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DisplayPort-To-HDMI Cables May Be Recalled Over Licensing

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the now-there's-a-product-defect dept.

Displays 417

Hugh Pickens writes "PC Magazine reports that the licensing company overseeing the HDMI specification has confirmed that existing Mini DisplayPort-to-HDMI adapters which are designed by several cable makers and sold by several PC OEMs, are apparently illegal and could be recalled. According to Charlene Wan, director of marketing for HDMI LLC, any cable that does not include HDMI connectors on both ends violates the specification. 'The HDMI specification defines an HDMI cable as having ONLY HDMI connectors on the ends,' says Wan. 'Anything else is not a licensed use of the specification and therefore, not allowed.' That apparently includes Apple's mini-DisplayPort-to-HDMI adapters, which are sold by Belkin on Apple's Web site. However a representative for Belkin denies that the cable it sells on Apple's Web site is illegal. 'Essentially, the product you mention in your post is not out of compliance because it is just an adaptor and not a cable,' the representative wrote in an email. 'We do not sell a cable with a male Mini-DP and male HDMI port, which is what falls out of compliance with the spec. HDMI does recognize a product that has a Mini-DP connector and HDMI receptacle with an internal active circuitry as it falls into the definition of a source device.' There may also be a glimmer of hope, in that HDMI Org understands that there is a need for this type of cable: 'We do recognise that there may be a market need for a cable solution rather than a dongle solution. However, at this time, there is no way to produce these cable products in a licensed manner.'"

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417 comments

Words can't describe... (5, Insightful)

Denis Lemire (27713) | more than 2 years ago | (#36715498)

Nothing irks me more than technology being crippled for no good reason. Yay for lawyers and IP nonsense!

Re:Words can't describe... (5, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#36715516)

It works both ways. Phillips refuses to allow the use of the CD logo on DRMed CDs because it violates the standard and isn't necessarily compatible with all CD players out there. In this case, I'm not sure what the solution is, but considering that it's purpose is to convert between the two types of ports, I'm not sure how much can be done about the problem.

Re:Words can't describe... (4, Informative)

max (79752) | more than 2 years ago | (#36715570)

I don't understand what you mean with "both ways". Phillips is not crippling technology with their stance on the CD, in fact, they are doing the opposite by telling manufacturers that DRM is not a part of the CD-specification and might prevent consumers from playing those discs. Thus they are not allowed to be called CDs. The DRM is the crippling part, not the fact that the manufacturers that insist on having DRM on their discs can't call them CDs.

Re:Words can't describe... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36715610)

The HDMI specification requires both ends to be HDMI Anything else is against spec.
The CD specification required 16 bit PCA, anything else is against spec.

HDMI LLC is asking for Belkin to withdraw products that break their spec.
Phillips asked the same.

The only real difference I can see is that the HDMI spec was brain-dead in this instance while the CD specification was not.

Re:Words can't describe... (2)

max (79752) | more than 2 years ago | (#36715722)

Yes, and the OP wrote "[...]technology being crippled for no good reason" and "[...]IP nonsense!".

No one is questioning whether or not anything is against the spec, what was questioned is why you cripple technology (through a spec or otherwise) without a good reason, and as of yet no good reason has been produced. Thus: IP nonsense. I don't think anyone is questioning Phillips move as anything other than "good reason" (with the possible exception of the DRM advocates).

If HDMI LLC can give some good reason, they might sway my opinion. If I dare guess, the only reason I think they can give is that the HDMI spec is supposed to ensure that unauthorized copies cannot be made, and if you are able to produce HDMI-to-anything cables you could connect your HDMI capable output device to something that can record the information. But that I do not consider to be a good enough reason. I am not interested in making copies but I do want to be able to (or at least have the possibility to) connect my legacy HDMI products to newer products that might not have HDMI, in the future.

