Following the news of a $500 million plaintiff award in the ZeniMax v. Oculus lawsuit, a detailed breakdown of the verdict reveals the jury’s specific findings, and who is responsible to pay for the damages.


Guest Article by Matt Hooper & Brian Sommer, IME Law

matt-hooper-imeMatt is a Partner at IME Law, where he represents clients in the immersive media, entertainment and technology industries. He represents several of the leading VR content creation and software companies in the United States. He also serves as Co-Chair of the VRARA Entertainment Committee. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mhooplaw.

brian-Sommer-HeadshotBrian is an interactive media and entertainment attorney at IME Law, where he focuses his practice on the intersection of traditional entertainment and immersive media. He also serves as Co-Chair of the VRARA Licensing Committee. You can follow Brian on Twitter @arvrlaw.


Breaking Down the Jury Verdict in ZeniMax v. Oculus

After only a few days of deliberating, the Oculus jury returned a verdict in favor of Plaintiffs ZeniMax and id Software totaling $500 million. ZeniMax was awarded money damages against Oculus, founder Palmer Luckey, (former CEO) Brendan Iribe and CTO John Carmack, but parent-company Facebook escaped monetary liability (although Oculus is a subsidiary of Facebook).

Before the jurors started deliberating, Judge Ed Kinkeade provided them with nearly 90-pages of jury instructions. The jury instructions read like a missive and questionnaire, detailing the laws the jury must apply and includes spaces for the jury to fill in their award decisions (each count has to be reached unanimously, and there were nine jurors). Since the jury is a cross-section of people with different levels of education and experience, the judge wrote the jury instructions in easily digestible format, being careful to not distort important legal significances and nuances. The Oculus jury was comprised of six women and three men, with a wide-array of diverse backgrounds.

SEE ALSO
$4 Billion ZeniMax v. Oculus Verdict Could Come as Early as Today, Here's What You Need to Know

The following summarizes each count in the jury instructions and how the jury ruled:

Common Law Misappropriation of Trade Secrets

Defendants: Oculus, Facebook, Luckey, Iribe and Carmack
Jury Award (Defendants’ Liability to Plaintiffs): $0

The plaintiffs alleged that the defendants misappropriated their trade secrets. The court explained that a trade secret is defined as “a formula, pattern, device or compilation of information used in a business which gives its owner an opportunity to obtain an advantage over his competitors who do not know or use it.” Plaintiffs asserted that their trade secrets included the following technologies: (1) distortion correction technology; (2) chromatic aberration correction method; (3) gravity orientation and sensor drift correction technology; (4) head and neck modeling technology; (5) HMD view bypass technology; (6) predictive tracking technology; and (7) time warping methodology.

John Carmack_4
John Carmack had been an employee of id Software (owned by plaintiff ZeniMax). He took an early interest in the Rift (while at id Software) and left to join Oculus as CTO in 2014.

To prevail on their claim for misappropriation of trade secrets, the plaintiffs needed to prove that: (1) a trade secret existed; (2) the defendants acquired the trade secret through breach of a confidential relationship or by improper means; (3) the defendants made commercial use of the trade secret in their business without authorization; and (4) the plaintiffs suffered damages as a result.

The jury found that ZeniMax failed to prove by a preponderance of evidence that any of the defendants misappropriated the trade secrets claimed by the plaintiffs. With respect to most civil claims, a plaintiff need only prove each element of a claim by a “preponderance of the evidence.” To establish an element by a preponderance of the evidence means to prove that “something is more likely so than not so.” This is a significantly lower burden than the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard which is used for criminal cases.

SEE ALSO
ZeniMax v. Oculus Lawsuit Awards $500M to Plaintiff, Verdict Detailed in Court Documents

Because the jury found that ZeniMax failed to prove that any of the defendants misappropriated its trade secrets, the jury did not award any damages to ZeniMax for this claim.

