Free-to-Air Broadcasters No Longer Have to Pay MHP Royalties

In a letter sent last Thursday to the DVB Project, Jean-Michel Bourdon,
president of Via Licensing, the company that administers the patent
pool for the international MHP interactive TV standard (note: it also
administers the patent pools for the OCAP/tru2way and TV-Anytime
standards), stated that the members of the MHP patent pool have
decided to remove the controversial requirement that free-to-air
broadcasters pay MHP license fees.
Last year, when Via Licensing
unveiled the terms of the worldwide joint license agreement for patents
deemed essential to the DVB-MHP 1.0 standard, it stated that
free-to-air broadcasters generating no revenue from MHP-based
services could purchase a five-year license either for $3000 per year or
for a one-time fee of $10,000, both payable at commencement of the
license term, or could pay royalties based on receiver penetration; and
that free-to-air broadcasters generating revenue from MHP through
advertising or through MHP services would have to pay royalties based
on receiver penetration (for example, FTA broadcasters generating
revenue from MHP through advertising would have to pay $50,000 per
year if their MHP-enabled broadcasts reached 2.5 million households;
while FTA broadcasters generating revenue from MHP services and
reaching the same number of households would have to pay $100,000).
The levying of MHP license fees on free-to-air broadcasters has been
blamed for slow uptake of the MHP standard.