Zenimax Seeks To Block Sales Of Oculus Rift, Gear VR

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hekynn

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Ok Zenimax can go shoot themselves in the foot and shut their stuff down that includes eso etc their nothing but a bunch of GREEDY TRUMPS IN THEIR!
 

StonedGamer

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The public hatred towards Zenimax is reminiscent of Metallica vs. Napster days. We have a quality developer that has no trouble making bank, but they just want to make life harder for everyone else. On the one hand you can't blame them for wanting to protect their intellectual property, on the other, they're dragging their own public approval rating through the dirt!
 


That's not how things work. At least according to the court judgement, Zenimax is the victim here, and Oculus are the ones who broke the terms of their agreement. In the unlikely event that Oculus would discontinue support for their products as a result of this, they would be the ones at fault, and you would need to sue Oculus and Facebook, not Zenimax. Of course, that all seems fairly unlikely to happen.
 
"The public hatred towards Zenimax is reminiscent of Metallica vs. Napster days. "
I was thinking the same thing!

"they're dragging their own public approval rating through the dirt!"
I agree.. And I believe what Carmack said about methods used to skew perception of the court using vague terms and generalization.

I loved Quake and many id software games but this just leaves a metallic taste in my mouth!! ;D
 

bloodroses

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bigdragon

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My takeaway from this article is that Zenimax is willing to destroy the VR industry through their temper tantrum over losing Carmack and playing too conservatively on VR tech. Zenimax could have been Oculus, but they didn't throw the resources behind Carmack's VR efforts nor compensate him to the point to where he'd stay with Zenimax. They have only themselves to blame. If Zenimax keeps pushing this then they're going to scare away other developers and OEMs, increase costs for everyone, and stifle innovation.
 

Jeff Fx

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Oculus would be the only party that you could win a suit against. When a company sells you something they didn't own, the actual owner is not responsible in any way.
 

jspreet

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Its real simple. Zenimax wants to act like a bunch of cry babies and act all butt hurt because they did want to invest the money in vr and would rather capitalize on someone elses hard work then I just wont support them by buying their products anymore. Unfortunately that means Bethesda's and Id's products. They piss enough people off they will lose more money then they will make off this deal. Zenimax get over yourself's bunch off cry asses.
 

computerguy72

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Zenimax should be destroyed over this. I'm not an Oculus fan but that doesn't matter here. Zenimax is in effect suing over ideas they did not plan to use in any way and in fact didn't know existed. They claim that off-hire work-product by an employee (Carmack) is owned by the company and picked the northern district of Texas to take this case... This is a jury verdict they could not have gotten any where else. Imagine you had an idea in the middle of the night while working for McDonalds making burgers for an improvement to a computer mouse. You sketch that down at home and magic happens - a large company buys your idea. McDonalds then sues saying they not only do they own your invention but that entire company who bought your idea cannot sell mice. You see the problem with this??? In my opinion it's only a trade secret if you plan to use it in your trade.
 

bloodroses

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Take this quote from the actual court case into question:

You'll find plenty of great quotes inside, including ZeniMax’s lawyer asking Zuckerberg “If you steal my bike, and you paint it and put a bell on it, does that make it your bike?”

How would you feel if it was your bike? Before just assuming ZeniMax is the bad guys here because Occulus is trying to push out a new product and this case is hampering it, look at who the actual victim is. Luckey did in fact violate the NDA that he agreed to with the company when he left and started the kickstarter; thus the $500 million decision by the Jury.
 

kcarbotte

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They could have bought Oculus before Oculus was Oculus.
 

bit_user

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True. They're clearly being an IP troll, here. There's no way they would have done what Oculus did, and therefore there's no way they suffered such damages. But, they're operating with in the (twisted) law, so there's no recourse but for Oculus to appeal or counter-sue.

I'm pretty sure they not only knew he was working on VR, but that he was doing some of it on-the-clock and using company resources. That makes the IP in question theirs.

