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171 comments

Chapter 1 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34643932)

September 16, 1991. Today it finally began! After all these years of talking and nothing but talking we have finally taken our first action. We are at war with the System, and it is no longer a war of words.

I cannot sleep, so I will try writing down some of the thoughts which are flying through my head.

It is not safe to talk here. The walls are quite thin, and the neighbors might wonder at a latenight conference. Besides, George and Katherine are already asleep. Only Henry and I are still awake, and he’s just staring at the ceiling.

I am really uptight. l am so jittery I can barely sit still. And I’m exhausted. I’ve been up since 5:30 this morning, when George phoned to warn that the arrests had begun, and it’s after midnight now. I’ve been keyed up and on the move all day.

But at the same time I’m exhilarated. We have finally acted! How long we will be able to continue defying the System, no one knows. Maybe it will all end tomorrow, but we must not think about that. Now that we have begun, we must continue with the plan we have been developing so carefully ever since the Gun Raids two years ago.

What a blow that was to us! And how it shamed us! All that brave talk by patriots, "The government will never take my guns away," and then nothing but meek submission when it happened.

On the other hand, maybe we should be heartened by the fact that there were still so many of us who had guns then, nearly 18 months after the Cohen Act had outlawed all private ownership of firearms in the United States. It was only because so many of us defied the law and hid our weapons instead of turning them in that the government wasn’t able to act more harshly against us after the Gun Raids.

I’ll never forget that terrible day: November 9, 1989. They knocked on my door at five in the morning. I was completely unsuspecting as I got up to see who it was.

Read more... [avrtech.com]

Re:Chapter 1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34643948)

Slashdot needs to start IP banning these spammers.

Re:Chapter 1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34644182)

Too many down mods will block an ip address. Either it's not getting downmodded or it's not being posted from the same ip address.

Re:block (1, Offtopic)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644258)

There was that Asteroids Game a while back that let you fire bullets and blow up fragments of a page that you didn't like. I'd like a turbo version of that, maybe as a browser add-on, that lets you automatically delete the first thread on Slashdot.

Re:block (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34644486)

http://erkie.github.com/

Always on tap here.

Great (1)

mark72005 (1233572) | more than 3 years ago | (#34643938)

It infringes on no less than 235 Kodak patents!!

Another one (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34643954)

merry christmas and a happy Sue-year

Re:Another one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34644006)

On a clear day you can sue forever.

Re:Another one (4, Funny)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644064)

I can sue for miles and miles an- hold on, The Who's lawyers are on the phone.

Going nowhere (4, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#34643998)

Sorry, this goes nowhere.

On line photos which could be downloaded for a fee (or free) were incorporated on the net before there even was a net.

Which is long before Kodak even wised up to the fact that their world was coming to an end.

From the earliest on line p0rn BBS sites right up to the current sync your phone to online photo sites, the prior art is there in huge steaming, jiggling piles.

Too late Kodak.

Re:Going nowhere (2)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644014)

Oh, but maybe they patented _charging for it_. And that's a huge leap!

It's like the difference between a slut and a whore, and we all know that's about $250.

Re:Going nowhere (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34644052)

Call me as a witness. I paid for porn from a BBS long before Kodak patented anything to do with digital image marketing.

It takes ages to get an image at 2400 baud.

Re:Going nowhere (4, Funny)

autocracy (192714) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644156)

Anonymous Coward demonstrates prior art. Victory is ours.

Re:Going nowhere (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34644376)

You might have started downloading it before then but at 2400 baud they could have filed & been awarded the patent before you finished your download.

Re:Going nowhere (1)

synthparadox (770735) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644024)

If you RTFM you'll know that the summary is misleading. A quote from TFA best explains the claims:
"The patents Kodak holds are incredibly broad, effectively covering images that are stored centrally and can be ordered online,"

Re:Going nowhere (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34644086)

This kind of service is ancient. Ask any jorno that's used stock images. Mailing CDs of images was replaced by online facilities a very long time ago, even when people were using pre-internal systems.

Re:Going nowhere (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644094)

If you RTFM you'll know that the summary is misleading. A quote from TFA best explains the claims:
"The patents Kodak holds are incredibly broad, effectively covering images that are stored centrally and can be ordered online,"

I did RTFA.

But online centrally located storage of p0rn on a bbs that you had to subscribe to (with real money) existed well before Kodak patented their "incredibly broad" crapware.

