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!

This entry was posted in Nikon D7000. Bookmark the permalink. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.
  • mshi

    As far as I know, all Nikon DSLR video has such a legal claimer.

    • my D300s doesn’t have such a disclaimer in the manual

      • Worminator

        It’s related to the codec used, AVC/h.264. As far as I understand, you have to pay a license fee to use AVC for commercial purposes (i.e. making a movie, commercial, TV news footage), but the entities who manage the IP waive this for non-commercial use.

        They are playing it both ways: shaking down commercial use for money, while allowing “free” use by individuals in order to promote greater adoption of the format.

        The point is the AVC video in your camera is not “free” in the sense that you are free to do whatever you like with the video you take. It’s free as in the music on the CD you buy is free for you to listen to as often as you want, but not free for you to play in a public space, event, function, or to broadcast on a radio station, etc.

        AVC is not “open source” like JPG images are for example.

        • Len Payne

          Engadget and OSNews had a highly relevant argument about this exact same topic back in May.

          So Engadget went straight to the MPEG-LA and asked them, “Hey, are you gonna ask people for money or make them pick up licenses for commercial use?” and the MPEG-LA said, “Nah, it’s cool for now.”

          • jonnyapple

            Great link, Len. Thanks.

          • Sam

            GIF was “cool for now” until it wasn’t

            • st r

              Then GIF half died, and gave up. Now it’s free (and still more than half dead). So I think they will have to think twice before going the GIF way.

              There are a lot of video encoding format to chose from. Why should anyone select the most restricted, when quality is about the same for all?

            • RichiH

              1) The free part took 20 years.
              2) Realistically speaking, there is h.264 and VP8. Nothing else. And as of right now, only h.264 is implemented in the hardware of a bazillion cameras, cell phones, etc.

            • Roger Moore

              The GIF patent holders were never convinced to give up. The only reason it’s free now is because the patent expired.

              The sad part is that some people still use GIFs even though PNG is a technically superior format. GIF uses a 256 color palette with a single color chosen for complete transparency. PNG can support full 32 bit (8 bit/channel including alpha) color, but still gives better compression for a given image. The only advantage of GIF is animation.

          • Yes, great link Len. I just read the whole thing, and I agree with one of the last statements:

            “More seriously, it’s obvious the MPEG-LA and its licensees should be clearer with customers about what’s up with commercial licensing and who needs to pay for what. That hidden personal use fine print feels really sneaky, and pro users need to get some clarity on what’s required of them — you don’t mess around with people’s livelihoods in the fine print, you know? A clarification from the MPEG-LA and some bigger notices at the front of the manuals are needed in short order.”

            • Ben

              So why do pros buy Nikons? Perhaps Nikon can’t wrap its head around the idea that a pro would use a Nikon to make a movie? Make no mistake: they’ve made professional use of their cameras extremely hazardous, and I can’t really see why a law-abiding pro wouldn’t run away screaming.

              Incidentally, this kind of issue is widespread. Another common example is mp3, which is generally illegal. See, in particular:

              “In September 1998, the Fraunhofer Institute sent a letter to several developers of MP3 software stating that a license was required to “distribute and/or sell decoders and/or encoders”. The letter claimed that unlicensed products “infringe the patent rights of Fraunhofer and Thomson. To make, sell and/or distribute products using the [MPEG Layer-3] standard and thus our patents, you need to obtain a license under these patents from us.”

              There are ongoing battles in many countries to determine whether or not equations can be patented…

            • Len Payne

              Can’t reply to Ben’s, because the forum software won’t allow a reply that deep.

              So why do pros buy Nikons? Perhaps Nikon can’t wrap its head around the idea that a pro would use a Nikon to make a movie?

              It’s not a Nikon thing. It’s an industry thing. If you’d read the article I posted, you’d realize that “H.264 is the codec used in everything from YouTube to Flip cams to HD-DSLRs to Blu-ray, and it’s the standard Apple’s backing over Flash for video on the web”.

              Following the link back to the original OSNews article, the same is true of the Canon 7D, 5D MkII, and even the $5000 1D MkIV.

            • Johan Krüger-Haglert

              Len: Yeah, but Apple are retards.

              YouTube support WebM to, it should, Google owns both.

              Chrome supports it, Firefox 4 beta supports it, Opera supports it.

              IE and Safari doesn’t.


