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Patent Suit Leads To 500,000 Annoyed Software Users

Unknown Lamer posted about 8 months ago | from the vp8-soon-becomes-popular dept.

Patents 180

ciaran_o_riordan writes "A rare glimpse at the human harm of a software patent lawsuit: company receives 500,000 calls complaining about video quality after a video call system was forced to change to avoid a patent. That's a lot of people having a bad day. We don't usually hear these details because the court documents get ordered sealed and the lawyers only say what the companys' communication strategists allow. However, for VirnetX v. Apple, Jeff Lease decided to go the hearings, take notes, and give them to a journalist. While most coverage is focussing on the fines involved, doubling or halving Apple's fine would have a much smaller impact on your day than the removal of a feature from some software you like. Instead of letting the software patents debate be reduced to calls for sympathy for big companies getting fined, what other evidence is out there, like this story, for harm caused directly to software users?"

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180 comments

Harm? (3, Insightful)

plover (150551) | about 8 months ago | (#44742019)

Inconvenience, perhaps. Inability to fill the retina display with enough pixels, maybe. But "harm"? I think some perspective is askew here.

DUPE DUPE DUPE - DUPE of URL! (0, Offtopic)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 8 months ago | (#44742089)

Re:DUPE DUPE DUPE - DUPE of URL! (3, Insightful)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about 8 months ago | (#44742211)

it's not a dupe, it's a continuation of an evolving story. to clarify the summary, the company that is mentioned in the first sentence is Apple, and the video calling system is Facetime. Also, I didn't know you could call someone to complain? I guess it's nice to vent, but I usually just go to the genius bar.

Re:DUPE DUPE DUPE - DUPE of URL! (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44742549)

it's not a dupe, it's a continuation of an evolving story. to clarify the summary, the company that is mentioned in the first sentence is Apple, and the video calling system is Facetime. Also, I didn't know you could call someone to complain? I geuss it's nice to vent, but I usually just go to the genius bar.

Re:Harm? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44742301)

Why don't they just pay the thing?

Re:Harm? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44742431)

Exactly all of this could of been avoided if they just licence eachother their ip. The patents arn't the problem it's the people (well corporation that actully has more rights then people) that we give them to.

Re:Harm? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44742535)

Patents are the problem, as usual. This whole situation could easily be solved by getting rid of patents.

Re:Harm? (1)

able1234au (995975) | about 8 months ago | (#44742653)

Lack of software patents would hurt Apple more than help them. In this case they just weren't prepared to pay the price. All this may be part of the negotiations to get the price down. It all comes down to money in the end.

Re:Harm? (1)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | about 8 months ago | (#44742699)

I suspect that, like most people on planet earth, what's good for Apple wasn't foremost on his mind.

Software patents are bad, just like most other patents. But, like genocide, there are those who may benefit.

Re:Harm? (3, Insightful)

immaterial (1520413) | about 8 months ago | (#44742679)

Apparently VirnetX wants over $700 million to allow Apple to connect users directly (article isn't clear if that's in addition to the $328 million they already won). At the $2.4 million/month Apple is currently paying to relay calls, that costs more than 24 years worth of relaying. The patents will have expired long before that.

Re:Harm? (1)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about 8 months ago | (#44742441)

Inconvenience, perhaps. Inability to fill the retina display with enough pixels, maybe. But "harm"? I think some perspective is askew here.

to be fair, the greater inconvenience is in added latency because now it needs to go through a relay point. but I agree with you pretty much re:harm

Re:Harm? (2, Insightful)

Gr8Apes (679165) | about 8 months ago | (#44742819)

There's more harm here than mere latency. Now all communications go through known relays. The NSA must be dancing in the streets. Before they'd actually have to tap the actual IPs.

Re: Harm? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44742865)

Anyone else notice the VirnetX patents in question were filed while the company was under contract to the US Government [blogspot.com] ?

Re: Harm? (2)

Gr8Apes (679165) | about 8 months ago | (#44742977)

No, but skimming through them, these are remarkably clear and short claims. Also, the '135 was filed in 2000, and I'm 99% sure that ToR already existed and did some of this then, if not all of it. VPNs and mechanisms to create links on the fly existed prior to this patent. So I'm surprised that the patent was found to be valid over Chat and video protocols, more careful reading is required.

