PDA

View Full Version : John Carmack Comments on Video Game Patents


jAkUp
06-02-05, 07:11 PM
I'm proud that there is "a relative dearth of patent applications for the video game industry, especially considering how technology-dependent the video game industry is, and given its size in terms of annual sales."

Before issuing a condemnation, I try hard to think about it from their point of view -- the laws of the land set the rules of the game, and lawyers are deeply confused at why some of us aren't using all the tools that the game gives us.

Patents are usually discussed in the context of someone "stealing" an idea from the long suffering lone inventor that devoted his life to creating this one brilliant idea, blah blah blah.

But in the majority of cases in software, patents effect independent invention. Get a dozen sharp programmers together, give them all a hard problem to work on, and a bunch of them will come up with solutions that would probably be patentable, and be similar enough that the first programmer to file the patent could sue the others for patent infringement.

Why should society reward that? What benefit does it bring? It doesn't help bring more, better, or cheaper products to market. Those all come from competition, not arbitrary monopolies. The programmer that filed the patent didn't work any harder because a patent might be available, solving the problem was his job and he had to do it anyway. Getting a patent is uncorrelated to any positive attributes, and just serves to allow either money or wasted effort to be extorted from generally unsuspecting and innocent people or companies.

Yes, it is a legal tool that may help you against your competitors, but I'll have no part of it. Its basically mugging someone.

I could waste hours going on about this. I really need to just write a position paper some day that I can cut and paste when this topic comes up.

John Carmack

John Carmack's Comments (http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=151312&cid=12701745)

brady
06-02-05, 08:04 PM
carmack should write a book :D

OWA
06-02-05, 08:10 PM
Think he was taking a swipe at Creative?

Banko
06-02-05, 08:32 PM
Not really, he has always been pro open source as his games get open sourced after enough time has passed. You can compile quake 2 from source if you want.

DaveW
06-02-05, 08:44 PM
I can understand patenting some uber L33t video compression algorithm. Those things take a lot of work. But something like LZW should never have been patented. Its a very simply algorithm and a logical extrapolation of the Huffman algorithm. Nowadays its ridiculous with Microsoft patenting double clicking and email addresses.

Greg
06-02-05, 10:55 PM
This wasn't comment about open source. It also wasn't a jab at CreativeLabs; Carmack already spoke clearly on what he thought of that. He's stating what should be obvious... that "I thought of it first, you can't use it", is fundamentally wrong, and bad for everyone. Hopefully, due to Carmack’s professionalism and reputation, people will take note and ponder what he is saying. Unfortunately we live in a greedy world where money speaks far louder than words and where government policy is bought rather than reasoned. I'm sure a 'correction' will come to the patent system, but only after great damage to some industries.

Marcos
06-03-05, 01:08 PM
is that about the grabber gun?

Gaco
06-03-05, 01:27 PM
Truth spoken :D

That guy is a genious...

jAkUp
06-03-05, 01:32 PM
haha

Valve should of patented the grabber gun :rofl

Greg
06-03-05, 11:47 PM
haha

Valve should of patented the grabber gun :rofl

But they may have a problem with 'prior art' ...
http://www.metroactive.com/papers/cruz/12.03.98/gifs/leaf-blowers1-9848.jpg
And...
http://prosites-lottofun9.homestead.com/files/stickyhand.jpg

jAkUp
06-03-05, 11:50 PM
But they may have a problem with 'prior art' ...
http://www.metroactive.com/papers/cruz/12.03.98/gifs/leaf-blowers1-9848.jpg
And...
http://prosites-lottofun9.homestead.com/files/stickyhand.jpg

hahahahahaha