              Also I doubt HTML video come thanks to Apple .. Or replacement of Flash for anything else either. HTML video, java-script, SVG, Canvas and so on are all technologies which enables to do more of what Flash does without actually using Flash.

          • Jim

            Right, I saw the article back then and thought the brouhaha was a bit overblown. The relevant point that I took away from the article:

            “First off, we’ve directly asked MPEG-LA whether or not using an H.264 camera simply to shoot video for a commercial purpose requires a license, and the answer is no. ”

            Just because the camera uses the codec does not mean you cannot make comercial films without a license. You are free to transcode even with the artifacts and you are free and clear. MPEG-LA is only concerned about the codec when used for distribution. You cannot take the output from the camera directly and distribute is as a commercial work of art without obtaining a license from MPEG-LA. I consider this to be reasonable since you ask compensation for your work, they should receive compensation for their contribution to your distribution.

            • Ben

              True, but transcoding leads to quality loss, and takes time and energy. The hassle factor may be negligible for many pros, who are likely to spend hours editing their movies anyway, but I wouldn’t be so bold as to claim that forcing the user to transcode before any commercial use is never an inconvenience.

            • Johan Krüger-Haglert

              Regarding Bens reply, can it also record as motion JPEG or whatever the cameras not using AVC use?

              But I don’t think the transcoding issue is _that_ big since the AVC original is probably quite high quality even if compressed once already.

          • Johan Krüger-Haglert

            WebM partners & supporters:

        • NikkorPM

          Thanks for clarifying, Worminator.

        • Jesse

          JPEG is not free-as-in-speech or open source.

          Also, this article is moot: just transcode your video. Even Final Cut Pro has this disclaimer, it means nothing.

          • Roger Moore

            JPEG (technically JIF) certainly is available as a free-as-in-speech format. JPEG (the creators of the format) license all their patents on a royalty-free basis, and there are free software implementations of the relevant compression and decompression routines. A couple of patent trolls have tried to claim control over the format, but their patents have been invalidated on re-examination. Unless you’re going to complain that the documentation for the standard should be available free of charge, it’s hard to see how it could be more open.

          • Len Payne

            When I physically take the video with my camera, I am encoding it to my memory card using H.264, because that’s what Nikon, Canon, etc… have implemented in the hardware.

            No matter what I do with the video after that, it was already created using H.264. It could not have been created otherwise using that hardware.

            So, if I make money off that video at any time, I will have used H.264 commercially.

        • GlobalGuy

          Can anybody clarify: If you record using AVC — can you convert it to another format prior to using it professionally?

          Also: How much does AVC ask for the rights to commercial use? And why is this such a big deal? Is Nikon negotiating or just being willingly ignorant?

          • As longs as the AVC codec doesn’t use a (visible) watermark (like the early DivX codecs) there’s no way to determine the the original codec after a proper transcode. So you should be safe on that part.
            As a reminder; don’t include a reference in or near the (highly profitable / commercial) movie that it was shot with a D7000, and that you’re making tons of money with it 🙂

            • RichiH


              Artifacts can still be detected after a re-encoding as the “raw” decoded material contains said artifacts.

              The only way to ensure non-detection is to degrade video quality _significantly_.

        • G4

          Why they are making this complicated? Glad im not into video on DSLR

          • iamlucky13

            The sad part is, this is really, really simple compared to other cases related to digital media formats and licensing.

            The whole field is a zoo, which is why even today you will still frequently get files that neither Windows Media Player nor Quicktime can play without downloading a codec pack.

            And that’s just for the viewers.

          • Johan Krüger-Haglert

            Because MPEG is huge.

        • Richard Davis

          Saw the comparison of format to professional music and the metaphor is not a very good one. Not having a professional license to use the video you shoot is not like purchasing professional songs from someone else and not being able to copy and sell them. In the case of your video you are the artist – you are not buying the content.

          Would a more apt metaphor being a painter who buys a paintbrush being told they can’t sell the commercial work made with that brush? That the painter would have to buy a commercial license from the paintbrush maker?

          It may be more like buying an analogue tape recorder and being told you can only produce non-commercial work with it. If you produce a potential hit tune and want to sell it you have to buy a professional license from the tape recorder maker. Or, if you use a guitar and produce potential hits, you have to pay the guitar maker. And then the drum maker and the keyboard maker etc.


