PDA

View Full Version : Alcatel-Lucent Awarded $1.5 Billion from Microsoft over MP3 Patents




Teh Don Ditty
Feb 22, 2007, 03:39 PM
Reuters (http://www.reuters.com/article/ousiv/idUSWEN465120070222) - MSFT infringed on audio patents held by Alcatel-Lucent.



BoyBach
Feb 22, 2007, 03:55 PM
A U.S. federal jury found that Microsoft Corp. infringed audio patents held by Alcatel-Lucent and should pay $1.52 billion in damages, Microsoft said on Thursday.

Microsoft said it plans to first ask the trial judge to knock down the ruling and will appeal if necessary. It said the verdict is unsupported by the law or the facts.

Alcatel-Lucent had accused the world's biggest software maker of infringing patents related to standards used for playing computer music, or MP3, files.

"We made strong arguments supporting our view and we are pleased with the court's decision," said Alcatel-Lucent spokeswoman Joan Campion, declining to discuss details of the decision.


:eek:

Ouch! That's going to hurt no matter how rich a company you are.

mattscott306
Feb 22, 2007, 03:57 PM
Hehehe, sorry, that makes me laugh. Good times.

Rodimus Prime
Feb 22, 2007, 04:00 PM
I have a feeling that apple will be next. M$ just happens to be the first one hit because they are the largest. You do not want M$ to lose because then apple will be paying out the rear as well for the same thing. (a long with a very long list of other companies.

butaro
Feb 22, 2007, 05:31 PM
Too bad, Microsoft was/is working closely with the Alcatel side for VoP services. That might hurt that relationship.

MacRumors
Feb 22, 2007, 07:02 PM
http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com)

CNet reports (http://news.com.com/2100-1030_3-6161480.html) that Microsoft has been hit with a $1.5 billion patent verdict over MP3 audio technology used in Windows since 2003.

Microsoft reportedly licensed the technology from Fraunhofer, a company that helped develop MP3 compression alongside Lucent's Bell Labs. The decision is of particular interest to other technology companies who have licensed MP3 technology from Fraunhofer (now Thomson). This includes hundreds of companies (http://mp3licensing.com/licensees/) including Apple.

"Therefore, today's outcome is disappointing for us and for the hundreds of other companies who have licensed MP3 technology," Burt said. "We are concerned that this decision opens the door for Alcatel-Lucent to pursue action against hundreds of other companies who purchased the rights to use MP3 technology from Fraunhofer, the industry-recognized rightful licensor."

PC World notes (http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,129302-c,legalissues/article.html) that this is the first of six patent lawsuits currently underway by Lucent. The remaining lawsuits directed at Microsoft cover speech pattern technology, user interface patents, Xbox 360 technology, and video technologies.

Microsoft, of course, has stated they "will seek relief from the trial court, and if necessary, appeal".

carve
Feb 22, 2007, 07:09 PM
Wow, that's a LOT of money.

dsnort
Feb 22, 2007, 07:13 PM
Could this explain the price of Vista? :eek:

wavelayer
Feb 22, 2007, 07:15 PM
Ouch! That's gotta hurt.

EagerDragon
Feb 22, 2007, 07:18 PM
HaHa, Woot

justflie
Feb 22, 2007, 07:18 PM
I sure hope Apple isn't next on the list... :confused:

Makosuke
Feb 22, 2007, 07:25 PM
As much as I want to see Microsoft punished in any way possible (even if they didn't do anything wrong, they've gotten away with enough historically to deserve it), I don't think this is a good think. Software patents can end up causing absolutely stupid lawsuits and do little but slow development of good (and often free) technologies.

If you don't want to license your API, that's one thing. But preventing somebody from using a method of doing things because you thought of it first is seriously counterproductive. And if you ARE going to allow software patents, they should be very short-lived, like drug patents, so you don't have asinine things like unlicensed GIF compressors being illegal for 20 years.

zblaxberg
Feb 22, 2007, 07:25 PM
no way apple is next

Lynxpoint
Feb 22, 2007, 07:36 PM
I don't think this is a good think. Software patents can end up causing absolutely stupid lawsuits and do little but slow development of good (and often free) technologies.

If you don't want to license your API, that's one thing. But preventing somebody from using a method of doing things because you thought of it first is seriously counterproductive. And if you ARE going to allow software patents, they should be very short-lived, like drug patents, so you don't have asinine things like unlicensed GIF compressors being illegal for 20 years.

I agree completely.

twoodcc
Feb 22, 2007, 07:38 PM
I sure hope Apple isn't next on the list... :confused:

i hope not also! but i don't think they are....i like to think positive :)

bad news for microsoft......i bet ballmer's raging mad...haha:apple:

SkyBell
Feb 22, 2007, 07:43 PM
no way apple is next

No, I think it'll happen. Like a poster said above, Microsoft was just first.:(

polyesterlester
Feb 22, 2007, 07:47 PM
Do we know that Apple hasn't licensed the technology from Alcatel-Lucent?

SiliconAddict
Feb 22, 2007, 07:50 PM
Hehehe, sorry, that makes me laugh. Good times.

You are a very petty person. :rolleyes:

Rocketman
Feb 22, 2007, 07:56 PM
I have been following this because Lucent was "partners" with the licensing firm. Therefore one would think one partner "speaks for the other" under "partnership and joint-venture" law.

This is distressing because the various licensees acted in "good faith" (yes including Apple) and are still "liable". This could be a defect in the law, a jury gone wild, most likely bad jury instructions or worse, a case of double dipping of fees supported by law.

In any case this clearly implies liability to Apple too.

The award was relatively small considering the scope of the claims, but at what point do contracts and fees matter at all? It has not yet been detected.

Was there even an offset considered and was it the fees paid, or the distributed percentage of the rights licensed for?

MANY aspects for appeal here.

Rocketman

EagerDragon
Feb 22, 2007, 08:00 PM
no way apple is next
Depends who they licensed from.

eddyg
Feb 22, 2007, 08:02 PM
Just goes to show how far Lucent has fallen. Rather than try
to make money on their actual products, which have been failing horribly.
They are trawling their large patent pool and trying to make money off the back of other companies success.

I'd be quite embarrassed to be working for Lucent right now... they are
scum in my eyes.

Cheers, Ed.

macguysoft
Feb 22, 2007, 08:05 PM
i hope not also! but i don't think they are....i like to think positive :)

Do you suppose that if that happens, then MS will complain about being the only company that got sued? LOL. I'd like to think positive but that sadly won't help change the outcome of things. If they do, we'll have to see if Apple made the same mistake. They are usually careful but no one is perfect.

psychofreak
Feb 22, 2007, 08:07 PM
Just thinking...that 0.02 billion rounded off for the thread title is an awful lot of money...

running
Feb 22, 2007, 08:08 PM
How can anybody rate this as positive? Because Microsoft is evil evil evil company and deserves it? Definitely not.. I don't like these "sue them all" actions

it can turn against Apple as well...

psychofreak
Feb 22, 2007, 08:09 PM
How can anybody rate this as positive? Because Microsoft is evil evil evil company and deserves it? Definitely not.. I don't like these "sue them all" actions

it can turn against Apple as well...

I agree...but microsoft-bashing is fun...

EricNau
Feb 22, 2007, 08:10 PM
Why?

These companies licensed the MP3 technology and used it, where's the problem?

:confused:

EagerDragon
Feb 22, 2007, 08:11 PM
See list of Alcatel License companies, Apple is there.
http://mp3licensing.com/licensees/
Sounds like Apple is fine.:cool:

macguysoft
Feb 22, 2007, 08:12 PM
See list of Alcatel License companies, Apple is there.

:p Microsoft is in there too though... Unless that 1.5 billion dollars was the price they had to pay for a license. ROFL.

Frisco
Feb 22, 2007, 08:12 PM
See list of Alcatel License companies, Apple is there.
http://mp3licensing.com/licensees/
Sounds like Apple is fine.:cool:

Yeah, but Microsoft is on the list too!

ChrisA
Feb 22, 2007, 08:15 PM
Does this mean Fraunhofer sold a license that was invalid? Seems like it. If that is true I'd expect Microsoft to be going after Fraunhofer now.