The broader the patent, the quicker they fall.

Re:Going nowhere (2)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644440)

You PAID for BBS porn? Gosh. I got all my 8-bit and 16-bit nudity for free:
http://girls.c64.org/a__girls64.php [c64.org]

http://bitworld.bitfellas.org/demo.php?id=309 [bitfellas.org] (Porn Demo) "The 1985 Amiga was considered one of the first CPU's capable of handling high resolution, hard-core porn. This was achieved by putting a big juicy HAM inside the case, allowing the Amiga to display it's entire 12-bit palette of 4096 colors at once." - http://uncyclopedia.wikia.com/wiki/Amiga [wikia.com]

Re:Going nowhere (1)

gorzek (647352) | more than 3 years ago | (#34645116)

Dear God, then how did the Amiga fail??

Re:Going nowhere (1)

click2005 (921437) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644460)

Anyone know the date the patent was filed? Rusty n Edie's BBS was around and being sued in 1997 for having online images which they were selling.

Re:Going nowhere (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644514)

A BBS still operating in 1997?

I think you must be off by 10 years. You must mean 1987, right?

In 1997 the web was up and running strong, and dial up BBSs were shutting down left and right.

Re:Going nowhere (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34644592)

You're forgetting how quickly things have moved. In 1997 the web was up and running, but still not in wide use, and a lot of BBSes were half-connected - you could access them through dial-up or via a Web address.

Re:Going nowhere (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34644630)

A BBS still operating in 1997?

I think you must be off by 10 years. You must mean 1987, right?

In 1997 the web was up and running strong, and dial up BBSs were shutting down left and right.

Do you often answer your own questions?

Re:Going nowhere (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34644952)

A BBS still operating in 1997?

Yep, why not? In fact there are more then a few hundred BBS running as we speak right now. Sure, 99.9% of them are telnet only but there are a handful that still allow dial-up with a modem (as well as telnet on other nodes).

The range of systems - currently telnetable, go from BBS running on C64s, Atari 8-bits, Atari STs, Commodore Amigas, PCs running Windows, to PCs running Linux.

Updates are constantly happening to some major BBS packages like Renegade and definitely Synchronet. New doors are being written; older ones are being adapted to the new 32-bit door standards. I myself am writing a door game for BBS.

Why you ask?

Why the hell not.

Re:Going nowhere (1)

garyebickford (222422) | more than 3 years ago | (#34645582)

The way things are going with net UNneutrality and NONprivacy, maybe we'll have to go back to telnet via dial-up.

Re:Going nowhere (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34645938)

Maybe we should if it gets that bad and the fact that BBS can interconnect/intercommunicate with each other too means information/data/files can still be accessible to everyone.

Re:Going nowhere (1)

omnichad (1198475) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644228)

Essentially, they patented "X.....on the Internet!"
 
We need just a general rule that invalidates that whole train of thought in patents.

Business of government (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34644060)

Don't forget that the business of government benefits from every single lawsuit, even the ones that are thrown out. There's a reason why the US government is the most expensive government in the world, and it's not because having an insanely complex, ambiguous, and exploitable system of law is less lucrative than one based on simplicity and common sense.

Re:Business of government (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644118)

I fail to see how the government benefits when A sues B, and neither A nor B are part of the government.

 

Re:Business of government (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644362)

Court fees, I presume.

Re:Business of government (3, Funny)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644436)

Yeah, that must be it.

If we all try real hard we can sue our way to a balanced budget.

Re:Business of government (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644566)

That, and setting the stage for enough people to bitch and moan about further regulation being needed.

It ends up being a positive feedback loop. Create regulation that causes more problems that in turn requires even more regulation to deal with the problems now being created. That's how government works.

Re:Business of government (1)

gfreeman (456642) | more than 3 years ago | (#34646078)

Legal fees are taxable. The government wins almost every time money changes hands.

Re:Going nowhere (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34644120)

Argument thrown out. To obvious.

Re:Going nowhere (1)

TheReverandND (926450) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644290)

prior art, next case.

Claims (2)

Theaetetus (590071) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644324)

Sorry, this goes nowhere.

On line photos which could be downloaded for a fee (or free) were incorporated on the net before there even was a net.

Which is long before Kodak even wised up to the fact that their world was coming to an end.

