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Roxio Countersues Gracenote

CmdrTaco posted more than 13 years ago | from the cases-that-matter dept.

Patents 97

Silverhammer writes "Roxio has countersued Gracenote over fair use of the CDDB. Check out the press release. Basically, the suit includes all the gripes voiced here on Slashdot: you can't patent free data (album titles and track listings), you can't patent against prior art, you can't patent data submitted in good faith by users, yadda, yadda, yadda..."

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97 comments

Re:I'm not impressed by these arguments (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#134001)

Of course, what never gets pointed out is that the CD title and the track names are themselves copyrighted material...
Titles (of CDs or songs) are not protected by copyright.

Re:Opinions & Beliefs vs. Facts (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#134002)

I apologize for my presumptuousness regarding your religious beliefs (or lack thereof), but if what you state were indeed as much a cast-in-stone fact as you imply, then (as I said before) abortion would simply be flat illegal.

The majority of people in the world don't agree with you and their laws reflect that. What you hold is a belief not a fact. You're welcome to continue presenting it as a fact (free country and all that), but it's not accurate. It would be rather more accurate to propose indisputable facts that support your belief.

Once again: an inch-long fetus isn't a baby, it's a fetus. At what point in the pregnancy it becomes unconscionable to abort the pregnancy (hence the term abortion, there's that annoying little fact concept again) is certainly up for debate.

For me personally, if it were up to me, any woman I got pregnant would carry the child to term and during that time we would decide if we would keep it or give it up for adoption. Unlike you, however, I don't consider myself to hold ulitimate righteous wisdom about such things and therefore I don't wish to make this very difficult decision in blanket fashion for everyone else in the world.

Oh, and name-calling is quite unnecessary, but help yourself if it makes you feel better.

Re:Opinions & Beliefs vs. Facts (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#134003)

New AC stepping in here.

Oh, and name-calling is quite unnecessary, but help yourself if it makes you feel better.

Weren't you the one who said

Like it or not, my little dittohead

In this same thread?

Re:I'm not impressed by these arguments (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#134004)

Idiot. Woman isn't murdering anyone. She is removing a parasite at that point, fetus is not a separate living thing by any stretch of imagination.

If it is a parasite, then it is definitely a seperate living thing. That is what parasites are.

Re:But what about the charging? (1)

Holgate (712) | more than 13 years ago | (#134005)

I know that we (as the the community) provided the data for free but as much as we'd like it still costs to host something and whilst it would be nice for Gracenote to do it for free, they themselves will incurr costs that will have to be paid for by someone.

Well, before the CDDB people sold out, they allowed us, the community, to host mirrors of the database, which meant that their own servers didn't take that much of the strain. In fact, the UK mirror was hosted on an academic server in Sheffield. Of course, once CDDB went commercial, it denied access to the database, and closed down the mirrors. So the company that's now known as Gracenote is simply guilty of shitting in its own nest.

Re:Constructive suggestion to reclaim cddb (1)

Danse (1026) | more than 13 years ago | (#134006)

According to some other posts here this is already being done by some cd players.

Re:Why sue Roxio? (1)

singularity (2031) | more than 13 years ago | (#134007)

freedb.org uses the same submission/lookup language/protocol as CDDB. Sine Gracenote apparently helped Roxio write their look-up algorithm and then Roxio turned around and used that same code to instead atart looking up things in freedb, Gracenote feels they are entitled to damages.

Re:Opinions & Beliefs vs. Facts (1)

matty (3385) | more than 13 years ago | (#134008)

Yes, killing a baby is murder. Aborting a fetus is not. That's why it's legal in most Western countries.

Re:You CANNOT copyright titles (3)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 13 years ago | (#134009)

>Actually, I'd think the author/rights holder CAN copyright titles.

Fine; but what you think and what is actually true are two different things. The poster you responded to is correct. Titles, like instructions and recipes, cannot themselves be copyrighted.

Next time, please at least bother to look it up [loc.gov] before you post erroneous information.


--

You CANNOT copyright titles (5)

Old Man Kensey (5209) | more than 13 years ago | (#134010)

The last true geek wrote:

By far the most often-used argument against GraceNote is "we entered all of that data ourself! We wrote it up and submitted it!" Of course, what never gets pointed out is that the CD title and the track names are themselves copyrighted material, owned by the copyright holder (in this case the record company.) In point of fact, the legality of entering this information and uploading it anonymously is quite shaky (IMHO.)

In point of fact, you're wrong. Titles of copyrighted works are not themselves copyrighted, but may be trademarked if they are sufficiently Unique. I could go out today and write a book (or produce a movie, or paint a picture) called _Gone With the Wind_ and Margaret Mitchell's estate has no control over it.

Now, if I were to rip off large sections of Mitchell's GWtW I would be liable for copyright infringement. But I can put track listings and song listings all over the Internet if I want and no one has any right to say "boo".

Re:countersue? (1)

Archfeld (6757) | more than 13 years ago | (#134011)

"You miss the critical point - as well as selling the CD data as a product, they removed it from the public domain. This is something they had no right to do, since the data was contributed by the community, on the understanding that it would remain in the public domain." -
Not to support Gracenote but if it was just an issue of them assuming public domain code then WE would have NO recourse as that is perfectly legal, if highly unethical. That's why the GPL, LGPL, BSD and other licenses were created, to afford SOME measure of protection to software authors.

Re:slashdotted allready... (1)

sacherjj (7595) | more than 13 years ago | (#134012)

DO NOT click the link. It Is NOT a mirror...