Re:Words can't describe... (1, Redundant)

Thing 1 (178996) | more than 2 years ago | (#36715808)

Exactly. I have a DVI-to-HDMI cable that is powering one of my monitors. "My cold dead hands" comes to mind (although, they'd still be slightly warm immediately after they killed me; there's no reason for them to wait to remove "their" property until after my hands have cooled... Perhaps more appropriately "my cooling dead hands" -- but then, Charlton Heston's wording has a certain ring to it).

Re:Words can't describe... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36715802)

Philips is not telling anyone they can't sell their CD-like product. They just can't call them CDs. The HDMI group is actually saying the products can't be sold. That's a huge difference.

Re:Words can't describe... (4, Informative)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#36715614)

I think he's saying that the "lawyers and IP nonsense" cut both ways. They can be used to cripple technology, or protect it.

Re:Words can't describe... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36715574)

It's one thing to use the CD logo on DRMed CDs. It's another to make a cable to plug into a type of port. Worst case, they remove the HDMI logos on the cable/adapter. There should be absolutely NO legal basis for banning pure technical interoperability.

Re:Words can't describe... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36715794)

Hear, hear! And there's no legal basis for Apple restricting other companies from making power cords compatible with their equipment.
 
Oops, sorry, I forgot rules don't apply to the company that makes all your shiny.

Re:Words can't describe... (1)

blacklint (985235) | more than 2 years ago | (#36715816)

I'm sure some part of the HDMI specification is covered by patents, and would therefore need to be licensed. It's not just the trademarks on the name and logos.

Re:Words can't describe... (0)

Kalriath (849904) | more than 2 years ago | (#36715878)

It's even more evil. HDCP. You aren't allowed to implement HDCP on anything but HDMI, and you can't call it HDMI unless it supports HDCP. So because the "cable" supports HDCP, they can stop it being sold by revoking the HDCP license.

Re:Words can't describe... (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 2 years ago | (#36715984)

the cable does not implement HDCP, it is a physical connection only, your post makes no sense

Re:Words can't describe... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36715698)

It's like people who don't know how to use apostrophes. I refuse to allow that the possessive pronoun should be written like the contraction, but considering the three-pixel apostrophe seems to boggle almost everyone, I'm not sure how much can be done about the problem.

Re:Words can't describe... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36715962)

That's a trademark issue, you can still make the DRM'ed CD-like disks and sell them. You can't use the logo.

Re:Words can't describe... (2)

jrumney (197329) | more than 2 years ago | (#36715996)

Philips didn't threaten to sue anyone producing 10cm polycarbonate disks with aluminium coating containing digitally encoded information in a format mostly compatible with the CD Red Book format. They only stopped them using the "Compact Disk Digital Audio" trademark.

Re:Words can't describe... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36715522)

That's ok, legal status has never stopped foreign manufacturers from providing such accessories. It only means the handful of American companies that actually respect IP law will stop offering these products, leaving the market wide open for China to flood.

Re:Words can't describe... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#36715760)

With the possible exception of a few bespoke audiophile outfits, and possibly some contractor-service outfits where turnaround times on custom cables matter, those precious American companies merely consisted of parasites slapping their stickers and their markups on the same Chinese stuff...

Re:Words can't describe... (1)

wisty (1335733) | more than 2 years ago | (#36715952)

There's dozens of resellers on alibaba (http://www.alibaba.com/trade/search?SearchText=mini+displayport+to+hdmi&Country=&IndexArea=product_en&fsb=y), but most of them only sell them in lots of 100. On the other hand, the unit price is, like, $1-$5.

Re:Words can't describe... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36715544)

You can have my HDMI <-> DVI cable when you pry it out of my cold, dead hands!!

OT: expansion on the thought (2)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | more than 2 years ago | (#36715616)

Nothing irks me more than technology being crippled for no good reason. Yay for lawyers and IP nonsense!

As annoying as that is, at least I understand the commercial desire to maximize profit.

Nothing irks me more than our freedoms being crippled for no good reason. Yay for legislators and political nonsense!

... or is my statement redundant?

