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

04.06.10

Ubuntu Removes Codec Patent Trap, But What About Mono?

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Open XML, Patents, Ubuntu at 2:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Towed away

Summary: The AAC encoder is taken off Ubuntu repositories, but other, more troubling software stays, despite clear warnings from Microsoft

CANONICAL has begun cleaning up a bit around its repositories, but what about Mono and Moonlight? They pose similar problems. Jeremy Allison has suggested that Ubuntu should put Mono in the “restricted” repositories [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]. Here is what Ubuntu does with the AAC encoder.

Problems with the licensing of the faac library could lead to it having to be removed from Ubuntu’s distribution or moved to the “restricted” repositories where license encumbered codecs are kept. Libfaac is used to encode audio into the AAC format, which is used alongside a range of video formats to provide a soundtrack.

We previously explained how Apple and Microsoft were promoting the use of proprietary codecs with a lot of software patents in them.

In other news that ought to matter, OOXML continues to suffer from software patents, with McKool Smith taking a leading role, sometimes as a front for patent trolls [1, 2, 3, 4].

The folks at Microsoft Corp. have to be more than a little ticked at Mike McKool and his law firm.

In the last year, McKool Smith PC has won nearly $400 million in two patent infringement victories against the Redmond, Wash., software giant. It just filed a third suit, hoping for more of the same.

Last week we wrote about Microsoft losing its chance to appeal in the i4i case [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12]. This is now being covered in many news sites, such as the following:

It is worth adding that Microsoft’s Marshall Phelps, who was among the engineers of the patent war against GNU/Linux and Free software, is joining the board of ipCapital Group, which seems like some form of a company that derives revenue from taxing the industry with intellectual monopolies and lawyer fees.

ipCapital Group, Inc. (ipcg.com), one of the nation’s leading intellectual property (IP) strategy consulting and licensing firms, is proud to announce that Marshall C. Phelps, Jr., former Corporate Vice President, Deputy General Counsel for Intellectual Property and Licensing at Microsoft, has joined the firm as a member of the Board of Directors. Mr. Phelps is a leading figure in the field of intellectual property management and execution and pioneered many of its foremost strategies to unprecedented results while leading IP business and related activities at IBM and Microsoft.

We wrote about the subject of Marshall Phelps in [1, 2, 3]. He wrote an entire book to defend Microsoft’s attack on GNU/Linux using software patents. To use a new example, here is how ridiculous the US patent system has become:

Redden told jurors that at first examiners rejected Ballard’s patent application, both on initial examination and at reexam, citing check-scanning technology dating back as far as 1981.

“So Mr. Ballard amended his application to add the idea of encryption, and he got his patent,” Redden said. Ballard’s patent survived the reexam, Redden added, because it had one additional feature—encrypting a two-digit ID number on the back of a check.

Apple is now suing Android/Linux [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6] with Microsoft’s support [1, 2]. What about all the ideas Apple is taking from other companies?

Today I was at Williams Coffee Pub, eating a delicous bagel with garlic flavoured cream cheese and enjoying my coffee. I happened to stumble upon some interesting news around Apple and OpenPandora. The issue is over something called the “iControlPad” which was an add-on for the iPhone which made it easier to play games on the device. Apple decided it was a worthy enough invention that it decided to put a patent on it. That’s correct folks, Apple stole someone else’s invention (iControlPad.com). This isn’t news if you know about Xerox though ;)

Typical Apple. And Apple — like Microsoft — is now bullying its #1 competitor using software patents.

“We’ve always been shameless about stealing great ideas.”

Steve Jobs, Apple

“As long as they are going to steal it, we want them to steal ours.”

Bill Gates

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

6 Comments

  1. Needs Sunlight said,

    April 6, 2010 at 4:55 am

    Gravatar

    As desirable as removing WMV/WMA codecs would be, the H article only points to a bug report. Oh, wait, this report does not mention WMV or WMA, those are still there. It mentions MPEG, but that codec is still there.

    The Mono Guard is rather vehement about burying inconvenient bug reports.

    Solving the problem requires two actions, promoting open formats Ogg + Dirac, removing proprietary codecs from the main repository. While they are arguing with the Mono Guard and others over the latter, the former is easy to do and could even be done in collaboration with Mozilla or other projects.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    I sometimes wonder about the relationship between Canonical and Mozilla after Ubuntu took their livelihood (search bar in 10.04).

    Needs Sunlight Reply:

    Didn’t that happen after they hired or made arrangements to hire Microsoft’s Matt Assay?

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    No, it was just before the announcement, AFAIK (maybe a week or so).

    Needs Sunlight Reply:

    That’s basically the same time frame… The announcement would come after a period of negotiation.

    All those years ago, did Matt ‘almost’ get hired the same way that Miguel ‘almost’ got hired? He’s sure kept in close contact with that group which no self-respecting individual would have any earthly reason to be in contact with.

  2. Dr. Roy Schestowitz said,

    April 6, 2010 at 11:35 am

    Gravatar

    The announcement would come after a period of negotiation.

    But there are others in Canonical, including ex-Softies.

