Bonum Certa Men Certa

Boycott Nokia for Attacking Free Software, FFII's President Suggests

Attacking Free (as in freedom) codecs, Free software, Free operating systems like Android, etc.

Benjamin Henrion

Summary: Nokia's patent attacks on free/open source software, especially after the virtual Microsoft takeover, make it prime for a "good boycott"

In an earlier post we mentioned how Google got not only extorted but also interrupted and disrupted when it presented a patent-free codec. "If you think Google is the enemy, go watch the attacks on their IETF presentations about MTI codec choice for WebRTC," writes Simon Phipps on Twitter. Here is the recording. "Watch how the MPEG LA H.264 people rudely interrupt Google's presentation until the moderator intervenes and tells them to wait to the end," wrote Pamela Jones. "They are rude at the end too. Same thing happened, the rudeness, with the first slide talk, VP8-MTI. The Google representative says that the sublicense will be ready soon, and it will be royalty-free, thanks to the recent agreement Google entered into with MPEG LA on March 6. Notice how pleasant Google's guys are. Nokia stands up, declares it's not part of any agreement and seems to be claiming to have patents that VP8 would infringe. Cf. here. How hideous Nokia has become, now that it's Microsoft's little brother. Here are some documents Google made available just before the day of the talks, after the proprietary side began asking for a postponement of any MTI video codec discussion."

"Nokia is attacking Android directly, not just indirectly."Nokia is also named in this good Slashdot post. "Nokia patents creates [sic] barriers for a free video codec for the web, Nokia needs to a good boycott," wrote the FFII's president.

Nokia is now a pawn of Microsoft, so forget about the old Nokia in order to avoid confusion. The brand is the same, the people in charge are different (several Microsoft executives). Watch what Nokia is doing. There are people who had worked for Microsoft before they came to Nokia and fought against non-patented codecs in HTML. "Nokia discloses their patents on VP8/WebM" is how one reader described the situation to us, having also fought against Ogg. Nokia is attacking Android directly, not just indirectly. On Android, for example, my SIP clients use VP8, so this is important.

Here is another update on Nokia's anti-Android lawsuit in Germany. We saw that coming as soon as the Nokia-Microsoft deal was announced.

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