Re:OT: expansion on the thought (4, Insightful)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | more than 2 years ago | (#36715806)

As annoying as that is, at least I understand the commercial desire to maximize profit.

I understand the base urge to rape and pillage. I still don't approve of it and would support steps to reduce it.

Possible solution (1)

Announcer (816755) | more than 2 years ago | (#36715642)

Just hurry up and write the spec to license this device, then license it ASAP! It will immediately become a revenue source. Duh!

Only lawyers and IP? No MBAs? (1)

Nexus7 (2919) | more than 2 years ago | (#36715896)

How fitting this is posted the same day as the post about MBAs being the scourge of industry. None of these disciplines have any engineering knowledge, yet they are vested with the authority to build business models around technology. And so, this sort of thing becomes a great way of doing business - not actually making anything or adding value that people will pay for (that whole invisible hand of the market thing).

Re:Words can't describe... (0)

caitsith01 (606117) | more than 2 years ago | (#36715918)

Yay for lawyers

I assume you also blame General Motors or Ford when someone intentionally runs you down with their car?

Re:Words can't describe... (2)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#36715958)

You mean this isn't an example of why patents were created in the first place? So that one party who had nothing to do with the development of a technology could stop another party who had nothing to do with the development of a technology from bringing products to market?

If Jefferson could have seen what modern corporations would do with Article 1, Section 8, Clause 8 of his Constitution, he'd have decorated that innovative document with his own brains.

So fucking what (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36715514)

Seriously, this is _the_ problem?

Re:So fucking what (3, Funny)

click2005 (921437) | more than 2 years ago | (#36715778)

The HDMI LLC want more money to display their HDMI logo.

Can I suggest that from now on the alternative name for the 'unlicensed' HDMI port be the Cartel Restricted Appliance Port.

Easy (4, Interesting)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#36715520)

Produce whatever cable you want, and call it HMDI.

Re:Easy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36715592)

High Multimedia Definition Interface!?

Re:Easy (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 2 years ago | (#36715638)

How about HDVCI (High Definition Video Conversion Interface)?

'sides, I already have (and use) mine, so screw them. ;)

Re:Easy (2)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 2 years ago | (#36715718)

you joke, but its true! its what the counterfeiters do.

I wanted to buy some brand-name trimmer pots (electronic parts) once and the well known brand is 'bourns'. what I ended up with was 'burans' and 'bochen' and 'baores':

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5124/5230789958_5036809ea9_b.jpg [flickr.com]

wtf! tell me this was an honest mistake. yeah, right.

well, make this work FOR them, for a change. ignore the bullshit politics and 'make a mistake on the name' so that its not exactly hdmi. in fact, just say its 'hdmi-like' or 'hdmi-compatible'.

Re:Easy (0)

westlake (615356) | more than 2 years ago | (#36715750)

Produce whatever cable you want, and call it HMDI.

The geek is all for strict adherence to standards and branding until it becomes inconvenient.

Re:Easy (2)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#36715932)

This isn't a standard problem. The device in question enables interoperability between two well defined standards, and conforms to technical specs for both, which is what matters. The issue is that HDMI licensing consortium does not recognize it as a valid application of their spec - a legal standard, not a technical one. Geeks aren't usually fond of legalities.

It would be very interesting to know WHY? (4, Insightful)

max (79752) | more than 2 years ago | (#36715526)

Who wrote such a narrow-minded license and for what purpose? I would like how they thought this would benefit end-users.

It smells like greed, incompetence and arrogance.

Re:It would be very interesting to know WHY? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36715582)

"It smells like greed, incompetence and arrogance."

And don't forget about DRM.

Wait, no, you're right. You already covered that.

Re:It would be very interesting to know WHY? (3, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#36715738)

But I have to give it to you, "DRM" is quite a bit shorter than "greed, incompetence and arrogance". Saves typing time.

