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IPIX persecutes free software developer

CmdrTaco posted more than 14 years ago | from the doncha-hate-when-that-happens? dept.

The Almighty Buck 147

Ellen Spertus writes "Interactive Pictures Corporation (IPIX) has been threatening anyone who distributes software to create 360 degree panorama images, including free software developer Helmut Dersch. While Dersch's free tools (including a Gimp plug-in) are back online, he has had to remove information about creating high-quality panoramas. Meanwhile, IPIX, which charges $25 per panorama created, is preparing for its IPO. Read all about it. If you haven't seen 360 degree panoramas (outside of RL), take a look at Virtual Parks (requires free plug-in) or Sydney Olympics 2000 panoramas (requires free plug-in or Java). "

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147 comments

Re:Let's just develop a better standard! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1874173)

Damn right!

But we don't need a new standard really...
You can easily store a panoramic picture in a JPEG... ok.. sure you can't navigate it but it is there...

And the most widely used format is Quicktime VR...
It is just a file format which is actually very public and that you can create using a variety of tools... not just Apple's ones...

So this just plain dumb... I really don't see IPIX point... well... I guess we'll see...

Typical Behavior (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1874174)

Given how brain-dead their SDK was when I used it a few years ago and how slow in the head their technical contacts were, I suppose legal harassment like this is the only way an innovation-numb entity can protect itself.

Re:Free Software Legal Defence Fund (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1874175)

The courtroom is where we will die. As you all know, Microsoft spends a great deal of money taking advantage of the outdated patent system, gaining a patent for every obvious technique under the sun. A campaign of "patent inforcement" litigation against the open source movement will shut us down for sure. Guys, there is trouble ahead.

Fund to protect FS from lawsuit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1874176)


No, if there was such a fund they may not be able to defend the program but he can still help the programmer financially by paying an lawyer that is specialized in this type of cases. Or maybe they can act like "partie civile" (civil part???), representing a group of people being against the company suing.



Re:What IPIX forced him to remove.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1874177)

Before reading the post I've surfed on the different links provided and they were saying that IPIX first said that the man had pictures copyrighted by IPIX on his site (which was false since he did all of them himself) and after that they said that to provide the informations to convert to and from IPIX files he needed some information from inside the company "but they use a public domain format, which is openly documented by the US-company "C-Cube Microsystems"." And furthermore as he say himself "there is no such thing as a copyright on a file format".

for more informations check this page [albury.net.au]

Re:Open Source - "Embrace and Extend" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1874178)

Of course OSS developers aren't innovating *yet* - we first need useful versions of the industry's 20~30 years' worth of proprietary excrement, and it's not all done yet.

And what's the point of a business that can't even offer more value than some random guy who volunteers?

Re: IPIX vs. Live Picture (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1874180)

And do not forget the cost of a fisheye lens. The distortion is huge indeed. But who is waiting for a view of the top of the sky?

Possibilities abound - panoramic (6x6 ?) camera's are there for less than the price of a fish-eye lens. A 24 mm wide in portrait mode would also make for a pretty wide up-and-down view right?

Now if I had the time...

page cached on google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1874181)

I'm not sure, but if you do a search on google you will find most of the pages from this site cached.

Let's screw those clueless morons (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1874182)

Let's make an open source clone of their products, using their file formats, and send it to the usenet/web via an anonymizer/remailer. Then they'll see what is like having us as their enemy.

Panarama Tools (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1874183)

I used these plugins the other day to create some panoramic stuff, specifically a 360 degree environment i rendered out of Lightwave.

I then used LivePicture's Java applet to present the images, which makes a great cross-platform viewing solution.

Using the free plugins, i stiched together 45 individual images (probably overkill, but hey, at least it works) to make a full 360 degree panorama, and i was extremely impressed with the results. The tools handle arbitary sized panoramas, up to the limit of available memory.


I have had a fair bit of experience with LivePicture's panoramic tools, and back in the day i used to build cylindrical panoamas by hand using VRML, much like NASA's original 'Mars Rover' presentations.

Basically, IPIX has no leg to stand on, the technology they are selling has been available for years, and theyre running scared because obviously their directors' long and expensive lunches are in jeopardy because the world might discover theyre selling what you could already get for 100% free.

And i'd have to say that once you get the hang of the Panorama Tools plugins, script format and Photoshop batch action, its just as easy to use them than any of the commercial offerings from Apple, Ipix, LivePicture (now MGI) etc.

Plus its crossplatform, runs on Mac, Windows and *NIX.

IPIX's system is limited to only being able to stich together fisheye images (AFAIK), and it has a ridiculous pricing structure.

The free Panorama Tools's documentation is, in a word, bad. There are no good examples of a lot of the features of the package, but i figure i could write some tutorials, and put em up.

Most people are looking to put panoramas together from a set of individual images from a regular camera, rather than from a couple of fisheye images. There aren't any tutorials for that on the Panorama Tools site, but its pretty easy once you figure it out.

I live in New Zealand, so i don't know what effect IPIX's lawsuits would have on me.

if anyone wants to know about how to use the Free Panorama tools, and are somewhat stumped by the docs on the site,, drop me an email at peterb@actrix.gen.nz and i'll attempt to help you out.

F*CK IPIX, what a pack of bastards.

Re:Panorama Tools (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1874184)

Heres the example i made..

http://www.spunk.co.nz/pano/index.html

Re:Quicktime... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1874185)

How is xanim great? It can't view about 25% of the avi's I come across and 90% of the mpeg's.

Google don't have the page IPIX killed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1874191)

The page above is a general How To about Spherical panoramas, which is still up on Dersch's site.

The stuff that's been taken down is the details of IPIX's file format.

This would have been cached on Google at
http://www.google.com/search?q=cache:www.fh-furtwa ngen.de/%7edersch/sphere_f ormat/Spherical.html [google.com] but they haven't got it.

(Note: there's a stray space getting into that URL, this seems to be something to do with /.'s posting script. But even spelt right, google still doesn't have it).

Re:Busted! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1874192)

I doubt that very much that I share the
same tone with the first AC, we are not
the same person. Or perhaps not, since all AC's
are the same person (No?).

Re: IPIX vs. Live Picture (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1874196)

This sounds like they really have patented the laws of nature. The two patch cover of a sphere is the minimal open cover from topology. Thats even more fundamental, maybe, than RSA patenting a simple application of Wilson's 200 year old theorem.

