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

05.03.10

“Behind the Open Codec FUD Attack, W3C Captured by Microsoft, Apple, Nokia and So On?”

Posted in Apple, FUD, Microsoft, Novell, Patents at 2:09 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

King Kong

Summary: Microsoft and Apple continue their attack on freedom facilitation in the World Wide Web and Apple’s PR problem escalates

A FEW months ago we expressed concerns because Novell’s Jaffe, a vocal proponent of software patents, became the chief of the W3C (with chairs from Microsoft, Apple and IBM beneath him). In reality, the W3C should dump Apple and Microsoft for shunning Theora and promoting their software patents, but something has definitely gone amiss [1, 2]. Berners-Lee clearly opposes software patents, but Microsoft is injecting them into HTML (with Apple's support). The president of the FFII wonders loudly, “Behind the open codec FUD attack, W3C captured by Microsoft, Apple, Nokia and so on?” Florian is among those who are concerned about it too (no anti-IBM for a change, with defensible exceptions). As this new article puts it, both “Apple [and] Microsoft Come Out Against Open Source Video Codecs”; FFII’s president writes about it: “Microsoft opt for h264 video format in Internet Explorer, in order to kick other browsers who will be said “incompatible with this website”.”

Another blogger wonder what is “behind the open codec FUD attack” (in seeking of explanations, the simplest ones are usually most suitable):

The FUD attack launched against Ogg Theora and VP8, the very idea that they violate patents, is not aimed at the courts, but at the W3C, which held a conference on the coming HTML5 standards last week in Raleigh.

[...]

Microsoft and Apple are carrying the water of the content industries, which fear that losing control of the technology under which content is displayed results in losing control of the content itself. That control is expressed through the MPEG LA licensing body.

The $5 million license fee for the H.264 codec required by MPEG LA acts as a barrier to entry, both a financial and moral one. A licensee that doesn’t follow Hollywood’s rules could have its license pulled, and thus its product.

The money is chump change for Microsoft, and the barrier a good thing. It’s a matter of principle for open source.

Apple wants to shoot down Ogg just like is has shot down Lala months after acquiring the service (maybe due to relationships with Lala's competition). GNU/Linux users are negatively affected by this.

Apple iTunes on the web would be good news for a lot of people if it is launched. It would enable Linux users to purchase songs from their computers (Apple iTunes does not work on Linux).

TechDirt also ponders: “Apple Bought Lala To Shut It Down?”

Instead, it looks like Apple bought Lala to shut it down. Just five months or so after purchasing it, Apple has announced that Lala will be closing at the end of May, pissing off lots of users. Now, it’s entirely possible (or even likely) that Apple is timing the shutdown with a launch of a totally new streaming iTunes-in-the-cloud type service, but it does seem weird to buy a company and shut it down so quickly, and raises questions of whether or not the purchase was really about building out Apple’s offerings, or about shutting down a nascent competitor just before Apple launched its own version. Also, if the plan is to launch its own version, why “shut down” Lala? Why not just transfer them over to the new service?

TechDirt‘s Carlo Longino is one among many who criticised Apple for its hypocrisy [1, 2, 3, 4] when it comes to banning Flash (and MonoTouch [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8]). “I think Flash is crap,” says this person who judges software from an accessibility standpoint.

But nothing against Linux at all.

As a blind person, I tried Ubuntu, just because they said It was accessible, so I wanted to see how accessible it was.

Turns out, from what I saw, not half bad.

Anyway, I think flash is crap too. From an accessibility standpoint, from what I’ve seen over my last 10 years of using the various screen readers such as Windoweyes and Jaws For Windows, flash is not very accessible, if at all.

Even if you don’t like apple at all, as of 2008 or so,you have to give it to them when it comes to accessibility.

Now that Apple receives a lot of negative publicity (e.g. [1, 2]) it actually finds supportive apologists (not just staunch Apple proponents that mock Android) who ought to read Wiki pages about Apple’s many offences against Free software and especially against GNU/Linux (Apple is fine with Free software when it makes Apple richer). To be fair, Apple is not so hostile towards web standards, but the hypocrisy stands.