From the earliest on line p0rn BBS sites right up to the current sync your phone to online photo sites, the prior art is there in huge steaming, jiggling piles.

Too late Kodak.

If the claims of the patents are "1. A method for receiving photos, comprising (a) downloading, either for a fee or for free, photos via a network," you'd have a point. But they aren't. You have to find prior art for each and every element in the claims, not just each and every word in a patent's title.

Re:Claims (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644428)

Wrong.

I just have to show prior art for the portion of the claim they alleged as being infringed.

That they chose to include a claim for which there is ample prior art speaks to the sloppiness of their patent preparation, and in many cases proof of prior art on a single claim is enough to topple the entire patent.

Re:Claims (5, Interesting)

Theaetetus (590071) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644616)

Wrong.

I just have to show prior art for the portion of the claim they alleged as being infringed.

No, you're wrong. To invalidate a claim of a patent, you must show that each and every limitation in the claim is either anticipated by the prior art under 35 USC 102 or obvious under a combination of prior art references under 35 USC 103(a).

Similarly, to infinge a claim of a patent, you must infringe each and every limitation of the claim. If the claim says "A+B+C+D" and you only do "A+B+C", you have not infringed.

Your statements about "the portion of the claim are simply incorrect.

And yes, I am a registered patent agent.

Re:Claims (1)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644862)

I believe you, but I have to point out that this state of affairs is why so many people hate the patent system. If I can file a patent with an absurd number of absurdly broad claims, and then sue you for infringing on some specific part of one claim for which prior art exists, and to use the prior art defense you have to show that every claim in my patent is covered by prior art -- then the laws and regulations which allow this situation to exist are badly, badly broken. I defy anyone to explain how such a troll-friendly setup "promote[s] the Progress of Science and useful Arts."

Re:Claims (1)

lahvak (69490) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644992)

Emh, please read again what the GP wrote: if you are only "infringing" on a specific part of a patent claim, you are in fact not infringing at all. So the situation you are describing cannot happen. A patent with an absurd number of parts will be harder to invalidate, but also less useful, since less people will infringe upon it.

Re:Claims (3, Interesting)

Theaetetus (590071) | more than 3 years ago | (#34645006)

I believe you, but I have to point out that this state of affairs is why so many people hate the patent system. If I can file a patent with an absurd number of absurdly broad claims, and then sue you for infringing on some specific part of one claim for which prior art exists,

Once more, from my prior post:

Similarly, to infinge a claim of a patent, you must infringe each and every limitation of the claim. If the claim says "A+B+C+D" and you only do "A+B+C", you have not infringed. Your statements about "the portion of the claim are simply incorrect.

It is impossible to sue for infringement of a "part" of a claim. Thinking logically about this should make it obvious... Say I invent a working teleportation machine and claim "1. A teleportation machine comprising: (a) a seat for the operator to sit in; and (b) [a whole bunch of stuff required for a teleportation machine to operate]." It should be immediately obvious that I can't sue chair makers everywhere.

In summary, the situation you think exists does not actually exist. There may be other legitimate arguments regarding the patent system - this is simply not one of them.

Re:Claims (1)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 3 years ago | (#34645474)

Oops, sorry, I misread.

Re:Claims (1)

lahvak (69490) | more than 3 years ago | (#34645020)

The way I understand it is that if the claim says "A & B & C & D", it is not even enough to find a prior art for each of A, B, C and D, you would have to find a prior art for the combination of A, B, C and D, unless that combination is "obvious".

Re:Claims (1)

Theaetetus (590071) | more than 3 years ago | (#34645180)

The way I understand it is that if the claim says "A & B & C & D", it is not even enough to find a prior art for each of A, B, C and D, you would have to find a prior art for the combination of A, B, C and D, unless that combination is "obvious".

Yes, although if you can find separate art for A, B, C, and D, the motivation to combine them may be obvious to try, particularly in the predictable arts such as mechanics or software. It's a lot tougher in chemistry, where all of the individual elements are known, but that doesn't meant that it's obvious to make some new cancer-curing drug. But in software, where you can find compression algorithms and sorting algorithms, it's relatively trivial to say "sort and compress!"

Re:Going nowhere (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644618)

Sorry, this goes nowhere.

On line photos which could be downloaded for a fee (or free) were incorporated on the net before there even was a net.

And, indeed, ever since HTML has had the IMG tag. Sites like Flickr and Picasa are essentially hosting services.

