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Apple vs. Samsung
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sdilley14
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Aug 25, 2012, 05:24 AM
 
Anyone else hear about this case?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/24/apple-samsung-patent-lawsuit-ruling_n_1829472.html
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Aug 25, 2012, 06:14 AM
 
I actually find it very interesting that almost no one in the MacNN forums has been discussing this case at all.

I would have made my own thread, but I was too busy discussing the topic in other forums to bother.
     
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Aug 25, 2012, 06:44 AM
 
Yeah, I'm already tired of talking about it.

All ill add right now is that android fans are an angry angry bunch.

Seriously. I've been posting on Internet message boards since theyve existed and I've never seen a more hateful, ignorant, annoying group of posters. They're not all that way, but if you take a couple of steps back and observe them as a mob, it's a bad scene.

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sdilley14  (op)
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Aug 25, 2012, 06:57 AM
 
I've come across a few...it isn't pleasant. It's too bad people have to be that way. I'm a major Apple "fanboy" and pretty much everyone who knows me knows this fact. Most people are surprised when they bring their Android based phones up to me expecting to have some big argument about why Android is better than iOS and blah blah blah. All I usually offer up is that 'I prefer iOS but I respect that fact that there are things that Android can do that iOS can't and vice versa and there are things that one may do better than the other, but at the end of the day I'm glad that they both exist and that people have the opportunity to choose.' It's too pointless and exhausting arguing the two.
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Aug 25, 2012, 07:07 AM
 
There is discussion.

It's just tied to the actual news items.

Here:

http://forums.macnn.com/0/forum/491661/apple-wins-big-over-samsung-1-05-billion-in-damages
     
Mrjinglesusa
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Aug 25, 2012, 05:08 PM
 
Originally Posted by sdilley14 View Post
All I usually offer up is that 'I prefer iOS but I respect that fact that there are things that Android can do that iOS can't and vice versa and there are things that one may do better than the other, but at the end of the day I'm glad that they both exist and that people have the opportunity to choose.' It's too pointless and exhausting arguing the two.
^^^^^This x 1000. Couldn't have said it better myself.

I never understood why people feel the need to so vehemently "defend" their choice of OS. Whether is Mac vs. PC, Android vs. iOS, people get so bent out of shape about things things. I could give a rat's ass what type of phone or computer someone chooses to buy - doesn't affect my life in any way, shape, or form.

I've been an Apple fanboy for as long as I can remember. I grew up with an Apple II and every computer I have owned has been a Mac. I stood in line to buy the original iPhone on launch day. I've owned an original iPhone, 3G, and 4. BUT, I've also owned numerous Android phones along the way: HTC Droid Incredible, HTC Thunderbolt, and currently own a Motorola Droid RAZR. I'm strongly considered going back to the iPhone when the LTE version is released.

One thing I REALLY like about Android are the widgets you can put on your screens. Instead of rows of folders/apps, I can put clock widgets, weather widgets, Twitter widgets, music widgets, etc. that give me access to information at a glance without having to open an app. Really cool. I'll miss that most if I go back to an iPhone.

More on topic, I think the decision to award this case to Apple was the right one. Samsung blatantly copied Apple's designs and implementation of features and good on Apple for not letting them get away with it. It will be interesting to see if this holds up and if so, what kind of effects it has on the industry.
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Aug 25, 2012, 06:40 PM
 
I wasnt the slightest bit interested in the trial(s), i mean there are just way too many these days.

I'm glad Apple won. The best part for me is seeing how upset it makes the know-it-all-fAndroids and iHaters. They are pretty much swamping every other tech site with their vitriol. Of course, at this point....they are taking it out on the jurors, the judge and the legal system...which according to them, are all rigged in Apple's favor.
     
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Aug 25, 2012, 08:04 PM
 
@sdilley14, Mrjinglesusa
Thirded. Competition is a great thing, and it has pushed Apple and Google very hard to improve their mobile operating systems. Remember that in the beginning major iOS updates weren't free for everyone? Now the fact that iOS upgrades are free is one of the reasons why the adoption rate is so high and developers can use features of the latest OS much more quickly.

I also agree with the verdict: Samsung has been shamelessly copying others for years (I remember their Blackberry clones). Even now, they're copying Apple Stores and claiming that all similarities are coincidental. I'm not saying that this kind of copying is necessarily illegal, but it just shows that Samsung is not a company that makes a lot of contributions to the ecosystem. (I think Apple geeks like us are particularly sensitive to that, and one of the reasons why we have a soft spot for Windows Phone 7 and webOS.)

So in this sense, I also think the verdict is good for the customer: it discourages other companies from merely copying Apple. I hope it will push Android handset and tablet makers to stop skinning Android and use it as-is. That way, there is little delay between Google releasing a new version of Android and the customers being able to install them. And skinning is usually what the name implies: changing stuff on the surface which often means that some things that seem like good ideas cannot be implemented properly.
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Aug 25, 2012, 11:40 PM
 
I took the time to read through some of the comments of the various articles on arstechnica and The Verge, and I must say wow! What universe do some of these people live in? I respect that you can come to a different conclusion than the jury, but there are claims of the judge being completely partial to Apple, the juror with the patent is attacked for having just a trivial patent and so on. Were we (= us Apple nerds) that bad in 1997?

Of course, the (broken) patent system played a role in the case, but it's not as if Samsung had some kind of high ground here or that it was a David vs Goliath court case. Both parties could afford the best legal council in the US and hire the most prominent experts, and the damages awarded would not have endangered either company ...
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Aug 26, 2012, 01:50 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
I took the time to read through some of the comments of the various articles on arstechnica and The Verge, and I must say wow! What universe do some of these people live in? I respect that you can come to a different conclusion than the jury, but there are claims of the judge being completely partial to Apple, the juror with the patent is attacked for having just a trivial patent and so on. Were we (= us Apple nerds) that bad in 1997?
I'm afraid some of us were - I never stooped quite that low, but others did, and in retrospect, some of the arguments we were pushing were a bit specious - but we were defending a tiny platform that was the favorite whipping boy of columnists with a loose relationship with the truth, while the Android fanatics are defending what is currently the biggest mobile platform out there.

