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Facebook's Broad Patent On Digital Media Tagging

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  • bullshit (Score:5, Informative)

    by jsepeta (412566) on Tuesday May 17, 2011 @04:58PM (#36158820) Homepage

    I've been tagging people in photos in iphoto for years.

    but we've been zucked.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by poetmatt (793785)

      the hilary is the comment of "owning" anything due to a patent. Tells you how out of wack intellectual property is as a concept.

      • by blair1q (305137)

        If you legally collect the rent on something, you own it. That's pretty much what own means. You have the right to chase other people away from your property, and to give it, sell it, lend it, or lease it to someone else. A patent is temporary ownership of a technology.

        • Just to enlarge upon your "temporarily" in your final sentence, isn't everything we own temporarily owned? After all, its not ours after death.
          • by blair1q (305137)

            No. You, at your death, have the right to give it to someone else. You own it until you give it away, even after you're dead. Nobody else owns it until you give it to them. It's possible for things to remain in your estate and owned by you for decades until the legal issues are wrung out in probate court.

          • Re:bullshit (Score:4, Funny)

            by demonbug (309515) on Tuesday May 17, 2011 @05:59PM (#36159318) Journal

            Just to enlarge upon your "temporarily" in your final sentence, isn't everything we own temporarily owned? After all, its not ours after death.

            I'm a corporation, you insensitive clod!

          • by Dhalka226 (559740)
            Temporarily owned by us, yeah; not necessarily temporarily owned. Most property can be passed along to others even after the technical owner is dead. Patents, on the other hand, have an expiration date. The number of owners in that time is not relevant.
        • by stanlyb (1839382)
          You may collect the rent for your little house, but that does not means that you actually OWN the house, and the land under your house........., except, if you have land patent of course, which you apparently don't have.
          • by blair1q (305137)

            What was the third word in my post, and why do you think I took the trouble to include it there?

        • by Joce640k (829181)

          Yeah but patents are supposed to be clever things which are "non obvious" to professionals who work in the associated trade.

          If my boss asked me to come up with a way to tag media files I wouldn't need six months of hard R&D to figure out how to do it, I'd have some ideas right away, a basic plan in a couple of minutes and the specs written the same day.

          THIS is why the patent system is broken, not because the basic concept of owning ideas is wrong.

    • We can be sure that at least one of the following is true:
      -No one at the USPTO has ever used iphoto
      -No one at the USPTO has any understanding of his or her job
      • You missed an option
        -interkin3tic is a Slashdot troll who has no idea that a patent application is not a patent.

        The article specifically points out this is a patent application and with that status comes no legal protection of any sort. The case either has yet to be reviewed or is in the process of being reviewed by anyone at the USPTO. It is only the applicant at this point who shows broad ignorance of iphoto or other similar tagging applications. This application will most likely be shot down or highl
    • Of course you have - and guess what, this is not a patent, but merely an application.

      There are still many rounds of prosecution to go and the claim language will doubtfully look anything like it currently does.

      Patent Applications != Patents.
    • Yes, but did your system automatically contact the person being tagged and then refuse to work if the other person declined?

      TFA says the patent is broad, but it sounds pretty narrow to me. IMHO, it's not only narrow, but narrow to the point of completely uselessness. I would never want to violate this patent (not that a programmer doing his job ever has that choice or even the knowledge of how many dozenss of patents they routinely and unwittingly violate every day).

  • File patent
    Short sell technology stock 'o the day
    Scare blog o' sphere
    Profit
    • Metapatents lead to metametapatents and so on. Don't do that, or the loop police will come to your house and kill you.

      Just sayin'.
  • Good. When shit hits the fan now I can point my finger at one entity. Make my life easier!

  • by GameboyRMH (1153867) <gameboyrmh@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday May 17, 2011 @05:08PM (#36158914) Journal

    Software patents retarded. Idea obvious. Prior art exists. And so on and so forth...

    • Facebook's lawyers disagree, and they are well-paid and prepared to fight for the bitter end. Are you prepared to take them on, knowing that being right in these cases very rarely matters unless you have your own army of lawyers to back you up?
    • by feepness (543479)

      Software patents retarded. Idea obvious. Prior art exists. And so on and so forth...

      Dr. Solus??!!

  • Time to pay up to the Zuck!

    This kind of shakedown economy seems to be the norm. I ought to get a patent on chewing gum "while on the internet", incorporate and then sell out for big $$$.

  • by Rivalz (1431453) on Tuesday May 17, 2011 @05:15PM (#36158982)

    Isn't this the same concept as being a member of a group and gaining a variety of access permissions?

