05.07.10

Canonical Needs to Tell Ubuntu Users How Much It Paid MPEG-LA for Patent ‘Protection’

Posted in Europe, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Patents, RAND, Ubuntu at 7:57 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

MPEG LA logo

Summary: Canonical ought to offer some form of disclosure about patent deals with the MPEG cartel

FOLLOWING the KnowRi§ht conference which we wrote about in the morning (FFII has a whole page about it), the president of the FFII linked to this article from Slashdot, which in turn links to a Microsoft booster from The Register. We have already written about this article and sort of defended Canonical’s position when it comes to H.264 patents*. FFII’s president, however, reacted differently and wrote: “Time to book BoycottUbuntu.com? How much did Canonical spent on the H264 patent license for Ubuntu? Ask them please.”

He later asked Canonical’s COO, but has received no answer yet.

Popey (from Ubuntu) passed along the message that “Microsoft patents portable applications,” as reported by Microsoft boosters.

On Tuesday, Microsoft was awarded a U.S. patent for “portable applications.” The description of this innovative technology? Running an executable file from a flash device.

The accompanying remark says: “Goodbye portable Firefox?”

In other news, a European/British lawyers’ blog hosts this piece about “Removable Features of Operating Systems”; it covers patents as follows:

It is long established that intellectual property law applies to computer software. Source code written by programmers is subject to copyright and, where programmers are employees, the copyright is almost always assigned to their employer. The processes and techniques embodied in that source code may be further protected by patents. Individual programmers or, as is more common these days, teams of programmers invent technical solutions to problems, and those solutions may be protected by patents. Again, a patent will usually be assigned to the employer, if any, of the inventor, but sometimes to some other organization.

Software patents have no room in Europe and what’s baffling is that Canonical pays for software patents, despite the fact that it’s based in the UK. What gives?

That having been said, earlier today the president of the FFII said that the “European Commission [is] still using the undefined term FRAND (fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory), pushing for patents.” He linked to this new article:

Uncertainty over royalty payments is a bugbear of the wireless industry, as seen by the current nervousness over the IPR burden that will materialize in LTE devices. Once standards are set and start to appear in commercial products, patent holders often emerge from the woodwork to claim their fee, leading to complex cross-licensing negotiations and sometimes lawsuits and hefty royalty fees.

Many bodies, particularly the European standards agency ETSI, have been trying to get patent holders to declare their holdings in a would-be standard upfront, and the European Union is now offering a powerful incentive to turn this into best practise. The EU says companies that provide technology that could be adopted in industry standards could be exempted from strict European antitrust laws if they set out, from the start, the maximum fees they would charge for their patents.

[...]

According to the Reuters news agency, the draft rules contain benchmarks to assess the level of FRAND licensing fees. The Commission said companies would need to disclose their intellectual property rights before their patents were included in standards. “No or unclear disclosure obligations may furthermore give incentives to ‘patent ambushes’, that is companies hiding patents until industry is locked in and thereafter refusing to license or request exorbitant fees,” the statement said.

As we pointed out before, heavy lobbying from Microsoft has bamboozled Neelie Kroes into accepting software patents through (x)RAND [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. Does the H.264 cartel utilise the same RAND trick which Microsoft is already exploiting?

“Digital society depends upon open standards and interoperability. And with this in mind, public organizations should practice what they promote. If they don’t use open standards, why should citizens?”

Jan Wildeboer

___
* Canonical paid to appease the patent troll, but the problem is that it legitimises an attack on other distributions like Fedora, Mandriva, and even Asterisk distributions.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email
  • Slashdot

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. IRC Proceedings: Monday, October 26, 2020

    IRC logs for Monday, October 26, 2020



  2. Links 26/10/2020: rpminspect 1.2, Open Source Hardware Certification and LibreOffice Conference

    Links for the day



  3. Links 26/10/2020: Debian "Bullseye" Artwork, Fwupd 1.5 Released

    Links for the day



  4. [Meme] Satya Na-DL

    Microsoft has shown its real priorities (just before the weekend when many people might not notice)



  5. Jonathan Wiltshire and Debian, Falsified Harassment Claims, Tiger Computing and GCHQ

    Reprinted with permission from Debian Community News



  6. Links 26/10/2020: Linux 5.10 RC1 and Loongsoon Laptops

    Links for the day



  7. The Downfall of Free Software Leaders (and Their Projects or Missions)

    "Cancel George Orwell, and happy hacking."



