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Old 04-22-2013, 04:39 PM   #31
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I think this would be outstanding functionality to implement... I am not sure why all the negative posts!

Can you imagine being able to watch a recorded show directly from your TiVo and it automatically fast forwards through (or skips) the commercials?

Oh, I can do this with video redoo... So what… You have to download the show, run it through whatever process you have set up and then re-upload to show.... I can do it too, but like most - I don't.

The question is, will TiVo actually implement this functionality?

If you asked me a few years ago I would have said unlikely - I think they would have been worried about litigation from the content owners, but the Hopper seems to be blazing that trail.

I am still a little concerned that the relationship with MSO's might keep the functionality from being implemented - but I suppose they could disable the capability from the MSO version of the software.

I want it - I encourage TiVo to continue being creative... And when they find something unique, they should patent it and profit from their investment.
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Old 04-22-2013, 04:58 PM   #32
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How is designing something unique in code any different then designing a new chemical combination for a drug? Both are patentable, as they should be. If it weren't for the patent system no one would spend the money on R&D because as soon as they released something new there would be a dozen other companies who'd just rip them off and undercut them. Patents help progress by giving companies exclusive rights for a limited amount of time so that they can recoup their R&D costs.

Now are they sometimes abused? Of course. But I still think it's better then the alternative.
Software is like a book. You can't patent a type of book. You can copyright what you write. Software patents are a nightmare, and should be completely eliminated. Code would still be protected by copyright.

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I think this would be outstanding functionality to implement... I am not sure why all the negative posts!

Can you imagine being able to watch a recorded show directly from your TiVo and it automatically fast forwards through (or skips) the commercials?

Oh, I can do this with video redoo... So what… You have to download the show, run it through whatever process you have set up and then re-upload to show.... I can do it too, but like most - I don't.

The question is, will TiVo actually implement this functionality?

If you asked me a few years ago I would have said unlikely - I think they would have been worried about litigation from the content owners, but the Hopper seems to be blazing that trail.

I am still a little concerned that the relationship with MSO's might keep the functionality from being implemented - but I suppose they could disable the capability from the MSO version of the software.

I want it - I encourage TiVo to continue being creative... And when they find something unique, they should patent it and profit from their investment.
I doubt the MSOs would have an issue with it- if anything it would be a big competitive edge for them.

TiVo can't patent commercial skipping, as it's already been done.
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Old 04-22-2013, 05:47 PM   #33
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Software is like a book. You can't patent a type of book. You can copyright what you write. Software patents are a nightmare, and should be completely eliminated. Code would still be protected by copyright.
That's not really true. Video games are kind of like books or movies and would probably be sufficiently protected by copyright. However most software is utilitarian in nature and designed to preform a specific task, so it's more like a physical invention. A copyright only protects the physical code, not the functionality of that code. If you want to protect the actual functionality then you have to get a patent.
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Old 04-22-2013, 09:54 PM   #34
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TiVo can't patent commercial skipping, as it's already been done.
Agreed, but you can patent a unique mechanism for identifying commercials - as this patent appears to do.
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Old 04-23-2013, 03:56 PM   #35
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Agreed, but you can patent a unique mechanism for identifying commercials - as this patent appears to do.
Or to pull an example from the dawn of powered flight - you can't patent airplanes banking, but you can patent a unique mechanism to make them bank. As the Wright Brothers did with their wing warping patent. Then many people worked around it by using ailerons for roll control.

(Of course it was messier than that, since the Wright Brothers repeatedly sued because of some IMHO overly broad claims in their patent - basically laying claim to all additional, unspecified, methods of manipulating some or all of an airplane's wings in order to achieve lateral roll control)

And in that case ailerons turned out to be a more useful design than what was described in that original patent.
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Old 04-23-2013, 04:37 PM   #36
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That's not really true. Video games are kind of like books or movies and would probably be sufficiently protected by copyright. However most software is utilitarian in nature and designed to preform a specific task, so it's more like a physical invention. A copyright only protects the physical code, not the functionality of that code. If you want to protect the actual functionality then you have to get a patent.
BS. You shouldn't be able to monopolize a functionality, as long as someone else does it without stealing your code.

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Agreed, but you can patent a unique mechanism for identifying commercials - as this patent appears to do.
That's the problem with our BS patent system. The more and more I think about it, the more I think we should just get rid of the darn thing!
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Old 04-23-2013, 07:16 PM   #37
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I wonder... If you spent years of time and money pouring yourself into a unique idea - and when you were finally ready to present it to the world all the big boys said.... yeah good idea we can do that too!

