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Gracenote Sues Roxio Over Switch to Free Song Database

michael posted more than 13 years ago | from the if-you-can't-beat-em,-sue-em dept.

Music 356

macsforever2001 writes: "Those l00z3rs at Gracenote are suing Roxio because they switched to freedb from CDDB. I think I will buy Toast 5 just to support them." Gracenote's press release is informative. Apparently their claims include one that switching to freedb is "violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act by offering products that circumvent Gracenote's technological measures to obtain access to an unauthorized derivative of the CDDB copyrighted database."

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Re:Hmm.... (2)

Yarn (75) | more than 13 years ago | (#230284)

The patent process is intended to reward inventors for releasing their information by allowing them to gain reward for the use of their invention.

Gracenotes seems to liscense access to the cddb. The terms seem to be: if you use the cddb, you must only use the cddb. No cost for no-cost software.

This is from memory from when I considered writing a cd player.

Chutzpah (5)

Stormie (708) | more than 13 years ago | (#230292)

The most telling part of that press release was a comment from Dave Marglin, General Counsel for Gracenote: "We spent a great deal of time, energy and money developing the CDDB Music Recognition Service."

I'm sure everyone who ever contributed info to the CDDB prior to the Gracenote buyout will be happy to join with me in offering a hearty "FUCK YOU !! " to Marglin, and everyone else at Gracenote.

hmm... (4)

zonker (1158) | more than 13 years ago | (#230300)

let's sue gracenote for stealing the information that we have all given them to create their db in the first place...


Hollywood of monkeysvsrobots.com [monkeysvsrobots.com]

Re:(picks jaw up off the floor) (2)

ptomblin (1378) | more than 13 years ago | (#230301)

there's never been a public copy of CDDB available to have been somehow copied by the freedb folks

Early versions of xcd or whatever it was called included, in the source tar, a copy of the cddb database, and instructions on how to email in your updates.

Re:Sueing the wrong company (2)

MouseR (3264) | more than 13 years ago | (#230304)

If they believe the database infringes then shouldn't they be suing the freedb.org people?

Suing an open source group generates bad press.

Suing a successful company generates investor interest.

Karma karma karma karma karmeleon: it comes and goes, it comes and goes.

Two-faced. (4)

Howie (4244) | more than 13 years ago | (#230310)

It's our valuable intellectual property that's underlying all this."

valuable intellectual property largely built for free, by volounteers donating their time to enter track listings. Don't you get a warm fuzzy feeling adding to the CDDB?

Re:Two-faced. (5)

Howie (4244) | more than 13 years ago | (#230311)

It was originally designed by Ti Kan, the guy who wrote xmcd - the first CDDB-supporting CD player.

The server software was written by someone called Blue Moon Software (IIRC), and at some stage was at least available-source. You could also download the whole database up to a certain point in time, originally so that you could run a local mirror (it was an entirely volounteer effort).

They became Gracenote about 18 months ago, coinciding with requiring license agreements and branding (Powered by...) from anyone using their database. It was in Slashdot at the time...

More likely against Samba... (1)

Psarchasm (6377) | more than 13 years ago | (#230317)

Much more likely to see a case like this brought against Samba.

What exactly is infringing ? (1)

rpk (9273) | more than 13 years ago | (#230325)

When I upgraded to Toast 5 (which works just fine, by the way, maybe you Windows users should switch to a Mac), I noticed the switch to freedb.org as well.

I think it's pretty clear that unless FreeDB actually copied the data from CDDB, mistakes and all, that Gracenote has no grounds for the data.

Or maybe Gracenote is filing suit because the wire interface for FreeDB is exactly the same as CDDB [freedb.org] , so that all Roxio had to do was change a constant somewhere. CDDB was also trying to foist a new advanced DCOM-only interface to replace the http-based one, but nobody seems to use it. Anyway, I am pretty sure than emulating an interface or protocol is not going be enough for Gracenote to claim damages. If mere emulation is enough to let Gracenote win, it will have a chilling effect on the ability for anybody to independently provide the same service as somebody else. And that's not good for the growth and use of web services.

If the use of cddbp is in fact a problem, I would advise the FreeDB people to implement the interface to their service in terms of SOAP instead.

(picks jaw up off the floor) (5)

ethereal (13958) | more than 13 years ago | (#230335)

So let me get this straight: You seized control of a user-generated database, locked the users out of it, forced them to create their own truly free database, and are now suing any company smart enough to realize that supporting the free alternative is a better long-term solution than being dependent on your lame system? The mind boggles.

And how exactly is freedb a derivative of CDDB? As far as I know everything's been re-entered from scratch into it; there's never been a public copy of CDDB available to have been somehow copied by the freedb folks. I'm not even touching the issue of how CDDB's collection of user-provided track info (contributed under the reasonable assumption that CDDB wouldn't do anything this asinine (Heck, a few years back I couldn't even imagine anything this asinine)) could possibly give them status to sue over the CDDB -- that way lies much teeth grinding and throwing stuff at my coworkers.

On the bright side, I've got an idea who Microsoft can acquire the next time they need to get more arrogance in-house :)

Caution: contents may be quarrelsome and meticulous!

class action? (2)

Kris Warkentin (15136) | more than 13 years ago | (#230339)

I don't know from American Law but don't y'all have something called a class action lawsuit where a lot of people get together to go after someone? Perhaps there would be a case to be made for all the contributors to Gracenotes database getting a share of the profits. If nothing else, at least try to get each individual's work removed from the db and Gracenote is left with nothing...