Re:Harm? (3, Informative)

Dunbal (464142) | about 8 months ago | (#44742475)

You're getting less than you paid for. Just like if you go to a restaurant and order filet mignon, and you're told you have to have chuck steak instead. For the same price. Your attitude is "you're still eating steak, why are you complaining?". Of course they are harmed.

Re:Harm? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44742515)

That's true. But imagine if the rockets that will take the species to the stars have patented software in them? On the way to Andromeda, suddenly you get a cease and desist that you can't 3D print He3 anymore.

Did you ever think of that? Hm, did you?

Re:Harm? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44743001)

Inconvenience, perhaps. Inability to fill the retina display with enough pixels, maybe. But "harm"? I think some perspective is askew here.

I think "harm" here might be more of the legal sense; as in any form of damage, which does include inconvienence.

AlphaA

you arent alone (1)

Xicor (2738029) | about 8 months ago | (#44742023)

noone is alone in hating software patents except the patent trolls. consumers and even software developers at large companies all hate them, thats why software patents are being eliminated country by country.

Re:you arent alone (2)

M. Baranczak (726671) | about 8 months ago | (#44742343)

noone is alone in hating software patents except the patent trolls.

The patent trolls are alone in hating software patents?

My give-a-darn meter is reading negative GADs (5, Insightful)

symbolset (646467) | about 8 months ago | (#44742035)

I am not going to cry for Apple over software patents. Software patents are a crime against humanity but they are in that fight using them to commit their own atrocities. There is nobody to root for in this fight. A pox on both their houses. Nice /. banner ad though.

Re:My give-a-darn meter is reading negative GADs (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44742051)

Hence why I won't use anything made by the three biggest offenders, Apple, Microsoft and Samsung. Why Slashdot slobs the knob of them, I have no idea.

Re:My give-a-darn meter is reading negative GADs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44742173)

I dont know you we're modded down. You are exactly right.

Re:My give-a-darn meter is reading negative GADs (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44742279)

What company has Samsung sued where the company hasn't sue them first?

Re:My give-a-darn meter is reading negative GADs (2)

arbiter1 (1204146) | about 8 months ago | (#44742505)

Yea i haven't heard of any case of Samsung suing company X. Cept when it was Company X suing Samsung first. Samsung knows suing someone is bad PR, Hence why yes they have software patents but they are best kept for when other said company comes lookin' for easy $$$.

Re:My give-a-darn meter is reading negative GADs (2, Interesting)

Ferzerp (83619) | about 8 months ago | (#44742091)

I think it's the hubris of Apple hurting the "software users" more than the patent holder. Instead of working something out, notifying its users, or something else, it just makes their app work poorly now.

Perhaps they can be told they are holding it wrong causing connectivity issues....

Re:My give-a-darn meter is reading negative GADs (3, Funny)

Fluffeh (1273756) | about 8 months ago | (#44742513)

Instead of working something out, notifying its users, or something else, it just makes their app work poorly now.

*cough* maps *cough*

*sips coffee*

Re:My give-a-darn meter is reading negative GADs (3, Insightful)

Gr8Apes (679165) | about 8 months ago | (#44742953)

Maps? Google didn't improve or do squat with the iOS map app until Apple kicked them off as a standard app. When Apple's maps came out, bad as they were, all of a sudden Google's map app came back improved and updated, with features that were only released on Android? Coincidence? Don't believe so..

Re:My give-a-darn meter is reading negative GADs (4, Insightful)

Technician (215283) | about 8 months ago | (#44742159)

Apple has run a Walled garden protected by patents for a long time. Maybe it is time for them to simply switch to an open standard supported by many parties such as SIP. If apple adopted open standards, they could interface with Jitsi users, Linksys/Supra users, Grandstream users, Asterisk PBX users, etc.

The reason they don't do this is because you are not locked to a carrier and can use ViaTalk, Ekiga, IPPI,Ring Central, or other providers. Same reason they don't offer unlocked phones.

