Bonum Certa Men Certa

Microsoft is Polluting the Codec and Mobile Space With Software Patents

Summary: Together with new partners like Nokia, Microsoft is trying to ensure that Internet video and the smartphones market are as toxic as possible for Linux

A FEW days ago we wrote about Microsoft banning open source licences. After some damage control (very much anticipated) it is said that Microsoft excludes licences which are against software patents:



Specifically banned are the GPLv3, Affero GPLv3 and LGPLv3. Any code that is released under the equivalents of these three licences is also not allowed in the Marketplace.


Unsurprisingly, the Microsoft booster Peter Bright adds an attack on the GPL. If it's bad for Microsoft, then it's bad for Peter too. They are in the same team.

Meanwhile, it is suspected that Microsoft wants Nokia's patents (maybe it wishes to 'pull a CPTN' on Nokia, just like it did on Novell). The deal may be about more than just Vista Phony 7 [1, 2, 3, 4], which cannot do anything but harm to Nokia. What an appalling deal that was. To quote some bits from that deal's statements, "Nokia’s history of innovation in the hardware space, global hardware scale, strong history of intellectual property creation and navigation assets are second to none..."

Combined with this article, it sure seems like Nokia has malicious plans that involve patents, with Microsoft on the side. "There are other mobile ecosystems," the article says. "We will disrupt them."

Disrupt, eh? Elop also said: "I am not a Trojan horse."

It is '[s]ad when you have to say something like, "I am not a Trojan horse,"' claims Groklaw. 'It's sort of like Nixon's "I am not a crook."' Microsoft booster Matt Rosoff [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] based his analysis on this report (the source and focus of such an article is Elop boosting Vista Phony 7) when he showed that Elop sold all his Microsoft shares. The Microsoft camp is quick to jump to Microsoft's rescue and hide evidence of entryism. What the boosters won't show is that Elop buys Nokia shares only well after he crashed the stock, as more of a symbolic gesture. Chris Ziegler from Engadget spoke to Elop. "He seems to say MeeGo is the Nokia future," Groklaw points out, surprised. "See what you think he means in this video interview."

"The FSF should be commended for the work that it does to protect software freedom from software patents."In relation to another article ("IBM's post-Jeopardy Watson plans") Groklaw asked: "Could you ask it who is behind all the legal attacks on Linux? What? Too simple?"

Let us remember Nokia's lobbying for MPEG-LA*, which is attacking VP8, if not yet by actions then by words, as documented by the FSF-funded swpat.org. The FSF itself has just called for a Boycott of any company that signs onto the MPEG-LA patent pool. The FSF's statement says: "we're asking everyone who values a web free of restrictions and threats like this — and especially everyone who values the publication of audio and video files on the web — to sign a pledge that they will boycott any and all companies who sign onto this patent pool."

Andreas K. Foerster (AKF) added the suggestion that the FSF "should also ask companies with patents that read on vp8 (if there are any) to set a good precedent and set them free!"

The FSF should be commended for the work that it does to protect software freedom from software patents. In a very recent debate on the subject (the FSF was there) it is said that software patent proponents won -- a "win" that Satipera says simply means that "lawyers and patent trolls defend their living":

Software is not just ones and zeros or math, they said. The binary code is representative of the underlying electrical impulses being used to run a computer device, and that control is just as important and unique as the device itself. Both parties had agreed that new forms of hardware were patentable.


A Web site which to a large degree is steered by Microsoft people (TalkStandards) keeps exploring ways of harming Free software using laws, e.g. how to put patents inside standards so as to poison everything for Free/open source software. Roberto Galoppini says that they now organise a forum to push these ideas under the fake umbrella of 'standards':

EU Standardization – From Formalism to Pragmatism? - Talkstandards.com will host an online open forum to discuss the recent EU policy developments related to Standardization.


It won't be fair and balanced. It will be all tilted, based on the known convictions of the source. Speaking of convictions, Glyn Moody mocks this new advocacy of patents in relation to "Web M" [sic]. Apple is no better by the way as it also attacks/snubs WebM and the same goes for ODF. This new article from Cult of Mac is not just pro-software patents; there is OOXML in the bragging/rave image:

Now Apple has been awarded a software patent for a new OS X feature that could be an integral part of their future remote computing plans: it describes a way for users to secure vital files in a virtual ‘safe deposit box’ which would then encrypt them and possibly even upload them to the cloud.


Apple was not the first to implement such a thing. But Apple loves patents because they create bogus scarcity. Without such a scarcity, Linux and Android win easily, aided by open standards.

Microsoft mobbyists not only mock patents-free and possibly DRM-free formats like VP8 (or WebM) but they also bring a lot of attention to Oracle's case against Google [1, 2, 3], probably because it can put a tax on a leading Linux-based platform named Android. Alas, Google may have found a workaround:

Re-examinations can actually take three or four years, and even longer, Daniels said in an interview Friday. "There have been re-exams in there for 10 years."

Meanwhile, the re-examination process could potentially cause a substantial delay to the actual trial, as Google could ask the judge to issue a stay while the USPTO does its work, according to Daniels.


Over in France, Microsoft has been greasing up top politicians, so it recently saw Android copyright tax introduced (not applying to Windows for truly bizarre reasoning). The French president, Sarkozy (Sarko for short), was having a good time with Microsoft executives last week (yes, yet again, as he has been spending years with them). Here is an Ogg version of the video where Sarko is legitimising the Microsoft bully by giving him a medal.



