Describing How To Create A Software Program Now Puts You At Risk Of Contributory Patent Infringement?
from the for-the-purpose-of-teaching... dept
The developer points out how silly this is:
Why does Landmark Digital Services think they hold a patent for the concepts used in my code? Even if my code works pretty different from the Shazam code (from which the patents came).After talking it over with some attorneys, he realized that it probably wasn't worth the potential lawsuit to publish the code he wrote over the weekend, as ridiculous as that sounds. But then things got more ridiculous, as the lawyers for Landmark demanded he take down the original blog post as well, saying that it could teach others how to infringe the patent:
What they describe in the patent is a system which:
1. Make a series of fingerprints of a media file and/or media sample (such as audio, but could also be text, video, multimedia, etc) 2. Have a database/hashtable of fingerprints as lookup 3. Compare the set of hashtable hits using their moment in time it happened This is very vague, basically the only innovative idea is matching the found fingerprints linearly in time. Because the first two steps describe how a hashtable works and creating a hash works. These concepts are not new nor innovative.
But, with a bit of imagination one could (possibly) argue that my code (again, written completely by myself in a weekend with some spare time) does the same thing as the patent describes.
As I'm sure you are aware, your blogpost may be viewed internationally. As a result, you may contribute to someone infringing our patents in any part of the world. While we trust your good intentions, yes, we would like you to refrain from releasing the code at all and to remove the blogpost explaining the algorithm.Great, so now we have to worry about contributory patent infringement as well? Are we really going to keep stretching third party liability to such ridiculous levels? Explaining to people how they might possibly build a simple app is now putting yourself at risk of liability?