          • Steven K

            Well said…. much better metaphor.

        • Johan Krüger-Haglert

          I think it’s slightly changed now since browsers considered the Theora format and ended up with WebM.

      • BB

        This is why everyone needs to switch to Google’s codec.

        • Jose

          I believe the industry is avoiding VP8 for fear of legal backfire. If H.264 is challenged in court, MPEG-LA is accountable for any settlement since it already collected royalties.
          Since VP8 is free, any “patent holder” could go against the manufacturer of devices, just like Microsoft and Apple are doing against Moto, HTC and Samsung for their devices powered by the “free” Android OS.

  • CK

    Does it matter? Most people use it for personal use anyway.

    People that use DSLR videos commercially use canons….

    • HDZ

      May be this because Canon?

    • Ronan

      Sorry CK but no….

    • Sam

      sorry to burst your bubble, canon also does NOT have any agreement with mpegla
      so go back and enjoy the 60D you waited 2yrs for.

    • stoppostingplease

      Dear ignorant and confused,

      the canon 5D and 7D have the same disclaimer


    • R!

      …YEAH AND USE NIKON LENSES AND ZEISS BECAUSE CANON’S LENSES SUCKS ;I CAN SAY IT CAUSE THAT’S WHAT I ‘M DOIN’ and go back to nikon for serious photography good bye beginner go to school or get a life ,lol…

    • SZRimaging

      That would be because Nikon hasn’t had a serious competitor until just now…

    • enesunkie

      Oh, tough crowd CK! Best not to mention that C@^^8 word in this forum even in jest! 🙂

  • Aaron Anderson

    I believe your assumptions about licensing are correct. AVC isn’t free.

    That’s why there’s h.264 and the more opensource/free version… x.264…

    • Jesse

      No no no no no. h.264 is not open source, and x264 is only an open-source encoder. The video it produces is still covered by patents.

    • SZRimaging

      Isn’t h.264 owned by Apple?

      • Miguel

        Not really or directly. The patent portfolio pertaining h.264 belongs to the MPEG-LA consortium, of which Apple and Microsoft are part.

        Finally, I’d like to add that the license only applies to countries where software patents are legal (i.e. the US). Nevertheless, this is a good reason why Nikon should have stuck to the crappy M-JPEG.

        • Humanonymous

          Not necessarily, the license also applies to copyrights and software is protected by copyrights in any country. The copyright protects the code, the patents protects the method/process so you couldn’t create your own code that does the same method/process of encoding. But in this case they use existing code thus protected by copyright anyways.

          • Miguel

            No, it doesn’t. See for example x.264. It is written from scratch, so it doesn’t violate any copyright, albeit it still infringes on the MPEG-LA patents.

  • Greg

    All you need to do is transcode the video file to a different format and it will be perfectly legal to use for commercial purposes.

    • Richard Hartmann

      Wrong. Read the licence above, especially the end.

      • ZoetMB

        It doesn’t matter what it says. Once you transcode, there’s no way to tell how the video was originally recorded. I’m not a lawyer, but IMO this is totally unenforceable. Even if it’s legally enforceable, it’s unenforceable from a practical standpoint.

        Besides, this, in essence, is a “shrink wrap” license agreement. The Supreme Court ruled years ago that shrink wrap license agreements are not valid. And this one is even less valid because the notice was not contained on the outside of the box.

        This would be like Nikon stating that you can’t sell your photographs if they were originally recorded in NEF format without a license from Nikon.

        A common use for photography is for professional photography (and now video). If you can’t use the equipment professionally without paying an extra license, it violates the implied warranty rules of many states. And I guarantee you that the EU will not accept this crap either.

        • Scott

          Umm…. @ZoetMB, what Supreme Court can you cite me that says shrink wrap licenses are not valid? That would be real news to a lot of people. Now I agree that it not being on the outside of the box is a big difference than being on the outside.

          I have never in 2+ years of law school and knowing a LOT of IP students heard of a Supreme Court case that has said shrink wrap licenses are not valid.

          • A Nguyen

            Shrink wrap licenses are very valid, how else do you think computer software and games can be sold? They’re all shrink wrapped licenses, i.e. don’t appear on the box and don’t appear until you run the program.

