Micro$oft at it aain

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Andrew McDonald, Dec 4, 2003.

  1. From www.dpreview.com. Talk about greedy.

    Microsoft's FAT charges

    Microsoft will soon be charging manufacturers of flash memory card
    devices and those which use them $0.25 per unit or up to $250,000 to use
    the FAT filesystem. For those who are unaware the FAT file system was
    developed by Microsoft back in 1976 and has become the standard file
    system for all digital still cameras. Microsoft owns patents to the FAT
    File System but for many years hasn't even hinted that it may one day
    decide to charge for it. These new licenses appear to come into effect
    immediately and specifically make mention of 'compact flash memory
    cards' and 'portable digital still cameras'. What a great way for
    Microsoft to cash in on the most popular consumer products (as if they
    don't make enough money already).
    Andrew McDonald, Dec 4, 2003
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  2. Andrew McDonald

    Bert Hyman Guest

    (Andrew McDonald) wrote in
    Well, that's what patents are for.
    Bert Hyman, Dec 4, 2003
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  3. Well done, Citizen Hyman.
    Unclaimed Mysteries, Dec 4, 2003
  4. Wouldn't the patent on FAT have expired by now?

    But if it's their invention and is still patented, why *shouldn't* they get
    royalties from people who manufacture products that use it?
    Michael A. Covington, Dec 5, 2003
  5. Andrew McDonald

    ßowser Guest

    Patents are good for 17 years, but intellectual property like the FAT spec
    may be copyrighted, which could last longer.

    Anyway, I also think MS is really getting greedy on this one. Do they charge
    hard drive or floppy manufacturers if the drive is shipped formatted? Do
    they charge floppy manufacturers for shipping pre-formatted floppies? If
    they don't, then precedent has been set.

    Also, unless they can prove that the user will absolutely use FAT, why
    should anyone pay them?

    Screw the greedy bastards!
    ßowser, Dec 5, 2003
  6. If they had been doing it all along then fine. But to wait 27 years and
    to piggyback onto the success of digital cameras and their media is
    greedy. As Bowser said, are they going to hit up floppy and hard drive
    manufacturers if their drives come preformatted with FAT, FAT32 or NTFS?

    It's insignificant ($.25/unit) but I hope it doesn't drive Camera
    manufacturers to use some other file system. This seems unlikely since
    they would have to develop it, or get it from somewhere else (Linux,
    Mac) but if they did there might be issues reading the cards from
    Windows based computers.

    It's not like they NEED the money. They are like drug dealers. They
    give out samples for free and once you are hooked they nail you. They
    have let FAT sit out for so long without any licensing that as far as I
    am concerned they have lost their right to call foul now. They have
    known all along that there are devices using the file system and they
    wait until it's so prevalant and then want their share.
    Andrew McDonald, Dec 5, 2003
  7. Andrew McDonald

    Ken Weitzel Guest

    Should be easy enough to work around. Just sell the cards
    unformatted (like hd's). Let us format 'em ourselves. :)

    Ken Weitzel, Dec 5, 2003
  8. Andrew McDonald

    Hils Guest

    Andrew McDonald writes
    Greedy, and stinking of lawyers. M$'s claim for "US$0.25 per unit for
    each of the following types of devices that use removable solid state
    media to store data: portable digital still cameras [... long list
    follows]" implies that manufacturers must pay M$'s tax regardless of
    which filesystem they use! They may also be hoping that camera
    manufacturers will stump up the $250k rather than face messy legal

    I wonder if M$ will come after the Linux users who have FAT read, write
    and format capability through third-party (and open source) software?

    It's still not too late for manufacturers to switch to ext2fs. ;-)
    Hils, Dec 5, 2003
  9. Andrew McDonald

    Ron Hunter Guest

    If I recall correctly, MS just used what CPM had been using and added
    subdirectories. Can't see how they would have rights to it....
    Ron Hunter, Dec 5, 2003
  10. Good point. It would be wiser for Microsoft to license it free for products
    that don't compete with their own. That way it will help to sell their own
    Michael A. Covington, Dec 5, 2003
  11. Andrew McDonald

    CARBUFF Guest

    If I recall correctly, MS just used what CPM had been using and added
    CPM, wheres my kaypro dammit!

    CARBUFF, Dec 5, 2003
  12. Andrew McDonald

    stacey Guest

    Cool, maybe the camera people will start using EXT (linux file system)
    instead as they won't have to pay anyone. Keep it up MS!!! Drive EVERYONE
    to something else.

    You think this is BS, go read up where longhorn is going! 1984 is here when
    that is released.
    stacey, Dec 5, 2003
  13. Andrew McDonald

    stacey Guest

    They can imply it but they can't enforce that one..
    stacey, Dec 5, 2003
  14. Andrew McDonald

    james Guest

    Read up on Digital Rights Management !! Microsoft, along with Intel, and
    BIOS manufacturers and some other large software vendors are gearing up
    towards some stuff that might make a lot of people re-think their OS
    preferences. People just think Activation is bad news! It is only the
    james, Dec 5, 2003
  15. Andrew McDonald

    stacey Guest

    XP's EULA was enough to make me jump ship. If people don't pay attention to
    what these people are up to, they are going to find themselves in a BIG
    mess if they just blindly accept this crap.

    BTW Intel wrote some nasty stuff about closed source OS's so they may be
    getting fed up with M$ as well?
    stacey, Dec 5, 2003
  16. Andrew McDonald

    imbsysop Guest

    no trolling intended but I kind of like this "vox populi" indignation
    :) when there has been enough oil on the waves (almost) everyone will
    keep silent and pay what they're asked for ... silend end of story :)
    imbsysop, Dec 5, 2003
  17. What provisions of it?
    Michael A. Covington, Dec 5, 2003
  18. Now just try to guess why they are doing this run at Licensing their IP.
    None other than the Antitrust settlement that so many folks favored which
    REQUIRES MS to license its technology.
    rhodo chrosite, Dec 5, 2003
  19. Andrew McDonald

    Rick Guest

    Yet another profit center for MS. The horror. The horror.

    Rick, Dec 5, 2003
  20. Andrew McDonald

    Generic Eric Guest

    Maybe you were in the darkroom when it happened, but 1984 came and went
    almost 20 years ago, Stacey. :)
    Generic Eric, Dec 5, 2003
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