DRM Company: If You Think Patents Are Bad, You're Un-American

from the protect-protect-protect dept

In our recent discussion about another bad idea for a new type of DRM that will surely fail, Steve R. pointed us to an article in Forbes about Intertrust, the DRM company, who apparently is cooking up yet another DRM scheme. But, unlike the system we talked about in the original post -- where the guy noted that the concept had to be widely adopted as a standard, and not protected, Intertrust goes on and on and on about how it's got a ton of DRM patents to protect this new DRM scheme. This isn't a surprise. Intertrust's entire business model was based on suing Microsoft for patent infringement.

And, of course, it should be no surprise that a company that thinks DRM makes sense also believes in the patenting the crap out of everything. But it's quite telling that even the way Forbes describes the company, it's the patents that come first, ahead of the DRM:
Talal Shamoon, chief executive of Intertrust Technologies in Sunnyvale, Calif., believes he has an answer. Intertrust holds a treasure trove of patents that help content owners manage digital rights; it has spent five years and tens of millions of dollars developing a standard called Marlin, which aims to keep content secure in a way that legitimate consumers won't find offensive
If you're leading with your patents, you don't have a good product. It's that simple. Meanwhile, the article goes on and on about just how many patents Intertrust has, and doesn't actually get around to describing "Marlin" until many paragraphs later. It doesn't sound particularly unique or special. Basically, it's still DRM that allows you to make limited copies. Yippee.

But, really, the most stunning line in the whole article is this lovely gem:
"I think it's un-American to think that patents are bad."
That's from Intertrust's CEO. It's quite a statement given the tons of evidence that patents have been a net negative on innovation and a massive waste of resources for most tech companies. It's un-American to want innovation to move faster? It's un-American to think that companies shouldn't be throwing money away on protectionist schemes? I'd love to better understand how. The purpose of the patent system is not to create more patents, it's "to promote the progress." If evidence suggests patents are not doing that, how is it possibly "un-American" to complain about that and try to change things?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    william (profile), Sep 10th, 2009 @ 12:18pm

    I think it's un-American to worship Patent as God

    Hey, everyone is free to their opinion, and religion. If the CEO want to worship Patent and do some lamb sacrificing, it's fine with me.

    All I am saying is that, how many un-American stuff can you do these days?
    -Questioning Department of Home Land Security? un-American.
    -Complain about broken patent system? un-American.
    -banning plastic bag? un-American. (look up on wiki)
    -join international effort on reducing greenhouse gas? un-American.
    -ending war and promote peace? un-American.
    -right to privacy? un-American
    -fair use? un-American
    -joining the House Committee on Un-American Activities? Un-American.

    Oops, maybe not the last one. I think they actually monitor un-American activities.

    Thank Goodness I am the happy-go-lucky, beaver-loving, music/software-pirating Canadian. (Hey, it's a honour to be on the watch list. It means we are not caving in to US BS.)

     

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  2.  
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    Ima Fish (profile), Sep 10th, 2009 @ 12:24pm

    "It's un-American to..."

    I think his point is that it's un-American to hurt the status quo.

     

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  3.  
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    Designerfx (profile), Sep 10th, 2009 @ 12:36pm

    republican?

    do you think they realized that the unamerican angle is like 100% republican?

    Not saying liberal is any better, but way to say which side they're on huh

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 10th, 2009 @ 12:38pm

    Is this guy for real? I smell an internet meme

    "It's Un-American to..." Sez Talal Shamoon, who graduated in 1981 from the "American School of Paris" in Paris, France.

     

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  5.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Sep 10th, 2009 @ 12:39pm

    Re:

    Someoen name the top 5 groups in this so called "Status Quo" and lets come up with disruptive technologies we can make money off of ....

    Might be a fun little set of project to be an "un-american" capitalist.

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 10th, 2009 @ 12:48pm

    Hmmm...

    It looks like Talal Shamoon was one of the technological leads on the SDMI effort. I guess some people just don't get the hint.

    For those that don't remember SDMI, here's a link. I take it that Tatal is one of the guys that made Ed Felten's team famous.