          • Kyle

            As another law student, currently sitting in a contracts class, shrink wrap licenses are also legitimate because every consumer expects them to be in the product and can be found and read reasonably. If you choose not to read them, tough luck.

            Check out Hill v. Gateway 2000 for the opinion.

          • Anonymous

            Wow, two law students who clearly haven’t been studying hard enough. Either that or a failed attempt of “I’m an expert because I claim to be so”.

      • Greg

        Who cares Richard. Once it’s transcoded there’s no way to tell.

        • RichiH

          To quote myself:


          Artifacts can still be detected after a re-encoding as the “raw” decoded material contains said artifacts.

          The only way to ensure non-detection is to degrade video quality _significantly_.

          • Greg

            Yeah right. Good luck with that.

            • VJ

              RichiH is right…
              Most commercial music is tagged (inaudibly), and transcoding (does not remove this). I don’t remember the software, but there exists one that tags mp3 based on this (and I almost sure Shazam also uses it – but could be wrong here). This is also possible for images and video.

      • st r

        Read the licence above, especially the end.

        The licence above gives you the right to decode the video, say, to a motion jpeg sequence.

        Then you re-encode it to any other format (of which you hold usage rights) and you’re done. This latter part is not covered by that license, not even in the end, because, once decoded, you have your content (of which you are the owner and copyright holder) in a format other than AVC.

        • RichiH

          > The licence above gives you the right to decode the video, say, to a motion jpeg sequence.

          Yes. A personal and non-commercial licence to decode a video that was created for personal and non-commercial use.

          There is no loophole.

          • st r

            There is no loophole

            I agree; no loophole, and no need for it. Because they can claim rights only on the format, not on the content. So if you make non-personal use of your content without their format (i.e., after transcoding), then it must be fine.

  • Richard Hartmann

    The cartel which supposedly limited itself to essential patents in the h.264 pool to get past the anti-trust requirements and has been extending to ever more trivial patents to allow more companies to join forces this or similar passages to be included in _all_ legal texts relating to products using it.

    Unless you pay protection money^w^w licence fees, they can sue you into oblivion. I seem to remember that they don’t go after you unless you make more five to six figures, though.
    Youtube has had a ten minute limit per video for similar reasons. Thankfully, WebM/VP8 started to break a bit of this situation up, but it’s still a long and stony path.

    In case anyone is interested in the background:
    * google for Nero’s lawsuit against the h.264 licensing cartel for patent creep
    * read
    * read the rationales of the Ogg Theora and the WebM/VP8 people

    And no, no matter what the x.264 dev claims, by simply ignoring patent issues he is _not_ creating a truly Free alternative.

    /me removes FLOSS hat and puts on photo hat once again.

  • CE

    There was a big heated discussion about a related topic on cinema5d a couple of months ago, but concerning H.264.

  • Nigel Thompson

    There are a lot of video products that have disclaimers like this. For Quite a number of years actually. But will nikon send the nikon police to stop you from using your camera to do real work ? i doubt it. as part of their agreement they have to put this in their manuals so they do but whose gonna stop you from using the camera to do something great ?…….

    isn’t the codec in canon’s the same by the way ? correct me if im wrong

  • Funduro

    Did Nikon “purchase” the right for the D7000 video to be non-commercial, so the license fee per product would be less? In other words the commercial license would have cost Nikon more money, when in reality a majority of the users would be consumers. Simply put save $ and CYA.

    • Teeth

      heard of google? use it

  • sounds like total bull***! then nikon could be sewed for false advertising.

    • st r

      Do you mean they should sew their mouth shut?

      • Ken Elliott

        I would get a lawyer and sue them if they made me sew.

        • enesunkie

          I know a Sue, but she can’t sew either.

  • Yes.. the canon 5D and 7d also have this disclaimer. It is because MpegLA owns the codec, and grant it for non-commercial use only.

    if you want to take video and sell it or use it for commercial use, you need to pay Mpegla. The nikon police wont come after you, but the Mpeg will.

    • Nigel Thompson

      Ok Lets not use the codec then Lets transcode to prores (which i will be doing anyway) so i dont actually use their codec to do the project LOL

      Yes it sounds silly but what will they have to say to that

  • It’s a distribution licensing issue. Not an end user licensing issue. Check out Niley Patel’s (in IP lawyer) article on Engadget that dealt with this issue:

    “as an end user, you’ll never have to think about your legal liability over H.264, because there’s no need for you to be licensed unless you’re distributing commercial content to other end users or building an H.264 encoder.”

