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Understanding MPEG-4 Licensing for Streaming Media

With the use of streaming media for MPEG-4 being more prevalent many need to keep in mind the licensing requirements for MPEG-4. The good thing about the licensing for MPEG-4 content is it is mainly targeting towards those individuals or organizations that are making money off of streaming MPEG-4 content. Here are some of the details under the MPEGLA MPEG-4 Visual Patent Portfolio License:


Get more details about the MPEG-4 Visual Patent Portfolio License

On a Subscription-basis, royalty fees need to be paid if you have more than 100,000 subscribers in a Calendar Year. There are no royalty fees that need to be paid if you have 100,000 or less subscribers in a Calendar Year. The maximum that any entity has to pay is $300,000 for greater than 25,000,000 subscribers.

"In cases where a user's products or services do not reach the minimum threshold amounts above which royalties are payable, the user would still need to conclude the MPEG-4 Visual License with MPEG LA in order to benefit from the coverage the License provides," says Dane E. Rauschenberg, Licensing Associate for MPEG LA.

On a Title-by-Title basis, royalties paid are the lower of 2% of the price paid to the Licensee or $0.02 per title for video greater than 12 minutes. A good thing is that there is is no royalty for a specific title of 12 minutes or less.

This MPEG-4 licensing information only pertains to Visual content. It does not include audio.

If you would like to find out more information and details about MPEG-4 audio licensing you check out these websites:


As there is licensing that applies to MPEG-4 Part 2 there is also licensing that applies to H.264. It is similar in nature and requires reporting to MPEGLA yearly. In many cases individuals that are not making money from streaming don't have to worry about paying anything. However they will still need to do some semi-annual reporting to be covered by the MPEG-4 and H.264 license. MPEGLA has PowerPoint presentations on their website for MPEG-4 Part 2 and H.264/AVC licensing.

Note: For more information contact Dane E. Rauschenberg at MPEG LA

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