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Patents The Internet Data Storage

Amazon S3 is Patent-Pending 125

theodp writes "If your startup is counting on a copycat service to emerge for Amazon S3 disaster recovery, you might want to start thinking about a Plan C. On Thursday, the USPTO disclosed that Amazon wants a patent for its Distributed storage system with web services client interface invention, aka Amazon Simple Storage Service."
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Amazon S3 is Patent-Pending

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  • by Cassius Corodes ( 1084513 ) on Friday July 06, 2007 @03:51AM (#19764633)
    That's a great idea! Why didn't I think of that? Luckily I've still got my patent for a water holding container.
    • by rolfwind ( 528248 ) on Friday July 06, 2007 @03:58AM (#19764677)
      But does it match my patent for the water holding container with mouth interface?
      • by dotgain ( 630123 )
        But does it match my patent for using the other hand so it feels like someone else?
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Bizarrely enough, a water holding container is more specific than many software patents. To make your example equivalent, it would be "a container (including but not limited to, cupping your hands, a hole in the ground, a cup) that can hold fluids, or other type of substance".
      I.e they don't just cover a solution to a problem but, all conceivable solutions within a "problem space".

      Example, the patents on natural order evaluation. In a spreadsheet (or any app where one element depends on the state of other el
      • But, looking for a bright side to all this, it's good that software patents are this crazy because the situation will become unstable to the point of collapse sooner or later.
        Don't worry boys, at the rate them injuns are shooting they'll soon run out of arrows! - General George A. Custer.
    • The software patent system is such an abomination the only way to fix it is to bring light of the situation by making a mockery of it, much like Amazon is doing.

      Let's say the OSS community forms a non-profit, call it SPAAM (Software Patents Are a Mockery), brainstorms possible patent applications, and files them in a shotgun approach. The worst case scenario a few patents get granted (i.e., made unavailable to the multi-national for-profits) and best case some light is brought to the rediculous situatio
  • I hope.... (Score:4, Funny)

    by Whiney Mac Fanboy ( 963289 ) * <> on Friday July 06, 2007 @03:53AM (#19764649) Homepage Journal
    The crap video card manufacturor from the 90s sues Amazon for trademark infringement, it'd be spurious, but *shrugs*, so's this patent (and all software patents).
    • by Raptoer ( 984438 )
      S3 is still around, they still make video card, although they're only real use is in quiet computer because the cards are either passive or have only a small fan. The only reason I know this is because they sponsor a LAN party I go to. (Not that I'd ever actually buy their product)
    • You cant trademark acronyms I think.
  • by acidrain ( 35064 ) on Friday July 06, 2007 @03:56AM (#19764661)
    If this is the simple combination of existing technologies it shouldn't be enforceable. "Distributed storage system..." check. "Web services client interface..." yeah we have that too. Sorry no patent, that is specifically excluded. Then again American law seems to be for sale, and Amazon has a history of bullying the patent office.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      ...Simple combinations of existing technologies are exactly what 90% of patents are. Even some legitimate.
      I personally dislike the patent system (patents last too long, have too many and are too restrictive) but the, "They just put a spring and a board together! Why anybody could have thought of that mouse trap thing," argument is wearing a little thin.
      • if no one had seen a mouse trap before, then maybe a spring and a board wouldn't be obvious. points like this do not lose their validity just because we keep finding ourselves having to repeat them for the slow among us
      • by MojoRilla ( 591502 ) on Friday July 06, 2007 @07:50AM (#19765661)

        ...Simple combinations of existing technologies are exactly what 90% of patents are. Even some legitimate.
        Due to the recent Supreme Court ruling [], simple combinations of existing technologies are no longer patentable. The obviousness test has been strengthened, and no longer requires a "a "teaching, suggestion, or motivation" tying the earlier inventions together." According to Justice Kennedy, ""The results of ordinary innovation are not the subject of exclusive rights under the patent laws."

        IANAL, but given this ruling, it appears that patents like the Amazon S3 one would fail under this new ruling.
      • I personally dislike the patent system (patents last too long, have too many and are too restrictive) but the, "They just put a spring and a board together! Why anybody could have thought of that mouse trap thing," argument is wearing a little thin.

        As long as companies keep filing patents to which that argument applies, people will keep making it.