I really hope all the music player companies decide to simply drop MP3. They never should have been using it when there were free codecs available (Like this http://www.vorbis.com/ ) MP3 only became popular when people started ripping off copyrighted music. And when you are already violating copyrights no one cared they were violating a patent too. But once you start doing things legally, you would have though they would care. MP3 should have gone the way of GIF when the patent was discovered MP3 is not even a good format anymore, best that it fades away

EagerDragon
Feb 22, 2007, 08:16 PM
:p Microsoft is in there too though... Unless that 1.5 billion dollars was the price they had to pay for a license. ROFL.

Ouch, you are right.

macguysoft
Feb 22, 2007, 08:21 PM
I really hope all the music player companies decide to simply drop MP3.

And then we await with hope that Apple will invent the newest industry standard compression technology. :apple: :D

Music-Man
Feb 22, 2007, 08:22 PM
See list of Alcatel License companies, Apple is there.
http://mp3licensing.com/licensees/
Sounds like Apple is fine.:cool:

That site lists Fraunhofer/Thomson licensing agreements. Alcatel is claiming that they are the rightful owners of the patent and therefore deserve to be paid licensing fees. So if this case against MS holds up, then that site lists all those that Alcatel will be after next, including Apple.

EagerDragon
Feb 22, 2007, 08:22 PM
Did they also got hit for the Zune?

asphalt-proof
Feb 22, 2007, 08:24 PM
just one more reason why patent and copywrite laws need to be reexamined.

I think it would be interesting to do a poll of different tech companies that developed some amazing products that never went market because the product was already covered by some vague patent owned by a company that doesn't make anything. :(

miggyb
Feb 22, 2007, 08:25 PM
by the way, apple liscenes it for all of it's devices. it might even go back to the original ipod (3rd gen in attachment)

i really hope all that choosing to inclue an mp3 importer in iTunes isn't going to stab them in the back later on. :(

EagerDragon
Feb 22, 2007, 08:26 PM
That site lists Fraunhofer/Thomson licensing agreements. Alcatel is claiming that they are the rightful owners of the patent and therefore deserve to be paid licensing fees. So if this case against MS holds up, then that site lists all those that Alcatel will be after next, including Apple.

Ouch someone is going to float on money, Apple would have to play for Macs and iPods, that may wipe all 11 billons in the bank. On top of that there is a big list of others that will also have to pay, Alcatel stock will be going thru the roof with the giant cash influx.

MacTheSpoon
Feb 22, 2007, 08:28 PM
Let's see... so if this the award was based on numbers of PCs sold... and Apple has 5% of the market... that would make a similar award against Apple equal to 5% of this award, right? So that would be $75 million. That would blow, but with Apple's cash reserves it wouldn't exactly sink the company or anything.

Music-Man
Feb 22, 2007, 08:32 PM
Let's see... so if this the award was based on numbers of PCs sold... and Apple has 5% of the market... that would make a similar award against Apple equal to 5% of this award, right? So that would be $75 million. That would blow, but with Apple's cash reserves it wouldn't exactly sink the company or anything.

I think it went by how many copies of Windows Media Player were installed. Apple would have to pay for QT, iTunes, iPod and any other software that uses the MP3 standard. So while it may not be $1.5B, it will definitely be a little over $75 million.

MacTheSpoon
Feb 22, 2007, 08:32 PM
Oh, yeah, I forgot about iPods... I wonder how much an award based on number of mp3 players would figure... I guess Creative and Archos will be in the same boat, as will Microsoft with its Zune... although this award apparently does not take Zune sales into account in calculating Microsoft's fine, so I wonder what that means for Apple's iPods.

BornAgainMac
Feb 22, 2007, 08:33 PM
If the costs of using mp3 was defined first to these companies then it wouldn't have been a standard because other technologies would have been used.

EagerDragon
Feb 22, 2007, 08:35 PM
Oh, yeah, I forgot about iPods... I wonder how much an award based on number of mp3 players would figure... I guess Creative and Archos will be in the same boat, as will Microsoft with its Zune... although this award apparently does not take Zune sales into account in calculating Microsoft's fine, so I wonder what that means for Apple's iPods.

It probably covers all 120 zune units sold.

We are talking about 90 million iPods sold since 2001, plus Macs.

booksacool1
Feb 22, 2007, 08:41 PM
I don't support this, at ALL
Sure its 'micro$oft', but this is about software patents.
This could have repercussions everywhere.

EagerDragon
Feb 22, 2007, 08:44 PM
I don't support this, at ALL
Sure its 'micro$oft', but this is about software patents.
This could have repercussions everywhere.

We don't either but for 5 minutes lets gloat on Microsoft problem.

MacTheSpoon
Feb 22, 2007, 08:45 PM
It probably covers all 120 zune units sold.


LOL! Well... still, though, the article says, "In its verdict, the jury assessed damages based on each Windows PC sold since May 2003."

And they ignored Zune sales, Windows Mobile sales for cell phones, Windows Media Player downloads, etc.

So maybe they're only going to be focusing on PC sales? (I can dream, right?)

One thing I don't understand, by the way, is why the licensor isn't liable. Seems that they are responsible, not the companies who bought licenses from them.

NaMo4184
Feb 22, 2007, 08:46 PM
As much as I don't like Microsoft, I absolutely hate software patents.

AidenShaw
Feb 22, 2007, 09:31 PM
Let's see... so if this the award was based on numbers of PCs sold... and Apple has 5% of the market... that would make a similar award against Apple equal to 5% of this award, right?

These awards are usually based on the actual value of the technology to the user, not on the number of units or their original cost.

Many people never play MP3s on their PCs, some play them occasionally, some use them a lot. Also, note that Windows hasn't been shipping an MP3 *encoder* in the base system, just the decoder.

For most people, a PC without MP3 support is a minor irritation.

But an Ipod without MP3 support ??? Big problem.

Apple's exposure to this licensing issue might be much larger than Microsoft's....

Counterfit
Feb 22, 2007, 09:33 PM
We don't either but for 5 minutes lets gloat on Microsoft problem.

But after those 5 minutes, it's not just MS' problem anymore.
But an Ipod without MP3 support ??? Big problem.

Apple's exposure to this licensing issue might be much larger than Microsoft's....

It's not just the iPod. However many berjillion copies of iTunes they've distributed all have an MP3 encoder in them, plus all the copies of QT, which has the encoder too, even though you need the Pro key to get to it.

Canerican
Feb 22, 2007, 09:38 PM
In a way this stinks, just because Bill Gates is donating so much to people who can't help themselves... But I guess it's just a drop in the bucket...

bretm
Feb 22, 2007, 09:40 PM
See list of Alcatel License companies, Apple is there.
http://mp3licensing.com/licensees/
Sounds like Apple is fine.:cool:

What are you reading? The site specifically says THOMPSON licensees, which the article specifically states is the new name of Frauhereorieror. This is the list of companies that will be paying millions, and billions of dollars simply by precedent that was just established. This is a death list.

bretm
Feb 22, 2007, 09:42 PM
These awards are usually based on the actual value of the technology to the user, not on the number of units or their original cost.

Many people never play MP3s on their PCs, some play them occasionally, some use them a lot. Also, note that Windows hasn't been shipping an MP3 *encoder* in the base system, just the decoder.

For most people, a PC without MP3 support is a minor irritation.

But an Ipod without MP3 support ??? Big problem.

Apple's exposure to this licensing issue might be much larger than Microsoft's....

Who uses MP3 on an ipod? I'm using a 3G and back then it wasn't even the standard compression. There are absolutely zero mp3 files in my ipod or itunes. They are Apple's AAC compression, which is immensely better. What's with all the mp3 stuff? I thought it was essentially dead. iTunes doesn't deliver mp3 files. I'd have to say Apple's use of Mp3 is pretty miniscule.

bretm
Feb 22, 2007, 09:45 PM
As much as I don't like Microsoft, I absolutely hate software patents.

?????? And what have you invented that you don't give a damn about?

Digitalclips
Feb 22, 2007, 09:46 PM
It probably covers all 120 zune units sold.

We are talking about 90 million iPods sold since 2001, plus Macs.

Hopefully m4a format is different from MP3? If so, all my music is m4a not MP3 so maybe that's one iPod less for Apple to worry about :)

Seriously though, what about all the money paid to Fraunhofer/Thomson over the years? I hope if this case has merit then at least that money should be garnished before going after MS & Apple etc.

p.s.They sold that many Zunes? :eek:

phillipjfry
Feb 22, 2007, 10:15 PM
Could this explain the price of Vista? :eek:

From what I've heard, it's not from the quality of the product... :)


EDIT: Blizzard Entertainment is on the list too!

