EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

11.21.08

Mono and Moonlight: GNU/Linux Polluters from Microsoft/Novell

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Novell, Patents at 7:31 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Star wars Vader

Illustration prepared by a reader

“They’ll get sort of addicted to Mono applications, and then we’ll somehow figure out how to collect sometime in the next decade.”

Why is Moonlight dangerous whereas Flash is not? The holder of the patents matters a great deal. GNU/Linux is not a threat to Adobe. It does not compete directly (head-to-head) with an Adobe product and Adobe hasn’t a past that’s filled with so much abuse, unlike Microsoft. Behavioral patterns matter a great deal too.

Another crucial question is this: will Moonlight include the necessary base classes, or will people have to use non-free ones from Microsoft? The answer to that is Moonlight requires that the user obtains binary codecs from Microsoft, licensed under their own licence. It’s important to remind ourselves of this popular post:

Matt Asay makes one crucial observation in Microsoft’s dilemma: The importance of the downstream:

To work within the open-source community… Microsoft must stop polluting the downstream with patent encumbrances.

[...]

If Microsoft wants to interoperate with free software at the business level, it could start by removing legal roadblocks to interoperability. The fact that the company continues not to do so leads me to believe that Microsoft doesn’t really want to interoperate with free software at a business level.

As long as the company offers only jingoistic pats on the head to us misguided little hackers laboring part time in our basements with no commercial aspirations, there’s little point in considering anything that comes out of Redmond as useful.

In eight months since Nat Torkington asked Bill Hilf What Will Change at Microsoft with Regard to Patents and F/OSS, nothing interesting has happened. OSCON’s four months away. Maybe Bill Hilf will have a big announcement then — maybe he’ll have set up mail filters. Don’t hold your breath for a sane patent strategy.

A curious new article from the Wintel press poses the question, “will Microsoft build native Mac and Linux [development] tools?”

If the future is in Microsoft’s online services why isn’t the company building native tools for Mac and Linux developers?

In reality, as it turns out, Microsoft can rely on other people doing its labour. It then makes it possible for Microsoft to slam them for ‘stealing’ the ideas (Microsoft calls these “innovations”) of Microsoft geniuses. Here is you can see the latest push for inclusion of Mono 2.0 in Ubuntu GNU/Linux, by default.

In the mean time, worth taking note of is this article from Heise.

According to the American magazine ComputerWorld, Microsoft has filed a suit with a San Francisco district court in order to have several patents of the Californian service provider WebXchange declared void. The article reports that WebXchange had previously sued computer manufacturer Dell, courier service FedEx and the Allstate insurance company for alleged patent infringements. Although these actions are not aimed at Microsoft, they can be attributed to the fact that the defending companies used Microsoft’s Visual Studio development environment to create their web offerings.

We mentioned this a few days ago and last night we published an explanation as to why this is bad news to Mono,

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

79 Comments

  1. Dan O'Brian said,

    November 22, 2008 at 9:53 am

    Gravatar

    Roy: I thought you were a programmer? Even I know that codecs are not a “base class” in Silverlight and I’m not even a programmer. The codecs are not exposed to Silverlight developers, they are just an implementation detail hidden away below the public “base classes”.

    Lie #1 on this article alone.

    Secondly, Moonlight can use ffmpeg, you know: the same video/audio decoder that a large number of free software projects use for decoding video? Things like MPlayer and even GStreamer and Xine.

    How can you even reach a conclusion about something being this poorly informed about it?

    Secondly, you should know that Microsoft is paying a third party with Eclipse knowledge to implement a plugin for Eclipse which would allow developers to develop Silverlight apps without Visual Studio or their designer.

    Do some research, man.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 22, 2008 at 10:03 am

    Gravatar

    Silverlight without the codecs is like a pistol without bullets.

    You added nothing I did not already know about. Developers should use open standards, not proprietary Microsoft technology that puts patent traps in GNU/Linux.

  3. Dan O'Brian said,

    November 22, 2008 at 11:55 am

    Gravatar

    Moonlight can have codecs without the Microsoft codec blob, so Moonlight without Microsoft’s codec blog is not like a pistol without bullets.

    I clearly did ad something you did not know about, because you were clearly unaware of what a “base class” is wrt programming.

    The codecs are not in any way shape or form a “base class” for Silverlight.

    I’d also prefer people use open standards than flash or silverlight, but unfortunately open standards apparently do not provide the features that web developers and content providers want.

    Since 99% of the world seems uncaring about open standards (they don’t care if it’s flash, silverlight, plain html, or a java applet so long as it works and doesn’t inconvenience them), content providers are (unfortunately) going to be the ones steering the direction of the web and they very clearly want DRM (which sucks).

    Sticking it to the man and not providing your users with a browser plugin that can render this proprietary content will not win users/customers over, it will alienate them and force them back to Windows.

