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

04.23.10

Microsoft Software Patents in Codecs, Web Font DRM, and Likewise-HP

Posted in DRM, Microsoft, Patents, Protocol, Samba at 3:00 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Likewise as Microsoft

Summary: A look at some issues where Microsoft walks among patents and uses their enforcement to pursue its own goals

LAST month we showed that Microsoft helps MPEG LA (patents cartel/pool), notably at the expense of patents- and royalty-free formats. It is possible that the maze of patents makes video/audio compression as a whole unsafe from infringement (where software patents apply) and BetaNews argues that it is challenging because Microsoft tried in vain.

Google may face legal challenges if it open-sources VP8 codec

[...]

But there’s already historical precedent for a company attempting to offer a royalty-free license for a codec whose underlying technologies it didn’t completely own. In 2005, Microsoft offered its WMV9 technologies as the royalty-free standard VC-1. As Microsoft soon discovered, WMV9 was not “patent-free” outside of Microsoft, and its underlying technologies were not royalty-free either. Today, Microsoft’s service agreement on VC-1 includes a notice saying, among other things, that AVC — one of the bedrock encoding technologies claimed by other rights holders — may be used in the VC-1 codec, under a license granted to Microsoft by MPEG LA. That license covers Microsoft when it, in turn, licenses the use of VC-1′s three essential encoding technologies, for non-commercial purposes.

This almost gives the impression that Microsoft did the right thing, but as always, it requires modest understanding of Microsoft’s motives. Microsoft — unlike the W3C for example — is a profit-driven business. The same goes for Microsoft’s use of its new power in the W3C [1, 2]. Not so long ago Microsoft was trying to push DRM for webfonts into the W3C. Apparently it was not accepted because we have not heard about it since, but Microsoft boosters and others speak about Microsoft sponsoring a new Web font standard.

With a surprise boost from Microsoft, the promise of rich typography on the Web just got a big step closer to reality.

The software company’s involvement emerged Monday with sponsorship of a newer effort at the World Wide Web Consortium to standardize Web-based fonts with technology called the Web Open Font Format (WOFF).

Whose methods will be used? It is possible that Microsoft will try to advance its own way of doing things. We don’t know yet, but we saw that before. There’s HD and the JPEG thing, where Microsoft tried to impose its own implementation upon the standard. Similarly, Microsoft tried to make WMV9 ‘the standard’ (WM is Windows Media), so this whole codec anecdote was not an act of charity.

Speaking of Microsoft and software patents, Likewise, which is former Microsoft staff that stuffs Samba with Microsoft’s software patents and then sells it [1, 2, 3, 4], is hooking up with HP, which charges a premium on GNU/Linux (presumably for patents, although that’s speculative excepting Likewise’s relationship with Microsoft).

These HP StorageWork servers will use Likewise-CIFS, a high-performance, commercially supported, Windows-compatible file server, and Likewise Identity Service. Likewise-CIFS started as a commercially supported Samba but is now a CIFS (Common Internet File System) server in its own right. Likewise Identity Service is an Active Directory bridge technology providing authentication of non-Windows systems to Microsoft’s Active Directory.

Likewise is like an extension of Microsoft and it makes a dangerous precedence because of software patents (complying with Microsoft and overriding Samba, whose special and exclusive deal with the Commission has this loophole). It’s almost as though Microsoft had Likewise created by its people to promote software patents in/and Microsoft protocols.

There is another new announcement from another company created/headed by a former Microsoft employee. We are talking about OpenLogic [1, 2, 3, 4].

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

What Else is New


  1. British Government May be a Step Closer to GNU/Linux (on the Desktops, Not Just Servers)

    The British government stops paying the criminal company that blackmails its members, thereby increasing the possibility of complete escape from proprietary software



  2. Microsoft's Patent Allies LG and Sony Agree to Put Microsoft Inside Android

    LG and Sony (of Rockstar Consortium) follow Samsung and Dell in Microsoft's campaign to turn Android into 'Microsoft Android' using patents-induced pressure/leverage



  3. Yet Another Major Security Deficiency in UEFI

    UEFI is inherently insecure, more so than the alternatives which it strives to replace, including Free/libre ones



  4. Links 27/5/2015: Fedora 22 is Out, Mandriva Liquidated

    Links for the day



  5. Patent Scope at the EPO is Totally Out of Control, UPC Will Make Things Worse

    A look at the practical issues with the EPO, where patent scope and litigation scope have been vastly extended so as to benefit multinational corporations and possibly patent trolls



