Author Topic: HDMI licensing  (Read 26362 times)

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Offline viperidae

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Re: HDMI licensing
« Reply #50 on: January 21, 2021, 03:56:54 am »
Except the only patent you could get on a connector shape is a design patent, which not all countries recognise and are generally  14 years in USA. The HDMI connector is 20 years old.

You can't copyright a connector, which is why companies like Apple require chips in lightning cables.
 

Offline Berni

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Re: HDMI licensing
« Reply #51 on: January 21, 2021, 06:29:01 am »
Usually its about the logo trademark. But for a while until the specs leak out they also rely on the fact that you need to buy the specification document from them in order to know how to implement it.

Much like you see cheep products label a memory card socket as being TF-Card or TransFlash or whatever. That is because you are allowed to call something TransFlash without anyone coming after you since its obsolete. But since TransFlash cards are what later became SD cards means they are compatible with each other. So they are not wrong when calling it a TransFlash card socket, its just that the modern SD cards conveniently happen to be compatible with it (Since they are basically the same thing).

USB is similar. If you want to put that USB logo on it then you need to be a USB certified device with a license and a vendor id number. They never say that you can't implement USB on your own, but without a license you are only allowed say your device is "USB compatible". Its more about protecting the USB brand so that when users see something with a USB logo they know it will work when plugged into a device with a USB logo (Well... USB-C kinda screwed that up big time, but that's a topic for another day).
 

Offline wraper

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Re: HDMI licensing
« Reply #52 on: January 21, 2021, 12:39:10 pm »
HDMI is less than 20 years old and they license based on patent pool https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patent_pool they have. And I bet they add some stupid new patents to keep the thing going.
 

Offline wraper

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Re: HDMI licensing
« Reply #53 on: January 21, 2021, 12:48:30 pm »
HDMI is less than 20 years old and they license based on patent pool https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patent_pool they have. And I bet they add some stupid new patents to keep the thing going.

Unless you do some crazy things like 4k 120fps, chances are you will be well served by an old DVI chip passively converted to HDMI.
DVI can do 1080p 60Hz max (single link) and you still need external adaptor with license paid. Based on use case, there might be a chance that patents relevant to your use case have expired. However once they sue you, you already lost, since litigation will cost you way more than paying the license even if you win in court. And most likely you'll go bankrupt way before that.
 

Offline Yansi

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Re: HDMI licensing
« Reply #54 on: January 21, 2021, 12:53:27 pm »
DVI can do a bit more than FullHD, it is up to 1920x1200 at 60Hz with reduced blanking, but thats just nitpicking   :P
 

Offline wraper

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Re: HDMI licensing
« Reply #55 on: January 21, 2021, 01:04:55 pm »
I'd like to see how can they sue me IN CHINA without losing way more than I do.
But they can obliterate sales of all of your products in US, including those which don't have HDMI. I infringed quite a lot myself BTW.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2021, 01:07:08 pm by wraper »
 

Offline poorchava

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Re: HDMI licensing
« Reply #56 on: January 21, 2021, 03:10:44 pm »
It's probably the same as USB and BT. In the end come companies just place a USB connector and write in blue color 'wireless connectivity'. Everyone knows what's up.

On the side note I have lately seen a wall wart that had a USB a socket and was 9V. Usb to dc-jack cable was included. This came with a cheap Chinese toy keyboard (instrument)
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Offline wraper

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Re: HDMI licensing
« Reply #57 on: January 21, 2021, 03:15:19 pm »
It's probably the same as USB and BT. In the end come companies just place a USB connector and write in blue color 'wireless connectivity'. Everyone knows what's up.

On the side note I have lately seen a wall wart that had a USB a socket and was 9V. Usb to dc-jack cable was included. This came with a cheap Chinese toy keyboard (instrument)
You can use USB as much as you want without paying any royalties as long as do not use their logo, but not HDMI.
 

