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Patent Troll Claims Minecraft Infringement

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the two-varieties-of-blockhead dept.

Patents 304

First time accepted submitter ubrgeek writes "Popular game Minecraft has hit the big time: It's being sued for infringement by patent troll Uniloc who claims the game infringes a patent it holds on copy protection software. Developer Markus 'Notch' Persson sounds like he's up for the challenge: 'Unfortunately for them, they're suing us over a software patent. If needed, I will throw piles of money at making sure they don't get a cent.'"

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I hope.. (5, Interesting)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 2 years ago | (#40727265)

He pounds the troll into the ground then sues them for damages, defamation and costs.

Re:I hope.. (5, Insightful)

Cryacin (657549) | more than 2 years ago | (#40727297)

Good to see that someone truly understands the prisoner's dillemma. On the whole in society, it's best to always choose what's best for everyone and not best for you, but if you come across a group like this, it makes perfect sense to single them out and punish them. I really wish more corporates, companies and people did this. It would really help to diminish the amount of successful selfish people in the world.

Re:I hope.. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40727307)

On the whole in society, it's best to always choose what's best for everyone and not best for you

Until you happen to be that individual. Then you'll probably begin to see just how important individual rights are.

Re:I hope.. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40727313)

Your delusion seems to be thinking patents and invention are related in any way except insofar as the former prevents the latter. Patents are a mechanism for stealing from people who actually make things and giving it to lawyers.

Re:I hope.. (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#40728199)

Corporations are not people, they are not individuals.

Sorry, thanks for playing.

Re:I hope.. (5, Insightful)

Afecks (899057) | more than 2 years ago | (#40727485)

Good to see that someone truly understands the prisoner's dillemma.

Life is not prisoner's dilemma. It's iterated prisoner's dilemma because people can actually build up reputations. It's been shown that the best stable strategy is tit-for-tat plus forgiveness.

More specifically (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40727743)

in the initial round it is best to be the nice guy, after that just mirror what the other side has done to you. Of course this assumes a closed system with an unlimited number of interactions.

So in this case one party is being negative to another and has a reputation for always doing so. The appropriate thing for Notch to do is to be as ruthless as possible within legal restrictions. It is unlikely the patent troll will have a second round with you, and will never not take the negative option. Therefore it is best to take them for all they are worth, if you can.

Amazing how common sense and game theory comes to the same conclusions given the same input.

Re:I hope.. (5, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#40727901)

The problem with that suggestion is this: Depending on the company even if you win...you'll lose.

I had a friend that was running a little ISP that was basically railroaded by one of the bigger carriers. It was obviously an antitrust slam dunk, not to mention they had ignored the contracts they had signed as well as making sure nobody else would deal with his little company. So why isn't my friend sitting on a beach enjoying his victory? Because his lawyer said "Oh there isn't a doubt in my mind you'll win, none at all, but it'll cost you a good million and a half and 10 years of your life to get to the end" so needless to say since my friend didn't have a million and a half nor 10 years of his life he wished to through away in court he walked away.

Look at how long it took to finally end the SCO mess, and that case was so damned obvious Ray Charles could have seen that SCO was full of shit. The reason that many settle is that unless you have nothing better to do with years of your life, not to mention great piles of money to piss away, its simply smarter to make it go away.

Think about it, this guy is just a little developer....how many more games is he NOT gonna put out and NOT gonna get the money from, because he's too tied up in court bullshit to be working on games? Now do i think that is right? Fuck no, I think the system stinks. But what the system IS and what it OUGHT to be are sadly two different things and as it is this guy will in all likelihood lose a ton of money he'll never see again even if he wins. Lets face it friend, if they lose they'll just fold and start up a new firm doing the same shit tomorrow while this guy won't see a cent.

Re:I hope.. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40727499)

What a bunch of idiots on slashdot. Whether you like it or not, patents have been around for over a couple hundred years. No matter how much moaning and groaning people do about patents (particularly software patents), they aren't going away anytime soon.

If anybody did even a modicum of research, they would have found that Microsoft was rumored to have settled for close to $100M based upon this patent. If Microsoft caved, Minecraft's developers have little chance of winning. Lawyers get paid the big bucks when somebody tries to fight a losing battle.

Re:I hope.. (4, Insightful)

GumphMaster (772693) | more than 2 years ago | (#40727593)

Whether you like it or not, patents have been around for over a couple hundred years. No matter how much moaning and groaning people do about patents (particularly software patents), they aren't going away anytime soon.

