ZeniMax attempts to block Facebook’s use of Oculus Rift code

    
29
So, probably not.

Not content with a partially (and lucrative) legal victory over Facebook and Oculus Rift, ZeniMax is now looking to block the use of specific lines of code in the making of Oculus VR titles.

This week, ZeniMax filed for a court injunction that, if approved, would stop developers from using specific parts of the Oculus code and could even remove games from sale that use those lines of code. ZeniMax continues to assert (and Oculus denies) that Facebook literally copied portions of code that belonged to the game studio and said that the courts have ruled that ZeniMax’s copyrights were infringed.

At the beginning of this month, a jury awarded ZeniMax $500 million due to copyright infringement, false designation, and failing to comply with a non-disclosure agreement. This was not the full $4 billion that ZeniMax sought in the trial, and Oculus Rift was not convicted for ZeniMax’s assertion of outright theft of trade secrets and intellectual property.

newest oldest most liked
Subscribe to:
Reader
Bryan Correll

I have a pretty low opinion of Facebook, but this really just feels like a move designed to make the appeals process so costly for them that they’ll just agree to pay Zenimax to go away.

Reader
Wendigo Runner

Ayup. ZOS is a pretty rotten company, to be honest. This is going to screw over developers of the games and they have nothing to do with this nonsense.

Reader
Johnathen Roberts

all these legal shenanigans and them trying to get games pulled will really help the system that only 6 people own.

Seriously why dont they focus on making it not suck, make it cost lest and maybe get some good games on it?

Reader
Jeff

Facebook would be wiser to settle now, if they don’t a failed appeal could cost them much more than 500 mil. Zenimax is going to pursue VR that much is clear, what isn’t clear is will they have their very own proprietary device or are the planning on making their games HTC exclusives. It’s going to be interesting to see what happens in the next five years.

Reader
Jeremy Barnes

This case is likely destroyed on appeal. Zenimax is trying to put pressure on facebook to settle.

Xijit
Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Xijit

Yup: they is “Doom-ed” to get fucked since the court already threw out every single technical complaint & only awarded damages based on them breaking the street date on advertising Doom 3 BFG.

Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
Kickstarter Donor
PepinoCantador

The ‘non-literal copying’ thing is just the best. All I can say is that it’s a good thing Stack Overflow can’t sue, literally, every tech company on earth for ‘non-literal copying’.

Reader
Kurt Shadle

I wish I could like this more than once

Reader
Melissa McDonald

Courts already ruled in their favour so it seems they’ve got some standing in court. Hard to argue otherwise.
I’m not sure Zuck knew he had a powderkeg for his $4 billion, but HTC is very happy to bet their future on filling the gaps left by this distraction and their apparent longer dev. cycles over at Oculus. I admire companies prescient enough to go all-in on VR/MR at this point, because they will be well primed for the landscape of the next few years.
Walmart now sells a plastic version of Cardboard in their entertainment section. Not mainstream enough for you, doubters? We aren’t even through the first leg of this marathon :) Good times ahead!

But I firmly believe Facebook’s interest has nothing to do with gaming. it all has to do with VR sharing. They already have software that analyzes pictures we upload. I believe they want the full 360.

Xijit
Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Xijit

But they didn’t … Zenimax lost all counts EXCEPT for the one part where Oculus broke an advertising street date by promoting Doom 3 BFG earlier than they were supposed to.

The whole reason Zenimax is trying to push this injunction is because there is not one legal mind on the planet that didn’t recognize that damages award as being excessive & destined to get hacked into bits at the appeal court, so Zenimax is shitting bricks to try to hurt Facebook into settling out of court (which is not going to happen since FB is pissed as fuck at them & has the funding to burry Zenimax in lawsuits for the next decade).

wandris
Reader
wandris

I tend to believe Carmack who explicitly states this entire campaign by Zenimax and the “non-literal copying” is bullshit. They had a chance. They could have been the VR guys. But they didn’t see the potential. They are risk averse and went after safe money over innovation.