Offline Jan Audio

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Re: HDMI licensing
« Reply #58 on: January 21, 2021, 04:54:13 pm »
Eh, i dont get it, if you want to use HDMI in your product you have to pay ?
I would not pay until i got sued, and sue them for being monopolists.
 

Offline wraper

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Re: HDMI licensing
« Reply #59 on: January 21, 2021, 05:05:45 pm »
Eh, i dont get it, if you want to use HDMI in your product you have to pay ?
I would not pay until i got sued, and sue them for being monopolists.
Logic of someone who will end up busted and ruined. If anything, you want to be low-key and legally unreachable if they notice you, like sitting in China as blueskull.
Quote
and sue them for being monopolists.
LOL, good luck with that.
 

Offline SiliconWizard

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Re: HDMI licensing
« Reply #60 on: January 21, 2021, 05:06:40 pm »
AFAIK, DisplayPort could be an alternative with no licensing issues, although obviously DP is still a lot less common than HDMI, so a product having only a DP output may not be easy to sell.

But you can find DP/HDMI cables, and they are not that expensive. Thoughts on this?
 

Online Zero999

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Re: HDMI licensing
« Reply #61 on: January 21, 2021, 05:15:23 pm »
Eh, i dont get it, if you want to use HDMI in your product you have to pay ?
I would not pay until i got sued, and sue them for being monopolists.
Logic of someone who will end up busted and ruined. If anything, you want to be low-key and legally unreachable if they notice you, like sitting in China as blueskull.
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and sue them for being monopolists.
LOL, good luck with that.
If you're small, they won't bother suing you, because it will cost them more then they would get from you. If you're set-up as a limited company, then your house should be safe. If you're big enough to afford the licence, then pay, as you're big enough to be worth suing.
 

Offline jonpaul

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Re: HDMI licensing
« Reply #62 on: January 21, 2021, 05:32:58 pm »
RE: Liscencing:

Increasing IP activity in Asia has resulted in the Chinese Govt starting to enforce IP and patents in China.

The HDMI   fee is like that of THX, Dolby, ASTC, etc, where compliance to a PHY and data protocol is included.

You  can  violate any law  US or Chinese, BUT the products sold can be  stopped by Customs if trademarks, copyrights, encryption or patents are violented.

 consider your ETHICS.

Jon
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Online magic

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Re: HDMI licensing
« Reply #63 on: January 21, 2021, 06:14:23 pm »
HDMI is less than 20 years old and they license based on patent pool https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patent_pool they have. And I bet they add some stupid new patents to keep the thing going.
If you want to use the HDMI connector for other signals (like DVI) I think it boils down to one simple question: is the HDMI connector patented or not?

It looks like about the only two things the OP needs is the connector and (perhaps, nice to have) the trademark.
 

Online magic

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Re: HDMI licensing
« Reply #64 on: January 22, 2021, 07:05:26 am »
You are lucky. Europeans are such sheep that when the government says, they just obey. Remaining resistance is trivially squashed by force. Maybe it's changing for the better in the West these days, but it's also changing for the worse here ::)

Quote
consider ethics
Well, I for one say there is nothing ethical about the entertainment industry, screw them :P
 
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Online ebastler

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Re: HDMI licensing
« Reply #65 on: January 22, 2021, 07:10:03 am »
We are getting dangerously close to politics here -- but I think there is something to be said for a government which is based on both, dependable legal rights and dependable legal obligations for its citizens.
 
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Offline viperidae

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Re: HDMI licensing
« Reply #66 on: January 22, 2021, 07:12:12 am »
Being an "HDMI adopter" mentions nothing about patents. It gives you rights to use the logos and trademarks.
If you're not violating and trademarks or copyrights, there is nothing to stop you using and HDMI compatible connector sending HDMI compatible signals.

It's exactly the same situation as USB, except being a USB member gets you a VID to use. You pay for access to the specifications and use of the logos.
 

