FAQ Search
Memberlist Usergroups
Profile
  Forum Statistics Register
 Log in to check your private messages
Log in to check your private messages
Moonpod Homepage Starscape Information Mr. Robot Information Free Game Downloads Starscape Highscore Table
The US patent system
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Discussion Pod Forum Index -> Independent Game Development View previous topic :: View next topic  
 Author
Message
Goober
Pod Team
Pod Team


Joined: 11 Oct 2002
Posts: 449
Location: Moonpod Central



PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2004 9:19 am    Post subject: The US patent system Reply with quote

The best place to start would be:

http://games.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=04/07/28/1529222

There's more to this than just the zfail algorithm (although I'm having second thoughts on including it in our new codebase now, will we have to pay a license we can't afford? Maybe we'd be forced to add support for shoddy audio hardware). Fundamentally, software patents are ridiculous. Software patents that are issued following public announcement of an algorithm are stupendously ridiculous.

In future I can see the situation getting a lot worse before it gets better. You'll get large companies, that produce nothing of any worth themselves, buying up patent portfolios (often containing patents that shouldn't have been issued in the first place) and forcing smaller developers to either pay a license fee or drop the patented feature(s) from their game. From a developer's point of view, this is bad. From a gamesplayer's point of view this is also bad.

It is a shame that id caved and didn't just use the 2 pass method instead, but you can understand their motivations in wanting to just get the game finished and on shop shelves, especially after such a long project. Sadly id have basically given the green light to all litigious scum to go out, buy patents (that shouldn't have been issued), and force developers to bend to their whim.

Bottom line for me is that I will never buy another Creative product again. While I can't insist anyone else makes the same resolution, I would encourage people to think where their money is going before they hand it over. Do you want to support innovation or litigation?


Legal stuff, just in case: This post is entirely the opinion of Goober the individual, and as such does not reflect the opinions of Moonpod the company.
Back to top
View user's profile
Weeble
Starscape Jedi
Starscape Jedi


Joined: 25 Apr 2003
Posts: 1143
Location: Glasgow, Scotland



PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2004 8:06 pm    Post subject: Re: The US patent system Reply with quote

Goober wrote:
In future I can see the situation getting a lot worse before it gets better.

Do you actually think that it will eventually get better? Who is going to do something about it? Big powerful companies with lots of influence have a vested interest in the system, and politicians will only do something about it if it is a big enough issue to have any impact in elections. I cannot see something happening unless an awful lot of noble individuals risk their careers by pushing their corporations in a direction that is not profitable for the corporation itself, or the general public take an unprecedented interest in digital politics.
Back to top
View user's profile Visit poster's website MSN Messenger
Darth Dallas



Joined: 18 Oct 2003
Posts: 411



PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2004 2:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think Weeble's got a good point. You can't influence change that much using some avenues, or for that matter create informed voting systems without information. I think the more we can discuss such things and find them online, its about the only way I can think of to inform, by word of mouth, and hopefully some thoughts from those who've gone through it (if their lawyers will let them talk about it hehe)

I think if those id guys could speak plainly about all this (and I don't know if they have, just sayin'), might be surprised to discover they're just as angry about the process. And besides the public, its those who've gone through the patent thing that'd have the clout to change things. Its a question of screaming loud enough I guess and hoping the sound waves cut through the patent-hording-geezers' hearing aides Smile
Back to top
View user's profile
Goober
Pod Team
Pod Team


Joined: 11 Oct 2002
Posts: 449
Location: Moonpod Central



PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2004 2:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't really think it will get better as long the US patent system exists as it does today.

I just thought of something, it might be useful to be able to put out a "proper" version in the rest of the world, but a "patent crippled" version to US consumers (and yes, there'd have to be different exes, just importing the patented code may qualify as an illegal act). Maybe on first run the app could pop up a window saying

Quote:
Patent crippled US version. This version of $software_name has been built to comply with US patent laws, specifically those pertaining to software. Unfortunately, this means that, as a US citizen, you will not be able to experience $software_name as it was intended by the developers. While the developers have attempted to reproduce the same functionality using freely available methods, you may discover some features lacking and/or worse performance as a result. To rectify the situation contact your local governor, your senator, the USPTO and your president and inform them that the situation needs to be rectified.


Obviously, this would suck hugely for consumers in the US until something was actually done, I'm not happy about suggesting it, but I don't really know how to fight back against the big companies and the lawyers without getting more people involved. I'm also unsure of what legal action the US could take against foreign companies doing such things, so I wouldn't recommend it to anyone just yet. Maybe this would motivate the general public into actually doing something. Although, as a general rule and not just regarding the US populous, is it possible to motivate the general public?

This post has probably popped up on some FBI server somewhere (well, there's even more chance of that now that I've actually written "FBI"), so I'm off to get my tin-foil hat on.


Legal stuff: I'm going to keep saying this, just in case: This post is entirely the opinion of Goober the individual and not Moonpod the company. Moonpod the company respects and loves all laws worldwide, regardless of how stupid they seem to everyone else (although, I believe Moonpod does frown somewhat on public beheadings and stonings).
Back to top
View user's profile
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Discussion Pod Forum Index -> Independent Game Development All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group