Shattering Windows

Regular readers know I have no love for Microsoft. It’s technology is unimaginative and usually is ripped off from someone else and altered just enough to be brought up to Microsoft’s level of crappiness.

Well, it looks like Microsoft might have gone too far. According to Faultline, Microsoft’s Windows Media Player is a blatant rip off of technology and Sony Electronics, along with Phillips, might just be about to sue. Good for them.

So what factors would Philips and Sony take into account to help them decide whether or not to take legal action?

Well, one of the first considerations must be the fact that the codec patents are well known and there are several places where they can be looked up and referenced, such as MPEG LA, and yet Microsoft still decided to launch its own VC 9 (the Windows Media 9 version of the Video Codec 1) without attributing the technology to anyone other than itself. Its web site has consistently described the technology as “Microsoft’s”.

There is no public record of any licenses being negotiated between Microsoft and any of the companies we have suggested might own title to the codec technology.

All of this speaks badly about the outcome for Microsoft were the case to go to court, and were the court to decide that the patented technology had indeed been infringed. It would make it look as though Microsoft had deliberately made little attempt to establish to whom it should pay licenses for the technology and that would make the case all the more open and shut, as it would imply “intent”.

Go get ’em.

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Erick Erickson

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