Nobody is being revisionist and claiming that patents have not existed for hundreds of years, although you'd be hard put to claim software patents have. Longevity, of itself, does not make them inherently valuable or suited to today. The "it's always been that way" perspective also fails to allow for the possibility that evolution of elements of patent law over that time has produced aspects that are neither valuable nor desirable. If people do not exercise a little of their right to "moaning and groaning" then the situation absolutely will not change in their interest, only those of others. If you do not wish to moan, fine, but do not expect everyone else to accept your fatalist position.

Lawyers get paid the big bucks when somebody tries to fight a losing battle.

In any battle one side will be fighting the losing battle, ergo the lawyers always get paid the big bucks. The even get paid when people opt not to fight the battle because then the victims has to acquiesce to whatever is demanded of them by the lawyers.

Re:I hope.. (4, Informative)

Lisias (447563) | more than 2 years ago | (#40727619)

You see, large corporations with deep pockets are easier: all you have to do is to make sure it's cheaper for them to pay than to sue. They *always* go for the cheap solution.

(one of them hired you, didn't? - ok, bad joke. but you asked for it!)

Little enterprises, when facing the financial death, can choose to bite back. They're dead anyway, they can afford to try their luck on a trial. It appears that 50 on every 75 ones that are sued by Uniloc choose that path.

Uniloc has sued 73 companies over violating its patent. 25 of those companies have settled according to Uniloc. [7]
Uniloc sued Microsoft in 2003 for violating its patent relating to technology designed to deter software piracy. In 2006, US District Judge William Smith ruled in favour of Microsoft, but an appeals court overturned his decision, saying there was a "genuine issue of material fact" and that he should not have ruled on the case without hearing from a jury.[8] On April 8, 2009 a Rhode Island jury found Microsoft had violated the patent and told Microsoft to pay Uniloc $388 million in damages.[9] After this success, Uniloc filed new patent infringement suits against Sony America, McAfee, Activision, Quark, Borland Softward and Aspyr Media.[10]

The decision against Microsoft was subsequently overturned on September 29, 2009 when Judge Smith "vacated" the jury's verdict and ruled in favour of Microsoft again, saying the jury "lacked a grasp of the issues before it and reached a finding without a legally sufficient basis".[11] Uniloc appealed the judge's decision, alleging bias and in 2011 the guilty verdict was reinstated against Microsoft. The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit said that instead of using the usual "25 per cent rule", the damage awards for infringement would need to be recalculated.[12]

On July 20, 2012, Uniloc filed a lawsuit against Mojang, citing the Minecraft Pocket Edition, incorrectly called "Mindcraft" within the lawsuit documents, as an infringement upon patents that give Uniloc exclusive rights to license checks on Android cellular phones.[13] The same lawsuit was also filed against Electronic Arts, citing Bejewelled2 as an infringement upon their patents on Android devices.[14]

Source [wikipedia.org]

Re:I hope.. (5, Interesting)

Genda (560240) | more than 2 years ago | (#40727705)

I can't even begin to tell how many ways this comment is a brain fart, but here are some of the high points;

1. Get your facts straight, the oldest U.S. patent is from 1790, but that only because of the age of the U.S. central government. The oldest patent in North America goes back to 1641 and there are Greek writings of registered disclosure of invention going back to about 500 B.C., so yes, patents have been here for a wee bit.

2. Nobody said get rid of patents. At least in this culture, the original purpose of patents was to spur invention by protecting an inventors rights to his own creation for some fair period of time, allowing to benefit from his creativity and productivity. These laws were instrumental to the explosion of ideas and technologies that made the United States an industrial and economic force in the 19th century.

3. Since then, the patent has been hijacked to build ever larger and higher fortifications from which to control greater bodies of IP, and the free flow of ideas and invention. Existing patent law is antithetical to its original purpose and is becoming an increasing impediment to invention, innovation and technological advance.

4. Therefore, when extremely bright, articulate and educated people discuss the dilemmas facing society and speculate on possible solutions that address the needs and wants of corporate America vs. the needs and wants of the human race, you might want to refrain from painting everyone with the idiot brush. The only one who actually ends up looking stupid is the guy holding the brush.

