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

05.05.10

Apple and Microsoft a Threat to Culture (Data), Not Just Software (Tools)

Posted in Apple, Google, ISO, Microsoft, Patents, Ubuntu at 4:41 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

MPEG crisis

Summary: Microsoft’s and Apple’s cultural threat with MPEG-LA; Canonical listed as H.264 licensee; Google perceived as potential game changer with YouTube

OGG THEORA has been a hot topic recently because it’s under attack from Apple and from Microsoft. Previous and very recent posts about that subject include:

The Microsoft Bott continues his war on Theora this week, so Chips B. Malroy responds by calling him “major Microsoft shill” (which is actually true because his career is dependent on Microsoft). Malroy added that “audio and video codecs and the patents on them, are in some ways, an attack on the right of free speech” and later he argued that: “Most of us do disdain software patents. They only help the monopolies. They do not promote science or innovation. But there is a worse form of software patents, its software patents on codecs. This should never have been allowed in any reasonable world. Software patents on multimedia codecs are basically a patent on sight and sound, two inalienable senses of the human experience.

“Beyond that the monopolies (Microsoft and Apple) want to use software patents as a way to block free operating systems, to control the web, and to profit by taxing those who have to use these multimedia video and sound software patents.

“Multimedia software patents are completely against the idea of standards, or even standards that can be freely used on the web. We must try to educate those in power to reject software patents on video and audio codecs and to get free standards on these codecs for a free web. Not a web that will be controlled and taxed further by unnecessary Microsoft and Apple lockin.

“It is not enough to just have Theora or the new free Google codec.”
      –Chips B. Malroy
“As far as IBM and Google with their support of software patents. While we would be better off without the patents, in the meantime, Google has to play the patent game in some countries, as that is the law of the land in the USA. To be able to sue those who come against you, is a weapon that we should not say to Google; “do not sue MS or Apple.”

“It is not enough to just have Theora or the new free Google codec. All of these video and audio software codecs should be free if used on the web, as the web should be free. Free standards for a free web, should be the call. Invalidate the software patents on these video and audio codecs, and make them public domain.”

This point of view is further supported here:

Why Our Civilization’s Video Art and Culture is Threatened by the MPEG-LA

We’ve all heard how the h.264 is rolled over on patents and royalties. Even with these facts, I kept supporting the best-performing “delivery” codec in the market, which is h.264. “Let the best win”, I kept thinking. But it wasn’t until very recently when I was made aware that the problem is way deeper. No, my friends. It’s not just a matter of just “picking Theora” to export a video to Youtube and be clear of any litigation. MPEG-LA’s trick runs way deeper! The [street-smart] people at MPEG-LA have made sure that from the moment we use a camera or camcorder to shoot an mpeg2 (e.g. HDV cams) or h.264 video (e.g. digicams, HD dSLRs, AVCHD cams), we owe them royalties, even if the final video distributed was not encoded using their codecs! Let me show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.

Microsoft is of course choosing to lobby for MPEG-LA, of which it is a participant. Microsoft is going to use Internet Explorer* to promote H.264 and Canonical’s old codec affairs won’t help, either:

Canonical licenses H.264 – Theora out for the count?

Canonical are currently the only Linux company to license H.264/AVC, the patented non-free technology used to compress video and favoured by companies such as Apple & Microsoft for HTML5 Video.

Neither RedHat, makers of Fedora, or Novell, makers of Suse, appear on the list of over 800 licensee’s.

What’s interesting is that the rival, if you will, to H.264 is the free and open codec Ogg Theroa which one would naturally assume would be the favoured choice for a Linux distribution’s parent to support.

Let us remember that MPEG-LA's CEO (Larry Horn) is a patent troll. TechDirt has just caught up with this news.

Joe Mullin has a great blog post, looking in detail at MobileMedia, a recently launched “company” that fits all the traditional characteristics of a “patent troll” or “non-practicing entity” (if you’d prefer). It doesn’t appear to do anything but hold patents, demand licensing fees and sue. So what’s so interesting about this one? Well, it’s a subsidiary of MPEG-LA, the company that manages some important digital video standards, and manages the patent pools related to them — and both companies have the same CEO.

[...]

What I find interesting, of course, is that many patent system folks have said that patent pools are the “answer” to issues like non-practicing entities filing crazy lawsuits. And yet, here we have an example of one of the major patent pooling administrators apparently deciding it’s more lucrative to get into the other side of the business instead…

In the meantime, while all this has been going on, it’s worth noting that Steve Jobs — one of the targets in this lawsuit — has apparently been telling people that MPEG-LA is getting ready to sue open video codecs, such as Theora, for patent infringement. Of course, such threats have been made before and never carried out — but if MPEG-LA now thinks that suing for patent infringement (rather than just alerting the patent holders to possible infringement) is the way to go these days, perhaps the lawsuits above were an opening salvo.

