Implementing the HEVC standard in software
Challenges and Recommendations for organisations planning development and deployment of software
Keywords:HEVC, ITU-T H.265, ISO/IEC 23008-2, Open source software, Standard essential patents, Licence conditions, (F)RAND
Implementation and use of an IT standard in software involves legal, technical and societal challenges. This paper addresses how an organisation can, and should, determine the conditions for implementation and use of the HEVC standard in software. The investigation considers the availability of the standard’s complete technical specification and the extent to which an organisation can access the information necessary to assess the licence conditions for standard essential patents impinging on the standard. Through an action case study approach the investigation analyses declarations in patent databases relevant to the standard and seeks to obtain patent licences from each declarant permitting implementation of the standard in software, where that software is to be provided under one (or several) of three specific open source software licences, and alternatively to be provided as an online service. Our analysis of legal and licensing conditions for use of the standard shows significant obstacles. We find that it is impossible to obtain licences from patent holders that would allow for implementation and use of the standard in open source software. The paper illuminates significant challenges related to conditions for use of the standard under (F)RAND terms and identifies that references to the standard in public procurement projects lead to anti-competitive effects.
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