I think they are mixing up two things:

1) Software patents are bad
2) Those patents Apple are suing for should never have been granted under current laws.

Now, I think almost everyone who knows enough about the subject and is not a patent lawyer will agree with 1. Software patents are a horrible construct, and they were created by the Appeals Court for the Federal Circuit during the eighties without ever passing by Congress. I keep hoping that SCOTUS will overcome its disgust for overturning precedent, even if it's not its own, and declare software and business method patents null and void, but I might as well wish for peace on earth. The only way that ever happens is if enough of a groundswell builds to get Congress to act - which would be hard, but not impossible. We did manage to keep them out of the EU after an intense lobbying campaign.

But software patents are the law of the land, and as long as they are, you can't ignore them. It's like ignoring a red light because you disagree with putting a traffic light at that intersection. Given current laws, you can't do what Samsung did and expect to get away with it. The jury found according to current laws. What you think about said laws is beside the point. This is a very hard concept to understand if you are passionate about software patents, and even usually balanced commentators like pj at Groklaw seem to have been misled by that emotion.

I suspect that the damages will be reduced during the appeals process, but that the basic judgement will stand. Samsung infringed and got slapped down for it, and at the end of the day, the big winners are the other Android manufacturers who didn't sail quite so close to the wind.
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Aug 26, 2012, 04:04 AM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
I think they are mixing up two things:

1) Software patents are bad
2) Those patents Apple are suing for should never have been granted under current laws.
Yup, that's also how I see it.
Originally Posted by P View Post
What you think about said laws is beside the point. This is a very hard concept to understand if you are passionate about software patents, and even usually balanced commentators like pj at Groklaw seem to have been misled by that emotion.
Agreed. However, Samsung has also tried using software patents to their advantage: they've tried to double dip with their FRAND patents (I reckon mostly motivated by the fact that Apple skims off 70 % of the operating profits) and used those and a few equally questionable patents to pressure Apple into signing a IP licensing agreement. Yes, Apple is playing the game, but so is Samsung.
Originally Posted by P View Post
I suspect that the damages will be reduced during the appeals process, but that the basic judgement will stand. Samsung infringed and got slapped down for it, and at the end of the day, the big winners are the other Android manufacturers who didn't sail quite so close to the wind.
I'm more curious about how Samsung will react to that in the long term. Even ~$3 billion (which as I have read is the maximum penalty Samsung could face) is not going to put a permanent dent in Samsung's business. The question to me is: will they still try to skid the line or will they start doing their own designs?
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Aug 26, 2012, 06:30 AM
 
People keep saying that the damages are inconsequential and of course $3 Billion to Apple would definitely be a minor dent in their cash pile but is that really true of Samsung? I don't know how much profit they make or how much cash they have on hand, but I imagine it would be a much bigger issue for them.
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Aug 26, 2012, 07:22 AM
 
They have enough, but as the old Pentagon joke goes: a billion here and a billion there, pretty soon you're talking real money. It's not that they can't afford 1 billion, it's that they a) can't afford 1 billion a year, every year, and b) they might easily have had 1 billion more if they had not copied quite so closely.
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Aug 26, 2012, 07:26 AM
 
Samsung's revenue is actually larger than that of Apple ($41.5 billion vs. $39.2 billion, Q2 2012). And even though Apple has a significantly larger operating margin, Samsung has still raked in $5.9 billion (vs. Apple's $11.6 billion). To be honest, I don't know about their cash reserves.

So yes, $1 billion in damages will put a dent in Samsung's revenues, but over a whole calendar year, even that will amount to just a fraction of Samsung's profit. Even $3 billion will be a nuisance to Samsung.
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mattyb
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Aug 26, 2012, 09:25 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
Samsung's revenue is actually larger than that of Apple ($41.5 billion vs. $39.2 billion, Q2 2012). And even though Apple has a significantly larger operating margin, Samsung has still raked in $5.9 billion (vs. Apple's $11.6 billion). To be honest, I don't know about their cash reserves.
So yes, $1 billion in damages will put a dent in Samsung's revenues, but over a whole calendar year, even that will amount to just a fraction of Samsung's profit. Even $3 billion will be a nuisance to Samsung.
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Aug 26, 2012, 02:04 PM
 
Still, half your profits is a big dent.
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Aug 26, 2012, 03:23 PM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
Still, half your profits is a big dent.
At most half their profits in a single quarter. If we naively multiply the Q2 profits by 4 to get an estimate for the yearly profits (yeah, I'm too lazy to look up the projections ), Samsung's profits take a hit of 4~13 % (corresponding to $1~3 billion).

Again, it's a dent, I agree, but a hit Samsung can easily take.
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Aug 27, 2012, 06:58 AM
 
I've been reading a lot of comments about this trial (because I'm an idiot) and the ignorance and stupidity on display is staggering.

It's like someone is delivering political-style talking points to the android fanbase.

If I hear one more, "YOU CAN'T OWN ROUNDED RECTANGLES!" or "APPLE CAN'T INNOVATE SO THEY LITIGATE!" comment I think my head will explode. It's like these people read one pull quote from one article 3 months ago and made up their minds.

Here's an idea, at least have some small idea of what you are talking about before you form an opinion on something.

It's fine to disagree with the verdict, or feel one way or another, but at least know what the hell you are talking about.

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Aug 27, 2012, 07:26 AM
 
$1 billion vs the cost it would have taken Samsung to innovate their own way into the market? I agree with Scoble's blog. Samsung got into the smart phone market cheap.
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Aug 27, 2012, 07:44 AM
 
Here is the actual internal memo Samsung released to it's employees...

