Dolby Laboratories has expanded its MPEG-2 AAC licensing program to incorporate MPEG-4 AAC licensing. The program will address streaming, wireless, and multimedia applications.
Acting as the licensing administrator for patents held by AT&T, Dolby, and Fraunhofer, and Sony, Dolby has added Nokia to the group of co-licensors. Dolby is offering MPEG-4 AAC licenses worldwide under what it says are fair, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory terms. Furthermore, a convenient migration path for existing MPEG-2 AAC licensees will be made available.
Under the new license terms, licensees will pay the following royalty rates for MPEG-4 AAC products:
· For a consumer (non-commercial) decoder product: $0.50 to $0.12 (volume-based) per channel
· Royalty rates for PC-based software decoder products are $0.25 per channel, up to a maximum annual payment of $25,000 per legal entity
· For a consumer (non-commercial) encoder product: $0.50 to $0.12 (volume-based) per channel
· Royalty rates for PC-based software encoder products are $0.50 to $0.27 per channel (volume-based), up to a maximum annual payment of $250,000 per legal entity
· For a professional (commercial) decoder product: $2.00 per channel
· For a professional (commercial) encoder product: $20.00 per channel
There are no royalties or usage fees for content distribution in AAC format, either in electronic form or in packaged media. The MPEG-4 AAC Patent License Agreement will be available in April.