        "I personally dislike murder (it's too messy, happens too often, and is usually painful) but the 'Killing people is wrong' argument is wearing a little thin."
    • If this is the simple combination of existing technologies it shouldn't be enforceable

      O.K., bright boy. Build something better than S3. Open Source it, if you like. But first prove to me that your solution scales to an enterprise the size of That it will be cheaper and more reliable. Then we can talk.

      • by eli pabst ( 948845 ) on Friday July 06, 2007 @06:38AM (#19765377)

        O.K., bright boy. Build something better than S3. Open Source it, if you like. But first prove to me that your solution scales to an enterprise the size of That it will be cheaper and more reliable. Then we can talk.
        How does the ability to perform some service well make it patentable? I could see if they came up with some novel way of making it scalable, but just being good at something doesn't make it patentable. I'd guess that someone had already combined a web interface with something like an NFS/AFS share long before S3.
        • I'd guess that someone had already combined a web interface with something like an NFS/AFS share long before S3.

          First thing that popped into my head was Webmin. Strip it down to just the FTP functionality and you're close.

          Not saying that Webmin = Amazon S3 (which I haven't seen and have no experience with), just that I can't see accessing storage through a web interface as something that is patentable. Reminds me too much of other apps I've seen. I don't see how a patent like this can do anything other

          • by Wovel ( 964431 )
            It is not a web interface it is a Web Service. Webmin, NFS and AFS are all so entirely unrelated to any actual discussion of the S3 service it is not worth any further comment. RTFA then , RTFP, then go over to Amazon and RTFFAQ.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        How well Amazon's implementation of the patent works is irrelevant in the subject of the patent's validity. If it were relevant, I could patent the wheel if the one I built were the shiniest.
      • by AlecC ( 512609 )
        Unless Amazon's patent specifies exactly how they make it scalable, that is a matter of the implementation. If they have so specified, then the patent covers more than distributed storage with web services interface - in which case it is justified. But it appears that this is all they have patented, so they have locked people out from producing better (cheaper or even more scalable) lookalikes.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Gr8Apes ( 679165 )
        well, let's give you a couple of prior art examples:

        Google's GMail - remember the GDrive plugin?
        MS's Outlook Web Access (yes, I know) with Public Folders - web interface, large data storage capabilities, and certainly scales.

        There's just 2, and one dates back to around 1997.

        So, not only is this not innovative, it's not even original. Slapping different access around the concept or doing it slightly better isn't innovative. Or are you going to argue that a titanium mousetrap is better because it's lighter an
        • by Wovel ( 964431 )
          You also have no idea what Amazon S3 is. Please do not treat slashdot comments you have read as facts, go to Amazon and read the S3 FAQ. Web Service != Web Interface. Gdrive , thanks for the laugh.
          • by Gr8Apes ( 679165 )
            I did read before I posted. Please don't make assumptions, as you have no knowledge of why I posted my statements.

            From a high level, there's very little difference between Web Services and Web Interfaces on top of a web protocol when it comes to whether I can store something remotely. If you don't see that, then you're part of the problem that's generating those millions of obvious patents. From a user perspective, there's little difference between the two. From an implementation scenario, there's still lit
      • How about something that scales up to handle the data needs of the largest scientific experiment known to man? dCache and Castor (both distributed storage services) run the SRM protocol, which is SOAP-based. Both scale to many petabytes.

        Now, both are also somewhat buggy and unreliable, as they are funded on shoestring budgets by national labs. But that's moot - the idea is that this has already been done.
      • by Rhipf ( 525263 )
        I may not understand Amazon's S3 fully but to me it looks like any other online storage system just with no upper limit to the amount of storage you can use. Is there some feature that I have missed that makes this an amazing new "invention"?
      • I didn't RTFA, but git + gitweb or whatever the web client is named already does distributed storage, it's efficient and, I guess, scales wonderfully.

        And surely there are older distributed SCM systems with a web client than git.

        Dumb patents must die.
    • What about SourceSafe or Autodesk Vault? If I'm not mistaken, both of those applications implement this "new and innovative" technology, and have for years.