No Delorian??? (3)

sacherjj (7595) | more than 13 years ago | (#134013)

Roxio also makes GoBack, the #1 selling system recovery software that enables PC users to ``go back'' in time to instantly recover from system crashes, virus attacks, failed software installations and data loss.

To think how far we have come. In '85 we needed a Delorian and a velocity >= 88 mph... Oh, and some plutonium (or anything to get 1.21 GW).

Re:Shouldn't that be JW? (2)

PD (9577) | more than 13 years ago | (#134014)

Yes. Also, a large hard drive can be measured in jijibytes, sometimes shortened to jujubees.

What? (5)

msouth (10321) | more than 13 years ago | (#134015)

Now, if I were to rip off large sections of Mitchell's GWtW I would be liable for copyright infringement. But I can put track listings and song listings all over the Internet if I want and no one has any right to say "boo".

How on earth can you presume to be able to prevent me from saying "boo"? If you think that your posting of a couple of track listings can infringe on my founding-father, constitutional convention-given first-amendment rights, WELL, YOU'VE GOT ANOTHER THING COMING, BUCKO.

Why, I have half a mind to say "boo" right now...
--

Re:Why sue Roxio? (1)

TBC (11250) | more than 13 years ago | (#134016)

If I remember correctly, it wasn't that they changed, but that Roxio used the published specifications from Gracenote to create their CDDB lookup integration. Therefore, they agreed to the terms and conditions of Gracenote's release of those specifications. This is in spite of the fact that the specifications were released under GPL before Gracenote became private.

Basically, since Roxio read Gracenote's specifications, any capability to connect to a CDDB database other than Gracenote would violate the current license.

Re:You CANNOT copyright titles (1)

xantho (14741) | more than 13 years ago | (#134017)

In point of fact, you're wrong. Titles of copyrighted works are not themselves copyrighted, but may be trademarked if they are sufficiently Unique. I could go out today and write a book (or produce a movie, or paint a picture) called _Gone With the Wind_ and Margaret Mitchell's estate has no control over it.

You might be surprised to read about a book called "The Wind Done Gone". For a while, a judge issued an injunction against the publisher preventing the distribution of the book to stores. It was filed by the Mitchell Estate.

Re:Constructive suggestion to reclaim cddb (1)

Force (15324) | more than 13 years ago | (#134018)

Too bad Gracenote already thought of this, and one of the conditions of their EULA is that you will not connect to a competing database service (aka FreeDB)

Force.

Sweet Justice (1)

meridian (16189) | more than 13 years ago | (#134019)

Gracenote try suing the people with the most money but don't think carefully about the concequeces. I hope roxio establish a nice precedent for this sort of thing.

Re:copyright! (2)

sharkey (16670) | more than 13 years ago | (#134020)

Too bad the defendants would just be Slashdot editors, trolls and flamebait-posters/submitters who are probably to poor to pay out enough of a settlement to make such a lawsuit worthwhile.

--

Happens all the time.. (1)

Bowie J. Poag (16898) | more than 13 years ago | (#134021)



You contribute "free data" that other people sell all the time. Your email address is sold along with thousands of other people to targeted marketing firms. Every time you go shopping and pay with a savings card or credit card, your purchases are tied to the zipcode you live in, and that data is also sold. Why should CDDB be any different?

Thats not to say I support these numbskulls. I've actually contributed to CDDB like so many others, and I find it laughable that someone feels they have the right to own it and sell it. It should remain free, like it was back when I contributed. However, you really shouldn't be surprised that this sort of crap is happening. Happens all the time.

Cheers,

Re:support free DB (1)

The_Sock (17010) | more than 13 years ago | (#134022)

Now, would it be possible to share the resposibility of bandwidth along side FreeDB.org. Perhaps admins with bandwidth and the hardware to spare could put a FreeDB server up. Users then connect to the closest FreeDB server to them. DNS 'tricks' like ones used by Akamai could take care of the redirection. freedb.freedb.org will just point to a close server.

Admittedly I do not know much about the way Akamai does things so I don't know if it's possible, but this would remove much of the burden from a single group, and spread costs around.

Any ideas?

I doubt that applies (1)

Scudsucker (17617) | more than 13 years ago | (#134023)

Sure you can trademark titles, but I doubt you can use that to stop someone from publishing a list of those titles, which is what cddb basically does.

i.e., Interscope could hypothetically sue Gracenote if they came out with an audio cd named Pretty Hate Machine, but I don't see how they could sue for printing (or even selling) a list of the tracks on the cd.

Re:support free DB (1)

ywwg (20925) | more than 13 years ago | (#134024)

and remember that you can set GRIP up to use freedb as the primary server, and cddb as the secondary. If a disc is on cddb but not freedb, grip will submit the details for you. You just push "ok." very very wasy.

Thought for the Day (2)

twoflower (24166) | more than 13 years ago | (#134025)

Of course, when two parties cannot agree, the only ones who win are the lawyers.

Sad, really.

Twoflower


--

Graceland Has Precedent (1)

Alpha Prime (25709) | more than 13 years ago | (#134026)

In the 1980's McAfee pulled together a volunteer organization to disect viruses and I was one of the volunteers. I managed to do about a half dozen or so virus disections and provided the unique strings to use in searching. Many other volunteers supplied a lot more. Less than a year after the start, McAfee went commercial. Guess what? Not a penny to the volunteers, even though he did a "Bait and Switch" operation. If what Graceland did is illegal, then McAfee's was as well.

