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Thread: A Possible Workaround For The S3TC Patent Situation

  1. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by pingufunkybeat View Post
    That's why you have appeals and higher instances. A judge must follow the letter of the law, and if they fail, the lawyers go piranha on him.

    I agree that courts are imperfect and all that, but I don't think that what you're talking about has ever actually happened. Courts make strange patent rulings, but will NEVER rule a patent (or copyright) invalid because you did not litigate in the past.

    I also think that you might want to read this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Precedent . Without a legal ruling, there is no precedent.
    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/precedent
    Precedent is NOT ALWAYS ABOUT legal rulings. Its what YOU create by YOUR OWN choices. If YOU establish a precedent of not enforcing your rights, it will be accepted that you aren't interested in your rights, but are rather PLAYING GAMES.



    Do you want the court to realize that ***IT ISN'T REALLY ABOUT THE IP***?
    Because that is what this discussion is all about....

    If **THEY KNOW** that you're just using the IP as an excuse to make life miserable for someone, you will NEVER get judgement, no matter how many times you appeal it.
    Last edited by droidhacker; 07-20-2011 at 12:13 PM.

  2. #72
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    We are talking about legal precendents here dude. Only those are relevant in a court setting. Actual rulings judges can refer to (in common law countries).

    The fact remains that no patent has been canceled and no book put out of copyright just because somebody did not protect them vigorously enough.

    What happens is that people try to invalidate patents in other ways -- prior art, showing that it is too broad, arguing that it doesn't really cover what you are doing, etc. This is where lots of strange things happen and where lawyers argue about technicalities and where it's really easy to confuse a judge. They weasel their way around by claiming that they are not really violating the existing, accepted patents or copyright.

    But you don't "lose" copyright, or patents.

  3. #73
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    Default Patents, USA and You.

    I'm glad to live in a country that doesn't accept software patents, and there are only 3, maybe 4 countries that do. That said...

    This is the same situation with codecs. No mp3 or h264 playback in your distro? Thats why, BUT... People are misunderstanding something. It is not illegal to distribute software with patented technology, just using it without paying the fee (in these countries).

    Normally, a software company will pay the fee (annually, per copy, whatever) and add this to the product price. But this doesn't work with free software. Now, a lawful (rich) US citizen could simply find a way to pay the fee for him/her self, and stay in the clear (contacting the patent holder for licensing). This makes perfect sense if you are another large corporation using free software (eg. Apple/Amazon encoding mp3s for their store, because lame is the best encoder).

    It could be argued that, if you purchase a commercial mp3 encoder, but decide to use lame instead, you already paid the fee. In any case, the responsibility would fall to the individual to make sure all patented technology in use has been paid for...

    Of course, nobody wants to test this in court and handle the costs involved (much less non-profit community based organizations). Which is why there is a scare about distributing binaries of patented technology in the US, UK, Germany and Japan i think.

    Lame and x264 are free software as defined by the FSF and comply with the 4 liberties, yet they both use patented technology. Their distribution in the US is NOT illegal, only their usage without having paid the patent fee, in theory (US laws ARE crazy).

    The patent holders usually don't accept individuals paying directly to them, and thats where intermediaries such as Fluendo can help.

    Politically, the US is not a democracy. They don't even define it as such, even if it has some democratic elements. The system was made for the rich to have the most influence, and there is nothing richer than whole corporations. People can vote, but they know their votes are next to meaningless, so the abstention is high. They can also talk, and voice their opinion (with some restrictions); but thats about it. Only the rich, organized to lobby politicians can have any influence in decision making. The system was designed as such for the believe that masses are ignorant and prone to mistakes, so better leave the important stuff to the prepared elite...

    A workaround is to have a degraded software experience for these countries, an "US" compiler flag... A distro could simply warn US users that, if they wish to use xy and z, they need to have paid for themselves the patent fees... Or purchase 3rd party solutions.

    The whole world should not be dragged behind by the corporate greed of shortsightedness. It is unfair to say the least, and we can't expect any political changes anytime soon. They must be singled out, made ashame in the international scene, at least as deterrent for future countries falling the trap of trade agreements with the US, which ALWAYS involve modifying local laws to comply with US (corporate) laws...

  4. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by pingufunkybeat View Post
    We are talking about legal precendents here dude. Only those are relevant in a court setting. Actual rulings judges can refer to (in common law countries).
    No, **WE** are not discussing ANYTHING. YOU showed up late to this discussion and are attempting to inject your idealogical nonsense into a discussion related to REAL precedent. NOT legal precedent.

    And do yourself a favor, search this thread for the word "precedent". You will see that **I** am the first one to use the word, so don't you DARE try to tell me that **I** mean something besides what I MEAN. I don't know where the hell you come off with this bull.

    The fact remains that no patent has been canceled and no book put out of copyright just because somebody did not protect them vigorously enough.
    Fact remains that you have no clue what you're talking about. You need to read into EVERY patent litigation case where judgement was NOT in favor of the plaintiff.... and MIND MELD with the judge to find out what he was thinking. Do this and you will see that yes, LOTS have been decided on this very basis.

