04.06.10

Gemini version available ♊︎

Ubuntu Removes Codec Patent Trap, But What About Mono?

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Open XML, Patents, Ubuntu at 2:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Towed away

Summary: The AAC encoder is taken off Ubuntu repositories, but other, more troubling software stays, despite clear warnings from Microsoft

CANONICAL has begun cleaning up a bit around its repositories, but what about Mono and Moonlight? They pose similar problems. Jeremy Allison has suggested that Ubuntu should put Mono in the “restricted” repositories [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]. Here is what Ubuntu does with the AAC encoder.

Problems with the licensing of the faac library could lead to it having to be removed from Ubuntu’s distribution or moved to the “restricted” repositories where license encumbered codecs are kept. Libfaac is used to encode audio into the AAC format, which is used alongside a range of video formats to provide a soundtrack.

We previously explained how Apple and Microsoft were promoting the use of proprietary codecs with a lot of software patents in them.

In other news that ought to matter, OOXML continues to suffer from software patents, with McKool Smith taking a leading role, sometimes as a front for patent trolls [1, 2, 3, 4].

The folks at Microsoft Corp. have to be more than a little ticked at Mike McKool and his law firm.

In the last year, McKool Smith PC has won nearly $400 million in two patent infringement victories against the Redmond, Wash., software giant. It just filed a third suit, hoping for more of the same.

Last week we wrote about Microsoft losing its chance to appeal in the i4i case [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12]. This is now being covered in many news sites, such as the following:

It is worth adding that Microsoft’s Marshall Phelps, who was among the engineers of the patent war against GNU/Linux and Free software, is joining the board of ipCapital Group, which seems like some form of a company that derives revenue from taxing the industry with intellectual monopolies and lawyer fees.

ipCapital Group, Inc. (ipcg.com), one of the nation’s leading intellectual property (IP) strategy consulting and licensing firms, is proud to announce that Marshall C. Phelps, Jr., former Corporate Vice President, Deputy General Counsel for Intellectual Property and Licensing at Microsoft, has joined the firm as a member of the Board of Directors. Mr. Phelps is a leading figure in the field of intellectual property management and execution and pioneered many of its foremost strategies to unprecedented results while leading IP business and related activities at IBM and Microsoft.

We wrote about the subject of Marshall Phelps in [1, 2, 3]. He wrote an entire book to defend Microsoft’s attack on GNU/Linux using software patents. To use a new example, here is how ridiculous the US patent system has become:

Redden told jurors that at first examiners rejected Ballard’s patent application, both on initial examination and at reexam, citing check-scanning technology dating back as far as 1981.

“So Mr. Ballard amended his application to add the idea of encryption, and he got his patent,” Redden said. Ballard’s patent survived the reexam, Redden added, because it had one additional feature—encrypting a two-digit ID number on the back of a check.

Apple is now suing Android/Linux [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6] with Microsoft’s support [1, 2]. What about all the ideas Apple is taking from other companies?

Today I was at Williams Coffee Pub, eating a delicous bagel with garlic flavoured cream cheese and enjoying my coffee. I happened to stumble upon some interesting news around Apple and OpenPandora. The issue is over something called the “iControlPad” which was an add-on for the iPhone which made it easier to play games on the device. Apple decided it was a worthy enough invention that it decided to put a patent on it. That’s correct folks, Apple stole someone else’s invention (iControlPad.com). This isn’t news if you know about Xerox though ;)

Typical Apple. And Apple — like Microsoft — is now bullying its #1 competitor using software patents.

“We’ve always been shameless about stealing great ideas.”

Steve Jobs, Apple

“As long as they are going to steal it, we want them to steal ours.”

Bill Gates

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

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

6 Comments

  1. Needs Sunlight said,

    April 6, 2010 at 4:55 am

    Gravatar

    As desirable as removing WMV/WMA codecs would be, the H article only points to a bug report. Oh, wait, this report does not mention WMV or WMA, those are still there. It mentions MPEG, but that codec is still there.

    The Mono Guard is rather vehement about burying inconvenient bug reports.

    Solving the problem requires two actions, promoting open formats Ogg + Dirac, removing proprietary codecs from the main repository. While they are arguing with the Mono Guard and others over the latter, the former is easy to do and could even be done in collaboration with Mozilla or other projects.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    I sometimes wonder about the relationship between Canonical and Mozilla after Ubuntu took their livelihood (search bar in 10.04).

    Needs Sunlight Reply:

    Didn’t that happen after they hired or made arrangements to hire Microsoft’s Matt Assay?

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    No, it was just before the announcement, AFAIK (maybe a week or so).

    Needs Sunlight Reply:

    That’s basically the same time frame… The announcement would come after a period of negotiation.

    All those years ago, did Matt ‘almost’ get hired the same way that Miguel ‘almost’ got hired? He’s sure kept in close contact with that group which no self-respecting individual would have any earthly reason to be in contact with.

  2. Dr. Roy Schestowitz said,

    April 6, 2010 at 11:35 am

    Gravatar

    The announcement would come after a period of negotiation.

    But there are others in Canonical, including ex-Softies.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. [Meme] EPO Legal Sophistry and Double Dipping

    An imaginary EPO intercept of Administrative Council discussions in June 2013...