Cowardly as ever
(signed)
X
his mark

Re:You Can't do that! WE DID IT FIRST! (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1874202)

They didn't do it first, as far as I know Apple did with its Navigable Scenes project in 1993. In high school we did a similar thing using a homemade camera mount that spun 360 degrees horizontally, then 90 degrees vertically. Each frame was added to a a quicktime movie, so to look to your right, move ahead 1 frame, to look left, move previous 1 frame, to look up move ahead 36 frames (10 degrees between shots).

Then there's QuickTime VR which has full stitching support and has been around for years.

In the Name of God (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1874203)

This really is theft of knowledge, a crime against
humanity. This company, claiming patent rights over cartesian geometry (discovered hundreds of years ago) is outlaw, and is a blight upon the face of the earth.

I've seen 3-d panaroma java applets over a year ago, but that's not the point. The technology is nothing new, and no big deal. You can create much better just by placing the camera inside a Povray scene within a sphere, against which images are wrapped or projected onto the inside surface, or any 3d interactive program which is detailed enough to be considered photorealistic and rotating the observer (looking in any direction). This has been around for years, if not decades, in computer science and GIS and astronomy and God knows what else. What is a planetarium ?

Do I really have to explain any of this to any of you who passed high school history and science?

If legal methods cannot be employed successfully, and soon, to control and eliminate this theft of knowledge by falsely claiming intellectual property rights over what belongs to God, then war is declared. These people and the corporatins they are using to hide behind are attacking our civilization and the whole basis of intellectual freedom and human dignity. If there is anything worth fighting for, this is it.

First, I suggest a well-organized legal fight in the courts supported by civil disobedience on a massive scale, to have the whole concept of software and algorithmic patents outlawed. Mirror all such sites if you can, and defy all software patents you can.

Stallman would be a good person to spearhead such a legal effort, in the US, with a team of carefully picked lawyers behind him. He should beg, plead and scream for donationations from all persons who want to contribute to a fund needed to accomplish this, or establish a permanent charity for such legal action. RMS is non-violent. Give him a chance to try that route.

Companies and individuals attempting to intimidate others with these false claims should be made to pay heavily, to the point where they are put out of business and/or lose all persnal assets or face jail terms.

If that fails, anything goes. Nerds, you cannot afford to wait another 2 or 3 years. If this kind of thing continues unopposed, this earth will be a living hell beyond the imagination of science fiction writers to properly describe it. These people want to own and control everything, from our DNA to our very thoughts. This is actually happening - hard to believe.

You have your work cut out for you. In the name of God, realize what is happening and do your duty.

Hmm... Wonder if the press would be interested... (3)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1874206)

This isn't the first time a large company has tried to suppress innovation by using legal tactics on impovreshed free software developers who can't afford to mount a legal defense. As the author apparently didn't violate any patents and used only publically available information, perhaps he could countersue for wrongful prosecution (Well it works in the US) if this eventually goes to court. I think we definitely need some centralized and trustworthy group to start a legal defense fund. Perhaps the FSF?

mmh... sounds like QTVR (5)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1874208)

I can't beleive this... AFAK 360 aren't very rare... Especially since there is a Quicktime format made especially for them: Quicktime VR. So they can't be complaining about the format or the concept of 360 panorama. And they can't be complaining about a toold that help you "stiches" different pictures into a panorama because the Apple Quicktime VR Authoring studio as been doing that for a while and other other tools too... So the question is, what is their problem really...
Is it because they are giving it for free that they are complaining... In that case they just have to add more value to their product to make it competitive. And besides, just like someone was saying earlier... How would microsoft woul;d look with IE in a setting like that...
So I think this stinks and their request is totally stupid... or maybe they should be more precise on what is their problem exactly...
Caus eight now, they look like idiots to me...

Re: IPIX vs. Live Picture (5)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1874209)

I was the lead engineer on Live Picture's panoramic product, PhotoVista, and I know what IPIX's claim is. IPIX claims a patent on the ability to correct fisheye images specifically. I believe their background is in security cameras.

QuickTime VR and most other panoramic technologies stitch together a bunch of flat pictures into a 360 degree pano. These panos have "holes" where the top and bottom are - you can't look straight up or down.

IPIX uses fisheye lenses so that they can get a complete pano with two photos, plus you can look up and down.

Now, Live Picture's PhotoVista used to do that as well, but IPIX threatened us with some ridiculous claim of a billion $ damages. Our research into the history of fisheye images made us confident that their patent had no basis - most don't thanks to the morons in the patent office. Unfortunately, we couldn't afford to defend ourselves - it might have meant a temporary injunction against selling our product. Also, fisheye panos usually have lower quality because the distorion, while easy to correct in theory, is not that easy in real life (no lens is perfect).

Mirror of the original threatening letter (5)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1874210)

According to this history of the case [albury.net.au] IPIX even insists that its own threats are copyright, and "any dissemination, distribution, retention, archiving, or copying of the communication is strictly prohibited" But there's a copy of the original email [mit.edu] on this excellent (and scary) patent watch [mit.edu] site at MIT.

The most interesting thing is IPIX's belief that it "owns the copyright in the format it utilises", and that therefore it has a share of the copyright of the data-file of any image in that format, which it can use to restrict how that data-file is used.

From Dersch's (IMHO) staggeringly mild and reasonable summary [fh-furtwangen.de] of the story so far, it appears that they are still trying to push this claim, which is like Microsoft claiming copyright and distribution rights over every document in Word format.

In this case we might be lucky because IPIX didn't invent the format.

But think of (say) the MPAA claiming such a veto on any file using their new music format. In fact, under the new laws against script-kiddies even describing such formats might become actionable, as abetting the theft of copyright content.

This is a nasty can of worms and it's important for all of us that Dersch sees off IPIX with no compromises.

Re:Let's just develop a better standard! (5)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1874211)

We need a format like LivePicture's streaming format. USe of this format enables zooming into panoramas, and much faster load times since the client doesn't need to download the entire panorama image at once.

Like MIP-maps in 3d games, depending on your distance from an object, a server supplies a suitably scaled version.

This is not just applicable to panaoramas, bnut any type of 2D (and perhaps 3D) image data.

This works on a 'tile-based' system, where the image is broken down into a set of tiles, say 100 x 100 pixels each.

A set of 'zoom levels' are also created, also broken into 100 x 100 tiles, you might have a 2500 x 2500 pixel version, a 1000 x 1000 version, a 500 x 500 version and a 250 x 250 version. Depending on how 'far away' the viewer is from the image, the server sends the appropriate tiles.

i.e. if your original image is 5000 x 5000 pixels, and your viewing window is 320 x 200 pixels, the server figures out which 'tiles' it needs to send to the client to fill the viewport, and does so. If you move the viewport, a new set of tiles are sent. This means the client app never needs to download the full 5000 x 5000 image.

