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RE: About MP4 - licensing and formats
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RE: About MP4 - licensing and formats

We do cross-platform custom software development and architecture for other companies, usually in multimedia, and are just now being asked about MP4. So we (meaning our company) is not the publisher, but the companies that hire us are the publisher(s).

Their final product may use QT6 to create MP4. The resulting MP4 will be used in limited distribution (i.e.: only a couple copies for home or business use).

Now, if QT Pro is required to make MP4 (isn't it?) then the user would need to have QT Pro on their machine, in which case they would have paid for QT Pro.

If QT Pro is NOT required, and regular (free) QT 6 can make MP4, then the user could make an MP4 even without our client's software, so I'm not sure where there would be a distinction.

The software we build for the client would require QT on the user's machine, and the proper codecs. We would not be, say, shipping the MP4 codec to bypass the licensing of Pro. But if the user normally could make MP4, then they would also be able to do so through our client's software.

Is this not kosher, or are you saying they'd still have to pay?

Or do you just mean, if I decided to write something to write MP4 directly (forgetting QuickTime, getting out the old spec book and building a file byte-by-byte)? In that case, yes, I would expect to run into licensing issues. But I don't plan on doing it that way.


- Tab

At 04:43 AM 2/26/03, Bryn Reeves wrote:
Depends what you mean. If you mean 'software publisher' as in someone
*selling* software to encode, decode or transmit mpeg4 then they'll need
licensing. As Ben said this is waived if they are below a threshold
number of units/year.

If what you mean is a content creator using soft/hardware legitimately
purchased from someone else to create content then you only have to pay
& be licensed if users are charged for access to that content - either
as packaged media or via streaming services. The full details are on the
MPEG licensing associations website (
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