

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