5. Microsoft paying the patent trolls with what amounts to folding money for Bill Gates, functions out of simple expedience, its easier feeding the trolls than spending ten times as much on the court costs. The trolls only ask for what they know they can get way with... think of mosquitoes.

6. Minecraft may or may not have a superb chance of wining their case, the point here is that they will not be bullied or threatened by a blood sucking parasite, and I for one hope the troll get's it head stomp.

I don't know if you get any of this, it may be beyond you. There is a time when the right thing transcends the easy thing, I applaud the makers of Minecraft for doing the right thing, and I would love to see permanent changes written to the body of patent law to remove the growing flood of idiot patents plaguing society.

Re:I hope.. (1)

samkass (174571) | more than 2 years ago | (#40727803)

2. This isn't quite right. The primary purpose of patents is to encourage the publication of inventions and sharing of ideas. Without them, the profit motive would encourage trade secrets and hoarding of information and techniques. Say what you will about patents, obviousness, and longevity of protections, but they have succeeded brilliantly at getting everyone publishing everything in extensive detail.

Re:I hope.. (5, Insightful)

StillAnonymous (595680) | more than 2 years ago | (#40727941)

I disagree due to the fact that people can reverse engineer almost anything, making most trade secrets useless. If someone figures out your trade secret, you're hooped, that's all. If you have a patent though, even if someone else doesn't know about it and comes up with their implementation on their own, you still get to sue them. The patent lottery continues.

Have you read a recent patent? It's a joke. Deliberately unreadably-lawyeresque writing style, extremely vague so that they can sue anybody who implements anything even remotely similar (ie. patenting an idea, which is something you're specifically NOT supposed to be able to do), and becoming frequently more and more obvious within the realm the cover. Slip your patent in, then sue anybody who becomes profitable using a similar idea in a product. If you're lucky, they'll setting for millions and you won't even have to go to court.

Fuck this broken system. It's been gamed to death by filthy, parasitic scum. I seriously hope these patent trolls get crushed hard. I doubt it though. The system is so bought off and corrupt, real justice is as rare as rocking-horse shit.

Re:I hope.. (2)

Lisias (447563) | more than 2 years ago | (#40728195)

I disagree due to the fact that people can reverse engineer almost anything, making most trade secrets useless.

And I disagree again due the fact that I can hack any hardware I own, but I can be (theoretically) prosecuted if I do reverse engineering on a software.

The patent trolling is even more evil than you paint, I can be prosecuted both ways.

Re:I hope.. (2)

Riceballsan (816702) | more than 2 years ago | (#40727961)

Right, they now we have a huge library of ideas, some of them to vague to make anything without using, yet all of them are in place indefinently and requesting rediculous amounts of money. Having information out there that no one can actually use, is a bit like a universal health care system that is automatically void if you get sick in any way. Yes we have the information... we just aren't allowed to use it.

Re:I hope.. (1)

Pf0tzenpfritz (1402005) | more than 2 years ago | (#40727791)

Sticks and stones have been existing for even longer. Whether you like it or not! So let sticks and stones decide!

Re:I hope.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40727897)

What a bunch of idiots on slashdot. Whether you like it or not, patents have been around for over a couple hundred years.

Please show me what software patent, the subject of discourse here, was filed even 100 years ago, let alone 200? Yes, physical patents have been around for a good bit of time, and if software patents were treated in the same fashion this wouldn't even be a fucking debate.

Re:I hope.. (1)

bky1701 (979071) | more than 2 years ago | (#40728111)

"What a bunch of idiots on slashdot. Whether you like it or not, patents have been around for over a couple hundred years."

I can think of at least two other systems of claiming things as property when they obviously were not that existed for hundreds of years. Then again, were you alive about 200 or 500 years ago, why do I suspect you'd be for those, too.

Re:I hope.. (3, Funny)

Megane (129182) | more than 2 years ago | (#40727937)

And if that doesn't work, he can build a house and stay in it until sunrise.

Re:I hope.. (1)

SeaFox (739806) | more than 2 years ago | (#40728049)

He pounds the troll into the ground then sues them for damages, defamation and costs.

That will require an iron pickaxe and plenty of pork chops for energy, unless he wants to spend all year swinging his fists and barely making a dent.

Let's see them ... (5, Funny)

Spacejock (727523) | more than 2 years ago | (#40727269)

... dig their way out of this one.

Sorry, but it had to be said.

Re:Let's see them ... (2, Funny)

Grayhand (2610049) | more than 2 years ago | (#40727849)

... dig their way out of this one. Sorry, but it had to be said.