According to TechCrunch, “Apple Patents The Invisible Button” and since Apple uses patents against GNU/Linux and never joined the OIN, this is a reason for concern (Apple sues Linux vendors). The FSF’s John Sullivan has published an article about Apple in Ars Technica (cited here before and now in Slashdot) and the FSF’s Web site put together a response to Steve Jobs’ ‘Thoughts on Flash’. It says:

In a response to an open letter from Hugo Roy of the Free Software Foundation Europe, Jobs claimed that free codecs like Ogg Theora could also infringe patents, but that does not justify making the internet standard for video a technology that is known to be patented by a group who is actively collecting royalties and suing people for infringement.

We have legal assurances from the only publicly claimed patent holders that Ogg Theora can be used both commercially and noncommercially, in any software, by anyone, without royalty.

Of course, other patents may arise, and we will have to fight them if they do. H.264 could also find itself dealing with some hitherto unknown patent claims in the future; that’s just the nature of the system. Buying a license to H.264 does not magically protect you from such submarine attacks.

The software patent system is broken and we will continue campaigning for its abolition. You can help with this campaign by watching and sharing the new film, Patent Absurdity: How software patents broke the system.

In the meantime, “Everything could be patented anyway” is not an argument for “Give up even trying and just submit to MPEG-LA.” It’s an argument for Ogg Theora, and against software patents.

Adobe might soon sue Apple, not just denounce it in public. Both companies are quite religiously proprietary, but both pretend that they are not (some pretend more effectively than others).

Steve Jobs anti-Adobe Flash rant is really quite a remarkable document both for what it says, and what it doesn’t say.

First, and foremost, there’s the fact that Jobs spends most of his time complaining about the Flash format and ignoring the real beef Adobe has with Apple. Sure Adobe doesn’t like that Apple won’t let Adobe Flash on its iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch platforms. But, that’s not what has Adobe executives ticked off to the point that they’re telling Apple to go screw themselves and that they’re quietly considering suing Apple.

It would be nice to see Gizmodo suing Apple after (it participated in) breaking the law when harassing and ‘assaulting’ a blogger. Here is a new cartoon on the subject, summarised as follows:

Gizmodo’s payment of $5,000 for a misplaced iPhone raises questions about the nature of journalism in the Internet age.

We’ve also covered the issue in some of the posts below.

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. Asia's Patent Litigation Chaos Getting Worse, Reaching Countries in the West, and Sites Like IAM Actively Promote This

    The race to the bottom (of patent quality) in China, the growth of patent trolls in the region, and the ruinous litigation strategy which now spills over even to the US -- through the Eastern District of Texas -- and may inevitably come to Europe (especially if the UPC ever becomes a reality)



  2. More French Politicians Are Complaining That Benoît Battistelli is a Disgrace to France and Urge for Action

    The backlash against Battistelli spills well outside the EPO and is now apparent even at the French National Assembly



  3. Links 3/12/2016: Mageia 5.1 Released, Mozilla Revenue at $421.3M

    Links for the day



  4. Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) Sees Decline in Patent Applications and It May Actually be a Good Thing

    Challenging the false belief that the more patents society has the better off it will be, citing examples and news from north America



  5. Blockchain Domain Infested With Software Patents, MasterCard Among the Culprits

    Worrying signs that an area of Free/Open Source software innovation is getting impacted by the plague of software patents



  6. Dutch Media Covers Latest EPO Scandals, German Media Totally Absent (a Media Blackout of Convenience)

    Our observations regarding the apparent media disinterest in EPO scandals, especially at the very core of the EPO (principal host country)



  7. Relocating the Boards of Appeal to Haar is a Poisonous Priority at Battistelli's EPO

    Revisiting Battistelli's effort to chop off the appeal boards that are necessary for ensuring patent quality at the EPO



  8. Links 2/12/2016: Mint Betas, Chrome 55, KDevelop 5.0.3, PHP 7.1.0

    Links for the day



  9. The Rule of Law and Justice Don't Exist Inside the EPO, Confirms the International Labour Organisation (ILO)

    Further analysis of the latest rulings from the ILO -- decisions that were long expected



