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Apple may seek video, music royalties

updated 12:25 pm EST, Thu November 30, 2006

Apple may seek royalties

A recent out-of-court settlement between Apple and the owner of the patent that covers the downloading of music and video could allow the Cupertino-based company to collect royalties on every music and video download. Michael Starkweather -- the attorney who wrote the patent -- suspects that the document has just overcome its first major legal victory. "I believe that, with this patent in hand, Apple will eventually be after every phone company, film maker, computer maker and video producer to pay royalties on every download of not just music but also movies and videos," said Starkweather, who wrote the patent in 1996 for a Vermont inventor who he says originally didn't show interest in patenting the idea or understand its value. The concept consisted of a desktop computer holding multiple songs with an interface allowing a hotel guest to select three songs and play them on an electric grand piano.




by MacNN Staff

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  1. sixcolors

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Worthless

    This was probably a case of apple not wanting to spend more in legal fees than it was worth. I do not see apple trying to enforce such a patent.

  1. lemuel777

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Ha Ha Hee Hee

    Apple won't do such a thing, what a lame article.

  1. zac4mac

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    hahahohohoheheheh

    Now when Universal says they want a dollar for each iPod sale, Steve says "OK, but we want 2 dollars for each movie download.'

  1. dwoodruff

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    a perfect example

    a perfect example of why our patent system needs to be revised. The original patent had nothing to do with this. All this will do is cause lawsuits from here till 2025....

  1. GORDYmac

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Univeral & M$...

    I belive the phrase you're looking for is "check mate".

  1. technocoy

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    awesome...

    let's see how the movie and music industry likes it when the tables are turned.

  1. Inkling

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Didn't work with POD

    Someone tried this with a patent on a bookstore kiosk that it was hoped would print books on demand. They never got the hardware working properly and the bookstore idea isn't economically feasible. But some people who bought the patent tried to go after LightningSource and Amazon for a completely different business model using far more sophisticated machines (by IBM et al) that actually work.

    The trial court judge was clueless and they won there. But on appeal to the special patent court they lost. They've now appealed to the Supreme Court, but aren't likely to win a hearing there.

    Apple would be Grade A jerks if they try to extend a patent that mentions hotels and electric 'baby grand' pianos to the Internet distribution of music played on computers and mpg players. And in the end, they're likely to loose.

    --Mike Perry, author of Untangling Tolkien

  1. halfeatenfish

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    universal

    memo

    to: universal

    re: take THAT!!!!

    bastids

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    idiots

    First, you all are listening to the ramblings of some lawyer? You must be kidding... But read the quote:

    I believe that, with this patent in hand, Apple will eventually be after every phone company, film maker, computer maker and video producer to pay royalties on every download of not just music but also movies and videos," said Starkweather, who wrote the patent in 1996 for a Vermont inventor

    How could Apple go after every film maker and video producer? If you're not actually providing the service, how can you be required to pay the royalty? And if really worked, couldn't they just do the same for basically ANYTHING that is downloaded over the internet?

    But beyond that, how does it apply? You're not selecting files to play on an electronic piano. You're purchasing an item (first issue), which then may reside on something, but itsn't necesarily going to be played.

  1. cayo heuso

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    It's in the details!

    Before you mention Idiots, grand pianos, and Jerks, you should really read the entire Patent. This is extremely powerful, and DOES seem to cover any type of "media" download via the internet (which, like player pianos, is specifically noted in the patent!). Indeed, media such as music, music videos and movies are very specifically mentioned, but more importantly (in my opinion), the methodology of selecting, downloading and playing such "media" is very specifically covered, whether on the subject computer or on a computer controlled "device".

    And "ramblings of some lawyer"; I think not! This is the lawyer that just won a patent suit (okay, by settlement, but he surely won) for his client which I'm sure turned the client into a gazillionaire overnight.... If I were a major studio or music label, and had any intentions of distributing my product electronically via the web, I would be very concerned about Apple now holding this patent. My summary: it is indeed now Apples Billion (that's with a 'B') Dollar Patent.

    And as an afterthought, just think of Microsoft paying the studios a dollar for every Zune they sell, but paying Apple for every "media" item that they sell--- oh such sweet justice!

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