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1.6. MPEG-4 Industry Forum

Because MPEG itself is not allowed to deal with any issues besides the development of technical specifications (notably patent identification and licensing), the industry players interested in the deployment of products and applications based on the MPEG-4 standard decided in the spring of 2000 to create the MPEG-4 Industry Forum (M4IF) [M4IF]. The M4IF is a not-for-profit organization for industrial players who want to manufacture, deploy, or use MPEG-4 technology. The philosophy is that all involved parties, even though competitors in some respect, profit from the standard being accepted and taking off. The major goal of the forum is “to further the adoption of the MPEG-4 standard, by establishing MPEG-4 as an accepted standard among users, application developers, service providers, content creators and end users” [M4IF].

The forum is open to all parties agreeing with the forum's objectives and includes a broad, worldwide representation from consumer electronics, computers, and telecommunications companies as well as research institutions. Also, some of the members are business users of MPEG-4. Among the participants are many small companies that develop or deploy MPEG-4 technology. Membership goes beyond the MPEG constituency, partly because some of the smaller companies cannot comply with the requirements for participation in MPEG (which vary from country to country) and also because some companies do not need to be involved in the development phase.


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