Image Processing Reference
To begin with, during the production process, you must know whether you have the
rights to include some content in a program you are making. This applies equally to the
use of still images, pictures on the wall at the back of a studio set, and even the video
footage playing on a TV in the corner of a room behind the actors. Indeed, even the
music being played on that TV set must be rights cleared. Digital rights are complex
and become even more so when older material is being recycled. That might invoke
residual rights, repeat fees for actors, and royalties to the copyright holders and own-
ers of the material, so it becomes a nested problem with additional layers of rights that
have to be cleared.
Implications for Encoder Users
The emergence of the new codec implementations has thrown some licensing issues right
to the foreground of the business planning process.
There are implications for encoder users with respect to the intellectual property
rights and patents on technologies implemented in the encoder. The historical licensing
model is one where the purchaser of an encoder pays a certain percentage of the purchase
price to secure a right to encode. The encoder manufacturer then passes on that royalty to
Today, a new model is emerging where content owners or providers are expected to
pay on a per-user or per-copy basis as the material is delivered. Certain not-for-profit
organizations enjoy some exemption from this, but producers of CD or DVD products
could be met with a nasty surprise and a demand for royalties.
The second major part of the equation is at the consumption end. This controls whether an
end user is able to play back the content based on the rights that have been purchased or
granted. There are no completely satisfactory solutions although there are some propriety
technologies that give you some temporary peace of mind. This rights protection must
work flexibly and without stopping legitimate use while placing an enormous barrier in
front of people who would steal content wholesale.
Digitizing and compressing video allow new distribution models to emerge. Some of these
may allow video to be distributed to audiences that previously were too niche-oriented to
merit production runs of tapes or disks. The following are two particularly good examples
of commercialization or distribution of content to niche markets.