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PTO Rejects Instant Live Patent 77

Jivecat writes "Instant Live, a service of the concert promotion company Live Nation, makes recordings of live concerts that are rapidly burned onto CDs to be sold to the audience before they leave the venue. It's a nice service for fans, but Live Nation holds the patent for a technology that places markers between songs so they can be written as separate tracks rather than one big track — in effect giving them a monopoly on in-concert recordings. Now, thanks to the efforts of the EFF and a patent attorney, who found prior work of similar technology, the U.S. Patent Office has revoked Live Nation's patent. This is good news for those who consider Live Nation to be the Evil Empire when it comes to concert promotion."
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PTO Rejects Instant Live Patent

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  • because (Score:4, Funny)

    by User 956 ( 568564 ) on Thursday March 22, 2007 @07:40PM (#18451865) Homepage
    PTO Rejects Instant Live Patent

    That's because the idea of granting it is patently ridiculous.
    • That's because the idea of granting it is patently ridiculous
      Granted...but

      the U.S. Patent Office has revoked Live Nation's patent
      Obliviously, Someone should have mentioned that to the PTO before they did originally then.

      language is fun!
  • EFF to the rescue (Score:5, Insightful)

    by vivaoporto ( 1064484 ) on Thursday March 22, 2007 @07:45PM (#18451927)
    Some people like to diss EFF here on Slashdot, specially when they don't win some cases, but forget to thank them for the victories that make our lives easier. To show your support and help them to help us all, shell in [eff.org] some cash. The digital world thanks you :)
    • by QuantumG ( 50515 )
      dude, it's not the EFF we have fun bashing, it's the pro bono lawyers they get to screw cases for them. In this case, they found someone who isn't pro bonehead, so what? Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by vivaoporto ( 1064484 )
        "Even a stopped clock is right twice a day"

        Doing nothing. That may be the case of a lot of people, but certainly not the case of EFF, they fight hard for what they believe.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by d34thm0nk3y ( 653414 )
        Some people like to diss EFF here on Slashdot...

        dude, it's not the EFF we have fun bashing, it's the pro bono lawyers they get to screw cases for them. In this case, they found someone who isn't pro bonehead, so what? Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.


        Some people indeed...

        In the legal arena, being right once a day is pretty good. [slashdot.org]

        For reference, here is some person talking shit about the lawyer that is pressing the NFL case from yesterday.
        Re:Wendy was our pro-bono lawyer for a time... [slashdot.org]
        Re:Wo [slashdot.org]
        • by QuantumG ( 50515 )
          The first of those comments of mine was replying to this post [slashdot.org]. If you actually bother to read it you'll see the kind of lawyerin' you get from a pro bono lawyer. Open and shut case of copyright violation and she can't even get them to return her phone calls.

          So excuse me if I think that maybe it would be better for the cause if the EFF didn't pit pro bono amateurs against high paid professionals, inevitably lose and set bad precidents for us all.

          If, like this case, they go out and find someone with somethi
          • by ntk ( 974 )
            Hey QuantumG,

            First, these aren't pro-bono lawyers. Wendy was, and Jason is, part of our legal staff. That's some of what an EFF donation pays for: having lawyers available to protect vulnerable groups that might not otherwise be able to afford one. I imagine you'll now claim that they're no good, or somesuch. I'll just point people to the recent announcement that one of them, Kurt Opsahl, just won the California Attorney of the Year [eff.org] award for his work winning against Apple. Two of our other lawyers won the
            • by QuantumG ( 50515 )
              I must be some other QuantumG then.. When I contacted you, I had no "problems" for which I needed your help. In fact, I was offering my services as a reverse engineer to help prevent people using copyright and the strange binary-source nature of software to prevent free expression. Something for which I have repeatedly been turned down by legal people who see reverse engineering as too damn scary a topic to broach. Maybe, and I stress maybe, you're refering to the many years ago when I approached the FS
  • Unfortunately scumbags like Clear Channel still overcharge for tickets and hoard any good seating for their crappy radio stations to use or give away as prizes. Until asshats like CC clean up their act I, for one, will no longer attend any live event. I'll just wait for the DVD.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by j00r0m4nc3r ( 959816 )
      Don't forget Ticketmaster The Unholy, who will slither under your door late at night and eat your children and defile your grandmother in her sleep.
    • by Hatta ( 162192 )
      Unfortunately scumbags like Clear Channel still overcharge for tickets and hoard any good seating for their crappy radio stations to use or give away as prizes. Until asshats like CC clean up their act I, for one, will no longer attend any live event.

      You know there are live music events that ClearChannel has no part in? Plenty of them.
  • The end of the story (Score:1, Interesting)

    by bconway ( 63464 )
    Now, thanks to the efforts of the EFF and a patent attorney, who found prior work of similar technology, the U.S. Patent Office has revoked Live Nation's patent. This is good news for those who consider Live Nation to be the Evil Empire when it comes to concert promotion.