Re:My give-a-darn meter is reading negative GADs (4, Informative)

Trolan (42526) | about 8 months ago | (#44742393)

Same reason they don't offer unlocked phones.

Hmm, I guess that "Buying from Apple" "Unlocked iPhones" section on their store support (http://store.apple.com/us/questions/iphone) was put there by hackers.

It's the carriers that want the lock. Apple couldn't care less, long as they see the revenue for the device from someone.

In any case, the problem here is in regards to the handshake, to handle NAT or other end-to-end traversal issues. Pretty much every protocol that wants to be peer-to-peer in a world with NAT has that issue, especially SIP (ergo, STUN. Nevermind how many SIP devices have no clue about IPv6, which is going to be another problem here soon). The VirnetX patent apparently covers some of how to handle that, and since their implementation apparently tripped over something in the claims, now FaceTime has to skip the direct attempts, and go via a relay.

Re:My give-a-darn meter is reading negative GADs (4, Interesting)

rahvin112 (446269) | about 8 months ago | (#44742453)

You are VERY wrong about them not caring. Apple is adamant about having the carriers involved because overall it nets them far more revenue. Subsidized phone sales through the carriers allows Apple to charge probably 20% more for their product than they could on the open market. Carrier subsidized phones hide the price from consumers.

This is one of the reasons iPhones don't sell as well outside the US. In many other countries phones are sold directly to the consumer, as a result the consumer is well aware of the price they are paying. The net result is they purchase phones less often and price shop more competitively. In the US market the carrier negotiates a price (actually Apple dictates the price and a minimum volume of purchases) the true cost of the purchase is concealed from the customer. That is GOOD for apple. Their phones are very overpriced and have margins the rest of the manufacturers can't sustain.

Make no mistake, if US regulators tried to impose some of the same rules that European nations have imposed (in particular forcing carriers to unbundle the phone subsidy) Apple would actively campaign for the carriers. Hiding the true price is the only reason their sales are as high as they are in the US.

Re:My give-a-darn meter is reading negative GADs (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 8 months ago | (#44742585)

Apple wants lock-in as well. FaceTime is Apple only, as is iMessage, and both are just proprietary extensions on open standards (SIP and XMPP?). If the didn't care about lock-in, they would have published the specification (like they actually promised to do in the case of FaceTime).

Re: My give-a-darn meter is reading negative GADs (1)

statusbar (314703) | about 8 months ago | (#44742695)

I still don't understand why apple is exposed to patent lawsuit when their system is based on proprietary extensions to standards.... The existing standards can be used to implement FaceTime point to point - so are these patents really encompassing NAT traversal of UDP??

Re:My give-a-darn meter is reading negative GADs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44742881)

I found something interesting. Telstra have an undisclosed agreement with Apple and network lock iPhones once you register your phone with Apple, regardless to whether you purchased an 'unlocked' handset or not. The process happens automatically.

Re:My give-a-darn meter is reading negative GADs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44742321)

Might want to have that meter checked. You gave enough of a damn to post, so it's certainly not at negative levels.

Re:My give-a-darn meter is reading negative GADs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44742419)

I really liked the ad placement. You are supposed to say something about the topic.

Re:My give-a-darn meter is reading negative GADs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44742547)

All that means is that he cared about giving his opinion about this matter, not that he actually cares about the subject.

Re:My give-a-darn meter is reading negative GADs (1)

pwizard2 (920421) | about 8 months ago | (#44742387)

Apple is flush with cash. Why not just buy out the VirnetX (never heard of them until now) patents or just buy the whole company?

Re:My give-a-darn meter is reading negative GADs (1)

niftydude (1745144) | about 8 months ago | (#44742507)

Alternatively, why don't they implement video conferencing software that uses open sip standards, rather than the walled-garden iUser only hell that is facetime. If they did that, the patent problem would certainly go away.

Seriously, what is the point of communications software that only talks to devices from one brand???

Re:My give-a-darn meter is reading negative GADs (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 8 months ago | (#44742589)

... because ten you wouldn't be forced to buy Apple hardware.