  2. Links 21/10/2021: PostgreSQL JDBC 42.3.0 and Maui Report

    Links for the day



  3. [Meme] [Teaser] “Judge a Person Both by His Friends and Enemies”

    Fervent supporters of Team Battistelli or Team Campinos (a dark EPO era) are showing their allegiances; WIPO and EPO have abused staff similarly over the past decade or so



  4. 'Cluster-Voting' in the European Patent Office/Organisation (When a Country With 1.9 Million Citizens Has the Same Voting Power as a Country With 83.1 Million Citizens)

    Today we examine who has been running the Finnish patent office and has moreover voted in the EPO during the ballot on unlawful "Strike Regulations"; they voted in favour of manifestly illegal rules and for 8.5 years after that (including last Wednesday) they continued to back a shady regime which undermines the EPO's mission statement



  5. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XVIII: Helsinki's Accord

    The Finnish outpost has long been strategic to the EPO because it can help control the vote of four or more nations; evidence suggests this has not changed



  6. [Meme] Living as a Human Resource, Working for Despots

    The EPO has become a truly awful place/employer to work for; salary is 2,000 euros for some (despite workplace stress, sometimes relocation to a foreign country)



  7. Links 20/10/2021: New Redcore Linux and Hospital Adoption of GNU Health

    Links for the day



  8. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, October 19, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, October 19, 2021



  9. Links 19/10/2021: Karanbir Singh Leaves CentOS Board, GPL Violations at Vizio

    Links for the day



  10. [Meme] Giving the Knee

    The 'knee' champion Kratochvìl and 'kneel' champion Erlingsdóttir are simply crushing the law; they’re ignoring the trouble of EPO staff and abuses of the Office, facilitated by the Council itself (i.e. facilitated by themselves)



  11. Josef Kratochvìl Rewarded Again for Covering Up EPO Corruption and the EPO Bribes the Press for Lies Whilst Also Lying About Its Colossal Privacy Violations

    Corrupt officials and officials who actively enable the crimes still control the Office and also the body which was supposed to oversee it; it's pretty evident and clear judging by this week's press statements at the EPO's official Web site



  12. [Meme] Sorry, Wrong Country (Or: Slovenia isn't Great Britain)

    Team UPC is trying to go ahead with a total hoax which a high-level European court would certainly put an end to (if or when a referral is initiated)



  13. How Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Norway and Sweden Voted on Patently Unlawful Regulations at the EPO

    We look back and examine what happened 8 years ago when oppressed staff was subjected to unlawful new “regulations” (long enjoyed by António Campinos, the current EPO autocrat)



  14. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XVII: The Non-Monolithic Nordic Bloc

    We start our investigation of how countries in northern Europe ended up voting on the unlawful “Strike Regulations” at the EPO and why



  15. Proof That Windows “11” is a Hoax

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  16. Firefox Becomes as Morally Reprehensible as Apple, Facebook, or Uber

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  17. Links 19/10/2021: GNU dbm 1.22 and Godot 3.4 RC 1

    Links for the day



  18. [Meme] [Teaser] GitHub an Expensive and Dangerous Trap (Also: Misogyny Hub)

    The ongoing Microsoft GitHub exposé will give people compelling reasons to avoid GitHub, which is basically just a subsidised (at a loss) trap



  19. Norway Should Have Voted Against Benoît Battistelli's Illegal (Anti-)'Strike Regulations' at the European Patent Office

    Benoît Battistelli‘s EPO faced no real and potent opposition from Norwegian delegates, who chose to abstain from the vote on the notorious and illegal so-called ‘Strike Regulations’ (they’re just an attack on strikes, an assault on basic rights of labourers)



  20. Links 19/10/2021: Sequoia PGP LGPL 2.0+, Open RAN Adoption

    Links for the day



  21. [Meme] [Teaser] Benoît Battistelli, King of Iceland

    Later today we shall see how the current deputy of the head of the EPO‘s overseeing body was in fact likely rewarded for her complicity in Benoît Battistelli‘s abuses against EPO staff, including staff from Iceland



  22. IRC Proceedings: Monday, October 18, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, October 18, 2021



  23. Links 19/10/2021: MyGNUHealth 1.0.5 and Ubuntu 22.04 Now Developed

    Links for the day



  24. [Meme] [Teaser] Thrown Under the Bus

    Tomorrow we shall look at Danish enablers of unlawful EPO regulations, Jesper Kongstad and Anne Rejnhold Jørgensen



  25. The World Needs to Know What Many Austrians Already Know About Rude Liar, the Notorious 'Double-Dipper'

    Today we publish many translations (from German) about the Austrian double-dipper, who already became the subject of unfavourable press coverage in his home country; he’s partly responsible for crushing fundamental rights at the EPO under Benoît Battistelli‘s regime



  26. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XVI: The Demise of the Austrian Double-Dipper

    Friedrich ‘Rude Liar’ Rödler is notorious in the eyes of EPO staff, whom he was slandering and scandalising for ages while he himself was the real scandal



  27. Links 18/10/2021: Porteus Kiosk 5.3 and Ventoy 1.0.55

    Links for the day



  28. [Meme] [Teaser] More to Life Than Patents

    Greedy sociopaths oughtn’t be put in charge of patent offices; this is what’s dooming the EPO in recent years (all they think about is money



  29. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part II — The Campaign Against GPL Compliance and War on Copyleft Enforcement

    Microsoft contemplated buying GitHub 7.5 years ago; the goal wasn’t to actually support “Open Source” but to crush it from the inside and that’s what Microsoft has been doing over the past 2.5 years (we have some details from the inside)



  30. Links 18/10/2021: Linux 5.15 RC6 and 7 New Stable Kernels

    Links for the day


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