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Lee McGowan
Pro DVD Authors please read
on Apr 18, 2011 at 8:14:08 pm

Hi all,
I am a newcomer submitting a post to this forum, although l have for many years throughout my uni & working life found tips/techniques here that have really helped. Great job guys!

I am not sure if this is the right section to submit this post, but believe that it is of significant relevance to any 'Pro Author' out there.

Part of my 'day job' involves authoring DVD's for various companies, which l have (more often than not) included 'motion menus' in the design. Nearly all of these companies have recently been approached by lawyers claiming that they act for a party who claim they have a Patent on motion menus. They want royalty payments else they will sue!

The motion menus l designed were simple (Chapter) buttons containing video owned by the companies.

Has anybody else come across this issue?


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Noah Kadner
Re: Pro DVD Authors please read
on Apr 18, 2011 at 11:41:48 pm

I don't doubt it- patent trolling is out of control these days. As the DVD author it's not really your problem though... You were just using software. if their patent lawsuits come to fruition and hold- doubtful as it sounds- the makes of the authoring software would be on the hook not you...

Noah

Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Panasonic GH2 and Canon 7D.


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Michael Sacci
Re: Pro DVD Authors please read
on Apr 19, 2011 at 12:11:27 am

I bet if you go after enough people someone will just right a check. I don't see how anyone can get a patent on motion menus with is just a mini movie with a propose. Maybe I should get a patent on "Intro movies"


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eric pautsch
Re: Pro DVD Authors please read
on Apr 19, 2011 at 4:12:14 am

I've heard of this before. I'll see if I can dig up some details about the specific company initating the lawsuits.

I've even heard of companies trying to patent their authoring coding styles.

Crazy world we live in :)



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Noah Kadner
Re: Pro DVD Authors please read
on Apr 19, 2011 at 5:04:25 am

Sounds as legit as the spam letters from Nigeria all of us have received one time or another.

Noah

Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Panasonic GH2 and Canon 7D.


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Lee McGowan
Re: Pro DVD Authors please read
on Apr 19, 2011 at 8:31:49 pm

Hi Eric,
Thanks for taking the time to reply to my post.

If you could dig up any further details, that would be really great! When l was told that a 'royalty' was paid because of the motion menus, l told them that they must be crazy!

But they paid anyway, saying the fee was cheaper than paying for a Patent lawyer to defend their position & they did not want to be involved in an expensive Patent case where they stood the risk of bad publicity & being labelled as Patent Infringers!

My thoughts are that if there is a Patent on motion menus, Authors need to know...so they can advise their clients to factor in these costs. If this is just a scam, Authors still need to know, so they can advise & point their clients to the evidence that proves they are being scammed.


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Lee McGowan
Re: Pro DVD Authors please read
on Apr 19, 2011 at 8:40:18 pm

Hi Noah,
I agree to some extents that it is not really my problem. I wonder what Sonic or Apple for instance feel about selling software that encourages purchasers to commit Patent infringements!


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Noah Kadner
Re: Pro DVD Authors please read
on Apr 19, 2011 at 10:41:48 pm

And what did they pay exactly- bribe money? Anyone who seriously believes that they're going to get sued by someone claiming to hold a "patent on motion menus" of all things is truly daft. It's like saying- I patented clickable windows therefore because this video you commissioned was edited in an NLE that used clickable windows- you owe me money or I'll sue you for patent infringement. That's just dumb, they would sue the makers of the software if something so basic were even ever enforceable. A fool and his money are soon parted.

Noah

Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Panasonic GH2 and Canon 7D.


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Jim Arco
Re: Pro DVD Authors please read
on Apr 20, 2011 at 3:08:22 pm

"video you commissioned was edited in an NLE that used clickable windows- you owe me money or I'll sue you for patent infringement"

Please don't give the patent trolls any more ideas.

While the whole concept of patent trolling will likely (eventually) go away it seems like a real problem right now. Faced with a $25million lawsuit or a $10,000 "licensing fee," I'd guess that many mid-sized entities will choose to pay the lower cost because they know it will take more than $10K worth of start-up for their corporate legal-beagles to even look at the case.