Data dump. (5)

Matt2000 (29624) | more than 13 years ago | (#134027)


I'm not sure if this has been discussed before, but is there anything stopping us from attempting a distributed data dump of the CDDB listings into one of the open alternatives? For example, I'll take Country/Western (> /dev/null) and transfer it to a determined open CDDB server, you do it for electronic, etc. Or it could be divided by CD ID #'s.

I mean, it was us that put the information in there in the first place, we should be able to get it back out right?

Exactly like the Unisys GIF fiasco (2)

WyldOne (29955) | more than 13 years ago | (#134028)

Gracenote = Unisys
Roxio = Compuserve
CDDB = GIF
Freedb = PNG

Nuff said.

Re:Shouldn't that be JW? (2)

Bob Uhl (30977) | more than 13 years ago | (#134029)

You do realise that gigawatt is pronounced jigawat, right? Gigabyte is pronounced jigabite, not gigabite. Look it up.

Shouldn't that be JW? (2)

schon (31600) | more than 13 years ago | (#134030)

anything to get 1.21 GW

I dunno about that.. in the movie, they say you need 1.21 Jigga-Watts, not 1.21 Gigawatts.

Although why they needed lightning to do that is beyond me.. when I want 1.21 Jigga-Watts, I just head down to the local Hooters :o)

Re:no Liscense? (2)

DarkMan (32280) | more than 13 years ago | (#134031)

Incorrent, boy wonder.

If they presented the information, whiout a liscence, they have the rights given to them by basic copyright law (In brief, you can use it for personal use only)

A liscence allows the copyright holder to modify those rights.

The GPL does _not_ protect anything - it gives the liscencee _more_ rights.

And, further, if I recall correctly, he original data _was_ GPL'd.
--

Re:I believe your rant is incorrect in its basis.. (1)

jmauro (32523) | more than 13 years ago | (#134032)

I remember a day in the 80's where two songs named Wild Thing were at the top of the charts. I don't think the ASCAP works for name collision at all.

Re:Protecting the Evil (1)

MrCreosote (34188) | more than 12 years ago | (#134033)

"the enemy of my enemy is my friend"

Re:You CANNOT copyright titles (1)

StenD (34260) | more than 13 years ago | (#134034)

The upshot of all this is that Margaret Mitchell's estate has successfully managed to have the book pulled from bookstores.
Not exactly. Since it had never made it to the bookstores, it couldn't be pulled. More significantly, the injunction was lifted [thewinddonegone.com] on May 25, and the novel is now available [fatbrain.com] .

Re:Constructive suggestion to reclaim cddb (1)

HerrNewton (39310) | more than 13 years ago | (#134035)

Pure genius, my friend. The data is identical, so just use a distributed client to populate the freedb by looking up in the CDDB. It would be futile for Gracenote to prove that FreeDB's entries were not keyed-in and submitted by users rather than pulled from the CDDD.

Of course what will happen is that the Gracenote folks will disallow access on any level to non-licensed clients. Not that this is bad---would just force everyone to use FreeDB.

----

Re:I'd be a little more impressed ... (1)

brianosaurus (48471) | more than 13 years ago | (#134036)

Open Source projects are supposed to be buggy. It gives newbies an easy way to contribute :)

Re:Data dump. (4)

interiot (50685) | more than 13 years ago | (#134037)

Absolutely. In fact, in Gracenote's Open Response [gracenote.com] , they said:
  • Although the raw data is user submitted, the storage, retrieval, categorization, and organization of the database, the access interface, and the matching and filtering methods are absolutely proprietary, and we will do what is necessary to defend this intellectual property.
Meaning... as long as we don't copy their code (and maybe look&feel or business process) used for storing, retrieving, categorizing, etc... we should be fine?
--

Re:countersue? (1)

Ravendon (52608) | more than 13 years ago | (#134038)

I'm not sure what you are talking about. Here is the first amendment. Please explain how it gives businesses the "freedom of business". "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

Eben Moglen (from another forum) on CDDB (4)

gojomo (53369) | more than 13 years ago | (#134039)

Besides the fact that Gracenote (1) patented something that was already published for years (a no-no); and (2) trademarked a term already in wide use (a no-no); they also (3) have asserted a copyright in purely factual information which, by legal precedent, probably isn't copyrightable at all, regardless of the promise under which it was collected.

Note that this means a CDDB database couldn't be GPL'ed, under the law, either. You're just not allowed to tell other people what to do with facts.

Eben Moglen commented on this in another email forum on May 24; here's an excerpt of his analysis:

> The copyright claim has been particularly discussed here: the
> assertion is that Gracenote can copyright the CDDB database and somehow
> act to prevent infringement. Much attention is being paid to the fact
> that this database was assembled by mass contribution through the net.
> That fact is conceptually interesting: it's an example of the
> beginnings of the "free data" economy I have written about elsewere.
> But it has no effect on the legal situation. The short obvious
> answer, which should result in the dismissal of Gracenote's copyright
> claim, is that Gracenote has no copyrightable interest in the
> database. That's the holding of the US Supreme Court in Feist
> Publications v. Rural Telephone Service, 499 US 340 (1991). Feist
> concerned the assertion of copyright in the content of telephone white
> pages. The Court held that there is insufficient originality in the
> directory associating names, addresses and telephone numbers to put
> the directory within the scope of copyright.
>
> Hence my comment to the press about a phone directory built by asking
> customers to call in. The point is precisely that it *doesn't matter*
> how you come by the information: a directory like the telephone white
> pages or the CDDB database is not copyrightable whether it was
> assembled by going out and finding the information using your own shoe
> leather, or by getting free contributions from others. In any event,
> because what results is facts, not expressions, it's not subject to
> copyright.