    BTW, the language is in the 5D Mark II manual as well with regard to MPEG-4 codec.

    • Also, under the terms of the AVC license, there is no license fee for web distribution as long as you aren’t charging the end user viewing the content.

    • RichiH

      > It’s a distribution licensing issue. Not an end user licensing issue.

      As soon as you are not using it personally and non-commercially, you have a problem.

      Make a video for the local school? Not personal any more.
      Have ads on your website? Not non-commercial any more.

      Will they sue everyone? No. Could they? Yes. This _is_ a problem. Albeit one that people keep ignoring.

  • Ryan

    You put D700 in the article instead of D7000*
    I highly doubt any legal action would be taken against film makers. It might just be a way for nikon get the okay before the D7000 is used in any big budget productions.

  • Len Payne

    This was actually a fairly big deal several back in May. OS News broke the story and it was picked up by Engadget, which led to a lot of back and forth, coming to a consensus that:

    We’ve directly asked MPEG-LA whether or not using an H.264 camera simply to shoot video for a commercial purpose requires a license, and the answer is no. We’ve also asked whether an end user watching H.264 videos would ever have to pay or be licensed, and the answer to that question is also no. Yes, the license terms are worded poorly, but those are the answers straight from the patent horse’s mouth.

    So before this whole thing becomes a panic again, it would probably be best to link back to all that.

    • Sorry Len, but there is a possibility that it could become a very big deal.

      As was mentioned before there was a very nasty experience with GIMP when the new owners decided to change the licensing. Fortunately PNG saved the say. It is possible that they can change their minds at a later point in time.

      OGG was free but manufacturers chose to give us MP3, now there isn’t very much portable that will play OGG. (which format is better is another argument) and there are people sitting and watching to see whether MP3 does follow the history of GIF; and that will be a good sign of what happens to H.264.

      The Reg sums it up here –

      The way I look at it is simple … they have to pay a licence to include this format in their cameras. WHY? They have to pay a licence to use FAT 32 (and its new large density replacement) WHY? They could just as easily save themselves a good few hundred of thousand dollars and include (on the CD that they ship anyway) a free converter or driver for whatever format they do ship.

      eg. why not use EXT4; there are free Windows drivers for that format around already.

      If the manufacturers actually got off their rear ends and thought of the customers side of the argument, then we could be paying less for our gear because it wouldn’t be loaded with IP royalties. Even if they did have to pay a programmer, it would still be a heck of a saving.

      • willem

        Open Source saves hassle & money. With regard to fat32 and ext4, ext4 is actually able to outperform fat32 in reads, writes and formats. No reason not to use it then, i’d gather? Licensed software == more hassle. Nikon could profile itself by promoting open source, in the way that Google has. Canon doesn’t even distribute its camera connection software for Windows online without a licensed cd (be careful not to lose it!). And it’s not just a matter of saving money, company driven open source software allows for faster development and a lot of goodwill. It’s a proven concept and could be a brilliant usp for the company that adopts it first.

        • Miguel

          I wouldn’t use a journaled filesystem in an SD card… but that’s just me.

  • Picollus

    Why not cite Ken Rockwell on this one… He is the first to report this on his review !

    Be honest !

    • GlobalGuy

      Agreed, I also saw that. usually cites his sources. This time, I believe I read Ken on this first. But Nikonrumors admin is usually very good about this. Unlike byThom who nearly verbatim takes content rarely citing a single source even for very non-sensitive issues, despite Thom having no credit whatsoever for it. I guess he failed English in highschool.

      The above comments are just funny considering this is an IP thread.

      • GlobalGuy

        (By the way, its possible Admin just read it out of his own manual.)

      • Please show me an example of “nearly verbatim content” that was not attributed.

    • R!

      Ken Rockwell knows a lot of things that rookies posting on the internet don’t know , but still talk about it without knowledge,you can not give advice because you own a pro body and two zoom,please…

    • Manuel

      Thank you.

      Dear Michelle,

      nobody has explained it better than you, imho. This is exactly the point.

      Best regards from Berlin, Germany,

  • Hendog

    This is utter rubbish. It’s like Kodak or Fujifilm sueing you for using their film stock in a film without a “license”. I would have thought Nikon would pay the MPEG company a fee for utilising their codec in their cameras, but not this.