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 10th, 2009 @ 12:49pm

    "it's un-American" says the Israeli .... ?????

     

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  8.  
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    Zaven (profile), Sep 10th, 2009 @ 1:06pm

    Greatest Argument Ever!!!!

    Possibly the greatest argument for anything. Ever.

    Gotta love the "If you believe this, you're un-American argument". Haven't heard it used in a sentence since someone explained why Apple Pie with American Cheese and an American flag stuck in it is the greatest desert ever.

     

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  9.  
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    senshikaze (profile), Sep 10th, 2009 @ 1:11pm

    I pledge Allegiance to...

    I'm Un-American.

     

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  10.  
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    Lincoln Braun (profile), Sep 10th, 2009 @ 1:20pm

    Re: I think it's un-American to worship Patent as God

    (Hey, it's a honour to be on the watch list. It means we are not caving in to US BS.)


    Actually, it means we haven't caved...for now.

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    1DandyTroll, Sep 10th, 2009 @ 2:01pm

    Re:

    'I think his point is that it's un-American to hurt the status quo.'

    So he's a communist, you mean?

    Personally I just think he's too full of hi'self.

    If it's "un-American" not to have to pay $3 per pill, to be for innovation rather than innovating different means of circumvention, then who cares?

     

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  12.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Sep 10th, 2009 @ 2:04pm

    Sigh, time for anoter decree, what is this, #4?

    "I think it's un-American to think that patents are bad."

    Interesting concept. Before I begin splintering your stupidity and associating you with all types of assclowns that use nationalism to advance their idiotic agendas, I have a question, Mr. Shamoon: Are you an American, and for how long have you retained full citizenship?

    I'm not saying you aren't, but the only thing I seem to be able to dig up on your past prior to your corporate positions is a stint at the American University in Paris, which is a fine institution except that it is also generally a school for folks of various nationalities who are preparing to immigrate to America. A quick rundown of some of their notable alumni on wikipedia reveals some Americans learning abroad, but just as many French, Canadian, and Italian citizens when attending the school.

    Now, on to the greater point, you idiotic little person. And I want EVERYONE to pay attention here, from the "Iraq War was awesome all around" conservatives, to the "Universal Healthcare will be just fine, trust us" liberals, to the "Leae me the fuck alone" libertarians, and the "Cannabis! The answer to everything is Cannabis!" hippies:

    Decree: The ONLY thing that is un-American, and I do mean ONLY, is the insistence that one specific viewpoint is the American way and that any dissenting views are traitorous. And yes, I know I'm being hypocritical, I'm okay with it. Call me the new Jesus Christ: I'm willing to be un-American to get everyone else on the same path.

    Again, debate, dissenting opinions, popular support, public opinion, informed opinion, uninformed drivel: it's ALL American, dammit. Stop trying to tie your narrow little viewpoints to the flag and just make sense instead.

    And Shamoon, you little oddly named Nazi, just shut the fuck up.

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    NullOp, Sep 10th, 2009 @ 2:14pm

    Patents

    Patents, patents, patents! Yet another way for greedy lawyers to make a living without having a worthy case. I don't know if these people are higher or lower than ambulance chasers.

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    cannibis!, Sep 10th, 2009 @ 2:17pm

    Re: Sigh, time for anoter decree, what is this, #4?

    bravo dark helmet!

     

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  15.  
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    senshikaze (profile), Sep 10th, 2009 @ 2:18pm

    Re: Patents

    lower. Ambulance chasers at least DO something.

     

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  16.  
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    Dark Helmet (profile), Sep 10th, 2009 @ 2:19pm

    Re: Re: Sigh, time for anoter decree, what is this, #4?

    Thanks. I appear to have one shining moment a day, surrounded by the usual drivel that passes for humor in my mind, and/or conspiracy theories or concerns that just generally piss everyone off.

    But at least I have that one per day :)

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 10th, 2009 @ 2:21pm

    Oh, a new talking point for AD.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 10th, 2009 @ 2:37pm

    It's un-american to be american.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 10th, 2009 @ 2:41pm

    In essence he is correct.

