Creative claims similar shadowing tech as id Software

Discussion in 'Beyond3D News' started by Reverend, Jul 28, 2004.

  1. MfA

    MfA
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    You are right, the priority date on it was after GDC'99 ... but it's a little late in the discussion to bring that up, I would suggest reading the thread if you want to contribute.
     
  2. Anonymous

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    I have read every one of the 12 pages very carefully so far. Just wanted to sum it up at last.
    I wonder why Carmack did not check it out himself, or maybe they did and negotiated something with Creative. The problem is that Creative might go after every developer that is using this algorithm now, including myself. In our next game I will reserve a special place for Creative in the "No thanks to" section of the credits screen. :twisted:

    Creative isn't mentioned on id software's "Friends of id". Now why is that? hehe
     
  3. MfA

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    Well lack of support for Creative's standards in the Doom3 engine was something which no reasonable amount of money could possibly compensate ... Creative gave the license for the support of their standards, I assume support for their standards will probably get most developers a license.

    They can survive the bad PR, but they are probably smarter than to get greedy about it and ask for money ... using their monopoly on their patent to make their near monopoly on 3D sound (also patent based) more valuable would seem their most likely strategy, the kind of license fees developers would be willing to pay are peanuts compared what they can make off that monopoly.

    Apart from the pride issue, never nice to be blackmailed, this specific situation shouldnt hurt developers much ... it just sets a bad precedent.
     
  4. BRiT

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    Looks like Creative may be pressuring other development houses...

    http://techreport.com/onearticle.x/7202
     
  5. Anonymous

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    Well, now they are really screwing everyone over and it sounds as if no one is going to stand up to them.

    Oh well.
     
  6. Anonymous

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    Can some other game developers confirm this?
     
  7. WaltC

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    Well, to say that "The patent situation well and truly sucks," is about as meaningful and effective as saying "The Federal income tax situation well and truly sucks" every time you file your income taxes...;) ( Such protests being full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.)

    It illustrates how cheap talk can be, as well as how self-serving it can be. The fact is that id software's deal with Creative does absolutely nothing except to give Creative a stronger hand in using those patents as a bargaining chip for whatever it can wrangle out of other companies going forward. What JC actually should have stated is:

    "The patent situation well and truly sucks. But, it doesn't suck nearly so badly in this case that we feel compelled to expend one red cent in fighting this patent or to pay one single billable hour in lawyer fees over the matter. It just doesn't suck that much in this case, and we saw no reason to dispute Creative's patent here."

    Heh...;)

    Operative phrase here is, "...we were able to use the zfail method without having to actually pay any cash." Thus there was no need or reason to fight it from id's point of view.

    This I think is silly...;) id is concerned with hurt to id, and that's about it in this case. Had Creative asked for money, there's no doubt in my mind that id would have considered these options in this order:

    (1) How much money
    (2) Using the fallback 2-pass shadow method instead and what use of the fallback method for shadows would mean to the game
    (3) How much legal expenses might take off the bottom of D3 profits, and whether they felt they might win such an action if they initiated it

    For those who might be tempted to think id is more interested in gamers than in id, consider how interesting a D3 would have been with shadows that ran much slower than the zfail shadow implementation used in the game. Consider the impact that resounding D3 Internet review sentiment such as, "The game runs OK as you long as you disable its shadows" might have had on the sales potential of D3 in particular (Thief is about the only other game I know which makes such a primary use of shadows--although certainly a different use for them than D3, where shadows are little to no help to the player at all, but are a key promotional point for the D3 engine.) So I really don't think id was tempted by a patent fight for very long, and I'm sure that when id discovered it wasn't going to have to pay for the use of zfail for D3, that was the end of that, and zfail and EAX were both slated for D3...;)

    The most important point here is that id's recognition of Creative's patent gives it legal legs going forward it might not otherwise have had, imo. More or less, id has "blessed" the legitimacy of the Creative patent evidently because fighting it just wasn't tempting enough...;)

    I don't blame Carmack or id one bit for their decision, though, as software patents, like income taxes, are inevitable and unless you are prepared to fight either in court, where you will spend money and might lose, too, then such protests as you might state are little more than meaningless bluster (we all feel better after making them, though...;)).