  6. Links 26/5/2015: Reviews of Kubuntu 15.04, Linux 4.1 RC5

    Links for the day



  7. Süddeutsche Zeitung Says Talking Helps While EPO Management Back-stabs Other Side of the Table

    German media gives the impression that there is peace and harmony now that Benoît Battistelli and his circle of power speaks to staff, but nothing is said about simultaneous (albeit covert) attacks against that staff



  8. Large Corporations Call the Shots in US Patent Reform

    A reminder of where we stand on the issue of patent 'reform' in the US and who is controlling or shaping it



  9. Microsoft Puts Proprietary Windows and Hyper-V Inside the Free Software-Centric OpenStack

    OpenStack, which celebrates rapid growth in this month's event in Canada, is facing a proprietarisation threat from Microsoft



  10. Microsoft's Secret Lobbying, Bullying, and the Long History of Blackmailing Politicians Around the World

    British media covers Microsoft's abuse in the UK, but there are many similar incidents, and not just in the UK



  11. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on Benoît Battistelli and Four EPO Suicides

    German press article from April 2015 (with translations)



  12. Links 24/5/2015: CrossOver 14.1.3, NTFS-3G Vulnerability

    Links for the day



  13. Links 23/5/2015: Fedora 22 to May 26th, Netflix in SteamOS

    Links for the day



  14. The Patents Production 'Industry' (Patent Lawyers) Still Fights Hard to Salvage Software Patents

    A review of recent writings about software patents and patents on business methods in the United States, demonstrating that patent lawyers have gotten very vocal and sneaky (trying to evade the rules)



  15. Patents as a Marketing Strategy: USPTO Now Part of the Advertising Industry

    The existence of publicity patents, or patents whose sole purpose is to advertise some products, serves to discredit the US patent office, which was originally set up to promote science and technology



  16. Microsoft Blackmails and Extorts British Politicians Over Open Standards and Free Software-Leaning Policies

    Microsoft's digital imperialism in the UK getting defended using blackmail, reminding a lot of Brits that Microsoft is just as evil as ever before



  17. Microsoft Gives Another Bug a Name, This Time Logjam™

    The Microsoft crowd is good only at marketing, even when it comes to small bugs in software



  18. Links 22/5/2015: Fedora 22 Final Release is Near, Canonical IPO Considered

    Links for the day



  19. More Utter Shame Unveiled at Battistelli's EPO: Intimidation Tactics With Help From 'Control Risks'

    The unaccountable thugs who run the EPO have hired London-based spooks to help silence their opposition and their critics



  20. GNU/Linux Still Under Attack From Apple and Microsoft, Patents Remain the Weapon of Choice

    A timely reminder of the importance of patent matters, for they are being used to eliminate the zero-cost advantage of Free/libre software and make it more proprietary, privacy-infringing, and user-hostile (as a result of blackmail)



  21. Gartner Group and NASSCOM: Will Lie for FUD, on Behalf of Microsoft and Proprietary Software

    Some of the latest arguments against Free/libre software turn out to be arriving from couriers of Microsoft and its agenda



  22. Windows is a Franchise in Demise, Don't Believe the Hype

    Ongoing propaganda about Vista 10, 'cloud', and other buzzwords or brands are put in perspective



  23. Links 21/5/2015: Fedora 22 RC2, CERN Chooses OpenStack

    Links for the day



  24. Microsoft is Again Showing Its Hatred of Free/Open Source Software by Lobbying the Indian Government to Drop a Rational National Policy

    Microsoft decides to attack Free/Open Source software (FOSS) in India, where the corporate media is very much complicit in misleading the public



  25. Links 20/5/2015: Containers, OpenStack, and EXT4 Corruption

    Links for the day



  26. The PATENT Act, Distraction of Trolls, and Lobbying for Software Patents by Protectionists

    Only large corporations and their lawyers are able to formally change the US patent system through public officials and politicians, despite recent rulings from very high courts



  27. Corporate Media and Friends of Microsoft Are Still Lying About the Cost of Vista 10

    In a desperate effort to beat operating systems that are Free (libre) and free (gratis), such as GNU/Linux or Android, Microsoft shores up the illusion of 'free' (gratis) Windows



  28. Links 19/5/2015: Linux 4.1 RC4, Thunderbird 31.7.0, OpenStack Event

    Links for the day



  29. Links 18/5/2015: Russia Chooses Jolla, Many New Distro Releases, Meizu Devices

    Links for the day



  30. Even Converting an Image to Greyscale is Now a Patent

    Simple mathematics becoming patented as Fujifilm claims 'ownership' of photographic conversion to greyscale


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