If the user wants to see the full image through his 320 x 200 viewport, he can zoom out, but the server then simply suppplies all the tiles from the 250 x 250 zoom level, so that 320 x 200 pixels are the maximum that ever need to get sent over the network. Client side caching of tiles would of course speed up this process.

This information (zoom levels etc.) are all encapsulated within a single file, with options for static serving (all 'zoom levels' present in the file, leading to a larger file on the server end) or dynamic serving, where the server calculates the appropriate zoom and tile settings depending on the image and the client viewport size.

I suggest we need a GNU Image Server capable of using Wavelet, JPEG and any other file format described by some kind of plugin architecture.

This would mean Linux could become the premier platform for the presentation of scanned documents, photographic images etc. If there was a standard, free API and tools for this kind of thing, all sorts of neat, bandwidth-friendly apps could be created.

I'm not much of a coder, but i think i understand what sort of stuff we need here. Its possible an existing open standard for this sort of thing exists (i remember seeing an article about something by Xerox similar to this)

Regards

-Pete
peterb@actrix.gen.nz

Uses of panoramic views (4)

Yarn (75) | more than 14 years ago | (#1874212)

Does this mean that the pictures taken by the mars ranger, which were panoramic, were illegal? Obviously not.

The arguement appears to be about the usage of a file format, which I consider to be less important than the technique, but still brain dead.

It looks like the information is still there. (1)

zztzed (279) | more than 14 years ago | (#1874213)

Looks to me like the information is still there. Maybe I'm just hallucinating.

Re:Free Software Legal Defence Fund (1)

Brandon S. Allbery (500) | more than 14 years ago | (#1874215)

Why doesn't it exist yet? Money. And control: the FSF will do it, but only for programs whose copyright is assigned to the FSF.

(Then again, the "control" problem might well be a legal issue, if it's significantly more difficult or more expensive for an organization to defend a product it has no legal control over.)

Re:legal basis? (1)

Brandon S. Allbery (500) | more than 14 years ago | (#1874216)

There may well be no legal basis. But if you don't have the money to fight an action, you lose... so for greedy companies it's an obvious way to put us out of business.

Re:Time to Create Bad Press (2)

Brandon S. Allbery (500) | more than 14 years ago | (#1874217)

No, we don't.

The OSS movement is about a *better way* to do things. Using the same tactics as the opposition isn't a better way, it's a rehashing of the same old crap and will ultimately have the same results.

(NB: this is also the problem I have with the GPL's "fight fire with fire" methodology --- it means that in some circumstances I have to treat GPL'ed software as *proprietary* from a legal standpoint...)

Time to Create Bad Press (5)

Skyshadow (508) | more than 14 years ago | (#1874218)

Going for an IPO, hmm?

Well, we could either drag this whole thing through an extended court procedure to blow off their somewhat simple-minded insistance that they alone have World Domination of the 360-degree photo market, or:

We could create a whole lot of bad press for them, watch investors treat them like lepers, see their IPO fail miserably and their company crash, the execs lose their jobs and their children forced to sell pencils on the street to stave off starvation.

Personally, I prefer the second course of action. Talk about a shot heard 'round the world. We could do it, too -- the same way that FUD doesn't work against the OSS community, we can raise a stink about idiotic corporations like this one.

----

Re:IPIX lossage (2)

Aaron M. Renn (539) | more than 14 years ago | (#1874219)

It's certainly no problem for a public interest law firm to take on a case for an individual. That's how the ACLU and other organizations work. A foundation that provides funding or other assistance to people who wish to defend their free software work should be fine.

Open Source - "Embrace and Extend" (1)

gavinhall (33) | more than 14 years ago | (#1874220)

Posted by d106ene5:

Its funny that open source advocates pick on Microsoft for "embracing and extending" as opposed to innovating...it looks like thats what most open source developers do. I don't blame these companies for defending their turf - whats the point of going into business just to fee ideas to the waiting hordes of open source programmers?

A comment from a active pano shooter... (5)

gavinhall (33) | more than 14 years ago | (#1874222)

Posted by erik the unready:

The comment from a LivePicture person is pretty interesting and suggests that IPIX is aggressively trying to use their (imho) overly broad 8mm lens software patents to prevent competitors from offering spherical solutions.

While 90% of the time regular cylindrical panoramas are ideal for capturing the essence of a place, there are a number of situations where a spherical panorama would show additional things of interest. For instance, a cave, under a forest canopy, an underwater scene, or bizarre points of view inside a Bryce constructed world.

Many of us who shoot a lot of photo VRs would like to have the flexibility to shoot either spherical or cylindrical. But there is no way I'm going to pay $25 a panorama to publish VRs on the Web. No way I'm going to support an organization that threatens individuals like Helmut. No way I'm going to enter into an agreement not to compete with the various partners of the spherical tool-maker. Imagine if Kodak charged you a licensing fee of $20 for every roll of film you shot using Kodak's patented film? It reeks of a monopolistic world-view. That business model could only work if there were no competitors offering spherical panos without per-pano fees. Besides Helmut's excellent tools, there is now another competitor in this niche--Smoothmove is a spherical solution that allows you to shoot using 14mm or other non-fisheye lenses, and without per-pano fees.

Disclaimer: I have no connection with Smoothmove, other than wanting to see some competition in the spherical pano world (well actually I'd like to see ethical people/organizations succeed, but that's dreaming).

Moderators - score that one up! (5)

Paul Crowley (837) | more than 14 years ago | (#1874223)

Per, of course, has exactly the right idea.

The great strength of it is that you probably don't ever need to spend the money, you just have to have it. You need to be able to say "we can fight back, so it's probably not worth your while fighting us, we will both lose a lot of money but our side will win". It's ideal for a fund.

This has been proposed many times, but as yet nothing has happened. Someone the community trusts needs to stand up and say "I'll do it", the rest of us need only make donations.
--

Re:Time to Create Bad Press (1)

Brian Knotts (855) | more than 14 years ago | (#1874224)

It's an interesting idea, but do we really want open source to be thought of as a lynch mob?

Yes.

That way, maybe some of these corporate idiots will think twice before harassing people.

--
Get your fresh, hot kernels right here [kernel.org]!

Re:Time to Create Bad Press (2)

Brian Knotts (855) | more than 14 years ago | (#1874225)

Using the same tactics as the opposition isn't a better way, it's a rehashing of the same old crap and will ultimately have the same results.

No. Using the same tactics would be if we had sleazy lawyers (but I repeat myself...) send them threatening lawyers.

