05.03.10

“Behind the Open Codec FUD Attack, W3C Captured by Microsoft, Apple, Nokia and So On?”

Posted in Apple, FUD, Microsoft, Novell, Patents at 2:09 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

King Kong

Summary: Microsoft and Apple continue their attack on freedom facilitation in the World Wide Web and Apple’s PR problem escalates

A FEW months ago we expressed concerns because Novell’s Jaffe, a vocal proponent of software patents, became the chief of the W3C (with chairs from Microsoft, Apple and IBM beneath him). In reality, the W3C should dump Apple and Microsoft for shunning Theora and promoting their software patents, but something has definitely gone amiss [1, 2]. Berners-Lee clearly opposes software patents, but Microsoft is injecting them into HTML (with Apple's support). The president of the FFII wonders loudly, “Behind the open codec FUD attack, W3C captured by Microsoft, Apple, Nokia and so on?” Florian is among those who are concerned about it too (no anti-IBM for a change, with defensible exceptions). As this new article puts it, both “Apple [and] Microsoft Come Out Against Open Source Video Codecs”; FFII’s president writes about it: “Microsoft opt for h264 video format in Internet Explorer, in order to kick other browsers who will be said “incompatible with this website”.”

Another blogger wonder what is “behind the open codec FUD attack” (in seeking of explanations, the simplest ones are usually most suitable):

The FUD attack launched against Ogg Theora and VP8, the very idea that they violate patents, is not aimed at the courts, but at the W3C, which held a conference on the coming HTML5 standards last week in Raleigh.

[...]

Microsoft and Apple are carrying the water of the content industries, which fear that losing control of the technology under which content is displayed results in losing control of the content itself. That control is expressed through the MPEG LA licensing body.

The $5 million license fee for the H.264 codec required by MPEG LA acts as a barrier to entry, both a financial and moral one. A licensee that doesn’t follow Hollywood’s rules could have its license pulled, and thus its product.

The money is chump change for Microsoft, and the barrier a good thing. It’s a matter of principle for open source.

Apple wants to shoot down Ogg just like is has shot down Lala months after acquiring the service (maybe due to relationships with Lala's competition). GNU/Linux users are negatively affected by this.

Apple iTunes on the web would be good news for a lot of people if it is launched. It would enable Linux users to purchase songs from their computers (Apple iTunes does not work on Linux).

TechDirt also ponders: “Apple Bought Lala To Shut It Down?”

Instead, it looks like Apple bought Lala to shut it down. Just five months or so after purchasing it, Apple has announced that Lala will be closing at the end of May, pissing off lots of users. Now, it’s entirely possible (or even likely) that Apple is timing the shutdown with a launch of a totally new streaming iTunes-in-the-cloud type service, but it does seem weird to buy a company and shut it down so quickly, and raises questions of whether or not the purchase was really about building out Apple’s offerings, or about shutting down a nascent competitor just before Apple launched its own version. Also, if the plan is to launch its own version, why “shut down” Lala? Why not just transfer them over to the new service?

TechDirt‘s Carlo Longino is one among many who criticised Apple for its hypocrisy [1, 2, 3, 4] when it comes to banning Flash (and MonoTouch [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8]). “I think Flash is crap,” says this person who judges software from an accessibility standpoint.

But nothing against Linux at all.

As a blind person, I tried Ubuntu, just because they said It was accessible, so I wanted to see how accessible it was.

Turns out, from what I saw, not half bad.

Anyway, I think flash is crap too. From an accessibility standpoint, from what I’ve seen over my last 10 years of using the various screen readers such as Windoweyes and Jaws For Windows, flash is not very accessible, if at all.

Even if you don’t like apple at all, as of 2008 or so,you have to give it to them when it comes to accessibility.

Now that Apple receives a lot of negative publicity (e.g. [1, 2]) it actually finds supportive apologists (not just staunch Apple proponents that mock Android) who ought to read Wiki pages about Apple’s many offences against Free software and especially against GNU/Linux (Apple is fine with Free software when it makes Apple richer). To be fair, Apple is not so hostile towards web standards, but the hypocrisy stands.