    Individuals passively using the codec without a choice and inevitably converting it later anyway should NOT have to pay out to these greedy bullies. They should be able to get enough commission through licensing to software manufacturers and equipment manufacturers. Passing the cost on to the consumer as well is just going too far. Nikon is very foolish for considering something like this for its customers. Not happy.

  • Joseph

    Would you rather Nikon use some BS movie recording algorithm, like, I don’t know…Quicktime format? Screw that.

    • st r

      Quicktime and AVS are (or may be) the same.

  • How would they find out in the first place?… <.<
    And what are the consequences if they do find out?

    • Rob

      This actually sucks. If you end accidentally making a blockbuster and admit you filmed it using their product you will get a bill. If not now than maybe in the future. Yes as has been said above you can re-encode, obfuscate and lie. Which would work if your small time but not for the big producers who have to keep some sort of account. This actually sucks. Thanks for the warning. Knowledge is power.

      • GlobalGuy

        Good luck Rob Spielberg.

        • stoppostingplease


        • Rob

          I’ll need more than luck to pull off a blockbuster. Lol.

          • …Especially to make a blockbuster by accident…

  • Bullocks!!! If I make a video w/the D7000 & choose to sell or distribute my creation, it’s entirely my business. One has the reasonable right to be free of any limitations or claims on authorship from manufacturers, of devices used in the creation of any form of expression.

    • GlobalGuy

      Only if its a politics or satire video, perhaps.

    • st r

      Just transcode it; then you are free.

  • Pdf Ninja

    Every video camera, including the professional ones, has the non-commercial use only clause:

    This doesn’t mean you cannot use it for commercial purposes, you just might have to pay royalties in that case.

    • GlobalGuy

      How much ARE the royalties though?

      Why isn’t this determined in advance plain as day so someone can make a judgement???

  • SDiggity

    I am hereby turning Chase Jarvis in to the AVC/H.264 Police, since I know he made a bundle making the D7000 intro video.

    “Nikon didn’t review this post and they didn’t tell me what to shoot. They didn’t pay me for a technical analysis. They did pay for me to go out and make pictures and make a short film – and I had a blast doing it.” ~CJ


    • Denko

      LOL An epic and classic Homer Simpson DOH moment!

    • Miguel

      Chase Jarvis is actually the person I’d contact regarding this. However, it is very likely he already had an h.264 license for commercial use before.

      • SDiggity

        I would wager he doesn’t.

  • GlobalGuy

    “To make matters worse every MPEG video stream needs to be coupled with MPEG audio technology, which introduces additional costs.”

    How about the MPEG-LA AUDIO codecs that go along with the video..?

  • Phil

    If a movie” is made commercially, all production processes are itemized. This is how the MPEG-LA would find out whether their codec was used or not. It doesn’t matter if you re-encode down the line, the raw data was encoded with h264.

    If your accidental movie project blows up big time and you make big bucks on it, these worms will go out of their way to see if their codec was used. Considering their codec is used in most gear, they’ll probably send you a bill without even checking if you used their codec or not, because you probably did. So you’d have to prove that you didn’t.

    Any way you look at it, you lose.

    • If they falsely send you a bill, I’m fairly certain you can sue them right back for some sort of false monetary statement. They’ll need to prove it, “probably” isn’t good enough.

      How do you know that the raw data was encoded with H264 though? Once you have the final output, there’s no way to check, making sure you have erased all raw footage of course.

      I’m still curious to know how much the “royalties” would be.

    • Andrew

      “If your accidental movie project blows up big time and you make big bucks on it” …… Then surely you would be happy to pay 10% out? Having accidently made a cool £1,000,000? Keep dreaming!

  • Ant

    I don’t believe there to be a problem at the moment. MPEG LA aren’t out to screw every jobbing film-maker, they’re main concern is protecting the intellectual property in the codec itself. The danger comes, should the MPEG patents be acquired by somebody less philanthropic *cough Apple* *cough Microsoft*.

    • lightsaver

      Microsoft is part of MPEG-LA and owns something like 75 of the patents therein.

      • Ant

        Didn’t know that, thanks. Well I guess everyone can count themselves potentially screwed!

  • R!

