04.23.10

Microsoft Software Patents in Codecs, Web Font DRM, and Likewise-HP

Posted in DRM, Microsoft, Patents, Protocol, Samba at 3:00 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Likewise as Microsoft

Summary: A look at some issues where Microsoft walks among patents and uses their enforcement to pursue its own goals

LAST month we showed that Microsoft helps MPEG LA (patents cartel/pool), notably at the expense of patents- and royalty-free formats. It is possible that the maze of patents makes video/audio compression as a whole unsafe from infringement (where software patents apply) and BetaNews argues that it is challenging because Microsoft tried in vain.

Google may face legal challenges if it open-sources VP8 codec

[...]

But there’s already historical precedent for a company attempting to offer a royalty-free license for a codec whose underlying technologies it didn’t completely own. In 2005, Microsoft offered its WMV9 technologies as the royalty-free standard VC-1. As Microsoft soon discovered, WMV9 was not “patent-free” outside of Microsoft, and its underlying technologies were not royalty-free either. Today, Microsoft’s service agreement on VC-1 includes a notice saying, among other things, that AVC — one of the bedrock encoding technologies claimed by other rights holders — may be used in the VC-1 codec, under a license granted to Microsoft by MPEG LA. That license covers Microsoft when it, in turn, licenses the use of VC-1′s three essential encoding technologies, for non-commercial purposes.

This almost gives the impression that Microsoft did the right thing, but as always, it requires modest understanding of Microsoft’s motives. Microsoft — unlike the W3C for example — is a profit-driven business. The same goes for Microsoft’s use of its new power in the W3C [1, 2]. Not so long ago Microsoft was trying to push DRM for webfonts into the W3C. Apparently it was not accepted because we have not heard about it since, but Microsoft boosters and others speak about Microsoft sponsoring a new Web font standard.

With a surprise boost from Microsoft, the promise of rich typography on the Web just got a big step closer to reality.

The software company’s involvement emerged Monday with sponsorship of a newer effort at the World Wide Web Consortium to standardize Web-based fonts with technology called the Web Open Font Format (WOFF).

Whose methods will be used? It is possible that Microsoft will try to advance its own way of doing things. We don’t know yet, but we saw that before. There’s HD and the JPEG thing, where Microsoft tried to impose its own implementation upon the standard. Similarly, Microsoft tried to make WMV9 ‘the standard’ (WM is Windows Media), so this whole codec anecdote was not an act of charity.

Speaking of Microsoft and software patents, Likewise, which is former Microsoft staff that stuffs Samba with Microsoft’s software patents and then sells it [1, 2, 3, 4], is hooking up with HP, which charges a premium on GNU/Linux (presumably for patents, although that’s speculative excepting Likewise’s relationship with Microsoft).

These HP StorageWork servers will use Likewise-CIFS, a high-performance, commercially supported, Windows-compatible file server, and Likewise Identity Service. Likewise-CIFS started as a commercially supported Samba but is now a CIFS (Common Internet File System) server in its own right. Likewise Identity Service is an Active Directory bridge technology providing authentication of non-Windows systems to Microsoft’s Active Directory.

Likewise is like an extension of Microsoft and it makes a dangerous precedence because of software patents (complying with Microsoft and overriding Samba, whose special and exclusive deal with the Commission has this loophole). It’s almost as though Microsoft had Likewise created by its people to promote software patents in/and Microsoft protocols.

There is another new announcement from another company created/headed by a former Microsoft employee. We are talking about OpenLogic [1, 2, 3, 4].

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

This post is also available in Gemini over at:

gemini://gemini.techrights.org/2010/04/23/microsoft-walking-among-patents/

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. Links 13/5/2021: KDE Gear 21.04.1 and LibreOffice 7.0.6

    Links for the day



  2. The EPO's War on Justice and Assault on the Law -- Part 4: The President of the Boards of Appeal

    A deeper look into the ‘sausage factory’ that is EPO tribunals certainly helps us understand the inherent bias of many decisions, including a recent decision on European software patents like a controversial simulation patent



  3. Judging the Judges

    Today we shall take a closer look at Carl Josefsson, a person who shall become a figure of interest if he sends EPO courts to the United States in clear violation of the EPC (looking to rubber-stamp an unlawful decision already made before this case even started)



  4. When EU Authorities Tell You to Complain to the EPO Itself About EPO Privacy Violations...

    “Kafkaesque” at the EPO; Kafka could do a whole novel about the flirtations with or affairs of ‘justice’ at the EPO



  5. The Need for Reliable Governance at Freenode

    Why the current and high-profile (albeit somewhat covert) owner of the network, who seems to care about Free software (it has made him very wealthy), should put the whole thing in reliable hands and not attempt to 'monetise' it in any way



  6. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, May 12, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, May 12, 2021



  7. Andrew Lee of Private Internet Access/London Trust Media Increasingly Owns and Controls Freenode

    The details about Freenode ownership and control are explained in a resignation letter urging users to move to another network



  8. [Meme] eBPF is Not Microsoft's, But It's Certainly Googlebombed by Microsoft

    eBPF isn't Microsoft's. But sites that work closely with Microsoft keep mentioning that term as if Microsoft created it and champions it (typical tactics).