With any luck the judge will award them with virtual coal. Lots of that in Minecraft.

I'm torn (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40727271)

Patent trolls and Minecraft both suck. Who should I root for?

Re:I'm torn (0)

meerling (1487879) | more than 2 years ago | (#40727367)

Minecraft. At least there are a lot of people that like Minecraft. Trolls... Nobody likes trolls.

Re:I'm torn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40727923)

IDK about that, my sister had a bunch of trolls growing up back in the 90s, so i guess SHE liked trolls. After all, look at these things! https://www.google.com/search?q=troll+doll [google.com]

Re:I'm torn (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40727493)

How about your fucking death fucktarded nigger?

Signed,
The Republican Party

Captcha - enslaved

Re:I'm torn (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40727645)

Eat shit and die, you cocksmoking dickcheese.

Signed,
Your Whore of a Mother

Fuck Patent Law in America (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40727275)

Enough of this crap. Patent and copyright trolling needs to end now!

Re:Fuck Patent Law in America (2)

jones_supa (887896) | more than 2 years ago | (#40728045)

I agree, it's high time to start reworking this ridiculous system.

Watch out Blizzard you're next (5, Funny)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | more than 2 years ago | (#40727279)


...applications for use on cellular phones and/or tablet devices that require communication with a server to perform a license check to prevent the unauthorized use of said application...

Sometimes Battle.net 2.0 is all about logging on to a server to play a singleplayer or LAN game.

Software patents are so dumb. Just because some idiot patents something obvious doesn't mean the rest of us should not be able to do the obvious thing. What if someone patented walking in a straight line? The rest of society would be relegated to drinking heavily, or inventing silly walks.

Re:Watch out Blizzard you're next (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40727309)

No need to invent silly walks, you could get them from the ministry of silly walks.

Re:Watch out Blizzard you're next (1)

Githaron (2462596) | more than 2 years ago | (#40727639)

I thought the Ministries were named the opposite of what they do.

Re:Watch out Blizzard you're next (2)

JThundley (631154) | more than 2 years ago | (#40727345)

Since when can you play a LAN game on Battle.net 2.0?

Re:Watch out Blizzard you're next (2)

ch0knuti (994541) | more than 2 years ago | (#40727707)

Starcraft? Dosen't say lan game I think it means any mobile application that needs to log in. While Blizzard's games are not celluar phone or tablet based they do have an auction house app which would be infringing this. What suprises me most is how something like this was ever awarded. Isn't their an 'obvious' clause that invalidates patents? IMNAL

Re:Watch out Blizzard you're next (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40727381)

Software patents are so dumb. Just because some idiot patents something obvious doesn't mean the rest of us should not be able to do the obvious thing.

Blame the patent office, not patents in general. "Inventing" something obvious shouldn't be patenteable, be it software related or not.

What if someone patented walking in a straight line? The rest of society would be relegated to drinking heavily, or inventing silly walks.

You're a genius! You could then patent and license the silly walks and get rich. Now you only have to find a way to make Americans actually walk instead of drive everywhere.

Re:Watch out Blizzard you're next (1)

Genda (560240) | more than 2 years ago | (#40727723)

Sorry... prior art... see the Larch

Re:Watch out Blizzard you're next (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40728071)

From what I heard, patent office is desperately overworked. The number of applications is huge and number of workers is low. You would have to raise number of workers or lower number of applications before you can blame them for not being the gods. Of course, raising workers would require much bigger budget which is a no go. That would be the most idiotic thing to do. There is no reason to have the most expensive patent office on top of the most expensive education and health care.

The other option is to make number of patent applications smaller. Everybody wants patent on everything because of the way laws are structured and because of the way courts work. Make sound laws and there will be less patents.

Anyway, the patent office it not the only culprit. It was court who made software patents legal, not patent office. It is the crushing cost of lawsuit that makes bad patents so dangerous, not only the fact that they exists. Bad patent in cheaper system - you fight it. Bad patent in expensive system - fight would destroy you so you give up.

Blaming patent office is the just the same as blaming developers for project failure after management lied to customer, cut estimates and removed key people from the project just before the release. They are easy target, but they had no chance.

Re:Watch out Blizzard you're next (2)

arth1 (260657) | more than 2 years ago | (#40727577)

What if someone patented walking in a straight line? The rest of society would be relegated to drinking heavily, or inventing silly walks.