NOT MY WoW Connection!! :(

Cult Follower
Feb 22, 2007, 10:15 PM
I don't how much money your campany pulls in that is a chunk. I bet Microsoft didn't like that too much.

w00master
Feb 22, 2007, 10:37 PM
Who uses MP3 on an ipod? I'm using a 3G and back then it wasn't even the standard compression. There are absolutely zero mp3 files in my ipod or itunes. They are Apple's AAC compression, which is immensely better. What's with all the mp3 stuff? I thought it was essentially dead. iTunes doesn't deliver mp3 files. I'd have to say Apple's use of Mp3 is pretty miniscule.

I use MP3 EXCLUSIVELY, and will continue to use it until some other format overtakes it. Yes, AAC is a better technology. Yes, AAC is more "open," however it is "the standard" that nearly every device, pc, etc. supports. You *cannot* say that about AAC no matter how good it is. Nearly every other codec is technically "better than mp3" but so few devices support any other format.

w00master

AidenShaw
Feb 22, 2007, 11:09 PM
Who uses MP3 on an ipod?

Like, most of the people who steal their music from the network rather than compensating the artists for their work....

Teh Don Ditty
Feb 22, 2007, 11:19 PM
Like, most of the people who steal their music from the network rather than compensating the artists for their work....

I beg to differ. All my music is in MP3 format and it's everything I've ever purchased (ripped from my own CD collection).

w00master
Feb 22, 2007, 11:36 PM
Like, most of the people who steal their music from the network rather than compensating the artists for their work....

Please, are you a shill for the RIAA? Nice that you like to GENERALIZE.

MP3 DOES NOT equal PIRACY. It's not 2001 anymore.

:rolleyes:

w00master

NewSc2
Feb 22, 2007, 11:38 PM
Who uses MP3 on an ipod? I'm using a 3G and back then it wasn't even the standard compression. There are absolutely zero mp3 files in my ipod or itunes. They are Apple's AAC compression, which is immensely better. What's with all the mp3 stuff? I thought it was essentially dead. iTunes doesn't deliver mp3 files. I'd have to say Apple's use of Mp3 is pretty miniscule.

Every song I have (and my collection is over 150gb) is mp3. About a third are CD's that I own, and the other 2/3s are live sets I've downloaded or recorded myself. And maybe 200MB of my own music... :)

MikeTheC
Feb 23, 2007, 12:00 AM
Every song I have (and my collection is over 150gb) is mp3. About a third are CD's that I own, and the other 2/3s are live sets I've downloaded or recorded myself. And maybe 200MB of my own music... :)

So, you *stole* music from yourself? Obviously, it *must* be stolen because it's in MP3 format.

*GASP!*

So... are you going to sue yourself? :)

apb3
Feb 23, 2007, 12:20 AM
I beg to differ. All my music is in MP3 format and it's everything I've ever purchased (ripped from my own CD collection).

:mad: Sad that I've actually had it argued to me that what you desccribe is, indeed, a copyright violation...:(

mdriftmeyer
Feb 23, 2007, 12:21 AM
Just goes to show how far Lucent has fallen. Rather than try
to make money on their actual products, which have been failing horribly.
They are trawling their large patent pool and trying to make money off the back of other companies success.

I'd be quite embarrassed to be working for Lucent right now... they are
scum in my eyes.

Cheers, Ed.

That viewpoint is brain dead. You develop wavelet research to do this and suddenly you're supposed to let others pilfer your work?

I'd suggest Microsoft develop their own implementations of MP3 and put it into their products.

Teh Don Ditty
Feb 23, 2007, 12:32 AM
:mad: Sad that I've actually had it argued to me that what you desccribe is, indeed, a copyright violation...:(

I know. It's my music, I bought it and I'll do what I friggin please with it.

The RIAA and their likes can kiss my.... well you know what!

apb3
Feb 23, 2007, 12:46 AM
Oh, yeah, I forgot about iPods... I wonder how much an award based on number of mp3 players would figure... I guess Creative and Archos will be in the same boat, as will Microsoft with its Zune... although this award apparently does not take Zune sales into account in calculating Microsoft's fine, so I wonder what that means for Apple's iPods.

Probably just a function of the legal team not knowing there would BE a "Zune" when the suit was filed.

I'm sure these jokers will remedy that when this cluster-F of a decision puts Apple and the iPod at the defendant's table.:mad:

mdriftmeyer
Feb 23, 2007, 12:50 AM
http://www.eagletribune.com/pubiz/local_story_050094603?keyword=secondarystory

Excerpts:

AT&T Corp. and Fraunhofer agreed in 1989 to develop MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3 technology, now called MP3. Scientists from AT&T's Bell Labs collaborated with Fraunhofer before AT&T spun off the unit in 1996. Bell Labs became Lucent Technologies Inc., which Alcatel SA acquired last year.

Microsoft accuses Lucent of deceiving the U.S. Patent & Trademark office by having one of the patents reissued and backdated to 1988, removing it from the scope of the 1989 deal with Fraunhofer.

----

Somehow Microsoft was not able to prove any wrong doing with the US Patent Office.

Evangelion
Feb 23, 2007, 01:24 AM
I'm having mixed feelings about this. First of all, in on itself, the ruling is a bad thing. Yes, Microsoft is evil, but it's still a bad thing. But then again, rulings like this might be what it takes for everyone to see that software-patents are a bad thing.

Maccus Aurelius
Feb 23, 2007, 01:51 AM
I find it funny that some petty souls can actually gloat about this just because it's Microsoft. There's so many others that Lucent is looking to bite in the ass, it's just that MS is presently the largest target with the deepest pockets.

apb3
Feb 23, 2007, 02:11 AM
I'm having mixed feelings about this[...]But then again, rulings like this might be what it takes for everyone to see that software-patents are a bad thing.

I've heard the bit I've highlighted above a few times in this thread now - with both positive and negative connotations. I'm looking about the web for arguments/opinions/disscussions for and against; but in the meantime would anyone who has made mention of this like to add some depth to the comment(s)?

I'm sure I "get" the argument for patents - One should gets benjamins for one's hard work, innovation, yada yada yada... but what exactly do you see as the counter position?

It cannot be that one should NOT be rewarded for hard work and innovation. Or can it? It just seems that's too problematic and would ultimately lead to no innovation/advance.

Like I've said, I've turned up a few hits on these internets re: this and my budddy here next to me is fairly opinionated as well, but what say you?

Oh well... time for chow. surprise me when I get back.:eek:

Veldek
Feb 23, 2007, 02:17 AM
I beg to differ. All my music is in MP3 format and it's everything I've ever purchased (ripped from my own CD collection).

Please, are you a shill for the RIAA? Nice that you like to GENERALIZE.

MP3 DOES NOT equal PIRACY. It's not 2001 anymore.

:rolleyes:

w00masterHe said that most people who download songs illegally use MP3. He DID NOT say that anyone who uses MP3 is downloading illegally. BIG difference!

deadkenny
Feb 23, 2007, 02:19 AM
Frauenhofer is not a company but a society of research institutes. There are a couple of research institutes troughout germany belonging to the Frauenhofer Society.

You can see the history of mp3 development here (german):
http://www.iis.fraunhofer.de/fhg/iis/bf/amm/mp3history/index.jsp

Frauenhofer didn't help to develop the mp3 compression, they invented it. Alcatel/Lucent later joined the development and made several extensions - which they might use in their file against MS but the whole thing could be backfiring imho.

The site of the Frauenhofer Gesellschaft (english): http://www.fraunhofer.de/fhg/EN/index.jsp

Evangelion
Feb 23, 2007, 02:38 AM
I've heard the bit I've highlighted above a few times in this thread now - with both positive and negative connotations. I'm looking about the web for arguments/opinions/disscussions for and against; but in the meantime would anyone who has made mention of this like to add some depth to the comment(s)?

I think the best description of the problem was made by the CEO of MySQL. He said (not a direct quote, but still):

Software is a collection of algorithms that is already protected by copyright. Copyright has worked very very well for software for decades and there's no reason to change it. In many ways software is very similar to literature, you write code to express your ideas. In literature you write words to express your ideas. And the code and the words are protected by copyright. If we extend patents to software, it would be similar if someone got a patent on the idea of killing someone with a knife in a book, and then suing people who write a book where someone is killed with a knife for patent-infringment.