    I fully support you and others complaining to the content providers and urging other people to do so, but to badmouth Mono/Moonlight (and the developers) is just shooting the messenger.

  4. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 22, 2008 at 12:23 pm

    Gravatar

    Content will be encoded using Microsoft codecs, so Moonlight without these codecs is pretty useless in practice. I’d rather just use something like Flash, where the codecs are not owned and controlled with a company that threatens to sue.

  5. AlexH said,

    November 22, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    Gravatar

    @Roy: FYI, the Flash codecs are patented and enforced in exactly the same manner; recent Flash (9/10) is basically MPEG 4 inside.

    What is needed is not more Flash; what is needed is free software content creation tools that support Ogg formats. That’s not Flash.

  6. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 22, 2008 at 2:45 pm

    Gravatar

    AFAIK, Adobe licences these codecs. Silverlight, on the other hand, is not available for GNU/Linux and it also bring with it the poison called Mono. Stay tuned for an important post (I’m catching up today).

  7. AlexH said,

    November 22, 2008 at 3:03 pm

    Gravatar

    You think it’s ok for Adobe to license patented codecs, but when Novell do it (virtually the exact same codecs, no less) that’s wrong?

    Oh dearie me…

  8. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 22, 2008 at 3:56 pm

    Gravatar

    Adobe does it for its users. Novell, a GPL violator by spirit, did not bother to ‘protect’ others. Moreover, it’s using this to market itself (“intellectual property peace of mind”).

    What’s with the apologism for Novell?

  9. AlexH said,

    November 23, 2008 at 3:46 am

    Gravatar

    @Roy: First, Novell did bother to protect “others” – it’s not limited to Novell customers.

    Second, I wonder how I’m the apologist when it’s you defending proprietary codecs! That takes some nerve.

  10. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 23, 2008 at 4:17 am

    Gravatar

    @Roy: First, Novell did bother to protect “others” – it’s not limited to Novell customers.

    False. You seem to have not caught up.

    Second, I wonder how I’m the apologist when it’s you defending proprietary codecs! That takes some nerve.

    Show me where I defend them. I said that Adobe’s chosen ones are lesser evil and explained why.

  11. Dan O'Brian said,

    November 23, 2008 at 9:01 am

    Gravatar

    Roy: No one questions that it’s safe to use Moonlight w/ Microsoft’s binary codecs if gotten from Novell directly, the only question is whether it is safe for other distros to ship themselves.

    Using Moonlight w/ Microsoft’s binary codecs is no different legally than using Flash.

  12. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 23, 2008 at 9:13 am

    Gravatar

    It’s about Mono. You remain focused on codecs.

  13. Dan O'Brian said,

    November 23, 2008 at 9:26 am

    Gravatar

    Microsoft has claimed that it will not take legal action against ANY user using Moonlight.

    This means that Moonlight is safe, whether it uses Mono or not, from legal action from them.

    How do you not get this???

  14. Dan O'Brian said,

    November 23, 2008 at 9:28 am

    Gravatar

    FWIW, you’re the one who was focused on codecs, everything you complained about until your most recent post dealt with codecs in Moonlight.

    I see you backpeddling.

  15. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 23, 2008 at 9:30 am

    Gravatar

    Microsoft has claimed that it will not take legal action against ANY user using Moonlight.

    This means that Moonlight is safe, whether it uses Mono or not, from legal action from them.

    The SFLC and Red Hat disagree with you.

  16. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 23, 2008 at 9:35 am

    Gravatar

    FWIW, you’re the one who was focused on codecs, everything you complained about until your most recent post dealt with codecs in Moonlight.

    The codecs too are a problem.

  17. Dan O'Brian said,

    November 23, 2008 at 9:39 am

    Gravatar

    No, that is untrue.

    The only statements from Red Hat regarding Moonlight has been that they would not include it in Fedora, because of confusion of whether or not it was safe to SHIP Moonlight in their distribution.

    The SFLC statement was similar.

    Again, neither one of them have concluded that end users were at risk using Moonlight (when downloaded from Novell).

    Again, you mislead and try to confuse the issue.

  18. Dan O'Brian said,

    November 23, 2008 at 9:41 am

    Gravatar

    Roy: wrong again. He’s referring to redistribution.

    Grats on failing at reading comprehension yet again.

  19. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 23, 2008 at 9:42 am

    Gravatar

    Red Hat pushed away Moonlight because of the SFLC, which said:

    They’re [Microsoft] being politicians, saying words that are supposed to make people feel better, but that actually contain no meaning or commitment. This covenant is worthless and, even worse, could be harmful to those who fall into the trap. If MS wanted something good for the community, they’d negotiate with those lawyers who represent the community’s interests.