      Prior art, patent busted. Now the question is whether the USPO will look at that (not likely). But Autodesk and Microsoft should fight the patent (or Microsoft will ignore it just like they're ignoring the GLPv3 [].
  • by dshk ( 838175 ) on Friday July 06, 2007 @03:57AM (#19764667)
    Open technologies/standards should be licensed in such a way that the license can be revoked if a licensee patents something using that technology. So if Amazon patents a storage system which uses web services then they are not allowed to use web services anymore. However this doesn't help against patent troll companies as they are not interested in creating any useful thing. Hopefully these trolls will sue Amazon for a few billion dollars very soon.
    • by MobyDisk ( 75490 )
      That would mean that if I patent a completely new invention, and that patent involves using an IP address, that I should lose the right to use TCP/IP? Almost every patent is based on some open standard at some level. It would defeat the purpose of an open standard. You are putting a personal political belief into the license, which makes it no longer open.

      (Be aware that if I patent invention X and claim it uses web services, that doesn't mean I patented web services. It just means that my implementation
    • by LWATCDR ( 28044 )
      Yea and then we can and clause that if they do anything evil you can revoke the license! That would be great no more Nazi web sites using Perl and running on Linux servers! And then we can stop the ACLU from using Firebird because they support the Nazis right to use FOSS! And then we can kick the republicans off FOSS because they support the war on Terror. And then we can kick the French off FOSS for blowing up the Rainbow Warrior. And then we can kick the Democrats off FOSS for supporting the DMCA....
  • Obvious 75 times (Score:5, Informative)

    by niceone ( 992278 ) * on Friday July 06, 2007 @04:00AM (#19764695) Journal
    Wow, I usually take a quick look at the claims in patent stories to see if the patents are really as bad as the headline. In this case I can't say I read all of them - there are 75 freakin' claims! But the ones I did manage to read I couldn't see anything that wasn't obvious. Here's the first claim for example:

    1. A system, comprising: a plurality of computing nodes configured to implement: a web services interface configured to receive, according to a web services protocol, client requests for access to data objects, wherein a given one of said client requests for access to a given one of said data objects includes a key value corresponding to said given data object;
    a plurality of storage nodes configured to store replicas of said data objects, wherein each of said replicas is accessible via a respective locator value, and wherein each of said locator values is unique within said system;
    a keymap instance configured to store a respective keymap entry for each of said data objects, wherein for said given data object, said respective keymap entry includes said key value and each locator value corresponding to each stored replica of said given data object;
    and a coordinator configured to receive said client requests for access to said data objects from said web services interface, wherein in response to said given client request, said coordinator is configured to access said keymap instance to identify one or more locator values corresponding to said key value and, for a particular one of said one or more locator values, to access a corresponding storage node to retrieve a corresponding replica

    Surely someone's done a redundant db with a web services interface before? How else could they have done it than that?
    • Re:Obvious 75 times (Score:5, Informative)

      by kripkenstein ( 913150 ) on Friday July 06, 2007 @05:22AM (#19765091) Homepage

      Surely someone's done a redundant db with a web services interface before? How else could they have done it than that?
      You see, this is what happens when non-lawyers read patents. Now, I am not a lawyer either, but I at least read what Wikipedia says [] about this matter. As I understand it, claim #1 that you mention is an 'independent' claim. Later claims (some of those 74) are 'dependent' claims. They refine and specify what the independent claim states.

      So, yes, the independent claim #1 is very broad. It probably wouldn't hold up in a court. But since no legal precedent exists, Amazon don't know if it will or not. So they keep it as independent claim #1. If in fact prior art invalidates it, then the patent still pertains to whatever the far-more-specific dependent claims #2-#75 refer to. Presumably a very specific manner of implementing #1. Amazon actually hope to patent that specific implementation, but they write it in this notation of independent-dependent claims because that is how patents are written.

      But, as I said, IANAL. So perhaps we all shouldn't speculate too much.
      • does it really take 75 variations on a theme to cover their bases? it's like reading claim #1 a turd #2 turd with corn in it #3 turd with carrot in it......
      • So perhaps we all shouldn't speculate too much.
        You must be new here.
      • is there a way to tell which claim(s) they actually achieved? it seems awfully strange that we'd have to have a judge sort it out after a patent has been granted...
    • Hahahaha... They just patented MySQL.
  • by RuBLed ( 995686 ) on Friday July 06, 2007 @04:02AM (#19764707)
    From the Abstract:

    A system may include a web services interface configured to receive, according to a web services protocol, a given client request for access to a given data object, the request including a key value corresponding to the object...