--

too slow on the draw (5)

imac.usr (58845) | more than 13 years ago | (#134040)

2001-06-21 15:24:43 Roxio responds to Gracenote lawsuit...by countersuing! (articles,patents) (rejected)

Well, at least somebody got it submitted. I was hoping slashdot would run this; it's nice to have a patent story that doesn't make you want to pull out your hair. If Roxio wins, it will be good news for everybody who ever typed in a CD name. However, just by bringing the suit, they're throwing some much-needed exposure on a subject that hasn't seen much discussion outside of sites like this one: how far can you take the concept of intellectual property ownership with regard to collections of information?

Interesting to see how this turns out. There's some potential precedent-setting case law to be decided here.


--

Re:You missed the point entirely (3)

mduell (72367) | more than 13 years ago | (#134041)

Just a friendly reminder, you cant buy anything thats not for sale. The creators of the CDDB database sold out and they are the ones the users should be angry with. Gracenote simply bought the database, and did what they saw fit with it (which is to make a profit, since they are a corporation after all...)

Mark Duell

Re:Thought for the Day (1)

nsayer (86181) | about 13 years ago | (#134042)

In a hallway at the Cal-West school of law in San Diego, there is a drawing (woodcut?) entitled The Lawsuit.

In it, there is a cow, with the plaintif pulling on the head, the defendant pulling on the tail, and a lawyer seated appropriately milking it.

'nuff said.

Re:You CANNOT copyright titles (1)

nsayer (86181) | about 13 years ago | (#134043)

I could go out today and write a book (or produce a movie, or paint a picture) called _Gone With the Wind_ and Margaret Mitchell's estate has no control over it.

Except that, as you point out, such an act would be governed under trademark law. I suspect that "Gone With The Wind" is, in fact, a trademark, as (probably) are most movie titles.

To bring this back on-topic, it is doubtful that anyone could claim trademark status on every track title they put out on a CD, and in any case, Gracenote is not in a position to defend third party trademarks (which given that legal theory they would be infringing in any case).

Re:You CANNOT copyright titles (1)

randombit (87792) | about 13 years ago | (#134044)

True, but I can guarantete you that these guys would want to discuss the name of your movie with you.

I kind of doubt that they could do anything about it (except threaten you with frivolous lawsuits, of course). What is a sufficiently 'unique' that it can be copyrighted? "Wind"? "The Winds"? "I'm Gone"? "Gone with the Wind"? Titles are too damn short to copyright. I'm not sure but IIRC you need more than one sentence to claim copyright infrigement (otherwise I would copyright "It was a dark and stormy night"). Most titles are a lot shorter than that.

Trademarks are another story, of course.

Re:Shouldn't that be JW? (1)

Geekboy(Wizard) (87906) | more than 13 years ago | (#134045)

jiga=giga (both are acceptable pronunciations)

Protecting the Evil (2)

SlaterSan (91405) | more than 13 years ago | (#134046)

This is kind of strange, we're all up in arms about Roxio. We now want to support a company that is working to screw us all when we're trying to burn. Remember this old artice [slashdot.org] (link = http://slashdot.org/articles/01/06/05/2155245.shtm l) for those that are worried.

Re:What? (2)

Dirtside (91468) | more than 13 years ago | (#134047)

Oh, what sad times are these when passing ruffians can say 'boo' at will to old ladies.

Slashdot - a resource for lawyers? (1)

Annamite (94222) | more than 13 years ago | (#134048)


You think these lawyers must have research thru slashdot's posts for their cases?

Is it why it takes them so long to countersue? (-:

Has Saleable Value != Copyrightable (1)

Lish (95509) | more than 13 years ago | (#134049)

What's at issue is not whether Gracenote owns the data users have submitted, or whether that data can be sold. The question being litigated is, can Gracenote _copyright_ the CDDB. If they make money off of user contributions, well, good for them. They have the database, they can sell info from it if they want. I won't contribute if I'm not compensated, but that's a different issue.

Copyright and ownership are two very related yet distinct concepts. CDDB is not copyrightable, just like that spam list is not copyrightable, even though both have value.


---

Re:Slight irony (1)

ClarkEvans (102211) | more than 13 years ago | (#134050)

And in their IP notice at the bottom: "...and Toast are trademarks of Roxio, Inc...." (emphasis mine).

Toast isn't very generic when applied to the domain, software -- and software completely unrelated to a preparation technique for bread. Look at Java. It is a strong trademark as well. However "CDDB", aka "Compac Disk Data Base" is rather generic and isn't a very strong trademark.

Re:Fair Use? (5)

egomaniac (105476) | more than 13 years ago | (#134051)

Ummm ... excuse me? Not sure which country we're in here, but there is no such thing as "reserving" copyright. You also do not have to protect your copyright or lose it, as with trademarks.

All works (literature, art, software, etc.) created in the US are automatically copyrighted. Done deal. You don't have to do anything else. Now, for greater security, you can *register* your copyright by officially filing it, and this gives you a far stronger claim on it when you find yourself in court, but legally there's no difference (it's just a lot easier to defend a registered copyright).