    Don’t try to rewrite the analysis.

  20. Dan O'Brian said,

    November 23, 2008 at 9:45 am

    Gravatar

    They are referring to redistribution.

  21. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 23, 2008 at 9:48 am

    Gravatar

    Roy: wrong again. He’s referring to redistribution.

    He links to this:

    “The most critical element that emerged from Brad Smith’s OSBC keynote is the importance of protecting the downstream. By “downstream” I mean those users who may come into contact with open-source software beyond the immediate licensee. One of the benefits of open source is that once released under a certain license, the code endures under that license.

    “Patents foul the water. As emerged from the question-and-answer period, while Microsoft may prefer to deal with other “cathedrals” (e.g., its agreements with Novell, LG, etc.), in open source you simply can’t avoid the bazaar (e.g., downstream developers who may come into contact with the code). This is why at Microsoft’s Mix conference, Mozilla’s Mike Schroepfer took issue with Miguel de Icaza’s suggestion that his Moonlight code is protected from patent claims:

    During the discussion, de Icaza explained that anyone who downloaded Moonlight from Novell was protected by the company’s licensing of Silverlight codecs from Microsoft through the company’s own cross-licensing agreement. Mike Schroepfer, vice president of engineering from Mozilla, then raised the question that if he downloads and then distributes the code for Moonlight, would he get the patent protection?

    “There is a patent covenant for anyone that downloads (Moonlight) from Novell,” answered de Icaza, who then acknowledged that “as to extending the patents to third parties–you have to talk to Microsoft.”

    This answer led Schroepfer to point out the inconsistency between having products that are called open source but are “patent-encumbered.” “There are a lot of complicated IP patent-licensing restrictions,” he said. “Even if you have open-source (products), you can’t get the end result you’re interested in.”

    Key phrase: open source but are “patent-encumbered.”

  22. Dan O'Brian said,

    November 23, 2008 at 9:51 am

    Gravatar

    From the link you are referring to:

    Q: The big question is: can people use Moonlight? Can programmers work on it?

    A: Well, I’m not sure that’s a precise enough question, because of course people can use and work on it. The issue is what they CAN’T do.

    and again:

    Q: But the definitions section seems to be saying that Moonlight is safe from threat only if you get it from Novell AND DO NOT PASS IT ON, as there are no protections for downstream recipients.

    A: Correct, unless those downstream recipients get it from an ‘Intermediate Recipient’ defined to only include authorized resellers.

    They agree that if you get Moonlight from Novell, it is safe. The confusion is what counts as redistribution (because the wording states that the user must get it from Novell or a Novell distributor – what counts as a Novell distributor?)

    The issues raised were about redistribution.

  23. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 23, 2008 at 9:54 am

    Gravatar

    This makes Moonlight non-Free software, by definition.

  24. Dan O'Brian said,

    November 23, 2008 at 9:55 am

    Gravatar

    Key phrase: open source but are “patent-encumbered.”

    No sh*t, Sherlock. That was never under debate.

    You were claiming that Moonlight wasn’t safe for end users to use (even if downloaded from Novell directly).

    You have once again failed to prove your point, instead redirecting focus to something completely irrelevant to the discussion at hand.

  25. Dan O'Brian said,

    November 23, 2008 at 9:57 am

    Gravatar

    This makes Moonlight non-Free software, by definition.

    What has that got to do with whether or not Moonlight is safe to use? Stop trying to change the subject.

    Besides, Moonlight sans the Microsoft codecs is free software, by everyone’s definition (other than yours, apparently). Even Richard Stallman agrees that Moonlight is free software.

  26. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 23, 2008 at 10:02 am

    Gravatar

    What has that got to do with whether or not Moonlight is safe to use? Stop trying to change the subject.

    No, you and Alex et al are losing the argument.

    Besides, Moonlight sans the Microsoft codecs is free software, by everyone’s definition (other than yours, apparently). Even Richard Stallman agrees that Moonlight is free software.

    What is Moonlight without these codecs? Silverlight is used mainly to stream videos.

  27. Dan O'Brian said,

    November 23, 2008 at 10:28 am

    Gravatar

    How are Alex and I losing this argument? You can’t refute our arguments; instead you keep changing your argument to something else.

    Moonlight can also use ffmpeg, it doesn’t require the Microsoft codecs.

  28. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 23, 2008 at 10:31 am

    Gravatar

    Does ffmpeg do Windows DRM? Can I use it to watch the Olympics?

  29. Dan O'Brian said,

    November 23, 2008 at 10:32 am

    Gravatar

    DRM is not what codecs do. Codecs decode encoded content. They do not demux, they do not do DRM.

    Come on Roy, do some research.