*sing* I'm a karma whore and I'm okay....
I work all night and I post all day

New lawsuit (3)

webslacker (15723) | more than 13 years ago | (#230340)

Intel sues AMD for circumventing their ability to make money from selling x86 processors. Microsoft sues Linus T. for circumventing their licensing agreements designed to protect their OS sales... Marvel sues Penny Arcade for providing free comics that take away from their sales... Ford sues feet for providing free transportation... Phillips sues the sun for providing free light and disrupting their lightbulb sales... Et cetera Et cetera Etc...

Re:Sueing the wrong company (2)

mkaiser (20342) | more than 13 years ago | (#230355)

They cannot sue freedb.org, because it's a German project which means that US patent laws do NOT apply.

Re:Looking at the claims.. (2)

mkaiser (20342) | more than 13 years ago | (#230356)

It appears that most of Gracenote's bitching is about the "unauthorized derivative" status of FreeDB. They're claiming that FreeDB is using data from their servers, and acting as though FreeDB were still somehow reliant on the CDDB system. Is this in any way true? I like FreeDB, but I can see Gracenote's point if there's actually a link between FreeDB and the CDDB database.

freedb.org started with the last archives of the former free cddb that've been floating aroung. As the archives have been distributed with a GPL'ed program (xmcd) chances are that those archives are under the GPL, too ;-)
With this initial database, freedb.org did never rip (or even tries to) cddb's database, freedb.org got all their entries from usersubmissions.

Re:ms (1)

IsleOfView (23825) | more than 13 years ago | (#230357)

Kind of like Microsoft and Linux. MS is a monopoly, until you put Linux in the picture.

Not really...there's lots of other OS' and manufacturers (Sun, IBM, Be, QNX, BSD, etc). All with varying degrees of acceptance on the desktop.


Dirty trick (2)

Kernel Monkey (28336) | more than 13 years ago | (#230360)

I think Gracenote's sueing Roxio to give their public offering a bad start. Whether their lawsuit has merit or not doesn't matter; Roxio will forever be tainted as "that company that had legal problems," and will be worse off in the end.

Re:About Gracenote (2)

Znork (31774) | more than 13 years ago | (#230363)

No, it wouldnt really be _worth_ a patent because you've obviously already thought about the idea.

The fact that you dont have the faintest clue how to go about it, or that any way you might think up would require the processing power of the entire world doesnt really prevent you from patenting the idea of 'algorithmically analyzing waveforms to determine greatest match with currently available recordings' tho. Because the USPTO would probably grant it anyway and then you can just lean back and sue when someone else does the actual work.

Re:Chutzpah (4)

Platinum Dragon (34829) | more than 13 years ago | (#230369)

Consider it done [24.42.105.140] .

Godwin's Law (4)

rufus t firefly (35399) | more than 13 years ago | (#230372)

> This is a brilliant (dumbshit) move on Gracenote's part. Why, with all the attention
> they've paid to fairness and equitable behavior in the past (screwing CDDB users), you
> can be sure that this is a case of Gracenote spending time trying to uphold a piece of
> legislation that is necessary and supports freedom, equality, and ethical behavior (for
> Nazis).

I invoke Godwin's law. You lose.

---

Re:Roxio's response (3)

weave (48069) | more than 13 years ago | (#230381)

"Gracenote has apparently made this claim in a weak and ineffective attempt to damage Roxio's reputation."

True, it is pretty weak and ineffective attempt to damange their reputation Roxio does a far better job [theregister.co.uk] damaging their own reputation...

everything is a circumvention device (2)

Hard_Code (49548) | more than 13 years ago | (#230382)

I just don't get...if it is illegal to circumvent any arbitrary "anti-circumvention" device that somebody doesn't want you to circumvent...why the hell even have the extra law anyway? Why don't they have a law that says it is illegal to break locks, or remove a taped piece of hair from a dresser drawer. It's illegal to view this post because I ROT26ed it. You might as well rule that it is illegal to do illegal things.

It's all about the money (2)

Amoeba (55277) | more than 13 years ago | (#230391)

Roxio and Gracenote had a licensing agreement where Gracenote would provide a service for Roxio's software. Service allows software to access/use database info. Agreement expires. Roxio chooses a different service provider. Gracenote throws tantrum and points LawyerGoons at target with the most cash.

Apparently, being a Gracenote customer/licensee is just like being in the Mafia... except without all the pasta. You dare leave the family and they 'sic a bloodsucker on you.

Now, what exactly is Gracenote claiming is their IP? The database data itself or the method of access? Roxio ain't got none of the former (neither does freedb.org IIRC) and the latter is what is technically known as a database string query.. which is apparently so Super-Elite-Mondo-Sekret! that we'll all contract herpes and a stutter if we dare trespass upon Gracenote's Divine Right to Screw Everyone.

Good ole corporate greed (1)

cbull (63145) | more than 13 years ago | (#230396)

I love it. A company takes a database that they didn't create, resells access to it, and then complain when someone tries to create a competing product. Can we sue them for taking info that is provided by the users and reselling it without our permission?

In related YAPS (Yet Another Patent Suit) News (5)

joq (63625) | more than 13 years ago | (#230397)


In late breaking news today Sesame Street's Count ha filed a class action patent lawsuit against the world claiming that people from all walks of life are infringing on his works.

"While counting to one two, I teach kids how to learn to make it in life, yet these kids turned around and made programs which have made more money than I have. What happened to due process?" stated the Count.

So what's at stake here? Its simple numbers via ways of 0's and 1's combined constructed together form marvelous works earning companies millions. The Count is claiming patents on the numbers one and zero, which would give him sole ownership of the internet as we know it.

Employees of IBM, Sun, Microsoft, and other heavy hitters have released brief statements claiming to have never watched Sesame Street.

