Feeds

Contentguard boss sues shareholders MS, Time Warner

Illegal enrichment

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

The DRM tollbooth is proving so expensive that even the tollbooth staff are unhappy. Contentguard founder and CEO Michael Miron has filed suit against the company's two majority shareholders, Microsoft and Time Warner, alleging that they "enrich themselves at the expense of the company and its employee shareholders." Both companies are customers, as well as owners of the company. Miron alleges that the majority shareholders are offering too low a price per share to the company's employee shareholders, and has filed suit in a Delaware court.

Contentguard and Intertrust are the two most influential DRM patent holders. Last year, after Microsoft paid $440 million in royalties to Intertrust, Redmond took a stake in ContentGuard which began life at Xerox. Time Warner followed suit, gaining an equal shareholding, and the two diluted their holdings to give Thomson a one third stake late last year. Contentguard's chief rival Intertrust is owned by Sony and Philips.

In January, the MPEG Licensing Authority set a royalty rate for mobile phones and handhelds that was compatible with the technical specifications set by the phone industry group the OMA (Open Mobile Alliance), using DRM based on technology from IPR Systems.

Manufacturers and network operators were dismayed by the levy - $1 per handset, or one per cent of the network transaction - having hoped that it would by royalty free.

Any hopes that Microsoft and Time Warner had of fending off an European antitrust investigation with the Thomson stake - Thomson is a French consumer electronics manufacturer - were dashed last month. The European Commission has resumed its antitrust review of the Microsoft and Time Warner investments in Contentguard, and has set itself until 7 April to come to a decision. The EC can demand modifications or block the deal altogether. ®

Related stories

EC checks MS compliance
CE giants open DRM to the community
ContentGuard talks DRM futures
Mobile DRM levy hits operators where it hurts
Europe pauses Microsoft DRM probe
Thomson takes 33% stake in MS-backed DRM developer
EC objects to MS - Time Warner ContentGuard takeover
EC launches Microsoft DRM probe
Intertrust ready for DRM role
Time Warner invests in ContentGuard

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
DOUBLE BONK: Testy fanbois catch Apple Pay picking pockets
Users wail as tapcash transactions are duplicated
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
In the next four weeks, 100 people will decide the future of the web
While America tucks into Thanksgiving turkey, the world will be taking over the net
Microsoft EU warns: If you have ties to the US, Feds can get your data
European corps can't afford to get complacent while American Big Biz battles Uncle Sam
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.