  9. Links 13/5/2021: OpenSUSE Leap 15.3 on Finer Hardware, AMI Dabbling in Free Firmware

    Links for the day



  10. The EPO's War on Justice and Assault on the Law -- Part 3: The Current Line-up

    The composition of the Enlarged Board for case no. G 1/21



  11. System76’s First Keyboard Packs in Plenty of Surprises

    Putting the genie back in the bottle is hard, and moreover the corrective post from Joey Sneddon may cause a bit of a 'Streisand Effect'



  12. Links 12/5/2021: HAProxy Data Plane API 2.3 and Mousepad 0.5.5

    Links for the day



  13. IBM is Destroying Red Hat, Squeezing Red Hat's Work for Cash, Laying Off Staff, and Asking Staff to Resign

    Layoffs are not a new thing at IBM (hardly so in the past couple of decades or more), but they're oversensitive about the Red Hat agenda



  14. [Meme] Longing for the Original IP Kat...

    It would be nice to see more posts critical of injustice at the EPO, as we've just noted



  15. The EPO's War on Justice and Assault on the Law -- Part 2: Just Another Pro Forma Rubber-Stamping Exercise?

    Half a decade after Benoît Battistelli ‘kidnapped’ and then defamed judges (it started in 2014) António Campinos has done nothing to restore lawfulness at the EPO, as controversial referral case G 1/21 shows; in fact, they recently approved European software patents after pressure from Campinos himself



  16. Why I'm Using Just a Landline and Recalling My Richard Stallman (RMS) Interview on Working Locally or How the Signal Processor in Phones is a De Facto Back Door

    A longer-than-expected rant about what mobile phones have turned into and a look back at (or listen to) what Richard Stallman (RMS) told me way back in 2013



  17. The European Campinos Award

    The campinos (peasants) of Europe shall gather around for another ceremony championing farmers and nurses... or not



  18. Personal Thoughts About the EPO 'Kangaroo Court' Scandal

    Some unscripted and unedited thoughts about the current EPO scandal/series, which shows intervention such as stacking by António Campinos, continuing the tradition of Benoît Battistelli with his attacks on justice itself



  19. Doing Justice by Reporting Injustice

    Europe's second-largest institution, helped by Europe's largest, is engaging in a massive attack on the very concept of the Rule of Law and incredibly enough the so-called 'press' (or 'media') doesn't report on it



  20. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, May 11, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, May 11, 2021



  21. Links 12/5/2021: New Audacity and Musescore Owner Named, Microsoft May Lose "JEDI" (Trump's 'Bailout Package')

    Links for the day



  22. The EPO's War on Justice and Assault on the Law -- Part 1: Rumours of a Kangaroo Court at EPOnia

    EPO's President Benoît Battistelli viciously attacked judges and slandered judges; António Campinos adopts a more 'soft power' approach, but nevertheless the impact is the same



  23. Bill Gates Exposed

    While publishers like ZDNet worked hard (on Microsoft's budget) to distract us from real scandals many nefarious things were happening; are we witnessing the fall of Gates?



  24. Welcome to ZDNet's 'Linux' Section...

    ZDNet, which defamed RMS to help distract from Bill Gates scandals, is doing what the sponsors (IBM, Microsoft, Linux Foundation) pay for



  25. Europe's Second-Largest Institution, the EPO, is Partly Based in the United States

    The EPO has outsourced its operations, including its 'courts', to the United States; this seems to be the so-called 'New Normal'



  26. You Look for Linux News and Instead It's Microsoft Noise and Openwashing

    Imagine trying to go about doing your own 'business', only to be confronted by paid-for plugs (sponsored) by the people trying to undercut/undermine your business; welcome to "Linux" in 2021



  27. Links 11/5/2021: Maui 1.2.2 and Tor Releases

    Links for the day



  28. The Next Generation of Free Software (or Software Freedom) Activism, Tackling Newer Problems

    New challenges as labour rights and human rights are further eroded, thanks to 'high' 'tech' with its very 'innovative' 'features'



  29. Mass Litigation Over the Salary Adjustment Procedure (SAP), Basically an Attack on All EPO Staff, Even EPO Pensioners

    “Importance of a binding and unambiguous erga omnes declaration” stressed by staff representatives of the EPO in a new letter to Benoît Battistelli‘s successor of choice, António Campinos, who has done nothing so far except attacking (or robbing) EPO staff, even EPO pensioners



  30. EPO 'Dialogue' With Staff Representatives is as Dead as 'Dialogue' With the Union

    “Yet another failure of social [sic] dialogue [sic] for Mr Campinos,” according to staff representatives, who rightly bemoan the Office president not giving a damn about staff; things quickly deteriorate in Europe’s second-largest institution, which does even worse things than granting loads of illegal European software patents (harming software producers and users alike)


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