    But less so (good news) when the author of the prior art files for the same patent, no?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Ecuador ( 740021 )
      Nope you cannot do that. Otherwise:

      1. Create/Invent something good
      2. Convince people to use it, since it is a free/not patented alternative
      3. Patent it when it has a decent adoption.
      4. Profit!

      So, in the real world there is no "3" in these profit schemes ;)
      • Correct me if I'm wrong, but can't you can apply for a patent, and advertise your concept all you want, without mentioning that its patent pending, and then once you get your patent, announce it as patented, and collect revenue.

        The companies that have committed themselves to that patent will be forced to pay your royalties, face legal action, or back out of production. All of which can be extremely costly.
        • by Ecuador ( 740021 )
          Did you ever read the grandparent post I was replying to? It was suggesting that whoever was responsible for the prior art can NOW many many years later file for a patent.

          What you are saying is completely different and of course can be done in many cases. However, you cannot use your participation in an industry standards commitee to steer them towards adopting your technology without mentioning it is patent pending ;)
    • Live Nation's technology is nor prior art for any patent that might be filed going forward
      • Sure it is. Their patent, while invalid, is still published and ready to be used against new patent applications. The invalidation does not wipe away the knowledge.
    • As whoever had the prior art has missed the 'window of opportunity' to successfully patent it, which is one to two years, depending.
      • The inventor/applicant must file the patent application no later than exactly 1 year from the first disclosure of the invention (i.e. printed publication, patent, public use, or offered for sale). It's a statutory bar, meaning that you can't get around it.

        According to 35 U.S.C. 102 (b) [uspto.gov]:

        A person should be entitled to a patent unless--
        (b) the invention was patented or described in a printed publication in this or a foreign country or in public use or on sale in this country, more than one year prior to the

        • You can file a preliminary application that buys you another year to file the real one.
          • While you can file a provisional patent application, in order to claim that priority date (the date that prior art must beat), the provisional must still disclose the entirety of the claimed invention. It's really just a cost saving tool. From the USPTO website [uspto.gov],

            the written description and any drawing(s) of the provisional application must adequately support the subject matter claimed in the later-filed non-provisional application in order for the later-filed non-provisional application to benefit from the p

  • What's that, Billy? That's right: it's a volcano. *BING*

  • Isn't there some clause that a patent has to be non-obvious?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jfengel ( 409917 )
      Unfortunately, that's the most debatable of the clauses. Much of the time, if it's both "novel" and "useful" (the other two things you have to have for a patent), and nobody's done it before, the patent filer will claim that as evidence that it isn't obvious. A lot of things are obvious in retrospect, but until somebody has shown it to you you'll walk right past it.

      That said, "non-obvious" isn't sufficient, it has to be not obvious to somebody "skilled in the art". If somebody else seeing the same problem
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by justzisguy ( 573704 )
        The Federal Courts and Congress are responsible for defining what is exactly obvious. The current standard was decided by the Supreme Court in Graham v. John Deere, 383 U.S. 1, 148 USPQ 459 (1966):

        (A) Determining the scope and contents of the prior art;
        (B) Ascertaining the differences between the prior art and the claims in issue;
        (C) Resolving the level of ordinary skill in the pertinent art; and
        (D) Evaluating evidence of secondary considerations.

        And finally,

        To establish a prima facie case of obviousne

      • Yep, when I read the actual patent there were a number of points in there where I thought thats a cool idea BUT nothing in there was patent worth and non obvious.

        it sounds like CC were stopping people recording live concerts which is just totally wrong.

        i think thats the problem with so many patents that they overstep the bounds of what is actually unique.

        Cheers,
        Dean
        • by jfengel ( 409917 )
          It wouldn't surprise me to discover that they were deliberately overstepping their patent, hoping that people would pay up or get out of the way rather than go to court and risk losing. Even if they won, in fact, they'd need to find a judge willing to award them considerable damages to make up for the expense of the trial and the lost opportunities.

          I don't know any of that for a fact; I'm just guessing. But we've all seen similar instances documented here on Slashdot. It's enough to make even those most s
  • uhhhhh (Score:2, Insightful)

    by intthis ( 525681 )
    why does anyone need extra software to break things into individual tracks? these concerts are almost certainly being recorded into protools... and it's about a 1 minute process to zip through the total recording and and just seperate the songs into different regions... and then burn away... you'll get seperate tracks, and you won't have to deal with patent issues over something this insane...
    • by QuantumG ( 50515 )
      Uh huh. Do you wanna listen to a 50 cent concert? Or Shannon Noll? No, didn't think so.
      • by intthis ( 525681 )
        no, but i'm sure there are people out there who would (god forbid) and i'm sure they wouldn't mind waiting the extra minute and a half while a protools engineer breaks the whole concet into tracks... other than that, i have no idea what you're talking about...
    • Well, I'm glad that my use of Audacity doesn't violate anyone's patent! *whew*
    • by 1u3hr ( 530656 )
      why does anyone need extra software to break things into individual tracks

      Surely there is an operator pressing the buttons, watching the levels. Do they want to include soundchecks, other crap between songs (some fans would, I suppose, but most not.) Dividing the soundtrack into tracks seems one of the more trivial parts of the process. After all, it's unlikely the software can identify the name of the song, etc. (Even if there was a playlist, often bands diverge from that, skip songs or do encores.)