Copyright Infringement

Against Defendants: Oculus, Facebook, Luckey, Iribe and Carmack
Jury Award: $50,000,000 in actual damages against Oculus

All the defendants were alleged to have copied ZeniMax or id Software’s computer programs code in violation of their copyrights. There is no copyright protection in a computer program for ideas, program logic, algorithms, systems, methods, concepts or layouts; only original “expressions” of work embodied in a computer program are eligible for copyright protection. For example, literal elements such as source code and non-literal elements such as program architecture, structure, sequence and organization, operation modules and computer-user interface may enjoy copyright protection. A computer program can be original even if it incorporates elements that are not original to the author. Accordingly, computer code copyright infringement cases require filtering and separating uncopyrightable elements of the computer program from the protected parts, an expensive and complicated analysis usually involving expert witnesses.

mark zuckerberg brendan iribe
Former Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Both appeared in court as part of the lawsuit. Zuckerberg and Facebook weren’t found liable for any charges, but Oculus (a subsidiary of Facebook) was.

The plaintiffs were granted the $50 million dollar copyright infringement against Oculus because the jury concluded the following: (1) the computer programs in question were copyrightable; (2) ZeniMax or id Software own the copyrights; and (3) Oculus copied the copyright-protected computer programs owned by ZeniMax or id Software.

Elements (1) and (2) were relatively easy issues for the jury to reach, because the plaintiffs registered their computer programs with the Copyright Office. Proving the third element was the complicated, contested part of the trial.

SEE ALSO
ZeniMax Seeks Injunction to Halt Oculus' Use Rift & Gear VR SDK and More

To prove the third element and find Oculus liable, the jury had to answer yes to both of the following questions: (1) did Oculus copy computer programs; and (2) if there was copying, was the copying “substantially similar” to plaintiffs’ copyrighted computer programs.

The Oculus court used the Abstraction-Filtration-Comparison Test (“AFC Test”) to analyze whether the non-literal elements of Oculus computer programs were substantially similar to ZeniMax or id Software copyright-protected computer programs. Essentially, the AFC Test involved breaking down each computer program into constituent parts, examining each of the constituent parts, sifting out non-protectable code and then comparing Oculus and plaintiffs’ programs to determine whether the copyright-protectable elements were substantially similar to warrant a claim for infringement.

Plaintiffs used Dr. David Dobkin, Professor of Computer Science at Princeton, to shepherd jurors through the AFC Test. At the end of his testimony, Dr. Dobkin concluded he is “absolutely certain Oculus copied from ZeniMax code,” and the jury agreed. Prior to the jury verdict, Oculus contended in its January 30, 2017 Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law that the AFC Test is “invalid and unconstitutional.” This issue may play a central role in expected appeals.

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  • Get Schwifty!

    Yep – the end is only the beginning in these type of cases… and Facebook has money only Zenimax could dream about to fight them down. Still waiting on that VR HMD and controllers from Zenimax to appear now that we know how intently they were working on a VR solution ;)

    • yexi

      Honestly, it’s more complicated that it appair.

      Zenimax make low persistance, lens deformation, and a lot of others thinks that make VR possible, and is attributed to Oculus. They don’t make a VR headset, but they invest a lot to make it possible, and all the work was “stoled” by Oculus/Facebook.

      • Get Schwifty!

        Oh I get that there was by the Jury’s decision misuse… can you elaborate on what exactly Zenimax contributes that makes VR possible? I only ask because I don’t think a lot of people know… and it does beg the question, why don’t they try to capitalize on it if they are doing all this work?

        • beestee

          That was my first thought when I heard about this case.

          Would this case exist if Oculus was not successful? If it never went further than the kickstarter? At the time this happened nobody knew VR would blow up like it did. What was the perceived value of what was shared at the time? Apparently to ZeniMax it wasn’t valuable enough to them to continue pursuing development without Carmack.

          It just seems like ZeniMax was able to sit back, wait and see if VR would take off without putting any more skin in the game, then swoop in with a lawsuit after everything else that had to happen to make VR stick and claim that they were a big part of it despite apparently not pushing the research any further on their own in the meantime.

          Another question that has some relevancy, is Valve involved at all? They were collaborating with Oculus early on, probably around the time this all was happening. And if I remember correctly, Valve shared a lot of their research as well that led to VR gaining traction.

          There should have been a clause put on the winnings in this trial that it has to be invested back into VR research. As it is, ZeniMax seems that they couldn’t care less about pushing VR forward. Instead it is probably just going to go into the pockets of a bunch of lawyers and executives who could care less about the future of VR.

