Video formats, codecs, rights of use in commercial games (webm, h.264 mp4)

Dreadshadow

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I was wondering, does Degica or Enterbrain grants us the right to use codecs like h.264 mp4 as developers?
I mean this can be an issue when it comes to commercial products, especially on a cross platform game, right?
  • So what is the case here? Can we freely use h.264 mp4 or shall we stick with the webm to be safe?
From the MV Documentation:
" * When creating a game that will be played on Windows or Mac, please prepare only the WebM file format. When creating a game that will be released on the web or made for Android/iOS, both file formats are required."

  • Why is that?
  • Why not just use webm on the web?
  • Why not do the same for mobile devices?

We must probably have to ask the users to install VLC or browse through Firefox, but that is all it takes.
Seen some end user issues emerge here and there, it seems that everything can be easily fixed.

Some external links related to the topic:
 
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Andar

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The codecs used have no problem, because they are given as free to play by the original creators. You only need to pay for a licence if you have or distribute a program that encodes them, not for decoding - and you don't encode those with any Degica Program, you encode them with whatever video maker of your choice.

It is a principle used by a lot of data distribution programs - you never pay for viewing or distributing PDF-files either, do you?
That is because Adobe charges for the PDF creator, but not for the PDF reader. It's the same with the video formats, playing and distributing them is free and only the program for creating the videos (what the RMs do not) have to care about that.

As for the requirement to have both formats - that is because different device manufacturers have used (and licenced) different decoders in their mobiles. And you don't know which device the game is played on, so it is better to provide both options.
 

Dreadshadow

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As for the requirement to have both formats - that is because different device manufacturers have used (and licenced) different decoders in their mobiles. And you don't know which device the game is played on, so it is better to provide both options.
Yes @Andar I thought so too, but I was unsure what was the case when it comes to using codecs.

What alerted me and contradicts with your reply was fluendo's products.

Take a look:
http://www.fluendo.com/en/products/multimedia/oneplay-codec-pack/

Also take a look at their About page:
http://www.fluendo.com/en/about/


Of course this might be a different kind of codecs, but hey, it is a codec demanding to buy it, in order to use it for playback reasons. :confused:
Not only that but there is a fact that is actually supported with @Jonforum 's reply. Companies that make operating systems, have to pay a small fee for every copy of their OS, in order to allow legally the end users to use the codecs. So when you pay for Windows, I assume a portion of the money is for the codecs too.

But what happens when someone access an app using a browser from an operating system that doesn't include such codecs legally? Assuming a guy that cares for some reason but doesn't wanna pay to use them. It seems that webm will cover him up, but it is an interesting topic.

Meanwhile, there are open types of media, that are also free (as in free speech), as long as you don't involve any proprietary encoding capabilities:

https://ffmpeg.org/legal.html
https://www.fsf.org/resources/playogg_radiostation.pdf


So THAT is the reason I am kinda confused here and that's exactly why I asked. :)
It would be nice to make sense of this jungle out there, first for us (meaning me), then for the average user.
 
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Andar

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well...

please read that statement on their website:
These plugins are necessary to play legally certain audio and video formats when either the SoC (system-on-chip) manufacturer, the operating system, the browse engine or the player do not include support for these formats.
Everything in that sentence is full truth, but see how carefully they avoid any specifics?

And now please parse that sentence more carefully and try to tell me a single case where you really need to purchase that plugin. I'll come back in ten years or so to see if you found anything...

All mobiles use that "system on chip" approach, because their processors are not powerfull enough to handle full decoding. That means that the chip producer paid for that option already before manufacturing the chipc (and any try to go around that would have been found out and called given the number of chips produced)
And so on for the other options - especially keeping in mind that there are exception in several licences to allow for non-profit programs/operating system to use them under specially defined circumstances. And the fact that browser's won't even be able to decode those files if they didn't get a plugin for that from somewhere (you know, the messages "you have to install flash player or whatever when going to the internet the first time with a fresh installed computer?)

The only way where the conditions listed are met for the requirement to purchase those codecs would be a home-programmed operating system with a home-programmed browser (and no, Linux is not "home-programmed" in that point of view) and a home-programmed player (which there are a few, OK)

That is just a more professional and less extreme variant of the "scareware" scheme, trying to make people pay for something they don't need.
 

Dreadshadow

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@Andar thank you so much!
I was wondering myself if all that was hocus pocus and since the internet is full of garbage, I could use some help to that.
Not to mention that your reply can help out future users who will probably see the same issue somewhere.
 

Amy Pond

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Hi, can't add much, but regarding

"Why not just use webm on the web?"

Webm is not usable on iOS devices for whatever reason, so using them will cut out a large chunk of the market.
 

Dreadshadow

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Amy Pond

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True, but requiring users to buy an app or go even a little bit out of their way to play your game, is a huge turn off to most players. Players are fickle especially on mobile.
 

Dreadshadow

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Yes it is sad that Apple does not include webm out of the box in their products.
But that's not my problem. :p :D
Can I be honest with you? I really don't care about that market....yet! :)
Maybe in the futute though, I will care, that's why I made this thrad in the first place.
 

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