Whatever gave you the idea that patent trolls were against people using their patent? They really want as many as possible to use it, and feel safe in using it. Then they can sue all the big pockets out of the blue. "Damages" (which they haven't had) is far more lucrative than negotiated royalties.

Re:Watch out Blizzard you're next (1)

xyzzyman (811669) | more than 2 years ago | (#40727605)

Fortunately I live on a spherical planet, so I have no need to walk in straight lines. Plus I have flat feet and a bad knee so I couldn't walk a "perfect" straight line if I wanted to.

Re:Watch out Blizzard you're next (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40728225)

Just a matter of phrasing: "A method of stabilising motion along a linear constraint via application of negative feedback processes."

Not just Minecraft (5, Informative)

ildon (413912) | more than 2 years ago | (#40727299)

They're also suing Square Enix, EA, and Gameloft (basically everyone).

http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/365540/20120721/minecraft-notch-mojang-lawsuit-patent-troll-software.htm [ibtimes.com]

Re:Not just Minecraft (3, Interesting)

Ouchie (1386333) | more than 2 years ago | (#40727427)

Is it possible to use Class Action for defense?

It seems that some of their defendants could pound them into powder single handed but some of the smaller ones like Minecraft might benefit by pooling resources.

Re:Not just Minecraft (5, Insightful)

ArchieBunker (132337) | more than 2 years ago | (#40727473)

Honestly it would be cheaper to just put a hit on the guy doing all the lawsuits.

Re:Not just Minecraft (2)

Lisias (447563) | more than 2 years ago | (#40727633)

I'm currently unemployed.

Where I apply for the job? =P

Re:Not just Minecraft (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40727741)

The silk road.

An acute understanding of preserving anonymity is required for this line of work. Assassins are paid handsomely but their work is extremely dangerous.

Also, ask yourself if you can cope morally with such an occupation long term. I know people with unethical occupations who were attracted by the high pay but later came to regret their choice for the toll such work takes on their souls.

Re:Not just Minecraft (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40728057)

Maybe he's not going to make it his occupation. Maybe it will be just... a one off job.

Re:Not just Minecraft (2)

6ULDV8 (226100) | more than 2 years ago | (#40728175)

No worry, he's unemployed. His CV will never make it past HR.

Re:Not just Minecraft (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#40728213)

I know you're joking, but one way to make certain the tolls learn...

Re:Not just Minecraft (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#40728219)

Wow. Trolls, even.

Re:Not just Minecraft (5, Funny)

Ronin441 (89631) | more than 2 years ago | (#40727737)

But in the case where they're suing many different people, it might not be cheaper for any one party to pay for the hit.

What we need is a way to crowdfund assassination of patent trolls.

Hitstarter.

Re:Not just Minecraft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40727753)

But in the case where they're suing many different people, it might not be cheaper for any one party to pay for the hit.

What we need is a way to crowdfund assassination of patent trolls.

Hitstarter.

That's probably patented.

Re:Not just Minecraft (1)

Genda (560240) | more than 2 years ago | (#40727747)

I'm think its time for game players everywhere to create inflammatory content of the officers of these patent trolling companies performing unnatural acts with the religious leaders of radical Muslim states. Provide addresses, place of employment, and a lot of derogatory uses of the prophet's name and likeness. Stir up a real hornets nest and then toss them into their respective yards. Play a game called "Spin the Fatwa". Let's invite these pigs to a luau as the guests of honor.

Re:Not just Minecraft (1)

bky1701 (979071) | more than 2 years ago | (#40728081)

Seems like they would have been better off just suing over Minecraft. Suing major multinational corporations has a much higher chance to get your entire case thrown out.

Then again, patent trolls are useless idiotic shells of humans. News at 11.

Damn (1)

Anrego (830717) | more than 2 years ago | (#40727303)

It's shitty that it happened, but it's awesome that they finally went after someone who has the metric ass-tonne of money and principles to not just pay them their extortion money.

I hope Notch gives it to them good.

I kinda wish there was a way to donate directly to this cause (beyond buying the game / recommending it to others .. which I've already done)..

Re:Damn (5, Funny)

Ouchie (1386333) | more than 2 years ago | (#40727437)

I bought two more copies of Minecraft just to fund their defense.

