There's no way they have a valid patent on vanilla HTTP! I could see some of their patents covering some stuff like generating a seek table, but how the hell could they enjoin you from sending a blob in response to an HTTP request?
Isn't it possible for a video site to never directly enter a contract with MPEG-LA? Is the shrinkwrap EULA on second-party encoder software valid?
They're obviously enforceable on the organizations that entered into those licensing agreements directly, but what if I bought an licensed encoder off the shelf?
Is the on-disk format itself somehow patented, such that the files themselves are patented articles? Wouldn't that fail the machine-or-transformation test rather egregiously?
But walking into Fry's and buying a codec product off the shelf for $49.95 doesn't automatically allow you to start a video megasite.