Console voice chat (1)

tepples (727027) | about 8 months ago | (#44742711)

Seriously, what is the point of communications software that only talks to devices from one brand???

I was under the impression that Wii Speak could talk only to other Wii Speak users, Xbox Live voice chat could talk only to other Xbox 360 users, and PS3 voice chat could talk only to other PS3 users. Is this true? And I know two wrongs don't make a right, but still, how is it any better or worse than the proprietary nature of FaceTime?

Re:Console voice chat (1)

niftydude (1745144) | about 8 months ago | (#44742855)

I was under the impression that Wii Speak could talk only to other Wii Speak users, Xbox Live voice chat could talk only to other Xbox 360 users, and PS3 voice chat could talk only to other PS3 users. Is this true? And I know two wrongs don't make a right, but still, how is it any better or worse than the proprietary nature of FaceTime?

I don't game - so I don't know if that is true - do you mean people playing the same multiplayer game on different consoles can't talk to each other? Seems lame.

I guess I consider FaceTime worse because the iPhone is first and foremost a communications device, whilst those others are gaming devices first, and communications are just a nice to have add-on. So IMHO it is that little bit more disgusting that the video calling solution for iPhone can't talk to non-Apple devices.

Re:My give-a-darn meter is reading negative GADs (1)

b4dc0d3r (1268512) | about 8 months ago | (#44742789)

ask VirnetX if they want to be an Apple subsidiary, or rather milk their cash cow without having production costs. I'm sure they will say no thanks to being bought, which is the answer to your question.

stock has soared, stockholders would likely object to any buyout now.

Lern2financial

Re:My give-a-darn meter is reading negative GADs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44742421)

I believe the point was that users, aka the general public, gets the short end of the stick due to software patents. But, hey, it is slashdot so I suppose you may not care about users or people in general, or at least not enough to see past your hatred of Apple.

Re:My give-a-darn meter is reading negative GADs (1)

arbiter1 (1204146) | about 8 months ago | (#44742635)

Well Apple has pulled same BS over last few years, Apple just gettin raped at their own game. A taste of your own medicine is always bitter.

Re:My give-a-darn meter is reading negative GADs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44742799)

This means very little to Apple; it means much more to its users. Given that this is small, small potatoes compared with other patent suits Apple's been faced with it, there is no chance at all that this will make Apple change its stance on patents. Instead it's just another example of patents making things worse for people. All you're doing is cheering on shitty patents because you're willing to cut off your nose to spite your face.

Re:My give-a-darn meter is reading negative GADs (1)

symbolset (646467) | about 8 months ago | (#44742759)

It isn't the general public that is getting hosed here. It is people who fund one of the planet's worst abusers of patents. Not being cared about in this matter is therefore part of the Apple Experience they signed up for.

Dup, dup, dup, Dup of Earl (1, Insightful)

Jayfar (630313) | about 8 months ago | (#44742049)

Re:Dup, dup, dup, Dup of Earl (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44742195)

Why not rename this site \dup?

"backslashdup"? I don't get it.

Re:Dup, dup, dup, Dup of Earl (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about 8 months ago | (#44742359)

Seriously, it's like there's an echo in here. The other summary was just posted yesterday and had the same 500,000 number cited. Why it's getting posted again is beyond me.

Aww (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44742055)

Couldn't happen to a nicer company.

why should apple steal someone's work? (1, Insightful)

alen (225700) | about 8 months ago | (#44742067)

i'm a huge fan of their products but i'll be the first one to say they borrow and copy like Microsoft did in the 80's and 90's
same with facetime, the court decided that apple used someone's work without paying. most likely they even had email evidence saying to engineer facetime this way and face the consequences later.
the tech is real software that a government contractor developed many years ago and that people took with them to a new company

if the work is so easy and obvious apple should have no problem coding a peer to peer video solution in such a way as to invent a different way to do it. with all their money it should be no big deal to hire a few engineers to do it

Re:why should apple steal someone's work? (1, Flamebait)

Noir Angellus (2740421) | about 8 months ago | (#44742099)

Stealing other people's work is all Apple know how to do. Not one of their big "innovations", from the iPod to the iPhone and iPad are anything but knock offs of other people's work right down to stolen styling.