I seriously hope Kodak gets smacked down hard over this. Judging by the quality of the last two Kodak printers my wife bought, I say good riddance to them.

This is essentially one of those "with a computer" patents.

Re:Going nowhere (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34644848)

I think "ordering online" in this case refers to ordering physical copies and prints of images online, not paying to download images.

Re:Going nowhere (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644966)

Okay, not only did you not read the claims of any of these patents, but you also didn't even read any part of any of the patents at all, considering that no patents were linked and no numbers were given in the article. Yet you still profess to have countless examples of clear anticipatory prior art that could easily demolish every one of these patents. How's that work, exactly?

Hoo boy. (1)

ak_hepcat (468765) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644008)

Xerox is gonna be pissed! That Alto station is gonna have to be licensed up soon.

Re:Hoo boy. (1)

garyebickford (222422) | more than 3 years ago | (#34645652)

Haha!
Good one, ya old fart! :D (me too) Of course, these yunguns around here mostly haven't a clue what you're talking about...

Market cap.. (5, Insightful)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644028)

Isn't Kodak's market cap well less than $2BN? Google should just buy them, fire everyone, sell of the interesting parts, and then salt the land where their headquarters is.

Re:Market cap.. (2)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644116)

Unfortunately, that is a specific violation of antitrust law. But there is a loophole for using bleach instead of salt.

Re:Market cap.. (2)

publiclurker (952615) | more than 3 years ago | (#34645058)

Can't we just take those responsible, turn them into Torgo's executive powder and use that?

Re:Market cap.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34644766)

Great idea. Destruction of 20K+ lives should really help with the whole "don't be evil" thing.

Re:Market cap.. (0)

cvtan (752695) | more than 3 years ago | (#34645110)

No salting the land you moron. Kodak is only a few miles from my house and I worked there for 26 years. I have friends that still work there so no firing either. Trying to get them to sue anybody for any patent infringement was like pulling teeth. I'm glad they are doing something. I just hope it's not something dumb.

Re:Market cap.. (1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 3 years ago | (#34645272)

I'd hoped it was obvious I was only partly serious. I wouldn't actually want them to fire rank and file employees, but anyone at VP or above I'd say fire away.

Never happen anyway, of course. There would be no value to it, Kodak is dying, nobody wants to buy them. Cheaper to just spend $50mil beating them in court over the next decade.

!news (4, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644030)

This isn't news. Filing a lawsuit doesn't say anything; It's a numbers game. Think of it like this: Let's say you have a 10% chance of prevailing, it will cost you 1 million dollars in legal fees to get a shot at rolling those dice, and the payoff if you make it is 150 million in licensing fees. Is it worth it? Now, stop and consider that because of the way the patent system is setup, you can have many additional challenges, each with about a 10% chance of success. If a lawsuit is filed, it is because the risk/benefit analysis is favorable. It has nothing to do with justice, fairness, or any intangible value you might care to place on it.

This is one business throwing the dice and seeing if the bet pays off. It isn't news until pay day.

Re:!news (2)

painandgreed (692585) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644370)

This isn't news. Filing a lawsuit doesn't say anything; It's a numbers game. Think of it like this: Let's say you have a 10% chance of prevailing, it will cost you 1 million dollars in legal fees to get a shot at rolling those dice, and the payoff if you make it is 150 million in licensing fees. Is it worth it? Now, stop and consider that because of the way the patent system is setup, you can have many additional challenges, each with about a 10% chance of success. If a lawsuit is filed, it is because the risk/benefit analysis is favorable. It has nothing to do with justice, fairness, or any intangible value you might care to place on it.

This is one business throwing the dice and seeing if the bet pays off. It isn't news until pay day.

Gee, if you would have only pointed this out at the beginning of all the SCO stuff, you could have saved us years of reading non-news posts.

Re:!news (1)

TheL0ser (1955440) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644430)

The problem with expected value like that is to have a good chance of profit you need to file lots and lots of law.... oh, wait, nevermind. They have that covered.

Re:!news (2)

BluBrick (1924) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644506)

It has nothing to do with justice, fairness, or any intangible value you might care to place on it.