We initially proposed to negotiate with Apple instead of going to court, as they had been one of our most important customers. However, Apple pressed on with a lawsuit, and we have had little choice but to counter-sue, so that we can protect our company.

Certainly, we are very disappointed by the verdict at the US District Court for the Northern District of California (NDCA), and it is regrettable that the verdict has caused concern amongst our employees, as well as our loyal customers.

However, the judge’s final ruling remains, along with a number of other procedures. We will continue to do our utmost until our arguments have been accepted.

The NDCA verdict starkly contrasts decisions made by courts in a number of other countries, such as the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, and Korea, which have previously ruled that we did not copy Apple’s designs. These courts also recognized our arguments concerning our standards patents.

History has shown there has yet to be a company that has won the hearts and minds of consumers and achieved continuous growth, when its primary means to competition has been the outright abuse of patent law, not the pursuit of innovation.

We trust that the consumers and the market will side with those who prioritize innovation over litigation, and we will prove this beyond doubt.


Did they seriously say this?

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Aug 27, 2012, 08:01 AM
 
I think this is the first time I've ever seen Apple slam someone's fingers in the cookie jar for stealing their ideas. Windows stole tons of things from Mac OS Classic, the iPod was revolutionary and quickly (and crappily) copied, so was the iMac, iPhone, iPad... it just never ends. Finally someone gets ****ed for copying them. Awesome.
     
sdilley14  (op)
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Aug 27, 2012, 01:19 PM
 
What I don't understand is that Samsung keeps saying that this outcome means that patent law won and innovation lost and that the consumers are going to lose out. To me all this outcomes means is that Samsung cannot blatantly copy the iPhone anymore (I understand that "copy the iPhone is a sweeping statement, but that's how I'm going to phrase it for simplification's sake). So if they can't keep copying the iPhone, doesn't that mean that they will have to truly become innovative and come up with new designs all their own...thus giving the consumers another truly unique phone or line of phones to choose from? That sounds like a victory for innovation and consumers to me. Am I looking at this the wrong way? I understand the argument can be made that "consumers want phones that are rectangular with round edges and big screens". Yeah, they do...now. Apple didn't know that going into it...they innovated and took a chance on it. The idea for Apple has always been to give consumers the products they want before they even realize they want them. That sounds like true innovation to me. Maybe now Samsung and others are going to be pushed to operate in the same way? I just can't understand why Samsung is saying that this outcome is such a "loss" for innovation.

*Sorry for using the word innovation so much in this post.
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Aug 27, 2012, 02:23 PM
 
Originally Posted by sdilley14 View Post
What I don't understand is that Samsung keeps saying that this outcome means that patent law won and innovation lost and that the consumers are going to lose out. To me all this outcomes means is that Samsung cannot blatantly copy the iPhone anymore (I understand that "copy the iPhone is a sweeping statement, but that's how I'm going to phrase it for simplification's sake). So if they can't keep copying the iPhone, doesn't that mean that they will have to truly become innovative and come up with new designs all their own...thus giving the consumers another truly unique phone or line of phones to choose from? That sounds like a victory for innovation and consumers to me. Am I looking at this the wrong way? I understand the argument can be made that "consumers want phones that are rectangular with round edges and big screens". Yeah, they do...now. Apple didn't know that going into it...they innovated and took a chance on it. The idea for Apple has always been to give consumers the products they want before they even realize they want them. That sounds like true innovation to me. Maybe now Samsung and others are going to be pushed to operate in the same way? I just can't understand why Samsung is saying that this outcome is such a "loss" for innovation.
*Sorry for using the word innovation so much in this post.
I think you are looking at this the wrong way, yeah.

The problem is that:

a) There is no concrete way of defining "innovation". Everything is the product of what came before it.

b) This entire problem is very circular: Apple has to protect its self-interests, yet a messed up patent system that perpetuates having to pay the estate of the dude that wrote Happy Birthday royalties when you want to use this song just reflects what seems like a silly patent system. Another example of this is Monsanto patenting genes. This results in patenting everything under the sun, lawyering up, people exploiting this system, and in doing so stifling others from innovation in the event that they noble intents to ultimately create something that most of us would consider new and different, yet don't see any other way other than making, say, round corners on their stuff without making design concessions with may lessen the end product

c) While this problem is as circular as it is, it is sort of broken like US politics right now, it just continues to self-perpetuate and players continue to work within this construct. Therefore, as it stands, I don't think it is easy to single any one player out and wave fingers or applaud


Leaving aside the broader picture stuff, my gut feeling tells me that Samsung did go a little too far in some areas. My problem is not with the verdict, but with the fact that this doesn't really resolve or solve anything. The real problem is that the patent system is kind of screwy, yet I'm also waffling on what I would do to change things if given the power.
     
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Aug 27, 2012, 03:07 PM
 
Its going to be interesting to see if anything similar happens with Ultrabooks. Many would argue that there is no case to be discussed there, but some of the Ultrabooks look so similar to the MacBook Air I could see Apple's point if they went after compensation for more copying.
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Aug 28, 2012, 08:25 AM
 
The comments sections on this trial are particularly vile and filled with unprecedented levels of total ignorance.

Sometimes you forget just how unbelievably dumb some people are. No one bothers to learn even the minimal amount of actual information on this stuff. They just repeat the same 5 or 6 lazy, lame Android talking points over and over again.

These people are this mad about phones. PHONES!

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Aug 28, 2012, 08:28 AM
 
The worst part is even the smart Android phone users tend to be pretty classless. I can't tell you the number of my coworkers who kept saying first that Samsung wasn't going to lose, and secondly that they didn't do anything wrong because THEY (who play with gadgets on a regular basis etc) can CLEARLY tell the difference. Yes it says Samsung at the top that's not a big enough difference.
     