Re:why should apple steal someone's work? (1)

dugancent (2616577) | about 8 months ago | (#44742275)

There hasn't been true innovation in phones or computers for a decade, at least, from any company.

Re:why should apple steal someone's work? (1)

hedwards (940851) | about 8 months ago | (#44742371)

I don't know about that AMD seems to be doing a fair amount of innovating on their own. I can't recall anybody talking about APUs before AMD threw their money at making it happen. AMD was also the party that brought 64-bit computing to the masses. Sure, DEC and Sun both had 64-bit offerings before AMD did it, but none of them were useful for the home user.

Re:why should apple steal someone's work? (1)

arbiter1 (1204146) | about 8 months ago | (#44742553)

Well APU is just a gpu on a cpu process. Which look at dates Intel did it ~8 months before AMD did. But with that said IF there are emails from facetime engineer's saying they know this violates someones patent and they still went ahead this, as said in apple vs samsung case last year if one side Knowingly infringed, damages could be multiplied a bit.

Re:why should apple steal someone's work? (1)

hedwards (940851) | about 8 months ago | (#44742769)

Perhaps, but you're ignoring the architecture. Intel beat AMD to 64-bit as well, but AMD had the first implementation that people wanted in that it could run x86 code. In this case, the APU implementation is more than just a GPU on a chip, it's the first step towards having a chip that can use the best units on the chip for the appropriate task, and permit programmers to use them as an integrated chip.

More than that, the GPU that Intel was using, was complete garbage whereas the ones that AMD is using are actually fairly good.

Re:why should apple steal someone's work? (4, Interesting)

msobkow (48369) | about 8 months ago | (#44742221)

Look, here's the simple fact: peer-to-peer communications for any protocol is not a "novel" idea. It's a normal, every-day thing a programmer or engineer considers as a means of preventing bottlenecks at a proxy or server.

Worse, the standards for SIP specifically set up peer-to-peer connections after the initial hand-shake, so every SIP stack is affected by this bullshit patent. In other words: virtually every IP phone on the planet, whether hardware or software based.

The US patent system is fundamentally and badly broken. Everyone knows that. But I'm rooting for Apple to spank the everliving shit out of these assholes.

Re:why should apple steal someone's work? (1)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about 8 months ago | (#44742293)

So, you don't understand what the issue is right? It's not the peer-to-peer, it's the handshake method for the peer-to-peer.

Re:why should apple steal someone's work? (1)

msobkow (48369) | about 8 months ago | (#44742365)

My understanding is AppleTalk was a modified SIP implementation. Therefore if AppleTalk infringes, so does SIP.

The only reason I can see for Apple being targetted is they have deep pockets.

Re:why should apple steal someone's work? (1)

akanouras (1431981) | about 8 months ago | (#44742805)

Facetime [wikipedia.org] =/= AppleTalk [wikipedia.org]
Other than that, I think your comment is spot on. (Not that I don't enjoy watching Apple taste their own poison).

--
I can haz Unicode, Slashdot?

Re:why should apple steal someone's work? (2)

alen (225700) | about 8 months ago | (#44742317)

if SIP did this before SAIC made this for the CIA then there is nothing to worry about since its prior art
this work was originally created for the CIA many years ago when peer to peer video was not obvious

Re:why should apple steal someone's work? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44742245)

You sir, have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.

Tough, Apple (4, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | about 8 months ago | (#44742077)

"We have always been shameless about stealing great ideas." - Steve Jobs.

Well, sometimes that comes back and bites you.

"the data will bolster VirnetX's arguments that its patents are technologically significant, hard to work around, and deserve a high royalty rate."

None of this would have happened if IPv6 had been deployed by now, and everything had a static IP address. Then peer to peer services just work.

Re:Tough, Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44742147)

None of this would have happened if IPv6 had been deployed by now, and everything had a static IP address. Then peer to peer services just work.

I have a bunch of IPv6 addresses. Its great. Come on everyone, lets all hurry up. Its been 17 years since IPv6 was planned, I think we should be ramping up adoption already.