If that were truly the case, any judge in his right mind should summarily dismiss it before it gets anywhere near a courtroom. Alas, it shall never be. For it seems that in the United States of America, the law itself has nothing to do with justice, fairness or any intangible value you might care to place on it.

flawed (1)

chronoss2010 (1825454) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644534)

you assume that 10% chance in the first place for such ridiculous prior art ...thats bad risk man. ok you have a 10% chance a surviving surgery should you do it? 9 times out of ten your dead. AND then think of the counter lawsuits.....

Oh how the mighty have fallen... (2, Interesting)

clone52431 (1805862) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644056)

Kodak used to be the single leader in innovative technology with their film, cameras, and the invention of the (nearly) instant-print Polaroid. Now, they’re essentially a gigantic patent troll. They haven’t been really innovative for a very long time, and their last resort is to sue.

Those who can, do. Those who cannot, sue.

Re:Oh how the mighty have fallen... (5, Informative)

a_kibitzer (1173865) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644110)

I think Dr. Land and Polaroid Corp will be interested to learn that Kodak invented Polaroid instant photography.

Re:Oh how the mighty have fallen... (1)

clone52431 (1805862) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644158)

Ah, my bad. Yes, turns out that Polaroid was in fact a competitor of Kodak, and they actually filed a successful patent suit against Kodak for their Kodamatic instant camera line. How ironic.

Re:Oh how the mighty have fallen... (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 3 years ago | (#34645238)

Yes, turns out that Polaroid was in fact a competitor of Kodak

It turns out? That's one of the most fundamental facts of modern photographic history, not something that one should have to look up. You should really read about Dr. Land's life and work.

Re:Oh how the mighty have fallen... (1)

a_kibitzer (1173865) | more than 3 years ago | (#34645926)

Just tweaking you a bit. Agree that Kodak used to be quite innovative.

Re:Oh how the mighty have fallen... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34644184)

Wow. Kodak invented Polaroid. I don't even know how to respond to that.

Re:Oh how the mighty have fallen... (0)

Migraineman (632203) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644186)

You sure that Kodak invented the Polariod? [wikipedia.org] Edwin Land, rest his soul, is not amused.

Re:Oh how the mighty have fallen... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34644270)

Kodak used to be the single leader in innovative technology with their film, cameras, and the invention of the (nearly) instant-print Polaroid. Now, they’re essentially a gigantic patent troll. They haven’t been really innovative for a very long time, and their last resort is to sue.

Long before the Polaroid lawsuit Kodak had a reputation in the industry for IP theft and dirty tricks...

Re:Oh how the mighty have fallen... (3, Interesting)

garyebickford (222422) | more than 3 years ago | (#34645760)

I once read about a really funny trick played on Kodak, back in the very early days. When they first came out with a consumer camera (was it the Brownie?), the consumer would mail the camera back to Kodak and they would process the film. One of their problems was the wastewater from the film processing. So a local guy offered to truck it away for some amount - I'll say $100 per truckload because I don't recall the actual price. After a while, Kodak complained about the price, and the guy agreed to do it for $50 per load. After a while, they complained again, and he agreed to do it for $25 per truckload, and finally for $5 per truckload. Then the folks at Kodak started to wonder how he could do it so cheap. They looked a bit closer to the waste they were getting rid of, and found that it had $$$ worth of silver in each truckload. The guy was extracting the silver and making a mint! :D

I originally read this in a magazine a few decades ago, and I'm too lazy to look it up online. So it must be true!

Re:Oh how the mighty have fallen... (0)

kdub432 (1586397) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644488)

more like: those that can, do those that can't, teach and those that did, sue

Re:Oh how the mighty have fallen... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34644512)

That last time Kodak had a good viable product would have been the very early 90's. Digital hit them like a sack of wet cement. It took them a decade to even consider digital a competitor, by then they coffin had been built and they were being ushered to it. It's a pity that no one has told them, in today's market, they have absolutely nothing of value other than a recognized name. Goodbye Kodak, you were good while you lasted.

Re:Oh how the mighty have fallen... (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644964)

Kodak used to be the single leader in innovative technology with their film, cameras, and the invention of the (nearly) instant-print Polaroid. Now, they're essentially a gigantic patent troll.

Well, no. Not only did they not invent or market Polaroid, they're still a big player in cameras, sensors, printers and printing (both home and commercial scale, photo and text/page), etc... etc...
 

They haven't been really innovative for a very long time, and their last resort is to sue.

As above - not even remotely true.