Re:It would be very interesting to know WHY? (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 2 years ago | (#36715752)

modern standsrds committees are NOT run by users. these are never for your benefit. they are for ease of manufacturing, cheapness, and even de-engineer things so that they wear out sooner (causing you to rebuy things).

hollywood was more than 50% involved in this, too, btw. no tech committee would add drm on its own. and no one would spend WORK (software, hardware) to mix audio and video when they were not already natively mixed to begin with. but they did, and they mixed them in such a way that its technically difficult to break them apart without decrypting the signal, as a whole. fully on purpose.

none of this is to help you.

to be honest, dvi and spdif would have done us just fine for the forseeable future. no one at home needs 24bit audio on video streams.

Re:It would be very interesting to know WHY? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36715772)

Actually this kinda makes sense for end-users too. It guarantees that when end-user buys HDMI cable, he gets an HDMI cable, not some monstrosity mixing different, incompatible standards that may fail in more or less subtle ways. It's an attempt to build standard that 'just works', something that end-users can trust.

Re:It would be very interesting to know WHY? (3, Interesting)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#36715948)

One possible answer would be to prevent proprietary connectors. If hardware vendors could make some funky connector that required a custom cable to connect to HDMI, but still call it an HDMI cable, that would undermine the standard.

What about DVI-HDMI cables? (2)

karl.auerbach (157250) | more than 2 years ago | (#36715530)

What about cables that go from DVI to HDMI?

Re:What about DVI-HDMI cables? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36715658)

Good question, I just bought one of those, am I going to have to return my illegal cable now?

Re:What about DVI-HDMI cables? (1)

the linux geek (799780) | more than 2 years ago | (#36715720)

It said that only HDMI connectors were permitted on both ends. I know reading the article is too much to ask, but at least the summary?

Re:What about DVI-HDMI cables? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36715766)

But is that an HDMI cable with a DVI at one end, or a DVI cable with an HDMI at one end?

Re:What about DVI-HDMI cables? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36715906)

Except I can't find anywhere in the HDMI spec where it says you must have HDMI connectors on both ends. In fact, it even specifically lists the pinout for an HDMI to DVI adapter cable.

Re:What about DVI-HDMI cables? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36715776)

Those are ok. It's only the HDMI to DVI cables that are bad.

Re:What about DVI-HDMI cables? (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#36715790)

I have no idea what their precious spec says; but it may help that DVI and HDMI are much more closely related to one another, and that HDMI was drawn up, in its initial iteration as pretty much "Single-link DVI+audio+CEC+HDCP". There have been a number of widely released commercial products(video cards from both Nvidia and ATI) that have run HDMI signals through a DVI connector to make compatibility in either direction easier, and a few oddballs that have(probably with less approval from team HDMI) used the HDMI connector as a mini-DVI port.

Whether or not they like it, the HDMI spec people would at least have been abundantly familiar with the existence of DVI, and of the value of doing a "superset, then supersede" style replacement... Displayport, much less mini-displayport, came a bit later, and has a much more adversarial relationship.

Call them "NonSpec Adapters" (2)

couchslug (175151) | more than 2 years ago | (#36715560)

and show a pic of the ends without further explanation.

Computer users "get" cracks, hacks, and routing around stupidity.

no HDMI involved (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36715580)

The licensing company is in error. These are not Display Port to HDMI cables, they are bananas. One end of the banana was equipped to be able to link up to a High Definition Multimedia Interface, the other end was equipped to link up to Apple's display port. Cabling was run between these two ends and the banana was removed.

It's still a banana, though.

You're welcome.

in other words... (2, Insightful)

v1 (525388) | more than 2 years ago | (#36715602)

We want you to have to buy a cable AND an adapter, (at the usual 800% markup from cost of materials) so we can collect license fees twice.

You sure this isn't Sony we're talking about? Reminds me of their "iLink" cables. Apple refused to license them to use the term "firewire" because they insisted on using a proprietary connector because they wanted to be the exclusive source of hyperpriced firewire cables for their camcorders. This whole game has become very tiring.