Using the sunshine of publicity is a different tactic: one that they are no doubt unfamiliar with. It's about time these companies have to consider the publicity angle before they send out their lawyers.

(NB: this is also the problem I have with the GPL's "fight fire with fire" methodology

Ugh. What does this rubbish have to do with the matter at hand? I like the BSD license less and less as I read more anti-GPL screeds. And I'm not even a hard-core GPL guy...

--
Get your fresh, hot kernels right here [kernel.org]!

I'm confused. This sounds like it isn't that bad (3)

seth (984) | more than 14 years ago | (#1874226)

According to this [fh-furtwangen.de] page, IPIX and this guy are working out a way to continue the distribution of this free software. They aren't outright suing him.

It seems that IPIX believes it owns the ability to limit usage of its file format, to stop people from making use of its viewer without paying royalities (which is a mistake in their marketing model). However, the tone of the page doesn't make it sounds like they are in the inquisition mode of suing all people, everywhere.

Something that a /. type site could help with (2)

John Allsup (987) | more than 14 years ago | (#1874227)

It would be nice to have a (moderated)
forum that people could discuss how to actually
make such a format. (a little like ask /.)

Something that would be longer lived than the
news.

Remember the LPF (2)

John Allsup (987) | more than 14 years ago | (#1874228)

The organisation (or what ever there is of it these days) that was about this type of thing, is the League for Programming Freedom.

see http://lpf.ai.mit.edu [mit.edu]

This is also a good (in name at least) place to look as to where to start setting up such a legal fund. What WOULD be a good idea (if the funds could be generated for it) is to sort out the legal situation in as many countries as possible, and let everybody know where they stand w.r.t the law of their land (I'm a UK citizen).

Free Software Legal Defence Fund (5)

Per Abrahamsen (1397) | more than 14 years ago | (#1874233)

Maybe it is time to create a fund for defending free software projects from silly lawsuits. I'd contribute to such a fund. Most free software developers doesn't have the money or inclination to defend themselves against a lawsuit, even if it is obviously groundless. So just the existence of the fund would be a big improvement.

Somewhere to send the threats, and get an answer back "this is obviously groundless, we'll take care of the defence".

PS: I don't know enough about the actual case, to say whether this would be something appropriate for the free software legal defence fund.

Talk to RMS (2)

mattdm (1931) | more than 14 years ago | (#1874234)

I don't know any details, but when I was at LinuxWorld Expo/Conf a few months ago, there was some discussion about patent law and how stupid it is, and RMS mentioned that he has people willing to put up lots of money if someone wants to get an organization to reform patent law off the ground. Not quite the same thing as proposed here, but a start.

--

Re:legal basis? (1)

Peter Koren (2433) | more than 14 years ago | (#1874235)

Yes, I believe this gets to the heart of the problem. Those with $ in effect have bought the legal process. We need a legal doctrine that says that lawyers who bring lawsuits or harass others with no legal basis should be disbarred and the corporations severely punished.

Of course it won't happen, because some of that money goes to "campaign contributions."

Political corruption devastates freedom.

If you want to ... (1)

jarek (2469) | more than 14 years ago | (#1874236)

damage you image on the net, I can't think of any better way to do it. Sue a free developen and parish the rest of you (companys) life.

/jarek

A good angle for bad publicity (3)

dsfox (2694) | more than 14 years ago | (#1874238)

If a news story just pointed out that the software they are basing their IPO on can be created by a single programmer in their spare time it might cool off investor interest. That way we don't look like a lynch mob either.

Re:Free Software and Patents (1)

goon (2774) | more than 14 years ago | (#1874239)

Photomosaic(TM) is a trademark of Runaway Technology. The Photomosaics software and Mr. Silvers' and the Photomosaic "look and feel" are protected by the patent, copyright, and other intellectual property laws of the United States and other major countries. We protect these rights vigilantly. All rights other than those specifically granted above are reserved by Runaway Technology, Inc.

here's the info i found on the site. can anyone tell me an alternative business model to the 'you copy I'll litigate' approach. how else is someone able to develop an idea and commercialise it?

what's the time-limitation of patents? (have'd to do a lot of research to see exactly whats covered, and i dont have the time)....

also there's the issue of this company using the tools to commercialise artwork....but the last work goes to an email i remember, with john carmack talking about persons/companies copyrighting their code/software technology and vigerously protecting it, as (words to the effect of ) being 'techno-wusses for not willing to be technologically competitive'.

this matters not as cut and dry as one might think.

Re:Contact Information for: IPIX (0)

Mawbid (3993) | more than 14 years ago | (#1874241)

Mmm, yeah. Banking and arms manufacturing are of course closely related and evil to the core.

Get a grip.
--

Dang roman alphabet... (1)

Pyro P (7396) | more than 14 years ago | (#1874243)

"IPIX" looks a heck of a lot like "IRIX" when you've only gotten 2 hours of sleep in the past 3 days. I need penguin mints. Guuuuh...

Re:Possible /. manipulation? (2)

Signal 11 (7608) | more than 14 years ago | (#1874244)

*** Signal 11 has been summoned. ***

If you're thinking I'm from mediaone - you're mistaken. They're my ISP, not my employer.

If there's a further explanation you find yourself in want of - e-mail me [mailto].

--

Re:Time to Create Bad Press (5)

Signal 11 (7608) | more than 14 years ago | (#1874245)

It's an interesting idea, but do we really want open source to be thought of as a lynch mob?

Here's what we can (should?) do:

We have the undivided attention of *technical* journals/'zines. Let's use the slashdot effect to write to them, encouraging them to publish an article on this. If there's a free alternative, why spend money on their IPO?
Mirror it! World governments can't seem to stop encryption simply because the "genie is out of the bottle", to quote an NSA official. Let's mirror it, and then publicize it. It's the worst thing we could do to them - make their competition's product easily accessible. It worked against microsoft, the NSA, and a plethora of other evils in the land. I don't see why we can't do it again. :)
But resist the urge to become personally involved. We should unilaterally take the same approach to any business that tries this: Initial publication, mirror the affected site, contact the presses, ruin their day. It's now a time-tested formula. Use it!

--

Contact Information for: IPIX (5)

Signal 11 (7608) | more than 14 years ago | (#1874246)

IPIX North American Sales
1-800-336-7113
sales@ipix.com [mailto]

IPIX Stockhouse Manager, Jeff Puckett
1-888-909-IPIX
stock@ipix.com [mailto]

IPIX CLIENTS
Suprisingly.. blank [ipix.com]

Maybe you'd like to talk to their investors?