"Fair use" is part of copyright law, which grants certain rights to those other than the holder of the copyright. You can specifically do things like quote short passages from books and the like, make backup copies, and so forth.

I'd be a little more impressed ... (1)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 13 years ago | (#134052)

... if it weren't for the fact that the last couple of releases of Toast have been buggy as hell.

That being said, this is overall a good thing, and may help stem the tide of IP grabs if the suit is susccessful.

Re:I'd be a little more impressed ... (1)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 13 years ago | (#134053)

:)

support free DB (5)

zerocool^ (112121) | more than 13 years ago | (#134054)

support freedb
check out freedb.org [freedb.org] - submit your entries there, and point your CDDB inquiries to freedb.freedb.org

if you buy a CD or more a week, like i do, and immediately rip them, like i do, make a submission of the information - you'll go a long way to helping the CDDB idea.
zero

Track names copyrightable? (1)

marx (113442) | more than 13 years ago | (#134055)

I highly doubt a term like "Enter Sandman", or "Lucky" is copyrightable. Also, people entered such information under the impression that it would be freely available. If Gracenote knew all along that it wouldn't be, why didn't they say so? I think this is an implicit contract or something like that.

Slight irony (4)

ErfC (127418) | more than 13 years ago | (#134056)

Quote the article: "Gracenote... sought to trademark a generic acronym (CDDB) by misleading the U.S. Trademark Office..."

And in their IP notice at the bottom: "...and Toast are trademarks of Roxio, Inc...." (emphasis mine)

I think they're two different situations (the generic term CDDB does apply to what Gracenote is trying to trademark it for, whereas Roxio's Toast is something different), but it's still funny. :)

-Erf C.

Re:Shouldn't that be JW? (1)

OzJimbob (129746) | more than 13 years ago | (#134057)

Never heard it pronounced "jigga" in my life. If it was pronounced "jigga" it would be spelt with a J, like "Lets get jiggy with it" etc.

Re:You CANNOT copyright titles (2)

geekopus (130194) | more than 13 years ago | (#134058)

Amusingly enough, that very subject has been debated recently here (Georgia). An author is attempting to have publish a (parody) book named "The Wind Done Gone!", and Margaret Mitchell's estate went apeshit.

http://www.siliconvalley.com/docs/opinion/dgillmor /dg042501.htm [siliconvalley.com]
and here:
http://www.cnn.com/2001/LAW/05/columns/fl.hilden.g wtw.05.04/ [cnn.com]

The upshot of all this is that Margaret Mitchell's estate has successfully managed to have the book pulled from bookstores.

Anyway, slightly offtopic, and maybe you were aware of this (could be how you got your example), but I thought it might be an item of interest.

peace...

or MusicBrainz (4)

Wesley Felter (138342) | more than 13 years ago | (#134059)

http://www.musicbrainz.org/

Re:Shouldn't that be JW? (1)

TomV (138637) | more than 13 years ago | (#134060)

You do realise that gigawatt is pronounced jigawat, right?

What I realise is that the 'giga' prefix is of Greek derivation, from the word for Giant, and that the classical Greek alphabet (the one with alpha and beta at the start) didn't have a 'J'. That's why, for example, the New Testament is full of references to a chap called Iesus who lived in the province of Iudea.

OTOH, if I choose to pronounce 'giga' so it sounds like 'cheese', then it's fair to say that gigawatt is pronounced 'cheesewatt'. It's just not terribly useful as a means of communication. And in any case, that would presumably make it 'jijawatt'.

Oh, the perils of having a classics prof for a dad. sigh...

TomV

Re:copyright! (3)

fedos (150319) | more than 13 years ago | (#134061)

Did you even read the press release? Roxio refers to it has a patent case. Gracenote had obtained a patent for CDDB from the USPTO. According to Roxio, this patent was obtained illegally and then used to enforce a monopoly and to impose "supracompetitive prices" on customers who had been assured that the service would be free.

Re:I'm not impressed by these arguments (2)

connorbd (151811) | more than 13 years ago | (#134062)

"I shall be moderated into oblivion..."

I just have to put this line in the same category as Schopenhauer's Fallacy and "They laughed at Einstein..." Really, sir, do you wish to be looked at as a crackpot? You definitely sound like one.

/Brian

Re:No Delorian??? (1)

gordon_schumway (154192) | more than 13 years ago | (#134063)

Don't forget the flux capacitor!

Re:copyright! (1)

AntiNorm (155641) | more than 13 years ago | (#134064)

Somebody should patent the process of filing a patent lawsuit. Then Gracenote wouldn't be able to pull crap like this.

---
DOOR!!

Re:You CANNOT copyright titles (3)

DeeKayWon (155842) | more than 13 years ago | (#134065)

Actually, I'd think the author/rights holder CAN copyright titles.

However, there is a fair use right to create lists and databases of those titles, though not one to USE that title for another song, etc.

Then why in my CD collection can I find three different songs by three different groups (Collective Soul, Moist, Prodigy) called Breathe? (All feature singles from the respective albums, no less.) Why hasn't there been a court battle between The Offspring and U2 over Staring At The Sun?

