ZeniMax seeks another half billion bucks in Oculus injunction hearing

    
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this is duuuuuuuumb

The Oculus/ZeniMax Media lawsuit still isn’t over, all these years after the start: ZeniMax is this week arguing before a Texas district court that Oculus should be forced to remove its VR products from sale or pony up royalties.

Earlier this year, courts awarded ZeniMax half a billion dollars in damages from Facebook-owned Oculus, having found that the VR company was guilty of copyright infringement, false designation, and failing to comply with a non-disclosure agreement. At the time, Oculus declared that a victory because the jury didn’t find it guilty of stealing trade secrets.

The new injunction filed by ZeniMax seeks to double that sum to compensate it for “ongoing harm.” Facebook and Oculus are contesting everything, of course, including the original verdict.

Even the judge seems tired of it all, reportedly having told listeners that he aimed to “resolve the heck out of [this] big, hairy fight.”

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Melissa McDonald

There are really some exciting things going on in VR, and we’re only seeing the baby learn to stand and take a few tottering steps in its life. The Finnish company VARJO is who just announced their approximately 70 megapixel VR visor (as opposed to the 1.5MP Rift and Vive – are you listening, “screen door effect” complainers??). Valve has also just announced very clever hand controllers that actually allow finger by finger controls: https://www.engadget.com/2017/06/22/valve-knuckles-vr-individual-finger-tracking/

Simply put, what you imagine is VR today is just an infant compared to what we will have in a few short years. It is developing, and problems are being solved, at a breathtaking speed. Some of the brightest minds in tech and Hollywood are tackling this medium and billions of dollars are being spent. Good times ahead.

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Jack Pipsam

$$$ Phat stacks dollar dollar $$$

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Modrain

I can’t help but be deeply irritated at the amount of people here and elsewhere that basically support Zenimax for the sake of a “fuck Oculus because fuck Facebook”.

Oculus/Luckey/Carmack got condemned for contractual obligations not being respected, and not for “stealing”? Well, who cares, the Facebook hate ignores facts. The court decision is moot from an IT viewpoint and set an awful precedent? Who cares about boring stuff like IT as long as Facebook gets hit, I guess. Zenimax tries to destroy a whole part of the VR industry and its developers? Meh, collateral damage, hating Facebook is more important, let’s support Zenimax.

Exageration? If only.

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Armsbend

On the contrary. For me I am firmly in the fuck Oculus camp because they took KS money so they could personally enrich themselves and hand it off to a company I doubt most of the original KS people would be entirely comfortable with.

I also don’t care for companies poaching other companies ideas/high end talent so they can use it for themselves. It is a hot topic now as Uber shows.

Oculus reminds me of why I hate KS so very much and I am enjoying watching it flail around. Pain and Sorrow – Garmonbozia is my food.

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Modrain

Don’t minsunderstand me, my point is not that Oculus is right, and there are plenty of reason to dislike them. My point is that people support Zenimax for the sake of hating on Oculus/Facebook, and ignores completely the rest, be it facts or consequences on others. It’s blind and dangerous.

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Armsbend

I agree that is a bad reason. I’m not a fan of the Facebook software personally but I don’t think they are a bad company for any reason at all. Nothing FB does impacts my life in any way I can think of. I do respect what the company has done from a business perspective.

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Arktouros

Occulus is doing a fine job of ruining themselves in their chunk of the VR market. This is just kicking them while they’re down :)

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Modrain

If they kill themselves, so be it. If we could avoid ruining everything that orbits around them at the same time, that would be great.

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odin valhalla

Well there are a lot of Zenimax fans, this is a fansite after all. Zenimax has thrown a lot of weight around on this issue and to anyone with a shred of objectivity its pretty clear this latest suit is a douche move, by a increasingly douchy company.

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GiantsBane

Man after what ZoS did to ESO and has continued to do to ESO I could never get behind them as a company again. Credibility destroyed. This is just another example of them being shit piles.

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Melissa McDonald

I’m frankly glad that a company with as deep pockets as Facebook is throwing their weight behind the medium, but I don’t believe their intentions are what I would call pure. We know beyond any shadow of a doubt that we are the product, and Facebook makes their money chiefly off of gleaning data from our shares, likes, and lives.
They already have software that scans our pictures and looks for brand names, soda cans, book titles, anything it can recognize as demographic data.
I believe Zuck’s interest in VR is that Facebook can glean way more data from a 360 degree share than it can from a simple static photo. They already peek into our lives through the little windows we post, but they want to look around our whole rooms and homes.

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Bryan Turner

I know I’m late to the party but I am in Zenimaxs corner because I’m excited about them having half a billion dollars for development now for ESO, oh and fuck Virtual Reality.

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Modrain

I’m not sure if you’re joking or being misinformed, but just in case: Zenimax Online Studios, which is responsible for ESO, is a subsidiary of Zenimax Media alongside a handful of other studios (ID Software, Arkane, Bethesda, etc). Zenimax Media is the entity that was involved in the trial, not Zenimax Online Studios. There’s no reason to assume that the money will specifically be invested in ESO.

