05.28.10

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“We’re in the Era of Digital Video, and It’s a Mess,” –Steve Jobs, MPEG-LA Proponent/Lobbyist

Posted in Apple, Microsoft, Patents at 8:41 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Troll face
Jobs does not soften with age

Summary: A collaborator of the MPEG cartel shows his disregard for culture and sympathy for Hollywood as well as patent trolls

“We’re in the era of digital video, and it’s a mess,” Steve Jobs once said. Right now it is Steve Jobs who is causing or at least adding to this mess.

As we pointed out before, Steve Jobs is an enemy of anything that’s available to people in places like Africa, where people are unable to buy licences from patent trolls such as MPEG-LA (never mind buying overpriced merchandise from Foxconn the company with the apple-shaped logo). Steve Jobs is interested in selling shiny toys, not in enabling people to access those things he calls “era of digital video” and “mess”. What a lovely guy. Pogson writes:

Google’s VP8 FLOSS video code and WebM file format are brewing a bit of a turf war and the old guard is circling the wagons around H264. There is an idea to add VP8 and WebM to HTML5. That would ensure that everyone with any browser or OS could use HTML5 properly but the old guard wants to make money from HTML5 by holding patents and charging licence fees to use a video codec.

We have already covered the subject in:

To say a little more:

In a perfect world, we would have no software patents and everyone would be capable of using the best technology available. However, for now, we will have to put up with these types of laws and patents. The best that could happen in the present scenario is one where MPEG-LA announces that the situation currently existing (till 2016) would be extended in perpetuity.

Isn’t it funny that Steve Jobs is sidling with the patent trolls, whereas Google is distancing itself from them? Wayne puts it like this: “The Enemy Of My Enemy Is My Enemy Or Why VP8 Is Important Even If It Came From Google”

This does not make Google our friend. Google didn’t do this for the consumer. Google did this for Google. The largest user of Flash video is this small site called YouTube, which curiously enough is owned by Google. That Google’s actions will do the consumers good is a byproduct of Google trying to make money. Google doesn’t really care about the consumer, it only cares about Google.

There’s been a lot of articles about VP8, from a variety of publishers, which can be found here, here, here, etc. Some of the most important ones were written by Dr. Roy at Techrights, who has my utmost thanks for all the research time he saved me.

But everyone seems to be missing something. What if VP8 becomes the de facto standard? Remember that VP8 is an open standard. Totally open. This means that adding DRM to it will be difficult, if not impossible. So VP8 kills off Windows Media Video (WMV) and Quicktime as a video standards, just like MP3 killed off Windows Media Audio (WMA) and Quicktime as audio standards. Remember that one of the reasons that Microsoft and Apple fought MP3 was because MP3 wasn’t compatible with DRM, and the Frauhoffer Institute controlled the specification. Now we have the same situation with VP8, and we already know that Steve Jobs is panicking. You have to ask yourself why…

Simple – VP8 will destroy the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, ACTA, the new Canadian Copyright Act, the WIPO copyright treaties, and every other law which attempts to protect DRM. The ripping noise you hear is Hollywood tearing it’s hair out in clumps.

And now you know why the patent trolls at MPEG.LA are trying to sidetrack VP8 adoption. Which still doesn’t make Google our friend. Remember that.

The MPEG cartel and Apple are not the only antisocial participants here; Microsoft too turned its back and it goes further by suing Salesforce without provocation that could somehow justify it.

“Salesforce says Microsoft suit could hurt profit,” states the headline of this new article from Reuters.

Salesforce.com Inc (CRM.N) said a recent lawsuit by Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) could hurt Salesforce’s profits for one quarter, though the litigation is unlikely to derail the company’s overall financial health.

Microsoft filed a complaint on May 18, charging that Salesforce’s web-based software for managing sales activities infringes nine of its patents.

The software giant alleged that Salesforce.com was using its technology in software menus, toolbars and graphical interface features, as well as in the way that it obtains data from remote computers.

We have already covered this case in the posts below. Software patents are economically injurious.

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