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Aug 28, 2012, 08:38 AM
 
That's why I don't like the "IT SAYS SAMSUNG IN BIG LETTERS RIGHT ON THE FRONT... ONLY AN IDIOT WOULD CONFUSE IT FOR AN IPHONE!" android talking point.

It's not about straight up confusion. While I'm sure some tiny, statistically irrelevant amount of people really don't know the difference and actually did get confused, that's not really what it's all about.

************************************************** ************************************************** ********************************

Joe Consumer is a Verizon customer in 2009. His contract is up. He's not computer/tech illiterate, but he's really just not that into the whole scene. He's a normal guy. He sees the commercials on TV for the iPhone and they make it look really cool. He's seen some articles/reviews on the iPhone and it sounds pretty cool. He's got friends with iPhones and they seem to really like them. He goes into Verizon and asks to see what they have. They don't have the iPhone. They do however have this other thing. It looks like an iPhone. It has icons and apps like the iPhone. It can get on the internet like the iPhone. Hey cool, whatever. I don't want the hassle of switching to AT&T, I'll just get this thing, it's basically the exact same thing.

************************************************** ************************************************** ********************************


That's the problem. That situation above, which surely played out exactly like that millions of times. Apple came up with the template. Spent hundreds of millions of dollars advertising the hell out of the concept and educating consumers on the advantages, and then Samsung makes a look-a-like and piggybacks on the success.

Not many people confuse the two, but the Samsung phone is close enough that they consider themselves to have purchased an equivalent device. And Samsung didn't have to take the risk of introducing a new concept or teaching the world about it. They just jumped in later and made a copycat.

That's the confusion. It's marketplace confusion. Brand dilution. Not dumb hicks thinking they bought an iPhone when they walk out with a Galaxy.

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Aug 28, 2012, 11:01 AM
 
Luckily I've avoided most of these threads, not because I was actively avoiding them, but probably I was not in forums where they were prominent.

Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
I respect that you can come to a different conclusion than the jury, but there are claims of the judge being completely partial to Apple, the juror with the patent is attacked for having just a trivial patent and so on. Were we (= us Apple nerds) that bad in 1997?
Unfortunately, very much so. Annoying as hell. Also, the pro OS 9 people when OS X.1 came out annoyed the hell out of me too.

Of course, the (broken) patent system played a role in the case, but it's not as if Samsung had some kind of high ground here or that it was a David vs Goliath court case.
Agreed on all three points.

However, the bigger point here is that Samsung is the scapegoat. Yeah, Samsung ignored Google's advice on some occasions and too closely copied Apple, but it seems to me this is the first step for Apple to go attack Google.

Meanwhile, on a much smaller scale, I still find it hypocritical that Apple stole the iBooks and Dashboard interfaces. Here though it was truly a David vs. Goliath fight... except there was no fight and Goliath stomped all over the Davids.
     
sdilley14  (op)
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Aug 28, 2012, 02:01 PM
 
Originally Posted by ort888 View Post
That's why I don't like the "IT SAYS SAMSUNG IN BIG LETTERS RIGHT ON THE FRONT... ONLY AN IDIOT WOULD CONFUSE IT FOR AN IPHONE!" android talking point.
It's not about straight up confusion. While I'm sure some tiny, statistically irrelevant amount of people really don't know the difference and actually did get confused, that's not really what it's all about.
************************************************** ************************************************** ********************************
Joe Consumer is a Verizon customer in 2009. His contract is up. He's not computer/tech illiterate, but he's really just not that into the whole scene. He's a normal guy. He sees the commercials on TV for the iPhone and they make it look really cool. He's seen some articles/reviews on the iPhone and it sounds pretty cool. He's got friends with iPhones and they seem to really like them. He goes into Verizon and asks to see what they have. They don't have the iPhone. They do however have this other thing. It looks like an iPhone. It has icons and apps like the iPhone. It can get on the internet like the iPhone. Hey cool, whatever. I don't want the hassle of switching to AT&T, I'll just get this thing, it's basically the exact same thing.
************************************************** ************************************************** ********************************
That's the problem. That situation above, which surely played out exactly like that millions of times. Apple came up with the template. Spent hundreds of millions of dollars advertising the hell out of the concept and educating consumers on the advantages, and then Samsung makes a look-a-like and piggybacks on the success.
Not many people confuse the two, but the Samsung phone is close enough that they consider themselves to have purchased an equivalent device. And Samsung didn't have to take the risk of introducing a new concept or teaching the world about it. They just jumped in later and made a copycat.
That's the confusion. It's marketplace confusion. Brand dilution. Not dumb hicks thinking they bought an iPhone when they walk out with a Galaxy.
Could not have said it better myself. You summed up exactly what I thought. It isn't literal confusion but more so marketplace confusion, and perhaps even bigger to Apple brand dilution, that is so damning here. Every time a copycat phone is produced and the average joe is convinced that he is getting something just as good as an Apple product, the brand is being fractionally diluted. Phone leads to tablet leads to netbook leads to blah blah blah and pretty soon the consumer has a whole group of products that are "just like Apple's products and just as good" because they kind of look and kind of act like them. I can see why Apple wants to go to great lengths to avoid such scenarios.

Let's face it, Samsung knew they were grossly copying Apple. Google knew they were doing it. Apple obviously knew they were. Everyone know they were willfully copying Apple to profit off of designs and functions that weren't their own. Stepping back from the "you can't patent rounded edges" type arguments and just looking at the products side by side, digging into their functions a little bit, comparing the designs in more of an "overview" comparison, it's clear that they weren't just trying to take hints from Apple and improve off of their deigns...they were downright copying them and changing some minutiae here and there. Everyone knew it, they knew it themselves and internal documents and correspondence seemed to prove that...I don't now why this outcome is a shock to anyone.
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Aug 28, 2012, 02:22 PM
 
The outcome was a surprise to me because disputes like this are usually based on common sense rather than things which are easy to define or quantify and hence the law tends to struggle. I applaud the decision, its spot on.
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Aug 28, 2012, 05:49 PM
 
Originally Posted by Eug View Post
Unfortunately, very much so. Annoying as hell. Also, the pro OS 9 people when OS X.1 came out annoyed the hell out of me too.
Agreed, I still remember the thalo crowd. Personally, if it weren't for OS X, I'd probably use FreeBSD or Linux right now, but I felt in love when I saw the developer preview of OS X. I thought it was an OS from another planet.