Stay Tuned

Re:Is a lawsuit possible? (1)

BorgDrone (64343) | more than 13 years ago | (#230398)

With lots of new CD's being produced, how long before gracenote's database will go out of date because less and less people are submitting entries.
---

Suck it! (1)

binner (68996) | more than 13 years ago | (#230405)

God Bless Corporate America!

-Ben

PS: Anyone else tired of this shit?

Welcome to capitalism (2)

_marshall (71584) | more than 13 years ago | (#230410)

With all the current FUD that's being passed around from MS saying the GPL could never be a viable business alternative.. this is a pretty ironic turn of events.

All capitalist economies are based on one sole fact: competition. Capitalism simply doesn't work without it. In essence, it's like Gracenote is saying , "Hey, no fair! They offer the same thing we do, but for free! We can't make money off that! We have to protect our [lack of] intellectual property!".
Looks like the GPL has got corporate america shaking in it's boots =).

-------------------

Getting stuff for free (2)

ckd (72611) | more than 13 years ago | (#230415)

Dave Marglin, general counsel for Berkeley, Calif.-based Gracenote. "Roxio is trying to get for free what other people pay for."

Hey Dave, how much did you pay for those track entries again?

Re:Getting stuff for free (3)

ckd (72611) | more than 13 years ago | (#230417)

So while they didn't pay for the information, they did pay for the infrastructure.

Which (as you note) doesn't make this lawsuit any more legitimate; they're complaining that Roxio isn't using their infrastructure.

And they did develop the database for free; it was originally a GPLed server app that you could download (along with the complete database for use in local mirrors). Escient/Gracenote then bought it and closed it up.

As much as I dislike Amazon's one-click patent and so on, I must admit that they've done much better things with IMDB than Gracenote has with CDDB.

Come to think of it, doesn't this give us some reason to donate funds to freedb?

Yes indeed. There doesn't seem to be any donation info on freedb.org that I can find, though.

Re:Getting stuff for free (4)

TommyW (75753) | more than 13 years ago | (#230419)

No, he's right... Sort of.

What they really mean is "Roxio is trying to get for free what other companies are paying *us* for (and we got for free in the first place)."

--
Too stupid to live.

Re:ms (1)

bjorky (78181) | more than 13 years ago | (#230420)

"valueable intellectual property"...
psst..

don't tell them it can be obtained by going into a cd store... shhhhh.


Or at CDNow [cdnow.com] , CDUniverse [cduniverse.com] , Cheap CDs [cheapcds.com] , Buy.com [buy.com] , Amazon.com [amazon.com] .....


-----

"their" database (2)

Ender Ryan (79406) | more than 13 years ago | (#230421)

Besides, "their" database doesn't belong to them, they didn't even make it. WE made it, myself and everyone else who contributed to that POS. Jesus, who the fuck couldn't design a simple cddb type program and then let everyone else do the real work. The work they did isn't worth shit, the real work was done by us.

Grrrrr... stupi.. mothe.. fuc... sons of bit....!!!

Sometimes I think violence is the BEST answer to problems ; ) (disclaimer: I'm joking, please don't take that seriously)

I think a class action suit is in order for tricking thousands of users into freely contributing to what was supposedly a FREE database. Any lawyers care to comment on this?

Re:Sueing the wrong company (1)

rikki_t (81004) | more than 13 years ago | (#230423)

Exactly - it would seem to me that, unless Gracenote could prove that freedb.org is violating their copyright, this lawsuit hasn't a chance to pass. So I would bet that a large portion of the suit will be trying to do exactly that - attack freedb.org as copyright infringers. They couldn't sue freedb.org directly, but they can sue someone else, and make the issue whether freedb.org infringed. It gets the case in a US court, where it is relevant, but lets a US court rule on a non-US company.

Bastards.

Roxio sucks anyhow. (1)

dave-fu (86011) | more than 13 years ago | (#230426)

Quality control? What's that? [theregister.co.uk]
Only thing of theirs that I installed on W2K Pro was the Windows Media Player CD burner add-on; what a nightmare that was. Didn't lose my system like some people did (nice to know they'll refund you the cost of the faulty software, right?), but it sure as shit made it unstable.
Can't speak to how (well) their half-assed software works (corrupts?) *nix installations, but let's just say that they and leprosy are, for all intents and purposes, adjacent in my prayers.

Re:About Gracenote (2)

azzy (86427) | more than 13 years ago | (#230429)

Enhance your Windows Experience .. hmmm.. now how would you do this? Any takers?
--
Azrael - The Angel of Death
posted with: Mozilla (0.9+)

IANAL (But I play one on TV) (2)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 13 years ago | (#230430)

Fuck Gracenote.

File a motion for summary dismissal of the case. The original database is GPLed and it's very explicit what you can do under that license. This is nothing more than legal harassment by a company with a very thin business model.

I wonder if I can sue Gracenote to have the songs I entered into their database removed, since I did so under the understanding that the database was GPLed, so any additions to the database after I made my entries are a derivative work....

Re:Two-faced. (1)

CvD (94050) | more than 13 years ago | (#230436)

When and why did CDDB become GraceNote? If I remember correctly, it was a free service first, right? Did some company buy it up?

Cheers...

---

Hmm.... (3)

Chanc_Gorkon (94133) | more than 13 years ago | (#230437)

You know, this really irks me. They (Gracenote) posted the whole spec and everything you need to write a app that would read and write from the CDDB. I even had downloaded intending to code a player in VB that used it. Now, if that was patented technology, then why were he specs on the web for all to see??? Makes no sense to me! Also, they make it sound like the paid hundreds of monkeys to put cd's in their drives and type in thousands of entries! Those monkeys were us! We did all of the work, all they did was write the DB code and documented how to write a client. Did gracenote ever release their own product using cddb?? Not the last time I checked!

