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HMC-150 not for commercial use?

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Jon Smyth
HMC-150 not for commercial use?
on May 4, 2010 at 11:17:58 am

I recently purchased an HMC-150 to try out. If I liked it, I intended to get a second one for two camera shoots of video events. When I started reading the owners manuel this jumped out at me:

This product is licensed under the AVC Patent Portfolio License for the personal and non-commercial use of a consumer, and no license is granted or shall be implied for any use other than the personal uses detailed below
-to encode video in compliance with the AVC standard ("AVC Video")
-To decode AVC Video that was encoded by a consumer engaged in a personal and non-commercial activity
-To decode video that was obtained from a video provider licensed to provide AVC video
ยท Additional information may be obtained from MPEG LA LLC (http://www.mpegla.com).
Seperate license contracts must be obtained from MPEG LA where SD Memory Cards containing information recorded with this product are to be distributed to end users for commercial purposes. End user refers to persons or organizations handling such content for personal use.


Okay, I am confused. Someone can sell me a camcorder and then tell me what I can or cannot use it for? I specifically purchased this unit to make event recordings for profit. That is my business. I am an Event Videographer. However, I have had some ideas for years for some short films to enter in competitions, but was never satisfied with the image quality of the DVX-100 for projection. This unit seemed tailor made for acceptable quality 'videofilms.' Surely, anyone who has made indie films for film festivals can understand my dilemma. What is the point of purchasing a Pro-grade camcorder if it cannot be used for professional purposes?

I've not been able to find any sort of explanation at http://www.mpegla.com to help me understand. Am I totally misunderstanding? Can someone give me some feedback before I return this HMC-150 to B&H as useless? Though I've yet to put battery and card in it and record anything, it seems to be a beautiful tool. But, if I can't use it for what I need it for it's just a fancy paper weight. What's the point of that? Thanks for any explanations.

Jon


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Noah Kadner
Re: HMC-150 not for commercial use?
on May 4, 2010 at 5:16:25 pm

Forget about that- it's just 'Panasonic cover-your-ass corporate boilerplate' that has zero to do with you as the consumer. Any product you use to make a DVD or encode a video for web/etc already has that licensing covered ten times over and you don't have to do anything. Usually I'm a read the f'ing manual sort of guy but in this case don't read too much into it. Seriously- just go shoot.

Noah

Check out my book: RED: The Ultimate Guide to Using the Revolutionary Camera!
Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Sony EX1 Guidebook, Panasonic HVX200, Canon EOS 5D Mark II and Canon 7D.
Watch Formosa- My indie movie shot with the SDX900 and finished with Final Cut Studio.


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Jon Smyth
Re: HMC-150 not for commercial use?
on May 5, 2010 at 3:48:55 am

Thanks, Noah.

Checked the online owner's manual pdf for the old DVX -100 and sure enough there was a one sentence blurb to the same effect. Never seen it spelled out so loud as in the manual for the HMC-150 though, so it never really caught my attention before. It sort of rocked me back on my heels! Will take your advise and not return the 150. I think it's going to be fun to shoot.

Congratulations on the RED book. Pity that camera is beyond my price bracket, looks sweet. Loved the first seven minutes of Formosa. What did you shoot it on?

Jon


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John Baldino
Re: HMC-150 not for commercial use?
on May 5, 2010 at 12:08:24 pm

Jon,

This is really interesting because I literally JUST came across this article from a facebook friend of mine:

http://news.cnet.com/8301-30685_3-20000101-264.html

The issue you've pointed out and the reason for that BS language has to do with the patent of H.264 in general. It isn't specific to any one camera or anything like that. I'm in the exact same position you are, as I recently bought the 150 and am using it for the same purposes as you are.

What this article seems to suggest is that there could be some liability for event videographers, but only to the extent that you'd have to pay $.02 in royalty for every DVD that you sell. I'm going to further look into this myself, but I think on the whole we really don't need to worry about it. Since we're not really in the business of selling 1000's of DVDs (we're in the business of rendering the production service itself), I don't think anyone is going to come after us for not paying the $.02 royalty on a single DVD we give to our wedding clients.

So in short, Noah is right :)

Director/DP/Editor
GoboMedia, LLC
http://www.gobomedia.net (under construction)

"Philosophy is questioning without answers; religion is answers without questioning." - Anonymous


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Noah Kadner
Re: HMC-150 not for commercial use?
on May 5, 2010 at 3:28:12 pm

Yeah you really honestly believe the MPEGLA is going to come after tens of thousands if not millions of camera owners for licensing fees because of H.264? Never going to happen. That boilerplate has been there for years. Again I'm glad to see proof of folks finally reading the manuals but it's just not something to worry about. Most WEVA cinematographers are more likely to have issues with unlicensed music if being used in their videos...

Noah

Check out my book: RED: The Ultimate Guide to Using the Revolutionary Camera!
Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Sony EX1 Guidebook, Panasonic HVX200, Canon EOS 5D Mark II and Canon 7D.
Watch Formosa- My indie movie shot with the SDX900 and finished with Final Cut Studio.


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Jan Crittenden Livingston
Re: HMC-150 not for commercial use?
on May 5, 2010 at 7:50:19 pm

Hi,

Take a read through this article.
http://www.engadget.com/2010/05/04/know-your-rights-h-264-patent-licensing-...

Be happy, use your camera.

Best,

jan

Jan Crittenden Livingston
Product Manager, HPX500, HPX300, HPX170, HVX200A
Panasonic Broadcast & TV Systems



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Noah Kadner
Re: HMC-150 not for commercial use?
on May 5, 2010 at 11:32:56 pm

Thank you Jan- I was hoping someone would blow some sense over this little worry candle.

Noah

Check out my book: RED: The Ultimate Guide to Using the Revolutionary Camera!
Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Sony EX1 Guidebook, Panasonic HVX200, Canon EOS 5D Mark II and Canon 7D.
Watch Formosa- My indie movie shot with the SDX900 and finished with Final Cut Studio.


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