    How is this not the same just changing the naming semantics of the general idea?
    I mean can i just patent any idea and substitute a previously defined terms with my own made up one?

    • by Plombo (1914028)

      How is this not the same just changing the naming semantics of the general idea? I mean can i just patent any idea and substitute a previously defined terms with my own made up one?

      Sure you can. Whether the patent will stand in court is another matter.

    • by blair1q (305137)

      You can patent the radio.

      You can patent the potentiometer.

      You can patent the variable capacitor.

      You can patent the variable inductor.

      You can patent using the potentiometer to control the volume on the radio.

      You can patent using the variable capacitor or variable inductor or both to control the tuning of the radio.

      Start throwing transistors in and you can patent any number of combinations of radio, control, tuning, and amplification.

      Get this concept early and you can claim all of it in one big patent.

      They di

  • Disclaimer: Software patents are stupid.

    That said, after reading the patent excerpt, it appears as though it requires 2nd-party notification of the tagging to be covered. That limits the scope incredibly, and seems as though it would make it fairly easy to avoid.

    • Disclaimer: Software patents are stupid.

      That said, after reading the patent excerpt, it appears as though it requires 2nd-party notification of the tagging to be covered. That limits the scope incredibly, and seems as though it would make it fairly easy to avoid.

      Until it's made illegal for privacy reasons to tag photos w/o notifying the people being identified in the tag.

      • by Fjandr (66656)

        I know there are a lot of stupid laws out there, but that's pretty far-fetched. Privacy has a vanishingly small number of supporters (at least those with any influence at all in politics). The likelihood of a law that strongly protecting a specific privacy interest being passed is pretty close to zero.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    There is a lot of discussion about whether software should be patentable or not...
    I wonder, why nobody discusses, well, for how long such patents should be granted.

    In the end, if software patent would be good for 5 years, it would not be as big issue. Time in IT flies faster than in other disciplines.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    This piece is so sensationalist. The "patent" that is the subject of this silly rant is just an application for patent, filed 5 months ago. A patent application gives no rights at all. Every patent that is filed starts off broad like this and then gets narrowed down. I don't know why I even click patent related links on slashdot...

    • Nail on the head there, mr. coward. This shouldn't go anywhere, and would be easily defeated in court should it get granted. The likes of JEIDA for example released EXIF in 1995 that does what? Allows a user to add "tags" aka metadata to digital media.... I'm sure there's even older examples of prior art on this, that was just an easy one to find.
  • by jascat (602034) on Tuesday May 17, 2011 @06:23PM (#36159532)
    Some companies get patents for defensive purposes to ensure no one else patents it and uses it against them. I had a serious knee-jerk reaction when my employer sent out an email advertising our patent program. The explanation I got was that we weren't going to be patenting stuff to keep others from doing those things, but to patent them before others do so that we can't be sued. Facebook could be doing just that. In that same email, I was told that the company despises the state of IP and have active lobbying efforts to change things. I felt much better about my employer after hearing all of that.
    • by steelfood (895457)

      That's good and all, until someone ups and acquires your company. Suddenly, that "defensive" patent portfolio your company's been keeping becomes somebody else's offensive one. Look at the Sun acquisition if you want more details.

      It's not a bad thing for your company to keep a nice portfolio handy for when it gets sued. However, the Sun acquisition is something for your upper management to be aware of in case there's some kind of hostile or otherwise takeover.

  • ...as befits Facebook's privacy flaws.

  • I've been incorporating the ability for users to tag themselves and others, as well as send out notifications for confirmation or rejection, in digital content since 2000 - one of my sites http://friendsite.com/ [friendsite.com] has used it extensively as well as others - hmmmm I'm sure there's a ton of prior art out there...
  • So Facebook wants a monopoly on feeding user-tagged photos to various intelligence services? Makes one wonder how much they are getting paid for that.
  • well good for them taking over tht market to,but they still havent perfected it. Sure on ur profile you can tag pics,but cannot tag pics on Our Fanpages,before any trolls come screaming "yes you can yes you can" by switching to use Facebook as your Fanpage,well no it still spits an error message, the "oops something happend,we are working on it" or whtever the message is. Why would you want to tag pics on your fanpage do you ask? ah well u know those cool banners you see people adding to their profile spli
  • What an insane patent.

    I've tagged things in delicio.us for years, in my gmail for years, Slashdot tags, my photo organizing software that came with my digital camera I bought 6 or so years ago ... I'm sure in probably more examples if I think about it ...

    Depending on how far reaching this patent is, that pretty much sums up half of the "Web 2.0" stuff -- tag clouds are pretty much used everywhere nowadays.

    It really is hard to believe that patents are providing any of the benefits they're supposed to. I can

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