The mistake was for Luckey not to buy out the rights to Carmack's IP, when he left to go to Oculus. And before the acquisition, Facebook should've covered this in their due diligence. They probably could've even financed a settlement to this, through a special round of funding, prior to the actual acquisition.
 

atavax

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My understanding of the ruling was that the Jury ruled in favor of Facebook regarding the code. That the largest part sum from the ruling was for using Zenimax games while showing off the VR technology. So i don't see how they have grounds to stop more from being sold. But we will have to wait and see. My money is on Facebook winning this round though.
 

bit_user

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That's a terrible analogy, and not one supported by the judgement.

If that analogy had any basis in reality, then sure. However, conclusions should be reached based on facts - not who has the better analogy. And one relevant fact is whether the damage is really as claimed.

Sure, he was guilty of that, but simply violating a NDA doesn't entitle the aggrieved party to any award they feel like claiming. In reality, this award was not justified by the actual damages suffered.
 


My guess is that Zenimax was hoping to be close partners with Oculus, and may have even liked to buy them out themselves, but didn't have the kind of money necessary to compete with Facebook. Facebook acquired Oculus for over $2 billion in cash and stock, While Zenimax itself is only worth around $2.5 billion. Once Oculus went where the money was, it sounds like they gave Zenimax the cold shoulder. If id Software was devoting any time and resources to assisting Oculus, then it's understandable that Zenimax would be upset when Oculus broke off ties and took their most well-known developer with them. And yeah, maybe Zenimax could have bought out Oculus for a far lower sum back when they were first helping them, but at that time the Oculus Rift was a crowd-funded project, and not really intended to be something bought up by a massive corporation.
 

bit_user

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The weird thing about this story is that businesses normally sign agreements and contracts. That's why Oculus is still supporting GearVR, even though they're basically a competitor. It's because they signed contracts that predate the Facebook acquisition.

Also, I have a pretty clear recollection of reading that Carmack's VR efforts got mothballed, prior to his leaving and going to Oculus. It really didn't sound like Zenimax was committed to VR. Certainly, not anything like the damages would suggest.

If there were any sort of partnership arrangement, then Oculus would've at least had permission to use Doom, which the judgement makes clear they didn't.
 

shrapnel_indie

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Regarding the Metallica vs Napster deal: Metallica took a lot of flack because they bought into the story of why they saw so little money from record sales... of course it had nothing to do with how studios and publishers nickel and dime record sales profits to practically nothing and had nothing to do with the fact Metallica sold out their fan-base by changing genre's. Truth is the publisher felt any damage there may have actually existed considerably more than Metallica did.

Now... this "non-literal copying" nonsense pushed by the "expert".... That's a very dangerous precedent, one that can kill any kind of innovation or productivity into a state of monopoly. Carmack wasn't allowed to see the multi-hundred page report from this so-called-expert... If the defense didn't get to see it at all, that in itself can be grounds for a mistrial.
 

shrapnel_indie

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Unfortunately, there are plenty of companies, that will put it in your hiring contract that ANY code you develop during your time of employment is theirs and theirs alone (regardless if you make it on your own time and with your personal computer at home without using any of their resources or referring to any code you create for them.)
 

bit_user

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The way they got around this is that he wasn't actually a defendant!
 

bit_user

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I'm pretty sure most courts wouldn't uphold such contracts. I think it hasn't even happened, but feel free to prove me wrong.

Now, I have been subject to agreements that anything I do that's material to the business is owned by them. But that's different than saying all code, period. It just means that if I work for a widget company and have a great idea for a widget feature, I can't try it out at home and then sell it to somebody else.
 

bloodroses

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I work in such a place myself. The same holds true for any development I do on their equipment; even if I take it home. That's the way most normal businesses work.
 

bit_user

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Yes, of course they own what you do on their time or using their equipment. But they don't own your brain.

Honestly, I'd like to see a court judgement where it has been upheld that unrelated work by a developer, on their own time and equipment, is owned by their employer. That's really turning people into property.
 
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