    Hey, we're doing this everyday right? I had used webservices to send and receive all sorts of objects before, text, images, passwords in plain text and stores/reads them from a storage where I use a key value to access it...
  • by seifried ( 12921 ) on Friday July 06, 2007 @04:20AM (#19764809) Homepage

    I can think of some very similar products/etc, for example memcached: []

    You can have multiple memcached servers servicing multiple front ends (just ask!)

    • by makomk ( 752139 )
      I would've thought it was more like MogileFS ( []) if anything. (MogileFS is the distributed file store that LiveJournal uses for image storage).
    • by 3seas ( 184403 )
      Since there seems to be such prior, then one of two things will happen.

      Either the Patent will denied the application due to the prior art OR the Patent Office will put another compounding item on its list of wrongs it has committed, further degenerating the value of the patent system.

      Software is just not of patentable subject matter, so there is alot on the list already, but to compound it only leads to bigger problems and symptoms =19755759 []
    • by Tmack ( 593755 )

      I can think of some very similar products/etc, for example memcached: []

      You can have multiple memcached servers servicing multiple front ends (just ask!)

      Or just put an SLB in front of a bunch of web services boxen that connect to a NAS/SAN. The SLB distributes the requests across the boxen and tracks which request went where to keep sessions from breaking. Its all been in use for many years, and sounds about like their "One Click" patent:

      1. combine widely used or obvious computer systems or "internets technology"
      2. Patent this combination
      3. ?
      4. Profit!


  • Web services? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by eric76 ( 679787 ) on Friday July 06, 2007 @04:46AM (#19764921)
    It keeps mentioning "web services". I assume that refers explicitly to something like using existing http and related protocols to encode files and transmitting them over port 80.

    The Web refers to the World Wide Web. It has nothing to do with other protocols such as SMTP, POP3, IMAP, NTP, NNTP, SSH, telnet, FTP, echo, finger, gopher, named, ... .

    So if you roll your own protocol to accomplish the same thing, I don't see that it would violate this patent, if it is even enforceable.

    Take away the web services portion and much of this looks like enterprise wide backup software done back in the mid 1990's by companies such as IBM and Mission Critical Software. Of couse, they may have their own patents on the procedure. Maybe the use of "web services" is to distinguish Amazon's patent from theirs or from the literature on the subject.
    • the broad term "web services" is how the plan to block anyone else doing web based backups. pity this has about 10 years of prior art.
    • I am pretty sure they mean something like the W3C's message transmission optimization mechanism (MTOM) [] which is the optimized way to send binary data/large SOAP messages over HTTP protocols ("web services"). I didn't RTFA, but if any of the claims made involve the specific method of transmission for said data files, MTOM is probably prior art.

      Other prior art may include the Microsoft research done with web services and data storage used in the Microsoft TerraServer project. Dr. Jim Gray [] and Microsoft h
  • There should be no way Amazon can get a patent for somenthing that is so commonly used nowadays, but I have seen the most extrange things happen in the The Twilight Patent Zone.
  • Patenting distributed storage? Sounds too generic.
    Patenting an API - can't patent software here.

    So as long as your start up isn't in the US, I don't see a problem. Stupid American software patents.
  • If your startup is counting on a copycat service to emerge for Amazon S3 disaster recovery, you might want to start thinking about a Plan C

    Only if you limit yourself to services provided by countries where software patents are upheld. Fortunately that's not a global situation (yet).
  • Example (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Jaaay ( 1124197 ) on Friday July 06, 2007 @06:44AM (#19765387)
    Example of why patent reform cant happen. Most problems with the system could be fixed by replacing the idiots with people who wont look at this sort of obvious nonsense but these guys like Amazon have the money and a vested interest in abusing the system like this so unless overnight 100 million people make this a campaign issue it just cant happen. It's a pretty sad situation because in theory patents are a very good idea, so if some poor guy invents some amazing genuine invention he cant get usurped by big companies and can profit from his brains. Of course in practice this isn't working out so well the last decade in particular.
  • by BillGatesLoveChild ( 1046184 ) on Friday July 06, 2007 @06:47AM (#19765401) Journal
    > a Amazon Simple Storage Service.

    In Computing, Simple == Obvious. Patents should be new, useful, novel and not-obvious. []

    S3 has been done before and often and like Amazon's previous patents, this one has a high "Duh" factor. But Amazon must know that. The problem with patents and laws in general is that big companies and government know they can do something wrong and get away with it for a long time. Even if it's reversed in the distant future, mission accomplished.

    I dream of a day where computing systems are designed by computer scientists, not lawyers.

