Nikon D7000 videos only for “personal and non-commercial use”?

According to the Nikon D7000 manual, the AVC (Advance Video Coding) can only be used for "personal and non-commercial use":

This is above my pay grade and I am not sure how this is supposed to work. Does this mean that users have to apply individually for a licence if they want to use any video recorded with a D7000 for commercial purposes or this is just standard legal disclosure? I have not seen similar notice in other camera manuals. Maybe someone can clarify this for us f? Thanks!

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  • This isnt mjpeg guys, AVC h264 is NOT an editing codec. Its a final codec. If your not transcoding this to something relatively (or totally) lossless before editing, your seriously screwing yourself. Convert to cineform or proress and dont worry about this legal mumbo jumbo. There will be none or minimal (as in not available to the naked eye really) quality loss and you can color correct this kind of video a lot more. Plus its a lot easier to edit (h264 doenst even have frames…..).

  • Russell Emerson

    EX WIKI:
    In countries where patents on software algorithms are upheld, vendors and commercial users of products that use H.264/AVC are expected to pay patent licensing royalties for the patented technology[8] that their products use. This applies to the Baseline Profile as well.[9] A private organization known as MPEG LA, which is not affiliated in any way with the MPEG standardization organization, administers the licenses for patents applying to this standard, as well as the patent pools for MPEG-2 Part 1 Systems, MPEG-2 Part 2 Video, MPEG-4 Part 2 Video, and other technologies. The last US MPEG LA patents for H.264 may not expire until 2028.[10]

    On August 26, 2010 MPEG LA announced that H.264 encoded internet video that is free to end users will never be charged for royalties.[11] All other royalties will remain in place such as the royalties for products that decode and encode H.264 video.[12] The license terms are updated in 5-year blocks.[13]

    In 2005, Qualcomm, which was the assignee of U.S. Patent 5,452,104 and U.S. Patent 5,576,767 sued Broadcom in US District Court, alleging that Broadcom infringed the two patents by making products that were compliant with the H.264 video compression standard.[14] In 2007, the District Court found that the patents were unenforceable because Qualcomm had failed to disclose them to the JVT prior to the release of the H.264 standard in May 2003.[14] In December 2008, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed the District Court’s order that the patents be unenforceable but remanded to the District Court with instructions to limit the scope of unenforceability to H.264 compliant products.[14]

  • The thing is this. If everyone buys manufactured goods that use proprietary formats and the open source formats are ignored (as OGG and MP3 has happened) then once the proprietary formats have the field to themselves, they can leverage what they like whenever the licence comes up for renewal. Politicians don’t have a monopoly on breaking promises once they’ve got power.

    While the big boys like the Broadcoms of this world will be able to afford a court case that runs from 2005 to 2008, the average wedding photographer will find themselves with a choice … 1) comply with the licensing fees … 2) go bankrupt fighting.

    The problem the consumer faces is that the whole thing is a stitch up. It is easy for camera manufacturers to use the proprietary gear and stuff the consumer with the bill, ’cause no other manufacturer is doing it. The consumer that actually cares about this stuff hasn’t got a choice ’cause everyone wants their new cameras. Heck, it saves them actually having to do a little work to make the necessary product changes.

    How much does Fat 32 licensing cost? Varies. Last year I wanted to buy a netbook with Linux on it … or at least a shell without an operating system on it because I didn’t want to pay the Microsoft tax. I was having a very hard time of it.

    The sales person I was arguing with said that Microsoft had actually subsidised the cost of the netbooks. Even if I was able to buy one without Windows, it would actually cost me more. I tipped my hat to MS for the cheaper netbook, but despite wiping it and installing Linux, my purchase still counted as another Windows licence sold, which is what they want.

    If it helps kill the competition, then I’d expect any of the big companies to put money in to keeping the competition out. Microsoft posted better revenues this year, but I wonder how much it cost them. We’ll find out once the profit figures are posted.

    The only people who can do anything about this is the consumer … but how many here would stop buying kit?

    btw … ext4 can be run without journalling.

  • Down Under

    I would imagine Nikon will take care of this little oversight soon. Cannot imagine not being able to use the D7000 vido commercially. I can use the video from my 7D without any hassles. The D7000 is too fine of a camera for that to slip by.

  • This is how I see it. At the moment, customer video is shipped in DVD right? The format of that is fairly well static. As far as I know, no one has started coming after the small guy yet.