Constructive suggestion to reclaim cddb (4)

WPsim (170565) | more than 13 years ago | (#134066)

I'm about to write a little proxy that everybody could run on his box and point his cd player and/or ripper to instead of cddb/freedb. Here's the pseudo-code.
  • if (cd is in freedb)
    • fetch data from freedb
  • else if (cd is in cddb)
    • fetch data from cddb
    • post data to freedb
  • else data = NULL
  • return data

copyright! (4)

G Neric (176742) | more than 13 years ago | (#134067)

That should say "you can't copyright data". Patents are totally different, for processes. ok? somebody should trademark this distinction so they can sue people who get it wrong

But you can copyright collections (1)

wytcld (179112) | more than 13 years ago | (#134068)

This may not apply to collections of titles, but in books with collections of out-of-copyright images (such as the many Dover titles) you can use any image without infringement, but what Dover owns is the copyright on the collection - if you published your own book or Website with that same collection of images, you're violating Dover's copyright.

The question here is whether the record company or artist, who does not own copyright on the titles of either the recording or the individual songs, might own an enforceable copyright on the collection - so that publishing the album title followed by the songs in order, and just those songs on that album, might be in violation. I kind of doubt any court has seen this particular permutation, but there could be an argument for copyright covering it.

NOT AT ALL like the Unisys GIF fiasco (3)

JCCyC (179760) | more than 13 years ago | (#134069)

Because there's no way in hell Unisys can do anything in the courts about PNG -- it does not use anything from Unisys's patents. Their compression algorithm is 100% different.

There is something in common -- both Disgracenote and Urinesys commited despicable acts. Just that, though.

Re:countersue? (5)

Alien54 (180860) | more than 13 years ago | (#134070)

I didnt read the article

this is why you may be uninformed.

To recap for you:

1)Grace took a public database that was contributed to freely by thousands of people as a public cetral resource, and decided that this was theirs alone, and no one else could used it.
2)Roxio decided to use someone else's database
3)Grace sued Roxio , saying that they couldn't use someone else's database, because they had the copyright on all of the data, and to do so was to break copyright law because veryone else database had to be breaking the copyright law on this. Even if independantly compiled.
4)Roxio is now counter suing, asaying that Grace is trying to copyright public domain data.

I think I have it mostly right, but I am sure someone will correct me on the details.

it is sort of like suing someone for using a different dictionary or telephone book or whatever because you got a copyright on it.

Now Grace has got a problem, because I think Roxio was their biggest user, and Grace tried to muscle in with big ticket license fees. to which Roxio said "sphhhxxxt!"

I swear, when I set up my slash site, I'm am going to have a moderation item labeled "clueless"

Check out the Vinny the Vampire [eplugz.com] comic strip

yes they can (1)

zoftie (195518) | more than 13 years ago | (#134071)

Why? DCMA & friends. New laws issued in canada
made it legal to patent collections of data, since
some collections will take time and money to put
together. I see gracenote using these laws,
to hammer people out of business if they don't pay
up. For cripes sake we used their network
resoures, that someone had to pay for. They are
looking for return on investment, however small
that was.

And there no single defined opposing party anyway,
just public, from all over the world. Good for the
player maker to stand on public's side, cuz no
one else will. Free advertisement skeptics will
say. Ay, hell ya.

Why sue Roxio? (1)

jchristopher (198929) | more than 13 years ago | (#134072)

I know this is old news, but why did Gracenote sue Roxio in the first place? If they are claiming copyright infringment, aren't the maintainers and contributors of freedb.org to blame?

I believe your rant is incorrect in its basis... (1)

JasonSkywalker (204047) | more than 13 years ago | (#134073)

Of course, what never gets pointed out is that the CD title and the track names are themselves copyrighted material, owned by the copyright holder (in this case the record company.)

My understanding is that you cannot copyright a title of a work. Titles of songs may be registered with some sort of ASCAP organization, which may prevent competing songs/albums from carrying identical titles, but it's not the same as copyright, which implies ownership. The recording artist/publisher has no more claim to royalties from a CDDB database than I would as someone entering the data, in my view.

Re:countersue? (1)

strags (209606) | more than 13 years ago | (#134074)

At the risk of encouraging a troll... There are so many basic misconceptions in your short post that I'm not sure where to begin.

Gracenote has done nothing wrong, they took information that was put in the public domain, included some value-added features and sold is as a product.

You miss the critical point - as well as selling the CD data as a product, they removed it from the public domain. This is something they had no right to do, since the data was contributed by the community, on the understanding that it would remain in the public domain.

The first amendment gives every one in the US (including corporations) the right to freedom of business!

Uh... What?

All these people that are complaining about having their hard work "stolen" are probably the same people that contribute to open-source software -- they will not get any compensation or recognition for that either, and they don't complain, so what is the problem?

You don't understand Open-Source very well, do you. Even if you did, your analogy is flawed. There are many reasons for developing Open Source software. One of them is to fix or improve something that needs fixing, and make the benefits that your code brings available to everyone, for the good of the community. My Open Source software is freely available for everyone to use/enjoy, and that's the way I want it. What Gracenote did was to take my (and others) work, and remove that free availability! Again - something they had no right to do.

Strags

Re:countersue? (1)

strags (209606) | more than 13 years ago | (#134075)

There's a difference between using someone else's public domain code in your own software and charging for it, and effectively removing someone else's code from the public domain.

The point is that the data that we spent thousands of collective hours entering is not publically available elsewhere!

Strags

Re:I'm not impressed by YOUR arguments (1)

aratas (210026) | more than 13 years ago | (#134076)

Only in the somewhat odd-ball ( if you'll excuse the phrase ) American way of thought does being a wealthy powerful first world nation go hand in hand with denying such basic services to its citizens.
"Basic Services" that other nations provide include removal of property from citizens, punishment for speaking one's mind, etc. These "Basic Services" I, as an American, would gladly do without. Just because another country does it, or even a lot of countries, does not make it a good idea.

