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

03.18.10

Microsoft Brings MPEG-LA-LA Land to the Web and Threatens GNU/Linux With Software Patent Lawsuits

Posted in Apple, FUD, GNU/Linux, IBM, Marketing, Microsoft, Novell, Patents at 10:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

 Demi Lovato - La La Land

Summary: Microsoft is trying to sneak patents-encumbered MPEG formats into the Web using Internet Explorer 9 (IE 9); Microsoft threatens (again) to go after Linux legally

IN OUR previous posts about IE 9 [1, 2] we mentioned not only security problems but also Microsoft’s ‘support’ of the video tag, which we expected to have a negative side when implemented by Microsoft. It now turns out that Microsoft — just like its buddy Apple — is trying to piggyback Web video to push H.264 into the standard. The W3C’s new CEO (Novell's former CTO who brags about software patents and helped create the patent deal with Microsoft) is unlikely to have a problem with this as the three people in his working group are from proponents of software patents (Apple, Microsoft, and IBM).

Here is the news article outlining Microsoft’s patent-saturated vision of the Web:

The rough version of IE9 that Microsoft demonstrated includes HTML5 video encoded with a particular technology called H.264. Apple’s Safari also supports this encoding and decoding technology, or codec.

But Mozilla is adamantly opposed to open-source-unfriendly H.264, supporting the rival Ogg Theora codec instead, and Opera is in that camp with its new version 10.5. Google’s Chrome supports both, tying the score at Ogg Theora 3, H.264 3.

Mozilla is fighting for us, but will it be enough? Mozilla is strongly against software patents, just like most companies that are without a monopoly (patent trolls don’t qualify as companies). According to this new post from Miro (formerly known as Democracy Player), the fight for free codecs intensifies and Wikipedia puts its weight behind it.

This is a concept that I had thinking about and trying to nudge towards reality for a long time; I’m thrilled that we’re finally there. There’s a bunch of interesting aspects, but perhaps the heart of it is a chance to bring open video to mainstream users and strike a blow for freedom.

Wikipedia is the most popular site in the world that posts video exclusively in open formats (specifically, theora). The steadfast commitment that the Wikimedia Foundation has to open information, tools, and formats, is amazing. They truly put their values first.

We are respectfully concerned that the W3C suffered some form of entryism in the sense that everyone there is a proponent of software patents, except Tim Berners-Lee, which is just so ironic and sad. Why are proprietary software monopolists given so much control over the Web’s direction? How was it allowed to happen? Even Apple, the company that’s attacking Free software using software patents [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6] and getting criticised for having software patents that harm the Web (this goes over a year back), was given a valuable seat, alongside its supportive friend, Microsoft. For those who have not read the past few days’ posts, Microsoft is openly supporting Apple’s action [1, 2, 3] against GNU/Linux. Only yesterday we quoted some of the latest FUD from Gutierrez (endorsement for Apple’s legal team), who led Glyn Moody to writing a sensationalist headline which he pushed into Slashdot. It says: “Is Microsoft About to Declare Patent War on Linux?”

Microsoft’s comments on happenings outside its immediate product portfolio are rare, and all the more valuable when they do appear. Here’s one from Horacio Gutierrez, “Corporate Vice President and Deputy General Counsel”, entitled “Apple v. HTC: A Step Along the Path of Addressing IP Rights in Smartphones.”

By now, all the alarm bells should be going off: this is from Microsoft’s top intellectual monopoly bloke, writing about one of the most surprising and potentially disruptive lawsuits in the world of technology – and one that doesn’t even involve Microsoft directly. Why on earth is he doing it? Answer: because Microsoft has something very important to communicate.

[...]

Translated: smartphones are mostly about the kind of software that Microsoft produces; we have lots of patents in this area, and we are going to collect much more in this area – if necessary, through lawsuits (“continued activity”) of the kind Apple is bringing.

The question, of course, is against whom will Microsoft be bringing those lawsuits? And the answer, presumably, is everyone that makes smartphone software stacks, since these computer-like technologies will doubtless overlap with some of the doubtless broad and obvious patents that Microsoft will claim to have.