  • by 00_NOP ( 559413 )
    I assume Amazon aren't using Linux kernel code in this, because if they are aren't they in violation of the GPL? (seious question, i don't know - maybe because they aren't distributing it they are in the clear?)
    • by deskin ( 1113821 )

      maybe because they aren't distributing it they are in the clear?

      Exactly. Basically, GPL only says that anyone you pass the software on to must also receive source code. If you're just playing with yourself, you don't have to give anyone anything.

  • by complex ( 18458 ) <[gro.tilps] [ta] [xelpmoc]> on Friday July 06, 2007 @07:36AM (#19765595) Homepage
    Hurry, grab Park Place [], the Open Source clone of S3, before it is gone.

    Park Place is written in Ruby [] by Why [].
  • ... on the merits of this case yet. That means an examiner HASN'T yet looked at the application.

    This is merely the 18 month publication of the application. It's very likely that this isn't going to issue the way it is now. It's very typical to start with the broadest claims that seem reasonable.

    It's too late now to file 3rd party materials. So, watch the application through public PAIR and once you see a notice of allowance, then start to scream. Don't worry, that'll probably won't happen, if at all, until
  • On the previous Slashdot patent post [] I was suggesting a way of formalising the prior art. Like lots of people have said in the threads here "surely someone has done X before" the problem is that if you can't prove it was published externally and could have been read by other people then it doesn't count as Prior Art in a patent application.

    Blog and tag those obvious ideas.
  • by beegle ( 9689 ) on Friday July 06, 2007 @08:24AM (#19765851) Homepage
    "If your startup is counting on a copycat service to emerge for Amazon S3 disaster recovery, you might want to start thinking about a Plan C.

    Like most of the Slashdot hive-mind, I believe strongly that the patent system is broken and is in need of serious reform.

    However, I do think that the concept behind patents is good: Give people with innovative new ideas a monopoly for a few years so that they might recover some of their development costs. (I'd make the time period of the patent much shorter and make a bunch of other adjustments that aren't relevant here.)

    If competing services really are "copycats", they're exactly the sort of thing that patents were designed to prevent. Whether they're copycats (or if Amazon is copying other existing technology) is a more interesting question.

    • by bit01 ( 644603 )

      Give people with innovative new ideas a monopoly for a few years so that they might recover some of their development costs.

      Since the profit that can be made from a patent is almost completely independent of how much a patent might take to develop this reasoning is very weak.

      We don't patent in many areas and the economy works just fine. e.g. I have the idea of opening a hardware store in a growing town. Nobody's ever thought of opening a hardware store in that town before so it's clearly completely or

    • This is already achieved without government intervention. It is called "first to market." Having an idea before others gives you a distinct advantage to capture the market for the goods or services you dreamt up. I recommend looking at Graham's "Hackers and Painters" for an inside look at this process in the industry.
  • Does my post for an idea like this on the forums for Apple's "american-idol-type-thing" last year count as prior art?
    • by aybiss ( 876862 )
      I dunno. Does my actual implementation of a distributed backup system written using web-services (I shit you not - I'll email you the source) count as prior art?

      Unfortunately, not really, unless someone wants to give me a few mill to take them on with. :-)
  • Wouldn't these count for Prior art... I didn't get to read the whole patent (have to run for work)
    but it seems to me that to many companies are using obviousness in their claims and are trying to
    patent the 'stack' of ideas, which is really obvious given that they are just using standard tools
    to make a product so why make claims like this in the patent:

    75. The computer-accessible medium as recited in claim 74, wherein receiving said given client request according to said web services protocol includes r

    • No, claim 75 is a dependent claim. So basically what they are saying is "even if you think our S3 system itself isn't patentable, we want to patent the idea of using SOAP in it." So it's more analogous to patenting the double-linked list (where's that link), and in addition, patenting the use of a double-linked list in C++.

      • Well that's just what I wanted to hear... more horse-shit... And to think, I interviewed with these fucktards...
        • Me too. I didn't get the job either.