Re:Freedb .. cddb .. etc (3)

marnanel (98063) | more than 13 years ago | (#230439)

The key difference, though, is that not only do Gracenote and freedb work similarly, but also they rely on the same fundamental algorithm [freedb.org] for taking the contents table on the CD and generating the 64-bit unique disc IDs which are used as keys into their respective databases. Granted, the algorithm isn't exactly rocket science, but it looks like it was Gracenote who came up with it first.

(Now, if Gracenote had only patented the algorithm... :) )


my plan [gospelcom.net]

Re:Freedb .. cddb .. etc (3)

marnanel (98063) | more than 13 years ago | (#230440)

Oops-- and, as someone pointed out [slashdot.org] , it looks like they did. Why this should mean they want to go after Roxio about it, though, is beyond me.
my plan [gospelcom.net]

Roxio's response (4)

marnanel (98063) | more than 13 years ago | (#230441)

Roxio has posted a (very brief) response [roxio.com] to the lawsuit.

M


my plan [gospelcom.net]

Re:ms (2)

BradleyUffner (103496) | more than 13 years ago | (#230446)

Monopolys are not illegal, only the abuse of power as a monopoly. Although sueing customers who choose to use a compeeting product seems like abuse to me. A monopoly in and of it's self is just fine.
=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\= \=\=\=\

Re:hmm... (4)

BradleyUffner (103496) | more than 13 years ago | (#230448)

"let's sue gracenote for stealing the information that we have all given them to create their db in the first place... "
Ummm.. you GAVE them that information, they can do whatever they want with it. Sure it's mean and nasty, but that's the way to world works. We should have thought about it before giving it away.
=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\ =\

Sueing the wrong company (5)

BradleyUffner (103496) | more than 13 years ago | (#230449)

In the version of its software released since the licensing agreement expired, Roxio directs users to an alternative music recognition database operated by an open-source group called Freedb.org, which Gracenote says illegally uses its database technology.
If they believe the database infringes then shouldn't they be suing the freedb.org people?


=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\=\ =\

Whats next (2)

atopian (106699) | more than 13 years ago | (#230452)

A month or so from now: RIAA Sues gracenote for cddb use. They are using RIAA song names and artists in their database.. SO why not? Geez.. Its a sue everyone world these days.. I want my peice!

Re:Hmm.... (2)

[Xorian] (112258) | more than 13 years ago | (#230455)

Now, if that was patented technology, then why were he specs on the web for all to see???

I think a better question would be "Did they apply for their patents before the spec was published?" I honestly didn't pay enough attention in the early days of CDDB, but I'd guess that the publication of the spec pre-dates their patents. IANAL, but as patent law has been explained to me, you shouldn't be able to patent something that's been previously published. In fact, I know my company sometimes will publish papers to prevent our competitors from getting a patent on a piece of technology.

Patented material is by definition published [uspto.gov] , it just can't be used without the permission of the patent holder.

ms (5)

psin psycle (118560) | more than 13 years ago | (#230465)

"There are 1,800 commercial licensees of ours who pay to access our database, including AOL, RealNetworks and MusicMatch," said Dave Marglin, general counsel for Berkeley, Calif.-based Gracenote. "Roxio is trying to get for free what other people pay for. It's our valuable intellectual property that's underlying all this."

If they win, I bet M$ tries to use this argument against linux..

Re:please tell me this is a joke (1)

{X-Frog} (122801) | more than 13 years ago | (#230467)

Maybe McdoDonald can sue me when I enter in a Mcdonald and decide to go in a Burger King after...? uh?

Re:ms (2)

{X-Frog} (122801) | more than 13 years ago | (#230468)

yes, but MS is supposely the only one that should run an OS on a i386 system.... uh? ;P

CDDB was initially GPL (5)

yerricde (125198) | more than 13 years ago | (#230471)

That said, it seems to me that this case hinges on CDDB proving that freedb have simply copied their database.

The CDDB database was originally released under the GNU General Public License. The FreeDB people originally seeded FreeDB with a snapshot of CDDB from back when it was under the GPL. Because there is no language in the GPL allowing an author to revoke it unilaterally, FreeDB is in the clear copyright-wise.

Of course, nothing you see on Slashdot is legal advice.

please tell me this is a joke (1)

evilphish (128599) | more than 13 years ago | (#230477)

Sounds to me that gracenote is upset that somebody is using a competeing product. IF they do happen to go threw with this case and if gracenote wins. It should be a slap in the face to lawmakers to realy look closely at the DMCA. if it can be used to stiffle competition by either legal means, or threat of legal action something needs to change.

Re:IANAL (1)

iainl (136759) | more than 13 years ago | (#230484)

Surely even if they do find duplicated errors they then have to prove that freedb.org didn't get them from the same user who entered the CDDB entry? I know if I had any locally stored entries that I'd fired at the CDDB I'd now send them to freedb as well.

Re:ms (2)

session (139321) | more than 13 years ago | (#230487)

"valueable intellectual property"...

psst.. don't tell them it can be obtained by going into a cd store... shhhhh.

-t

Looking at the claims.. (2)

TellarHK (159748) | more than 13 years ago | (#230493)

It appears that most of Gracenote's bitching is about the "unauthorized derivative" status of FreeDB. They're claiming that FreeDB is using data from their servers, and acting as though FreeDB were still somehow reliant on the CDDB system. Is this in any way true? I like FreeDB, but I can see Gracenote's point if there's actually a link between FreeDB and the CDDB database.

Another major part of this issue is the claim of breach of contract. That one may be valid, depending on what kind of contract Roxio had signed. I agree completely that this is a really crappy situation, but Roxio might have a little more leverage than we think.

