Google’s attempt to create its own royalty-free video standard took a blow last night on news that MPEG LA has declared the popular H.264 codec will be made available royalty-free forever.

Critics had noted that the MPEG LA — the standards body for multiple internet media standards — had originally only offered to make H.264 available on a royalty-free basis until 2016. This generated fear of costly licensing disputes ahead, fears which have now been quashed.

MPEG LA announced today that its AVC Patent Portfolio License will continue not to charge royalties for Internet Video that is free to end users (known as “Internet Broadcast AVC Video”) during the entire life of this License. MPEG LA previously announced it would not charge royalties for such video through December 31, 2015, and today’s announcement makes clear that royalties will continue not to be charged for such video beyond that time.

MPEG LA’s AVC Patent Portfolio License provides access to essential patent rights for the AVC/H.264 (MPEG-4 Part 10) digital video coding standard.

In addition to Internet Broadcast AVC Video, MPEG LA’s AVC Patent Portfolio License provides coverage for devices that decode and encode AVC video, AVC video sold to end users for a fee on a title or subscription basis and free television video services.

AVC video is used in set-top boxes, media player and other personal computer software, mobile devices including telephones and mobile television receivers, Blu-ray Disc™ players and recorders, Blu-ray video optical discs, game machines, personal media player devices and still and video cameras.

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