The only thing I've heard about this whole thunderbolt mania that I like is that the cables are actually more than just straight through wires with particular connectors on the ends priced like there's actual expensive parts in them - these cables actually have numerous active components at both ends. Still overpriced, but not nearly as much of a ripoff.

Re:in other words... (1)

Thing 1 (178996) | more than 2 years ago | (#36715824)

[...] these cables actually have numerous active components at both ends. Still overpriced, but not nearly as much of a ripoff.

Yeah, but: why do these cables have active parts on both ends? Oh yeah, part of the "screw the customer" spec.

Re:in other words... (1)

kamitchell (1090511) | more than 2 years ago | (#36715884)

Active parts allow a choice of medium (copper, fiber) and compensate for cable characteristics (impedance, for instance).

The documentation for the GN2033 chip in use [gennum.com] says it "delivers reliable data transfer at cutting-edge speeds over low cost, thin-gauge copper cables."

There are four 10Gb/s channels (two running each way) in that cable. Signal conditioning is a good thing.

Re:in other words... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36715910)

You can get most cables for very cheap (less than 5 dollars) for short runs of any kind. If you put active components in them, it becomes necessary. Why do you think this is a good idea to include expensive electronics with cheap cabling?

Re:in other words... (1)

kamitchell (1090511) | more than 2 years ago | (#36715942)

Paying lower prices requires just a little effort. You can pay almost $40 [apple.com] for a converter, or about $6.50 [monoprice.com].

The key is buying the cable someplace other than you bought your big-ticket computer or HDTV.

business as usual (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36715624)

DisplayPort consortium is in competition with hdmi consortium, they try to pull this shit all the time. USB consortium did the same.

unlicensed != illegal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36715644)

ssia

If patented (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#36715708)

If something is patented, unlicensed means illegal except in very limited circumstances. To which of these very limited circumstances do you refer?

so, all my hdmi/dvi cables are illegal? (2)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 2 years ago | (#36715676)

nice.

have had them for at least 5 years now.

a bit slow on the up-take?

sorry, but you just LOST due to not protecting your bullshit idea well enough. 5 years. pfffft!

btw, the hdmi 'designers' are the laughing stocks of the industry. if you have an hdmi connector committee member in your employ, you should fire him. he did a really bad job and we can all see that. the connector falls out without any regard, there's no lock, the cable is way too thick and there are more connectors than needed. oh, and mixing audio and video and muxing them in a DRM fashion? you should be hung up and then killed. then shot. just for ruining the dvi protocol (dvi had no DRM before hdmi came along). audio and video could easily have been on separate wires. but that would have been too consumer friendly!

you bastards. you all suck, you DRM hdmi fuckheads.

and this latest news just makes you look even sillier.

Re:so, all my hdmi/dvi cables are illegal? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#36715846)

They're not illegal, they likely infringe upon the HDMI trademark and the owner of the trademark is legally obligated to defend it's mark. In this case it's only marginally silly as a lot of people are probably not aware that the cables are not to HDMI spec.

I'm guessing that Belkin will balk and relabel the cables to make that clear at which point it should be resolved.

Re:so, all my hdmi/dvi cables are illegal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36715938)

I agree with most of your points, but what's so consumer hostile about carrying audio and video on a single wire?

Re:so, all my hdmi/dvi cables are illegal? (1)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 2 years ago | (#36715978)

I was wondering the same thing. I know that my elderly parents were thrilled to "finally" see audio/video handled with one cable to connect.

So... basically their claiming that the casing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36715678)

...determines what kind of device it is, instead of what's actually inside?

That's what it sounds like, honestly, the HDMI folks are claiming that you can't have an extended-length adapter w/ a flexible section, as they feel that falls 100% of the time under their 'cable' clauses, not the 'source device' clauses.

Ill be sure and send mine right back! (3, Funny)

gearloos (816828) | more than 2 years ago | (#36715700)

Oh wow, sorry about that, I'll be sure and send my unlicensed cables right back. I wouldn't want to be in any violation. Of couse I'll pay for shipping. It's the Fanbois Manifesto, after all.