  30. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 23, 2008 at 10:35 am

    Gravatar

    How will Moonlight with ffmpeg handle DRM-’protected’ streams (Flash is not better for that matter and gnash will likely suffer… it’s already protesting)?

  31. Dan O'Brian said,

    November 23, 2008 at 10:36 am

    Gravatar

    Roy: presumably the same way Moonlight will handle DRM’d content using the Microsoft codecs.

    Like I said, codecs decode, they do not do DRM.

  32. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 23, 2008 at 10:40 am

    Gravatar

    Where is the shim? And for that matter, using Moonlight with ffmpeg does not resolve the overall issue of allowing safe and non-discriminatory access to sites which use XAML.

  33. Dan O'Brian said,

    November 23, 2008 at 10:44 am

    Gravatar

    What does XAML have to do with DRM? You’re changing subjects again, does this mean you admit you are wrong about the codecs?

  34. AlexH said,

    November 23, 2008 at 11:05 am

    Gravatar

    @Roy: stop spinning. You said, and I quote:

    I’d rather just use something like Flash, where the codecs are not owned and controlled with a company that threatens to sue.

    I pointed out to you that the codecs are under exactly the same licensing regime: non-free code with active patents, and practically the same patent holders (clue: look up H264 and the MPEG LA).

    That you express any preference over the issue highlights either your hypocrisy or your misunderstanding of who is licensing the patents.

  35. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 23, 2008 at 11:08 am

    Gravatar

    No, the codecs live on what their patent encumbrances.

  36. Dan O'Brian said,

    November 23, 2008 at 11:08 am

    Gravatar

    AlexH: it’s probably a bit of both. We already know that Roy is a hypocrite and we already know he doesn’t research anything.

  37. Dan O'Brian said,

    November 23, 2008 at 11:10 am

    Gravatar

    Encumbered is not the same as infringing.

  38. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 23, 2008 at 11:10 am

    Gravatar

    AlexH,

    The useless promises come from Microsoft, which continues to restrict.

    Dan,

    Bringing backup, eh?

  39. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 23, 2008 at 11:12 am

    Gravatar

    Encumbered is not the same as infringing.

    Encumbered with a company involved which claims that GNU/Linux is infringing and resorts to extortion to make new revenue stream from Free software.

  40. Dan O'Brian said,

    November 23, 2008 at 11:16 am

    Gravatar

    Roy: I didn’t ask AlexH to come here. We do not know or talk to each other outside the comments on this website. I don’t even know AlexH’s email address.

    Again, encumbered is not the same as infringing. Microsoft is also /providing/ their codecs, so I don’t see how you expect them to sue over their use w/ Moonlight by claiming infringement.

  41. AlexH said,

    November 23, 2008 at 11:19 am

    Gravatar

    @Roy: we can have a debate, but please, don’t impugn things about me which you’re entirely uninformed about.

    So, anyway, your entire argument why Microsoft’s codecs are bad and Adobe’s codecs are ok is “it’s Microsoft”.

    You’re entitled to not believe them for whatever reason, but don’t be under any illusion that you’re operating logically. Both sets of codecs are bad for exactly the same reasons.

  42. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 23, 2008 at 11:20 am

    Gravatar

    There are two issue at play: 1) Mono; 2) codecs

    Remember that Microsoft has codec patents too (that whole pool there is a nuclear zone).

  43. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 23, 2008 at 11:22 am

    Gravatar

    So, anyway, your entire argument why Microsoft’s codecs are bad and Adobe’s codecs are ok is “it’s Microsoft”.

    How quickly one forgets the past.

    An excellent collection of quotes:

    Microsoft’s recent history on patents (particularly since the Novell deal in November 06) has a particularly public persona:

    Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith and licensing chief Horacio Gutierrez sat down with Fortune recently to map out their strategy for getting FOSS users to pay royalties. – Fortune

    [...]

    Mr. Ballmer once called Linux a form of intellectual-property cancer. While he has since dialed back the rhetoric, the subtext remains in nearly all Microsoft discussions of Linux: Use it, and you run the risk that Microsoft will sue you [for patent infringement]. Post-Gazette

    [...]

  44. AlexH said,

    November 23, 2008 at 11:25 am

    Gravatar

    Argument by links to irrelevant arguments, excellent.

    Quick quiz: name a company who licenses patents used the in Flash codec, name starts with “M”?

  45. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 23, 2008 at 11:27 am

    Gravatar

    Not news to me, sorry.

  46. AlexH said,

    November 23, 2008 at 11:35 am

    Gravatar

    I don’t believe you, from the simple point of view that you’d never have promoted the codec if you knew who it was licensed from :)

  47. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 23, 2008 at 11:36 am

    Gravatar

    The only codec I promote is Ogg (or Dirac).

  48. AlexH said,

    November 23, 2008 at 11:41 am

    Gravatar

    Oh, more fibs.