Motorola [motorola.com]
Mediaone [mediaone.com]
Advance Internet
American Express [americanexpress.com]
Financial Advisors [americanexpress.com]
Cendant
General Electric
Invision
JP Morgan [jpmorgan.com]

--

You Can't do that! WE DID IT FIRST! (2)

Accipiter (8228) | more than 14 years ago | (#1874247)

Basically, what IPX is saying is that you cannot develop a 3D Panorama system and give it away, because IPX did it first, and is making money off of it. This pretty much reveals what companies are after. To hell with innovation, and the desire to create better products, and SCREW the consumer....We have to make our MONEY! What's that? Someone's making a superior product, and giving it away for FREE? We can't allow that......

More corporate bullshit. Gotta get the cash. Nothing else matters.

-- Give him Head? Be a Beacon?

The think they own 360deg? (2)

UncleRoger (9456) | more than 14 years ago | (#1874249)

Since it is unlikely that the German guy used their code, or even their image file format, it must be the idea of a 360 degree image that they think they own.

But surely, I can't be the only one who remembers visiting Disneyland and soaring around China in a 360 degree movie theatre?

Then, of course, I've got a swivel chair that creates the same effect; maybe they should sue Herman Miller as well?

And heck, who came up with the idea for dividing a circle into 360 equal portions? Gotta sue them (or their heirs) too!

For that matter, the whole universe seems to be infringing on IPIX's 360 degree panoramic view concept. Can't really sue the big bang. Maybe Steven Hawking? (Or God, for those that think he exists?)

Where do I send my $$$ for the FSFDF?

IPIX vs LivePicture? (2)

fallous (10136) | more than 14 years ago | (#1874250)

Um, amusing that IPIX feels the need to attack the open source plugins when LivePicture is already a commercial competitor to them in the panoramic imaging market. Having been forced to deal with IPIX panos for some sites I've built recently, I'm surprised that they haven't attacked people who create viewers, since theirs is fairly inferior to others I've seen. IPIX really fish-eyes compared to other viewers.

Re:Someone should test the patent office (1)

Bigman (12384) | more than 14 years ago | (#1874254)

Heh Heh... Now that I would love to see! Maybe it would get some interest from politicians in IP if we could show how stupid the situation has become...
Any lawyers out there want to try?

360 degrees?...I got an idea! (2)

UnkyHerb (12862) | more than 14 years ago | (#1874255)

How about someone make a program that creates 359.999 degree panorama images. That outta piss off IPIX, haha.

legal basis? (4)

r (13067) | more than 14 years ago | (#1874256)

wait a minute... what is their legal basis for persecution? at least in u.s. (and ipix seems to be an american company) you can't just go after people because they're implementing your algorithms. that is, if your invention is not patented, it's up for grabs. afaik, if they have just a u.s. patent, they still can't force a german developer to honor it. only if they have a patent in germany as well, they could force dersch to pay royalties. does anyone know what basis they have for making those threats?

Beautiful art (1)

Rayban (13436) | more than 14 years ago | (#1874257)

For some examples of some *beautiful* panoramic art, check out:

http://www.hotspots.hawaii.com/wrinklehome.html

Re:Free Software Legal Defence Fund (5)

pnkfelix (14173) | more than 14 years ago | (#1874259)

This is a redundant comment, but necessary because while this information is available elsewhere in this thread, its much deeper in the tree of comments/replys and this information should be located closer to the root of the tree.

---------------------
Remember the LPF
by John Allsup

The organisation (or what ever there is of it these days) that was about this type of thing, is the League for Programming Freedom.

see http://lpf.ai.mit.edu/ [mit.edu]

This is also a good (in name at least) place to look as to where to start setting up such a legal fund. What WOULD be a good idea (if the funds could be generated for it) is to sort out the legal situation in as many countries as possible, and let everybody know where they stand w.r.t the law of their land (I'm a UK citizen).
-------- John Allsup email: jda570@bham.ac.uk

Felix

Free Software and Patents (4)

Amoeba Protozoa (15911) | more than 14 years ago | (#1874262)

This is right up my alley.

I am curreently authoring some software that will make "Montages" (see The Linux Image Montage Project [thelinuxmart.com]), as the software I am using now has a clause in the licensing agreement that states, "this software can be in no way used for commercial purposes" (I am paraphrasing here). It would also appear that the person who invented the technique [photomosaic.com], has a patent not on the algorithm, but the look-and-feel of a Montage.

What really get's me is that photographers have been making 360 panaramas & photo montages, albeit analog ones, for years. I am suprised that just because the picture is represented by bits instead of film-grain that it makes any difference.

-AP (Jordan Husney)

Re:Free Software Legal Defence Fund (3)

breser (16790) | more than 14 years ago | (#1874263)

Actually you don't know what you're talking about here. Microsoft isn't a large user of the patent system. Considering their size they have realtively few patents.

While it is true that Microsoft has taken an interest in filing some rather onerous patents as of late. I would note that we've yet to see an litigation from these patents. Past history has show us that Microsoft's use of patents have been defensive, not offensive.

In fact several times Microsoft has been the violator of a patent and actually ended up loosing.

Stop making Microsoft the enemy in fronts where they aren't. IPIX are the people that are using patents for offensive warafare, not Microsoft.

Of Patents and IPIX (5)

breser (16790) | more than 14 years ago | (#1874264)

A lot of people have been making a big deal out of IPIX's patent. While I'll agree their patent is probably baseless and that there is a large degree of prior art. This is not what the claim against Helmut Dersch is about.

IPIX is claiming that he violated their copyrights with regards to one of the example photos that he had on his website.

Helmet argues that he took the photo and in fact was even in the photo. However, this is not a total response to IPIX's claim as I understand it.

IPIX claims that their file format is a computer program and as such is entitled to special protection under the copyright laws. While, the information is not clear, I would imagine the supposedly offending photo was in an IPIX format, since the page that they forced him to take down was in relation to how to convert from their format.

So why is IPIX doing this? They are going after Helmet not because they have a problem with his software. While they probably don't necessarily like the fact that his software is available, what they find particularly offensive is his description of how to move from their file format.

They're doing this because their licensing structure is setup such that you must pay *PER VIEW* of their file format. So if you can easily convert away from their file format then you can easily avoid their licensing scheme.

So they aren't trying to protect their patent. They're trying to protect their licensing scheme.

Re:IPIX lossage IANAL (1)

Tardigrade (17769) | more than 14 years ago | (#1874266)

People can sue if they're being damaged, or will probably be damaged by a copyright/patent/law. They do not have to own the copyright itself to sue. Legalese could probably mangle words enough to show that destroying an unrelated Free Software product would damage your free software product.