          • Sponge Bob

            VR would blow up with or without Oculus – time has come and tech is at the right stage of development (GPUs, sensors etc)
            And this is nothing – just a beginning of a long string of corporate acquisitions and endless legal battles

          • DM

            It takes some sort of initial action to generate the interest. VR may well not have taken off at all right now without the Oculus kickstarter gaining VR modern recognition as a viable format.

          • Get Schwifty!

            Oculus with Carmack did something I don’t think even HTC was going to be good about – they generated real buzz and interest… and excitement about VR. Even if they don’t survive in the long run (I think they will), that alone merits them a place in the history of VR.

          • Sponge Bob

            “Valve shared a lot of their research”

            Yes they did !!! Just take a look at USPTO database of recently filed patent apps – tons of garbage obvious patents apps from Vive Oculus, Sony you name it big corp
            “Chaperone” patent application is particularly disgusting for its utter obviousness to any 12-year old

          • MosBen

            But why is that bad? If someone walks by my house and steals a rock out of my yard, I’m not going to chase them down the street. It’s a rock. It’s mine, but it’s not worth anything to me. If I’m mowing my lawn and walk away for a minute to speak to someone, and then someone walking buy grabs the mower and tries to take it, I’ll chase them down. The mower has significant value to me such that it’s worth taking action to protect.

            If VR never amounted to anything, then nobody would care if ideas that technically belonged to Zenimax were taken. But VR is, it turns out, worth a lot of money, so that alleged theft is much more meaningful.

          • beestee

            That analogy doesn’t really work for me. What ZeniMax owns is one part of something that needs a lot of other parts to work. Also, ZeniMax still has possession of the part, but it was replicated by Oculus. Nothing prevented ZeniMax from building their own machine around the piece that they already had figured out.

            Even still, ZeniMax didn’t chase them down for that part until they realized that Oculus was going to make a lot of money with the machine that used the replica of their part.

            Shouldn’t ZeniMax have pursued this directly after John Carmack left id software to work for Oculus over 3 years ago? Instead they conveniently wait until the value is certain.

          • MosBen

            For the purposes of this analogy, we’re going to assume that Zenimax was correct, and Oculus/Carmack stole something that they own. It doesn’t matter if the rock that someone stole from my yard was only a piece of something that would become valuable, or if it took further work to develop the rock into something valuable. If the person stole it from my yard, I’m entitled to something, even if I didn’t know how valuable it was at the time. To jump to a different analogy, if I have collection of baseball card (or comics, or whatever), and you recognize a part of my collection as valuable, when I just think that it’s a comic that I bought as a kid, it doesn’t make it right to steal the comic from me, and if I’m able to prove that you DID steal it from me and you THEN made a ton of money off of it, I’m entitled to at least some of that money.

            This is why the question of Carmack stealing the code and then using it at Oculus is so important. HTC, Sony, and others have shown that there are multiple ways to implement code for VR. Oculus could have (and maybe did) create created their own code to run their VR hardware, but if they took actual code that Zenimax owned and used it to make a product worth billions, then Zenimax is owed for that theft.

          • David Melton

            If you own a patent on technology that enables other technology to work then you have something that can generate A LOT of money through licensing deals.

          • beestee

            And I think that is the root of this entire problem. As a custodian of the technology that others could potentially use, the custodian has to put a value on it and make it available to be licensed.

            Did Zenimax do this?

            And the potential for a solution like the one in question to generate A LOT of money depends on exclusivity and competition, and when at least one of the top competitors is open source, you are going to have difficulty making A LOT of money from licensing anything similar.

          • Mario Jaron Mitchell

            Thank you for explaining that to them! Wow..

          • Get Schwifty!

            Do you really think we didn’t get it? Seriously?

          • Get Schwifty!

            Well…. what if they stole the rock you don’t care about, but then sculpted it into a statue worth several billion dollars…. that is the situation here, Zenimax was sort of sitting on their hands and when someone took some of their IP and made something worthwhile out of it.

