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Oculus ordered to pay $500m to Zenimax.


deerokus
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Of the $500 million, Oculus is paying out $200 million for breaking the NDA and $50 million for copyright infringement.

...

The heart of this case was about whether Oculus stole ZeniMax's trade secrets, and the jury found decisively in our favor,” an Oculus spokesperson told Polygon.

 

 

IANAL, so how do they reckon that?

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3 minutes ago, Stanley said:

Because Zenimax claim they poured millions of dollars into research which was then used to develop OR - so specific code, design documents etc, I guess.

 

To me it just looks like a cash grab now that Facebook own OR.

 

and the Carmack connection.

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It blows my mind when these figures are touted, I agonise over 100 quid plus purchases. When I see 100mil marketing budgets I just think...keep it, dont spend it, just keep the money. I mean 500 million lost by Oculus, has the entire division ever made even half of that in it's lifetime?

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"Non literal copying", jesus wept. I dare say a fair few of us have to listen to someone pretend to be an expert in something we know about. I know it happens to me regularly and gritting your teeth is tricky, never mind being legally bound to sit down and shut up for fear of being held in contempt. He's entirely right, an "expert" needs to be able to withstand scrutiny, but sadly Carmack's view, while correct, is about as enforcable as shouting "that's not fair". Without getting overly political, many commissioned reports are designed not to pass scrutiny, but to avoid it at all turns. This is the problem in life though, the world is controlled by people who know just enough to get others to take them seriously, while the real experts are busy actually working, or struggle to be even heard. I mean, look who's running the most powerful nation in the world now for your example, but anyway, that's my serious post of the week.

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Given a load of Valve staff quit and moved to Oculus, I suspect things aren't that clear, RJ.

 

this is the first judgement, Facebook will no doubt appeal. In the long run, Oculus cost Facebook at least $3bn. Another $500m will be appealed, but isn't going to change their plans.

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1 hour ago, RubberJohnny said:

There's a quote out there from someone from Valve saying they lent Oculus an early prototype only for the finished thing to come out with a bunch of copied stuff too.

 

Quite shocking if they were charlatans getting a billion dollar valuation from other people's work.

 

Valve and Oculus were working together and sharing R&D for some time.

 

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Valve’s goal is to enable great VR for the PC, so we’ve shared what we’ve learned through our R&D with Oculus. We’ve showed them our prototypes and demos, we’ve explained how our hardware works, and we’ve provided them with feedback on their hardware designs. By showing them a prototype with low persistence, we convinced Oculus of its importance, and the lack of blur in Crystal Cove is a direct result of that. We collaborated with Oculus on tracking as well. We’re continuing to work with them to improve tracking, displays, lenses, and calibration, and we’re excited about where they’re headed. If Oculus executes well, and so far they seem to be, I think they could well deliver strong presence on the PC within the next two years; we hope that happens, because it would be a huge boost for PC VR.

 

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http://www.polygon.com/2017/2/1/14478258/zenimax-oculus-injunction

 

Oh dear this may not be over as Zenimax may seek to halt sale of Rift headsets.  This was also in the article regarding Carmack which sounds pretty damning:

 

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While not awarding any money on this count, the jury also found that id Software co-founder and current Oculus CTO John Carmack took Rage source code and thousands of electronic files on a USB storage device which contained ZeniMax VR technology when he left the company.

Carmack intentionally destroyed data on his computer after he got notice of this litigation and right after he researched on Google how to wipe a hard drive—and data on other Oculus computers and USB storage devices were similarly deleted (as determined by a court-appointed, independent expert in computer forensics); (vii) when he quit id Software, Carmack admitted he secretly downloaded and stole over 10,000 documents from ZeniMax on a USB storage device, as well as the entire source code to RAGE and the id tech® 5 engine —which Carmack uploaded to his Oculus computer; (viii) Carmack filed an affidavit which the court's expert said was false in denying the destruction of evidence;

 

What a mess Oculus has found itself in between this and launch issues, Palmer's antics and Reddit thread shows up some pretty major issues for many running a roomscale setup.

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I'm sorry, but are they actually saying that Carmack - John Carmack of all people  - had to look up on Google how to wipe a hard drive? I find that a bit hard to believe. That's like Lewis Hamilton needing to take driving lessons before allegedly driving a getaway vehicle.

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I think people's love of John Carmack is causing significant bias towards his side of the argument. 

 

It looks like he knew what he was doing. I can understand feeling attached to your work but if you sign agreements that someone else will own what you work on you have to stick to that.

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41 minutes ago, Mr. Gerbik said:

I'm sorry, but are they actually saying that Carmack - John Carmack of all people  - had to look up on Google how to wipe a hard drive? I find that a bit hard to believe. That's like Lewis Hamilton needing to take driving lessons before allegedly driving a getaway vehicle.

 

John Carmack is a programmer, not a cyber security specialist. He may well know how to wipe a hard drive but ensuring data can't be recovered from it is not a trivial task (usually needs to have data repeatedly written over it) and you need software which you'll probably have to google. 

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34 minutes ago, Mr. Gerbik said:

I'm sorry, but are they actually saying that Carmack - John Carmack of all people  - had to look up on Google how to wipe a hard drive? I find that a bit hard to believe. That's like Lewis Hamilton needing to take driving lessons before allegedly driving a getaway vehicle.

 

I know he is a genius but I'm not sure what his exact expertise is but it's quite possible he does not know everything.  He may not know enough about computer forensics to completely eradicate data from his hard drive so he had to look it up.  

 

To use your analogy Hamilton may need to have lessons if the getaway vechicle was a JCB.

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1 hour ago, Stuart said:

Interesting case, I fully believe the Zenimax claim.

 

For those defending Carmack, you might enjoy reading Masters of Doom. He has past history for screwing employers over and ignoring legalities. His personality in the book comes across as ruthless.

 

Ive read MoD and thats not true at all.

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UPDATE: Zenimax has responded to Carmack's criticisms, and has offered the following statement to Gamasutra:

"In addition to expert testimony finding both literal and non-literal copying, Oculus programmers themselves admitted using Zenimax’s copyrighted code (one saying he cut and pasted it into the Oculus SDK), and [Oculus VR co-founder] Brendan Iribe, in writing, requested a license for the 'source code shared by Carmack' they needed for the Oculus Rift. Not surprisingly, the jury found Zenimax code copyrights were infringed. The Oculus Rift was built on a foundation of Zenimax technology."

"As for the denial of wiping, the Court’s independent expert found 92 percent of Carmack’s hard drive was wiped—all data was permanently destroyed, right after Carmack got notice of the lawsuit, and that his affidavit denying the wiping was false. Those are the hard facts."

 

Must have slipped his mind when he typed his Facebook post. 

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12 hours ago, Stuart said:

 

I had to check my copy. The book describes Carmack/Romero stealing the computers from their employer Softdisk to make their own game and sell it privately. Direct similarity with this case.

 

Depends on your interpretation, but I got the impression Carmack was very talented but equally arrogant.

 

Hes definitely single minded but not to the point of multi million pound IP theft, they were all just young kids running a startup in the 90s then.

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Is this stuff that he himself came up with/coded? Or stuff other people at the company designed/coded? I know once you sign contracts, NDAs etc that's a moot point but still karmically better for Carmack. Err...

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