I am never happy with the big guy and usually in favour of the little guy. There is now a battle royal brewing over the standards of video on the web that you and I watch every day.
Frankly I detest the idea of patent hoarders (greenmail is the nicest thing you can say about the process). But also I recognize the importance of Intellectual Property and its protection.
IP is governed by an imperfect set of rules and regulations. Not least of which because IP is so easily transported across jurisdictions and the legal systems do not match that. So to say that the law has not kept up is an understatement.
I wont bore you with the details - the WSJ has done a good enough job of explaining the battle between the current collective standard representing some 1700 Patents that are collectively the high-definition video encoding standard known as H.264. Google is promoting the alternative as VP8 for which it paid $125 million.
The issue is whether anyone should be allowed to control video. Clearly Google didn't buy the standard just for altruistic reasons. So there is no reason to pity the poor little rich boys and girls at the Googleplex. But this has become political with now the politicians stepping into the game to ask the question as to whether there is funny business going on between the collective managed by the MPEG LA group and Google.
Tsk Tsk - I dont think the law should get involved in this fight. This is a no harm crime at the moment. Google can take its knocks. Let them use some of the rest of their cash pile to address the issue. And then leave our politicians alone to do their usual work of stuffing the general populace.