            Personally, I think they got a decent fair amount for the infringements, etc. and it should stop but I feel certain Oculus/FB are going to appeal because frankly its cost effective… the value of the settlement decreases over time, and if they can also get a 2nd jury or an out-of-court settlement that lowers the cost they do much better…

          • MosBen

            Oh, absolutely. I’m very confident that Oculus will get the award reduced on appeal. My point is just that just because I wasn’t doing anything with the rock doesn’t excuse theft. To take the sculpture analogy further, there are other pieces of rock out there, as witnessed by the other sculptors who have made their own creations without needing to steal my rock. While yes, the act of sculpting adds value to the rock, it doesn’t negate my original ownership.

            There seem to be a lot of people who seem to think that because Zenimax doesn’t seem to have their own HMD coming out, or because they don’t attribute Zenimax to any of the fun that they’ve had with VR that it would somehow excuse Carmack’s theft of their code, if indeed he had done so. But if Zenimax was right and Carmack DID steal and use their code, then Zenimax has absolutely contributed to the fun that people have had with Rifts, and they’re just asking to be paid for it. Now how much they get paid and what other things come with it (restraints from future Rift sales, etc.) is a more arcane legal matter. But the idea that because they don’t have an HMD coming out their position is ridiculous is…well…ridiculous.

          • Get Schwifty!

            I don’t believe it excuses it, not in the least. You do realize the HMD comments are a joke right? The sculpture comment is that it shows their intentions as more about making money than actually contributing anything or any high principle. Clearly they don’t intend to put one out (well now they might), but any way you cut it, you can’t deny that beyond strict legalities the intent here is a profiteering grab…. they dont care about the “principle of it”, just getting as much dough out of it as possible that under the law they (and their lawyers) can get.

          • JoeD

            The sculpture analogy is terrible. The original rock is actual property as it is a scarce resource. Intellectual “property” is not a scarce resource. The original owner still has their intellectual “property”. The supply of it has doubled! You can’t double the supply of a single rock, no matter how hard you try.

          • JoeD

            No. That’s a ridiculous analogy. As I said earlier, ZeniMAx STILL has their rock!! No one took anything from ZeniMAx leaving ZeniMax holding an empty sack. If someone took a rock out of someone’s yard they would literally NOT have the rock any more. This is NOT the case here.

          • Zobeid

            The problem with the rock and the mower comparison is that the value of those are fairly obvious. It’s more like if somebody took an apparently worthless rock from your yard, and it later turned out to be worth a fortune. (And if you think that sounds far-fetched, just look at some of the cases that have been litigated over lottery tickets!)

            And then we have the secondary argument over whether he did, in fact, take your rock or merely examined it closely and then went to find another one like it. . .

          • Evil13RT

            Is it worth a lot of money? There’s been talk of it’s potential but the billion dollar market hasn’t really happened yet. There’s no word on when it will.
            Facebook invested a lot of money into its development by purchasing oculus. Zenimax hasn’t pursued VR, let alone tried to sell it to anyone.
            They wanted a chunk of the vr investment money, not a piece of a market which doesn’t exist.

          • David Melton

            Maybe you don’t understand how investing works so I will explain it to you. You put money into something today that will hopefully pay of in the FUTURE

          • JoeD

            Yeah, but at least in that case you no longer have the rock. That is actual property theft. In the case of ZeniMax (to continue the analogy) they STILL have their rock.

        • David Melton

          Oh but an idiot like Palmer supposedly made the Rift by himself in his basement?

        • JoeD

          No. It raises the question.

      • crim3

        It doesn’t look like Zenimax was doing any of that, but John Carmack as his personal contribution to Palmer’s project. As far as I remember, the only thing that came from Zenimax at that time was telling Carmack that he was not allowed to spent any more time in VR-related stuff.

      • DM

        Yeah, I find it really difficult to believe Zenimax were responsible for that research, yet they have contributed less than zero to the VR market so far. Where was the “me too!!” comments from them trying to get a piece of the VR action?

        Why do the research and then decide to drop it like a hot rock? It makes no sense…

        This is nothing more than a greedy cash grab akin to patent trolling.

        • sfmike

          That’s the way the 21st century works. Greed is king in Trumps America.

          • Get Schwifty!

            Wow the Trump-hate is strong with this one… would the circumstance and judgment have been more in Oculus favor with Hillary? Do you honestly think Greed isn’t fundamental even when Dems win? My gosh we are truly naive….