Online magic

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Re: HDMI licensing
« Reply #67 on: January 22, 2021, 10:21:25 am »
We are getting dangerously close to politics here -- but I think there is something to be said for a government which is based on both, dependable legal rights and dependable legal obligations for its citizens.
You saved us from danger, we are back in the safe realm of speculation :phew: :clap: ;)
 

Offline voltsandjolts

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Re: HDMI licensing
« Reply #68 on: January 22, 2021, 10:36:28 am »
RE: Liscencing:
Increasing IP activity in Asia has resulted in the Chinese Govt starting to enforce IP and patents in China.
The HDMI   fee is like that of THX, Dolby, ASTC, etc, where compliance to a PHY and data protocol is included.
You  can  violate any law  US or Chinese, BUT the products sold can be  stopped by Customs if trademarks, copyrights, encryption or patents are violented.
consider your ETHICS.
Jon

Yes, but it is also worth considering ETHICS from the licensor point of view.
At what point do overly broad patents and design rights licensing transform from ethical business practice into protection racket and 'highway robber' toll gate.
It is all too common business practice, and the 'lower level' you can insert the toll gate the better (e.g. disk storage filesystem patents are particularly obnoxious).
« Last Edit: January 22, 2021, 10:39:03 am by voltsandjolts »
 
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Offline jonpaul

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Re: HDMI licensing
« Reply #69 on: January 22, 2021, 01:06:27 pm »
Hello all:

The HDMI and other video interfaces such as USB-C, are required to include certain DRM = Digital Rights management restrictions, normally in hardware or firmware.

Thus the HDMI may work fine for a video game, but show a violation notice in case you try to play a movie that is hackled or illegally copied.

I am unsure the exact implementation or requirements on HDMI manufacturers.

See for instance HDCP:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-bandwidth_Digital_Content_Protection

The general topic of IP and patent rights and standards implementation is a huge area and cannot be distilled in these forum notes.

The law varies in every country and region like EU.

With Best Regards,

Jon

Jean-Paul  the Internet Dinosaur
 

Offline NiHaoMike

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Re: HDMI licensing
« Reply #70 on: January 22, 2021, 01:11:25 pm »
The HDMI and other video interfaces such as USB-C, are required to include certain DRM = Digital Rights management restrictions, normally in hardware or firmware.

Thus the HDMI may work fine for a video game, but show a violation notice in case you try to play a movie that is hackled or illegally copied.
Ironically, pirated movies would often play just fine without HDCP, but legitimate movies would refuse to play.
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Offline Berni

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Re: HDMI licensing
« Reply #71 on: January 22, 2021, 01:39:43 pm »
The HDMI and other video interfaces such as USB-C, are required to include certain DRM = Digital Rights management restrictions, normally in hardware or firmware.

Thus the HDMI may work fine for a video game, but show a violation notice in case you try to play a movie that is hackled or illegally copied.
Ironically, pirated movies would often play just fine without HDCP, but legitimate movies would refuse to play.

Yep this is another case where pirating is actually more convenient than buying it because silly DRM mechanisms are already bypassed so they don't cause trouble.

HDCP is a good example of a pointless DRM measure. It only really stops you from playing back a movie on multiple TVs using a dumb HDMI splitter that simply repeats the signal. HDMI recording devices simply refuse to record HDCP steams in software. If that doesn't work then you can simply buy a cheep dongle that takes in a HDCP HDMI signal, pretends its a TV, decodes it, then transmits it back out as a regular HDMI signal that is trivial to record on any HDMI recording device, giving you a video file you can put up on torrent sites. Its not stopping anyone apart from the dumbest of pirates, yet causes headaches for consumers.
 
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Online magic

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Re: HDMI licensing
« Reply #72 on: January 22, 2021, 01:48:23 pm »
But it wasn't supposed to be like that. The HDCP stripping dongles aren't part of the spec :P It took some serious reverse engineering or leak, I don't remember, to make them possible.
 

Offline Berni

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Re: HDMI licensing
« Reply #73 on: January 22, 2021, 02:08:26 pm »
But it wasn't supposed to be like that. The HDCP stripping dongles aren't part of the spec :P It took some serious reverse engineering or leak, I don't remember, to make them possible.

