Feeds

Contentguard boss sues shareholders MS, Time Warner

Illegal enrichment

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Security for virtualized datacentres

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

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Apple Pay is a tidy payday for Apple with 0.15% cut, sources say
Cupertino slurps 15 cents from every $100 purchase
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Forget silly privacy worries - help biometrics firms make MILLIONS
Beancounter reckons dabs-scanning tech is the next big moneypit
Microsoft's Office Delve wants work to be more like being on Facebook
Office Graph, social features for Office 365 going public
Alibaba swings a large one with STONKING IPO legal bills
Chinese e-commerce beast searches for $21bn from investors
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
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.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.