According to TechCrunch, “Apple Patents The Invisible Button” and since Apple uses patents against GNU/Linux and never joined the OIN, this is a reason for concern (Apple sues Linux vendors). The FSF’s John Sullivan has published an article about Apple in Ars Technica (cited here before and now in Slashdot) and the FSF’s Web site put together a response to Steve Jobs’ ‘Thoughts on Flash’. It says:

In a response to an open letter from Hugo Roy of the Free Software Foundation Europe, Jobs claimed that free codecs like Ogg Theora could also infringe patents, but that does not justify making the internet standard for video a technology that is known to be patented by a group who is actively collecting royalties and suing people for infringement.

We have legal assurances from the only publicly claimed patent holders that Ogg Theora can be used both commercially and noncommercially, in any software, by anyone, without royalty.

Of course, other patents may arise, and we will have to fight them if they do. H.264 could also find itself dealing with some hitherto unknown patent claims in the future; that’s just the nature of the system. Buying a license to H.264 does not magically protect you from such submarine attacks.

The software patent system is broken and we will continue campaigning for its abolition. You can help with this campaign by watching and sharing the new film, Patent Absurdity: How software patents broke the system.

In the meantime, “Everything could be patented anyway” is not an argument for “Give up even trying and just submit to MPEG-LA.” It’s an argument for Ogg Theora, and against software patents.

Adobe might soon sue Apple, not just denounce it in public. Both companies are quite religiously proprietary, but both pretend that they are not (some pretend more effectively than others).

Steve Jobs anti-Adobe Flash rant is really quite a remarkable document both for what it says, and what it doesn’t say.

First, and foremost, there’s the fact that Jobs spends most of his time complaining about the Flash format and ignoring the real beef Adobe has with Apple. Sure Adobe doesn’t like that Apple won’t let Adobe Flash on its iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch platforms. But, that’s not what has Adobe executives ticked off to the point that they’re telling Apple to go screw themselves and that they’re quietly considering suing Apple.

It would be nice to see Gizmodo suing Apple after (it participated in) breaking the law when harassing and ‘assaulting’ a blogger. Here is a new cartoon on the subject, summarised as follows:

Gizmodo’s payment of $5,000 for a misplaced iPhone raises questions about the nature of journalism in the Internet age.

We’ve also covered the issue in some of the posts below.

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/2010/05/03/apple-msft-pr-swpat-standard/

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. Richard Stallman Refers to Intel's Management Engine (ME) -- or a Back Door -- as 'Master', and the Processor Intel Lets Us Use as 'Slave'

    “The president and founder of the Free Software Foundation will speak about pressing issues in free software today, and will present the winners of the 2018 Free Software Awards,” says the summary (this was 3 years ago, i.e. before the purge of language, with a prominent role played by Intel)



  2. Links 17/5/2021: NetBSD 9.2 and Early Look at Bodhi Linux 6.0.0

    Links for the day



  3. Calle Josefsson as Living Proof That Attacking the Causes You Once Proclaimed to Stand for is Very Profitable

    Some thoughts on the situation of the Boards of Appeal in Haar; they're led by someone who receives a huge salary (a four- or five-fold increase) in exchange for an epic sellout and abandonment of principles; as a de facto legal slinger or imposter/poser he has already done incredible damage on several levels



  4. The EPO's War on Justice and Assault on the Law -- Part 10: A Faustian Pact?

    Benoît Battistelli‘s rubber-stamping judge from Sweden saw his salary growing four- or five-fold and he has meanwhile lowered his public profile, fearing that people will see what he sold his soul for



  5. EPO Staff Representatives Not Amused to See an Office That Steals From Staff and Even From Pensioners

    The heist continues; the EPO isn't just a milking cow of Germany but also of EPO officials who keep the 'lid' or the 'cover' on this whole financial instrument, which would enrage member states if they truly understood what's going on



  6. [Meme] Virtual Prisons for Virtual Hearings (Haarings)

    Today’s EPO has a truly twisted notion of the “rule of law”



  7. President of the Boards of Appeal, the Star of the Haar Show

    It’s best in the metal version; burn in Hell, Lesley Gore



  8. Right To Repair: When You Don't Own What You Buy (and Cannot Even Repair It Legally)

    The second part of preliminary background regarding the Right To Repair; our associate who extracted the videos from YouTube says that both are relevant to “Freedom 0″ (as per the FSF’s definition of Free software)



  9. Right To Repair: What It's About and How That Relates to Software

    A short (less than one minute) video that offers some background or sheds light on the intersection between Software Freedom and the Right To Repair