Thank the Gods (1)

broody (171983) | more than 13 years ago | (#230498)

Roxio believes that this lawsuit is baseless and without merit and will take whatever actions are necessary to vigorously defend itself. Damn, Roxio sounds like a typical Slashdot poster.
Even if it is only in it for the profit, it is nice to Roxio sticking it CDDB. I have hated those bastards after they closed off their list of songs. I know that I submitted some of them believing that they would be available to other people who typed them in as well. If anyone from Gracenote is listening, go to hell.

Re:Is a lawsuit possible? (1)

LuserOnFire (175383) | more than 13 years ago | (#230499)

I don't even own a machine that can use Roxio's product, but I'm buying a copy just to support their use of freedb.org.

Yeah, we really need to support Roxio and freedb.org on this one. I have never used a Roxio product, so I can't speak directly about them(but I have heard only good things from other people). I have been using freedb.org since I heard about it. The site is really great, and very open. This information should stay free to everyone.

No copyrigh on DBs (2)

nagora (177841) | more than 13 years ago | (#230500)

At least in the UK. I'm pretty sure you can't copyright factual infomation even in the US. Unless there is some creative input (and who wants that in their list of CD tracks?) then the content of the database is no one's property - intellectual or otherwise.

TWW

Re:Windows2000 & Easy CD 5 (1)

DamienMcKenna (181101) | more than 13 years ago | (#230505)

No problems here, and running on Win2k. I haven't installed their latest 5.01s update though, but it has been fine with both 5.0 and 5.01.

Sue everyone! (2)

DamienMcKenna (181101) | more than 13 years ago | (#230506)

Why not just sue everyone?

If a local newspaper covers the same article that a national newspaper covers, then they are violating their rights to cover a story.

Corel, the KOffice team, etc, are restricting Microsoft's office-suite market, therefore Microsoft should sue them.

My car doesn't last 1000 years without needing to be refueled and serviced, so I should sue the manufacturer for selling defective parts.

We should sue the weather news people for bringing bad weather upon us.

And most of all...

We should sue our parents for bringing us into this godforsaken place.

But Bill G. Coined "Piracy" (1)

3seas (184403) | more than 13 years ago | (#230507)

Follow the leader?

Back in 1975 Bill Gates yelled "Piracy" and look where that got him.
TIME Magizine even had a cover story on it "The Great Software Flap".

Those who had paid for Bill's BASIC became distrustfull and those who
hadn't, rationalized what they had done as they got their employers to
buy it.

I always thought in doing so, Bill smashed a natural evolution of software
development directions. But as Mother Nature and Father Physics are, for
every action there is an opposite and equal reaction.

And that's what this is all about. Like someone above said of 2001 being
the suing year.

Problem is, things are not what they were back then, yelling foul doesn't
work very well anymore. Even Bill Knows this, otherwise he would be suing
many for using his business method.

How many other cases even outside of CD databases, are going on in this
spirit? Anyone got an actual count?

Consumer Choice!!!!!!!
.


3 S.E.A.S - Virtual Interaction Configuration (VIC) - VISION OF VISIONS!

Free is forbidden? (5)

shokk (187512) | more than 13 years ago | (#230510)

So the idea in business is now that a company cannot find a better way to do business because you might put someone out of work? That's crazy. Following that logic, if someone had been paying for telephone directories, they would not be allowed to use a free yellow pages CD.

Sorry, Gracenote, but everyone was using CDDB for free for the longest time and now that people want to streamline their business by not having to deal with your payments, you get upset? I really cannot find a shred of pity for Gracenote. I hope they evaporate like so many other Internet service companies that wanted to be paid for not really providing a service.

This whole invocation of the DMCA is garbage! If you look at anything in the world, one thing is a circumvention of another. Is the horse and buggy industry supposed to receive compensation from car manufacturers or taxi drivers because they have circumvented their technology to find a better way of doing things? Is Bantam books going to sue the Gutenburg Project because their free database of books impacts sales of their classics even in the tiniest of ways?

Do they not realise that the free flow of information is what made the Internet the awesome tool that it is and that by trying to take that away they are negatively impacting themselves in the long run?

prior releases (adaptec) (1)

revin (191651) | more than 13 years ago | (#230514)

from the article: In the version of its software released since the licensing agreement expired, Roxio directs users to an alternative music recognition database
On their site http://www.roxio.com/en/support/ they announce that also adaptec easy cd recorder 4 will be updatet to use freebd.

Who's IP is it anyway? (4)

stinkydog (191778) | more than 13 years ago | (#230515)

According to Gracenote, "It's our valuable intellectual property that's underlying all this." I beg to differ.

It is my (and your) intellectual property that underlies their database. I have inputted a couple of discs into CDDB over the years.

I propose a class action lawsuit to reclaim our IP. I reccomend we sue for five dollars per entry and whatevers left after the sharks get their cut we donate to charity. What do you think.

If we win the database, we could give it to Freedb.org [freedb.org] , free and clear.

Re:About Gracenote (4)

nooekanami (192720) | more than 13 years ago | (#230518)

i swear, if one more company promises to enhance my: 1. musical experience 2. shopping experience 3. dining experience I am gonna get me a gun and enhance their salvation experience.

"to enhance the music listening experience" (1)

GungaDan (195739) | more than 13 years ago | (#230521)

That what I said when they asked me how that fresh QP could possibly be for personal use.

Re:Freedb .. cddb .. etc (1)

billcopc (196330) | more than 13 years ago | (#230522)

Who the hell needs help implementing CDDB client access ? Almost every damned CD player developed in the last 3 years has had some form of CDDB query functionality. Roxio probably didn't deal with Gracenote at all on this thing, else we would have heard about it much sooner. It seems like one of Gracenote's execs just happened to leech CD Creator off the newsgroups and found out it was using FreeDB at that point.