    Think five years down the line; faster Internet speeds and lower flash media costs mean there is a good chance we’ll be shipping either over the wire or on memory card and once we switch to that medium, then we’re not limited to MPEG 2 DVD encoding … we can ship in whatever format we like.

    …except for one thing. We’ll need to ship in whatever format the customers equipment has a codec for.

    If you’re shipping music then you’ve got no option other than to ship in MP3 and pay the licence, because the customers equipment likely won’t play OGG; because the big boys will have put the money behind getting the proprietary format out there and the consumer won’t have a clue, so they’ll happily slurp up proprietary equipment.

    So, whether we shoot in proprietary format or not, or transcode to what we wish … we’re over a barrel. All we can hope is that like DVD format licensing, that they don’t come after the little guys.

    The only thing that, “might,” save us is if some legislative body somewhere, forces equipment to support a range of formats. But that is very unlikely to happen.

    I did actually make the open source SD file system case to all the major manufacturers in May and I’m sitting back, ready to jump system to whomever starts taking the bit between their teeth and thinking of the consumer, for a change.

    I’m still waiting.

    Oddly enough, the only response I got was from Pentax… “Thank you for your e-mail and for considering to share this with Pentax rather than our competitors. I will forward your suggestion to the factory for their consideration. “

    • Mock Kenwell

      What a terrific and thoughtful few e-mails, Michelle. Thank you. Please continue to post here.

      • Thank you most kindly for that invitation. I’ll certainly keep an eye on the forum. As a Pentax shooter there are a few things about Pentax system that have caused me to have arguments with their deaf ears and I’m waiting for enough good reasons to put serious money in to Nikon (fast, accurate auto focus in poor light, a light weight system, CLS …) and the reasons are slowly stacking up … the scales are progressively tilting.

        I did also mention in one of the Pentax forums that I liked the 1:1 composition ratio of my hassy and, lo and behold some time later the K7 came out with adjustable composition ratios in the view finder. Not sure whether that was down to me, but it smells suspicious. I also found a flash system bug which was fixed in a patch but not even listed in the fix list for that patch. The flash sync ends at 1/180th and won’t even send a, “fire,” signal at any faster speed so I can’t nudge my shutter speed for some flash effects (unless I use high speed sync, of course, which eats power) I was so exasperated with the system that I even wrote to Japan but got no response; so much for Japanese honour. Their customer attitude sucks.

        So … I’m getting ready to jump to Nikon when the pound gains strength against the yen once more.

        To return briefly to the licensing debate on the codecs, there is one further thing on my mind that I have not seen yet. Technological signing. When commercial players come out there is a possibility that video may need to be signed for H264, and without a licence you can’t sign the video you’ve produced. Or they might force on-line licensing. I’m keeping an eye open for this possibility. There are open source players already playing H264 (my original x-box runs XBMC which happily plays that format) but the question is whether the commercial might of the patent/license holders will come down on the market place or whether they will think it is a futile battle.

        It would likely only be a matter of time that if they tried it, that it would be broken or the keys would come out, like what happened with the BluRay master key and also that incident with the RSA signing keys being broken a while ago.

        The problem for Microsoft is their failure to innovate, resulting in their stock being downrated to normal. That was a big blow. Also, with Apple having overtaken everyone but marred by the suicides at Foxcon and also the latest in using neuro toxin “n-hexen” to produce the Apple logo which is poisoning Chinese workers, – there is a chance that with Android now reported to be out selling Apple, and that developers disenfranchised by Apple are moving to Android, that Apples quick won fortune might just as easily slip from their fingers.

        Also odd to watch. Apple, who arguably survived their darkest period due to Adobe’s software in the photo processing and publishing markets … attacking Adobe because of their Flash product. Adobe lost 10% of their staff in late 2008 and another 9% late 2009. If Adobe can’t cling on, what will happen to Photoshop?

        With lack of innovation levelling the playing field, the revenue from patents and licences might become, in five years, the finger nail on the revenue cliff; so I think there is good reason to expect some degree of revenue claw back attempt in the world of licensing.

        …it would be easy to think of a re-run of the shift from GIF to PNG, but if Apple succeed in their attempt to create a patent pool to kill open source codecs, we might not have that choice a second time around. it would be a case of pay the licence or stop using video.