Some companies, used to these kind of games, will simply cross-license stuff if they have a big enough portfolio of similarly obvious patents. Others will just cough up some dosh to get Microsoft off their backs. But amidst all these conventional players, there is one very unconventional one: Linux, in its various mobile incarnations.

Taking legal action against *all* companies producing software stacks for smartphones would allow Microsoft to claim with some semblance of plausibility that it was not specifically targeting Linux this time (unlike its previous sabre-rattling statements about patent infringement that were specifically aimed at Linux). But the net effect would be that Linux would be the chief victim of such an approach, since any companies using it in their smartphones are likely to end up doing deals with Microsoft – and hence implicitly accepting its claims – whatever the open source community might think or want. It would be like Novell’s pact with Microsoft, writ large and much worse.

We don’t agree with Moody’s exaggeration here. Microsoft is just beating the bushes (it’s sometimes called “shakedown”) in order to find more sellouts like I-O Data and Amazon [1, 2, 3, 4]. In the next post we will show that Microsoft uses other companies to launch lawsuits against GNU/Linux. It’s very much apparent at this stage and it takes extreme discipline to sincerely deny this.

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

A Single Comment

  1. uberVU - social comments said,

    March 22, 2010 at 2:49 am

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by schestowitz: #Microsoft Brings #MPEG Land to the Web and Threatens #GNU #Linux With #SoftwarePatents Lawsuits http://ur1.ca/qcsx

What Else is New


  1. Links 17/10/2017: KDE Frameworks 5.39.0, Safe Browsing in Epiphany

    Links for the day



  2. Judge Bryson Rules Against Allergan After It Used Native American Tribes to Dodge Scrutiny of Patents (IPRs); Senator Hatch Does Not Understand IPRs

    Having attempted to dodge inter partes reviews (IPRs) by latching onto sovereign immunity, Allergan loses a key case and Senator Hatch is meanwhile attempting to water down IPRs albeit at the same time bemoaning patent trolls (which IPRs help neutralise)



  3. Rumours That António Campinos Initially Had No Competition at All (for Battistelli's Succession) Are Confirmed

    Succession at the EPO (mostly French) shows that there's little room for optimism and Battistelli's people are too deeply entrenched in the upper echelons of the EPO



  4. EPO Stakeholders Complain That the New Chairman Does Not Grasp the Issues at the EPO (or Denies These)

    Some information from inside the EPO’s Administrative Council, whose Chairman is denying (at least to himself) some of the core issues that render the EPO less competitive in the international market



  5. Another Misleading Article Regarding Patents From Rana Foroohar at the Financial Times

    In an effort to promote the agenda of patent maximalists, many of whom are connected to the Financial Times, another deceiving report comes out



  6. Monika Ermert's Reports About the Crisis at the EPO and IP Kat's Uncharacteristically Shallow Coverage

    News from inside the Council shows conflict regarding the quality of European Patents (granted by the EPO under pressure from top-level management)



  7. Patent Troll VirnetX a Reminder to Apple That Software Patents Are a Threat to Apple Too

    VirnetX, a notorious patent troll, is poised to receive a huge sum of money from Apple and Qualcomm is trying to ban Apple products, serving to remind Apple of the detrimental impact of patents on Apple itself



  8. Links 16/10/2017: Linux 4.14 RC5, Debian 9.2.1, End of LibreOffice Conference 2017

    Links for the day



  9. The Systematic Erosion of Workers' Rights and Holidays at the EPO Goes Years Back

    The legitimacy of the staff's concerns at the EPO, having seen basic labour safeguards being shredded to pieces by Battistelli for a number of years (predating even the escalation of the conflict)



  10. Articles in English and German Speak About the Decline in Quality of European Patents (Granted by the EPO)

    Heise and The Register, two sites that have closely watched EPO affairs for a number of years, speak about the real problem which is declining patent quality (or rushed examination) -- a recipe for frivolous litigation in Europe



  11. Software Patents and Patent Trolls Not a Solved Issue, But the US is Getting There

    A media survey regarding software patents, which are being rejected in the US in spite of all the spin from law firms and bullies such as IBM



  12. US Patent Trolls Are Leaving and the Eastern District of Texas Sees Patent Cases Falling by More Than Half

    The decline of patent aggression in the US and the patent microcosm's response to Justices, having ruled in TC Heartland, curtailing patent trolls