Nor is patching executable files of software to be able to run without a valid license. They didn't have a boss at <Insert software company here> come into a meeting and say "Alright we also need this feature where if you open the exe file in a hex editor and put 0x74892AA at offset 27745 the software runs without a valid license in case the user locks him self out". Some smart pirate just figured out that it runs without a license if you do that.

Instead the boss comes in furious that there software was cracked and gets them to implement a more advanced DRM measure they bought from Company X where it does funky on the fly decryption of code using weird methods. Then it turns out this weird decryption method actually fails on 3% of PCs out there or makes the software perform like crap on 10% of users machines. Then a smart pirate comes along again, putting a lot more work into it to strip it out and make a cracked version that actually runs on 100% of machines at full performance.

The 2nd DRM example actually works however. It is used by game developers to slow down cracking efforts from hours into weeks or months or sometimes even years. Allowing them to market the game in the critical first days of launch without competing with pirated versions.
 

Offline usagi

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Re: HDMI licensing
« Reply #74 on: February 03, 2021, 07:38:09 am »
HDMI has never been a problem to implement and use freely as long as you don't use the official HDMI logo or say it's HDMI certified compliant.  I've purchase plenty of Analog devices HDMI ICs without a license.

What's going to nail your ass with a useless AV consumer product is HDCP.  Without, you cannot play any movies or interface with most AV receivers at all.  Getting my hands on an Analog Devices HDMI chip with HDCP keys installed and their data sheets is a whole different story.  Unless you have the big $$$ and need to also get your product certified, plus a shit load of red tape, you wont even come close to getting an HDCP license.

If you want to switch or buffer a HDCP HDMI source, without overlay, this is a different story as the HDCP is passed through un-decoded, the data is just buffered and re-clocked with the higher quality HDMI switching ICs.

this is no longer the case. the hdmi licensing org recently came down like a ton of bricks on analog devices. you cannot purchase any device capable of encoding an hdmi signal - even without hdcp - without an hdmi license.

digi-key, arrow, mouser, etc. now categorize analog devices hdmi parts as "hdmi and/or hdcp controlled" and require you to submit written proof that you have an HDMI license. i have had my analog devices non-hdcp component orders rejected from all three of them with exactly this reason.

here is the response from analog devices to me, verbatim:

Quote
As many customers are becoming aware, Analog Devices HDMI parts and eval platforms can no longer be procured unless the end company/ entity is an HDMI licensee or
adopter. You can learn more about HDMI licensing in the organization's website attached here; this is not an Analog Devices mandate but rather a restriction that has
been imposed on us.

Some customers recalled that in the past there was an opening (-P suffixed parts) for those that did not hold an HDCP license and were interested in some of these
audio & video products. However, due to stricter guidelines fairly recently mandated by the governing bodies, only HDMI license holders are now eligible to procure
our HDMI/DVI products. Thus if a part is classified as an HDMI receiver, transmitter, or transceiver the window is now closed even on those -P offerings that might
have been accessible previously. This applies to the ADV7842 and the ADV7511 as you will see at the top of the website product pages.

This caused no end of confusion in the field when it came out of the blue in 2016 because customers recalled the -P option which was generated for those specifically
without the HDCP license. However, whether one now holds the HDCP license or not, it is now a moot point if they do not hold the one for HDMI.

i spoke with the AD engineers directly on the phone about this. apparently this is still a rather sensitive subject for them. I dont know exactly what HDMI threatened them with but AD is still freaked out about it.

here's a thread on their support forums where they receive a similar response:

https://ez.analog.com/video/f/q-a/533640/alternative-to-adv7513---ultimate-goal-is-vga-to-displayport/383742#383742

in short, the HDMI organization has slammed the door in the face of hobbyists. unless you can cough up a $5k-$10k license, you cannot even purchase eval boards.

maybe displayport is a better option?
« Last Edit: February 03, 2021, 07:54:36 am by usagi »
 
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