Feeds

JPEG guardians vow to defend free images

All your compression tech belongs to … er, somebody in Texas

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Boost IT visibility and business value

Yesterday, we broke the story that an obscure Texan video conferencing company is seeking royalties from a patent it acquired five years ago. With the help of a gold-bricking law firm, it wants to collect back royalties from every client device manufacturer which might possibly ever be in receipt of a transmitted JPEG image, and this includes digital cameras, PDAs, phones, scanners and of course, web browsers.

As we disclosed, two licensees have already paid up, including Sony. An unnamed company has already paid $15 million for the right to use Forgent's patent. Perhaps "broke the story " isn't the right phrase - it was sitting around for a week before we noticed, and since we published the story, there's been a right righteous hullabaloo at Slashdot (which in an Intellectual Property landgrab of its own, claimed the scoop for itself after reading The Register - doh!) and at other fine sites. And that in itself is worrying - the free software community's early warning system is as poky as the CIA's Arabic intelligence department. That's a cause for concern in itself.

But the JPEG ('Joint Photographic Experts Group') committee which oversees the standard is confident that it can fend off Forgent's speculative IP grab. And just in case it's going to launch a website which gathers examples of prior art. Prior art can demolish the cockiest patent claims. You can read this call to arms here.

And a new forum has arisen, to aggregate news stories and discussion on this important topic, at Burn All JPEGs, thanks to Al Pope.

For the record, Forgent Networks still hasn't returned our call. The one that started this hullabaloo. ®

Related Story

JPEGs are not free: Patent holder pursues IP grab

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.