Re:Ill be sure and send mine right back! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36715916)

No. The Fanboi Manifesto is all that shit you'll find on Stallman's website. All the dick smoking faggots just love Linux and Stallman.

Open HDMI alternative? (1)

sunfly (1248694) | more than 2 years ago | (#36715716)

How do we write an open spec, and get it adopted? HDMI needs to go.

Getting the movie studios on board (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#36715762)

You could write an open spec with no provision for digital restrictions management, but how would you get Disney, Fox, Paramount, Sony, Universal, and Warner to go along with it? If Disney, Fox, Paramount, Sony, Universal, and Warner don't endorse a spec, they won't make their films available through the spec, and manufacturers of large (>= 30" diagonal viewable image size) displays won't feel a demand for the spec.

Re:Getting the movie studios on board (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36715974)

"If Disney, Fox, Paramount, Sony, Universal, and Warner don't endorse a spec, they won't make their films available through the spec"

So how exactly are they going to stop you? Can they stop me playing a DVD over an HDMI cable when that cable never existed when the DVD was released?

I think they'll find that HDMI is the first and last spec they define.

Re:Open HDMI alternative? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36715826)

We got this thing called DisplayPort. You might have heard of it. Maybe the summary can nudge you towards right direction...

So? Relabel it. (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 2 years ago | (#36715726)

So... did I get that right, the whole fuss is about calling it a "HDMI cable" while it fails to meet spec? Give it a different name. The customer won't care as long as it works.

And still infringe patents (2)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#36715774)

So... did I get that right, the whole fuss is about calling it a "HDMI cable" while it fails to meet spec?

As I understand it, HDMI is not only trademarked but also patented, and the trademarks and patents are licensed as a bundle [wikipedia.org]. So any cable compatible with HDMI conforming equipment that doesn't meet the spec infringes one or more patents.

Nope. You can't patent a connector. (2)

YesIAmAScript (886271) | more than 2 years ago | (#36715894)

Patents cover creative works. Making a connector to mate another is not creative, it's functional.

They cannot stop people from making cables, just keep them from calling them HDMI cables.

They can call them HDMI-compatible cables though.

If you could stop companies from making compatible cables/connectors then all those unlicensed "iPod compatible" accessories wouldn't exist.

HDMI patents quite likely would keep you from making HDMI devices, because being active devices they would use other technologies that the HDMI group was able to patent.

So What? (5, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 2 years ago | (#36715728)

Why would I care that a cable I have that works safely has been recalled due to some conflict between some corporations to whom I owe nothing, now that I bought mine for myself? I'm certainly not going to stop using it, and absolutely not going to go to any trouble to send it back. Indeed, now that it can't be gotten anymore, it's even more valuable to me, given its scarcity. I'd probably sell it to someone else who values it even more than I do, for more than I paid for it new.

If these lawyers start telling me that I don't own even the physical goods I buy, because of some licensing agreement upstream between parties with whom I never agreed to any ongoing terms, then those lawyers are simply thieves.

Rental (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#36715786)

If these lawyers start telling me that I don't own even the physical goods I buy [...] then those lawyers are simply thieves.

When you walk into a store and "buy" something, you may be asked to sign a contract stating that this transaction shall be deemed a 95-year rental (for copies of works of authorship) or 20-year rental (for other products) and not a sale.

Re:Rental (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 2 years ago | (#36715854)

You just described a scene that is better written "you might be asked to sign" than "may". They may not ask me to sign that. Or at least I will not if they ask. Unless it contains no other encumbrances I might ever violate before reselling it at some unknowable future time.