  8. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, October 25, 2020

    IRC logs for Sunday, October 25, 2020



  9. Links 25/10/2020: Kodi 18.9, ScummVM Android Love, Cutelyst 2.13

    Links for the day



  10. [Meme] Captain Zemlin and Neil McGovern's Ugly Legacy in GNOME (His Predecessors Work for Microsoft Directly Now)

    The Linux Foundation is already ‘sold’ and Microsoft Tim‘s interview with Neil McGovern, published a few days ago, was rather revealing (comments on the article/interview were also harsh)



  11. How Microsoft is Still Worse Than Google

    "I have decided that we should not publish these extensions. We should wait until we have a way to do a high level of integration that will be harder for the likes of Notes, Wordperfect to achieve, and which will give Office a real advantage."



  12. 'President Bill Gates' Wants to Punish Not Only Google After Using “Extensions” to the Web to Reinforce Microsoft's Monopoly (Antitrust Violations Are a Microsoft Thing)

    In gross distortion of facts and of history and in a rather incredible fashion (very shameless and insulting) the corporate media tries to paint Bill Gates as an antitrust hero that will save the world from monopolies



  13. Donald Trump Helped Bill Gates Increase His Wealth by More Than 50%, Especially During the Pandemic

    Contrary to ridiculous narratives disseminated by nutty accounts all around the Web, Gates and Trump are no foes but 'partners in crime'



  14. Our 14th Birthday is Coming

    We're turning 14 shortly and we need ideas from readers (things that can be done to mark the event and celebrate 'on-line')



  15. In Spite of IBM's Difficult Past and Particularly Dark History, Under Arvind Krishna’s Leadership It Has Only Shown Signs of Improving

    This winter, 6 months after Arvind Krishna’s tenure as CEO began, we can generally say that things seem to have improved and we look forward to further improvements



  16. Links 25/10/2020: GNU Taler's IETF Milestone, RISC OS 5.28 and New Ubuntu Community Council

    Links for the day



  17. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, October 24, 2020

    IRC logs for Saturday, October 24, 2020



  18. Links 24/10/2020: GDB 10.1, Kodachi 7.4, Wine 5.20

    Links for the day



  19. Celebrating Code of Conduct Violations

    Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock



  20. The Militarised Elephant in the Room Still Commands a Lot of Free Software Development

    We take a difficult (albeit in-depth and perfectly factual) look at IBM's past and present; considering this is the company that controls Red Hat (which in turn controls many key projects in GNU/Linux) we need a better understanding of the real context, not PR fluff and marketing



  21. Juve Patent's Love of Patent Trolls and Their Misinformation

    The press 'gutter' known as Juve (basically propaganda disguised as 'news' since years ago) has gotten to the point where the publisher is just an extension of lawyers and liars



  22. IRC Proceedings: Friday, October 23, 2020

    IRC logs for Friday, October 23, 2020



  23. Look How Many Tux I Give!

    "Long live rms, long live (Hyperbola) GNU/BSD, and happy hacking."



  24. Embrace, Extend, and Extensions: Two New Reasons to Delete GitHub, Which Microsoft Ruined for Everyone (Except the Copyright Cartel and Other Censors)

    GitHub is being turned into a garbage dump with malicious masters (or monsters, or mobsters); many people are denied access for using the 'wrong' browser and developers/projects are being censored (not for doing anything wrong or illegal, either)



  25. [Meme] When EPO Staff Claims to be 'Ill' or 'Sick'... During a Pandemic's European Peak

    Gotta check and verify that those 'lazy' EPO examiners aren't just faking being ill (in order to not meet "production" targets)



  26. The EPO Has Relegated or Lowered Itself to Extremely Poor Standards

    Today's EPO continues to reaffirm the image of global weakness; having failed to improve the working conditions and quality of the work (its actions did the exact opposite), it's nowadays begging China to send over lots of workload irrespective of quality or merit and it is outsourcing the functions of the Office to the United States



  27. Links 23/10/2020: Turing Pi 2, GNU Parallel 20201022

    Links for the day



  28. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, October 22, 2020

    IRC logs for Thursday, October 22, 2020



  29. Links 23/10/2020: 'Groovy Gorilla' Everywhere in the News

    Links for the day



  30. For Better 'Tech Rights' in the United States (and the World at Large) the 'Orange Man' Needs to Go

    With less than a fortnight before election day we explain our stance from a purely tech-related rationale


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