Re:Free Software Legal Defence Fund (2)

platypus (18156) | more than 14 years ago | (#1874268)

I agree wholeheartly...
And the government(s) of the world should be convinced that this (free software) is a good thing for the society. They can do some things to help such a fund. I.e. it could get a status where donation could be tax-free, judges could rule that condemned defendants have to pay their fee or part of it in such a fund etc... .
An car manufacturer in europe was condemned to pay 100.000.000 EURO (I think) for unfair treatment of customers. Imagine microsoft "donating" 10 percent of a similar fee for this fund - that _would_ rule.
I think _this_ is one of the most important investments for the future of open source, otherwise we'll see the suits coming.
Open Source developers are very unarmed targets for corporations nowadays.

Re:The think they own 360deg? (0)

QuMa (19440) | more than 14 years ago | (#1874270)

DOH, you made the joke before me :-(
I should have read on.

Re:The think they own 360deg? (1)

QuMa (19440) | more than 14 years ago | (#1874271)

Not only does disneyland have 360's, I've noticed that reality is rather 360-degrees too :-)

They want to sue me for looking around me?

IPIX lossage (5)

Jonas ÷berg (19456) | more than 14 years ago | (#1874273)

After having read the information on the subject, I think that IPIX is surely losing here. If they go to court, they'd have to convince the judge that their images are computer programs, which seems a very unlikely event to me. However, even if they don't have any legal grounds for this they can still cause trouble, as we're seing now. Helmut is talking with IPIX out of court in hopes of settling this affair without going to court. If Helmut was confident enough in the laws, he'd probably have asked them to take a hike and have them try to defend their case in court.


What I'm getting at here, and this might or might not apply in this particular case, is that even if companies don't have any legal grounds for something, they can cause a lot of trouble because most of us don't have the funds or the strength to fight them in court, so it is easier to fall back and do as they ask than to stand up against them.


People have suggested having an organisation that could defend free software projects in court. However, if I've got this right (IANAL so please tell me if I'm wrong, it would make me very happy), with the current laws, only the copyright holder can acctually defend his program and it's unclear to me if some other organisations could even drive a lawsuit against the company without owning the copyright. As I understand it, thats one of the reasons why the FSF has wanted the copyright for some of its programs (like the libc, gcc, binutils, fileutils and others). If someone were to violate the GPL on these programs, it would be easy for the FSF (and for the court who doesn't have to account for a hundred different copyright holders) to prosecute the offender.


So this doesn't seem to be a situation where you can simply say, as a developer, "here; go talk to the FSF instead and don't bother me." Instead you would have to draw the lawsuit yourself and the only thing that another organisation could contribute with would probably be funds to do this. However, I don't think most people would care. Even if they did get funds for it, it would still be much too easy to fall back and live by the rules dictated by a company.

Re:Free Software and Patents (1)

sunking (19846) | more than 14 years ago | (#1874274)

What really get's me is that photographers have been making 360 panaramas & photo montages, albeit analog ones, for years. I am suprised that just because the picture is represented by bits instead of film-grain that it makes any difference.

It probably doesn't, but the only to find out is to provoke them into sueing you. Patents are cheap, but court wins aren't.

-sam

Re:Free Software Legal Defence Fund (2)

KillRaven (19894) | more than 14 years ago | (#1874275)

That would be cool - to have such a defence fund. Especially when it's run by a bunch of uncompromising RMS style free software fanatics; they'd attack each and every of this companies patents. Bye bye IPO.

Does anybody know why this doesn't exist yet? I would have thought that someone like the FSF would have at least thoughy of the idea by now.

Perhaps there has never been a need, but it's now getting clear that a need is forming. Personally I wouldn't be surprised if something like this is allready under consideration by some group like the FSF, I only hope it happens soon. If it works for the EFF I see no reason why the free software people can't pull of something similar.

Re:Of Patents and IPIX (1)

j_edge (20712) | more than 14 years ago | (#1874276)

Actually, I believe it is the other way around. His description was of how to move from other pano formats to the .irx (IRIX) format. From what was said, I gathered that IRIX views this as threatening because .irx content developers must purchase a "key" for each image produced, but with knowledge of the file format they could purchase a single key and use it for all of their images by changing the contents of the .irx file.
But in essence you are correct, that it is a threat to their licensing scheme. But since they built their product around an open file format, it can only be viewed as them trying to shut someone up to cover up for their own stupid mistake.

(btw, I'm hoping the site was /.'ed, not shut down)

Re:Let's just develop a better standard! (3)

Sux2BU (20893) | more than 14 years ago | (#1874277)

It sounds like Helmut was working on a standard unrelated to IPIX. I believe its for panoramic images using VRML. That's what makes this whole ordeal so sickening - IPIX thinks they have the patent on the panoramic process.

Fiduciary duty (1)

Nonymous Coward (22797) | more than 14 years ago | (#1874278)

I think the idea of their fiduciary duty is a key one. Consider it this way. You have a great idea , and you spend some time developing it. You get funding, prepare to go public, and then find that as great as your idea was, it wasn't original. Happens all the time, except now, your screwed. So your choice is, go bend over in front of the bankers, or try to put the squeeze on some little guy (relatively speaking) far away. That, I think, is how most of this happens.
As for a general change of the patent system, it is incredibly unlikely. The system is self contradictory, drastically underfunded, and almost hopelessly out of date. Time would perhaps be better spent harassing you local congresspeople, rather than IRIX. And for any Europeans, beat your EU ministers with a big knobby stick before you let them make the laws match the system here. You at least have the chance to start from scratch with something reasonable...

Possible /. manipulation? (2)

ejhp (24424) | more than 14 years ago | (#1874279)

I'm worried. What is this poster's motivation?
Their first post starts off by telling /.ers not take IPIX's actions personally. Fair enough. The post then ends by asking us not to get involved personally, which is altogether a different, disingenuous and dangerous thing to write.
Their next post appears to provide a useful resource to the community, listing IPIX contact details and shareholders.
One of these shareholders is given as the Media One Group (mediaone.com). http://www.ipix.com/about/about.html [ipix.com] corroborates this. A quick lookup on http://nsiregistry.com gives us a primary domain server for mediaone.com of ns1.mediaone.net. So mediaone.com and mediaone.net are the same entity.
The two posts I have referred to purport to come from signal11@mediaone.net

I don't know what's going on here, but I don't think I much like it.

signal11@mediaone.net has been notified of this reply, so I hope (s)he will soon come and explain themselves. For their sakes, I just hope it's all a big coincidence/cock-up.