It cannot be that one should NOT be rewarded for hard work and innovation. Or can it? It just seems that's too problematic and would ultimately lead to no innovation/advance.

Bill Gates managed to gather billions of dollars WITHOUT software-patents. Larry Ellison did the same WITHOUT software-patents. The idea that "Without patents, you wouldn't get rewarded for your hard work/innovation" is 100% bogus. People have been earning vast sums of money from software without patents for decades! And now we have bunch of megacorporations and multi-billionares telling us that "we need patents so we could earn money and continue to innovate". They have already earned huge sums of money and we have had lots of progress in the field of software without one shred of patents. Where is the need for patents here? We have had copyrights right from the start, and they have worked just fine.

Suppose that we had had software-patents right from the start. What if Xerox had patented the GUI? Anyone writing a GUI would get sued for patent-infringment. How about if someone patented a word-processor? A spreadsheet? A web-browser? Would we REALLY be better off? I doubt it.

What did Bill Gates say about software-patents back in 1991?

"If people had understood how patents would be granted when most of today's ideas were invented and had taken out patents, the industry would be at a complete standstill today. ... The solution is patenting as much as we can. A future startup with no patents of its own will be forced to pay whatever price the giants choose to impose. That price might be high. Established companies have an interest in excluding future competitors."

Think about it. Think about it long and hard. And looking at the 1.5 billion dollars, it seems BIll Gates was right. Only difference is that Microsoft is not a startup.

apb3
Feb 23, 2007, 02:50 AM
I think the best description of the problem was made by the CEO of MySQL. He said (not a direct quote, but still):

Software is a collection of algorithms that is already protected by copyright. Copyright has worked very very well for software for decades and there's no reason to change it. In many ways software is very similar to literature, you write code to express your ideas. In literature you write words to express your ideas. And the code and the words are protected by copyright. If we extend patents to software, it would be similar if someone got a patent on the idea of killing someone with a knife in a book, and then suing people who write a book where someone is killed with a knife for patent-infringment.



Bill Gates managed to gather billions of dollars WITHOUT software-patents. Larry Ellison did the same WITHOUT software-patents. The idea that "Without patents, you wouldn't get rewarded for your hard work/innovation" is 100% bogus. People have been earning vast sums of money from software without patents for decades! And now we have bunch of megacorporations and multi-billionares telling us that "we need patents so we could earn money and continue to innovate". They have already earned huge sums of money and we have had lots of progress in the field of software without one shred of patents. Where is the need for patents here? We have had copyrights right from the start, and they have worked just fine........


Yeah. That's pretty much what I'm seeing from various sources and the idea of software being more similar to literature (and copyrights applying thereto) than to patent-able objects/innovations makes basic sense to me.

My buddy threw out the "stifle innovation" argument in our discussion hereand I saw someone use the $ for hard work justification above and just wanted someone to expound on that sside of the argument. I guess I agree with you tentatively but intuitively and was hoping for someone to vehemently argue the other side... anyone?

HA! Orange drink in my MRE!!! Today is a good day.:D

groovebuster
Feb 23, 2007, 03:40 AM
Frauenhofer is not a company but a society of research institutes. There are a couple of research institutes troughout germany belonging to the Frauenhofer Society.

You can see the history of mp3 development here (german):
http://www.iis.fraunhofer.de/fhg/iis/bf/amm/mp3history/index.jsp

Frauenhofer didn't help to develop the mp3 compression, they invented it. Alcatel/Lucent later joined the development and made several extensions - which they might use in their file against MS but the whole thing could be backfiring imho.

The site of the Frauenhofer Gesellschaft (english): http://www.fraunhofer.de/fhg/EN/index.jsp

Thanks! I was about to write a similar post... you were faster!

Grüße

groovebuster

surferfromuk
Feb 23, 2007, 03:54 AM
Firstly let be clear - the article say's the judge has awarded THEN that m$ has appealed...that appeal is not done and dusted yet...the award is a starting point...after all what to judges know about technology...


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=18fUkRuKXYc



...and that's not to mention the fact that this case is like something from the movie 'paycheck'...going back in time and altering patent records - sheesh kebab!!that's not cricket...

AdeFowler
Feb 23, 2007, 04:35 AM
What are you reading? The site specifically says THOMPSON licensees, which the article specifically states is the new name of Frauhereorieror. This is the list of companies that will be paying millions, and billions of dollars simply by precedent that was just established. This is a death list.
Agreed. It's difficult to think of a tech/CE company that's not on the list. If they pursue everyone it'll take years. My guess is that the next big target will be Apple :mad:

surferfromuk
Feb 23, 2007, 05:01 AM
They won't run another lawsuit until the M$ case is done and dusted and sets the precident - that could be 5 years from now!

I see every tech company in the world dropping mp3 like a stone right now...$1.5 billion in licensing - that's a long way from $16 million!!

Of course this could go the way of the 'compuserve' gif....

Shadow
Feb 23, 2007, 05:47 AM
As much as I hate Microsoft, I must say this is a bad thing because it can have implications in the rest of the industry. They only went after MS because its MS, and I think everyone who licensed the MP3 technology from Thompson is gonna be very angry about now. I want MS to win with counter-sueing them. For once, I think MS is actually doing the world some good.

Having said that, if MS does fail in counter-sueing, I think the industry would rather drop MP3 and use a different codec than bay $1.5 billion. I would go for AAC (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_Audio_Coding). Its much cheaper (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_Audio_Coding#Licensing_and_patents), already standardized, fairly common (thanks to the iTunes Music Store) and has a better sound quality.

Evangelion
Feb 23, 2007, 05:48 AM
They won't run another lawsuit until the M$ case is done and dusted and sets the precident - that could be 5 years from now!

I see every tech company in the world dropping mp3 like a stone right now...$1.5 billion in licensing - that's a long way from $16 million!!

Of course this could go the way of the 'compuserve' gif....

Well, the amount of licensing-fees would propably be tied to the sales of the company. So not everyone would be paying 1.5 billion.

That said, maybe this will push more companies in to adopting Ogg Vorbis. Totally, 100% free codec with no licensing-fees.

®îçhå®?
Feb 23, 2007, 06:14 AM
bad news for microsoft......i bet ballmer's raging mad...haha:apple:

As long as he is doing another mankey dance screaming :D

This is a big, big lawsuit. I agree with others that this will hurt Microsoft and especially their shae prices. This could only be the beginning with a wave of filings coming in to sue all different sorts of companies that are eager to get huge sums of money from big companies.Bad news

surferfromuk
Feb 23, 2007, 06:17 AM
Ogg Vorbis - mmmh, maybe but I doubt it...I think the DRM thing will be the clincher and locking that under DRM will be very difficult. Of course that 'fairplay' DRM system that Steve's on the verge of 'binning' will probably just about do nicely when the world adopts AAC as the only tried and tested industry standard with a safe established licensing direction and a DRM option in the open...

It could even cover the cost of these ingenius backdated licensing fees!...


Anyway, when all is said and done it's just a bit of money - nothing too serious.

Let's face is in 2012 when the 'money' is due Apple will probably have bought EMI records made 'The Beatles' exclusive on itunes FOREVER, have 40% world market computer share and be one the verge of buying Sony!!It'll be chump change by then:)

Gasu E.
Feb 23, 2007, 08:25 AM
That viewpoint is brain dead. You develop wavelet research to do this and suddenly you're supposed to let others pilfer your work?

I'd suggest Microsoft develop their own implementations of MP3 and put it into their products.

You are taking an arguably valid point of view (software patents are good) and misapplying it in this case.

MS and hundreds of other companies acted in good faith, obtaining licenses from an organization that was recognized throughout the industry as the valid licensor. The issues between Lucent and Fraunhofer et al should have been raised and resolved years ago. By any moral standard, the dispute should be between Lucent and Fraunhofer, not the licensees. Lucent's decision to go after good-faith licensees directly can only be viewed as a money-grubbing legal tactic and, as far as your core point is concerned, actually works against the principle that valid owners of intellectual property rights should be able to exploit their innovations financially. This decision, if upheld, will have a chilling effect on future technology licensing, and hence innovation, as it means licensees will need to be extra-cautious (meaning a lot more money to the lawyers) in licensing technologies, even from seemingly valid rights-holders.

