Back in 2003, it was always a great distraction to have either live TV
or a video file playing on the desktop using desktop overlays on Mac
OS 8 or VLC/BSPlayer on Windows 2000+. Low load on the CPU, excellent
quality video, etc. How cool would it have been to render to the
background as well?

My problem is I finally accomplished that program last year only to
find out that in 2005 MS patented any change of color in your desktop
background for use in DreamScene. Not only that, but they've
eliminated overlays in AERO and therefore disabled any previous
desktop video application in common use.

It's written in Mono-compatible .NET 2.0 using TAO and it works very
well. It even works all the way down to Windows 2000 - not just Vista
Ultimate. I would love to release it but how can anyone arrange
access to this patent? I don't want to jump out of the gate and be
tackled by Steve Balmer. Can I pay a royalty or play it safe as open
source or is my method just different enough to avoid the patent? I
can't find a contact for their patent information - not even in the
partner program.

Any unhostile thoughts would be helpful.