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08.28.10

Mozilla Avoids MPEG-LA’s Latest Poison Pill and Rejects Patents Just Like Samba Does

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Patents, Red Hat at 11:40 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

MPEG LA logo

Summary: Mozilla maintains its anti-patents stance and Red Hat could take a lesson from Mozilla

MOZILLA is a strong supporter of free codecs and strong opposer of patents. It is therefore not surprising that despite the latest stunt from MPEG-LA (a lot of the press foolishly promoted this), Mozilla rejects H.264.

MPEG LA, the group that licenses the h.264 video codec, has extended its royalty-free use (for free internet video) from 2016 until, well, forever. Update: Kinda. But Mozilla thinks the better part of forever could belong to Google’s WebM format.

Mozilla is in many ways like Samba, at least as far as patent policy is concerned. Challenging Samba’s position there is this company which came out of Microsoft and goes by the name of “Likewise” [1, 2, 3, 4]. It is 'open' core with Microsoft patents, pretending to be “open source” with GPLv2/3 (just for the ‘core’, the ripped off bits). It’s more like a Samba ripoff, so promotion of its announcements (publicity is all they seem to be good at) is probably unnecessary. Also watch how ACCESS keeps pretending to be a “LINUX” player in its latest press releases about proprietary software. The now-embattled ACCESS plays with software patents, just like many fake ‘friends’ of “Open Source”. It is good to check which companies gather software patents while they market themselves as open. Sadly, Red Hat went that way too (see links below). It does not contribute to ending of dangerous patents and if Red Hat gets sold under hostile circumstances (along with its patents), it will be a disaster. We have begun talking with Red Hat lawyers about it and they are responsive.

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