But what about the charging? (2)

Mr_Silver (213637) | more than 13 years ago | (#134077)

Okay, I'm sure this has been asked before but I can't seem to find it and i think it's a fairly important point.

One thing that people seem to be unhappy about is the fact that Gracenote charge for the information. Now I can understand from the perspective of the people that entered the data that this sucks. But looking at it from Gracenotes point of view (and *ignoring the making money angle* for the moment) why shouldn't they charge to keep the service running?

I'm not trolling (honest guv) but trying to understand one thing. That is that hosting a huge database that millions (or a hell of a lot, I don't have the stats) costs.

When I mean costs I mean:

  • Costs of all hardware and software upgrades (a new HD isn't cheap)
  • Bandwidth costs (all those people requesting uses it)
  • Server maintenance costs (someone has to look after the thing)
and so on.

I know that we (as the the community) provided the data for free but as much as we'd like it still costs to host something and whilst it would be nice for Gracenote to do it for free, they themselves will incurr costs that will have to be paid for by someone.

What are peoples opinions on this?

As a subnote - if Gracenote are charging any more than the costs for the above (ie. making a profit) then shoot them all. That just plain sucks.

--

Re:Eben Moglen (from another forum) on CDDB (1)

stevenbee (227371) | more than 13 years ago | (#134078)

You're just not allowed to tell other people what to do with facts.

So what's all the fuss about DMCA? Isn't there a lot of movement on the corporate front to prevent the free exchange of facts?

Re:countersue? (1)

Dismaster (227530) | more than 12 years ago | (#134079)

You may want to apply for a clue yourself. Gracenotes was only charging Roxio $.06 per user out of the $100 that Roxio charges for thier software. Oh the humanity!

Choose your enemies, don't create them (1)

Water Paradox (231902) | more than 13 years ago | (#134080)

They forgot the first rule of making enemies:

Choose your enemies, don't create them.
Hmm.

I'm not impressed by YOUR arguments (2)

corvi42 (235814) | more than 13 years ago | (#134081)

If I had a room of people who all wrote the title of their favourite book onto a paper and put it into a file folder. By your argument you'd say that the company which made the file folder would have the right to take all that paper and lock it up somewhere outside the room and charge those same people to have access to their list of favourite books.

... also believe that people are entitled (as in the God-given right sense of the word) to retirement benefits and medical coverage as well, so perhaps this is a loaded question.

Now there's a very American-centric point of view if I've ever heard one. The USA is the ONLY ( I repeat ONLY ) first world nation that does not have medical care supplied for its citizens by the government. I don't really care whether or not you want to quibble over whether this is a God given right or not, but I think that any country which has the money to afford such a program, it is the citizen's right to demand it of the government. After all the government's money is by definition the citizens' money. Only in the somewhat odd-ball ( if you'll excuse the phrase ) American way of thought does being a wealthy powerful first world nation go hand in hand with denying such basic services to its citizens.

... the CD title and the track names are themselves copyrighted material, owned by the copyright holder ...

Yes, but there is a distinct difference ( which exists in the copyright laws themselves ) between infringement of a copyright by illegal copying and reference to a work. Referencing works is a protected right of the public, and must be. Think how absurd it would be if someone needed permission of corporate lawyers to publish an analysis of popular music, or any work which requires making reference to other works - this would bring academia to a grinding halt. Likewise a database of CD titles and track names is a reference work. It makes reference to existing works, it does not copy them. Therefore it makes no infringement upons the "copy rights" of those people who created / own the works.

Only in a country where infanticide is condoned in the interest of "women's choice" would we be having an argument like this.

Now there's some serious trolling if I ever heard it. How 'bout I counter with a little trolling of my own. Only in a country of @$$ backwards religious fanatics and pinheaded rednecks would you ever hear arguments like this which put the rights of a handful of people to make a few bucks above the general rights of hundreds of millions of people to general knowledge.

Re:You CANNOT copyright titles (1)

epfreed (238219) | more than 13 years ago | (#134082)

Slightly OT, but in fact there is a song titled "Gone with the Wind." It is a jazz standard circa 1935, and has nothing at all to do with the novel.

Re:I'm not impressed by these arguments (1)

red gnu (238276) | more than 13 years ago | (#134083)

Of course, what never gets pointed out is that the CD title and the track names are themselves copyrighted material, owned by the copyright holder (in this case the record company.)

Perhaps the reason it never gets pointed out is that it is not true. See for example, item number 5 on Brad Templeton's Myths about copyright [templetons.com] page. Sheesh.

Re:Thought for the Day (1)

MadCow42 (243108) | more than 13 years ago | (#134084)

Hey! I know who you are! q:] Hi Bro. MadCow.

Re:You CANNOT copyright titles (2)

mikethegeek (257172) | more than 13 years ago | (#134085)

Actually, I'd think the author/rights holder CAN copyright titles.

However, there is a fair use right to create lists and databases of those titles, though not one to USE that title for another song, etc.

The major point is this: Yes, titles can and ARE owned and copyrighted, but the copyright holder is not and CANNOT be Gracenote! Which makes their lawsuit moot as hell and suggests a serious ass-whipping is in order for the idiot judge who even accepted it.

Re:You CANNOT copyright titles (2)

mikethegeek (257172) | more than 13 years ago | (#134086)

Thanks for the link... the judge must have been smoking crack to accept the gracenote suit.