What Else is New


  1. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, April 01, 2020

    IRC logs for Wednesday, April 01, 2020



  2. Upcoming Articles and Research Areas

    Although we've failed to write as much as usual, we're still preparing some in-depth articles and maintaining Daily Links (in spite of unforeseen ordeals like a forced laptop migration)



  3. Links 2/4/2020: ProtonMail Bridge for Linux, GTK 3.98.2 and Red Hat DNF 4.2.21

    Links for the day



  4. Links 1/4/2020: Linux 5.7 Merges, Qt 5.14.2, GhostBSD 20.03, Linux Mint 20 Ulyana Plans, WordPress 5.4 “Adderley”

    Links for the day



  5. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, March 31, 2020

    IRC logs for Tuesday, March 31, 2020



  6. Techrights to Delete Articles From All Past Years to Save Disk Space

    What if we deleted over 25,000 posts?



  7. IRC Proceedings: Monday, March 30, 2020

    IRC logs for Monday, March 30, 2020



  8. Links 30/3/2020: GNU Linux-libre 5.6, WireGuard 1.0.0

    Links for the day



  9. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, March 29, 2020

    IRC logs for Sunday, March 29, 2020



  10. Links 30/3/2020: Linux 5.6, Nitrux 1.2.7, Sparky 2020.03.1

    Links for the day



  11. The Fall of the UPC - Part IX: Campinos Opens His Mouth One Week Later (and It's That Hilarious Delusion Again)

    Team Campinos said nothing whatsoever about the decision of the FCC until one week later, whereupon Campinos leveraged some words from Christine Lambrecht to mislead everybody in the EPO's official "news" section



  12. Pretending EPO Corruption Stopped Under António Campinos When It is in Fact a Lot Worse in Several Respects/Aspects (Than It Was Under Benoît Battistelli)

    Germany's eagerness to keep Europe's central patent office in Munich (and to a lesser degree in Berlin) means that politicians in the capital and in Bavaria turn a blind eye to abuses, corruption and even serious crimes; this won't help Germany's image in the long run



  13. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, March 28, 2020

    IRC logs for Saturday, March 28, 2020



  14. Links 28/3/2020: Wine 5.5 Released, EasyPup 2.2.14, WordPress 5.4 RC5 and End of Truthdig

    Links for the day



  15. IRC Proceedings: Friday, March 27, 2020

    IRC logs for Friday, March 27, 2020



  16. The Fall of the UPC - Part VIII: Team UPC Celebrates Death, Not Life

    Team UPC plays psychological games now; it is trying to twist or spin its defeat as good news and something to be almost celebrated; it is really as illogical (and pathetic) as that sounds



  17. Links 27/3/2020: GNU/Linux Versus COVID-19 and Release of GNU Guile 3.0.2

    Links for the day



  18. When Your 'Business' is Just 'Patent Portfolio'

    Hoarding loads of patents may seem impressive, but eating them to survive is impossible if not impermissible



  19. LOT Network is a One-Man (Millionaire's) Operation and Why This Should Alarm You

    The ugly story of Open Invention Network (OIN) and LOT; today we take a closer look at LOT and highlight a pattern of 'cross-pollination' (people in both OIN and LOT, even at the same time)



  20. Faking Production With Fake Patents on Software

    The EPO with its illegal guidelines (in violation of the EPC) can carry on churning out millions of fake patents that European courts would only waste time on and small companies be blackmailed with (they cannot afford legal battles)



  21. With the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Out of the Way Focus Will Return to EPO Corruption

    Expect the European Patent Office (EPO) to receive more negative attention now that the ’cause’ of UPC is lost and there’s no point pretending things are rosy



  22. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, March 26, 2020

    IRC logs for Thursday, March 26, 2020



  23. Links 27/3/2020: qBittorrent 4.2.2, Krita 4.2.9, pfSense 2.4, Bodhi Linux 5

    Links for the day



  24. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, March 25, 2020

    IRC logs for Wednesday, March 25, 2020



  25. Still Work in Progress: Getting Those 2,851 Pages of Police Report About Arrest for Pedophilia in Home of Bill Gates

    It’s extremely difficult to get those police records, which were requested exactly one day before the media started attacking Richard Stallman (associating him with pedophiles based on a deliberate distortion)



  26. Links 26/3/2020: Plasma Bigscreen, New Kubernetes, Fedora's New Identity and Bodhi Linux 5.1.0

    Links for the day



  27. Guest Article: Window Managers, Github and Software Disobedience

    "Walking away from monopolies is the essence of freedom"



  28. Links 25/3/2020: LLVM 10.0.0 and UCS 4.4-4 Released, WordPress 5.4 RC4

    Links for the day



  29. 'Team UPC' Last Week

    The looks on Team UPC's faces 5 days ago (before and after the 9:30AM announcement)



  30. The Fall of the UPC - Part VII: Lies and Revisionism About the Reasons for the UPC's Ultimate Demise (to Leave the Door Open for More Failed Attempts)

    The media was lying in a hurry, in a coordinated effort to distort the meaning of the FCC's decision or belittle the impact of this decision; Techrights will carefully watch and respond to these lies


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