    I’d rather just use something like Flash, where the codecs are not owned and controlled with a company that threatens to sue.

    Own up. You’d no clue who owns and controls the patents to the codecs.

  49. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 23, 2008 at 11:46 am

    Gravatar

    That’s not promotion. That’s commenting on the lesser of two evils.

  50. AlexH said,

    November 23, 2008 at 11:49 am

    Gravatar

    But you claimed to know that Microsoft have patent rights over that codec. On what planet is one codec with Microsoft (et. al) patents actively enforced the lesser evil compared to another codec with Microsoft (et. al) patent rights actively enforced?

  51. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 23, 2008 at 11:52 am

    Gravatar

    You’re comparing car and carpet. Microsoft uses WMV,

  52. jo Shields said,

    November 23, 2008 at 11:59 am

    Gravatar

    1) SL 1.0 has no DRM capability
    2) SL 1.0 has no Mono ability – it’s Javacript hooking into the XAML renderer (the plugin), which is all C++
    3) XAML is covered by the OSP – if you reject OSP, then you reject all of OSP (e.g. TCP/IP). If you accept OSP then XAML is safe

  53. AlexH said,

    November 23, 2008 at 12:00 pm

    Gravatar

    Ok, quiz time again (*sigh*). What codec is Flash video (9+) and WMV based on?

    drum roll… MPEG!

    Who licenses the patents for that? MPEG LA!

    Looks like you need to do some catching up Roy.

  54. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 23, 2008 at 12:09 pm

    Gravatar

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adobe_Flash

    “The video in Flash is encoded in H.263, and starting with Flash player 8, it may alternatively be encoded in VP6.”

  55. Dan O'Brian said,

    November 23, 2008 at 12:14 pm

    Gravatar

    Roy: You quoted Flash 8, the most recent Flash version is 10. Please, get with the times.

  56. jo Shields said,

    November 23, 2008 at 12:15 pm

    Gravatar

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adobe_Flash

    “On August 20, 2007, Adobe announced on its blog that with Update 3 of the Flash Player, Flash Video will also support the MPEG-4 international standard. Specifically, Flash Player will have support for video compressed in H.264 (MPEG-4 Part 10), audio compressed using AAC (MPEG-4 Part 3), the MP4, M4V, M4A, 3GP and MOV multimedia container formats (MPEG-4 Part 14), 3GPP Timed Text specification (MPEG-4 Part 17) which is a standardized subtitle format and partial parsing support for the ‘ilst’ atom which is the ID3 equivalent iTunes uses to store metadata. Adobe also announced that they will be gradually moving away from the proprietary FLV format to the standard MP4 format owing to functional limits with the FLV structure when streaming H.264. The final release of the Flash Player supporting MPEG-4 had become available in Fall 2007.”

    DIRECTLY BELOW the section you quote

  57. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 23, 2008 at 12:19 pm

    Gravatar

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wmv

    “Windows Media Video (WMV) is a compressed video file format for several proprietary codecs developed by Microsoft.”

    [...]

    “Digital rights management

    “While none of the WMV codecs themselves contain any digital rights management facilities, the ASF container format, in which a WMV stream may be encapsulated, can. Windows Media DRM, which can be used in conjunction with WMV, supports time-limited subscription video services such as those offered by CinemaNow[24]. Windows Media DRM, a component of PlaysForSure and Windows Media Connect, is supported on many modern portable video devices and streaming media clients such as the Xbox 360.

    “Criticism

    “WMV has been the subject of numerous complaints from users and the press. Users dislike the digital rights management system which is sometimes attached to WMV files[25] The loss of the ability to restore licenses for WMV files in the Windows Media Player 11 was not positively received.[25] In addition, the Microsoft Zune does not support the standard Windows Media DRM system, rendering protected WMV files unplayable.[26]“

  58. AlexH said,

    November 23, 2008 at 12:22 pm

    Gravatar

    Nice indirection by throwing ASF in there, Roy.

    Let’s break this down: Flash 9/10 video: H264. WMV 9: H264 + fluff.

    Licensing agency: MPEG LA.

    They’re as bad as each other. Come on, even you can admit that, surely?

  59. jo Shields said,

    November 23, 2008 at 12:22 pm

    Gravatar

    Hey, a subject switch. Gasp. And an ignore of “1) SL 1.0 has no DRM capability”. Double-gasp.

    Alex is right. And there’s obviously zero point in my commenting on your cute little blog, since it’s pretty apparent that you’re incapable of absorbing information which doesn’t match your world view. Which means more time to spend on packaging. Ciao. I’ll be available via e-mail.

  60. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 23, 2008 at 12:24 pm

    Gravatar

    What is the “fluff”, Alex? What will WMV 11 contain? It’s the same with Microsoft’s GPL ‘surrogates’, which it can change for competitive reasons.