Highland
Feb 23, 2007, 08:25 AM
Thanks for that quote Evangelion! I completely agree. The current state of patenting software and UI concepts is ridiculous. The only benefit is for the first big player to come to (usually a very obvious) solution to a problem ends up with the keys to the kingdom.

Azurael
Feb 23, 2007, 09:22 AM
I think it's probably unusual for the sentiment here to be pro-Microsoft, but I hope they win the appeal!

asphalt-proof
Feb 23, 2007, 09:22 AM
Yeah. That's pretty much what I'm seeing from various sources and the idea of software being more similar to literature (and copyrights applying thereto) than to patent-able objects/innovations makes basic sense to me.

My buddy threw out the "stifle innovation" argument in our discussion hereand I saw someone use the $ for hard work justification above and just wanted someone to expound on that sside of the argument. I guess I agree with you tentatively but intuitively and was hoping for someone to vehemently argue the other side... anyone?

HA! Orange drink in my MRE!!! Today is a good day.:D

Oh man. That brings back memories of when I was in the Marines. It was the little things that totally made my day.

benpatient
Feb 23, 2007, 09:28 AM
this sucks because now Microsoft will buy Lucent. (and shut it down)

...and then use this court precedent to milk every other "invalid" licensee in the world, since they bought the rights along with Lucent.


at least that's what they'd do if they wanted to make their money back...

apb3
Feb 23, 2007, 09:58 AM
You are taking an arguably valid point of view (software patents are good) and misapplying it in this case.

MS and hundreds of other companies acted in good faith, obtaining licenses from an organization that was recognized throughout the industry as the valid licensor. The issues between Lucent and Fraunhofer et al should have been raised and resolved years ago. By any moral standard, the dispute should be between Lucent and Fraunhofer, not the licensees. Lucent's decision to go after good-faith licensees directly can only be viewed as a money-grubbing legal tactic and, as far as your core point is concerned, actually works against the principle that valid owners of intellectual property rights should be able to exploit their innovations financially. This decision, if upheld, will have a chilling effect on future technology licensing, and hence innovation, as it means licensees will need to be extra-cautious (meaning a lot more money to the lawyers) in licensing technologies, even from seemingly valid rights-holders.

Good point. I hadn't considered it that way but as with all good points, now that you've pointed it out it makes perfect sense.


And nice (innovative) take on the possible chilling effect that will most likely result from this crap. Now I will steal - err, incorporate - said take in my next discussion with my idiot sgt. who likes to argue just about every philosophical/legal/political point with me...

you'd be surprised how boring waiting around to get shot at can really be.;)

apb3
Feb 23, 2007, 10:00 AM
Oh man. That brings back memories of when I was in the Marines. It was the little things that totally made my day.

...and the little things that can make your day go oh so wrong....:eek:

IJ Reilly
Feb 23, 2007, 10:41 AM
MS and hundreds of other companies acted in good faith, obtaining licenses from an organization that was recognized throughout the industry as the valid licensor. The issues between Lucent and Fraunhofer et al should have been raised and resolved years ago. By any moral standard, the dispute should be between Lucent and Fraunhofer, not the licensees. Lucent's decision to go after good-faith licensees directly can only be viewed as a money-grubbing legal tactic and, as far as your core point is concerned, actually works against the principle that valid owners of intellectual property rights should be able to exploit their innovations financially. This decision, if upheld, will have a chilling effect on future technology licensing, and hence innovation, as it means licensees will need to be extra-cautious (meaning a lot more money to the lawyers) in licensing technologies, even from seemingly valid rights-holders.

Money-grubbing corporations. Is this not a redundancy?

The really disturbing part of this decision (if I understand it correctly) is that the claim was not for the MP3 format so much as the underlying compression technologies that make all digitally-compressed audio possible. If this the case, then conceivably no format, including M4P/AAC is safe, as it was also developed by, and licensed from, Fraunhofer. If this is the case, and the decision on the patent stands, then no question, Apple is next in line to get slammed, if only because Apple has made more money on digital music than anybody else.

I find myself in the unusual and uncomfortable position of rooting for Microsoft. They must get this decision overturned.

EagerDragon
Feb 23, 2007, 10:53 AM
Hopefully m4a format is different from MP3? If so, all my music is m4a not MP3 so maybe that's one iPod less for Apple to worry about :)

Seriously though, what about all the money paid to Fraunhofer/Thomson over the years? I hope if this case has merit then at least that money should be garnished before going after MS & Apple etc.

p.s.They sold that many Zunes? :eek:

Yes about 120 zunes sold, (mainly to Microsoft Management).
I do not think they will be looking at use, they will be looking at what the device, computer, software is capable to do and if that capability infringe on their pattent.

I think many of the companies in the "death list" have known about the filling against Microsoft for a while (probably at least 2 years). It baffles me that either they have not settle or taken both parties to court. You would think that 100+ businesses would be able to muster enough money to get this iron out in court.
Anyone knows whose name appears on those patents? We have 2 parties stating that they own the patent, sounds like it is not enforsable until a determination of patent ownership can be made.

Can they go after the patent office? Seems they been screwing up a lot lately?

If 100+ companies go after those two (suposed patent owners), this would be resolved in no time.

EagerDragon
Feb 23, 2007, 11:07 AM
http://www.eagletribune.com/pubiz/local_story_050094603?keyword=secondarystory

Excerpts:

AT&T Corp. and Fraunhofer agreed in 1989 to develop MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3 technology, now called MP3. Scientists from AT&T's Bell Labs collaborated with Fraunhofer before AT&T spun off the unit in 1996. Bell Labs became Lucent Technologies Inc., which Alcatel SA acquired last year.

Microsoft accuses Lucent of deceiving the U.S. Patent & Trademark office by having one of the patents reissued and backdated to 1988, removing it from the scope of the 1989 deal with Fraunhofer.

----

Somehow Microsoft was not able to prove any wrong doing with the US Patent Office.

If "Microsoft accuses Lucent of deceiving the U.S. Patent & Trademark office by having one of the patents reissued and backdated to 1988, removing it from the scope of the 1989 deal with Fraunhofer." is correct, does that means that only the year 1988 is not covered in the Fraunhofer license? If that is the case, usage of MP3 in any form prior to 1989 would be the issue. Since iPod came out in 2001, iPods would be covered. Not sure about Apple use of MP3 between 1988 and 1989 (I was using peeeceee's back then).

Probably not the whole story, there are likely to be more twistes and turns to muddle the matter.

theheadguy
Feb 23, 2007, 11:13 AM
You are a very petty person.
Those who live in glass houses....

Rodimus Prime
Feb 23, 2007, 11:14 AM
I can see apple helping m$ on this battle because they know if M$ loses apple will being paying easily as much if not more and because M$ lost the case it set the standard for all the others so that means there will not even be a real battle just apple and other giving Lucent money.

I could also see M$ just keeping Lucent trap in legal battles until they bankrupt them and remove the problem completely. Maybe M$ can argue that since Lucent never tried to protect t there patents until now they do not have any legal leg to stand on.

I do hope M$ wins because if M$ loses it is going to be just bad for everyone.

EagerDragon
Feb 23, 2007, 11:25 AM
Wrong case, sorry about that.

hagjohn
Feb 23, 2007, 12:00 PM
See list of Alcatel License companies, Apple is there.
http://mp3licensing.com/licensees/
Sounds like Apple is fine.:cool:

Microsoft is also on that list.

emulator
Feb 23, 2007, 12:08 PM
He said that most people who download songs illegally use MP3.
Not anymore, as it's not 2001 (again) People download FLACs these days.

macidiot
Feb 23, 2007, 12:45 PM
:eek:

Ouch! That's going to hurt no matter how rich a company you are.

Not really. It's about 6 weeks of profit for Microsoft. It works out to about 15 cents per share for one quarter. Of course, MS could just dip into the 26 billion it has tucked away.

1.5 billion sounds like a lot. But it's peanuts to Microsoft.

1.5 billion makes headlines. But for it to really hurt Microsoft, it would need to be 50 billion. Even then, Microsoft would recover in one year.

morespce54
Feb 23, 2007, 12:55 PM
Could this explain the price of Vista? :eek:

LOL!!!
...and the fact that nobody wants to buy a Zune...
...people don't want to get sued by Alcatel! ;)

morespce54
Feb 23, 2007, 01:02 PM
Who uses MP3 on an ipod? I'm using a 3G and back then it wasn't even the standard compression. There are absolutely zero mp3 files in my ipod or itunes. They are Apple's AAC compression, which is immensely better. What's with all the mp3 stuff? I thought it was essentially dead. iTunes doesn't deliver mp3 files. I'd have to say Apple's use of Mp3 is pretty miniscule.