Sooner or later, there is going to HAVE to be punishment for lawyers and judges who allow our legal system to be plagued with frivilous lawsuits.

Re:Eben Moglen (from another forum) on CDDB (1)

KenRH (265139) | more than 13 years ago | (#134087)

also (3) have asserted a copyright in purely factual information which, by legal precedent, probably isn't copyrightable at all, regardless of the promise under which it was collected.

IANAL, but CDDB is not just facts/data it is a compilation and representation of this data and as such might be copyrightable.

Analogus to a previus story about a database of GPS postitions, you cant copyright the fact that A is in posistion (X,Y) but you can coyright a list of sucht positions, meaning others cant copy your list, but has to go out and make their own measurements.

You missed the point entirely (4)

wizzy403 (303479) | more than 13 years ago | (#134088)

CDDB started out as part of a (IIRC) GPLed unix cd player program. The entire database was originally distributed with the program. Gracenote bought the database up a few years ago, revoked the GPL, and started charging for this data. *THAT* is why everyone is so pissed, and why Roxio has a damned convincing case.

no Liscense? (2)

MulluskO (305219) | more than 13 years ago | (#134089)

They posted that information without a liscence like GPL protecting them, it's their fault,

Re:Why sue Roxio? (3)

Rick the Red (307103) | more than 13 years ago | (#134090)

I know this is old news, but why did Gracenote sue Roxio in the first place? If they are claiming copyright infringment, aren't the maintainers and contributors of freedb.org to blame?

That's the funny part. Roxio was a Gracenote customer. Then Roxio announced they were dropping Gracenote and using freedb. Gracenote lost a large customer, so they had to sue somebody, right? (can't let your stockholders know you lost a customer because your product is overpriced).

Suing freedb wasn't going to get them any $$$, so they sued Roxio for not buying their product anymore. This is like Ford suing Avis because they switched to Chevys. You think Avis wouldn't counter-sue? What were Gracenote thinking?

I hope Roxio win so big that Gracenote folds and Napster has to contract with freedb for the data they need to comply with the court order. Then I hope freedb says "no" to Napster. Never happen. I can wish, but it'll never happen.

Re:Protecting the Evil (2)

tuxlove (316502) | more than 13 years ago | (#134091)

This is kind of strange, we're all up in arms about Roxio.

I have to agree. To add to your comment, they're the ones buying up or destroying all the competition. For example, they bought Toast and Cequadrat, two major competitors. They sued Prassi, a smaller competitor, for using their intellectual property (i.e. patents), and extracted $2 million dollars from them, as well as the source code to their products that use "Roxio technology". And on top of it all, they make low-quality software which has the tendency to toast computers it's installed on (pun intended).

In short, Roxio is everything slashdotters hate. Why all the love then?

Terrible example (2)

Breakfast Pants (323698) | more than 13 years ago | (#134092)

"Why should CDDB be any different?" The problem is it IS different. CC# companies don't claim to OWN your personal information, they just have it. CDDB was trying to sue Roxio for using an alternative. Trust me, if you use an alternate database of email addresses in order to spam someone, the people who own a large database are not going to sue you just because a few of the email addresses you ended up using appear in their database.

--

Excellent... *slowly taps finger tips togeather* (1)

Supa Mentat (415750) | more than 13 years ago | (#134093)

Finally the big guy with the most money in a case about copyrights and patents is the one whom I want to win. Sucks to be the bitch, eh Gracenote? I hope Roxio wins this one but in the end I think that they'll probably forge a partnership with the RIAA or MPAA (or some other "A" along those lines) to trade "copyright protection" schemes in their software for big bucks, if it hasn't happened already.

yeah, i'm a n00b... (1)

mikehasnoluck (416017) | more than 13 years ago | (#134094)

This is waaaaay off topic, but where do you go to see what happened to your news submissions? I've submitted a few, and I'm pretty sure they've all been rejected, but I've never seen anything anywhere that said
2001-06-21 15:24:43 Whatever Article Blah Blah (articles,patents) (rejected)

Re:Shouldn't that be JW? (2)

haruharaharu (443975) | more than 13 years ago | (#134095)

You do realize that dictionaries are descriptive and not prescriptive, right? If enough people pronounce it GigaByte (and they do), then it is also pronounced GigaByte.

"can't patent prior art" (1)

Zac Thompson (460069) | more than 13 years ago | (#134096)

The only problem with this statement (can't patent prior art) as it applies here is that Steve Scherf is an author of the original CDDB software and a founder of Gracenote. So I don't think it's really "prior art" in the sense that it's work that someone else did, but it's *his* prior art, so it should be OK for his company to consider it "their" IP. Although there were *two* original authors, according to Gracenote...

Original Gracenote open letter link (not a mirror) [gracenote.com]

So maybe it shouldn't be OK? Roxio claims that Gracenote's patents are invalid (probably not), that their trademark and copyright attempts are bogus (probably yes) and that they are antitrusting public information (iffy). But what's really interesting is that xmcd, the original app to implement this stuff (as far as I can find), is GPL'ed. Now GPL'ed software should be patentable (bizarrely enough) as much as any other software, but can Gracenote hold a patent to the technology, given the status of xmcd (*not* a Gracenote app!)?

Re:I'd be a little more impressed ... (1)

Richard Bannister (464181) | about 13 years ago | (#134097)

Dunno about that. Toast 4.x was tempramental, but I must say that Toast 5 has been reliable for me...
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