All your time, all you effort, all your passion and investment and someone else gets rewarded for that work.

Yeah your correct, lets get rid of the patent system - makes no sense.
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Old 04-24-2013, 01:10 AM   #38
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I wonder... If you spent years of time and money pouring yourself into a unique idea - and when you were finally ready to present it to the world all the big boys said.... yeah good idea we can do that too!

All your time, all you effort, all your passion and investment and someone else gets rewarded for that work.

Yeah your correct, lets get rid of the patent system - makes no sense.
Exactly! Without patents the big companies would just steal all the best ideas for themselves and small companies would never be able to get ahead.

This happened to my father when he was about my age. He was a parts manager for a Toyota/Mazda dealership. He came up with some sort of booklet that made it much easier for his guys to find part numbers. (before everything was computerized) It was actually so useful he started making them for the other dealers around town and started a small business from it. A year or so later Mazda corporation found out about it and told him that were interested in doing a deal with him. However he hadn't patented the idea and as soon as they found that out they just stole his idea and started producing them on their own. The rest of the manufacturers followed shortly after and his business went under. Now it's his fault he didn't patent the idea, but if there were no patent system at all then this sort of thing would happen constantly. Every little inventor with a great idea would just get steam rolled by a bigger company with more money.

I know that they can be abused, but for the most part patents are intended to protect the little guy. Without them there would be almost no incentive to develop a unique idea again and progress would stall.
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Old 04-24-2013, 04:48 PM   #39
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Exactly! Without patents the big companies would just steal all the best ideas for themselves and small companies would never be able to get ahead.

This happened to my father when he was about my age. He was a parts manager for a Toyota/Mazda dealership. He came up with some sort of booklet that made it much easier for his guys to find part numbers. (before everything was computerized) It was actually so useful he started making them for the other dealers around town and started a small business from it. A year or so later Mazda corporation found out about it and told him that were interested in doing a deal with him. However he hadn't patented the idea and as soon as they found that out they just stole his idea and started producing them on their own. The rest of the manufacturers followed shortly after and his business went under. Now it's his fault he didn't patent the idea, but if there were no patent system at all then this sort of thing would happen constantly. Every little inventor with a great idea would just get steam rolled by a bigger company with more money.

I know that they can be abused, but for the most part patents are intended to protect the little guy. Without them there would be almost no incentive to develop a unique idea again and progress would stall.
A system which is comparable to nuclear war and MAD does NOT protected the little guy. It makes it impossible to be the little guy. In today's world, companies have to have massive patent portfolios to release many products, as no matter what you do in many product categories, you will infringe a ton of ridiculous patents. But it's OK if you have a zillion patents of your own that your competitors are infringing, as you can just sit there on the brink of war and know that you're safe because of MAD. It also drives up the value of large companies just for patent portfolios, so that a big part of M&A is patent portfolios, not the actual business. Patents are a rotten and corrupting influence, and stifle innovation.
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Old 04-24-2013, 05:16 PM   #40
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And without them there would be no incentive to innovate because every new idea would immediately be ripped off and there would be no way to recoup R&D investment. Why spend money on R&D when you can just wait for someone else to invent something and then just rip them off? And why spend money on R&D when you know everyone else is just going to rip you off and undercut you? It's a huge catch 22.
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Old 04-25-2013, 05:48 PM   #41
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And without them there would be no incentive to innovate because every new idea would immediately be ripped off and there would be no way to recoup R&D investment. Why spend money on R&D when you can just wait for someone else to invent something and then just rip them off? And why spend money on R&D when you know everyone else is just going to rip you off and undercut you? It's a huge catch 22.
Copyright.