FLF - A Free Law Foundation? (3)

The Big D (26921) | more than 14 years ago | (#1874281)

It seems to me that what we need is not so much a big bag of money, as a big bag of free lawyers.

There must be some lawyer geeks out there who would be willing to represent persecuted open source developers in cases like these?

Part of the problem with having a trust fund for law suits would be controling its use. Someone would have to decide who was to get backing and who not. With a list of lawyers willing to represent cases for free, it would be up to them if they worked on a particular suit or not.

As a good meeting point, how about if Slashdot were to have a sign up page for lawyers? What do you think, Rob?

Someone must have made a copy? (1)

bafful (27467) | more than 14 years ago | (#1874282)

Does anyone have a copy of the page that had to be removed? The best thing to do would be to mirror that information everywhere.

Quicktime... (1)

mircea (28953) | more than 14 years ago | (#1874283)

The Virtual Parks thing requires quicktime..and there's none for Linux, AFAIK

Re:Free Software Legal Defence Fund (2)

Drachs (29694) | more than 14 years ago | (#1874284)

I'd donate too :) But we need someone with status to hold on to the cash, and administrate the money.

David

Re:FLF - A Free Law Foundation? (2)

fornix (30268) | more than 14 years ago | (#1874285)

Exactly. People interested enough to contribute their skills. After all, that's what free software hackers do. Perhaps as free software increasingly becomes more a part of people's lives, we will see the emergence of a free software advocate with the power and visibility of, say, Ralph Nader.

But there's no reason why we can't pursure our interests along many different avenues. The power of focal points such as slashdot are already felt, but could be magnified even more. I think slashdot should use its large mindshare as an organizing force for this. Imagine if you could have a little box on the side (like the freshmeat box) with a list of pending conflicts. If a particular conflict gets you hot, hit the donate button and charge $10 (or more) for defense fund. If it were that easy, I wouldn't think twice about sending small sums flying to the aid of people like this. Since there are a lot of slashdot readers, the small sums could add up quite fast. We just have to make it convenient for people to donate.

I've never been particularly politically involved, but it is clear that the net could make grass roots efforts incredibly swift and powerful.

Re:I'm confused. This sounds like it isn't that ba (2)

Melbert (31564) | more than 14 years ago | (#1874286)

If they are in negotigations with the individual, then it's entirely possible that this whole hotheaded discussion will work against the cause.

German one traffic violation too many law. (1)

cynicthe (33709) | more than 14 years ago | (#1874288)

Get drunk in *.*.de and you lose your license to drive for life. A bit extreeme. Plus as much as I hate Protectionism (Not commercialism), we don't need them bastards getting organized before we get organized against them.

Precedents (4)

IIH (33751) | more than 14 years ago | (#1874289)

This does seem to be solely based on the usage of a file format, and whether another author is allowed to use that file format to import into another program. (which of course is the *last* thing you want to happen to your file format!)

This seems groundless, as this sort of thing has been done for years, if you look through MS's site, it shows lots of white papers on how to migrate from lotus notes to exchange, for example, and excel can import various non MS formats.

However, if this stands, it could set a nasty precedent, imagine if gnumeric or koffice were not allowed to have an excel import option? Or if Samba was not able to use the SMB protocol?

The possible repercissions of "you're not allowed to build an import filter for our file format unless we allow it" do not bear thinking about.


--

Re: ethics of software patents (2)

AngusSF (34059) | more than 14 years ago | (#1874290)

It would be interesting to discover how far a seriously critical view of the benefits to society of the law of copyright ... would have a chance of being publicly stated in a society in which the channels of expression are so largely controlled by people who have a vested interest in the existing situation. -- Friedrich A. Hayek, "The Intellectuals and Socialism" quoted on The Libertarian Case Against Intellectual Property Rights [freenation.org]

Let's just develop a better standard! (5)

stryemer (34743) | more than 14 years ago | (#1874291)

I'm kinda unclear on what the deal is...

It seems to me that there's a whole mess of papers submitted at SIGGRAPH 97 (see pages 243-258) and before on the subject of creating panoramic picture anyways. IPIX cannot be "revolutionary" if researchers from Princeton, Apple, and Microsoft Research have been working on this for ages. So obviously IPIX has no precedence on the "algorithms" to create panoramic images...


As for image formats, screw 'em! There's always got to be a better format. Let them make the fatal mistake of a proprietary format, and then us free software mongers shall smite them with an OPEN standard. Thus forcing them to comply! Muhahahaha!

Any takers?

Cheers,
Stryemer ;-)

My fortune cookie read:
"You will recieve faster silicon love in your future."
-Stryemer
We are the music makers,
and we are the dreamers of the dream.

Re:Quicktime... (3)

Chen (34811) | more than 14 years ago | (#1874292)

XAnim, great animation viewer that it is, doesn't handle QuickTime VR, just QuickTime video. The VR pics are a whole different file format/concept.

All for one and one for all (5)

rdale (36441) | more than 14 years ago | (#1874293)

We need to start getting together to help our fellow man (or woman). I encourage all of you to mirror his site to prevent any injustice of permenant removal. I have just finished downloading it. Should the time come, I will post it.

Re:Free Software Legal Defence Fund (5)

werdna (39029) | more than 14 years ago | (#1874294)

Agreed. And don't forget that there are good lawyers who will do good works pro bono when the cause arises!

Another, perhaps more useful, way for the OSS community to attack idiots, is to begin pooling ideas and forming a pool of patents and other intellectual property to affirmatively assert as counterclaims in defense of mind-loss lawsuits.

In the "real world," the threat of a lawsuit is often met with a portfolio of IP in return. "Sure, sue me if you like, and you'll be embroiled in litigation as a defendant until HFO." Cross-licensing makes the lawyers go away, and that is the end of many marginal cases.

To the extent that OSS community *is* being creative, it would do well to begin securing protection for its inventions, if not to assert against third parties, at least to use as fodder for cross-licensing in defense of others. (The existence of a solid portfolio of technology can also effectively rebut the FUDdy allegation that OSS is primarily derivative work.)

Another idea, though this is far more controversial: A provision that nobody seemed to like in Apple's latest OSS license was the "sue me for IP if you like, but you lose your license to any Apple OSS" provision. Wouldn't it be nice for future corporations who sue Open Source providers to place at risk forever their right to use Linux? Perhaps a "sue-and-autolose" policy is overreaching and impractical, but how about a "sue the OSS if you think you can win, but if you lose, you lose all OSS rights forever" view?