Freedb .. cddb .. etc (5)

onion2k (203094) | more than 13 years ago | (#230525)

The article, and supporting material, implies that gracenote are simply sueing because Roxio are using a free competitor. Thats not entirely the case. Freedb have in effect written their own version of cddb with the same interfaces, and Roxio are using their existing technology to access freedb. As Roxio presumably developed the interface to cddb with the of Gracenote and then switched, Gracenote's effort has not been rewarded.

(This is as I understand it. I might be wrong.)

Re:Sueing the wrong company (1)

milo_Gwalthny (203233) | more than 13 years ago | (#230526)

Now *this* is the really interesting question. Why did Gracenote sue Roxio rather than freedb.org? (Of course, the lawsuit is about more than the theft of IP and the DMCA, but that other stuff is pretty dry.)

Maybe Gracenote decided the best way to stop a free software initiative was to sue its 'customers'. After all, what would sueing freedb accomplish? Freedb would go away and somebody else would step in, use the GPLd source and data and recreate it on a server in (Chooseone (Finland Norway Denmark Holland)). I am not going to say that open source interprets lawsuits as damage, etc. because that would be trite, but this is an interesting development alongside MS's verbal attacks. If this lawsuit succeeds on these grounds, there will definitely be a chill on further use of free software in for-profit corporations.

Re:Sueing the wrong company (1)

milo_Gwalthny (203233) | more than 13 years ago | (#230527)

Of course, I didn't think there was any way the MPAA could win against 2600 either. I just wrote emails to all of my congresspeople about the DMCA. This seems like one of those laws with plenty of unintended consequences.

Re:IANAL (2)

Phillip2 (203612) | more than 13 years ago | (#230528)

"This would only be possible if it is demonstrated that a substantial number of errors have been duplicated (ie. spelling errors). "

I don't think that even this would suffice. The data in CDDB is submitted freely by people from outside. Gracenote would have to prove that the data has been taken directly from their database and entered into freedb. How could they distinguish between this for instance and data which had been submitted to both freedb and Gracenote?

"I wonder what grounds they have for making this a copyright case"

I believe that under US law the database itself can be considered intellectual property even when the data in the database is not. As Gracenote is unlikely to have signed copyright waivers from the original authors of their data (that is the people who submitted the data) this must be what they are pursing.

I think that this is the key to the whole thing. Gracenote are pursuing this against Roxie because the latter are in the US. I don't know where freedb is, but the mirrors are definately not all in the US. Under other legal systems I don't think that Gracenote would have a leg to stand on against freedb, even though if they have stolen data from Gracenote they would be the logical people against which to pursue a claim.

Phil

Real Smart.... (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 13 years ago | (#230529)

....Let's tangle with Adaptec (whom I believe Roxio is a subsidiary of), what are they, only the 5th or 6th largest PC house in the world....these guys are going to loose their collective asses.....

Jaysyn

Re:About Gracenote (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 13 years ago | (#230530)

I wish I hadn't wasted my mod points a little while ago...oh well

+1 funny

Jaysyn

Re:IANAL (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 13 years ago | (#230531)

I never agreed to anything....I put the CD in to rip, a little box came up that said "This CD is not in the database. Would you like to add it now" (or something to that effect). And I put the tracks in manually. No agreement, no terms, no nothing....

Jaysyn

Just like the phonebook... (5)

helloRockview (205000) | more than 13 years ago | (#230534)

Classic cases in copyright law - you can't copyright the contents of the phonebook. The phonebook is just a collection of publicly available names and numbers. There is nothing that prevents other companies from publishing alternative phonebooks in markets where Ma' Bell already publishes (and we see this quite often, esp. in big cities).

Same theory here: Gracenote is selling a *Service* - you pay them and they manage a list of publicly available information for you. If you'd prefer, you can spend your own time and money putting together your own version of CDDB and no one can stop you. Gracenote does not actually own the Album and track titles that it dishes out. It only owns the service that it provides to companies who pay for it.

In this particular case, someone else has entered the market and has decided to do the work of gathering the same info that Gracenote gathers. Much in the same way that (here in NYC) Yellowbook gathers telephone info to publish their own phonebook, even though Verizon publishes one that looks very, very similar. Much in the way Oxford gathers their information to publish a dictionary that looks very similar to Webster's.

Sorry Gracenote. You're just bitter.

Re:IANAL (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 13 years ago | (#230536)

That said, it seems to me that this case hinges on CDDB proving that freedb have simply copied their database.

And also whether CDDB actually owned the data in the first place. Wasn't this created by the users?

Re:About Gracenote (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 13 years ago | (#230537)

Thats a good one. Can I pinch it for my sig?

About Gracenote (2)

91degrees (207121) | more than 13 years ago | (#230538)

"Gracenote is a content delivery platform offering music recognition technology that enables relevant information and services to enhance the music listening experience"

"Enhance the music listening experience"!? I think that they deserve to have all their IP revoked immediately for using a phrase like that.

Windows2000 & Easy CD 5 (2)

Troodon (213660) | more than 13 years ago | (#230543)

You might want to hold off on a purchase of Roxio's Easy CD 5 if you're using Windows2000, at least while they iron out some rather serious problems with specific hardware set ups. From TheRegister: [theregister.co.uk]
Stop! Don't install Easy CD Creator 5 til you read this story
Easy CD Creator saga continues [theregister.co.uk]
Roxio replies over Easy CD Creator problems [theregister.co.uk]

Re:ms (1)

Arethan (223197) | more than 13 years ago | (#230549)

By the way, couldn't CDDB be considered a monopoloy. It's the only DB out there for music cd track/title retrieval. At least, until you put freedb into the picture.