Re:Tough, Apple (1)

hedwards (940851) | about 8 months ago | (#44742385)

Tell that to the ISPs. Sure you can tunnel your traffic through a service, but there's still a fair number of services that aren't available on IPv6.

Re:Tough, Apple (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44742445)

Both major ISPs here have had IPv6 support for quite a while (as opt in for free). I talk to my friends who complain about lack of IPv6 support who haven't even checked if their ISP supports it, and are using my same ISP that does support it. We need the users to actually to realize they should (and often can) use it so the ISPs that don't support it yet will care.

I turned it on, and it just worked (And now Google geolocates me off buy several hundred miles).

Yes, in many places its not even an option, but the fact that adoption is horribly low where it is completely supported and available isn't going to encourage wide spread support.

Re:Tough, Apple (1)

hedwards (940851) | about 8 months ago | (#44742745)

It's a chicken and egg problem. Until it's necessary to see all of the web, it's not going to be adopted. But, it's not going to be necessary to see all of the web until sites are only on IPv6.

And as long as the kludges work, it's going to remain that way. Around here,my ISP doesn't offer it, although CenturyLink has been experimenting with it for over a decade, so they should be able to do it, when they are forced to.

I would have hoped with the Government requiring it for contractors, that things would be picking up the pace a bit, but I'm not seeing any evidence of that around here.

Re:Tough, Apple (4, Insightful)

PPH (736903) | about 8 months ago | (#44742149)

None of this would have happened if IPv6 had been deployed by now,

The patent trolls would just refile all the existing stuff as 'do X in IPv6'. And the USPTO would grant the patents, resetting the term to start at the new filing date.

Patents are supposed to be non obvious. Unless someone can show where Apple had tried (and failed) to implement the protocol in question until VirnetX published. And suddenly Apple succeeded. Then I'd buy the argument that Apple swiped their idea. But if Apple sat down on its own and built the same damned thing, I'd say the solution is a)obvious and b)trivial. Add any third parties coming up with the same thing and I'd say there's no way it is patentable.

'Hard to work around' doesn't mean something is patentable. The wheel is pretty hard to work around as well.

Re:Tough, Apple (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about 8 months ago | (#44742609)

'Hard to work around' doesn't mean something is patentable. The wheel is pretty hard to work around as well.

If wheels had been patented the way software is patented, there would be a patent for having four lug nuts on those wheels and another one for having six lug nuts and another one for having a plurality of lug nuts wherein the number of lug nuts is either prime or a product of primes.

Re:Tough, Apple (2)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 8 months ago | (#44742277)

"None of this would have happened if IPv6 had been deployed by now, and everything had a static IP address. Then peer to peer services just work."

That does not make any sense, IPv6 is just more address space. The reason I do not have a static address is because then ISP can charge more for a static address, this will not change in IPv6.

Re:Tough, Apple (4, Informative)

spire3661 (1038968) | about 8 months ago | (#44742319)

Its also that every address will be globally unique, so no more NAT traversal, which is what a lot of this 'innovation' covers. Its not 'just' more address space, its a fundamental shift.

Re:Tough, Apple (2)

petermgreen (876956) | about 8 months ago | (#44742491)

Some would like ipv6 to be the end of NAT but I suspect we will still see some NATs either because of ISPs restricting addresses for buisness reasons* or because customers want to switch ISPs without renumbering internally or using PI space and BGP**.

And even in the absence of NAT similar (thought slightly less complex) hole poking techniques will be needed to punch through stateful firewalls.

* For example a mobile phone provider may refuse to perform prefix delegation at all to discourage tethering or a home provider may limit it's users to one subnet worth of addresses to discourage business use.
** There is fundamentally a limit to the number of organisations worldwide that can use PI space and BGP because for every organisation that does that there needs to be a route in every core router on the planet.

Re:Tough, Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44742409)

My ISP charges more for a static IPv4 address, and hands out tons of static IPv6 addresses for free.

There is a [shitty] reason they charge more for static IPv4 addresses, and it does not apply to IPv6.