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Arktouros

This whole thing cracks me up. Really good Reddit thread on all this with PrAyTeLLa’s comment full of insight into the whole deal: https://www.reddit.com/r/Vive/comments/6iliw5/facebook_back_in_court_begs_judge_not_to_halt/

The part that super got a good laugh out of me yesterday:

The company “would have to hire clean-room engineers to make myriad changes not just to the code fragments ZeniMax presented at trial, but to numerous other segments of interrelated and interdependent code,” according to the Oculus filing. “The process would be lengthy, burdensome, and costly.”

Some might rephrase that as: “Our headset doesn’t work without their code.”

Super glad I went with a Vive and supported actual VR development and design rather than a company that just steals everything from everyone else.

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Modrain

Minus the fact that Oculus didn’t had to pay anything for “stealing”, but $50M amongst the $500M for copyright infringement based on “non literal copying”, which in IT terms is a complete nonsense.

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Arktouros

As Alan Yates put it:

While that is generally true in this case every core feature of both the Rift and Vive HMDs are directly derived from Valve’s research program. Oculus has their own CV-based tracking implementation and frensel lens design but the CV1 is otherwise a direct copy of the architecture of the 1080p Steam Sight prototype Valve lent Oculus when we installed a copy of the “Valve Room” at their headquarters. I would call Oculus the first SteamVR licensee, but history will likely record a somewhat different term for it…

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Modrain

If there’s a case of blatant copying of the lens design and tracking, Valve is free to go to the court, though it doesn’t seem like something they would do since they care about more than money. Until anything is proven, such a statement is either an unused testimony or defaming. It’s however unrelated to the Oculus/Zenimax case conclusions.

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Arktouros

According to ex-employees of Valve they were instructed to give it away for free. What it does is establish a pattern that Occulus is basically built around the hard work and labors that was designed and developed by others. It relates to the Oculus/Zenimax case as a continuation of that.

All at that link I originally provided (including sources) :)

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Paragon Lost

So basically we have minor douchebag (Zenimax) versus major douchebag (Facebook), in the end we all end up walking away a bit less clean feeling.

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odin valhalla

The above perfectly encapsulates what would have been from me a multi paragraph reply. Thanks man, lol thumbs up.

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Paragon Lost

Heh, np. I can get a bit rambly myself in comments at times so I decided to try to be succinct with how I felt on this one. :)

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rafael12104

So… I have to wonder why they are doing this. They want to re-litigate because of “ongoing” harm, yet the previous verdict was compensation including punitive damages, from what I understand.

It seems to me that they are after something else and it is not money.

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Armsbend

It is worth doing anything for half a billion if you think you can get it. Half a billion in pure profit will put a company on a different trajectory.

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wandris

Zenimax is full of shit. They lacked the vision to see the potential in VR even when Carmack urged them to develop it and then turned around after he left them and claim it was they are the pioneers of VR. Where is your VR headset Zenimax? Your about 5 years behind even when you were practically handed the first chance. I believe the story that they brought in a bunch of “experts” to create a fiction that there code was copied when instead they just created enough doubt to confuse the court.

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Melissa McDonald

Just this week a company unveiled their 70 Megapixel VR visor, a huge quantum leap in resolution over current technology. They’re calling it 20/20 since it roughly equates to the resolution of human eyesight. They also use FOVE eye tracking tech so that rendering in full quality is reserved for what you are staring directly at, again, mimicking how human vision works, and saving all the rendering horsepower for what you’re focused on.
Good times ahead. We’re basically seeing the end of the first hardware cycle. It’s improving in leaps and bounds. Oculus, including Gear VR, have gotten to the point where the apps and experiences stream with almost no lag – no more downloading them first and then viewing them. Some amazing things. Gaming is still in its infancy, but VR travel and experiencing the world around you is getting really good.

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rafael12104

I tell you what. Fall Out 4 VR looks amazing. And it is the entire game as VR. Not just selected areas or scenes.

If Bethesda delivers, it could be that killer app for action RPG fans to drive VR foward.

Again, it is the entire world in VR with no limits and everything as the original game offered. Very impressive.

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Arktouros

October man. I can’t wait. My body isn’t ready. I better start doing exercises now to prepare for standing/walking around that many hours!

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Oleg Chebeneev

What about GPU specs required? Will current generation able to deal with 20/20?

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Melissa McDonald

the FOVE rendering tech allows all the graphic muscle to be only in a small area, i.e. that which the user is focusing on. The rest can be minimalized, so it already works impressively with current-gen hardware, and this will only get better with each graphics card iteration.

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Jeff

This should fund Zenimax’s own VR plans quite nicely.

I don’t shed a single tear for Occulus or Facebook.

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Godnaz

If it were anyone else but Facebook getting reamed, I’d feel bad but this is Facebook. As you were Zenimax.

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Knight Porter

Yeah, this has me feeling all kinds of conflicted. Think I have to stand with Oculus just because this whole thing is BS and sets a bad precedent for the industry, but I only feel bad for other companies that might be harmed by similar piles of garbage, not Facebook in this case specifically.