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


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. Disruption to Site's Service

    A technical note about why Techrights has not been publishing many articles recently

  2. Links 21/10/2016: MPV 0.21, Mad Max for GNU/Linux

    Links for the day

  3. EPO Caricature: Battistelli's High Five

    Another cartoon about the sad state of the EPO

  4. Battistelli Ruins Not Only the EPO But Also the Whole of Europe By Ushering in Software Patents That Patent Trolls Love So Much

    Battistelli's bad leadership at the EPO threatens to bring to Europe all the ills and menaces of the patent system in the United States

  5. EPO Spokesman Lies to IP Watch in Order to Save Face and Save the King (Battistelli)

    Rewriting history (revisionism) regarding Battistelli and what was demanded amidst abusive behaviour from him

  6. Unitary Patent (UPC) is Dead, But 'Managing IP' and Selfish Patent Law Firms Still Try to Resurrect It

    The latest attempts to shore up the Unitary (or Unified) Patent Court and who's behind it other than the usual suspects

  7. Links 20/10/2016: Linux 4.10 Preview, ONF and ON.Labs to Merge

    Links for the day

  8. Battistelli-Commissioned PwC 'Study': The Raw Outcome Shows Distortion of the Facts at the EPO's Notorious 'Social Conference'

    Results of the Staff Survey carried out by PwC, in order to provide some propaganda for Battistelli's expensive Social Conference

  9. Addendum: EPO's Alberto Casado Cerviño, WIPO's Francis Gurry, and EUIPO's Archambeau

    Photos taken as part of an IP event which took place in Riga (Latvia) in March 2015

  10. Worrisome Connections Between EPO VP2 Alberto Casado Cerviño and Patricia García-Escudero Márquez

    Exploring the potential conflicts of interests implicating the EPO's Boards of Appeal Committee

  11. Site's Infrastructure Under Attack and Upgrades Ahead of Major New Publications

    Protections for the Web site have been improved and capacity increased in order to avoid or at least prepare for another week of abusive/spam traffic

  12. Team Battistelli's Conspiracy Theory: SUEPO is Behind Everything, EPO Management is Trying to Tell the Media

    Attempts to blame SUEPO, the staff union of the EPO, even though SUEPO has nothing to do with articles that are critical of the EPO while many thousands of EPO employees are disgruntled

  13. Links 19/10/2016: Canonical Livepatch Service, Plasma Plans

    Links for the day

  14. The 'Sarah Sharps' of Microsoft: Not the Kind of Scandal the Media Cares Enough to Write About

    Another example of the large (industrial) scale of sexual discrimination at Microsoft -- a company that tries to advertise itself as diverse or tolerant and stigmatise Free/Open Source software (FOSS) as intolerant and/or not diverse

  15. EPO Caricature: EQE Questions

    The latest EPO cartoon, this time about European qualifying examination (EQE)

  16. The Long History or Seeds of Control by Fear and Punishment at the EPO

    The latest hogwash from Team Battistelli (Pinocchio), the latest instance of software patents promotion by EPO Principal Director, and an old (decade-old) nugget of information from the Forum for Principal Directors

  17. Subject of the European Patent Office's Abuses Raised in European Parliament by Ulrike Müller (ALDE)

    A local copy of a bunch of questions asked less than a month ago by Ulrike Müller at the European Parliament, regarding the unacceptable state of affairs at the European Patent Office (EPO)

  18. French Article About the EPO "Crisis"

    Le Monde, which covered EPO suicides and nervous breakdowns a year and a half ago, revisits the subject

  19. Battistelli Wants Us to Believe a Patent Office in a Freefall (EPO) is “Stronger and More Sustainable”

    Still in denial (or self-deluding for self indulgence), Battistelli writes about the EPO as though everything is rosy and people are happy

  20. Leaked Documents Shed More Light on What Happened to Alison Brimelow and How Battistelli Rose to Power

    How Battistelli's (almost) all-male (and all-white, mostly French) management came into being, not too long after Ms Alison Brimelow got elbowed out the Office

  21. Leaked: Outcomes of 149th Administrative Council's Meeting at the European Patent Organisation

    The raw details or a summary thereof, based on the above which serves to confirm what we wrote about several days ago, right after the quarterly meeting had ended

  22. Danish Press Coverage of the European Patent Office and the Problems Explored by Techrights

    Jesper Kongstad does virtually nothing to deny the arguments (or "accusations") and instead alludes to the style of the writings about him

  23. Links 18/10/2016: Release Candidate of Leap 42.2, Looking Ahead at GTK4

    Links for the day

  24. Links 17/10/2016: JS Foundation, Ubuntu 17.04 Named ‘Zesty Zapus’

    Links for the day

  25. EPO Updates: Battistelli in Trouble, Grossenbacher and Battistelli Having a Fight, EPO Doubles Down on Željko Topić

    Interesting updates from the European Patent Office (EPO), where things have taken a turn for the worse for Battistelli while Željko Topić secures an extension of his notorious contract

  26. EPO Social Conference Another Example of Astronomical Waste of Money by Benoît Battistelli

    Having paid the media and attempted to scare/intimidate staff into silence (even among one another), Battistelli now pays some firms to lie for him and present the lies while staff representatives are blocked from entering the presentation

  27. As Expected, Benoît Battistelli Puts Longtime Ally Roland Grossenbacher on Top of Boards of Appeal

    Benoît Battistelli's predecessor Roland Grossenbacher, who has a track record of protection and support for Battistelli (no matter the magnitude of abuses), reportedly takes a key position with Battistelli's approval, debunking the notion that the appeal boards will enjoy greater (perceived) independence from the Office

  28. UPC Preparatory Committee Projects Optimism in an Effort to Salvage Its Dying Project, the Unitary/Unified Patent

    Refusing to let the UPC stay in its grave, Team UPC keeps digging up and dishing out UPC misinformation, in front of an audience that need not be preached to as it's already converted (effectively an echo chamber)

  29. Outline of Latest Press Coverage Regarding the European Patent Office (EPO)

    European media is beginning to cover scandals associated with the European Patent Office (EPO), in spite of Battistelli's attempt to silence and manipulate it, at the expense of millions of Euros per year

  30. Links 16/10/2016: Linux 4.9 RC1, Wine 1.9.21

    Links for the day


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


Recent Posts