Re:Oh how the mighty have fallen... (1)

clone52431 (1805862) | more than 3 years ago | (#34645044)

No. They’re a wanna-be, and they market a bunch of crap point-and-shoot digital cameras with lousy cheap components that appeal to people who don’t do their homework before buying something.

Re:Oh how the mighty have fallen... (2)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 3 years ago | (#34645528)

The Kodak you see in Best Buy is only a tiny fraction of the 'real' Kodak. They do quite a bit of medical and industrial imaging. This has nothing to do with their potential to be a patent troll, but it isn't correct to say that Kodak is just a bunch of crappy 100 dollar cameras. Yes, they have a lot of crappy 100 dollar cameras, but it's only a small part of their business.

Re:Oh how the mighty have fallen... (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 3 years ago | (#34645958)

ROTFLMAO. You're not only utterly clueless, it seems you're willingly so as you're too stupid or lazy to visit Wikipedia or Kodak's own website.

Re:Oh how the mighty have fallen... (1)

clone52431 (1805862) | more than 3 years ago | (#34646044)

Since you’re so knowledgeable, see if you can answer this question without referring to Google: What is Kodak’s current status with the Better Business Bureau, and why and how?

Re:Oh how the mighty have fallen... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34646166)

ROTFLMAO. You're not only utterly clueless, it seems you're willingly so as you're too stupid or lazy to visit Wikipedia

<checks Wikipedia>

Apparently they invented the self-inflating elephant, and something called the "KODAKSUCKSBALLS".

Re:Oh how the mighty have fallen... (2)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 3 years ago | (#34645688)

Kodak also invented the digital camera (1975), introduced the Bayer mask for color imaging (1976), and was a leader in digital imaging technology in many other ways (first megapixel detector, etc.). Their handicap was that they had a huge existing business which would be horribly cannibalized by digital technology. As a result, they were unable to take the business decisions which would have commercially exploited these digital imaging innovations.
They are still a leader in CCD sensors.

Re:Oh how the mighty have fallen... (1)

gfreeman (456642) | more than 3 years ago | (#34646268)

Kodak also invented the digital camera (1975)

No, they built the first CCD* camera in 1975 - but they didn't invent 'the digital camera'. The idea had been around since the early 60's.

*Not invented by Kodak

2011: Year of the Patent Spat (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644072)

I think these patent lawsuits will just keep coming, and coming, and coming.

Are any companies going to have any resources to commit to technological innovation? Not if they are constantly forced to conduct rear guard operations against lawsuit assaults.

Re:2011: Year of the Patent Spat (4, Interesting)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644092)

Innovation will simply move to less patent-encumbered locations (i.e. China/India).

Re:2011: Year of the Patent Spat (1)

vlueboy (1799360) | more than 3 years ago | (#34646234)

Innovation will simply move to less patent-encumbered locations (i.e. China/India).

China actually became an exporting power after WWII because "more patent-encumbered locations" have 0 power over them: no chasing China's reverse engineering*, and now gray markets.

It follows that if the tables do turn, you can bet your imported iPhone knockoff that every country will go "it's payback time!" and the next World War will be China chasing its IP in a over-righteous way. But the tables will probably never turn.

* REAL patent theft consists of reading and then just implementing what the patents describe, while ignoring actual license payments and the arbitrary restrictions of the patent licensor.

Kodak Innovation. (2)

Camel Pilot (78781) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644236)

Clarification: The dispute it that not just with hosting images but allowing these image to ordered on-line.

From the fine article Kodak says "We are committed to protecting these assets from unauthorized use,"

Translation: We want to make money off a really obvious idea because we missed the digital almost entirely and haven't found a way to be truly innovative.

Re:Kodak Innovation. (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34644368)

Kodak didn't miss digital - they were even one of the pioneers of digital photography back in the 70s - nothing commercial though.

Kodak is quite successful with their Leaf brand of sensors - they're in high end medium format cameras - Hassalblad, Phase One, and a few other $10,000+ cameras to as high as $50,000 for a camera body - no lens.

Kodak just couldn't get the market penetration into the consumer digital camera market like the Japanese and their Professional camera body just didn't sell. For the low end consumer cameras, Kodak outsources everything. The only thing Kodak about their point and shoot cameras is that name - everything else is just cheap crap.

Film photography is declining and Kodak just can't seam to get their act together in the digital area. They have been there since the beginning but they just can't compete with the Asian companies: Nikon, Canon, Pentax, SONY, Panasonic, etc...