Maybe Apple use AAC file format but every other music software (usually) accept MP3s (Logic, Reason, CuBase). Plus, even if AAC is a better quality (!), it's not a standard (yet).

kalisphoenix
Feb 23, 2007, 01:19 PM
I've heard the bit I've highlighted above a few times in this thread now - with both positive and negative connotations. I'm looking about the web for arguments/opinions/disscussions for and against; but in the meantime would anyone who has made mention of this like to add some depth to the comment(s)?

I'm an infoanarchist (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infoanarchism), which means I'm opposed to copyrights (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-copyright), patents, and so forth.

I anticipate (and I've already seen) a "wtf have you created, and don't you want to be compensated?" argument. I'll handle that first, since it'll be the first argument used against me.

1. I'm a novelist, so I am engaged in a field where I live by the sweat of my TextEdit and create things that are easily "stolen." It's tough enough for me to make a living writing without book piracy, which is admittedly far more complex than music or software piracy or patent infringement.

2. It's an invalid argument that gets you nowhere. Just because I've created a substantial work and don't mind distributing it freely doesn't necessitate my belief in the freedom of all works. For instance, Apple develops open-source software, but they also distribute commercial software.

3. Even if I'm not Stephen King or Lucent (which I'm not), it doesn't mean I am not entitled to have an opinion. Many people do things for free -- work tech support on MacRumors, volunteer at soup kitchens, or perform sexual favors for fratboys. Things that can be distributed digitally are generally easier to duplicate than things requiring real labor, but the concept is the same.

4. Not everyone is a capitalist. I am, but I believe in a social market economy like the one we have, rather than a laissez-faire economy like the one I deeply fear. I also prioritize concepts of justice, ethics, and need above the concept of property rights.

So with that in mind, I'll actually answer your questions. Keep in mind that what I'm saying is not a "this is right" position but rather a "this is what I believe" position. I'm not speaking for anyone else but myself.

I'm sure I "get" the argument for patents - One should gets benjamins for one's hard work, innovation, yada yada yada... but what exactly do you see as the counter position?

Very few people will argue with the concept of justice you just expressed. A creator deserves control over the fruits of his labor. It's a basic concept of capitalism and socialism, although the two schools begin to argue shortly thereafter. My goal is to increase the level of justice in the world, so I would be acting immorally according to my own compass if I did not justly reward software developers, programmers, musicians, novelists, and so forth.

My argument against patents, copyrights, and DRM is that they restrict the flow of beneficial things. I believe that a beautiful work of art should be available to all. Software that enables efficient and effective gene therapy in the United States should be available to researchers in China. Malaria vaccines developed in the US should be freely exchanged with Kenya, Nigeria, Columbia, and so forth. In short, I disagree with the concept of intellectual property because it interferes with the "marketplace of ideas" and sustains the existence of human/animal/deific unhappiness.

The natural shortcoming of this is that creators cannot exercise complete control over the fruits of their labor. What I suggest is that we rely upon morality and ethics rather than upon uneffective and inevitably-circumvented technologies. People violate copyright every day. People break DRM every day. As for software patents, they restrict the free market, making it difficult for fair and efficient competition between suppliers and thus hurting all consumers.

As you said: If someone cannot create a patented technology and benefit from it, why create? Again, I see it as a matter of ethics and value. If Dell came out tomorrow with Dellfruits™, little Mac clones that cost half as much, include an OS X-skinned Vista, and so forth, I'd still buy Macs because I would perceive them as being ripoffs of Apple. Remember -- I'm not arguing that everything should be free. You should absolutely reward innovation and punish theft. What I'm arguing against is the legal restriction of information. Paying for quality is one of the central concepts of capitalism, and all Americans would be driving plastic Ford Pintos and eating dirt if we didn't already behave by that natural law.

It cannot be that one should NOT be rewarded for hard work and innovation. Or can it? It just seems that's too problematic and would ultimately lead to no innovation/advance.

The GNU/Linux/BSD communities (and Wikipedia, and countless other systems) have been thriving based on a gift economy for quite a while now. Again, I'm not saying Richard Stallman's life means that all artists should paint for free; I'm just saying that innovation, quality, and value are generally rewarded whether or not the flow of information is artificially restricted.

I write knowing that my chances of being J.K. Rowling's less-attractive, hairier, and-penis-wielding competitor are very low. Almost impossible. If money was my goal, I would have been a lawyer, drug dealer, politician, or professional accident victim.

If money was the only incentive for innovation and advance, almost no art of any kind would exist. Most science would not exist, since that too was not financially valuable for a long time ("the earth is round; pay me $5."). Greek philosophy was developed primarily by people who refused to accept money. In terms of military technology, the Phoenicians or whoever would probably rule the world right now if they'd patented the war chariot.

Like I've said, I've turned up a few hits on these internets re: this and my budddy here next to me is fairly opinionated as well, but what say you?

Oh well... time for chow. surprise me when I get back.:eek:

In my opinion, most restrictions on the flow of information exist because people are afraid of competition... but whether you're a Libertarian or an Anarchist (like me) or even a Syndicalist or some other brand of socialist, you're almost sure to believe that competition is A Good Thing™. So I ask myself which is more important: the lost lives of Africans dying because they lack malaria vaccines, or the right of Whatever Pharmaceuticals not to have competition for 23 years?

I say make information free; let all people compete on as equal a playing field as possible, and let's have as many vendors as possible competing. That's the ultimate free market. Let quality, not artificial scarcity, determine profit.

Rantipole
Feb 23, 2007, 01:40 PM
Who uses MP3 on an ipod?
Um, most people. You are an exception, not the rule.

Hopefully m4a format is different from MP3? If so, all my music is m4a not MP3 so maybe that's one iPod less for Apple to worry about :)
Well, they are still licensing MP3 technology in addition to AAC technology, so it doesn't matter whether everyone is using AAC of not--MP3 is in there. But anyway, see below.

:mad: Sad that I've actually had it argued to me that what you desccribe is, indeed, a copyright violation...:(
Was this argued to you by an RIAA lawyer? Because that is pretty much the only person who would make that argument. It has long been settled in court that copying records/CDs onto another medium for your own personal purposes is "fair use".

Not anymore, as it's not 2001 (again) People download FLACs these days.
:rolleyes: Oh, sure, everyone. Let me introduce you to my friend bretm, who also thinks because he/she does something a certain way, everyone must be doing it that way. :p

If this the case, then conceivably no format, including M4P/AAC is safe, as it was also developed by, and licensed from, Fraunhofer.
Correct.

Rodimus Prime
Feb 23, 2007, 01:58 PM
I know AAC format is a better format than MP3. Hell WMA is a better format than MP3. MP3 is the worse format of the major ones out there for file size to quality ratio.
Now when ever I rip one of my cds I almost always put it in mp3 format because everything plays mp3. Not everything plays AAC or WMA. I know the mp3 format will work on any mp3 player device I get. Yeah I have an iPod but I do plan on getting things that the iPod does not have the capability in a form I like it. Most notable I plan on replacing the receiver in my car and there really is not anything on the market that goes really well with the iPod where the iPod plugs in easily and no loose wires. Right know I already have enough of them running around 2 of which are there because of my ipod (car charger and a wire connecting it to the AUX port on my receiver) plus the entire thing of not having the iPod in there because I took it out to listen 2.
I would like one that has a fold down face plate where I could just slide the iPod right in put up the face place and have a really nice control over accessing files and of course it still having a cd player there as well. Right now my main option is I just going for mp3 so I can just burn an mp3 disk and put that in my car.

