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Old 01-05-2007, 08:26 PM   #1
Benanzo
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Kernel developer, Alan Cox, files patent on DRM


http://www.freshpatents.com/Alan-Cox...ea-invdirc.php


A series of patents have been filed by the well-known Linux kernel developer, Alan Cox, asserting ownership of any DRM technology employed in software to modify the behavior of a system if certain conditions are not met. Since Red Hat and Cox himself are staunch open-source proponents, if this patent is granted it is likely that they will choose not to license this technology, and instead, sue for any use of it as a defense of OSS. Red Hat's patent policy (http://www.redhat.com/legal/patent_policy.html) states that any patents they own will be used to defend FOSS developers if attacked. It also states that their patents may be used freely in OSS under gpl.

I certainly hope this is granted. Is it defendable though??
 
Old 01-06-2007, 05:26 AM   #2
wjevans_7d1@yahoo.co
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Depends on what you mean by "defendable".
 
Old 01-06-2007, 01:47 PM   #3
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Can a lawsuit against Microsoft over their kernel-mode DRM in Vista, or PlaysForSure or Apple's iTunes be successful?
 
Old 01-07-2007, 07:31 AM   #4
wjevans_7d1@yahoo.co
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I took a quick look at the DRM-related Alan Cox patents listed at the link you provided. These patents do not cover all DRM. They cover certain "new" wrinkles in enforcing DRM. It is not clear to me that Vista, iTunes, or anyone else uses these new wrinkles.
 
Old 01-07-2007, 05:20 PM   #5
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I reread through the patent descriptions and it appears that most of what he is attempting to patent is the process of saving the user's data before locking them out of the application due to violation of the terms.

"The present invention provides a technique for preventing the unauthorized use of a computer application, operating system, or other program without causing the loss of any information or data. Specifically, the technique of the present invention monitors a computer program for use that is not in compliance with acceptable terms. These terms may be defined, for example, through the use of a license agreement between the computer program provider and the user. When unauthorized use of the computer program is detected, any information and data is saved and the computer program and/or a portion of the computer system is disabled. The specifics concerning data that is saved may be determined, for example, by the computer program vendor or the user upon installation of the computer program. Similarly, a conventional "suspend to disc" operation may be utilized. The suspension of the computer program and/or a portion of the system may be maintained for as long as the violation exists, thereby permitting the user to, for example, renew any expired license terms. Once compliance has been reestablished, suspension of the computer program and/or a portion of the system is terminated and activities resumed. In situations where compliance is not reestablished, the data may be transferred to the user."

Honestly, this sounds very much like the implementation of the kernel-mode DRM built into Vista.
 
Old 01-15-2007, 08:11 AM   #6
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Sounds like a bullshit patent to me. It basically says: people are already doing all this, but some of them do it badly; we save the data, good for us. Which IMO is only patentable in the faulty US patent system, and is likely to fall in court anyway, by showing prior art. Either that, or it'd prove inapplicable to most cases. In either case, seems like another spurious patent.
 
Old 01-15-2007, 08:13 AM   #7
XavierP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ET3D
Sounds like a bullshit patent to me. It basically says: people are already doing all this, but some of them do it badly; we save the data, good for us. Which IMO is only patentable in the faulty US patent system, and is likely to fall in court anyway, by showing prior art. Either that, or it'd prove inapplicable to most cases. In either case, seems like another spurious patent.
But taken in the context of who Alan Cox is, is it really spurious? This could be done as a preemptive strike or simply to show how flawed the system is.
 
Old 01-15-2007, 10:03 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XavierP
But taken in the context of who Alan Cox is, is it really spurious? This could be done as a preemptive strike or simply to show how flawed the system is.
The problem for me is that is seems meaningless as a preemptive strike. First of all, there's enough prior art that this certainly won't block any DRM. The only thing it may (on the off chance) be able to block is the ability of DRM systems to save data. Which sounds like a stupid thing to block.

As for showing how flawed the system is, I think that there are much better examples. I guess it could be used for this, but it doesn't seem to me like it's really worth while.

The most I can see it is as leverage against patent lawsuits aimed at open source, but I still think it'd get shot down due to prior art.
 
Old 01-15-2007, 10:03 AM   #9
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WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW!!!

COX I Like your style and because of that I LOVE YOU!!!

It seems to me that this is espesially made to fix Vista and DRM built into kernel. It's a good thing. But one more thing...

Apple's iTunes FairPlay DRM isn't that bad but it's DRM. And pretty much any DRM is wrong. I personaly could accept that fact that iTunes DRM is ok. It's not best possible but it's not bad either. It works. But thing I'd really want from iTunes is that I can re-download my purchases incase I'll lose file(s) I haven't backed up. Steam uses DRM but it allows the redownloads ( For a real good reason [tm], file sizes are totally different. )
 
Old 01-15-2007, 10:10 AM   #10
XavierP
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I dunno - if Microsoft or Apple or whoever decided to patent the measures, do you think prior art will stop them? Has it so far? (patent for right clicking, I'm looking at you!)

If this is Cox's aim, then more power to him.
 
Old 01-15-2007, 10:11 PM   #11
pxumsgdxpcvjm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benanzo
http://www.freshpatents.com/Alan-Cox...ea-invdirc.php

Red Hat's patent policy (http://www.redhat.com/legal/patent_policy.html) states that any patents they own will be used to defend FOSS developers if attacked. It also states that their patents may be used freely in OSS under gpl.
If the patent is approved, could someone make an embedded Linux media player using such patented method under the Red Hat policy?
 
Old 01-16-2007, 04:42 PM   #12
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Ofcourse this does not apply to Apple and Microsoft because they allready used it before the patent was filed by Cox. Interesting however that America's law is so stupid.
 
Old 01-16-2007, 06:03 PM   #13
Benanzo
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The question isn't whether DRM existed prior to Cox's patent application. It's whether or not the prior art of DRM included a mechanism to save the state of a user's data (ie save their documents, photos, projects etc.) before locking the OS/application. This *idea* would be a great incentive to users to continue using the app/OS (so they could get their stuff back) by paying or otherwise coming into compliance with the terms. I'm not sure of any prior art that this would be dismissed by. It's effectively a mechanism to hold your work hostage while you get your checkbook. I'm inclined to believe that Cox/Red Hat has something up his sleeve, but who knows really. I see this kind of DRM (extortion) as being more beneficial to Linux adoption. Why would a patent of this degree of evilness be withheld from MS??? I say let MS blow their feet off with it all they want. It only helps Linux/Red Hat.
 
Old 01-17-2007, 02:54 AM   #14
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I don't really see what's new here. If you don't activate Windows, and you get locked out of stuff after a while, you don't lose anything. The moment you activate it, you can resume work. What's so special about this patent?
 
Old 01-17-2007, 06:16 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ET3D
I don't really see what's new here. If you don't activate Windows, and you get locked out of stuff after a while, you don't lose anything. The moment you activate it, you can resume work. What's so special about this patent?
It can't save the users data. So if a user opens up Word and write a document he/she can't save it with DRM. Or am I wrong?

Last edited by V!NCENT; 01-17-2007 at 06:17 AM.
 
  


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