  • by Bill, Shooter of Bul ( 629286 ) on Thursday March 22, 2007 @08:31PM (#18452469) Journal
    These days we seem to have a plethora of Evil Empires. Evil Empire of software, Evil Empire of Domain Registration, Evil Empire of Music Labels, Evil Empire of Movies, Evil Empire of Pizza chains, Evil Empire of dry cleaning, Evil Empire of Milwaukee area Dairy Producers. The list just never stops. We need a onestop resource to look up the Evil Empire of a good or service, if we want to keep it all straight, or if we want to keep our purchasing and use of services of Evil Empires to a minimum. So we should put them in a Directory book. Yellow is actually aready taken, so is blue and red, How about the chartreuse book of Evil Empires?
    • Get your personalized Evil Empire today! We also sell Wars for/on Evil Empires, chartreuse coloured Evil Empire cups, caps, cardigans, parkas, thumbs, thumb screws, trench coats, pith helmets, whips, lawn seed, and other wares. Join our Evil Empire dating service, find your mate and leave others chartreuse with envy!
    • How about the chartreuse book of Evil Empires?

      I was thinking paisley.
    • by Criffer ( 842645 )
      I believe this case is most definitely the Evil Empire of Red Book [wikipedia.org].
  • This is good news for those who consider Live Nation to be the Evil Empire when it comes to concert promotion.
    And it is bad news for those who consider Live Nation to be the Greatest Philanthropy of our time.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      What are you talking about? If that were the case, I would think that fact would show up rather fast on a google search or perhaps wikipedia. Wikipedia says:

      Live Nation NYSE: LYV is a live events company based in Beverly Hills, CA. Live Nation, formed in 2005 by a spin-off from Clear Channel Communications
      Perhaps you're thinking Live Aid?
      • by peipas ( 809350 )

        Perhaps you're thinking Live Aid?
        No, I was making fun of the presence of the last sentence in the summary, which seems totally out of place. But apparently my attempt at humor failed.
  • by Aliks ( 530618 ) on Thursday March 22, 2007 @08:46PM (#18452661)
    Surely the main reason to celebrate is that obvious patents can and will be struck down.

    If my business plan is to register a load of bogus patents and hope that some will stick and make money, the last thing I want is to invest time and money only to see the community shoot me down.

    A relatively small number of wins like this will kill off a lot of small to medium operators.
  • Thank God. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ZPWeeks ( 990417 )
    With all of the royalties attached to albums and performances, bands do NOT need another thing sucking away at their money. A lot of the bands that do this are independent, non-RIAA artists that play in non-Clear Channel venues. I've used the service, but prefer online ones like digitalsoundboard.net that sell DRM-free FLACs of the concerts [/plug]. Artists actually MAKE a sizable chunk off of these recordings, unlike their albums or even live show tickets. They don't need one more royalty to pay. This serv
  • Should've been titled "PTO finally says no to a patent after much nagging."
  • Best idea ever (Score:3, Interesting)

    by xrayspx ( 13127 ) on Thursday March 22, 2007 @11:18PM (#18454057) Homepage
    It's the only good idea Ticketmaster ever had, apparently. Every show I've been to that's offered a live CD, I bought it. One was instant live (Bauhaus), and the rest required you to wait (Pixies, Throwing Muses, Tori Amos). The Pixies CD distributor made a point of saying it was so they could get it in the studio, on proper equipment, fix levels, etc, and it is a very high quality product. The Bauhaus Instant Live one isn't bad though. I honestly don't understand why every band wouldn't do this. The only way a band makes actual money signed to a major is A:) T-Shirts, B:) Ticket Sales. C:) is clearly "sell the shows as you play 'em", because the lines were very, very long at each event. Who wouldn't want the CD of the show you just saw? They KNOW they're playing to a house full of fans, why not let them take the performance home? Cheers to any bands that do this. I dislike Ticketmaster (livenation) as much as anyone, but I know Throwing Muses did it themselves, and the Pixies one was through another small distributor, seems like it's win, win, win? My wife and I probably went to about 2 or 3 dozen shows last year, and would have bought CDs of all of them.
  • Any decent digital recorder allows you to place markers and begin new tracks on the fly. The recording service sounds like a great idea, but none of the procedures are novel or innovative.
  • Concerts used to be recorded live on vinyl and records sold at the door when the crowd exit.

    Yes, I am that old...
  • I happen to be working with Live Nation on implementing my company's software for them. Thank goodness it has nothing to do with this little tidbit.
  • TAO Recording is a feature that has to be supported by the firmware of the burner. It certainly isn't an innovation on the part of Live Nation. I've read that their operation consists of a trailer filled with banks of commodity burners. The only custom bit here is the software for managing the dissemination of data to multiple burners as it comes available.

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