Microsoft settles music download patent infringement suit with E-Data; Apple in talks

“New York company E-Data said on Tuesday that it has settled a patent infringement suit filed against Microsoft and others, based on music download services in Europe,” John Borland reports for CNET. “Last October, the small company sued a European division of Microsoft, along with the HMV Group, Internet service provider Tiscali and digital music company On Demand Distribution (OD2), charging them with violation of a patent that covers the downloading of information onto a tangible object such as a CD. Music download services operated by the four companies allowed consumers to burn downloaded music to a CD. The settlement terms include past and future rights to use the patent anywhere in the world, E-Datasaid in a statement. Financial terms were not disclosed.”

Borland reports, “E-Data is characterizing the suit’s settlement as an explicit shot across the bow of other download services–Brodsky specifically cites Apple Computer’s iTunes–that are planning to enter the European market. ‘We are currently in talks with a number of prominent companies in Europe infringing upon our intellectual property, and may seek injunctions against these companies if necessary,’ Brodsky said.”

Full article here.

29 Comments

  1. charging them with violation of a patent that covers the downloading of information onto a tangible object such as a CD.

    …Wait…they have a patent on downloading data for burning onto a CD…

    Isn’t this kind of like saying you copyrighted Sunrises? WTF?

  2. Umm, is there any to download information WITHOUT downloading it onto a tangible object? Hell, RAM chips are tangible objects. Certainly the hard drive is a tangible object. This story is more a commentary on the asinine quality of modern IP law than anything else.

  3. huh? this does not make one bit of sense – how could someone patent that? There are things other than music that get’s transferred via the net and get’s burnt to a CD or HD… can someone pls explain what the suit in plain-english?

  4. To be fair, this isn’t exactly as it sounds like. Read the full article and follow the link to the original settlement article.

    The nearly 20-year-old patent owned by E-Data is, and I quote:

    The patent in question was granted in 1985
    and covers the transmission of information
    to a remote point-of-sale location, where
    information is then transferred to a
    material object. Courts in the United
    States have held that this does not include
    saving information such as a song onto a
    computer’s hard drive, but that selling the
    information on a physical media such as a
    disc at an in-store kiosk could be covered.

    So its not simply “downloading and burning to disk.” A point-of-sale transaction is required, and the purcase of a song over the Internet treats your computer as a “remote point-of-sale”, and then the burning of the purchased to music is what brings in the second condition.

  5. “So its not simply “downloading and burning to disk.” A point-of-sale transaction is required, and the purcase of a song over the Internet treats your computer as a “remote point-of-sale”, and then the burning of the purchased to music is what brings in the second condition.”

    Thanks Gino, but what about thousands if not millions of downloadable softwares / sharewars (eg. Stuffit Deluxe, QT Pro just a few off the top of my head) – what do you do after you have paid for them and AFTER you have downloaded them from the download page?? keep them as long as your HD survive? is backing up okay? if so, isn’t it the samething with backing up the turns you bought from iTMS on iPod or CD/DVD?

    This patent is much-flawed in the 21st century I’m afraid

  6. Intellectual property, isn’t that the same as ideas? You can’t patent or copyright ideas, only the physical manifestations of such. Really, someone should take this on.

  7. I’m maybe skitsofrenic, but I am also Jesus.
    I own everything, but you don’t have to pay anything.

    I have just patented idioticy. I am richest man in the universe. Billion times richer than Gates.

  8. indeed the patent is crazy: a French colleague here told me that in practice you could get a fine and have you burned music CDs confiscated (no matter whether it is your copy of a CD you own, you bought music online, sw you paid for d/l only, etc.).

    Carry them in your car is apparently risky: if the cop is a jerkily strict or does not like you s/he has means to prove it to you!

    PS
    Cannot verify the accuracy

    PPS
    I wonder how iTMS could ever be released in the old Europe. If true, the continent got so *old* to be retarded.

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