As far as the argument "Adobe made the tool - sue them" probably won't get any farther than if you use photoshop to duplicate $20 bills. "I didn't do it, photoshop did" would get you laughed out of the courtroom and into the graybar hotel for an extended stay.

We probably need to add a clause to OUR contracts excluding any liability for these (hopefully) frivolous claims.


Then again, maybe I ought to claim a patent on video playing simultaneously with music or with text!


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Noah Kadner
Re: Pro DVD Authors please read
on Apr 20, 2011 at 3:26:35 pm

[Jim Arco] "As far as the argument "Adobe made the tool - sue them" probably won't get any farther than if you use photoshop to duplicate $20 bills. "I didn't do it, photoshop did" would get you laughed out of the courtroom and into the graybar hotel for an extended stay."

If you were using Photoshop to counterfeit bills you'd be knowingly breaking the law. Using a piece of DVD authoring software for its intended, designed use is not the same scenario by a country mile.

Example: you are driving a car. A technology company decides that the engine the car happens to have uses a component they own a patent for. Do they sue you for driving the car? Of course not, they sue the car manufacturer. And they will probably lose because the car manufacturer has good lawyers. So maybe the patent company realizes they have no real case and they go after the lower hanging fruit- you.

You the driver don't have good lawyers and you get scared when someone threatens you with even the the most absurd sounding lawsuit. So you do the dumb thing and pay them some relatively paltry fee to just go away. But there are a lot of folks driving this car so rooking them is good money in the long run. And that is precisely what these motion menu people- if they even exist- are plying.

So let's please hear some actual company names involved from the OP- so we can let any author who gets caught up in this scam to tell these 'lawyers' to eff right off.

Noah

Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Panasonic GH2 and Canon 7D.


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Kevin Christopher
Re: Pro DVD Authors please read
on Apr 21, 2011 at 5:50:16 pm

I dealt with this a year or so ago with a client. Luckily they had plenty of lawyers on staff to paper the hell out of them and they went away. It's a pain to deal with. I am surprised they are still trying this. We had many discussions on the DVD Tully list, and one of the members actually made the first Motion menu for Sonic in 1997. Way before there so called patent.

Kevin



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Noah Kadner
Re: Pro DVD Authors please read
on Apr 21, 2011 at 6:12:18 pm

Company name please...

Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Panasonic GH2 and Canon 7D.


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Dee Cortex
Re: Pro DVD Authors please read
on Apr 21, 2011 at 6:28:49 pm

Read about this on DVD list...
It was AIX productions with 'prior art'

on March 10, 2010, InMotion filed a lawsuit against, ___ in the eastern
District of Texas (civil
action No. 2:10-cv-00084) claiming patent infringement of US Patent NO.
6,526,219 (the'219
Patent). I have enclosed a courtesy complaint ... BLAH BLAH BLAH... the '219
Patent discloses
innovatative video indexing technologies that provide pictures and motion
imagery in windows
on a display device as a way of identifying the contents of a video program on
a recorded
medium (e.g. optical discs, tapes,harddrives, etc.). US Patent 6,574,416
discloses technologies
that used stored pictures, as opposed to the recorded program itself, to
monitor the progress
of a video program sequencing operation such as fast forward or rewind.

Some of the parties named are:

penthouse digital media productions, Inc.; BUENA VISTA HOME ENTERTAINMENT; NEW
LINE;
WARNER BROS.; ANCHOR BAY; MAGNOLIA PICTURES; THE WEINSTEIN COMPANY ETC.

Dee Cortex
Editors' Hideaway, NY


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Noah Kadner
Re: Pro DVD Authors please read
on Apr 21, 2011 at 10:18:02 pm

Patent law is in dire, dire need of a complete overhaul if not abolishment at this stage in the development of technology.

Noah

Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Panasonic GH2 and Canon 7D.


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eric pautsch
Re: Pro DVD Authors please read
on Apr 22, 2011 at 1:01:07 am

Yep!

Basically its cheaper to settle than to hire a lawyer to make out the initial paperwork on a BS lawsuit.

What goes round comes round though...so whomever's involved will get payback eventually.

To the OP....you might join the Tully List to get more info on this



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