Why? Because the MPEG-LA screws artists, and independent artists in particular. I wrote a lengthy blog post about this back in September:
H.264 didn't create your short film anymore than, say, your 5D Mark II did. Yes, they were among the many tools you utilized, but you did the work. You certainly aren't sending royalties to Canon. So why should you be sending royalties to MPEG-LA?
I encourage artists to read the full post if you haven't already (What artists need to know about H.264 - you get screwed).
Even before this announcement, we had long since made a strong decision that Novacut would never deliver content encoded in H.264 or any other patent-encumbered format. We're in the business of helping artists, so we're not about to push them out in front of the MPEG-LA bus.
If you look at the fine print, you'll see that the H.264 royalty caps are carefully chosen to favor big content, and screw independent artists extra hard. How thoughtful.
So thank you, Google. You certainly earned a "not evil" sticker today.