However, the bigger point here is that Samsung is the scapegoat. Yeah, Samsung ignored Google's advice on some occasions and too closely copied Apple, but it seems to me this is the first step for Apple to go attack Google.

Originally Posted by Eug View Post
Meanwhile, on a much smaller scale, I still find it hypocritical that Apple stole the iBooks and Dashboard interfaces. Here though it was truly a David vs. Goliath fight... except there was no fight and Goliath stomped all over the Davids.
Personally, I would abandon patents (especially software patents) outright. It's clear that they cause more harm than good. You basically cannot build or program anything that doesn't violate someone's trivial patent. And even though Apple as well as other companies are working within that system, they have also fallen victims to copyright trolls, costing them a lot of money.

I actually think a certain amount of copying is good, e. g. it's good that virtually all smart phones are touch-based these days, and Apple is making good money off this idea. However, there should be an incentive to not just copy stuff literally, but to develop variations of ideas. Companies can still protect their ideas through »trade dress« or copyright. The closest analog I see is music: a musician can sue another musician for royalties if the other artist has covered the song or copied parts of it. To find out whether someone has crossed a line (no one can claim the rights to a particular chord) remains difficult, though, but I think something along these lines is much more helpful.

I think what Samsung doesn't realize is that its current prominence is constantly under attack by new players (e. g. the new cell phone manufacturers from China): any Android manufacturer can copy Samsung and Samsung can fall as fast as it has risen. But other manufacturers cannot really copy the iPhone: sure, they can copy the hardware and the »surface« of the software, but not the software ecosystem. Samsung has the money and can at least hire the talent to make something of their own, but so far they seem reluctant to do so.
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Aug 28, 2012, 09:12 PM
 
Originally Posted by sdilley14 View Post
Could not have said it better myself. You summed up exactly what I thought. It isn't literal confusion but more so marketplace confusion, and perhaps even bigger to Apple brand dilution, that is so damning here. Every time a copycat phone is produced and the average joe is convinced that he is getting something just as good as an Apple product, the brand is being fractionally diluted. Phone leads to tablet leads to netbook leads to blah blah blah and pretty soon the consumer has a whole group of products that are "just like Apple's products and just as good" because they kind of look and kind of act like them. I can see why Apple wants to go to great lengths to avoid such scenarios.
Let's face it, Samsung knew they were grossly copying Apple. Google knew they were doing it. Apple obviously knew they were. Everyone know they were willfully copying Apple to profit off of designs and functions that weren't their own. Stepping back from the "you can't patent rounded edges" type arguments and just looking at the products side by side, digging into their functions a little bit, comparing the designs in more of an "overview" comparison, it's clear that they weren't just trying to take hints from Apple and improve off of their deigns...they were downright copying them and changing some minutiae here and there. Everyone knew it, they knew it themselves and internal documents and correspondence seemed to prove that...I don't now why this outcome is a shock to anyone.
Werd. They reinvented the ****ing mobile phone. Defined a whole new CATEGORY of it, that was so light years ahead of the competition that nothing could even hold a candle to it for a long time. Then the "copies" started coming out, and instead of just admitting they were copies, they changed JUST ENOUGH so that they could justify it's their own design. JUST ENOUGH. There were never any bold moves, no innovation that made them better, just... direct copy, and change JUST A TOUCH so we don't get sued. What a ****ed up mentality. The same thing happened with the iPad, after tablets struggled for YEARS to have touch screens but run regular OS's. And POOF, here come the copies, all just SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT, so that they don't get sued.

That's what's ****ed up. Instead of saying, woah, how can we kick the shit out of this and be way better, they think.. hrm.. we'd get sued if we did that, so let's change this this and this. And maybe that. THERE! TADA!!!!!!!!

**** those guys.
     
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Aug 28, 2012, 09:20 PM
 
Originally Posted by knifecarrier2 View Post

Werd. They reinvented the ****ing mobile phone. Defined a whole new CATEGORY of it, that was so light years ahead of the competition that nothing could even hold a candle to it for a long time. Then the "copies" started coming out, and instead of just admitting they were copies, they changed JUST ENOUGH so that they could justify it's their own design. JUST ENOUGH. There were never any bold moves, no innovation that made them better, just... direct copy, and change JUST A TOUCH so we don't get sued. What a ****ed up mentality. The same thing happened with the iPad, after tablets struggled for YEARS to have touch screens but run regular OS's. And POOF, here come the copies, all just SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT, so that they don't get sued.
That's what's ****ed up. Instead of saying, woah, how can we kick the shit out of this and be way better, they think.. hrm.. we'd get sued if we did that, so let's change this this and this. And maybe that. THERE! TADA!!!!!!!!
**** those guys.
I understand what you're saying, but I think there is more to it than this.

Somebody invented the QWERTY keyboard, and probably spent a lot of time figuring out this keyboard layout. There is a certain familiarity with QWERTY that makes using technology that shares this element easier. If somebody patented the shit out of QWERTY (and I have no idea what its patent status is, so just consider this a for example), should others not be allowed to use this keyboard layout forcing every device that needs a keyboard to come up with their own layout?

Pinch and zoom, the spring loaded scrolling thing (or whatever it is called) are great implementations, and they have become such strong standards AFAIK that it probably doesn't make sense to make any other implementation in new devices.