  13. Qualcomm's Nightmares Are Getting Worse as Antitrust Questions Are Raised and Assessed

    Qualcomm is getting itself deeper in trouble as fines pile up and its multi-billion dollar dispute with Apple isn't getting it anywhere



  14. Forget About Apple; Two of the Leading Phone Makers (Samsung and Huawei) Are Bickering Over Patents

    Massive Android OEMs, Huawei and Samsung, are in a big patent dispute and this time, for a change, China is a legal battleground



  15. Tim Heberden From the Glasshouse Advisory is Throwing Stones in a Glasshouse to Create Patent Litigation

    IAM's latest lobbying, aided by the patent microcosm, for a climate of feuds and disputes (to line the pockets of the litigation 'industry')



  16. Access to Medicine is More Important Than Patents

    Some of the latest news about patents that impede/deny access to crucial medication; strategic litigation from the generics sector, seeking to invalidate patents and then offer low-cost alternatives



  17. Links 14/10/2017: Windows Breaks Dutch Law, Wine 2.19 Released

    Links for the day



  18. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) Supported by Congress, a Federal Judge, Soon to be Supported by the Supreme Court Too?

    The Patent Trial and Appeal Board is still widely defended, except by the patent microcosm which likes (and profits from) patent trolls and litigation Armageddon



  19. Patents Are Turning BlackBerry and Nokia, Which Used Android, Into Anti-Android Fronts That Tax Android OEMs

    The Canadian BlackBerry has sued BLU in the US only to compel it to pay 'protection' money; Nokia's patents are being scattered to trolls, which are doing something similar (without risking litigation themselves)



  20. The Unified Patent Court (UPC) is Rotting Like the European Patent Office

    The Unitary Patent litigation pipe dreams (or prosecution/trolling fast lane), which Battistelli's EPO long relied on, turn out to be the road to nowhere



  21. Lying and Faking Now a Standard Procedure at the European Patent Office

    The European Patent Organisation (EPO) under the leadership (or chairmanship) of Christoph Ernst continues to relay lies from Battistelli's Office, SUEPO rejects these, the Office lies about SMEs, prioritises Microsoft (again), and probably buys fake Twitter "followers"



  22. Links 13/10/2017: X.Org Server 1.19.5, pfSense 2.4, Final Stages of Ubuntu 17.10

    Links for the day



  23. Truly Terrible 'Journalism' About António Campinos Boils Down to Lobbying and Agenda-Pushing

    The expectedly shallow coverage of the appointment (succession) of Battistelli's French pick, which will likely change nothing of significance at the European Patent Office (EPO)



  24. Under Christoph Ernst, the Council is Just a Megaphone of Battistelli's EPO, Including on Patent Quality

    The Administrative Council of the EPO does not appear to be interested in a serious, adult, scientific debate about the quality of European Patents (EPs) and is instead relaying lies from Benoît Battistelli



  25. Links 12/10/2017: Cutelyst 1.9.0, Qt Creator 4.5 Beta

    Links for the day



  26. The Hogwash Begins: Patent Microcosm's Media Pretends Campinos is Anything But Battistelli's French Succession Plan

    A survey of media coverage regarding António Campinos, the French person whom Benoît Battistelli selected as his successor at the EPO



  27. Patent Quality at the EPO (European Patents) is Slipping While Battistelli's Office Boasts “Expansion of Early Certainty” (Even Worse)

    The EPO is staring down the abyss as high-level EPO management, quite frankly as usual, looks for new ways to further exacerbate patent quality (for superficial gains in the number of granted patents) rather than improve it



  28. Former Microsoft Employee Explains Why Microsoft 'Embrace' of GNU/Linux and Free/Libre Open Source Software is Like W3C Entryism

    Microsoft's latest moves are "EEE" that "concern" him, according to this new video



  29. Links 11/10/2017: Krita 3.3.1, KDE Plasma 5.12 Plans

    Links for the day



  30. China is Getting Full of -- and Fed Up With -- Patent Trolls

    In China too, as expected, local companies are becoming rather disgusted by a wave of patent trolls, enabled by misguided officials and bad advice from the likes of IAM (which sets up events in China at the behest of the patent microcosm)


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