The current system sort of accidentally ended up favoring only the super massive players who have a big enough patent portfolio such that MAD protects them from actually having to follow the rules. Because if you actually follow the rules, it's effectively impossible to do anything.
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Old 04-26-2013, 01:25 PM   #42
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And how would you prove copyright infringement on software? Code is compiled. You could use a different compiler to compile the same exact code and the bits would be different. Even minor changes in the optomization settings could change the bits enough to make it indistinguishable when compiled. Copyright is fine for protecting things like books and movies because they are visual and people can see when they are the same. Code doesn't work that way. Someone could decompile my code (easy with managed languages like C# and Java) ripp off my ideas and start selling it at a lower price causing me to lose business and potentially make it impossible to recoup even the R&D investment I made to write the software.
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Old 04-26-2013, 02:18 PM   #43
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And how would you prove copyright infringement on software? Code is compiled. You could use a different compiler to compile the same exact code and the bits would be different. Even minor changes in the optomization settings could change the bits enough to make it indistinguishable when compiled. Copyright is fine for protecting things like books and movies because they are visual and people can see when they are the same. Code doesn't work that way. Someone could decompile my code (easy with managed languages like C# and Java) ripp off my ideas and start selling it at a lower price causing me to lose business and potentially make it impossible to recoup even the R&D investment I made to write the software.
If there's evidence, you subpoena for the actual source code, and compare it or whatever. Just because it's hard to enforce isn't an argument for tying it up with only the largest of companies because you're working in an analogy of nuclear war.
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Old 04-26-2013, 05:26 PM   #44
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You make it sound like only big companies can get patents. If I came up with a unique idea that had never been thought of before I could get a patent on it. And if someone tried to rip me off I could sue them for damages. This MAD thing only applies when two big companies, with huge products, that have overlapping patents.
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Old 04-26-2013, 06:01 PM   #45
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And how would you prove copyright infringement on software? Code is compiled.
Well, there's a whole other can of worms. Personally, I think that copyright is all about encouraging publishing, with the expectation that what you publish will eventually enter the public domain. As such, you should get to keep your trade secrets, or get to enjoy copyright -- but not both. In other words, no copyright without human-readable source code.

Of course, this makes me an extremist, in a world where the most powerful copyright holders like to use the term "intellectual property", and pretend that copyright is a natural right, instead of the incentive to publication it was designed as.
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Old 04-26-2013, 06:39 PM   #46
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That's why I think we need patents. Most software has a specific functionality and is more like a physical invention then a book, movie or song. As long as that functionality is completely unique then I think you should be able to patent it.
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Old 04-26-2013, 09:40 PM   #47
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You make it sound like only big companies can get patents. If I came up with a unique idea that had never been thought of before I could get a patent on it. And if someone tried to rip me off I could sue them for damages. This MAD thing only applies when two big companies, with huge products, that have overlapping patents.
Only big companies have enough warheads, I mean patents, to stop other big companies from firing them, I mean suing.

The fundamental issue is that so much ridiculous, simple stuff gets patented that in many cases, you can't make basic products without violating hundreds of patents. Hence the need for a giant patent collection so that you can "infringe" on other patents as you need to and not get sued for it.

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Well, there's a whole other can of worms. Personally, I think that copyright is all about encouraging publishing, with the expectation that what you publish will eventually enter the public domain. As such, you should get to keep your trade secrets, or get to enjoy copyright -- but not both. In other words, no copyright without human-readable source code.

Of course, this makes me an extremist, in a world where the most powerful copyright holders like to use the term "intellectual property", and pretend that copyright is a natural right, instead of the incentive to publication it was designed as.
That's a good point. That would also make it obvious is someone had violated the copyright of others' code.

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That's why I think we need patents. Most software has a specific functionality and is more like a physical invention then a book, movie or song. As long as that functionality is completely unique then I think you should be able to patent it.
That's ridiculous.
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Old 04-28-2013, 12:18 PM   #48
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Bigg - So what you're saying is me, the little guy, should be able spend all my time, money, effort coming up with software that does something new and unique but then never recoup that investment because once I release the software a big company reverse engineers my code and creates software that does the same thing?

Because without patents that's exactly what happens.
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Old 04-29-2013, 03:53 PM   #49
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Only big companies have enough warheads, I mean patents, to stop other big companies from firing them, I mean suing.
You're arguing this in a forum dedicated to a small company that has repeatedly sued large companies for stealing their patented technology and won.

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The fundamental issue is that so much ridiculous, simple stuff gets patented that in many cases, you can't make basic products without violating hundreds of patents.
This is true. But the solution isn't to eliminate the protection that patents give to true innovators. The solution is to demand a higher standard for what is really a new idea or invention. The solution is to change the way patents are collected, sold, and used for what amounts to extortion.
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Old 04-29-2013, 04:17 PM   #50
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The fundamental issue is that so much ridiculous, simple stuff gets patented that in many cases, you can't make basic products without violating hundreds of patents. Hence the need for a giant patent collection so that you can "infringe" on other patents as you need to and not get sued for it.
That more of an issue in area where the technology is rapidly changing; unlike a copyright (which can last for 95 years or more) a patent is "only" good for 20 years from initial filing.