Mp3 formate is universal for the most part. The other formates are not.

andiwm2003
Feb 23, 2007, 02:17 PM
so the sum is based on sold computers/operating systems.

that means 1.5 billion for Microsoft. that would mean Apple with a 3% marketshare would have to pay ~50 million.:p

so apple should pay the 50 million and publicly announce that this is a fair price and absolutely o.k. and totally legal. that would make it much harder for M$ to fight the verdict.:D

that would be a nice payback for M$ agreeing to pay royalties for every sold Zune to the Music industry. That also made it much harder for Apple to resist paying royalties to the music industry for sold ipods.:(

Rodimus Prime
Feb 23, 2007, 02:22 PM
so the sum is based on sold computers/operating systems.

that means 1.5 billion for Microsoft. that would mean Apple with a 3% marketshare would have to pay ~50 million.:p

so apple should pay the 50 million and publicly announce that this is a fair price and absolutely o.k. and totally legal. that would make it much harder for M$ to fight the verdict.:D

that would be a nice payback for M$ agreeing to pay royalties for every sold Zune to the Music industry. That also made it much harder for Apple to resist paying royalties to the music industry for sold ipods.:(

tell you the truth it would not make it any easier or harder for M$ to fight it if apple did that because it does not set a president in court. It would be pretty much apple wasting 50million. Also I think it would be a lot higher because apple would be getting nailed on iTunes/Quicktime which has a huge install base. M$ getting hit on WMP which is pretty much in all of it OS's Apple would get hit on iTunes and more than likely the iPod as well so apple is just as much at risk as M$, just it would hurt apple a hell of a lot more.

gkarris
Feb 23, 2007, 02:52 PM
tell you the truth it would not make it any easier or harder for M$ to fight it if apple did that because it does not set a president in court. It would be pretty much apple wasting 50million. Also I think it would be a lot higher because apple would be getting nailed on iTunes/Quicktime which has a huge install base. M$ getting hit on WMP which is pretty much in all of it OS's Apple would get hit on iTunes and more than likely the iPod as well so apple is just as much at risk as M$, just it would hurt apple a hell of a lot more.

Apple is going to get hit HARD. Consider EVERY iPod sold, and iTunes installation on Macs and PCs, not to mention people who are using iTunes only on their computer (like my Dell laptop for work).

apb3
Feb 23, 2007, 03:43 PM
Was this argued to you by an RIAA lawyer? Because that is pretty much the only person who would make that argument. It has long been settled in court that copying records/CDs onto another medium for your own personal purposes is "fair use".


No. Just someone who'd like to think she is.

And, I don't think it is always as simple as you desccribe or as I'd like it to be. I believe that what you describe above is ok as long as said copying doesn't involve defeating some copy protection scheme.... That is going to become more and more of an issue for us.

k2k koos
Feb 23, 2007, 04:38 PM
Hehehe, sorry, that makes me laugh. Good times.

Apple Licenses Frauenhofers technology in it's pro application, most notably Logic Pro....

AidenShaw
Feb 24, 2007, 11:05 AM
http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/business/16774655.htm

More MP3 patent suits due?

RULING AGAINST MICROSOFT MIGHT SPUR ALCATEL-LUCENT TO PURSUE OTHER FIRMS

By Jessica Mintz
Associated Press

SEATTLE - A federal jury's ruling that Microsoft infringed on two MP3 patents and must pay $1.52 billion in damages could turn into a major sour note for other technology companies in the digital music business.

...

Apple and RealNetworks declined to comment on the verdict, but some intellectual property lawyers think the trouble could extend well beyond Microsoft.

AidenShaw
Feb 24, 2007, 11:26 AM
Apple is going to get hit HARD. Consider EVERY iPod sold, and iTunes installation on Macs and PCs, not to mention people who are using iTunes only on their computer (like my Dell laptop for work).

Don't forget that QuickTime has had MP3 support since the last century - predating Itunes and Ipods.

Go to Apple's press site and search for "quicktime downloads", and you'll see lots of press releases like Apple’s QuickTime 6 Downloads Top 250 Million (http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2004/jun/10quicktime.html) ...

AidenShaw
Feb 24, 2007, 11:26 AM
.

IJ Reilly
Feb 24, 2007, 12:33 PM
RULING AGAINST MICROSOFT MIGHT SPUR ALCATEL-LUCENT TO PURSUE OTHER FIRMS

How about this as a conspiracy theory: Microsoft makes a lot a noise about the injustice in this award, the issues with the patents, etc. -- but instead of appealing the suit, they settle with Alcatel-Lucent for far less than the original $1.5 billion award. This leaves the basic findings in the case intact. Alcatel-Lucent then uses those findings to go after Apple (and others) for a great deal more. Microsoft succeeds in harming Apple's music business far more by losing this suit than by winning it, and far more than they ever could by competing.

w00master
Feb 24, 2007, 01:13 PM
I'm an infoanarchist (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infoanarchism), which means I'm opposed to copyrights (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-copyright), patents, and so forth.

I anticipate (and I've already seen) a "wtf have you created, and don't you want to be compensated?" argument. I'll handle that first, since it'll be the first argument used against me.

1. I'm a novelist, so I am engaged in a field where I live by the sweat of my TextEdit and create things that are easily "stolen." It's tough enough for me to make a living writing without book piracy, which is admittedly far more complex than music or software piracy or patent infringement.

2. It's an invalid argument that gets you nowhere. Just because I've created a substantial work and don't mind distributing it freely doesn't necessitate my belief in the freedom of all works. For instance, Apple develops open-source software, but they also distribute commercial software.

3. Even if I'm not Stephen King or Lucent (which I'm not), it doesn't mean I am not entitled to have an opinion. Many people do things for free -- work tech support on MacRumors, volunteer at soup kitchens, or perform sexual favors for fratboys. Things that can be distributed digitally are generally easier to duplicate than things requiring real labor, but the concept is the same.

4. Not everyone is a capitalist. I am, but I believe in a social market economy like the one we have, rather than a laissez-faire economy like the one I deeply fear. I also prioritize concepts of justice, ethics, and need above the concept of property rights.

So with that in mind, I'll actually answer your questions. Keep in mind that what I'm saying is not a "this is right" position but rather a "this is what I believe" position. I'm not speaking for anyone else but myself.



Very few people will argue with the concept of justice you just expressed. A creator deserves control over the fruits of his labor. It's a basic concept of capitalism and socialism, although the two schools begin to argue shortly thereafter. My goal is to increase the level of justice in the world, so I would be acting immorally according to my own compass if I did not justly reward software developers, programmers, musicians, novelists, and so forth.

My argument against patents, copyrights, and DRM is that they restrict the flow of beneficial things. I believe that a beautiful work of art should be available to all. Software that enables efficient and effective gene therapy in the United States should be available to researchers in China. Malaria vaccines developed in the US should be freely exchanged with Kenya, Nigeria, Columbia, and so forth. In short, I disagree with the concept of intellectual property because it interferes with the "marketplace of ideas" and sustains the existence of human/animal/deific unhappiness.

The natural shortcoming of this is that creators cannot exercise complete control over the fruits of their labor. What I suggest is that we rely upon morality and ethics rather than upon uneffective and inevitably-circumvented technologies. People violate copyright every day. People break DRM every day. As for software patents, they restrict the free market, making it difficult for fair and efficient competition between suppliers and thus hurting all consumers.

As you said: If someone cannot create a patented technology and benefit from it, why create? Again, I see it as a matter of ethics and value. If Dell came out tomorrow with Dellfruits™, little Mac clones that cost half as much, include an OS X-skinned Vista, and so forth, I'd still buy Macs because I would perceive them as being ripoffs of Apple. Remember -- I'm not arguing that everything should be free. You should absolutely reward innovation and punish theft. What I'm arguing against is the legal restriction of information. Paying for quality is one of the central concepts of capitalism, and all Americans would be driving plastic Ford Pintos and eating dirt if we didn't already behave by that natural law.



The GNU/Linux/BSD communities (and Wikipedia, and countless other systems) have been thriving based on a gift economy for quite a while now. Again, I'm not saying Richard Stallman's life means that all artists should paint for free; I'm just saying that innovation, quality, and value are generally rewarded whether or not the flow of information is artificially restricted.

I write knowing that my chances of being J.K. Rowling's less-attractive, hairier, and-penis-wielding competitor are very low. Almost impossible. If money was my goal, I would have been a lawyer, drug dealer, politician, or professional accident victim.

If money was the only incentive for innovation and advance, almost no art of any kind would exist. Most science would not exist, since that too was not financially valuable for a long time ("the earth is round; pay me $5."). Greek philosophy was developed primarily by people who refused to accept money. In terms of military technology, the Phoenicians or whoever would probably rule the world right now if they'd patented the war chariot.