Speaking of SONY and Panasonic, they were a bit late to the still camera game and they still are kicking Kodak's ass.

Re:Kodak Innovation. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34644542)

Would you seriously stop capitalizing "Sony"? It's not an acronym and it otherwise looks like it should be followed by a droning chant of "all glory and honor to their hallowed name!".

Re:Kodak Innovation. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34644972)

I'll write a PERL script on my MAC to hunt down his falsely-capitalised SONYs and destroy them.

Re:Kodak Innovation. (3, Informative)

rsborg (111459) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644920)

Apparently a study by OKCupid confirms that Kodak's EasyShare cameras are complete shite [okcupid.com] .

Anecdotally, my sister randomly bought one right before a trip (from Costco) a few years ago, and not only did her vacation pix suck, the damn thing broke in less than 2 months. The charger/connector looked like ass (a whole damn docking station) , and the whole thing just smacked of bad ideas mashed together without any market analysis or taste.

Perhaps it's because Kodak didn't want to jeapordize their film business or because the lenses were all made by the japanese companies anyway? If I had a choice of a decent dSLR from Kodak (back in 2003ish), I might have purchased one... I still have my original Canon Digital Rebel and it still takes awesome pictures with a fixed 50mm f1/8.

Re:Kodak Innovation. (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 3 years ago | (#34645352)

Kodak didn't miss digital - they were even one of the pioneers of digital photography back in the 70s - nothing commercial though.

Kodak is quite successful with their Leaf brand of sensors

Actually, they kind of did. The work back in the 70s was basically ignored by the company. Much like Xerox ignored the company's own work on computing because they are all about selling photocopiers, Kodak ignored digital imaging because they are all about selling film.

Even your example of Leaf is quite salient. For Kodak, digital was a niche product for exotic purposes. What they missed is that it would soon take over all photography and become a cheap, mass-market product, rather than a rarefied high-margin niche.

Ask yourself - which would have been more profitable for Kodak - selling a handful of $10,000+ Leaf sensors, or owning the market in consumer digital cameras? Kodak has a terrible reputation in consumer digital, and rightly so.

When will we get some effective patent reform? (2)

serutan (259622) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644238)

Think what the business world would be like if someone had been allowed to patent: "Process for storing products in boxes in a warehouse and later moving them to shelves in a retail store."

USPTO patent approvers should do that. Especially the thinking part.

Re:When will we get some effective patent reform? (1)

Even on Slashdot FOE (1870208) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644404)

We will get effective patent reform when someone with sufficient money buys it. If you can't afford it, like me, you get to either deal with it or leave.

Re:When will we get some effective patent reform? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34644468)

When will we get some effective patent reform?

Soon, I hope. I'm going to be completely unscientific and state, it seems sheathed patent swords are being drawn at an alarming rate these days. We're probably headed for Patentgeddon, where companies will go nuclear, Nazgul and sharks and slimeballs will be fully released, and all innovation in the US will stop completely.

One would hope that when that happens (when, not if - it's going to happen, the stakes are fast becoming simply too high/juicy), one would hope this would wake up our idiot politicians.

Send a message to Kodak customer relations (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34644296)

Send a message to Kodak customer relations department here:

http://www.kodak.com/eknec/PageQuerier.jhtml?pq-path=15718&pq-locale=en_US [kodak.com]

Re:Send a message to Kodak customer relations (2)

Anonymous Codger (96717) | more than 3 years ago | (#34644496)

Yeah, tell them you refuse to buy any more of their film!

Re:Send a message to Kodak customer relations (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34644884)

I would, except, well, I just don't give a fuck.

Only the lawyers win (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34644562)

Can you imagine what kind of innovation would be possible if these companies spent their legal budgets on R&D?

Re:Only the lawyers win (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34644746)

No need to imagine it, China is kicking our butts with it.

Anti Competition (1)

Master Moose (1243274) | more than 3 years ago | (#34645012)

What ever happened by competing for business by enticing customers through a combination of innovation, product, value, service and marketing?

What I see more and more is "competition" defined as stifling the progress of competitors who dare to try and work in the same field that you do.

Screen (1)

santax (1541065) | more than 3 years ago | (#34645090)

So, one invents a screen whoms sole purpose is to present picture. And then someone finds a way to get a patent to present a picture on a screen... hahahahaha
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