          • MR Not Dux OSAR

            Getting paid for the fruits if your labor isn’t greed. That’s Capitalism
            Stealing from others… that’s greed.

          • David Melton

            Look up intellectual property. You might learn something

        • Adrian Meredith

          It was almost certainly carmack who created these technologies and no doubt zenimax made it as difficult as possible for him

          • Amkosh

            Zenimax told Carmack he can work on VR. How is that making it difficult for him? I have nearly zero sympathy for Carmack, lost nearly all respect I have for him, he’s turned from a hero to a paranoid asshole infected with hubris.

          • Get Schwifty!

            I believe they told him to limit his time on it… and they didn’t see any future in it.

          • Amkosh

            Doesn’t matter. It’s still part of his job function. You can only have side projects until they become wildly successful, then you can’t. That’s the way it works, and there’s little point in whining about it.

        • Amkosh

          No, not even close to patent trolling. Carmack was an employee of Zenimax. I believe he asked his supervisor if he could work on VR. His supervisor said yes, which made it part of his job. You can’t just work on something which is part of your job after hours. Unless he had an in writing exemption that says he can do it, he was working for the man when he did that, whether he likes it or not.

          Yes people get away with it all the time. This happens because A) What they’re doing is near valueless, and B) relating to A, their company probably has no clue nor cares to spend energy about it. However, you can bet your bippy that once whatever they do gets a 2+ billion dollar buyout, they’ll pay attention.

          “Why do the research and then decide to drop it like a hot rock? It makes no sense…”

          This makes perfect sense. Zenimax is a game publisher, what is essentially a software company. They are not Valve, and likely have very little interest in building hardware. However, these companies partner with other companies to do this thing. In this case Carmack had an interest in it, and asked to be involved. Why they haven’t moved forward is related to the lawsuit, the more they look like they were left in the wind, the more likely the jury’s gonna have sympathy for them. After all if your partner screws you, can you really prove it hurt if you go out and get a new one?

          ZM in this case actually helped Oculus, and then they fucked em, first by poaching their employee, and then by using the stuff said poached employee did whilst working for ZM.

          The only surprising thing to me is why the hell FB didn’t just settle, pay a certain amount of money and then get to not admit to wrong doing. Now they’re on the wrong side of an appeal.

          • Get Schwifty!

            Good point about he appeal and why not settle out of court, I really figured they would… but the trail went so quick…. I can’t see what they aimed for unless it was to get Zenimax to show all their cards through the legal process…

      • Caven

        Lens distortion correction was patented decades ago. Zenimax has no claim on that. As for low-persistence, that’s a hardware issue, and Zenimax does not make hardware. Companies like Samsung that actually make displays would be the ones to figure out low persistence. A lot of VR technologies had been developed and patented decades ago. The big modern breakthrough is inexpensive, high-resolution displays that are a side-effect of the smartphone industry. Zenimax’s contribution to VR consisted mainly of letting Carmack pursue VR development on the side, so long as he got his work done.

  • Sam Illingworth

    I remember back when Oculus sounded so exciting, before Vive, before Facebook, before exclusives, and Carmack getting involved was even more exciting! How things have changed…

    • crim3

      I miss those days

    • Get Schwifty!

      its early in the VR world… a change in direction or a new player can totally upset the apple cart.

      I will say, on the flip side, it’s a good sign that the industry is not a two year flash in the pan…

      • Sam Illingworth

        Tell me about it! I already love my Vive, but I’m soooo excited about v2, and so far it looks like not only will there be a v2, but it can only be amazing!

  • Great article! The most detailed I’ve read on this verdict… thanks for sharing!

  • Sponge Bob

    Something is wrong with this verdict.

    So they acknowledged copyright infringement (aka blatant copying of parts of source code) but didn’t find any trade secret misappropriation ????? WTF???

    And trade marks ?? Which trade marks are they talking about and wtf cares about those?
    Like “Oculus”, or “Rift” or what ???

    The monetary damages are OK though, provided that there was literal illegal copying of the source code by defendant

    Code is everything – you want to own your code – write it yourself in a clean room environment or buy it, don’t bring it from your previous employer like Carmack apparently did

    Too bad patents are not involved…

    • Get Schwifty!