    The american way of doing things has always been to force its agenda/beliefs upon others by either force(financing assasination plots to get rid of figure heads that do not line up with our interests or to simply exterminate them like native americans), extortion (You know like when a record producer pays cents on the dollar to a recording artist then charges you 1000 times for the fruit of that artist's labor), lying (You know like when a life saving medical treatment is considered unnecessary by a board of medical experts who work for an insurance company that pays them six figure bonuses the more they deny you that procedure).

    I think it is time for all of you, high-horse-upturned nose-america-is-holy-and-righteous-loving-idiots, to accept your legacy and that when the world embraces it and uses it against you, you should simply shut the fuck up.

    In fact you should be glad that a foreign national has embraced the american way of doing things. You've led by example and the world is following your footsteps.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), Sep 10th, 2009 @ 2:56pm

    Re:

    Wow, dude, you REALLY seem to dislike Americans in general, which I think is kind of a mistake.

    Never mistake our leadership for our citizens, they ain't the same thing. And no matter what our government tells you, the majority of people in this country DON'T elect ANYONE.

    Hell, if we're lucky, you've got 55% voter turnout, and most races are relatively tight, meaning that maybe they win by 60% at most. That means at best, most of our elected officials were put there by somewhere around a third of our eligable voters.

    And with some of the eggregious manipulating of candidates, some of the choices aren't truly choices.

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    Krusty, Sep 10th, 2009 @ 2:56pm

    How appropriate...

    their chief executive's first name is toilet.

     

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  22.  
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    Jason (profile), Sep 10th, 2009 @ 3:00pm

    Re: Re: Re: Sigh, time for anoter decree, what is this, #4?

    "I appear to have one shining moment a day"

    If it's between that rant and a good BM, I say poop tomorrow.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 10th, 2009 @ 3:10pm

    Re: Dark Helmet

    Sigh, people are so easy to manipulate these days. All I did was use a simple rhetorical exercise to draw attention to the real issue at hand. Actions speak louder than words and the world has seen the actions and they've followed your example. What difference does it make if it is not the "people" but the "leaders" that do them. The actions are still going on every second of the day. Spending time rambling on about how "unjust" or "un-american" or "un-representative" of you they are the less time you spend getting out there to change things and it simply maintains the status quo.

     

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  24.  
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    william (profile), Sep 10th, 2009 @ 3:20pm

    Re: Re: I think it's un-American to worship Patent as God

    I hate to agree with you, but i have to...

    Damn mockery of a open consultation! *shaking fist*

     

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  25.  
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    DJ (profile), Sep 10th, 2009 @ 3:54pm

    Re:

    ...and therein lies the Progressive viewpoint....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    icon
    DJ (profile), Sep 10th, 2009 @ 3:58pm

    Re: Re: Dark Helmet

    " the less time you spend getting out there to change things "

    You obviously have only been watching/reading the news sources that DON'T show the millions of people all over this country who are out there doing just that....and the damn politicians don't listen, because they're salary is already guaranteed for life regardless of whether or not they're in office (didn't know that one did ya, folks)

     

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  27.  
    icon
    DJ (profile), Sep 10th, 2009 @ 3:59pm

    Re: Re: Re: Dark Helmet

    spelling correction: "they're" should be spelled "their"..sorry.

     

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  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous1, Sep 10th, 2009 @ 4:18pm

    Dark Helmet: I can't say it always, but that was good.
    Keep it up. If for nothing else than to shove it down their throats, keep it up.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    1DandyTroll, Sep 10th, 2009 @ 4:36pm

    Re: Re: Dark Helmet

    Anonymous Coward, (in reply to Dark Helmet,) "Sigh, people are so easy to manipulate these days. All I did was use a simple rhetorical exercise to draw attention to the real issue at hand.

    Really, do tell, what was that real issue of yours?

    Your presumption of what the fabled american way is? Or that everyone that adheres to, or actually know what the american way is, and like it, are pretty much a daft asshole?