My experience with corporations is they exist to make money, and spend a significant portion of their resources into inventing ways to make money over inventing new products and development. These legal actions are low cost for what they stand to gain. Winning that original lawsuit has opened the door for more legal action like this.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Modrain

Fighting between big bucks hoarders is a thing, attacking third party developers and through it a major part of the VR community is a reaching a new level of despicability… Can’t even wait for Oculus to provide new not-“non literally copied” code?
Another reminder that Zenimax’ heads could not care less about the industry. I’m curious as to how they’ll manage to fall lower next.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Estranged

It is their job to protect their interests.

Maybe these companies should have ceased Oculus development, with this lawsuit looming.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Modrain

Protecting their interest, sure. There are different way to do it though, other than trying to destroy everything, including non involved companies.

Reader
Koshelkin

Why is this despicable? Stealing their (alleged) investement/research to make a own company that would be despicable. What if Zenimax invested millions of dollars into VR research just to have Carmack stealing it. Oculus sold for billions and it might have been worth that much because of Zenimax research data.

Reader
Jeremy Barnes

The entire lawsuit is bogus. It was ridiculous that the “expert” that testified the code was used could possibly know…

Reader
Brother Maynard

I agree for the most part, but I’d say whatever Bethesda / Zenimax were doing, Carmack was the VR brain behind.

All I personally sense here as far as Carmack’s involvement goes is his contract / non-compete / NDA / whatever clause of his engagement with Zenimax – but apart from that I just can’t see Zenimax claiming any legitimate involvement in VR whatsoever.

Those guys could not manage a single technologically well executed product launch since (and including) Daggerfall – why on earth would they suddenly become VR pioneers? It makes no sense!

If anything was happening at Zenimax as far as VR goes, I’m convinced it was all thanks to Carmack and all this circus is now about are just the details of his contract. I won’t believe for an instant that Zenimax has any tech claim here and only tries to exploit Carmack’s contract terms as much as they can.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Modrain

Third party developers are not responsible for Oculus presumed “non litterally copied” code. Zenimax might be trying to hit Oculus, but it’s smaller studios that will be hit in the end. Getting your work removed from a store for someone else’s responsibility is not a joke. They don’t seem to care about this at all.

Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
Armsbend

I think I can now safely predict who the loser is going to be in the VR war.

If I were Facebook I’d pull a Trump by dropping Oculus and just making a new VR product in house. It wouldn’t completely shed them of these problems but it would be a good jumping off point. Write the 5 or 6B off as a huge mistake. Maybe ban Carmack’s FB account.

Xijit
Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Xijit

Why … Zenimax is about to get fucked in the appeals court.

Reader
Rhime

Keep it up Zenimax and you may find your company in with the douchebags of the gaming community. We get it… You won. Move on….

Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
Armsbend

You have no idea what transpired between these two companies. Zeni may have an axe to grind – it may not be just about money. Or now that they know they can get more they can really get into the meat.

I’m not walking away from 100s of millions of dollars because of [REASONS].

Reader
BDJ

Thats the thing though. They arent walking away from millions. They have their millions. They are getting paid. Having the code blocked isn’t going to get them more money. It just takes it away from FB.

Reader
odin valhalla

They haven’t been paid a dime yet on that judgement and likely won’t for years due to appeals. It’s an intellectual property issue and a hedge (for lack of a better term) on what the future of gaming is. IF (big if) its VR technology then they are smart to attempt to control as much of their intellectual property as they can.

It’s like having a neighbor move in and builds a fence that is partially on your property. If you don’t address it right away and then 10 years later say “hey it’s on my land” you’re going to have to explain why it’s an issue now. Zenimax is smart to create the legal precedent now, 10 years from now VR might be THEE gaming mechanism.

Reader
BDJ

No matter what they do , they won’t see money for years. Them trying to block the code doesn’t = money. I seriously doubt Zenimax is going to come out with a VR of its own. They are blocking the code (which I doubt will get blocked period) to be petty at this point. Their is no monetary value that they will gain by doing so.

Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
Armsbend

We shall see. But as I said earlier maybe Carmack and FB got nasty with Zeni and now they have an axe to grind. Either way, it is going poorly for Oculus.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Estranged

Think about how FB makes their income and that is a hint. They don’t play nice.

Reader
Jeremy Barnes

They got nasty because Zenimax’s claim is BS

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Estranged

Who are we to say how much is enough?

Also, seems like Zenimax is stylin and profilin at the moment.