Re:mmh... sounds like QTVR (2)

HerrNewton (39310) | more than 14 years ago | (#1874295)

Actually by IPIX's defintion, they must be prepared to sue Apple Computer, Macromedia, Strata, NewTek, etc as well. Although the QTVR authoring studio (a generally excllent program), Apple offers QTVR Make Panorama, which can convert panoramic picts from 3d programs (e.g. Bryce) into a QTVR movie.

Apple QuickTime Authoring Tools [apple.com]

Re:Contact Information for: IPIX (1)

Daghada (39754) | more than 14 years ago | (#1874296)


Motorola
Mediaone
Advance Internet
American Express
Financial Advisors
Cendant
General Electric
Invision
JP Morgan

That's some list of investors, and all such lovely people who have a proven record of doing good . Banking, Arms manufacture maybe a media war isn't such a bad idea.

Re:You Can't do that! WE DID IT FIRST! (2)

Hobbex (41473) | more than 14 years ago | (#1874298)

Wow, hold it on the socialism a little will ya. Before we start the march toward a marxist state, consider what you are giving up.

Of course companies care only for money, as entities, that is what companies do, and attacking them for it is about as stupid as attacking a fruitfly for wanting to fuck.

The issue is not that companies want to make money, everyone knows that, but that this is another example of what software patents are allowing companies to do to the little guy.

Commersialism is thankfully rather self regualting in this respect: screwed up laws are discovered and exploited by the companies fast, so they also can be fixed fast. Now we just need the government that enforces the laws to do something...

... or we could just get rid of the whole thing...

Re:Free Software Legal Defence Fund (3)

code4444 (47997) | more than 14 years ago | (#1874300)

That would be cool - to have such a defence fund. Especially when it's run by a bunch of uncompromising RMS style free software fanatics; they'd attack each and every of this companies patents. Bye bye IPO.

Seriously, companies like IPIX prefer to go after the little fish, victims that simply don't have the money and time to defend themselves properly in court. Sometimes it's just to strengthen their case for when they have to go up against bigger fish.

A defence fund has more advantages than just pooling money. It means you can get a house attorney speciallized in this type of case. You can also setup a PR machine that can quickly get the word out that IPIX is a bunch of shitheads, that their licencing agreement is very restrictive, and that their are free alternatives to their software.

Why cant IPIX take the Linux/UNIX approch? (1)

servlan (51710) | more than 14 years ago | (#1874301)

Why cant IPIX just go at this the way UNIX has dealt with Linux, form what i understand there are a lot of UNIX producers that support Linux, and UNIX still seems to do really well.

Crashing there IPO.. (2)

Weezul (52464) | more than 14 years ago | (#1874302)

The question is how best should we get word to IPIX's potential investors about this problem. Our message should be: You don't want to invest in them since
1) we are boycotting them; and
2) there are more flexible free alternatives like VRML.

Our problem is that the free alternatives (while more flexable) are of slightly lower image quality and we don't want to risk creating any new investors for them via drawing attention to them.

I suggest that someone who knows more about IPO's then I do post soemthing about how to find there future investors without finding any investors who have not heard of them. Note: JP Morgan is handling there IPO.

I suppose we could keep an eye on the chat stuff in forbes.com and fortune.com (at least one of them has one), but I did not want to draw attention to them ammong investors unless people were discussing them already.

Just my thoughs..

http://www.iqtvra.org/noipix.html (4)

Weezul (52464) | more than 14 years ago | (#1874303)

Check out http://www.iqtvra.org/noipix.html and become 100% IPIX free. I guess not having any 3D content on my web page makes my 100% IPIX free. Seriously, IPIX must be stopped as this represents a threat to free software in general, i.e. it would be very bad for us if it became common place to sue on weaker patents as individual free software developers done have the resources to fight these in court. The most effective way to fight this is by purging IPIX's technology from the web, i.e. if you know anyone who distributes content in IPIX format please incurage them to switch formats and maybe point them to the following pages:

http://www.iqtvra.org/noipix.html
http://www.virtualproperties.com/noipix/noipix.h tml
http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=99/05/30/1446 237

What IPIX forced him to remove.. (5)

Weezul (52464) | more than 14 years ago | (#1874304)

http://www.fh-fu rtwangen.de/%7Edersch/sphere_format/Spherical.html [fh-furtwangen.de] is the real page which IPIX forced himn to remove and it is this and it is this page we need to mirror since it explains how to convert from IPIX's image format. If we want to boycot them then we sould make it uber simple to convert from IPIX images to other formats. Can someone please post a link to the original content of this page? thanks..

Re:A comment from a active pano shooter... (1)

bobm (53783) | more than 14 years ago | (#1874312)

>But there is no way I'm going to pay $25 a panorama to publish VRs on the Web.

This is what amazes me about IPIX, they actually have people duped into buying the development kit and then having to pay for each pic you put up. Sorta like a compilier company charging for each app you build or a web company charging for each page you put up, that's scary big time.

Converting from file formats (1)

Esteban (54212) | more than 14 years ago | (#1874313)

I am a bit confused about this crackdown on software which converts from a particular file format. Would this be like MS or WordPerfect suing MarinerWrite because MarinerWrite includes in its software the means to convert from Word and WP files to text files or MarinerWrite files? It seems as though quite a bit of this sort of thing goes on, that is - software converting some file formats to others.

2*PI (1)

L! (54780) | more than 14 years ago | (#1874315)

Forget those ancient degrees... Something which describes angle in space (grads?) would do.

Where's that fscking math book...


Some information was taken down... (5)

Jay Maynard (54798) | more than 14 years ago | (#1874316)

The page [fh-furtwangen.de] about making images for IPIX's viewer was taken down, and replaced with a discussion of the status of the dispute.

Personally, while I understand IPIX has a fiduciary duty to its shareholders (yes, it has some, even though it's not publicly offered yet) to protect the value of its intellectual property, this one's gone just a little too far.
--

Re:Quicktime... (2)

/.Rooster (54989) | more than 14 years ago | (#1874317)

Try getting hold of Xanim

http://xanim.va.pubnix.com/home.html

Does QT Movies and more....

Am i missing something here???? (4)

Kalak451 (54994) | more than 14 years ago | (#1874318)

So IPIX doesn't think that people should be giving away software for free that is in competition with their own because its unfair?? What is the difference between him giving it away and him selling it for half their price? Is this just a plow to bog people down with leagal trouble that they can't afford to fight so that they have no choice but to give up? Or is there some leagal basis for this? If this is a legitment argument, how long before MicroSoft goes after Linux distributors for exactly the same thing?
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