    It ‘s a license for Pro only, like THX or DOLBY SOUND etc…,It will only affect big productions for TV and Moovie theatre, that means the production pays not you ,if you pay you got screwed !!

  • R!

    Take care ,go shoot & have fun!!

  • whatdoesitwant

    Open Source saves hassle & money. With regard to fat32 and ext4, ext4 is actually able to outperform fat32 in reads, writes and formats. No reason not to use it then, i’d gather? Licensed software == more hassle. Nikon could profile itself by promoting open source, in the way that Google has. Canon doesn’t even distribute its camera connection software (Windows) online without a licensed cd (be careful not to lose it!). And it’s not just a matter of saving money, company driven open source software brings opportunities for faster development. It’s a proven concept and could be a brilliant usp for the company that adopts it first.

  • blueget

    The part about transcoding is just ridiculous. Nikon should offer WebP as encoding format.

    • blueget

      it’s WebM of course…

  • IB

    As far as I know commercial work includes exactly that – commercials. Non-commercial work would be documentary, editorial, short and feature films – artistic work. That doesn’t mean you can’t earn money from it.

    It is the same rule that applies when photographing in the streets. Editorial, documentary or art photography of people in public places is perfectly fine, and you can sell the pictures no problem. If the pictures are used in adds you have to have a signed model release and probably pay. Well, I guess it’s not completely the same thing, but it should explain “non-commercial”.

    • Suprchunk


  • ja

    does anyone have any info on whether nikon will be releasing an update version of the D3x in the form of the D3xs ???? as im from the uk and as some of you will know VAT is going up next year so im looking at getting some serious kit before it head just out of reach

    • lolcatmaster FTW

      Buy the damned D3X and stop worrying about what´s coming in the future, why the hell will you wait? for more megageeksels? movie mode? the D3x as it is is in a class of its own, even if a D3Xs appeared it would have bigger price tag with the VAT imposed today than a D3X…

      Don´t be dumb if you need it buy it now.

  • chrisb

    I didnt read all the comments, but in case it hasn’t been cleared up yet:

    (paraphrased from a video forum)
    This is NOT a Nikon only thing! Every camera that shoots video (Including Canon) have usage restrictions on their respective codecs.

    You are allowed to use the AVCHD codec for commercial purposes of which the end product is below 12 minutes of final footage. If it is over you have to pay a couple of cents per segment of 12 or so minutes.
    Some countries are exempt from this due to their national laws.
    That is the rough outline of it, there’s some special arrangements for feature movies etc.

  • This is a little off topic but my local Nikon dealer has yet to see a D7000. He’s been in the business >30 years. Why does Nikon treat its dealers in such a way?
    So I should buy the battery pack from Amazon and before I purchase the D7000 locally?

  • Andy

    Just a couple of points. To that person that said film companies don’t make you pay royalties for using their stock. Well you have to buy it before you use it, whether it’s for comercial use or not. This is just a different model. What’s wrong with a company charging for a good product? Time and effort is put into making a very good codec, at some point that effort needs to be repaid. IF you’re making your blockbuster hit it won’t just be AVC you’ll need to license, you’ll have to pay tax, license music and countless other costs. I guess the Nikon manual isn’t big enough for all that though. A clearer pricing model would be a better situation though rather than an if it happens we’ll discuss it approach.

    Oh and the guy posting about how everyone should use open source. Well that’s not without it’s problems. It still has patent issues, someone has to develop it and back it, market it, work with manufacturers to get it into products.

    • Miguel

      The problem is not the MPEG-LA wanting you to pay for their hard work. The problem is they’ve patented the math behind it, so that you cannot create anything close (even from scratch) without having to pay them.

      Imagine how things would be if someone patented “an efficient and fast method to perform Fourier transforms” (FFT) or “efficient iterative diagonalization of matrices”. That is actually legal in the US and other countries that support software patents.

  • Neal

    Well, I ordered my D7000 on Sept 16th, and I just got a Arrival date for November 11. Looks like I’ll be making my first personal movie tomorow.

    • Terri

      Who did you order through??

  • hah

    canon has the same restriction. technically speaking the mpegla can go sue all those people making commercial videos. but hey won’t because the fee is too low to be worth it and they want h264 to remain a widely used standard.

    this sort of thing is more for movie studios to release dvds and big business to pay up when they want to use h264 technology.