    Or was it that little drivel about america forcing its way? Do tell, please do, which nation or people didn't force its way during the 19th century onward to, like, yesterday?


    Rhetorical exercise my ass. Here's a rhetorical exercise: Jump up and down, until you get all woozy.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    identicon
    ..., Sep 10th, 2009 @ 5:58pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Sigh, time for anoter decree, what is this, #4?

    I thought it was spot on.
    What, exactly, do you find wrong with it?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    ..., Sep 10th, 2009 @ 6:32pm

    Re:

    The douche bag way of doing things ...

    There, fixed that for ya

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 10th, 2009 @ 6:50pm

    Re: Sigh, time for anoter decree, what is this, #4?

    Here's the source: It's called Google. Use it.

     

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  33.  
    identicon
    Ryan D, Sep 10th, 2009 @ 7:07pm

    Re: Re: Re: Dark Helmet

    Hey dumby,
    I dont think his point was that america forced its way into the world, but rather one single way of thinking shouldnt be forced onto america. The point that america was/ has been forceful is a small one at best. The important thing is that we stay open minded and not just suck Mr. DRM's wang because he says its the only way.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 10th, 2009 @ 7:37pm

    "DRM Company: If You Think Patents Are Bad, You're Un-American"

    If you think you can dictate to us what constitutes an American citizen, you're Un-American (since America is not a dictatorship where your opinion is the ultimate authority over what constitutes American opinion. No, we have freedom of speech exactly to encourage a diverse range of views).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    identicon
    Kevin Carson, Sep 10th, 2009 @ 8:42pm

    Don't bother teaching a pig to sing

    The IP Nazis don't understand anything except a bicycle chain across the eyes. The only way they'll learn is when digital culture destroys their businesses models--and that right soon.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
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    GJ (profile), Sep 10th, 2009 @ 11:27pm

    Re: Re:

    Someoen name the top 5 groups in this so called "Status Quo" and lets come up with disruptive technologies we can make money off of ....

    Might be a fun little set of project to be an "un-american" capitalist.

    Well, we can get an ex Vice President invent a problem, and make a mockumentary about it with poor science, and we can invest in his financial companies that will make a bunch of money when everyone starts to believe.

    And then we can call everyone who doesn't believe in "Global Warming" un-american, while we rake in the money.

    Oh, that's right... this is already being done. Besides, it's not really status quo; climate has always changed. Rapidly sometimes; ask the dinosaurs.

    --GJ--

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 11th, 2009 @ 3:56am

    Rise for the flag salute!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    identicon
    Ben, Sep 11th, 2009 @ 11:15am

    WTF

    I am going to patent parking lots, parkades, doors, doors on the front of a building, back doors, delivery doors, going to work, getting fired, patenting stuff, paper, and grass.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 11th, 2009 @ 12:44pm

    But the children

    With DRM how will the children share music? Will someone please think of the children.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    identicon
    staff1, Sep 13th, 2009 @ 6:04pm

    stop the shilling!!!

    "And, of course, it should be no surprise that a company that thinks DRM makes sense also believes in the patenting the crap out of everything."

    What would you have them do, create a new technology and let the big firms just use it at will without compensation? Get real!

    So how much does Microsoft and their thieving friends pay you to write this trash?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Sep 14th, 2009 @ 2:29am

    Re: stop the shilling!!!

    What would you have them do, create a new technology and let the big firms just use it at will without compensation? Get real!

    No, I would have them compete in the market. Just like every business.

    So how much does Microsoft and their thieving friends pay you to write this trash?

    Nothing. I have pointed this out to you before. I'm not sure why you repeat it. The editorial on Techdirt is under my control alone. We would never sell it.

    And I don't understand why you would think it's Microsoft, considering I've trashed their patent policies repeatedly.

    But, I guess reading comprehension might not be your strong suit.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    identicon
    newest jordan shoes, Nov 9th, 2010 @ 12:52am

    newest jordan shoes

    I dont know what to say. This blog is fantastic. Thats not really a really huge statement, but its all I could come up with after reading this. You know so much about this subject. So much so that you made me want to learn more about it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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