        Apple releasing a new product every year with one or two extra features that the competition already had, like a camera, then a forward facing camera, then wi-fi ability (well, not that order but you know what I mean) and the lack of some very basic abilities on the iPad; people who want it all in the here and now do seem to be going for other systems.

        Me? I’m waiting to find out if I’m on the developer list for the Adam tablet. That looks to be a serious piece of kit, especially as it will run Ubuntu.

        For now, I’m signing off and I’ll shut up. I’m aware that I’ve posted a considerable amount of thought on this subject now and who knows what the next five years will hold, but I really do think it will be one of the most interesting periods in terms of the social impact of technology that has ever happened; and it might not all be to our benefit.

        Oh, and my career advice … become a patent lawyer.

        • hexx

          regarding your comments about apple and patents and so on:

          apple holds only few patents in h264/avc, is minor player

          apple and flash – flash is fucked on anything else but windows

          just media are making fuzz about avc/h264 and linking mpeg-la decisions with apple. the register isn’t the best news site to gather knowledge from, they’re known for being apple haters

          • Hexx, The Reg is a caustic site, true, but I’ve only known it have to apologise once for getting its facts wrong.

            Check the links contained in the articles and you’ll get views other than The Reg…
            Workers poisoned –
            The Reg were quoting Job’s own “thoughts on flash”
            Job’s e-mail on assembling the patent pool to kill open source –

            The Reg hate Apple for good reason, and Apple hate The Reg, as they do anyone who doesn’t swallow their rosy way of looking at life. Ellen DeGeneres broadcast a parody about the iPhone 4 this year and Apple complained and forced her to apologise on air. – what kind of company does Apple think it is?

            If people hate Apple, then it is for good reason, in my humble opinion.

            Apple is one of the larger players, including Microsoft, in the H264 issue, that want to see open source dead and tie us in to paying them our money forever more.

            Flash is great on 32 bit Linux also. The 64 bit version has been an embarrassment to Adobe for some time but I have heard they are finally doing something with the beta which we have been living with for a few years. Flash is not the failure you pretend that it is.

            What do you mean, “Just media are making fuzz” ? I’m certainly making a fuss and I’m not media. And if the media weren’t making a fuss, then who WOULD be? You’re writing off the media here as if they are nobody!!!

            • Look, face facts here. That small print warning about the video not being used for commercial purposes is there for a reason.

              If they decide to play hard ball and we’ve broken that licence, then it is goodbye house, car, the lot.

              Look at the fines meted out to Jammie Thomas-Rasset for pirating 24 songs.

              If you think that big companies won’t go this far, just look at what BMW did when it bought the brand name “Mini” a few years ago. They went after every car business in the UK which had the word “mini” in their name and forced them to either drop the name mini, or stock BMW mini parts as well as Austin mini parts.

              If you do ignore that advice in the Nikon handbook, then you had better keep an eye over your shoulder.

            • hexx

              let’s not go to this debate about apple and others on nikon forums, you’re wrong, apple is a minor player in h264, here’s the list:


              apple also pays license fees 😉

              h264/avc has been with us for a long time and when you really look at it, it’s quite similar to mp3 widely used.

              Jobs’ thoughts on Flash are fair points to be honest at the time he wrote them and i fully agree (i work on both platforms win and mac). flash really kills battery and therefore they decided not to include it on iOS devices. flash has been always preinstalled on every mac up until introduction of new macbook air (none of the PCs sold comes with flash preinstalled), flash is source of security issues (you know how often there’s an update for flash) and latest Mac OS update shows it quite clearly:

              simply adobe doesn’t like that apple didn’t include flash on their iOS devices although adobe was asked several times to come with a version usable on these devices – didn’t happen.

              flash is not a standard, html, javascript, css are. adobe has been just lazy… every single recent cs package up to latest one (cs5) has been inferior to win version. adobe was one of last 3 big companies who wasn’t using cocoa which has been out for almost a decade and therefore their sw package wasn’t running well on macs. you need to check both sides to get clearer picture of what’s going on. don’t get me wrong, i’ve got nothing against adobe, i work with lightroom and photoshop daily but i know that flash on mac is simply pain and there are other moves adobe done and i’m not really happy about them (freehand for example)

              there’s no point to cry about it. apple is about user experience and flash was(is) simply ruining that experience and since it’s not a standard apple decided not to include it on portable devices.

              that small print is on every device which captures video in h264/avc. the reason why we don’t see implementation of WebM/VP8 is because there are legal issues with this codec and there have been already lines and lines written about it where simply certain bits of code are stolen from h264 and mpeg-la is preparing patent pool to check if WebM is in breach or not. it’s nice to make something open source but if it contains stolen patented code other companies would rather wait than face court later.