Re:Damn (4, Interesting)

Riceballsan (816702) | more than 2 years ago | (#40727979)

It isn't just that notch has a metric ass-tonne of money, compared to most of the targets he has sued, notch is probably one of the poorest. The real reason notch can fight, is that he isn't a public company. Most publicly traded companies would rather settle and get rid of the guy, than gamble in court, pay legal fees that outweigh the costs of the settlement and still have a risk of a stupid judge thinking it is a legitimate patent.

Re:Damn (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 2 years ago | (#40728075)

I hope Notch gives it to them good.

Then he can upgrade his nym to 'Shaft'.

Authentication servers? (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 2 years ago | (#40727343)

I wonder if this troll has gone after Novell, Sun, IBM and DEC, or if they focus on small companies without armies of lawyers.

Re:Authentication servers? (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#40727375)

Miraculously, the patent was only filed in 2005. DEC was long gone by then. But apparently they're suing some other game companies too.

Re:Authentication servers? (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 2 years ago | (#40727457)

Three of those companies have gone but their patents must date back to the 1980s at the very latest and somebody owns them for sure. I would love to see Uniloc take on IBM over the Rational license server.

Re:Authentication servers? (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#40727719)

I concur. It must rain blood.

Uniloc? (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 2 years ago | (#40727413)

Are you sure it's not Unisys? I figured it was only a matter of time before they sued over the Minecraft Calculator [youtube.com] .

The lawyers win! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40727417)

A couple hundred dollar filing fee. Cha Ching!!

Even more proof you shouldn't use copy protection (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40727419)

the game infringes a patent it holds on copy protection software.

Even more proof you shouldn't use copy protection software.

Minetest FTW! (3, Informative)

VanessaE (970834) | more than 2 years ago | (#40727451)

And this, folks is why I support open source solutions whenever possible, in this case, Minetest. It is similar to Minecraft (generally based on the same idea), but 100% open source. Coded by Perttu "celeron55" Ahola et.al. For more details, visit the main website: http://minetest.net/ [minetest.net]

(Disclaimer: I am a mod programmer and texture pack developer for the game)

Re:Minetest FTW! (-1, Troll)

VanessaE (970834) | more than 2 years ago | (#40727467)

To clarify that, I am one of many third-party contributors to the community, not a core developer.

Re:Minetest FTW! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40727501)

Thanks for the shameless self promotion asshole

Open Source is not a guarantee you won't be sued (2)

Firethorn (177587) | more than 2 years ago | (#40727563)

Heck, in some ways it makes it WORSE, because let's say that Notch wasn't such a nice guy and he decided that minetest somehow violated some of his copyright, trademark, or patent. YOU could find yourself named in the suit. In the case of commercial software, the seller of said software generally assumes the risk of such things. Meanwhile, in the case of open source software, companies have been known to sue users. Not particularly successfully, but even retaining a lawyer for such things is expensive, not to mention the time involved.

Honestly enough, it's one thing to be using an open source application as opposed to buying one from Microsoft, HP, or such. Notch? He's a single programmer looking to make a living. Why grudge him that?

Re:Open Source is not a guarantee you won't be sue (1, Offtopic)

VanessaE (970834) | more than 2 years ago | (#40727773)

I'm not a coder for the game at all - I just wrote a few mods and did some textures as an add-on. So obviously, I rather like the game. Not to mention, the game is free, so there's no DRM to sue over, and the primary author doesn't live anywhere near the US, let alone Texas.

Oh, and I am not a resident of Texas either, nor do I sell anything there or I do any kind of business there, deliberately or not, under any label or name having anything whatsoever to do with any block-type sandbox game.

Good luck suing either of us.

As for why grudge Notch? Simple: I don't like Java (in fact I hate it), my choice of game is open source, and Notch made it plainly clear that he's no longer just "making a living" [minecraftforum.net] . I don't need any more than that.

Re:Open Source is not a guarantee you won't be sue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40727917)

Notch? He's a single programmer looking to make a living. Why grudge him that?

No he's not, Mojang has a staff of about a dozen people, and Notch doesn't even do the development on Minecraft anymore.

That said, they might have done their homework a little better, keep in mind this is the same guy who had the balls to stand up to Blizzard over a trademark claim, and ended up basically getting his way in the end.

Re:Minetest FTW! (2, Interesting)

jones_supa (887896) | more than 2 years ago | (#40728115)

A trend which I see these days in Slashdot is aggressive downmodding like here is happening with VanessaE.