    The simple truth is that only software developers like id are in a position to fight software patents and if they don't nobody else will. The software guys hate the software patents and the hardware guys hate the hardware patents, and most tax *payers* hate income tax, too. But in all of these cases actions speak far louder than words. What's important here is what id did, as opposed to what it said it would have done if only the "temptation" been stronger. Because patent law exists, however, and because you really can't expect other companies to honor your IP rights if you don't honor theirs, I think id did exactly right in this case for id's particular and narrow interests in this case. But the choice of whether to fight it or not was entirely id's elective choice, and it's plain they chose to honor and acknowledge Creative's zfail-shadow software patent.
     
  8. MfA

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    Sure, but the question at hand was not whether to praise Carmack or not ... but whether to blame Creative or not.
     
  9. WaltC

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    Well, I know, but if Carmack doesn't blame them, why should anyone else?...;) By its actions id supports Creative's software patent.
     
  10. KimB

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    He explained his actions, and they have nothing to do with supporting Creative's patent.
     
  11. Anonymous

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    I still hoping other game developers to confirm this, else this is just a rumour for me.
     
  12. JD

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    Creative has no right to that patent because the algo has been a public knowledge ever since Sim Dietrich gave talks and notes on it. Which was before the Creative patent was filed by couple of months.
     
  13. WaltC

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    Suit yourself...;) Reminds me of the old saying, "Let's don't and say we did." Always fools some people--guaranteed...:D
     
  14. DarN

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    In an interview with Businessweek,

     
  15. MfA

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    If Creative tries to enforce software patents on game developers, in an anticompetetive way at that, I blame them for hurting game development ... regardless whether you/Carmack/God disagrees with me either in actions or stated opinion.
     
  16. Simon F

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    I get the feeling that creative may be claiming an improved method but I really can't spare the time, at the moment, to investigate it fully.
     
  17. WaltC

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    I feel like you keep dodging the point, however. If, in this case, id software felt it was being forced to do something it did not want to do, then it is incumbent on id software to resist. *I* don't like software patents, either. Nintendo was recently granted a patent for "on-line gaming" ( http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/08/19/nintendo_online_gaming/ ) that is so broad that it covers even xBox live--but I seriously doubt Nintendo will try and enforce it as it was applied for in 1999 and it would be child's play to have the patent ruled void because of prior art, but it is still disturbing to see patents like this.

    That however in no way changes the fact that the decision to accept this particular patent was entirely id software's decision. As Carmack points out, they did not have to accept it, but elected to accept it. Our personal opinions are entirely irrelevant to this situation--what id software has done with this decision is to legitimize Creative's software patent claim, and nothing less. It matters not at all *why* they did it--it only matters that they did it, from a legal perspective. From Carmack's comments it's apparent that he doesn't see anything anti-competitive about it--in fact, he states that playing ball with Creative is something id did in the direct interests of "users"...;) (Myself, I think what id did was entirely in the interests of id and D3 sales, but that's just me...;)) My point is that it is one thing to *say* that you oppose software patents--but quite another to do something concrete about it should the opportunity present itself.
     
  18. Reverend

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    An "agreement" was reached by id and Creative, yes, however, are you saying id did not resist? In what way would you define "resist"? Do you work for id? Do you know what went on there?
     
  19. JD

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    Simon, is it ok to use the algo as described in nvidia's "Practical and Robust Stenciled Shadow Volumes for Hardware-Accelerated Rendering" paper written by Cass Everitt and Mark J. Kilgard on March 12, 2002?

    The document is named RobustShadowVolumes.pdf and can be downloaded from Nvidia's developer website.

    Thanks.
     
  20. MfA

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    Im not dodging the point so much, as entirely not caring about it ... nothing id can do will absolve Creative for what they are doing.

    Creating some bad publicity was the best we could do ... so lets try not to be apologists here unless you really agree with what Creative is doing, id is irrelevant since this wont stop at them. Unfortunately though Creative is unlikely to make the mistake of letting a developer blab twice, with the next license agreement there will probably be a NDA included.
     
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