  10. Brand as Distraction From the Core Issues Surrounding the Right To Repair

    Excerpt of a video from Odysee, in which an important point is explained regarding a very actual and relevant case, more so given a recent ruling that indirectly impacts software freedom, mostly in (but not limited to) the United States



  11. Virtual 'Courts' Aren't Courts and Aren't Suitable Substitutes, Either

    The cheapening of the concept of justice, even as the pandemic that serves to justify that cheapening is gradually being brought under control, is the real issue that should be debated in Haar (or from private homes, probably somewhere around Haar); whether it's compulsory or not ought to be a side question



  12. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, May 16, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, May 16, 2021



  13. Links 17/5/2021: Linux 5.13 RC2 and a Lot About Patents

    Links for the day



  14. (All-Time) Archive of Techrights Videos Contains About 1,000 Videos, All Listed in One Place Now

    We're improving access to old material in the site and right now the focus is ways to improve discovery of old video/multimedia files



  15. Haar Song

    The Office in Munich is overseen by “a municipality near Munich,” according to Wikipedia (not inside Munich, so that in itself is a violation of the EPC)



  16. The EPO's War on Justice and Assault on the Law -- Part 9: Squeezing Out the Lifeblood of Democracy?

    The lack of public discourse at the EPO (where tyrants like Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos make up the rules and then have them rubber-stamped by kangaroo courts) helps explain an atrocious policy and moral abyss, which recently led to acceptance of European software patents and mass surveillance disguised as “access to justice”



  17. Luke Smith on Why Free Software Matters and 'Open Source' is Meaningless

    A video just released by a popular YouTube channel



  18. Links 16/5/2021: ExTiX 21.5, Drumstick Multiplatform MIDI File Player Refresh

    Links for the day



  19. EPO.org is a Really Awful Source of Information

    The site that bears a .org suffix is actually more like a private corporation lying about itself in order to save face and attract more money -- or in other words funds that will be squandered and stolen by corrupt administrators



  20. IBM Has Changed a Lot Since 2018, and Not for the Better

    IBM isn't that much of an ally of GNU/Linux as a community-led or community-centric operating system; IBM is in it all just for IBM and we need to treat IBM accordingly



  21. [Meme] Criticising IBM is Racist and Intolerant

    Systemd is becoming untouchable and its critics are framed as "toxic" or "trolls", no matter the facts and irrespective of the technical substance of their complaints



  22. Combatting Revisionist History (Post From 2015, Years Before IBM Bought Red Hat and Increased Vendor Lock-in)

    Today we republish this forum post from more than 6 years ago; in light of what IBM did to CentOS and its vicious attack on the founder of the GNU/Linux operating system we must understand the systemd agenda, which the FSF can more openly speak about now that there are no financial strings



  23. Kyle Wiens, CEO of iFixit: Right to Repair

    Uploaded earlier this month was this talk and accompanying slides; summary below



  24. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, May 15, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, May 15, 2021



  25. [Meme] When All That Matters is 'Production' and 'Timeliness'

    The EPO has gone down the same route as the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) when it comes to patent quality; as if the goal is to grant 11 million patents (most of them in just a few decades) rather than assess the impact of such patents



  26. The EPO's War on Justice and Assault on the Law -- Part 8: The Radical Student “Brotherhood”

    The latest part in this series explores the roots of Judge Josefsson; that can help explain how Benoît Battistelli constructed his stacked EPO ‘court’, which he and António Campinos basically control to rubber-stamp whatever illegal practices they engage in (in pursuit of money and power, at the expense of the law)



  27. Christoph Ernst Lecturing Us on “Transparency” and EPO Corruption (as Well as Assault on the EPC) Becoming a “New Normal”

    The EPO’s administration continues rushing ahead with an unlawful agenda, exploiting a pandemic that’s gradually coming under control regardless to shred apart the EPC



  28. Richard Stallman's Talk About New/er Risks to Free Software (Free as in Freedom-Respecting, Libre)

    Richard M. Stallman (RMS) gave the above talk not too long before the attacks on him intensified greatly, serving to silence him for nearly 2 years



  29. Jacques Michel and Willy (Guillaume) Minnoye: Stakeholders in EPO Lawlessness

    Former EPO Vice-Presidents who wish not to be held accountable for what they did in the Office (or be chased after leaving their duties, finishing/ending terms there) are adding fuel to the illegal agenda of an EPOnian regime



  30. Links 15/5/2021: Godot 3.3.1 RC 2 and Pine64 Hardware in Focus

    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