              Foxconn makes parts not only for apple, but for others too and and if you check other news you’d see that apple was pushing foxconn to tighten health and safety measures and also for pay increase of it’s workers.

            • Hexx,

              Are you kiding?

              First you say, “Let’s not get involved…” and then you continue the argument.

              Then, you say that Apple is paying licence fees but then produce the LICENSOR list.

              You say you work on both platforms, Win and Mac. Well, you miss Linux for a start. I could list a few more. I think you missed a few platforms there.

              Independent testing showed that where there is support present to let Flash use the hardware accelleration, the power claims hold no water.

              When you view a web page with loads of animated adverts … they will eat processor cycles and thus power … no matter over whether they are delivered by flash, animated GIF or whatever.

              Using reasonings such as this to attack Flash is a nonsense.

              Get over it, Hexx. I’m not crying, but you seem to have a few facts wrong.

              Plus, Apple have to put it on portable devices. When threatened with an antitrust court action, Apple had no choice but to allow Flash on iPads and iPhones.

              VP8 is already being implemented. The legal wranglings so far are merely posturing. This has not been tested in a court of law yet to my knowledge.

            • To come back to the Foxconn thing Hexx, you’re mising this bigger picture and what this whole thing is about.

              We’re paying money for the licensing of things that make up our products and the companies have open source alternatives, as I have detailed already. Money that isn’t necessary for us to pay.

              With the case of Apple, when Foxconn happened, they should have been investigating their suppliers. They have a responsibility. This n-hexane incident should have been clamped down by Apple long ago, but they didn’t. China is legend for its human rights and worker abuses. That’s why I’ve been trying to soruce things from anywhere other than China for a few years.

              There is event the question of … Apple products are very expensive; the profit margins are high which has led to a considerable rise in their finances. Why aren’t they supporting American jobs and taking a little less profit? They’re an American company.

              Nikon have a choice … to go open source, save licencing fees, make a bit more of a profit and hopefully pass a little of this to the consumer … ie. us. it might be a little more hassle in shipping drivers and possibly employing another programmer or two.

              We now try so hard to ethically shop, air miles, and all the rest of it for our food, and try to save fuel for our transport … but when it comes to our electronics and leisure gear that we seem to thow that ethics out the window.

            • hexx

              there’s no point 🙂 it looks that you think i’m an apple fanboy, the truth is the opposite

  • Oliver Christie

    I have a cunning plan…

    What if a whole lot of use made commercial films (long, short, good or bad wouldn’t matter) and each sold them for one dollar, pound or euro ?

    Force AVC (and Nikon) to clarify where they stand in practical terms.

  • eric

    Not long ago, they said h.264 was going to be free forever. They are just putting that disclaimer in so they can sue if they need to to keep people from hijacking their IP, or claiming they are neglecting it because they aren’t charging for it.

    And the article was wrong to say that journalistic uses would be under commercial use. Editorial work is protected as something other than commercial use. So the law would not support claiming it is commercial use.

  • David

    I just downloaded the Canon 7D manual from Canon’s website, and it has same disclaimer (see image)

  • zzddrr

    I think it’s about enough … NR Admin any news about a Pro or FX camera?

    • lolcatmaster FTW

      commit suicide that will bring the news about a new pro fx camera! A sacrifice to the gods!

  • Kingyo

    Black Friday is coming up..any deals on cameras anywhere/sites I should know about?? 😉

  • So I wonder what the codec license costs? I don’t like using stuff without paying a license fee.

  • lol this is crazy ,,does anyone even care of this ..hehe

  • Anonymous

    This is really boring. Who the hell cares … most of the people here anyway don’t care about copyrights and license fees. 🙂

  • Anonymous

    NR Admin, there was no need to remove my post. I did not even use harsh words. All I said that it is very boring reading this useless post for days! First, we cannot do anything about it. Second, Nikon does not care, and third we did not learn anything new.

    • If it is boring, don’t read it. I am not going to write something new just because you are bored. I am waiting on the patent database to be refreshed today and if there is something new, I will report on it.

