OMA washes its hands of MPEG LA licensing arrangements

We're not playing any more

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

The Open Mobile Alliance is so busy ducking for cover over the proposed licensing terms of its digital rights management standard, that it has put out a statement distancing itself from the process.

If it had known that not working with the existing patent holders for most of the DRM patents was going to cause it this much trouble, perhaps it would have done things differently.

The MPEG Licensing Authority has gathered essential patents for the technology independently of the OMA.

In its statement it said, "The OMA is a specification setting organization focused on interoperability. It exists as a means for companies involved in the mobile industry to develop open, interoperable mobile specifications based on market requirements. The OMA does not have a relationship with MPEG LA and did not participate in the development of the license terms suggested by MPEG LA for OMA DRM."

The OMA falls short of actually suggesting that perhaps the MPEG LA can’t really insist on the royalty that it is requesting, by makes it clear that it is "not in a position" to determine the applicability of those patents. In other words it washes its hands of the whole thing.

It points out that as a condition of membership in OMA, member companies had to agree to grant a non-exclusive license on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms and conditions, but of course Sony, Contentguard, Intertrust and Matsushita were not members, and not invited to be members of OMA, although we believe that Philips is, through its handset arm.

Two weeks ago the MPEG LA and essential patent group slashed their license terms from $1 per handset down to $0.65 and from 1 per cent of all transaction charges, to a maximum of 25 cents per user per annum in response to calls by the GSM Association who said it refused to pay the previous rates. The royalty is still expected to rise to $1bn or more per annum, even under these terms.

There is no indication yet whether the new reduced terms are any more acceptable that the first license terms to the GSM Association members, but with an avalanche of content services ready to be launched, all dependent upon sufficient DRM protection, they really have very little choice.

Copyright © 2005, Faultline

Faultline is published by Rethink Research, a London-based publishing and consulting firm. This weekly newsletter is an assessment of the impact of the week's events in the world of digital media. Faultline is where media meets technology. Subscription details here.

Related stories

Phone DRM: the most expensive royalty operation ever
MPEG LA cuts mobile phone DRM tax
Phone DRM too expensive, say carriers

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
Broadband Secretary of SHEEP sensationally quits Cabinet
Maria Miller finally resigns over expenses row
Skype pimps pro-level broadcast service
Playing Cat and Mouse with the media
Beat it, freetards! Dyn to shut down no-cost dynamic DNS next month
... but don't worry, charter members, you're still in 'for life'
EE dismisses DATA-BURNING glitch with Orange Mail app
Bug quietly slurps PAYG credit - yet EE denies it exists
Like Google, Comcast might roll its own mobile voice network
Says anything's possible if regulators approve merger with Time Warner
Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark
New Statement of Expectations to NBN Co offers get-out clauses for blackspot builds
Facebook claims 100 MEEELLION active users in India
Who needs China when you've got the next billion in your sights?
prev story


Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.