Kind of like Microsoft and Linux. MS is a monopoly, until you put Linux in the picture.

So wouldn't CDDB be confinded to the same laws of using their monopoly to snuff the competition?

So couldn't MS do the same thing? (3)

Arethan (223197) | more than 13 years ago | (#230550)

Sue everyone using Linux with WinE because it circumvents their technological measures to make Windows applications only run on the Windows line of OSes??

This is getting really lame. 2001 is turning out to be the sue-fest year. I'm already sick of it. DMCA needs to be destroyed as unconstitutional and redone by technologically inclined people.

Having lawyers make laws for technology use is like having my grandmother write her own operating system. Sure, with enough time and effort it will happen, but would it really be any good?

Re:Question. (3)

kyz (225372) | more than 13 years ago | (#230554)

What exactly have they patented?

US Patent 6,061,680 [164.195.100.11] .

As I understand it (IANAPL), they've patented not only the server-end approximate matching algorithm (which I think is fair enough to patent), but they've patented the way a 'CD ID' is generated by the CD client and sent to the server in order for it to do the search.

This could be replaced with the client simply sending the CD track lengths to the server, rather than combining them at the client end using a patented ID generation algorithm.

Gracenote are fuckwits (4)

kyz (225372) | more than 13 years ago | (#230555)

They can't claim that the database freedb uses is theirs, it was GPLed, and freedb's database is built only with GPLed entries.

They're damn right about their patents, though. I think freedb should offer a client query method that isn't patented, in addition to the patented method. Therefore, those client authors who don't want Gracenote on their backs can be relieved. Eventually, I'd like to see freedb drop all patented-cddb-request support from their server. We don't actually need it, and it only serves to give gracenote a stick to beat us with.

Re:Hmm.... (2)

imadork (226897) | more than 13 years ago | (#230556)

They (Gracenote) posted the whole spec and everything you need to write a app that would read and write from the CDDB. I even had downloaded intending to code a player in VB that used it. Now, if that was patented technology, then why were he specs on the web for all to see???

Actually, Patents are meant to be public knowledge -- that's the whole point. Once a patent is granted, Patent holders gain a temporary monopoly on their invention, and the public gains the knowledge of how the invention works AND the ability to use it freely once the patent expires (assuming you don't violate other valid patents in the process.)
I'm also pretty sure that GraceNote licenses the patent free to developers that have less than a certain number of copies of their app out there. (A point that I'm too lazy to confirm right now...)

Of course, the patent system may very well be broken with respect to software patents, but that's a different issue.

Re:Roxio's response (4)

hillct (230132) | more than 13 years ago | (#230557)

The response is vary short and vary concise. The important item is:
"Roxio believes this unfounded claim was made by Gracenote in response to our selection of their competition as our preferred provider," said Bill Growney, Director of Legal Affairs at Roxio, Inc. "Gracenote has apparently made this claim in a weak and ineffective attempt to damage Roxio's reputation."
The validity of these statements is bolstered by the comments of GraceNote's general counsel, who says:
"We hope to engage in productive discussions with Roxio to review and quickly resolve the matter in the best interest of everyone involved. However, our intellectual property is at stake," said Dave Marglin, General Counsel for Gracenote.
These comments seem to suggest that GraceNote is looking for binding arbitration and a closed settlement - presumably because their case wouldn't hold up in court - rather than to drag Roxio through a long drawn out legal battle, designed to exhaust the Roxio's corporate resources. Sometimes it's more effective to simply damage a company's reputation by announcing that there was a closed settlement and that the complainant is 'vary satisfied' with the result. Legal strategy is an amazing thing...

--CTH

--

So, how can I help? (3)

Uninvited Guest (237316) | more than 13 years ago | (#230559)

Okay, buying and using Roxio's software and freedb.org is a start. What about a legal defense fund to help Roxio beat Gracenote? I would give a modest sum to help win this case, especially if it was tax-deductible through some organization such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation [eff.org] . If some illustrious reader would post that information here, I would appreciate it.

Sometimes I worry that I'll develop Alzheimer's disease, but no one will notice.

"Fixing" the user contributed database... (2)

the_rev_matt (239420) | more than 13 years ago | (#230563)

I've been toying with the idea of mass updating all my CDs to gracenote with all incorrect information, any thoughts on this strategy?

Thank God they invoked the DMCA! (3)

Bonker (243350) | more than 13 years ago | (#230572)

This is a brilliant (dumbshit) move on Gracenote's part. Why, with all the attention they've paid to fairness and equitable behavior in the past (screwing CDDB users), you can be sure that this is a case of Gracenote spending time trying to uphold a piece of legislation that is necessary and supports freedom, equality, and ethical behavior (for Nazis).

I hope that the judge looks long and hard at the DMCA to see how it supports Gracenote's claims(unconstitutional), and tells Roxio what they can go do with themselves (Win a big fat cash settlement for legal fees) when he announces his decision at the outcome of the trial (Gracenote is a bunch of theiving pricks).

Re:Freedb .. cddb .. etc (2)

sporktoast (246027) | more than 13 years ago | (#230574)


Freedb have in effect written their own version of cddb with the same interfaces, and Roxio are using their existing technology to access freedb. As Roxio presumably developed the interface to cddb with the of Gracenote and then switched, Gracenote's effort has not been rewarded.
I would argue that the method of access is really just a de-facto standard API. As others have pointed out, the database and interfaces to it were originally declared to be open, and only after-the-fact have monopolistic controls (copyright and patent assertions) been brought to bear in defense of its new ostensible proprietary status.

Re:Freedb .. cddb .. etc (1)

scsirob (246572) | more than 13 years ago | (#230575)

Hang on.. Similar reasoning would go for Wine, or any other product using reverse engineering or re-implementation of an API.