I don't know if "Minetest" is any good, but I thought it would be interesting to talk about how introducing an open source implementation would affect the patent situation.

Re:Minetest FTW! (0)

donscarletti (569232) | more than 2 years ago | (#40728119)

It's one thing to make a blatant clone of Minecraft using Notch's ideas and by the looks of things his textures.

It's another thing to tut-tut-tut the guy you're plagiarising. If you're so clever, why don't you invent your own game and give that away for free.

Flexera software might have something to say (1)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 2 years ago | (#40727463)

Why are none of the patents owned by Flexera software cited as prior art?

Unreal Tournament 1999 Prior art (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40727553)

Well I'm pretty sure that Unreal Tournament circa 1999 and many others trump this patent. (Internet Multiplayer game similar to many that were popular at the time).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unreal_Tournament

Incredible that the patent office issues patents for things they must know are already done and out there and popular. WHEN ARE WE GOING TO SEE LIABILITY FOR BAD PATENTS ISSUED?? If the patent office was liable for the bad patents it issues, you can be damn sure they would do their jobs properly.

Re:Unreal Tournament 1999 Prior art (3, Informative)

Sigma 7 (266129) | more than 2 years ago | (#40727611)

Unreal Tournament only used CD-based copy protection, which was removed in a patch. It didn't use a licence key as described in a patent, nor did it use server-side authentication.

It's better to say that Diablo II violated the patent. Although it didn't require contacting a server, it used this system if you wanted to play on Battle.net.

And even better is Ultima Online, which was released in 1997, and was an MMORPG.

Re:Unreal Tournament 1999 Prior art (2)

Genda (560240) | more than 2 years ago | (#40727769)

There you go, a legal filing with an obviously bogus patent (a patent with obvious prior art, that can't stand up under reasonable examination) should disappear the patent, force the one filing the suit to cover all court and legal costs for both sides, and if any harm is done to the business sued, result in triple damages against the filing party.

Call the law T-RAID, T-RAID kills trolls dead!

Give congress a first hand look at the problem. (3, Funny)

D'Sphitz (699604) | more than 2 years ago | (#40727581)

Someone should patent something ridiculous like "A method for indicating support of a proposal by using an input device to record a 'yea' or 'nay' vote." and then file suit against individual members of congress (in Tyler, TX of course). Maybe that would get their attention.

Re:Give congress a first hand look at the problem. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40727771)

Someone should patent something ridiculous like "A method for indicating support of a proposal by using an input device to record a 'yea' or 'nay' vote." and then file suit against individual members of congress (in Tyler, TX of course). Maybe that would get their attention.

That will never get patented, it is way too obvious.

Someone should patent something ridiculous like "A method for indicating support of a proposal by using an input device to record a 'yea' or 'nay' vote over the internet." and then file suit against individual members of congress (in Tyler, TX of course). Maybe that would get their attention.

FTFY.

missing the point entirely (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40727595)

If needed, I will throw piles of money at [lawyers] making sure they don't get a cent.

Completed that for you.

Re:missing the point entirely (2)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 2 years ago | (#40728083)

If needed, I will throw piles of money at [lawyers] making sure they don't get a cent.

Completed that for you.

The lawyers - on one side or another - are the ones who are going to win no matter how the court rules.

Another bad /. analogy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40727655)

Patent trolls are like creepers... they sneak up on you and rain destruction on everything you've built for no good reason except it their nature.

Patent reform... (1)

eWarz (610883) | more than 2 years ago | (#40727671)

A few simple things would solve our patent system: 1) Require that any company SUING someone for patents actually MANUFACTURER the device/program directly themselves (thus eliminating patent/ip holding companies) 2) Require quadruple damages + legal fees if a company holding/suing for patent infringement loses. This will discourage companies such as apple from suing for billions of dollars and will encourage licensing deals. 3) Shorten patent validity times to 5 years. Patents should be the last thing you do during the development process. 4) Companies should be limited to no more than 10 patents a year. This would encourage quality over quantity. While this sounds crazy, companies would be more inclined to not push junk patents through the system. Notice i didn't say to eliminate software patents.

Re:Patent reform... (1)

Legion303 (97901) | more than 2 years ago | (#40727845)

5) Knife fights.

Donations (0)

phorm (591458) | more than 2 years ago | (#40727681)

Mojang should start a defend-against-patent-trolls fund. I'd be willing to donate.