I'd like a system where makers can utilize these sorts of standards without having to pay out of their ass for legal fees or licensing, while *also* be encouraged to innovate and come up with their own stuff as you are addressing here.
     
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Aug 29, 2012, 12:40 AM
 
Its easy to see the other side though. If I had invented pinch to zoom (and there was no question I had), I'd want to make a few cents for every device that shipped with it. Wouldn't you?

The whole patent system is going to fall over once 3D printers/replicators get going anyway.
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Aug 29, 2012, 12:44 AM
 
Originally Posted by Eug View Post
However, the bigger point here is that Samsung is the scapegoat. Yeah, Samsung ignored Google's advice on some occasions and too closely copied Apple, but it seems to me this is the first step for Apple to go attack Google.
Not "scapegoat". Precedent.
     
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Aug 29, 2012, 01:01 AM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
Its easy to see the other side though. If I had invented pinch to zoom (and there was no question I had), I'd want to make a few cents for every device that shipped with it. Wouldn't you?
The whole patent system is going to fall over once 3D printers/replicators get going anyway.
Personally, I don't agree with this.

This gets into a much broader sort of thing, but I personally feel that if you want to create new standards these should just be publicly accepted by some organizational body and up-for-grabs for whomever wants to use this technology. I realize that these sorts of organizations tend to be very slow moving and political, but I don't really see a better solution.

What I mean by a standard is some sort of format, protocol, convention, concept, etc. Yes pinch and zoom is clever and clearly Apple's, but it is now a standard in my opinion. Should we force every device manufacturer to come up with their own implementation between now and the end of time for magnifying stuff? I don't think so, the consumers lose out, the device makers lose out. Apple loses out a little initially in having to have foot the bill for this R&D, but they can probably recoup these costs with the sales of these devices.

I would say that new standards shouldn't be patentable.

This gets murky with technology such as h.264 since there was evidently money put into researching and coming up with this codec. I suppose I would also be okay with licensing certain technology, but I kind of don't want to get into tech companies having to license the privilege of using round corners either.

It just sucks when consumers and developers that just want to make cool stuff are mired in these silly standards wars.
     
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Aug 29, 2012, 01:58 AM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
The whole patent system is going to fall over once 3D printers/replicators get going anyway.
The same way copyright went away when CD burners and mp3s went mainstream?

You're going to have a whole generation that simply doesn't understand that a sense of entitlement doesn't mean it's good or right, and once the pendulum starts to swing back and make clear that existing systems DID have merit and were kind of essential for getting content created in the first place, another ten or fifteen years until people figure out how to make it work with the new technologies.

Hopefully.

We haven't had those fifteen years in the music industry yet.
     
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Aug 29, 2012, 03:40 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post

I understand what you're saying, but I think there is more to it than this.

Somebody invented the QWERTY keyboard, and probably spent a lot of time figuring out this keyboard layout. There is a certain familiarity with QWERTY that makes using technology that shares this element easier. If somebody patented the shit out of QWERTY (and I have no idea what its patent status is, so just consider this a for example), should others not be allowed to use this keyboard layout forcing every device that needs a keyboard to come up with their own layout?
The QWERTY layout was patented back in its day - that day being the 1870ies. Competitors used different layouts.

The QWERTY setup was finalized at the Remington marketing department with the purpose to have all the letters for the word "typewriter" on the top row so it would be easy for a salesperson to type quickly to show how great the new invention was. It was in turn based on an earlier layout that tried to put commonly used letters apart and around the edges to avoid their arms catching on each other - something that was effectively broken by marketing when they moved R up to sit between E and T, thereby placing three commonly used letters together.
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Aug 29, 2012, 05:00 AM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
The whole patent system is going to fall over once 3D printers/replicators get going anyway.
I don't know what 3D printers have to do with it: it's not a replicator, you just get something that looks like the original, but not something that »behaves« like the original. For data, we already have such a replicator, and things like music, videos and software are amongst the goods you can copy at no loss of quality.
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
The same way copyright went away when CD burners and mp3s went mainstream?
You're going to have a whole generation that simply doesn't understand that a sense of entitlement doesn't mean it's good or right, and once the pendulum starts to swing back and make clear that existing systems DID have merit and were kind of essential for getting content created in the first place, another ten or fifteen years until people figure out how to make it work with the new technologies.
Hopefully.
We haven't had those fifteen years in the music industry yet.
I don't think that's what's going on at all. People don't have a different sense of entitlement, people
For my sister, for instance, youtube is her new radio, and she's not alone. The problem is that technology is enabling new usage patters that people love. Average people, not nerds, not people who view themselves as freeloaders.

The internet and new devices have done three things:
(1) Everything is much more international.
(2) The internet completely changes how things are distributed.
(3) Music competes with other forms of entertainment.

The music and video industry haven't kept up with these developments. There are songs which I can buy in the Japanese iTunes Music Store, but not in the German iTunes Store, and I have to jump through hoops to make legitimate purchases. There is plenty of music which is no longer distributed (because sales of physical recordings are too small so that it is not economically feasible for record stores to carry them), the internet could solve that easily. IP addresses from foreign countries are usually blocked so that you cannot watch your favorite TV series on the TV networks homepage. The list goes on.

Part of the problem is that politicians and company executives are (mostly due to their age) relative computer illiterates: my students' generation has grown up with computers, »everyone« has a smartphone, etc. That makes it much harder for companies to proactively come up with positive ways to use new technology.