  10. A Day in the Life of... Battistelli's Banana Republic

    This is part 5 of a fictional diary from the EPO



  11. Links 1/12/2016: Devuan Beta, R3 Liberates Code

    Links for the day



  12. Two ILO Decisions on EPO Cases Are Released, at Least One Judgment is Considered Good for Staff

    Years later (as justice is too slow, partly because of the EPO, being the principal culprit that clogs up the ILO's tribunal system) there is a couple of new judgments about EPO abuses against staff



  13. Dutch and French Politicians Complain About the European Patent Office, British Media Coverage Regular Now

    Pressure from the political systems, the scientific community and from the media is growing, as it becomes abundantly apparent that the EPO cannot go on like this



  14. Links 30/11/2016: Git 2.11, GOG Surprise Tomorrow

    Links for the day



  15. The UPC Scam Part IV: Bumps Along the Road for UPC, With or Without the UK and Brexit

    A sobering reality check regarding the UPC, no matter what Lucy Neville-Rolfe says under pressure from Battistelli and some selfish law firms that are based in London



  16. The UPC Scam Part III: The “Patent Mafia”

    Bigwigs like Lucy Neville-Rolfe and Benoît Battistelli, together with Team UPC and its tiny minority interests (self enrichment), are conspiring to hijack the laws of Europe, doing so across many national borders with unique and locally-steered patent policy in one fell swoop



  17. The UPC Scam Part II: The Patent Echo Chamber at Work, Prematurely Congratulating Itself in Its 'News' Sites





  18. The UPC Scam Part I: EPO-Bribed Media Outlets Lie to Brits (and to Europeans) About the UPC

    An introductory article in a multi-part series about UPC at times of Brexit and Lucy Neville-Rolfe's bizarre sellout to Battistelli



  19. European Public Service Union Asks EPO Administrative Council “to Re-establish the Rule of Law at the European Patent Office”

    The chinchillas of the Administrative Council are assertively asked to tackle the abusive management of the EPO, which gets condemned not only by CERN but also EPSU, which is working with the Dutch government to end lawlessness at the EPO



  20. Links 29/11/2016: Core Apps Hackfest, MuckRock Goes FOSS

    Links for the day



  21. ILOAT Decisions: Upcoming Publication of Two EPO Cases (Abuse Against Staff)

    Reminder about tomorrow's "exceptional public delivery" from the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and a request for additional information



  22. Mixing Politics and EPO: How Battistelli Defies the Very Basic Rules of the Office

    A reminder of the fact that Battistelli was entrenched in French politics even while he was serving at the EPO



  23. EPO DG1 Principal Director “Out of the Muppet Show”

    The ridicule of EPO management is a symptom of a poisonous work environment which now resembles an assembly line of bad patents, where employees are treated unfairly, severely, and in clear defiance of labour laws



  24. Learning From the Mistakes of the US Patent System (and More Latterly China) When Assessing Patent Maximalism

    The warning signs coming both from the East and from the West, demonstrating the pitfalls of a policy too permissive on patents and thus on litigation



  25. The International Labour Organisation Once Again Proves Useless for Labour of the EPO

    The International Labour Organisation (ILO) is once again failing too serve justice, instead just sending complaints elsewhere, in effect into a black hole



  26. CERN Slams the European Patent Office for Abuse of Employees

    The European Organisation for Nuclear Research known as CERN is openly condemning EPO management and the Administrative Council for violation of human/labour rights, not to mention the other abuses that are rampant under Battistelli's notorious regime



  27. Links 28/11/2016: X-Plane 11 Beta, Early Work For C++20, Microsoft Hole in RHEL

    Links for the day



  28. Patents Roundup: Patent Trolls, Patent Quality, and the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”)

    A week's roundup of patent news from the United States, where there's a mixture of good news, bad news, good reporting, and misleading (or selective) reporting



  29. Patent Attorney Mark Summerfield: EPO Administrative Council “Members Should be Ashamed.”

    A recent comment about Battistelli's misbehaviour and the Administrative Council's utter failure to get a grip on him



  30. EPO Caricature: Slowing Down Justice and Giving Luxury Cars as Gifts

    The latest cartoon making the rounds is about SLAPP and alleged bribery in Croatia (more on that soon)


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