I don't even sign the licenses on SW and most described IP I've seen for the past decade or two, and I never signed it in the couple of decades before that. I did get a lot of IP my way over those years, though. And I've given a lot more back on the unlicensed stuff, exponentially more, than on the licensed stuff. And the licensed stuff almost always cost more in my time to use to the claims of the licensor than the free stuff ever did, and the free stuff lived up to a higher degree of its claims.

dumb (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 2 years ago | (#36715746)

This seems like a good way to make yourself obsolete overnight. Someones got an adapter so their hugely popular device can still use your aging cable spec... but you come along and say NO! You can't use our cable! In a fight over which cable spec to use whome do you think will win? Apple who somehow even got Auto manufactures to include ipod docks on stock cards? Or HDMI LLC who will, most assuredly, not exist in 20 years irrelevant of how this fight turns out?

What I haven't seen answered yet: (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#36715754)

My question is, if these displayport-HDMI cables are not within the HDMI spec, and thus not licit in the eyes of the HDMI people, by what mechanism does that make them illegal?

Does the HDMI consortium have some sort of patent pool, licensed only to conformant devices(in which case everybody except grey market Chinese cheapies is screwed), or is it merely the HDMI trademark, in which case a bunch of packaging will have to be redone, possibly even some cables with moulded symbols/text ground down or destroyed; but the HDMI consortium won't be able to do fuck-all about the sudden appearance of "mini-displayport Digital AV adapters" which promise to "Connect your mini displayport device to your HDMI(TM) compatible display*" (*All trademarks are property of their respective owners)...

If the HDMI guys have some patent juice behind them, things could get rather ugly. If this is simply a trademark thing, they are being quite petty; but they also have pretty limited power. People will still be able to make the same damn cables, albeit with slightly cagier language on the packaging, and your friendly local geek and/or AV salesdude will still know exactly what you need.

Re:What I haven't seen answered yet: (1)

Thing 1 (178996) | more than 2 years ago | (#36715856)

People will still be able to make the same damn cables, albeit with slightly cagier language on the packaging, and your friendly local geek and/or AV salesdude will still know exactly what you need.

Okay, okay, this has just been a Slashvertisement -- for our skills. :)

Answer: don't use stupid mini-display ports (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36715800)

If apple would just use existing standards then it would make everyone's life a lot easier. Just put only HDMI outputs, and/or DVI.

Re:Answer: don't use stupid mini-display ports (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36715848)

HDMI to DVI cables are bad too.

With mini display port they can support, DisplayPort, DVI and VGA from a single connector. If they used HDMI the can only support HDMI.
3 > 1

QED

disadvantages of DisplayPort (1)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | more than 2 years ago | (#36715814)

OOI are there any good reasons to still use HDMI/DVI-D rather than DP?

(Apart from the fact that my U2311H doesn't support HDCP DRM over DP, of course. God knows I want more DRM.)

Re:disadvantages of DisplayPort (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#36715860)

are there any good reasons to still use HDMI/DVI-D rather than DP?

Because most affordable 37" computer monitors don't have DP inputs.

Re:disadvantages of DisplayPort (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36715886)

yes i knooooow but i just wondered whether dvi-d had any redeeming features (even something like ease of implementation?)

Is their another case like this? (1)

cvtan (752695) | more than 2 years ago | (#36715836)

Anyone think of another case where a certain type of cable is illegal? It's just wire going from one place to another; how could it be illegal??! If I make my own cable, is that illegal?

DVI to HDMI cables (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36715840)

Cables with DVI at one end and HDMI at the other seem to be just as common if not moreso than the DisplayPort equivalent (or were when I bought one); how come there's not been a huge fuss about that?

Not as bad as it sounds. (3, Informative)

BitterOak (537666) | more than 2 years ago | (#36715888)

Despite the alarmist headline, if you read the linked article carefully, you'll see that the only type of recall being considered is at the retail level. That is, retailers and distributors will have to remove the product from the shelves. There is no plan under consideration to go after consumers who have already purchased the cables for personal use. So if you already bought, paid for, and are using a cable, you should be okay to continue doing so.

Apple, get with the program (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 2 years ago | (#36715986)

We have a standard that says everything has to use the same HDMI connector. Then Apple tries to sleaze around it and introduce their own, incompatible connector. The problem is Apple, not the HDMI consortium. Apple just needs to get with the program.

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