Google is making image search more convenient for those who are seeking pictures to use in their publications or personal works — it is letting you sort images by licensing rights under “Search Tools”. Previously, the option to sort search results by licensing rights was found under the “Advanced Image Search Page” and therefore much more inaccessible. In fact, a lot of users might not even have noticed that such an option existed. A minor tweak to its placement will no doubt help to raise awareness. In July last year, Microsoft’s Bing also introduced the option to let users filter image search results by usage rights.
MPEG LA, LLC has announced that a group of 25 companies have agreed on HEVC license terms expected to issue as part of an HEVC Patent Portfolio License in early 2014. High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC, also known as H.265 and MPEG-H Part 2) is a standard designed to improve video coding efficiency for the benefit of Internet and mobile service providers and consumers with increased speed and capacity. HEVC is also expected to deliver next generation higher resolution HDTV video displays for 4K and 8K Ultra High Definition TV (“UHDTV”). “As contemplated, the HEVC license will utilize a modern streamlined pool licensing approach with simple easy-to-understand terms making the technology readily accessible to the largest possible market in the shortest possible time,” said MPEG LA President and CEO Larry Horn. “MPEG LA salutes the cooperation of patent owners who have worked hard to reach common ground in making a joint patent license available for the convenience of HEVC adopters. As a result of their efforts, consumers benefiting from a marketplace of competitive technology choices will be the clear winners”. As work continues on evaluating patents for essentiality and concluding terms in final agreements, the license is currently supported by 25 prospective HEVC essential patent holders including Apple Inc., Cisco Technology Inc., Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, Hitachi Maxell ltd., JVC Kenwood corp., LG Electronics inc. and NEC corp. In its effort to include as much essential intellectual property as possible in one license for the benefit of the marketplace, MPEG LA continues to welcome the submission of issued patents for an evaluation of their essentiality to the HEVC Standard.
The Guardian improve its Open Platform, a service that will allow partners to reuse guardian.co.uk content and data for free and weave it “into the fabric of the internet”. Open Platform launched with two separate content-sharing services, which will allow users to build their own applications in return for carrying Guardian advertising. A content application programming interface (API) will smooth the way for web developers to build applications and services using Guardian content, while a Data Store will contain datasets curated by Guardian editors and open for others to use. Emily Bell, the Guardian News & Media director of digital content, described Open Platform as a “new chapter in our history and a new foundation for the future of our journalism”. She said that Open Platform would allow Guardian content “to be woven into the fabric of the internet” as people outside the organization saw the value of adding Guardian content to their projects. The Guardian content API includes written articles from Guardian and Observer staff and freelances to whose work the Guardian has rights.
Adobe Systems Inc. claimed that the advantage of its e-book copy protection technology, called Adobe Digital Experience Protection Technology (ADEPT), is that consumers can buy e-books for one e-reader and freely transfer them to other such devices, as well as their Apple and Windows computers. While that’s possible with Amazon.com’s Kindle, which uses its own file format and Digital Rights Management (DRM) scheme, and with e-books purchased for the iPad from Apple iBook store, it requires more hassle. But users say ADEPT fails to live up to Adobe’s promise of interoperability between e-readers and e-book stores. For instance, e-books bought from Barnes & Noble, for now, work only on the nook e-reader — not other popular e-readers such as the Sony Reader, even though both use Adobe’s DRM. On its Web site, Adobe recently admitted that e-books sold by Barnes & Noble should “initially” not work on other Adobe-compatible e-readers. That’s because Barnes & Noble is using a new, more liberal form of ADEPT that requires users to enter in a password to read the e-book. Available as part of the Adobe Content Server 5 software, this ‘social DRM’ makes it easier for users to loan e-books to close friends and family. The problem appears to be that most of the other e-readers use Adobe’s Content Server 4 software, which doesn’t offer a password option and puts a hard cap of 12 devices for any particular e-book.