  61. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 23, 2008 at 12:26 pm

    Gravatar

    You’re so yesterday, Jo. Why?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silverlight

    Version 2.0, released October 2008…

    [...]

    New media features in Silverlight 2 include:[28]

    [...]

    * Content protection powered by Microsoft PlayReady DRM client

  62. AlexH said,

    November 23, 2008 at 12:32 pm

    Gravatar

    @Roy: do some research, good grief.

    The “fluff” is minor changes to the bitstream to achieve slightly better compression.

    The vast majority of the codec is essentially the same. The patent holders are the same.

    I’m amazed and astonished that you still try to defend this view.

  63. Dan O'Brian said,

    November 23, 2008 at 12:33 pm

    Gravatar

    ASF is a container format, e.g. “muxed” data. A stream of MPEG or H264 encoded data + packet headers and possibly a DRM header.

    MPEG and H264 are the codecs, ASF is a file format which is demuxed to extract the MPEG or H264 content.

    To give a visual representation of ASF:

    [packet header][MPEG or H264 encoded content][packet header][MPEG or H264 encoded content][packet header]…

    The packet header would contain such things as a timestamp (offset from the beginning of the stream), content length, etc.

    That’s all Ogg is too, in fact. Ogg is just a container format. Vorbis and Theora are the codecs.

  64. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 23, 2008 at 12:35 pm

    Gravatar

    Silverlight already comes with Windows DRM, so regardless of the codecs, you are being delivered something which not only gives Microsoft great control over Web content but also leaves you vulnerable.

  65. AlexH said,

    November 23, 2008 at 12:40 pm

    Gravatar

    Yawn. Flash comes with DRM too (more catching up needed, Roy).

    Again, you’re trying to compare evils and say that the Adobe evil is somehow lesser. Both have patents which prevent free software implementing them. Both actively enforce their patents (same body, MPEG LA). Both come with DRM which is illegal to work around.

    Can’t you just, for once, admit you are wrong and admit they are as bad as each other?

  66. Dan O'Brian said,

    November 23, 2008 at 12:42 pm

    Gravatar

    Microsoft isn’t putting DRM content on the web, content providers are.

    If you don’t support DRM’d content, don’t go to websites which only provide DRM’d content.

    There are, however, content providers using Silverlight that are not using DRM.

  67. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 23, 2008 at 12:43 pm

    Gravatar

    Yawn. Flash comes with DRM too (more catching up needed, Roy).

    Nope. Old news that I noted earlier today.

    Adobe is not Microsoft. GNU/Linux is hardly a threat to Adobe.

  68. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 23, 2008 at 12:44 pm

    Gravatar

    Microsoft isn’t putting DRM content on the web, content providers are.

    That’s like saying people don’t kill people; guns do.

  69. Dan O'Brian said,

    November 23, 2008 at 12:49 pm

    Gravatar

    No, you got that backwards. What /you/ are saying is that “people don’t kill people, guns do.”

    I’m saying “guns don’t kill people, people do.”

    Microsoft may be providing the gun, but they aren’t the ones shooting. Content providers are the ones shooting.

    As far as your previous comment:

    Adobe is not Microsoft. GNU/Linux is hardly a threat to Adobe.

    How dense are you? We’re talking about codecs here. It’s not about whether or not Microsoft or Adobe will sue over patents in the codecs, it’s about whether groups like MPEG-LA will.

  70. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 23, 2008 at 12:53 pm

    Gravatar

    You’ve reposed this question as though I said Adobe is good. I just said that it’s the lesser evil of the two.

  71. Dan O'Brian said,

    November 23, 2008 at 12:56 pm

    Gravatar

    And I’m saying it doesn’t matter if you believe Adobe is the lesser of two evils or not, because it’s not them you should be worried about – it’s MPEG-LA. MPEG-LA are the ones that own the patents in the codecs used by both Flash and Silverlight.

  72. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 23, 2008 at 12:58 pm

    Gravatar

    There is more to it than just a codec, but you attempt to trivialise the problem.

  73. Dan O'Brian said,

    November 23, 2008 at 12:59 pm

    Gravatar

    At worst I’m breaking the list of problems apart and addressing them individually.

    Do you or do you not understand that MPEG-LA is the holder of the patents on the codecs used by both Flash and Silverlight?

  74. neighborlee said,

    November 23, 2008 at 1:47 pm

    Gravatar

    And of course, none of this matters anyway does it :)

    We all know fedora AND debian ( to varying degrees obviously depending which medium you use) are both blocking it, so I think this is mostly pointless ;) ( lenny has NO mono or moonlight part of default install, I know I just installed default gnome)

    Dan , can you get any uglier with these colorful adjectives,,they do you no good nor the debate, so I think you should avoid them as they make all your points very much non credible. They would not be welcome in debate class I can tell you that, but then I guess we are FAR removed from that environment .