Not a Patent Troll (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40727699)

FWIW, Uniloc is not a patent troll (since it is a patent they developed) - or if they are, so are Microsoft, Apple, IBM etc etc.
What they are doing is defending IP (even though I don't agree with Software Patents) they developed in the '90s (and which they were given a patent for that decade).
They have already won a substatial payout from Microsoft.
( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uniloc )

Re:Not a Patent Troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40727871)

or if they are, so are Microsoft, Apple, IBM etc etc.

They are. This patent is bullshit and this lawsuit is bullshit. Hence, they're a patent troll.

Re:Not a Patent Troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40727933)

What they are doing is defending IP (even though I don't agree with Software Patents) they developed in the '90s (and which they were given a patent for that decade).

Yeah, and it's fucking 2012, patents are supposed to expire.

Re:Not a Patent Troll (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#40728001)

shareware had the same functionality 10 years prior, it was obvious then, its obvious now, fuck them, they contributed nothing and feel entitled to everyone's hard work for ripping off an idea that already existed in software

troll knows troll, this be a troll

Re:Not a Patent Troll (1)

bky1701 (979071) | more than 2 years ago | (#40728093)

So, what have they done since then? Oh, right, lawsuits. That's what we call a patent troll, son. Rambus is no less a patent troll for having a lot of patents and a lot of lawsuits. This company is just as bad.

1. Get patent.
2. Milk industry

And people think I am crazy for being an IP abolitionist.

FWIW you ARE a patent troll (4, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 2 years ago | (#40728153)

And trying to AstroTurf Slashdot as an AC won't convince anyone otherwise.

If you weren't a patent troll you'd contact companies for licensing ahead of time, and not wait for a product to get huge, then sue.

That is the real difference in methodology. Companies with legit patents will go and try to license their patent to everyone, and only sue when people refuse to license but use the technology anyhow. Patent trolls sit quietly and wait for things to become a big success and then sue for "damages" for their patent nobody has ever heard of.

So fuck off son.

Kill it with fire. (1)

Commontwist (2452418) | more than 2 years ago | (#40727717)

I'm waiting for some TV series or movie that use patent trolls as the vector for an evil alien race, who regenerate and can only be killed with fire, seeking to stall human progress.

Has someone already done so yet? Please?

Yey for Notch! (2)

echusarcana (832151) | more than 2 years ago | (#40727757)

Markus Persson once again demonstrates why he's the coolest guy in the software industry.

Over copy protection? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40727767)

I really hope the judge laughs them out of court... Minecraft's copy protection is "Please don't copy our game." There is no actual copy protection used.

The thing with trolls... (2)

Karmashock (2415832) | more than 2 years ago | (#40727831)

They don't need to be right to win. Simply treating them like normal people tends to mean you lose.

You have to treat them like cockroaches. No compromise. No accommodation. No common courtesy. Offer them retreat from your sight or endless harassment.

In regards to minecraft. Love the game. Love voxel gaming especially. I'm enjoying looking at all the new games that use voxels. Castlestory looks good... it's a voxel RTS. And there is starsiege which is a voxel FPS. THere is also a voxel RPG out that escapes me. I love these game. I can't wait until all games make use of voxels. Truly destroyable terrain. Infinitely moddable maps. Voxel MMOs might be interesting as well. Something like planetscape with voxels. Rather then let the developers make all the bases for the players to defend, make cooperative base building be part of the game. That way bases can't be memorized.

Notch should think about it like this... he was targeted because he looked like he was successful. These guys tend to not bother people that are failures. So toast to your success.

What, exactly, are they suing for, again? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40727855)

"the game infringes a patent it holds on copy protection software."
As far as I know, Minecraft does not have _any_ protection. The description of this patent is so incredibly broad that I'm not sure it is even legally defensible, but I guess that also allows it to mean whatever the patent holders want it to mean.

Re:What, exactly, are they suing for, again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40727983)

As far as I know, Minecraft does not have _any_ protection.

It does. If you want to play, it connects to an authentication server to verify your account is valid.

Re:What, exactly, are they suing for, again? (1)

Lisias (447563) | more than 2 years ago | (#40728013)

Minecraft can sell this as a 'mechanism to deliver game content to its righteous owner'.

Whew! (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 2 years ago | (#40728091)

I thought it was going to say they held a patent on digging a hole in the ground.

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