          • Actually after the second round of drill questions and the take home work I told them I really didn't feel like jumping through their hoops over the phone (who wants to work for a company that treats people that way?). So I went with a company that was willing to talk to me face to face (e.g. flew me out to their base of operations for a meet and greet)
  • Hey, I'm sure there is a lot of a prior art for that (say GMailFS?), but it seems not the thing that the Amazon is after. Even if all the big-bosses in Web industry (like Google) can invalidate the patent, they may also prefer entering not-to-sue covenant with Amazon... because the cost of lawsuit eliminates most small startups from the playing field! So Amazon entered the obvious service market first, and they perfectly know, that as soon as that service commoditizes, there will be much more competition
  • That murder is frowned upon. Everytime I read some of this ridiculous stuff anymore, I just find myself wanting to eliminate whoever it is who came up with and then pushed said idea. I consider that more benefit to the people and sadly our 'For the people' doesn't care anymore.
    • by FLEB ( 312391 )
      Unfortunately, at a certain point, it just becomes genocide. Raise your standards a bit more? Now it's total global annihilation. Do you think you're cut out for that? It'd be far too much work, even with legalization.
  • Geez, they took several things that have already been done and put them together in a straightforward manner. What the hell is innovative about that? It damn sure doesn't deserve patent protection.

    Unlike many other Slashdotters, I do believe that software should be patentable. But only truly INNOVATIVE things. This doesn't qualify.

  • That's SDSC's Storage Resource Broker, and while I didn't read every point in the patent application, what I read I thought "yeah, sounds like SRB written in vague terms to me."
  • I know some prior art which would strike some of these claims.

    Distributed storage system: dCache, []. This allows one to configure storage as multiple commodity storage servers at one site (up to several petabytes) or distributed over several sites (as used by NorduGrid).

    One of the many protocols dCache supports is SRM (Storage Resource Manager), which is a web-services (SOAP) based protocol which allows you to perform your usual copy/delete/ls. It's designed as a generic protocol whic
  • Amazon Simple Storage Service = A.S.S. Service
    • by Ant P. ( 974313 )
      Will they have an SDK for it? I want to use the Amazon Simple Storage Helper OLE Plugin.
  • Prior Art (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jshriverWVU ( 810740 ) on Friday July 06, 2007 @10:35AM (#19767203)
  • Having actually used S3 (its hard to beat the price!) a quick-and-dirty summary is that its essentially WebDAV with a proprietary protocol - at least on the front end. But, rather than use proprietary HTTP verbs like WebDAV did, they used web services (both REST and SOAP). If they want to patent their proprietary protocol, fine. But for a general process of remotely accessing objects over HTTP... sorry, no. Maybe if S3 used something other than URL's to be the object key, but they don't. You can't call
  • .. an ASSS why do I need thiers? (ROTFLOL)
  • Umm... WebDAV?
  • If the community will focus on only three claims in the S3 pending patent, prior art references can certainly be located. Why only three claims our of 75 you ask? Good question. Patents are structured in a hierarchy where there are root nodes (independent claims) and leave nodes (dependent claims). All you need to really do is focus on the root nodes (independent claims) and if you can refute those, you no longer have to worry about the independent (leaf node) claims.

    The claims to look at are: 1, 28 an

    • IANAL, but Actually, showing prior to the roots does not kill the patent, only the roots. The whole point of the dependent claims is that the roots quite often don't hold up, and the dependents claim narrower more specific things that might. If the ways in which the dependents narrow things is novel, they are patentable absent the broads. To take a real silly fake patent example Claims: 1. A mechanism for flying. 2. The mechanism of claim 1, wherein a the strange quark seperated then recombined with an up
  • There is already an open source clone of the api called parkplace done
    in ruby/rails. []

    btw, O'Reilly book "Restful Web Services" - a good read by the way.
    has quite a bit of coverage of S3.

    I *was* interested in S3, and have
    been mulling over how it might fit in with some requirements I have..but
    honestly, finding out about this patent just killed my interest. If I want
    vendor lock in on my stack I would be developing with .net, oracle, whatever...
    Amazon, get a clue .. do
    • actually, parkplace is done with ruby + another framework (camping) not rails...
      just so used to "rails" coming after "ruby" these days....-:)
    • by Wovel ( 964431 )
      The patents don't lock you into amazon any more than you may have been without the patents. If you forsake all software that has ever applied for a US software patent, your life might get a little dull. Public companies must make all reasonable attempts to protect their intellectual property, it is part of their fiduciary responsibility to their shareholders. Not applying for a patent on something that was developed internally at a publicly traded company is just irresponsible.
    • Yes, we were already using it for backup. Past tense indeed! We're switching to another storage company within a week.

Many people are unenthusiastic about their work.