Eventually even crap patents (like the ones for <common everday thing + 'on the internet'>) expire and nobody has to worry about them again. Of course it would be better if such patents weren't issued in the first place (like nrc said about "demand a higher standard for what is really a new idea or invention") but at least they don't clog things up forever.
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Old 04-29-2013, 07:04 PM   #51
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Well, there's a whole other can of worms. Personally, I think that copyright is all about encouraging publishing, with the expectation that what you publish will eventually enter the public domain. As such, you should get to keep your trade secrets, or get to enjoy copyright -- but not both. In other words, no copyright without human-readable source code.
That's an interesting idea. I have to think that one over.
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Old 04-29-2013, 07:16 PM   #52
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You're arguing this in a forum dedicated to a small company that has repeatedly sued large companies for stealing their patented technology and won.
No, it's a large company that has repeatedly sued giant companies. 'Big difference.

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This is true. But the solution isn't to eliminate the protection that patents give to true innovators.
In reality there is little or no such protection.

Even in theory there is no such protection. The patent owner and the inventor are usually not the same person, and the inventor has few, if any rights.

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The solution is to demand a higher standard for what is really a new idea or invention. The solution is to change the way patents are collected, sold, and used for what amounts to extortion.
The real solution is to separate the rights of the inventor / author / artist from the right to distribute. That patent / copyright owner should be entitled to royalties on the distribution of any product, irrespective of who or what engages in the distribution. On the other side of the coin, no one should be able to prevent any individual or company from distributing a product.

Finally, copyright / patent infringement should not be a civil matter. It should be a criminal one. Any company - large or small - that infringes on a copyright or patent should face the full force of the U.S. government's judicial system. The onus of defending the patent or copyright should not fall on the inventor / author / artist.
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Old 04-30-2013, 09:28 AM   #53
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You make it sound like only big companies can get patents.
For the most part, only big companies can defend their patents, which amounts to the same thing.

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If I came up with a unique idea that had never been thought of before I could get a patent on it.
At great personal cost, with absolutely no guarantee of recouping a single cent. If the defendant has deep pockets, the plaintiff will without fail eventually run out of funds and be forced to drop the suit or at least settle for a comparative pittance.

Arguably the most lucrative patent in all of history was the telephone. Literally trillions of dollars have been derived from it. Elisha Gray, backed by the huge resources of Western Electric filed suit against Alexander Graham Bell to try to make Bell's patent invalid. Legally, Gray did not have a proper basis for most of his suits. That did not prevent him from hounding Bell nearly to the point of bankruptcy. Of course, in the end, Bell won, and his company, AT&T, now is one of the largest corporations on Earth.

Meanwhile, there are those who argue Gray is the proper inventor of the telephone.

And if someone tried to rip me off I could sue them for damages. This MAD thing only applies when two big companies, with huge products, that have overlapping patents.[/quote]
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Old 05-01-2013, 05:36 PM   #54
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Bigg - So what you're saying is me, the little guy, should be able spend all my time, money, effort coming up with software that does something new and unique but then never recoup that investment because once I release the software a big company reverse engineers my code and creates software that does the same thing?

Because without patents that's exactly what happens.
The little guy often can't do anything now, as he/she would be at risk to be sued by big patent holders, since it is nearly impossible to do anything without violating some nonsensical patent that someone holds. Only the big guys can play now, since they have massive portfolios, and can use those portfolios to avoid getting sued, i.e. MAD.

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You're arguing this in a forum dedicated to a small company that has repeatedly sued large companies for stealing their patented technology and won.

This is true. But the solution isn't to eliminate the protection that patents give to true innovators. The solution is to demand a higher standard for what is really a new idea or invention. The solution is to change the way patents are collected, sold, and used for what amounts to extortion.
TiVo is effectively a patent troll, the only reason that they aren't fully a patent troll is that they actually do ship a product. Their patents were ridiculous, and are a caricature of the broken American patent system. It's sad that Charlie Ergen was subjected to TiVo's games, but at least I'm glad that he strung out TiVo for a while.

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That more of an issue in area where the technology is rapidly changing; unlike a copyright (which can last for 95 years or more) a patent is "only" good for 20 years from initial filing.

Eventually even crap patents (like the ones for <common everday thing + 'on the internet'>) expire and nobody has to worry about them again. Of course it would be better if such patents weren't issued in the first place (like nrc said about "demand a higher standard for what is really a new idea or invention") but at least they don't clog things up forever.
Copyright should only be maybe 10-20 years. Copyright has a purpose, but not the Mickey Mouse copyright law that we have today. The original goal of copyright was for the author to get a good return and then give it to the public domain, which doesn't currently happen.
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