Re:Tough, Apple (1)

Trolan (42526) | about 8 months ago | (#44742497)

RIR allocations to ISPs are premised on users getting entire networks versus a single address. That by itself should ensure end-users get larger than a single IPv6 address. Whether it's static or not is irrelevant for cases like this, just that it's a public IP and therefore directly accessible (barring the non-packet mangling stateful firewall).

Now, if the ISP will charge for a static IPv6 prefix, versus whatever their provisioning system hands out, who knows? For many services, they won't care, since with all the NAT we've had to deal with over the years, those services have central registries they update when they come online, or can be handled via some DDNS updates.

Re:Tough, Apple (1)

KingMotley (944240) | about 8 months ago | (#44742823)

It changes because your ISP will give your router a IPv6 prefix. All the devices on your network can then use that prefix in combination with their own address to form a publicly addressable IPv6 address. It's the equivalent of your ISP giving you your own /8 address for IPv4.

Re:Tough, Apple (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 8 months ago | (#44742875)

OK, but then the prefix will be dynamic and change every week unless I pay them $10/month.
I guarantee you, ISPs are not just going to remove a source of income, for absolute no reason.

Re:Tough, Apple (1)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | about 8 months ago | (#44742401)

Actually I think P2P could work easily if someone set up a single routing server for it. Then all the NAT breakthroughs could be done automatically. Hey, you could even host a server on your home network, behind a router. I'm sure someone has done this already, but it just isn't popular for some reason.

Re:Tough, Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44742573)

Yeah. It is called a "DMZ" dummy

Difference in complaints (3, Interesting)

Beardydog (716221) | about 8 months ago | (#44742093)

As noted in the comments the first time this was posted, this story doesn't mention the number of complaints received BEFORE the change, making the number 500,000, and the entire article, almost completely meaningless. Apple has millions of customers and, as with every company, a shocking percentage of them are either imbeciles or spend their days and nights pining for minor slights to write angry emails about. This could be perfectly average. The entirety of the information provided for the story comes from a party to the dispute.

Re:Difference in complaints (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44742273)

As noted in the comments the first time this was posted, this story doesn't mention the number of complaints received BEFORE the change, making the number 500,000, and the entire article, almost completely meaningless. Apple has millions of customers and, as with every company, a shocking percentage of them are either imbeciles or spend their days and nights pining for minor slights to write angry emails about. This could be perfectly average. The entirety of the information provided for the story comes from a party to the dispute.

No, it's not shocking at all.

FWIW, though, the correct term is iMbecile. Closely related to iDiot.

Too easy. :-D

Re:Difference in complaints (1)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about 8 months ago | (#44742313)

Yeah, why didn't they include the number of complaints about the problems brought about by lack of peer-to-peer when they had peer-to-peer. Idiot journalists, right?

Re:Difference in complaints (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44742395)

Most support requests I get are related to the lack of features that already exist and work fine. This is not uncommon.

Eh? (4, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | about 8 months ago | (#44742235)

Inconveniencing folks so they can't use technology until they give you money is the whole point of patents.

Live by the sword, die by the sword (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44742249)

I find it hard to feel any sympathy for Apple.

Rounded corners, indeed.

to be fair (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44742285)

the # of complaining users doesn't mean it's OK to violate patents in the meantime. (granted i'm largely against software patents, but just saying)

Spoftware patents serve to prevent innovation (3, Insightful)

gweihir (88907) | about 8 months ago | (#44742303)

.. by competitors. Instead of doing R&D and very likely discovering things independently, the competitors are forbidden to innovate on their own and have to license the patent instead. The patent holder does not need to innovate either, they have the market locked down and can prevent anybody overtaking them.

A truly evil thing.

Re:Spoftware patents serve to prevent innovation (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44742555)

.. by competitors. Instead of doing R&D and very likely discovering things independently, the competitors are forbidden to innovate on their own and have to license the patent instead. The patent holder does not need to innovate either, they have the market locked down and can prevent anybody overtaking them.

A truly evil thing.

How the fuck does this get modded insightful in any form or fashion that isn't knee-jerk "duh, patents are bad..."? Is it really "evil" when you're a small business / inventor who works with a manufacturing company who takes your design, sells it to a competitor, who then through the sole application of massive capital and not one ounce of "in-fucking-vention" puts you out of business?