  • Greg Ferris

    So if the D7000 outputed a clean 1080P HDMI signal so we could record to a KI Pro mini, a Atomos Ninja or directly into a laptop none of this would be a problem? Or would we have to pay Apple for the Prores codec (in the case of the first two)?

  • I just wish I could buy a d7000 somewhere so then I can start worrying about all the details … 🙂

  • Ren Kockwell

    Man, is this Nikon Rumors or did I stumble onto

  • nick94

    I would worry about this… but my d7000 still hasn’t shipped.

  • Ken Elliott

    Here’s the basic business model:
    1 – invent and patent
    2 – offer license to OEMs, and make it much cheaper than it would cost to develop it themselves. Goal – make it a “standard” and common to all systems.
    3 – wait for the use to grow to the point of critical mass
    4 – Have the “team” start with the most profitable movies (etc.) and demand royalties.
    5 – Use funds from the large wins to add more people to the team, and work your way down the food chain.
    6 – Buy the company that develops the replacement technology, and go back to step 2.

    This works because everyone want’s to standardize on a single format. Everything “just works” with a format like JPEG, while formats like NEF remain limited to specialized software. Even Microsoft has been unsuccessful in replacing JPEG.

    And don’t forget to build your code so you get “tracers” in the content. You want to be able to supply the team a simple program that can tell if content used your product in the production process. Like that little pattern of gray dots that appear on every 128th frame. Every judge and jury will grasp that.

  • The invisible man

    Does that also apply to invisible porn videos ?
    (I don’t want to be out of job)

  • God bless the piracy!

  • Bob Cozzi

    Stupid lawyers buying up “rights” to things to file lawsuits later; is this “selective enforcement”? They won’t sue anyone until its a commercial success?

    Just load the AVC video onto your PC or Mac and re-encoder it in something that isn’t AVC. Then use it for commercial use.

    Are all those Wedding Photographers going to cough up royalty money if they shoot some wedding video on a D7000?

    I sure wish this Country would start making something tangible instead of lawsuits, lottery and bailouts. Sign.

  • jk

    As far as I am concerned if a product you own creates something then you should be able to use it however you want. Just because this is more technologically advanced doesn’t mean that these third party companies should have such a sense of entitlement?

  • Rich Gibson

    So what about Chase Jarvis and his clearly commercial video done with a D7000 – did he have to pay a license fee?

  • n a

    price of going full HD????

  • I am not a lawyer, nor am I a techie, actually this is all making my head explode. But, I offer the following:

    ]Has anyone heard from Nikon, regarding what this actually covers, as there seems to be some confusion on their wording (or lack there of..). I also offer a way to maybe make Nikon listen if they will not address the issue.

    If everyone who has or will purchase the camera, returns it, this would make a very strong statement. I’m not saying to not use the camera, I’m saying, buy one, the next day return it based on the fact you do not agree with the terms of use. If everyone buys and returns it to the same store, say Black’s (in Canada) and B&H is the US, then they will be on the hook will have to return to Nikon, who will in turn have to re-sell as opened or refurbished.

    • enesunkie

      Yes, everybody in NY immediately return their unopened D7000’s to their closest camera store , please ! 🙂

  • Michael

    what a pity!

    i was going to make a “movie” with my wife…and sell it…

  • Sven

    I’m just some random amateur who just got my D7K, but for someone who doesn’t know jack about this its not only interesting reading but the idea that a movie I make can be restricted simply because of the codec seems to defy logic. As the creator of a digital image or movie, don’t I own the copyright to do with it what I please? Why aren’t still images restricted then? Like ZoetMB and others have alluded to, whats next? Is Nikon going to restrict images made on NEF format? Will Fuji require a license to sell images made on Velvia? Will paper companies require a license to sell images made on their photo paper? Give me a break. Sorry, but the only winners here are the attorneys who get paid to sort out this mess.

  • Thank God , I am not into SLR Video 🙂

    • Be careful… Video cameras can be sold with that same “royalty” license…

      Read the fine prints..

      But IF they were to go hunting, they could also be hunted due monopoly…

  • baked bananas

    As you all know by now ken rockwell was first on this info. Also his d7000 review is quite right on point. All of you on this board need to get on your knees and bow down in servitude to the great Ken Rockwell. If you want to shoot great video chose canon. If you want to take great pics, especially in low light choose nikon. I choose nikon.

  • Back to top