MPEG-LA is hardly a legitimate business if it bullies like this, but ISO, which is a farce that sells out to whoever has enough money to corrupt it, won’t do anything/much to stop this. As the president of the FFII put it yesterday, “ISO [is] pushing for a patent-free video codec, committee stuffing, yes you can do it [...] The analysis of patents is outside of the scope and competence of ISO and MPEG [...] MPEG believes that 20 years after its publication some technology will become royalty-free” (posted in Twitter).

One new writer at IDG puts it like this:

It’s Apple and Microsoft versus Google and Mozilla in a tag team match for the video codec in HTML5

[...]

As I wrote about earlier, there has been a horse race going on about which video codecs will be supported by HTML5. With the stakes so high, the race is starting to get a bit rougher. Now it is turning into a tag team match, with Apple and Microsoft on one side and Google and Mozilla on the other.

This past weekend both Apple (of the open standards according to Steve Jobs) and Microsoft (never afraid to assert an alleged patent claim) have supposedly put down the hammer that Ogg Theora (supported by Mozilla) and other open source video codecs may violate patents.

[...]

This sets up an interesting tag team match. On one side, the defenders of “open standards that we like” Apple and Microsoft. In the other corner, the open source champions Google and Mozilla. Hey maybe Adobe can be the guest referee? The winner of this match will determine what technology will underlie the video you watch on the web or your TV in the future.

Dana Blankenhorn has more to say about Apple:

Will Apple put its lawyers behind the open codec patent attack?

[..]

All this makes the pending decision in Bilski vs. Kappos, still unknown at this writing, so important. A decision that encourages Apple to proceed, especially against Google, may make for the biggest lawsuit of all time.

Apple has already sued Android through HTC.

Do not support Apple and Microsoft, though not just because they produce non-Free software and engage in anti-competitive activities (bad faith and conduct); they are also a threat to freedom in culture. This helps nobody but stakeholders like Disney, which Apple is tied to.
_____
* Not that Internet Explorer matters so much anymore. Even Microsoft-friendly meters like Net Applications (mostly from the US, secret data and secret methods, funded in part by Microsoft) say that Internet Explorer is losing browser share while about one in two Windows PCs is infected with no foreseeable solution, certainly not even snake oil marketing like this new example:

The word about Immunet’s free anti-virus solution is spreading fast. The agent installed on my computer tells me that there are currently 162,597 people in the Immunet Cloud, and that I’m protected from 12,637,576 threats. When I first installed it almost a month ago, the number of users was around 122,000.

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. Recognising the Death of Software Patents, Microsoft's Largest Ally in India Belatedly Joins the Linux-Centric Open Invention Network

    With the demise of software patents come some interesting new developments, including the decision at Infosys — historically very close to Microsoft and a proponent of software patents — to join the Open Invention Network (OIN)



  2. LG Not Only Suing Rivals Using Patents But is Also Passing Patents for Trolls Like Sentegra to Sue

    LG gives yet more reasons for a boycott, having just leveraged not just patents but also patent trolls in a battle against a competitor



  3. March 29th: The Day the Unitary Patent (UPC) Died

    Stating the obvious and proving us right amid Article 50 débâcle



  4. Kongstad and Battistelli Have Staged a Coup at the European Patent Organisation (EPO)

    Discussion about Battistelli and his chinchilla denying national representatives their rights and power to oust Battistelli, who is rapidly destroying not just the Office but also the whole Organisation, Europe's reputation, and the image of France



  5. Europe as the World's Laughing Stock When it Comes to Patent Quality/Scope and the Coming Appeals

    Criticism and embarrassing coverage for the EPO, which has just decided to grant patents even on genome, in defiance of a lot of things



  6. Links 29/3/2017: End of Linux Action Show, Top NSA Partner Pays Linux Foundation

    Links for the day



  7. In Attempt to Promote the Horrific UPC (Poor Quality of Patents Everywhere), Minnoye and Casado Cerviño Attack Their Own Staff for Saying the Truth

    An attack on truth itself -- the disintegration of the European Patent Office (EPO) -- carries on, after staff found the courage to tell delegates what had happened due to Battistelli's policies and incredible oppression that prevails and expands



  8. Another Likely Casualty of the Battistelli Regime at the EPO: Validity of Decisions of Terrified Boards of Appeal Judges

    Under pressure and habitual intervention from a demoralising, overreaching, and out-of-control President (from an entirely different division), examiners and judges 'normalise' the practice of granting patents on genetics -- a very slippery slope in terms of patent scope



  9. Benoît Battistelli 'Pulls an Erdoğan' Faster Than Erdoğan

    An explanation of what the imminent departure of Minnoye (this summer) will mean for Benoît Battistelli and his confidants, who now resemble some of the world's most ruthless dictatorships



  10. With Important Supreme Court Decisions Looming, Mainstream Media Tackles Patent Trolls

    The US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) will soon rule on TC Heartland and Lexmark, potentially restricting abusive patent behaviour even further (making room for freedom to innovate and for competition)