      • Anonymous

        Yes, it is boring and I read all the bitching once. I am surprised that there is absolutely no news/rumor around Nikon.

        Besides NR Admin, don’t you find it boring? I mean why don’t we start checking all Nikon user manuals to find something in the fineprint then post it here.

        • ja

          i find it a tad dull at the moment but i myself am hoping too here of something great (pro-kit) from nikon before the year is out
          NR admin what do you think of a D3xs coming out or is nikon just waiting to bring out the D4 ??????

  • Am-Expat

    Why the fuss? Anyone who is doing commercial production knowns how licensing works and is not bothered. Those getting upset are not even affected by the licensing fee terms. The threshold for triggering fee payment is 100,000 commercially distributed copies per year. The fee is $25,000 up to 250,000 copies.
    This threshold is not going to be exceeded by anyone who is getting worked up about this because they would know better if they were selling product in that volume.

    The licensing scheme for the H.264 patent pool seems reasonable and no one liable seems to be screaming about it.
    If you are making your income from IP that is based on other’s IP, it seems reasonable to abide by the concept fully.
    Besides, what’s $100,000(the fee cap level of unlimited copies) for making your 50,000,000 copies of a $19 video manageable in size and viewable by all? You save a great deal on mechanicals at the least.

    • Am-Expat,

      Do you have the shipping/sales figures for Nikon cameras that have this? If Nikon camera shipments of cameras that use this is over the threshold then they have to pay the part of the licence that equates to shipping a device that reads and writes this format.

      That part of the licence cost is built in to the cameras we buy.

      … just like any of the other licences, like FAT 32, etc.

    • st r

      . The threshold for triggering fee payment is 100,000 commercially distributed copies per year.

      Is this a contractual rule, a law, or an established practice?

      I think that people are upset at the idea that what is clearly targeted at *real* professional work might be stretched to hit even amateurish-professional work.

      I personally am also upset at the idea that someone tells you, “don’t worry, I could punish you but I won’t because I am a good boy”. Microsoft software patents work this way. I would rather see a reasonable rule which is transparently and consistently enforced, than a crazy rule that gives some unreasonable right to someone, relying on the confidence that he/she/it will not abuse this right.

      Therefore in my opinion it makes a lot of difference whether that threshold is a rule or only common practice.

  • squirrel

    *REPOST FROM 11-12-10 9am IN ‘DxOMark tests the Nikon D7000’ *

    Excuse me for partly off topic, but I need someone to listen:

    Got my D7000 on 6th in a smaller shop near Stuttgart, Germany, thanks to a hint of another poster here. I really fell in love with it.

    I got at least three hot pix. The shop guy told me today that it’s ok to up to 12 hot pix, they send it in and mute those pixels on the sensor.

    I got a little sad after testing the video performance, as that’s what I bought it for. I’m into filming (Sony Z1) and cutting (AVID MC) for 2 years now, so guess I know little about the deal. Have you seen the Chase Jarvis movie about the grafitti artist coloring the bar tender’s van? My D7000 doesn’t even come close to the image quality the show off in that movie! WHAT!!! WHY? I got strong in-motion unsharpness, offset of the edges (dt. Kantenversatz) and bucking (maybe shaking, I don’t wanna write jerking). I breaks my heart!

    It can’t be due to my SDHC class 10 16GB, I guess?!

    Any hints?


  • Q

    Ok, there goes nikon in to the garbage can. All the result made from the camera must go to the owner. I hope they remove this kind of stuff from D400 or switch to a open video format. Is fucking essential the no one ever can clame anything what so ever to any thing made with the equiment that I have bought for real money.

  • Shark

    it will all be settled if no one ever think of patenting, licencing, copyrighting. easy way to a giant problem. hehehe, jus saying, dnt hate me.

  • AWB

    You guys are worrying me. My photos are all for personal use, but I use some special patented carbide blades on my table saw to make some money. Do you think the mfg may come after me for a portion of my profits?

    • The patent stops others from manufacturing the same carbon blade, or using their techniques of making one. If the carbon blade manufacturer stated that items made using their blade could only be used for personal use and you sold the items you made using it, then the door would be open.

  • killjoy

    Doesn’t really matter if it’s not for commercial use since about 1 in 3 (apparently) of the units has a couple hot pixels in video mode rendering them often useless for commercial purposes right from the get-go.

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