    What happens is that people try to invalidate patents in other ways -- prior art, showing that it is too broad, arguing that it doesn't really cover what you are doing, etc. This is where lots of strange things happen and where lawyers argue about technicalities and where it's really easy to confuse a judge. They weasel their way around by claiming that they are not really violating the existing, accepted patents or copyright.
    No effin kidding. You don't think that the judge will weigh EVERYTHING in forming his judgement? You think the defendant is going to go up with ONLY ONE ARGUMENT? No, it is about convincing the judge with ALL of your arguments. If the judge SEES that the plaintiff ***ISN'T REALLY SERIOUS***, then he'll pick a reason -- ANY reason, to judge in favor of the defendant.

    But you don't "lose" copyright, or patents.
    I never once said that you did. You only lose the ability to consistently defend them.

  5. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artemis3 View Post
    Which is why there is a scare about distributing binaries of patented technology in the US, UK, Germany and Japan i think.
    Don't forget Canada. Same thing here.

    The system was made for the rich to have the most influence, and there is nothing richer than whole corporations. People can vote, but they know their votes are next to meaningless, so the abstention is high. They can also talk, and voice their opinion (with some restrictions); but thats about it. Only the rich, organized to lobby politicians can have any influence in decision making. The system was designed as such for the believe that masses are ignorant and prone to mistakes, so better leave the important stuff to the prepared elite...
    In theory, you are totally incorrect.
    The problem is that the system has been bastardized. These "big evil corporations" as you put it, have the money to pay off corrupt politicians. In theory, this isn't supposed to happen. In theory, things like copyright and patent are there to enforce that these things DO NOT happen. Unfortunately, there is a huge gap between theory and reality.

    A workaround is to have a degraded software experience for these countries, an "US" compiler flag... A distro could simply warn US users that, if they wish to use xy and z, they need to have paid for themselves the patent fees... Or purchase 3rd party solutions.

    The whole world should not be dragged behind by the corporate greed of shortsightedness. It is unfair to say the least, and we can't expect any political changes anytime soon. They must be singled out, made ashame in the international scene, at least as deterrent for future countries falling the trap of trade agreements with the US, which ALWAYS involve modifying local laws to comply with US (corporate) laws...
    While in theory, you could split things between US and non-US, this isn't a viable solution because despite what you say about distribution vs use of patented "technology", as a distro distributor.... you KNOW that your users will use that code, whether they've paid for it or not... and unfortunately, this does make you responsible in the eyes of the law.

    A much better long term solution than splitting things up like that is to modify the US. At some point, it *will* become too much, and people will get pissed, and things will come to the point of revolution. Not yet though, the average American doesn't feel it yet.

  6. #76
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    At the end of the day, this sentence:
    If you have a history of NOT protecting your patents, then the courts will be less likely to enforce your patents when you finally do attempt to do so.
    is wrong.

    If the patent has not been invalidated, it will be enforced. They are not selectively enforced.

    But I'm out of here. Enjoy your discussion.
    Last edited by pingufunkybeat; 07-20-2011 at 02:12 PM.

  7. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by pingufunkybeat View Post
    At the end of the day, this sentence:

    is wrong.

    If the patent has not been invalidated, it will be enforced. They are not selectively enforced.

    But I'm out of here. Enjoy your discussion.
    What you believe is irrelevant. Everything, when in the hands of a HUMAN, is selective.
    It is about the IMPORTANCE of enforcing your rights. Why is it so important NOW when it wasn't BEFORE?
    Oh, so this isn't really ABOUT your IP, its about playing games. OK. DENIED.

  8. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by divVerent View Post
    This is correct. But, to upload a precompressed texture, you need the OpenGL extension GL_EXT_texture_compression_s3tc, which contains both compressing in the driver, and uploading precompressed textures.

    Basically, the situation is: Mesa currently cannot offer GL_EXT_texture_compression_s3tc because they ONLY support uploading precompressed data. If they added that string to the extensions list, they would violate the spec of the extension and could cause all kinds of incorrectness. With S2TC, they can add GL_EXT_texture_compression_s3tc to their extensions list, and games then detect the extension and can upload their precompressed data - without actually calling S2TC!

    So you are right, in normal use, S2TC wouldn't even be called. It'd mainly serve to fulfill the extension spec of GL_EXT_texture_compression_s3tc, so the driver can claim support for it, which is necessary for applications/games to use it. "S2TC must be there, but it doesn't matter what it does"

    If the OpenGL guys would have put compressing textures, and uploading precompressed data, into two separate extensions, we wouldn't need S2TC now.
    That is true, and I completely forgot about that. Sorry.

  9. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by [Knuckles] View Post
    To those saying "ignore it": consider that people from the US aren't really at fault for their broken patent system and can't normally do anything about it.

    It's not fair to bitch when something is US-only and "we" can't access it, and then turn around and say "fuck em" when the tables have turned.

    Great work from the Xonotic developers, I hope this gets included in Mesa soon!
    Noone is saying 'fuck them', just 'move on'

    It is a big difference

  10. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by sabriah View Post
    Noone is saying 'fuck them', just 'move on'

    It is a big difference
    They're the same thing in this case.

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