      Yeah I read through and had the same questions…. I feel like there is something either not being revealed here, or the laws work in ways that don’t make direct sense unless you have all the details which we don’t, or the jury frankly was way in over it’s head in trying to decide on the case. I think a lot of juries dont know how to judge, and in what they think is “Fair”, they just give the plaintiff some kind of reward to “make it fair” regardless of the real legalities of it all hoping everyone is satisfied. I am sure they looked at Oculus with Facebook ownership and mind boggling amounts of money and little Zenimax and may have felt sympathy with the “little guy:

      • Robbie Cartwright

        I honestly just hope ZeniMax doesn’t apply for the thing that stops Rifts from being sold. No matter what happened Oculus has turned some of “zenimax’s code” (thick air quotes) into a community of creators and VR lovers that never would have otherwise been. It’d be a shame to stop people from joining that community, even if part of does belong to Zenimax’ credit.

        And I hope they don’t do anything stupid that causes the Rift’s to stop working correctly. We’ve paid a lot for them.

        • Get Schwifty!

          Don’t worry – Facebook has lots of money… maybe they will just go buy HTC…. wouldn’t that be a hoot….

          • Konchu

            I don’t know if buying HTC alone would help as the Vive is a collaboration of the software and hardware Steam and HTC. And the issues here is more software. Might be easier to scrap all controversial code and rewrite it in something crazy like Velato.

            Though they could in all seriousness easily adopt OpenVR or OSVR.

          • Get Schwifty!

            It was a joke… they don’t need HTC/Valve… they have more than enough money to take it anywhere they want…

          • Javed Asghar

            All I see is fanboyism from you sorry and all eventually coming down to you saying “Aww don’t worry Oculus got too much money” ooo we were wrong there too but its ok Oculus got too much money. Don’t forget how facebook became what it is today and what Oculus was in kickstarter and what it is today. Best buy both headsets if you can and start thinking about your own interests and money. Stick to the right car for future, not the dealer with most money no matter how he got there in the first place. Just money won’t solve a think if people don’t think like you in the quo saying Aww they got too much money they are God.

          • DougP

            Re: “maybe they will just go buy HTC…. wouldn’t that be a hoot….”

            Hoot?
            I don’t think *hoot* means what you think it means.
            But …If by *hoot* you mean a horribly bad thing, then yes.

          • Get Schwifty!

            Nah… just think, no more whining about exclusives :) Might be the best thing to happen to the industry (j/k).

          • beestee

            Or maybe HTC/Valve could offer an olive branch? That would make a statement. Instant fan here if that happens.

    • Caven

      I could swear I wrote a response to this, but I don’t see it anywhere. Anyway, short version is that the code may have been copied as a side effect of copying emails or some other data, and wasn’t specifically being targeted for future use. Just like when someone steals your car, it probably wasn’t for the music CDs in the center console.

    • beestee

      RE: copying code.

      If you have the same coders making the same tool for two different companies, there are likely to be some striking similarities…although the little bit of code that I have worked with, you usually do a much cleaner/better job of it when redoing it from scratch without copy/pasting…but there will certainly still be some similarities.

      Carmack has a pretty good point with his recent social media statements. The ideas behind the code are the same, the code serves the same purpose, but if the professional testimony had to clarify that the code was not a literal copy, then what ground was there for the damages that were awarded?

      “Carmack worked around this stuff at Zenimax, he doesn’t have the right to work the same stuff at another company.” I’ve always felt that employers forcing employees to sign non-competes is significantly unbalanced and unfair. If you value the knowledge of an employee, utilize them and give them incentives to stick around, forcing a signature on a non-compete form is pretty much the opposite of incentive and frankly seem like a big tell for insecurity.

      Still, why wipe all your hard drives if you had nothing to fear?

      • Sponge Bob

        dude, you never coded shit in your life

        “clean room” engineering is the way to escape copyright infringement cause there can be no substantial similarity if code base exceeds say 1000 lines

        and we are talking about hundreds of thousands or millions of lines of code here

        • beestee

          I don’t see a shader being anywhere near 100,000 lines of code. But you are right, I don’t make a career of coding. I’ve tried it, and I still dabble, but it really is not my cup of tea.