  11. IAM Magazine is Very Blatantly Promoting Patent Trolls and Their Agenda

    IAM Media, which produces a magazine every now and then while posting online every day, maintains its pro-trolls agenda, which is becoming so clear to see that it is definitely worth documenting yet again



  12. A “Perfect Recipe for Fraud” at the European Patent Office (EPO)

    How the world's leading patent office became a world-leading source of abuse, corruption, nepotism, injustice, incompetence, censorship, alleged bribery, pure deception, distortion of media, defamation, and suicides (among many other things)



  13. Techrights Was Right About the Unitary Patent (UPC)

    No Unified Patent Court in the UK and probably nothing like it in the rest of Europe any time soon (if ever)



  14. Patents on Life and Patents on Software Serve to Show That EPO Patent Quality Fell Well Behind the US (PTO)

    Anything goes at the EPO, except dissent; any patent application seems to be grantable, provided one uses simple tricks and persists against overworked examiners who are pressured to increase so-called 'production'



  15. Links 28/3/2017: Linux 4.11-rc4 Kernel Released, Red Hat Surge on Sales

    Links for the day



  16. The Crook Goes to Brussels to Lie About the Unitary Patent (UPC)

    The person who spent years lying about the UPC and severely attacking critics (usually by blatantly lying about them) goes to Brussels for another nose extension



  17. The EPO's HR Roadmap Retrospective

    A look back at the terrible ‘accomplishments’ of the Jesper Kongstad-led Administrative Council, which still issues hogwash and face-saving lies, as one might expect from a protector of Battistelli that lies to national representatives and buries inconvenient topics



  18. Links 26/3/2017: Debian Project Leader Elections, SecureDrop and Alexandre Oliva FSF Winners

    Links for the day



  19. His Master's Voice, Jesper Kongstad, Blocks Discussion of Investigative and Disciplinary Procedures at the EPO

    The Chairman of the Administrative Council of the European Patent Organisation is actively preventing not just the dismissal of Battistelli but also discussion of Battistelli's abuses



  20. Heiko Maas and the State of Germany Viewed as Increasingly Complicit in EPO Scandals and Toxic UPC Agenda

    It is becoming hard if not impossible to interpret silence and inaction from Maas as a form of endorsement for everything the EPO has been doing, with the German delegates displaying more of that apathy which in itself constitutes a form of complicity



  21. With IP Kat Coverage of EPO Scandals Coming to an End (Officially), Techrights and The Register Remain to Cover New Developments

    One final post about the end of Merpel’s EPO coverage, which is unfortunate but understandable given the EPO’s track record attacking the media, including blogs like IP Kat, sites of patent stakeholders, and even so-called media partners



  22. Everyone, Including Patent Law Firms, Will Suffer From the Demise of the EPO

    Concerns about quality of patents granted by the EPO (EPs) are publicly raised by industry/EPO insiders, albeit in an anonymous fashion



  23. Yes, Battistelli's Ban on EPO Strikes (or Severe Limitation Thereof) is a Violation of Human Rights

    Battistelli has curtailed even the right to strike, yet anonymous cowards attempt to blame the staff (as in patent examiners) for not going out of their way to engage in 'unauthorised' strikes (entailing dismissal)



  24. Even the EPO's Administrative Council No Longer Trusts Its Chairman, Battistelli's 'Chinchilla' Jesper Kongstad

    Kongstad's protection of Battistelli, whom he is supposed to oversee, stretches to the point where national representatives (delegates) are being misinformed



  25. Thanks to Merpel, the World Knows EPO Scandals a Lot Better, But It's a Shame That IP Kat Helped UPC

    A look back at Merpel's final post about EPO scandals and the looming threat of the UPC, which UPC opportunists such as Bristows LLP still try hard to make a reality, exploiting bogus (hastily-granted) patents for endless litigation all around Europe



  26. EPO Critics Threatened by Self-Censorship, Comment Censorship, and a Growing Threat to Anonymity

    Putting in perspective the campaign for justice at the EPO, which to a large degree relies on whistleblowers and thus depends a great deal on freedom of the press, freedom of speech, and anonymity



  27. Links 25/3/2017: Maru OS 0.4, C++17 Complete

    Links for the day



  28. Judge and Justice Bashing in the United States, EPC Bashing at the EPO

    Enforcement of the law based on constitutional grounds and based on the European Patent Convention (EPC) in an age of retribution and insults -- sometimes even libel -- against judges



  29. Looking for EPO Nepotism? Forget About Jouve and Look Closely at Europatis Instead.

    Debates about the contract of Jouve with the EPO overlook the elephants in the room, which include companies that are established and run by former EPO chiefs and enjoy a relationship with the EPO



  30. Depressing EPO News: Attacks on Staff, Attacks on Life, Brain Drain, Patents on Life, Patent Trolls Come to Germany, and Spain Being Misled

    A roundup of the latest developments at the EPO combined with feedback from insiders, who are not tolerating their misguided and increasingly abusive management


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