Feeds

back to article Microsoft blasts 'web video killer' Motorola Mobility in EU gripe

Microsoft filed a formal antitrust complaint against Motorola Mobility this morning in Brussels, following the European Commission's decision to clear Google's takeover of the mobile biz earlier this month. Redmond's beef with Google relates to "standard essential patents" that MS rather hysterically claimed could be used by …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Page:

Apple

I believe Apple have also lodged a complaint

1
1
Bronze badge

Re: Apple

Specifically, they've complained that they patented complaining about abuse of patents, and want damages from Microsoft.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Costs

MS currently licence 2,300 patents relating to H.264 for 2 cents per unit. Google/Motorola want $22.50 for the remaining 50 per unit

7
4

Re: Costs

yep, and that's pretty much also the reason why apple filed their complain. MM wants fees based not on the chip/part which implements the technology but percentage of the retail price which honestly is rather unfair.

6
2

Re: Costs

2300 patents X null value should equal 0, not 2. It is a highway robbery in my book.

2
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: Re: Costs

"2300 patents X null value should equal 0, not 2. It is a highway robbery in my book."

So where's the video codec you developed all by yourself and give away for free?

0
4
Anonymous Coward

Re: Costs

>Google/Motorola want $22.50 for the remaining 50 per unit.

.....or naff-all to use WebM. Pretty easy choice really.

3
2
Anonymous Coward

Re: Re: Costs

Problem is WebM also contains technology covered in other patents, not just Google's and Motorola's. If Google doesn't set a reasonable fee for H.264 then you'll find the others won't be as willing when it comes to WebM.

1
2
Silver badge
Devil

Re: Re: Costs

Which is exactly what is happening here.

You either have to pay 50 quid for "licensed" web or use the free web. Google is killing H264 by the backdoor method.

MSFT and Apple should have thought of this before they officially declared joining forces on killing WebM about a year ago.

Live by the sword, die by the sword.

4
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: Re: Re: Costs

Why are you morons cheering for the death of H.264? It was already the industry standard for video before Google went on their little pissing match.

We don't need another format for the web when all of video media is already transmitted using H.264 or changing to it soon. Freeview HD, most satellite channels, most European digital TV, most US digital broadcasts, Blu-ray, mobile devices - all use H.264.

Sometimes the Google fanboism knows no boundaries!

5
2
Thumb Down

anti-google fanbois

Sometimes the anti-google fanboism knows no boundaries...

H264 is patent encumbered, expensive (if you want to compress), and is stupidly limited. As an example, see what you can do with a "amateur" HD camera, and discover that the biggest difference from a good "amateur" and a "pro" camera is the price. Shoot a movie using the "amateur". Try then selling the result. You'll see what the MPEG-LA trolls will do to you.

And that is just one of the reasons to wanting to see H264 dead and buried.

It is convenient to decode, yes, for now. They have only kept it free to decode because Google came up with WebM. But the plan was always to kill WebM with the typical bogus patents that Apple and MSFT are so in love with, and then start charging.

3
5

Re: anti-google fanbois

please check licensing conditions when you have to pay and so on. you'll see that your argument will start to loose solid grounds. h264 is pretty much on every single device, from capture to distribution.

1
2
Stop

@jbernardo Re: anti-google fanbois

The paranoia and misinformation around H.264/AVC licensing is frankly shocking. If only people read the actual licensing conditions at:

http://www.mpegla.com/main/programs/avc/Documents/AVC_TermsSummary.pdf (it's less than 4 pages)

So no, MPEG-LA's H.264 license is not responsible for the price difference between Pro and Amateur cameras. That's frankly a ridiculous theory. H.264 license costs are the same for all types of devices and cameras, ranging from free to a maximum of 20 cents per device (with a maximum yearly cap too).

There are no WebM Professional cameras - don't even know any amateur ones - but my guess if there were you'd see the same price differences, just like "Professional" anything is always much more expensive.

Also no, MPEG-LA will not do anything to you for recording and selling your commercial video, unless you are one of:

"(i) replicators of physical media, and (ii) service/content providers (e.g., cable, satellite, video DSL, internet and mobile) of VOD, PPV and electronic downloads to End Users)".

Even if you are one of the above the fees range from FREE to a maximum of TWO cents per title. Expensive, really?

0
2
FAIL

Re: Re: Re: Costs

Doesn't matter if you implement one yourself, you'll still be infringing on these patents.

That's kind of the problem with patents.

2
0
Thumb Down

Re: Re: Re: Re: Costs

H.264 cannot be implemented by a free browser, such as chromium, firefox, konqueror, etc.

WebM is an attempt to write a new codec which can be used freely across the web.

2
1
WTF?

Free browser

More nonsense, Of course H.264 can implemented in free browsers, by simply using the codec that comes with the system.

Exactly what Microsoft showed with the H.264 extension for Chrome and Firefox.