That company NEVER wanted to innovate. The patent protected the little guy's ability TO innovate. It's a double-edged sword that can be wielded by large companies and individuals alike. You don't like how it is applied or used, you don't like the lengthy terms? Fight that battle.
The patent holder "does not have to innovate"? Really, dipshit? Guess what, they already have.

I bet any amount of money you've never created anything of value. I have. I'll be damned if I will just let a billion dollar company profit off of my hard work without one damn ounce of sweat -- that is truly evil.

Re:Spoftware patents serve to prevent innovation (1)

0123456 (636235) | about 8 months ago | (#44742775)

And how often does that actually happen?

You see, in the real world, you patent X, you start producing a product based on X, then Big Corporation says 'your product violates three hundred of our patents. You will cease production of your products, or cross-license your patents'. You can either shut up shop, or Big Corporation will take your licensed patent and start making your product cheaper and put you out of business.

The vast majority of patents are used by big business to keep new competitors out of the market. They don't protect you from big business, they prevent you from competing with big business.

Re:Spoftware patents serve to prevent innovation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44742763)

.. by competitors. Instead of doing R&D and very likely discovering things independently, the competitors are forbidden to innovate on their own and have to license the patent instead. The patent holder does not need to innovate either, they have the market locked down and can prevent anybody overtaking them.

How is discovering the same thing over and over again independently "innovation"?
How is anyone forbidden from discovering NEW ways of doing things (which is MY definition of innovation)?

A patent holder has the market locked down on ONE way of doing things, which is the point.
Preventing people from re-re-re-rediscovering the same way of doing things is once again, a central reason for patents to exist.

This is absurd, how did it get moderated so highly?

Pity the poor bank robber (0, Offtopic)

chrismcb (983081) | about 8 months ago | (#44742305)

This seems to be similar to asking the question "how many bank robbers families went hungry because the Fed's confiscated the money the bank robber stole." I'm not a big proponent on software patents, most of them aren't really novel. But company A invents something cool. Company B likes it, copies it, and sells it. Of course it was a cool invention, so company B's customer love it. And of course the B's customers are going to hate it, and complain when B can no longer provide the invention. That is kind of like the whole point behind patent protection. If B doesn't want to license the invention then they need to come up with some other solution, that might not be quite as cool.

Re:Pity the poor bank robber (3, Insightful)

Shavano (2541114) | about 8 months ago | (#44742617)

What's novel about peer to peer communications? Isn't that what the internet is built of?

Apple needs to payup (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44742381)

Apple like many other especially large companies use patents to screw up the competition. No sympathy from me. Apple is playing the patent game. They lost. They need to pay up too.

Apple haters vs Roid fanboys (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#44742429)

Both a PITA and both whining about each other and /. And the facepalm cannot be understated!

Title is inaccurate. It's Apple's fault (0)

schwit1 (797399) | about 8 months ago | (#44742443)

The complaints are because Apple refused to pay for a legal patent and not because of the suit.

Apple purposely CHOSE to go down this path knowing a lawsuit was possible.

Cash Reserves (1)

lionchild (581331) | about 8 months ago | (#44742627)

Hmm...I wonder which company Apple will be buying out next?

I wonder what'll happen to their stock share price?

So pay the f'ing licenses. (1)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 8 months ago | (#44742913)

Look, sometimes these software disputes are crap. But sometimes someone stole another person's code. And in those situations, I don't really care if you're customers were unhappy with a loss of service due to stolen software being pulled.

Stop it. Pay for it.

How the hell is anyone supposed to make a living at this if everyone steals? Its madness.

Everyone's missing the point! (3, Informative)

darkmeridian (119044) | about 8 months ago | (#44742923)

Apple isn't complaining that it costs $2.4 million a month to work around the patent or that there are 500,000 complaints after the workaround was instituted. The patent-holder brought up these facts to show that their patent should carry a hefty royalty payment because Apple could not work around them--not only do you have to pay $2.4 million a month you also have to lower quality to the extent where you have 500,000 complaints even after paying that money.

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