The whole story reminds me of the German company Falk (which is into maps): in the early days of the internet age, they've made a bit of change by suing individuals and companies who have put screenshots of their maps online to make it easier for customers to find a shop or a university. Nowadays, the German internet map market is dominated by an American company called Google.
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Aug 29, 2012, 05:44 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
I don't know what 3D printers have to do with it: it's not a replicator, you just get something that looks like the original, but not something that »behaves« like the original.
I'm thinking ahead a bit. A replicator is the ultimate incarnation of the 3D printer. Sooner or later we'll have them and when we do intellectual property is going to become very interesting. Instead of torrenting music or movies, people will be able to torrent whole iPads. Eventually.
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Aug 29, 2012, 09:13 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
I don't think that's what's going on at all. People don't have a different sense of entitlement, people
For my sister, for instance, youtube is her new radio, and she's not alone. The problem is that technology is enabling new usage patters that people love. Average people, not nerds, not people who view themselves as freeloaders.

[…]

The music and video industry haven't kept up with these developments. There are songs which I can buy in the Japanese iTunes Music Store, but not in the German iTunes Store, and I have to jump through hoops to make legitimate purchases. There is plenty of music which is no longer distributed (because sales of physical recordings are too small so that it is not economically feasible for record stores to carry them), the internet could solve that easily. IP addresses from foreign countries are usually blocked so that you cannot watch your favorite TV series on the TV networks homepage. The list goes on.

Part of the problem is that politicians and company executives are (mostly due to their age) relative computer illiterates: my students' generation has grown up with computers, »everyone« has a smartphone, etc. That makes it much harder for companies to proactively come up with positive ways to use new technology.
You make a good point about YouTube being the new radio. Except it's on demand, which is quite different from radio.

You're conflating several things. Copyright is enforced by artist representatives, NOT by the record companies.

And in this case, the artists' representatives (in Germany, specifically, the GEMA) HAVE been on top of this, trying to figure a way to get artists paid for on-demand plays from what amounts to an online music library that makes real money from advertising.
NB: they've only actually sued YouTube in iirc seven cases, and the huge mass of videos unavailable due to "GEMA not having given them the rights" is smokescreen propaganda, to hide the fact that Google is refusing to pay up.

This is part of the "fifteen years" I was talking about above.

Everybody is still looking at how music usage is developing, and trying to figure out how to monetize it to the benefit of artists, without ****ing everybody over.

In the meantime, there are cases of people getting ****ed over to set examples and change perception of value and entitlement (see downloader lawsuits). And record companies are floundering, as well.

But it is in the artists' interest to get paid for their creation, and it is in the consumers' interest that people who create stuff for them see some money for their efforts.
     
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Aug 29, 2012, 02:23 PM
 


Check out this hot new laptop/tablet combo Samsung announced today.

http://www.theverge.com/2012/8/29/3276599/samsung-series-5-series-7-slate-windows-8/in/3041432

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Aug 29, 2012, 05:24 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
You make a good point about YouTube being the new radio. Except it's on demand, which is quite different from radio.
Yes, youtube is on demand, that's the whole point. I just noticed that she (and according to the study I've linked to) many other people are »listening to youtube« instead of to the radio.
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
You're conflating several things. Copyright is enforced by artist representatives, NOT by the record companies.

And in this case, the artists' representatives (in Germany, specifically, the GEMA) HAVE been on top of this, trying to figure a way to get artists paid for on-demand plays from what amounts to an online music library that makes real money from advertising.
NB: they've only actually sued YouTube in iirc seven cases, and the huge mass of videos unavailable due to "GEMA not having given them the rights" is smokescreen propaganda, to hide the fact that Google is refusing to pay up.
You are right that my argument was oversimplified and you give a relevant example which is linked to point (1), internationalization (it is ok if I listen to a certain artist's song in the US but I'm prevented from listening to the same song in Germany). But from a higher level, the GEMA and similar organizations for other media are part of the old, pre-broadband revenue model -- which no longer works in the digital age.

Secondly, it's not just about revenue, it's about using the new possibilities that technology offers. For instance, in science, it has become very common for people to have GB of downloaded books on their hard drive. The reason is not that these people are crooks (in fact, in many cases, these books can be found in the university library), but also that you can search them. So instead of spending an afternoon, browsing through 10 books searching for a particular statement, you can do the same in 5-15 minutes. This is a big opportunity: if you spend €80-€500 on a book, it'd be great if you get a digital copy for free along with it. Scientific journals use the subscription model for years now, I don't see a reason why scientific books can't be included. Note that since these books are specialized, the authors don't make money with it. Even »best sellers« rarely sell more 10,000 copies, so it's not like with music where there is a big market.

I have a few suggestions to improve the situation (from the point of view of an EU citizen), and I don't think in the long term, they are within the realm of possibility:
(1) Organize revenue models on a European level, meaning you don't have to negotiate 27 times, but only once.
(2) End the war on the consumer. Stop wasting your time suing people who upload/download copyrighted material, but don't have any material gains.
(3) The EU should act in the interest of the consumer and stop questionable business practices. DRM should be abolished, copyright should be limited in time (and not to infinity - 2 days rather than infinity - 1 day), fair use should be encouraged and non-commercial infringement should not be punished. This would pressure companies to look at what the customers want in order to come up with new business models.

(3) may sound harsh, but if you leave media companies to their own devices, they come up with laws like this one, it's in their best long-term interests to foster a change in attitude.
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
Everybody is still looking at how music usage is developing, and trying to figure out how to monetize it to the benefit of artists, without ****ing everybody over.
In the meantime, there are cases of people getting ****ed over to set examples and change perception of value and entitlement (see downloader lawsuits). And record companies are floundering, as well.
But it is in the artists' interest to get paid for their creation, and it is in the consumers' interest that people who create stuff for them see some money for their efforts.
I don't think any of the big labels, big publishers, etc. will get it. I think the change will come from the artists, writers and other actual creators of content directly, from the bottom up.
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Aug 29, 2012, 05:42 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
You make a good point about YouTube being the new radio. Except it's on demand, which is quite different from radio.
Yes, youtube is on demand, that's the whole point. I just noticed that she (and according to the study I've linked to) many other people are »listening to youtube« instead of to theradio.CDs
That's a more accurate description of what's happening.

Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
You are right that my argument was oversimplified and you give a relevant example which is linked to point (1), internationalization (it is ok if I listen to a certain artist's song in the US but I'm prevented from listening to the same song in Germany). But from a higher level, the GEMA and similar organizations for other media are part of the old, pre-broadband revenue model -- which no longer works in the digital age.
I agree. This is starting to change, though, as the fight with YouTube indicates.

The distribution agreements are, for a large part, set in stone in decades-old distro contracts, and will take a long time to clear up. Rights and royalties are regional things, yet.


Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
Secondly, it's not just about revenue, it's about using the new possibilities that technology offers. For instance, in science, it has become very common for people to have GB of downloaded books on their hard drive. The reason is not that these people are crooks (in fact, in many cases, these books can be found in the university library), but also that you can search them. So instead of spending an afternoon, browsing through 10 books searching for a particular statement, you can do the same in 5-15 minutes. This is a big opportunity: if you spend €80-€500 on a book, it'd be great if you get a digital copy for free along with it. Scientific journals use the subscription model for years now, I don't see a reason why scientific books can't be included. Note that since these books are specialized, the authors don't make money with it. Even »best sellers« rarely sell more 10,000 copies, so it's not like with music where there is a big market.


I'm going to go out on a limb here and claim that the number of albums released by German artists in this year that have sold 10,000 copies so far is less than you can count on two hands.

Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
I have a few suggestions to improve the situation (from the point of view of an EU citizen), and I don't think in the long term, they are within the realm of possibility:
(1) Organize revenue models on a European level, meaning you don't have to negotiate 27 times, but only once.
(2) End the war on the consumer. Stop wasting your time suing people who upload/download copyrighted material, but don't have any material gains.
(3) The EU should act in the interest of the consumer and stop questionable business practices. DRM should be abolished, copyright should be limited in time (and not to infinity - 2 days rather than infinity - 1 day), fair use should be encouraged and non-commercial infringement should not be punished. This would pressure companies to look at what the customers want in order to come up with new business models.

(3) may sound harsh, but if you leave media companies to their own devices, they come up with laws like this one, it's in their best long-term interests to foster a change in attitude.
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
Everybody is still looking at how music usage is developing, and trying to figure out how to monetize it to the benefit of artists, without ****ing everybody over.
In the meantime, there are cases of people getting ****ed over to set examples and change perception of value and entitlement (see downloader lawsuits). And record companies are floundering, as well.
But it is in the artists' interest to get paid for their creation, and it is in the consumers' interest that people who create stuff for them see some money for their efforts.
I don't think any of the big labels, big publishers, etc. will get it. I think the change will come from the artists, writers and other actual creators of content directly, from the bottom up.
The first part of that is creating awareness that all these old and crusty structures serve an important purpose, and that that purpose is NOT ****ing over the artists, and that cheating the system is not "sticking it to The Man", but rather, sticking it to the artists.

The second is creating awareness of the fact that despite its ubiquity, music is actually pretty hard work and people who work hard either need to make a living doing it, or they'll need to get a different job. Music costs money, because artists don't live off admiration.

There has been quite a bit of both recently, and I've noticed that even the industry lawsuits against file sharers have actually had a net positive effect on awareness. I disapprove of some college kid being hit with $625,000 in fines for throwing 35 songs on Kazaa, mind you.
     
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Aug 29, 2012, 07:14 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
That's a more accurate description of what's happening.
No, not according to what I've seen. It's used for background music, I think it's supplanting radio than listening to CDs. That and web radio.
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
I'm going to go out on a limb here and claim that the number of albums released by German artists in this year that have sold 10,000 copies so far is less than you can count on two hands.
I'm talking about blockbusters in my field with sales that accumulate over many years. Typical books sell in the few hundreds of copies – which is why they are very expensive and some older books are impossible to find.

My main point is that this market segment is very different from that of crime novels: there are only very few interested readers and most of them don't buy the book themselves, but the institution they belong to purchases the book.
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
The first part of that is creating awareness that all these old and crusty structures serve an important purpose, and that that purpose is NOT ****ing over the artists, and that cheating the system is not "sticking it to The Man", but rather, sticking it to the artists.
»Creating awareness« was by no means a goal of the incumbents of the media industry, more like opposition until the bitter end. If it weren't for Apple's clever negotiating tactics (hey, we only got 5 % of the market!), I am not sure whether we would have the online music stores that we have today.
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
The second is creating awareness of the fact that despite its ubiquity, music is actually pretty hard work and people who work hard either need to make a living doing it, or they'll need to get a different job. Music costs money, because artists don't live off admiration.
There has been quite a bit of both recently, and I've noticed that even the industry lawsuits against file sharers have actually had a net positive effect on awareness. I disapprove of some college kid being hit with $625,000 in fines for throwing 35 songs on Kazaa, mind you.
Music as a pastime is thousands of years old, and just like art and science, not something most people get rich with. However, society has always found a way to support the arts and I don't think it's good for labels and artists alike to create an adversarial relationship between consumers and labels/publishers/production* companies.

And I don't think companies that are skeptical or even afraid of »the internet« will provide artists with new ways to get their fair share, only companies who embrace new technologies. Friends of mine, for instance, make a rather popular music software called DJay which literally grew out of a student project. And for them, the App Store was the best thing since sliced bread, because (1) they no longer had to order x copies of boxes and DVDs, localized in the respective language and (2) they no longer had to deal with as many tax issues that you have when you sell internationally.

It's not as if I don't see the problems of paying for content, especially when it comes to TV and »print media with web presences«, because their content is heavily subsidized and cross subsidized that it's not clear people are willing to pay for what an episode of, say, Game of Thrones really costs to make. Questions such as this one make it really hard for business models to change. Similar things hold for a whole range of other services, e. g. e-mail: how much are you willing to pay a company for a gmail-type service without ads?


* Note that I haven't said artists on purpose here.
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