    But I know some of you here enjoy this based on the frequency, so procede ;)

    Oh , and about my using gmail.you would prob. say the same thing if I used blah@blah.net or whatever as I doubt any of the major email systems are free, so I will avoid descending into that arguement as well and use what I wish for the task at hand, and if someday I have time to find a truly ‘free’ email system , I’d be more than happy to switch over. At the moment I shall use what I have for sometime , and choose to be as free as I can regarding the operating system on which houses these applications that I use .

    cheers
    nl

  75. Dan O'Brian said,

    November 23, 2008 at 1:59 pm

    Gravatar

    Neighborlee: apparently you need to get with the program. Jo Sheilds is a Debian packager and is packaging Moonlight for Debian and Ubuntu.

    What colorful adjectives did I use? I used an expression which I self-censored.

    If you dismiss my arguments because of any adjectives I use, then you obviously are unable to disprove my arguments based on any factual basis (which is no big surprise, because you, Roy, and twitter do not believe in facts).

  76. neighborlee said,

    November 23, 2008 at 2:11 pm

    Gravatar

    Dan, you asked:)

    #

    Dan O’Brian said,

    February 23, 2008 at 8:23 pm

    Personally, I dont trust Miguel “OOXML is a superb standard” Icaza because of many of his stances. He’s tried so hard to be Microsoft that he seems to be suffering from Stockholm syndrome. Of course, he is also a di**..

    Resorting to personal attacks now, are we?…

    Oh wait, I forgot that it’s different when Roy and his ilk do it…

    then here on this thread you used ‘dense’ when mentioning Roy, so yeah I think what I said is valid..when you descend into that kind of discussion you lose a lot of credibility with your audience.

    I dont mind if Jo is a package thats not what Im referring to, Jo is welcome to do that all Jo wishes, am I saying that it wont be allowed in as default install, and at atm anyway both debian and fedora reject it based on the info I have atm, but that I can not access because I am in newly installed , non-mono supported debian lenny ;)

    cheers , and to the attack-free zone ( Yes, you can !)
    nl

  77. Dan O'Brian said,

    November 23, 2008 at 2:47 pm

    Gravatar

    Uh… the first quote was from Roy using a censored insult to describe Miguel de Icaza.

    I did use the word ‘dense’, but I doubt anyone finds that offensive. Besides, I asked Roy if he was dense, I didn’t call him that ;-)

    Asking if Roy is dense is a valid question, because he clearly refuses to acknowledge who owns the patents on the codecs, even after explaining it to him dozens of times.

    That means he’s either stubbornly refusing to admit he’s wrong (aka dense) or he simply fails at reading comprehension. Take your pick. Personally, I’d imagine ‘dense’ to be the lesser offense.

  78. Dan O'Brian said,

    November 23, 2008 at 2:49 pm

    Gravatar

    By the way, neighborlee, I thought I’d mention that had you decided to use Mono to implement your Religious video game, you’d probably be done by now and it would likely be a lot faster than your C or C++ implementation because it’d be able to take advantage of Mono’s JIT which is able to spot code patterns that can be converted into SIMD instructions.

  79. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 23, 2008 at 3:02 pm

    Gravatar

    I’ve just gotten back from the gym and catching up here… Dan, your argument fails the freedom vs. power test.

    http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/freedom-or-power.html

What Else is New


  1. Microsoft Gradually Embraces, Extends, Extinguishes Linux Foundation as a Foundation of GNU/Linux

    By liaising with (or hijacking) existing members of the Linux Foundation, as well as by paying the Linux Foundation, Microsoft turns the Linux Foundation into somewhat of a Windows advocacy group



  2. Microsoft India Still Lobbies and Lies About Free Software in Order to Knock Down Policy That Favours Free Software

    Microsoft continues to bully Indian politicians who merely 'dare' to prefer software that India can modify, maintain, extend, audit, etc.



  3. Patent Lawyers and Corporate Media Nervous About New Patents Barrier/Reality (Less Patents on Software and Business Methods)

    The rich and the powerful, as well as their lawyers (whose job is to protect their money and power by means of government-enforced monopoly), carry on whining after the Alice case, in which many abstract patents were essentially ruled -- by extension -- invalid



  4. Translation of Pierre-Yves Le Borgn' Speech Against EPO Management and New Parliamentarian Interventions

    More political fire targeting the EPO's management, adding up to over 100 parliamentarians by now