Direct link as Ogg or Flash



In our new episode of TechBytes we made some fun of that by mentioning the medal's relation to Napoleon, who sank vessels. Here we have another receiver whose main contribution is the sinking of rivals, using patents for example. Sarko should be ashamed for this. His friendship with people like Bill Gates and his vacationing in the house of a Microsoft executive also help explain why he lobbied for OOXML in France, even though he is not a technical person. ___ * It's said to be the case because Nokia profits from it. It is also worth noting that the person from Nokia who opposed Ogg had come from Microsoft (he did contract work with them).

Recent Techrights' Posts

A farewell to Finland, an occupied territory
Finland, Finland, Finland
 
You Are Not The Only One
Reprinted with permission from Cyber Show (C|S)
GNU/Linux in Monaco: From 0.3% to Almost 6%
Monaco is a small country
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, May 22, 2024
IRC logs for Wednesday, May 22, 2024
Microsoft Has Lost Cote D'ivoire (Ivory Coast), Where Android Now Exceeds 60% of the Operating Systems' 'Market Share'
According to statCounter anyway
The Rumour Said Later Today Red Hat (IBM) Might Announce Layoffs
Let's see what happens later today (or next week)
Governments That Fail Journalism
Australia is known for giving us pure garbage like Rupert Murdoch
Windows Has Fallen From 'Grace'
When you tell people that Microsoft watches their every move in Windows many of them will freak out and ask for alternatives
Serbia: GNU/Linux at Almost 4% (or Beyond if ChromeOS is Counted)
considerable growth for GNU/Linux
Links 22/05/2024: China in Other Countries' Islands, Growing Threat of Piracy
Links for the day
Gemini Links 22/05/2024: Freedom Through Limitation, Cloud Photos
Links for the day
Canonical Supports Monopoly
more of the same
Links 22/05/2024: "Copilot+" as Mass Surveillance and Microsoft Defying Consent in Scarlett Johansson's Case
Links for the day
[Meme] Escalating After Failures
4 stages of cancel culture
Red Hat Had 2+ Days to Deny Reports of Impending Layoffs. But Red Hat Chose to Keep Silent.
Red Hat DOES NOT deny layoffs on the way
Microsoft-Connected Person Was Threatening to Sue Me and to Sue My Wife (Because His Feelings Were Hurt After Had He Spent More Than a Decade Defaming Me and Violating My Family's Dignity, Privacy)
litigation was chosen and we shall defend everything we wrote
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, May 21, 2024
IRC logs for Tuesday, May 21, 2024
Attempts to Sink the Free Software Movement (Under the Guise of Saving It)
We can see who's being drowned
Czech Republic: Windows Down From 98% to 43%, GNU/Linux Rises to Over 3%
modest gains for GNU/Linux
Links 22/05/2024: Pixar Layoffs and More Speculation About Microsoft Shutdowns/Layoffs (Ninja Theory)
Links for the day
Microsoft-Connected Sites Trying to Shift Attention Away From Microsoft's Megabreach Only Days Before Important If Not Unprecedented Grilling by the US Government?
Why does the mainstream media not entertain the possibility a lot of these talking points are directed out of Redmond?
Gemini Links 21/05/2024: Caesar II for MS-DOS and Reinventing the Assertion Wheel
Links for the day
Internal Memos/Communications Hinting at "a New, But Masked, Round of Layoffs" at Red Hat
A negative outlook heads of a long weekend
Nigeria: Windows Down to 6%, Android at All-Time High of 77%
Google is becoming the "new monopoly" in some places
[Video] Microsoft's Attack on Education
Microsoft's cult-like activities and overt entryism
[Meme] Money In, No Money Out (Granting Loads of Invalid European Patents)
EPO production?
Staff Representation at the EPO Has Just Explained to Heads of Delegations (National Delegates) Why the EPO's Financial Study is Another Hoax
Here we are again 5 years later
Canonical and Red Hat Are Not Competing With Microsoft Anymore
What a shame they hired so many people from Microsoft...
Links 21/05/2024: "Hating Apple Goes Mainstream", Lots of Coverage About Julian Assange Ruling
Links for the day
Gemini Links 21/05/2024: Losing Fats and Modern XMPP
Links for the day
Microsoft Windows Used to Have Nearly 100% in China and Now Google Has 50% (With Android)
Will China bring about a faster "fall" for Microsoft?
Pursuing a Case With No Prospects (Because It's "Funny")
the perpetrators are taking a firm that's considered notorious
GNU/Linux Growing Worldwide (the Story So Far!)
Microsoft is unable to stop GNU/Linux
GNU/Linux in Honduras: From 0.28% to 6%
Honduras remains somewhat of a hotspot
Good News From Manchester and London, Plus High Productivity in Techrights
what has happened and what's coming
[Video] The 'Linux' Foundation Cannot be Repaired Anymore (It Sold Out)
We might need to accept that the Linux Foundation lost its way
Links 21/05/2024: Tesla Layoffs and Further Free Speech Perils Online
Links for the day
Gemini Links 21/05/2024: New Gemini Reader and Gemini Games
Links for the day
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Monday, May 20, 2024
IRC logs for Monday, May 20, 2024