0
3
Anonymous Coward

Re: Free browser

More outright lies. What MSFT did with that extension was to add support to the browsers RUNNING ON WINDOWS. The support wasn't added to any free browser, as it doesn't work when the free browser is used on a open operating system.

I still have to understand how your lies get so many up-votes...

1
0
g e
Silver badge

Only because it's cheaper

to pay the M$ tithe than a pay patent lawyer to prove you don't have to

6
5
Anonymous Coward

Prove it

You can't and neither can the licensees lawyers

1
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: Only because it's cheaper

I have to ask - does "g e" stand for "Google Employee"?

M$? Really? come on, it's not the 90s anymore.

2
2
Silver badge
Linux

" In fact, more than 70 percent of Android devices are now licensed to use Microsoft’s patent portfolio." -- regardless of whether we want to use the $MS patent portfolio or not.

9
1
JDX
Gold badge

No. If you don't want to pay towards that portfolio, don't buy such a device.

The device you buy probably uses hundreds of patents, oddly enough you don't get to pick and choose which when buying a consumer item for a few £hundred.

2
4
Anonymous Coward

Not Members

Motorola’s patents are essential to H.264, but it's not in the MPEG-LA licensor pool: http://www.mpegla.com/main/programs/AVC/Pages/Licensors.aspx

This is google trying to kill H.264 so it can push WebM

6
2
Silver badge

Re: Not Members

At least then we'd FINALLY have a standard codec for HTML5 video then. Maybe it's the evil way to go about it, but are we going to get a standard any other way?

Not that I wolud support such an evil action, regardless of the ends.

3
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: Re: Not Members

Have a look around you, do you see any WebM video camera?

Any WebM HD media streamer?

Not even the RaspberryPi supports WebM natively.

It's silly to think WebM will be a standard. Google is being delusional - and to be honest a giant dick -over this.

8
4
Thumb Up

Re: Re: Re: Not Members

precisely!

0
3
Silver badge

Re: Not Members

Certainly looks like that but it's too early to tell. I love the moniker the MPEG-LA gives itself: "patent pool". Sounds so much like a party when it is just another cartel.

Wonder how long before we start seeing phones with nice WebM badges on them.

2
4
Anonymous Coward

@Charlie Clark

"Patent pool" is the industry's terminology, it's not just the MPEG-LA that calls themselves that.

"One of the first patent pools was formed in 1856, by sewing machine manufacturers Grover, Baker, Singer, and Wheeler & Wilson, all accusing the others of patent infringement."

1
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: Re: Re: Not Members

>It's silly to think WebM will be a standard....Google is being delusional

http://www.webmproject.org/about/supporters/

CCLers:

http://www.webm-ccl.org/members/

3
2
Anonymous Coward

Re: Re: Re: Re: Not Members

Lot's of colourful logos. But products?

What can I buy to HD WebM outside of a laptop/desktop computer?

You seem even more delusional than Google.

3
5
Anonymous Coward

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Not Members

WebM: no DRM, no offline support, no adaptive streams, no Live streaming, no hardware acceleration on any platform (so battery killer).

but they still want to hurt H.264 and presumably MPEG-DASH

5
4

Re: Re: Re: Not Members

Pi is a bad example - it will support ONLY H.264 natively because of licensing costs for other codecs so ironically it had to ditch MPEG-2. Try offering as an individual to license that option back and you probably won't get far. That's ultimately the problem - you can't have what you want even if you're prepared to pay.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Pi is a bad example.

No, the Pi is a good example because it shows WebM isn't an option when it comes to hardware decoding.

0
2
Bronze badge
Stop

Re: Re: Not Members

If WebM is so good and cool, why doesn't Android use it for making videos?

0
2
Anonymous Coward

@AC 00:45

DRM? Adaptive Streaming? Get a clue. WebM is a codec.

First silicon to market which accelerated WebM was from RockChip, couple of options from them now - Broadcom/VideoCore and TI-OMAP also support it. AMD & ARM are working on it - I guess as they don't fancy the RTL which Google has also open sourced.

5 up votes and everything you said [apart from the last sentence] is wrong, interesting that.

As to hurting the king of patent trolls, they've already been there and done that simply by buying and opening it - the consequent liberalisation has already cost him, and saved us, millions.

2
0
Anonymous Coward

$22.50 per device for Google's h.264 patents?

I hope they come etched in gold leaf.

Google's new motto "Do the most evil"

3
5
Silver badge

Lets look at the time line a bit shall we

1) Google an announces plans to merge with Motorola Mobile

2) M$ and Apple complain to world + dog

3) World + dog look at Merger and clear it.

4) Google announce that there will be no changes to MM's patent licensing charges.

5) M$ and Apple complain to world + dog that Google are over charging

Don't you think that M$ and Apple should have complained to MM before the merger?

9
4

Re: Lets look at the time line a bit shall we

it's got nothing to do with the merger. it's the fact that MM is trying to squeeze more money from them and not following their commitment. research a bit this subject, click on the links in the article, read through it.

