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Old May 7th, 2010, 01:56 AM   #1
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H264 Legal Issues and 12 min limit

Hi, everybody!

Just found this article: Is H.264 a Legal Minefield For Video Pros? - Codec - Gizmodo

There is a great debate on web regarding this issue. At some point, in the above mentioned article, is a quote saying:

"Per Section 3.1.2 of the AVC License (Title-by-Title AVC Video), the royalty for each title greater than 12 minutes in length is 2.0 percent of the remuneration paid to the Licensee or $0.02 per title, whichever is lower. In other words, the royalty would not exceed $0.02 per disc for the videographer," said MPEG LA spokesman Tom O'Reilly.

So, is this the real reason of 12 mins limitation???


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Old May 7th, 2010, 04:31 AM   #2
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No, this is not the reason. :)
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Old May 7th, 2010, 12:26 PM   #3
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There isn't a 12 minute limit on these cameras - the actual time limit is 29:59. The real limiting factor is the 4Gb file size limit of the Fat32 format used for the cards - at HD data rates this works out to approximately 12 minutes and SD is about 25 minutes. Canon has this all spelled out in detail here:

Canon Digital Learning Center - EOS 5D Mark II: Movie Mode Basics
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Old May 7th, 2010, 12:44 PM   #4
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Old May 7th, 2010, 01:36 PM   #5
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Old June 8th, 2010, 11:14 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evan Donn View Post
There isn't a 12 minute limit on these cameras - the actual time limit is 29:59. The real limiting factor is the 4Gb file size limit of the Fat32 format used for the cards - at HD data rates this works out to approximately 12 minutes and SD is about 25 minutes.
I still don't understand this...in the age of HD video, why the holdup on upgrading card formatting software? Doesn't this seem antiquated--a system that only allows 12 minute clips? Is it an issue of different CF card and camera makers not agreeing on a standard? I don't get the holdup...
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Old June 8th, 2010, 11:53 PM   #7
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Old June 9th, 2010, 12:11 AM   #8
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Christopher: so you don't know the answer to this either?
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Old June 9th, 2010, 12:24 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Newberry View Post
I still don't understand this...in the age of HD video, why the holdup on upgrading card formatting software? Doesn't this seem antiquated--a system that only allows 12 minute clips? Is it an issue of different CF card and camera makers not agreeing on a standard? I don't get the holdup...
There is no holdup. Card-based camcorders have the ability to automatically break up video's into 4gb chunks and stitch them back together seamlessly for playback or when importing to a computer. Canon just did not bother to implement this feature in their DSLR's.

They might have made this choice for any number of reasons - maybe becasue they knew the cameras might overheat after a while anyway, maybe to save a few dollars or time, maybe to avoid the EU tax on camcorders, maybe so they didn't damage camcorder sales, maybe because they didn't think anyone would use the feautre seriously, maybe they just plain forgot etc, etc. Only Canon knows why it wasn't implemented, and whether they will fix this omision on future cameras or not.
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Old June 9th, 2010, 12:26 AM   #10
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The most compelling "reason" I've heard so far is that in some worldwide markets - the tarrifs are significantly higher for VIDEO gear than Photo gear - and with photo cameras now commonly recording video - the "break point" in determining what's primarily a video camera and what's primarily a still camera is the ability to continuously record more than 12 minutes of video.

So, for a manufacturer, constraining the hardware to that limit ensures lower import tarrifs.

That sounds reasonable to me. It's the kind of functional real-world business hassle that rings true.

But I don't *know* that's the real reason. Or the only reason. Or even if it's all urban legend.

It sounds reasonable. So does the Fat 32 argument. So probably do other reasons or arguments I haven't come across. The point for me is that whether we like the reasons or understand them or even whether or not they're TRUE - the limits are a FACT with which we must operate.

Simple as that.
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Old June 9th, 2010, 01:05 AM   #11
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John and Bill, thanks for the responses. I've heard the Fat32/4GB limit argument so often that I assumed that was the sole reason, but I guess that's not necessarily so. If it's something like overheating, there's nothing we can do, but if it is the Fat32 issue, that sounds like something that could possibly be hacked...that's why I'm curious. When I'm shooting with one camera it's not usually an issue, but sometimes I do two camera shoots with one camera locked down and unmanned, and then it can be pretty annoying.

Quote:
The point for me is that whether we like the reasons or understand them or even whether or not they're TRUE - the limits are a FACT with which we must operate.
Not always--the Magic Lantern "fixed" some of Canon's limitations.
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Old June 9th, 2010, 09:03 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Newberry View Post
Christopher: so you don't know the answer to this either?
Actually Jim, spending less then 5mins searching just this forum gave me the answers by even just a simple search of "12 minute" in the search box. My sarcastic remark is due to this "topic" being brought up time and time again on this board for over a year now. Why people don't search their questions first before posting? The camera is limited in it's recording function to file limit of 4G, plain and simple. That can mean a recording time of 12min or 29.59min depending on what and how you're shooting. I can shoot my lens cap in B&W mode and get in to the 20+ mins area. Or I can shoot in night with very little lighting in B&W and shoot almost 19mins. No matter what you can't get around 4G limit. Canon didn't set up the hardware to be able to write to more then one file at a time to get around this limitation. Why? Many possible reasons (if you search the forums). Heat. Tariff time-limit rules. Doesn't really matter and honestly a moot point because it's just how the camera works. It's like asking why the 5D II can't shoot 2k? I mean the hardware is there so why can't it do it? I understand your frustration in this limitation and it does seem like a bit ridiculous limitation, but constant speculation of the reasons over and over again seems just as frustrating.
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Old June 9th, 2010, 09:04 AM   #13
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2 camera one shooter shoots is the only place where I've found the 4GB limitation to be a real problem. Here's a thought... how difficult do you think it would be for a company to develop a wired remote that can be programmed to automatically begin recording again after the camera hits it's 4GB limit and stops?
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Old June 9th, 2010, 09:17 AM   #14
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Ryan,

I think these guys are working on that very idea: View Factor - although it wouldn't be an auto start/stop, but if you're operating one camera and have another hooked up, when you start/stop the one you're on, you could do it to the remote camera as well.

They have wireless start stop functions using the power-cage for the 5D II on their remote FF. Impressive and not cheap.
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Old June 9th, 2010, 09:23 AM   #15
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Here's the last thread on this subject.

http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/canon-eo...-question.html

Just regard them as being like film cameras (approx 10 min per roll), which people seem to want to simulate anyway, rather than a video camera. One advantage being that you don't need to change magazines every 10 mins like a film camera.
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