In my opinion, most restrictions on the flow of information exist because people are afraid of competition... but whether you're a Libertarian or an Anarchist (like me) or even a Syndicalist or some other brand of socialist, you're almost sure to believe that competition is A Good Thing™. So I ask myself which is more important: the lost lives of Africans dying because they lack malaria vaccines, or the right of Whatever Pharmaceuticals not to have competition for 23 years?

I say make information free; let all people compete on as equal a playing field as possible, and let's have as many vendors as possible competing. That's the ultimate free market. Let quality, not artificial scarcity, determine profit.

kalisphoenix-

That was one of the most eloquent and beautiful things I've read in a long time. Thank you. What you just wrote above, I agree with 100% and wish that people who defend DRM, patents, copyrights, etc. blindly would read this and stop using the inane and overused argument: "Company has the right... blah blah." So what if they have the right? It's ultimately not RIGHT. LOL, did that make sense?

Oh, and this includes peeps who blindly support Apple re: iTunes and DRM.

w00master

AidenShaw
Feb 24, 2007, 01:16 PM
How about this as a conspiracy theory:

.... Microsoft succeeds in harming Apple's music business far more by losing this suit than by winning it, and far more than they ever could by competing.

Note this from the story:

...All stem from claims made in 2003 by Lucent Technologies against PC makers Gateway and Dell for technology developed by Bell Labs, its research arm.

In April 2003, Microsoft added itself to the list of defendants, saying the patents were closely tied to its Windows operating system. The PC makers are still defendants.


So, Microsoft volunteered to be sued! Clever devils in Redmond, indeed.

w00master
Feb 24, 2007, 01:22 PM
I've heard the bit I've highlighted above a few times in this thread now - with both positive and negative connotations. I'm looking about the web for arguments/opinions/disscussions for and against; but in the meantime would anyone who has made mention of this like to add some depth to the comment(s)?

I'm sure I "get" the argument for patents - One should gets benjamins for one's hard work, innovation, yada yada yada... but what exactly do you see as the counter position?

It cannot be that one should NOT be rewarded for hard work and innovation. Or can it? It just seems that's too problematic and would ultimately lead to no innovation/advance.

Like I've said, I've turned up a few hits on these internets re: this and my budddy here next to me is fairly opinionated as well, but what say you?

Oh well... time for chow. surprise me when I get back.:eek:

I like to use this analogy: chefs can copyright recipes, but cannot patent recipes.

Could you imagine if there were a patent for apple pie?

Why again do we need software patents? BAN THEM!

w00master

Digitalclips
Feb 24, 2007, 01:35 PM
Ogg Vorbis - mmmh, maybe but I doubt it...I think the DRM thing will be the clincher and locking that under DRM will be very difficult. Of course that 'fairplay' DRM system that Steve's on the verge of 'binning' will probably just about do nicely when the world adopts AAC as the only tried and tested industry standard with a safe established licensing direction and a DRM option in the open...

It could even cover the cost of these ingenius backdated licensing fees!...


Anyway, when all is said and done it's just a bit of money - nothing too serious.

Let's face is in 2012 when the 'money' is due Apple will probably have bought EMI records made 'The Beatles' exclusive on itunes FOREVER, have 40% world market computer share and be one the verge of buying Sony!!It'll be chump change by then:)

Oh come on get real, at least 80% share :D

eddyg
Feb 24, 2007, 02:22 PM
?????? And what have you invented that you don't give a damn about?

Personally I've four software patents, and I hate software patents.

Unfortunately in this world you have to have a defensive patent portfolio
to defend against companies like Lucent (spit) who use their patents
in an aggressive manner.

So the issue is not whether you have patents, but what you do with them.

Cheers, Ed.

j26
Feb 24, 2007, 03:32 PM
I'm amazed a judge ruled against bona fide licencees who had no notice of the violation of the patent.

I can't see it standing on appeal.

AidenShaw
Feb 25, 2007, 10:04 AM
I'm amazed a judge ruled against bona fide licencees who had no notice of the violation of the patent.

I can't see it standing on appeal.

If you (in good faith) buy a counterfeit/cracked copy of Photoshop, does that mean that you have a valid copy? No, because the counterfeiter didn't have the rights to sell you that copy.

The heart of the case is that Alcatel claims that the MP3 code contained technology that Fraunhofer did not have the rights to license.

j26
Feb 25, 2007, 10:21 AM
If you (in good faith) buy a counterfeit/cracked copy of Photoshop, does that mean that you have a valid copy? No, because the counterfeiter didn't have the rights to sell you that copy.

No you don't have a valid copy, but there is such a thing in law as the "bona fide purchaser for value without notice" aka "equity's darling". If you buy something without knowing it is not legit, you are as much a victim as the legitimate owner of the rights. It's odd that a judge would rule against someone in that situation.

coffey7
Feb 25, 2007, 07:13 PM
And people wonder why Vista costs so much. It cost 7 billion to make and they have to pay for all these dumb lawsuits. Apple is lucky they are not the top dogs. If they were it would be attack city with all the trial lawyers.

princealfie
Feb 25, 2007, 07:22 PM
And people wonder why Vista costs so much. It cost 7 billion to make and they have to pay for all these dumb lawsuits. Apple is lucky they are not the top dogs. If they were it would be attack city with all the trial lawyers.

Right on... we are lucky not to be the dominant dogs here :)

IJ Reilly
Feb 25, 2007, 07:50 PM
Note this from the story:

...All stem from claims made in 2003 by Lucent Technologies against PC makers Gateway and Dell for technology developed by Bell Labs, its research arm.

In April 2003, Microsoft added itself to the list of defendants, saying the patents were closely tied to its Windows operating system. The PC makers are still defendants.


So, Microsoft volunteered to be sued! Clever devils in Redmond, indeed.

Yes, that would seem to add credence to my theory.

AidenShaw
Feb 26, 2007, 12:29 AM
No you don't have a valid copy, but there is such a thing in law as the "bona fide purchaser for value without notice" aka "equity's darling". If you buy something without knowing it is not legit, you are as much a victim as the legitimate owner of the rights. It's odd that a judge would rule against someone in that situation.

How does that apply when the purchaser (Microsoft) then resells the "something"?

Can the legitimate owner request a percentage of the "purchaser's" profits gained from reselling the something?

j26
Feb 26, 2007, 02:28 AM
How does that apply when the purchaser (Microsoft) then resells the "something"?

Can the legitimate owner request a percentage of the "purchaser's" profits gained from reselling the something?


It's an element of tough luck on the legitimate owner. It would be fair that MS (& Apple etc) should pay licence fees in the future to the proper owner, but would it be fair to force the innocent party to bear the cost of it in the past, rather than the person who licenced something he didn't have? After all, they did pay what they thought was the appropriate licencing fee.

Plus there is that fact that this has been going on for years. I know there is a statute of limitations, but at the end of the day, there was no reason they didn't assert their rights sooner. The fact the company has new owners doesn't make a difference - the company is its own person, and a change in the shareholders will make no difference - the suit belongs to the company, not the shareholders. If there was damage done, Alcatel allowed it to be worse that it could have been.

It's a surprising judgement. I won't say wrong, because I haven't read it, but I'd like to have a look at the actual judgement if anyone knows where I can get hold of a copy. Do you publish judgements in the US?

parrotheadmjb
Mar 4, 2007, 03:58 PM
This case was thrown out by a federal judge, microsoft does NOT have to pay $1.52 Billion dollars over a paten infringement. http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2007/03/02/ap3480405.html

IJ Reilly
Mar 4, 2007, 04:16 PM
You've misread the article. This was a different suit.

The Toon Master
Mar 4, 2007, 06:56 PM
http://www.luds.net/galeries/nelson.gif

Ha-ha!

parrotheadmjb
Aug 29, 2007, 07:22 PM
You've misread the article. This was a different suit.
I know my timing is way off, but you are an idiot, ALcatel-Lucent has only sued microsoft once for $1.52 Billion dollars and that was suit outlined in the article I posted where it was overturned by a federal judge. you can read further about it here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcatel_Lucent#Alcatel-Lucent_v._Microsoft before you post actually read, IJ Reilly

IJ Reilly
Aug 29, 2007, 11:42 PM
If you're going to show up here once every six months with that attitude, then you're better off staying away entirely.

parrotheadmjb
Aug 30, 2007, 05:04 PM
dont get mad because you're wrong, everyone makes mistakes

IJ Reilly
Aug 30, 2007, 05:05 PM
Good grief. :rolleyes:

The original article is long gone. There's no way for me or anyone else to know what it said.