2
3

Re: Lets look at the time line a bit shall we

this is from the linked article, just to give you an idea what's going on:

"Unfortunately, Motorola has refused to make its patents available at anything remotely close to a reasonable price. For a $1,000 laptop, Motorola is demanding that Microsoft pay a royalty of $22.50 for its 50 patents on the video standard, called H.264. As it turns out, there are at least 2,300 other patents needed to implement this standard. They are available from a group of 29 companies that came together to offer their H.264 patents to the industry on FRAND terms. Microsoft’s patent royalty to this group on that $1,000 laptop?

Two cents.

That’s right. Just 2 cents for use of more than 2,300 patents. (Windows qualifies for a nice volume discount, but no firm has to pay more than 20 cents per unit.) Motorola is demanding that Microsoft pay more than 1,000 times that for use of just 50 patents.

And that is for a mid-level, $1,000 laptop. For a $2,000 laptop, Motorola is demanding double the royalty - $45. Windows is the same on both laptops, and so is the video support in Windows. But the high-end laptop will have a bigger hard drive, more memory, perhaps a titanium case—and Motorola is demanding a hefty royalty on all of this, even though none of these features implements Motorola’s video patents."

6
4
Anonymous Coward

Re: Re: Lets look at the time line a bit shall we

Yeah but on the other hand Microsoft is charging Android makers more than 3% from total cost per device so why Morotola can not charge a reasonable 2.25% ?

Oh and by the way, you should check your math, Motorola is asking for constant 2.25% of the price of the device for a 1000$ laptop as well as for a 2000$ laptop. It's the price that doubles not the percentage. At least Motorola is asking that in exchange for real patents not for unspecified ones like MS does.

Besides that, who can decide what is reasonable and what is not ? Is a government going to impose the maximum price for the precious intellectual property companies own ?

not to mention that Microsoft could enter a cross-licensing agreement with Motorola and end up paying nothing. You know, patents allegedly infringed by Android could be exchanged against patents owned by Motorola, it is not that uncommon.

9
4

Re: Re: Re: Lets look at the time line a bit shall we

not my maths, that's quote from this article:

http://blogs.technet.com/b/microsoft_on_the_issues/archive/2012/02/22/google-please-don-t-kill-video-on-the-web.aspx

and MS doesn't charge 3% on standard essential patents - that's the difference.

2
7
Silver badge
WTF?

Re: Lets look at the time line a bit shall we

Yes lets.

Stage -1: Apple claim to have invented rounded corners so block few Android sales.

Stage 0: Microsoft claim $5 per handset from Android sales

Then Google retaliates and they are suddenly evil?

8
6
JDX
Gold badge

Re: Re: Lets look at the time line a bit shall we

If Android genuinely infringes patents then it's reasonable they should pay... that's different from pre-existing arrangements for companies to work together regarding patents which are ubiquitous to web standards.

0
6

Re: Re: Lets look at the time line a bit shall we

@Bob - I think you don't understand difference between standard essential patents and patents that are not essential to a standard/design/whatever

- meaning that second group encourages you to either pay license fee or work around the patent in question, which means there are another ways to achieve desired result or you can develop your own system/way how to achieve that result which is different than patented technology.

1
4
Anonymous Coward

Re: Re: Re: Re: Lets look at the time line a bit shall we

[quote] Microsoft will reap $444 million in licensing fees from Android manufacturers this year, charging $3-6 per mobile device, according to a report from Goldman Sachs. [/quote]

It's even worse then if you're telling us MS charges that much for bogus or non-essential patents. Cross-license and it will cost nothing, that's the rule and it's not Google who invented it.

6
2
FAIL

Re: Re: Re: Lets look at the time line a bit shall we

Microsoft wont say what patents android allegedly infringes, so any attempt to stop infringing is impossible.

Software patents have an appalling track record for being obvious stuff. Bill Gates said as much in his 1980's memo to get more patents, something along the line of "Just think of what's coming along the line and patent it, it doesn't have to be groundbreaking". The whole patent licensing issue is on extremely bad terms from microsoft.

3
0
Silver badge

Re: Re: Re: Lets look at the time line a bit shall we @JDX

If Android genuinely infringes patents, then which ones are they? That's the problem I've had with the whole MS patent on Android thing from the get go. MS keeps screaming that Android (and Linux in general for that matter) infringes their patents, but have they ever told anyone specifically which patents are being infringed?

2
0

This post has been deleted by its author

K
Bronze badge
FAIL

M$ and Apple are just bitter...

beside, I think Apple views is purely on the basis they fear a bitch slapping from the Chocolate Factory, so they're looking to cut off the hand that will deliver it..

I know its probably an unfair view, but they've been bullying HTC, Sumsung etc.. so it'll serve Apple right when that slap finally lands :)

13
7
Anonymous Coward

Yeah and fuck any chance of having a sane video format over that slap.

Great plan. /s

4
4

Page:

This topic is closed for new posts.