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Spotify Sued For Patent Infringement 151

Posted by timothy
from the just-a-hazing-ritual-nowadays dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Celebrated online music player Spotify just entered the US market a few weeks ago, and already it's being sued for patent infringement. Welcome to America! The patent in question is a very very broad patent on distribution of music in a digital form, which basically describes how anyone would ever distribute digital music. The company suing, PacketVideo, has no competing product. It just wants money from the company that actually innovated."
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Spotify Sued For Patent Infringement

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  • by pyalot (1197273) on Friday July 29, 2011 @04:25AM (#36918790)
    As anybody can see from my CV ( http://codeflow.org/ [codeflow.org] ) I used to work for DWS. This was a little serverside company sister to Secure Digitial Container, the company the patent comes from that was later bought (together with DWS) by PacketVideo.

    I liked working for DWS, they where a small and quirky company with good people. DWS/SDC never sued anybody for this patent, it was mainly a bargaining chip to impress clients. Mind the patent is about DRM, specifically, it's about polymorphic DRM (that is the variant that delivers its own encryption/decryption/obfuscation code together with the content).

    Sidenote: DWS/SDC where far flung leftovers of Napster.

    But then the inevitable happened, the companies got bought by PacketVideo. The founder/investor and the then CEO (a superb business drummer, though no techie) left the company and American management took over.

    During my work there, I was increasingly troubled by the DRM side of business. Eventually I left (and I'd have probably been fired if I didn't), mostly for reasons where management differed with my idea of efficiency and quality. I traveled around the world and I started freelancing, and I can't say it was a bad decision, has been a good life since.

    I'm not surprised that PacketVideo eventually started suing people for the patents they hold. It's a small and troubled company that's been struggling for years to "get it right", and as they probably increasingly run out of funds to keep the fiction alive, it gets ever more tempting to cash in some quick buck simply by virtue of sitting on patents you've acquired.
  • Re:Spotify (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 29, 2011 @08:09AM (#36919758)

    Where is this dungeon where these people are being "forced" to do anything? I keep hearing about it, but all I see is people who choose to do something that everyone knows rarely makes money for the vast majority of people who do it. It's the same thing for people who aspire to be pro athletes. Yes, there are a handful who make ridiculous sums, but the vast majority don't make a living wage, either because they don't get picked up by a team at all, or because they simply aren't good enough, etc.

    People try to say exactly the same thing about open source and software development. If people are giving away all this work without the ability to "control" it (as if that's even possible in the real world), how will programmers make any money? And yet, here are all these people (myself included) who continue to be paid very healthy amounts of money to do just that.

    My suggestion to stop living in the world of theory, and look at how things actually work in the real world.

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