Bonum Certa Men Certa

Simon Phipps: “MPEG-LA is a Parasite Using Standards Bodies as Its Host, Whether They Want it or Not.” (and a Rant About Banshee/Mono)

Simon Phipps in Stockholm (2007)
Photo by RightOnBrother



Summary: Harsh words for MPEG-LA and also for Novell's Banshee, which is a Mono patents Trojan that inflects Moovida (while masquerading as "a standard")

THE patent trolls who run MPEG-LA are a subject that we wrote about in posts such as:



Simon Phipps (OSI) has tagged one of the following news items "troll" and commented as follows:

To be clear, MPEG-LA is a parasite using standards bodies as its host, whether they want it or not. This page makes it clear that the parasite is looking for new hosts. Patent reform is now way overdue.


Going by this definition of "troll", one might extend the scope to account for Microsoft's racketeering [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7] (Phipps is a friend of neither). Novell makes a piece of software called Banshee which it knows very well to be excluded from Microsoft's MCP and thus a patent threat to anyone who uses it (except SUSE customers). This trap pretends to be a standard and Moovida turns out to be inheriting this Mono mess:

Moovida, the popular cross-platform GStreamer-using media centre, are lunching a new desktop media player application – called Moovida Core - as part of its’ ‘Moovida 2.0’ strategy. The player, which uses Banshee as its backend, is currently available for download on Windows with Linux and OS X versions to follow shortly.


Sebsebseb blames a Novell hackfest ("annual hack week") and also shows us that some people want this patent liability inside Ubuntu 10.10 (which recently got rid of F-Spot [1, 2]).

It should be noted that this issue is, reportedly, one of the significant issues keeping Banshee from becoming the default media player in Ubuntu 10.10. Perhaps if Alan’s work goes well, and given we’re quite far from Mavericks’ feature freeze, Banshee could still be in with a shot at being the default media player in Ubuntu 10.10?


"Crapple emulation using Monoposoft technologies on Linux," calls it Ryan Farmer, "I know you don't care much about Banshee, but if there is already what is basically a proprietary version for Windows, the first link, then I guess it will be ported over to Windows soon and if it gets ported to Windows it will go to Mac as well I guess, but those versions won't use Mono?"

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