Wine offers the same Windows API as Windows itself. So if someone buys a piece of software designed for Windows, and runs it under Wine, in your view should Microsoft should be able to sue that customer?

Sssshtt... Redmond might be listening in...

hrm... (1)

SGDarkKnight (253157) | more than 13 years ago | (#230578)

so what excatly has Roxio done? The article says "breach of contract, patent infringement, trademark infringement and other violations of Federal law. The lawsuit claims that Roxio is infringing on Gracenote's patents by illegally inducing the use of Gracenote's industry acclaimed patented music recognition inventions" I checked out both web sites but couldn't find any other info.... Are they saying the Roxio is using the Gracenote's software or similar software? ARG! Ah well, if anyone has any other links about this, plz post!

Is a lawsuit possible? (2)

eXtro (258933) | more than 13 years ago | (#230589)

In a lot of peoples opinion Gracenote acted in poor faith. They took contributions from the public in the form of the actual data in their database and then closed many of those same users off from it. I know that data that I entered in their database is now locked off from me because I don't use a player or ripper thats been blessed (read as: I don't use a ripper or player that has payed cash to them) by Gracenote. When I entered the data I was under the impression that the database was free for all.

I don't even own a machine that can use Roxio's product, but I'm buying a copy just to support their use of freedb.org.

Re:About Gracenote (1)

Pogue Mahone (265053) | more than 13 years ago | (#230592)

Quite. And claiming "music recognition technology"? Does that mean if I play it some music, it will recognise it by cross-reference with this wonderful database and come up with the artist, title, etc? Just how tuneful does my whistled rendition of "Like A Virgin" have to be before it works?[*]

No - all it does is look up the CD ident. Nothing magic. Patented? Ptooey!

* -- If someone could come up with real music-recognition software, that'd be worth a patent.

Question. (1)

KenRH (265139) | more than 13 years ago | (#230593)

What exactly have they patented?

An API for acessing the database? How can that be patenable?

Re:Hmm.... (2)

bay43270 (267213) | more than 13 years ago | (#230595)

Now, if that was patented technology, then why were he specs on the web for all to see??? That is the whole point of getting a patent! Companies get patents so they don't have to worry about people taking what is theirs. Part of the patent process, after all, is submiting your application (with a full description of what you have), after which everyone gets to see it. If you want it to stay secret you DONT put a patent on it! The real problem here, is that interfaces should not be patentable (although I don't know that they even tried to patent the interface). If all the freedb is using is the interface, then I don't see what the problem is.
-----
if (System.getProperty("java.vendor").equals("Microso ft ")

I missed a few days of 'free turned evil inc 101' (1)

lordvolt2k (301516) | more than 13 years ago | (#230596)

Um, I Knew this happened a while back, but how exactly did the CDDB get taken over by the money hungry dolts at Gracenote? Did they sell out? Did they drink from the same kool-aid vat as rambus?

I know its a little off topic, but can someone give me a url or info?

Thanks!!!!!

Blurb am I stupid or does this smell funny (2)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | more than 13 years ago | (#230604)

They are being sued for:
"...breach of contract, patent infringement, trademark infringement and other violations of Federal law"

Breach of contract? Maybe, if they were daft enaugh to sign a contract that required them to use no other database than CDDB to get access to CDDB in the first place then yes they are in breach of contract if they switch whilst still bound to the contract with Gracenote.

Tademark enfringement? How does FreeDB infringe upon Gracenotes CDDB? Is FreeDB also a trademark of Gracenote's? Im lost on this one. Explain it to me I'm just a little brain struggling to understand.

Patent infringement? Little brain still not understand!! Big guru explain please!!! If I set up a data base of say DVD's that does much the same as CDDB and FreeDB do for CD's, lets call it DVDDB. A database of actors, directors, filmcrew, plot, Maltin rating and so on of all sorts of movies. Gracenote can sue me out of buisness because they have patented the act of setting up a database of digital entertainment media?

I was under the impression that I can only patent a method to implement a DVD/CD Database. That patent does not not give me the right to sue anyone who also sets up a database unless that person uses the same method to do it as I have patented. And does it without permission. If that was the case whoever was the first to invent a can opener should have the market cornered because everybody else who invented a can opener was infringing on his patent. You can only patent a method to open cans not the act of opening a can.

Did little brain misunderstand?? Please be kind. Do not hurt little brains feelings I am emotionally sensiteve.

Gracenote Patent (1)

CargoCult (313610) | more than 13 years ago | (#230608)

"The electronic entry and lookup of CD music titles are belong to us"

US Patently Absurd Office #232392

No Merit (3)

krugdm (322700) | more than 13 years ago | (#230616)

Except that Gracenote is suing Roxio and not freedb. The only way this case would have any merit is if Roxio created freedb themselves using information obtained from Gracenote. All Roxio is guilty of is having the common sense to jump off the Gracenote train and to jump of the better (and cheaper) services that freedb offers.

Re:Sueing the wrong company (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 13 years ago | (#230630)

That's not true. If it's a recognized German patent then it's still infringement. The real question is how to patent a database application...

IANAL (4)

The Ultimate Badass (450974) | more than 13 years ago | (#230632)

That said, it seems to me that this case hinges on CDDB proving that freedb have simply copied their database. This would only be possible if it is demonstrated that a substantial number of errors have been duplicated (ie. spelling errors). If they cannot prove this, how can they substantiate the claim that freedb is an unauthoized derivative?

Furthermore, I wonder what grounds they have for making this a copyright case, since their entire business centres around redistributing the titles of the copyrighted work of other artists, making their entire database a derivative of other people's work. Does anybody know if they have deals with record companies that enable them to operate this service? The article makes no mention of this.

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