          Clean room engineering basically ‘washes’ the code by translating the process methods to match all other code the business does? Like money laundering, but for code. That was an interesting subject to read about and I learned a bit from it, so thanks for that.

  • Deshawn

    On the last page there is no description as to how they violated the trademark. Can you expand on that or is it considered confidential?

  • Nigerian Wizard

    Based

  • rabs

    This is the best article I’ve read on that subject. Everything is clearly listed with some definitions for legalese I didn’t understand. Thank you.

  • Hodders

    Zenimax = money grabbing vultures = bad for the gaming and peripheral business

  • Lucidfer

    So after reading the whole thing, fuck ZeniMax media. Because I don’t see anywhere possible where source-code used by Oculus was ever used in any of ZeniMax media or gaming software.

    They ARE absolutement patent troll which is artificially worsening the economical crisis. The fact that there is something VERY wrong with commercial and copyright laws to allow such things to exist should not divert from the fact that this is morally wrong, in the sens that ZeniMax are doing damage to the world and others and should not be defended by the jury. There’s really absolutely to fucking concept of justice in this world.

    On the other hand, Oculus are dead, not because of this lawsuit but because it adds one too many argument in the favour of not holding on in the VR race.

    • Sponge Bob

      Dude,

      Tesla, Edison and Wright Brothers were patent trolls too…

      Good patents are good for economy

      Write it on your forehead

      • Lucidfer

        Your comment doesn’t make sense, unless you are being sarcastic.

        • Sponge Bob

          sarcastic ???

          you mean realistic ?

          Unlike you I do have one tech patent and a good one I believe:

          it teaches something new, very useful and quite unobvious
          (this is telecom related, not VR)

          I had no moral problem suing SillyCon valley corp for using it without my permission

          • Lucidfer

            How were Tesla, Edison and Wright Brothers patent trolls? Also there’s a difference between patent theft and patent retention…

          • Sponge Bob

            dude

            better educate yourself about the subject first
            but this case is not about patents – its about taking code base by former employee and breaching NDA

  • JoeD

    “Since the jury is a cross-section of people with different levels of education and experience…”

    No, the jury was comprised of people educated in a system that has brainwashed people into believing intellectual property is a thing – that non-scarce resources are to be treated like scarce resources to benefit the few, or the one, at the expense of the many.

    People often talk of the “societal benefit” of copyrights and patents. But is there really anyone here who doesn’t see the damage being done by these laws? – That copyright laws have been used by large companies to bludgeon the little guy? That patents are more likely to be abused by patent trolls than the actual “inventor.” Was society hurt because Oculus did what it did? Or did society benefit?

    But here’s the moral principle: intellectual property is NOT property. You cannot steal that which cannot be taken. If I write a book and someone copies it I STILL have my copy – I have lost nothing.. only some mythical, future, assumed earning that I my or may not ever acquire. This is no different than the government protecting companies with tariffs, licensing, and any other burdens they put on the competition. Copyright’s and patents are actually anti-property rights. They literally forbid someone from using their REAL property in the way they wish. I can buy pencils and pens and a sketch pad and draw whatever I want… well…. no. I can’t draw a little black mouse with red shorts and white gloves. And copyright law does, in fact, give the owner of said mouse power to control what I draw – not JUST if I make money from it. Yes, I can draw it in the privacy of my own home as long as I keep it all secret (such freedom).

    Original copyright law in the US was for 14 years, and renewable for another 14 if the author was dead. Today we have 120 years after creation or 95 years after publication for corporate copyright ownership thanks to the Copyright Extension Act of 1998 – also called the Mickey Mouse Protection Act. Are you kidding?!

    Thomas Jefferson, who strongly advocated the ability of the public to share and build upon the works of others, suggested limiting copyright duration in the Bill of Rights, proposing the language:
    Art. 9. Monopolies may be allowed to persons for their own productions in literature and their own inventions in the arts for a term not exceeding – years but for no longer term and no other purpose.

  • OkinKun

    There is no such thing as “non-literal” copying. If you create a similar result, with a different set of code, that is NOT copying. Holy crap this is dangerous precedent.