  5. Links 2/7/2015: KDE Plasma 5.3.2, antiX 15

    Links for the day



  6. Links 1/7/2015: OpenDaylight Lithium, OpenMandriva Lx 2014.2

    Links for the day



  7. Munich Press, Münchner Merkur, Slams the Munich-based EPO

    Pressure on Benoît Battistelli to leave (or be fired) grows as the cronies whom he filled his office with have become a huge public embarrassment to the decades-old European Patent Office



  8. The Shameless Campaign to Paint/Portray Free Software as Inherently Insecure, Using Brands, Logos, and Excessive, Selective Press Coverage

    Some more FUD from firms such as Sonatype, which hope to make money by making people scared of Free/libre software



  9. National Insecurity and Blackmail, Courtesy of Microsoft

    British members of parliament (MPs) outsourced their communication to the number one PRISM company and they are paying the price for it; The US Navy's systems continue to be unbelievably insecure (Windows XP), despite access to the world's biggest nuclear arsenal



  10. Microsoft Keeps Shrinking

    As the era of shrink-wrapped software comes to an end so does Microsoft, whose effort to become a 'cloud' company with online operations has been miserable at best



  11. They 'R' Coming: More Microsoft Money for the Linux Foundation

    The problem with having Microsoft in a Linux Foundation initiative, the R Consortium



  12. Speculations About the EPO's Possible Role in DDOS Attacks

    Readers' views on who might be behind the attacks on this site amid confirmation that it's on the 'targets' list of the EPO



  13. Links 30/6/2015: Linux Mint 17.2, OpenMandriva

    Links for the day



  14. Techrights Confirmed as a Target of EPO Surveillance, With Help From Control Risks Group (CRG)

    Unveiling the cloak of secrecy from long-term surveillance by the European Patent Office (EPO) and a London-based mercenary it hired, bypassing the law



  15. Google's Fight to Keep APIs Free is Lost, Let's Hope Google Continues Fighting

    SCOTUS refuses to rule that APIs cannot be considered copyright-'protected', despite common sense and despite Java (which the case is about) being Free/libre software



  16. Patent Trolls in the Post-Alice World

    A round-up of news about patent trolls in the United States, some of whom are are doing well and some of them not as well



  17. DDOS Attacks Against Techrights

    Information about some of the most recent DDOS attacks against this Web site and the steps to be taken next



  18. The Patent System Not What it Used to be, Large Corporations and Patent Lawyers the Principal Beneficiaries

    A look at some recent patent stories and what can be deduced from them, based on statistics and trends



  19. After Intervention by the Council of Europe Comes a Detailed Summary of the Situation in the European Patent Office (EPO)





  20. IRC Proceedings: May 31st - June 27th, 2015

    Many IRC logs



  21. Links 28/6/2015: Manjaro Linux Cinnamon 0.8.13, VectorLinux 7.1

    Links for the day



  22. Williamson v. Citrix Online (at CAFC) Reinforces Alice v. CLS Bank (at SCOTUS) in Crushing Software Patents

    More patent news from the United States, again serving to indicate that software patents over there are getting weak (harder to defend in court or acquire from the patent office)



  23. Proskauer Rose LLP is Cherry-Picking Cases to Make Software Patents Seem Eligible Despite Alice v. CLS Bank

    Naming and shaming those who are trying to reshape the consensus despite a rather consistent pattern of software patents being rejected



  24. IAM Biased: How IAM 'Magazine' Glorifies Patent Stockpiling

    A look at the bias of one of the most overzealous sites for and by patent lawyers



  25. PATENT Act No Longer in the News... and That's Just Fine

    Putting the PATENT Act aside for the time being, for it has little or no impact on the really problematic patents



  26. The Latest Lies From Microsoft's PR Apparatus/Public Face, Mr. Nadella

    Having spread the outrageous lie that “Microsoft loves Linux” (whilst obviously attacking it in many ways), Microsoft's CEO (essentially Bill Gates' right-hand man) says Microsoft is “one of the biggest contributors to Linux kernel” (because of proprietary software it tries to contaminate it with while violating the terms of the GPL)



  27. Microsoft Jack (Schofield) Promotes Microsoft's Proprietary Lock-in and Calls People Who Recommend Free/Libre Software 'Trolls'

    Jack Schofield, writing for a Bill Gates-funded paper despite claiming to have retired, promotes Microsoft Office and insults all those readers who do not agree with him



  28. The Council of Europe Slams the EPO as Political Pressure Grows for EPO Management to Obey the Law

    Battistelli et al. come under yet more fire as politicians -- many of whom from Battistelli's home country -- become better informed of the EPO's management fiasco, abuses, and scandals



  29. Operating Systems Usage Based on Technical Site Statistics

    ome numbers to show what goes on in sites that do not share information about their visitors (unlike Windows-centric sites which target non-technical audiences)



  30. Links 27/6/2015: Wine 1.7.46, SparkyLinux 4.0

    Links for the day


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts