Eyes Above The Waves

Robert O'Callahan. Christian. Repatriate Kiwi. Hacker.

Monday 24 May 2010


Nero's complaint against the MPEG-LA is interesting. It seems to be primarily about the MPEG-LA deciding that Nero needs to pay H.264 license fees for "free trial" copies ... an interesting case study of the risks of murky license agreements. But there's a side antitrust issue. They dug up a Department of Justice memo that OK'ed the formation of the MPEG-LA on the condition that the patents in the MPEG-2 pool were limited to "essential" ones by having an independent expert verify that the patents were essential. The MPEG-LA chose as the independent expert their own co-founder and general counsel. Oops! Also, after telling the DoJ that 27 patents constituted "most" of the essential patents in the MPEG-2 pool, they proceeded to add 800 more. (The H.264 pool has even more.)


Karl Tomlinson
"But absolute power has corrupted the MPEG LA absolutely."
John Drinkwater
Eugh, even if it does get anywhere, that’s probably a few years of litigation before we have an outcome.
A sad state of affairs.
Let’s just ignore those silly beans at MPEG LA, support Nero in heart, and work on making Web‣M excellent :)
Tiago Sá
Wake up call, wake up call! They'll go after the web next if H264 catches on!
I agree about the corruption of the MPEG LA and many other high power organizations. However, I have one question. Does absolute power corrupt or does it reveal? The issue is whether the corruption was there already before the group gained power.
Robert O'Callahan
I'd say it's somewhere in between. We're all sinners, but the temptations of power bring out the worst in us.
Corrupt power corrupts by the fraction of its absolutity.
Absolute corrupt power, such as the power over fictional property rights will corrupt absolutely. Intellectual property for the most part, is a collection of either fictional property rights or the mis-allocation of justice.
And the temptation of power will either bring out the best in us or the worst in us, depending upon our understanding of power. Those that bring the worst are merely ignorant to the concept.
Still, the MPEG-LA is acting exactly as any organization created to take care of false property rights would. They are merely a symptom of a larger problem. They are vicious, but that is to be expected.
There can't be that much intellectual property in a frikkin' compression scheme. They must have patented everything including the concepts of 1 and 0. It's obscene.