We all owe Microsoft $0.25 - Scion

This is a discussion on We all owe Microsoft $0.25 - Scion ; http://www.microsoft.com/mscorp/ip/tech/fat.asp Essentially, Microsoft wants $0.25 for every device built that uses the FAT file storage design which Microsoft claims to have copyrighted in 1976 (didn't know Microsoft existed back then) Since the PSION Series 3 (and I think the 5) ...

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Thread: We all owe Microsoft $0.25

  1. We all owe Microsoft $0.25

    http://www.microsoft.com/mscorp/ip/tech/fat.asp

    Essentially, Microsoft wants $0.25 for every device built that uses the FAT
    file storage design which Microsoft claims to have copyrighted in 1976 (didn't
    know Microsoft existed back then)


    Since the PSION Series 3 (and I think the 5) use FAT as file system, it means
    that we owe Microsoft $0.25 :-) I wonder if PSION will have to pay this (there
    is a cap of $250,000 per manufacturer).

    I think Bill Gates wanted to buy a new car and decided to find a way to raise
    a few million bucks :-)

  2. Re: We all owe Microsoft $0.25

    On Fri, 05 Dec 2003 04:17:04 -0500, JF Mezei
    wrote:

    >http://www.microsoft.com/mscorp/ip/tech/fat.asp
    >
    >Essentially, Microsoft wants $0.25 for every device built that uses the FAT
    >file storage design which Microsoft claims to have copyrighted in 1976 (didn't
    >know Microsoft existed back then.


    >Since the PSION Series 3 (and I think the 5) use FAT as file system, it means
    >that we owe Microsoft $0.25 :-) I wonder if PSION will have to pay this (there
    >is a cap of $250,000 per manufacturer).


    The patents quoted by Microsoft seem to mostly cover methods of
    having co-existing short (8.3) and long file names in the file
    system. They don't seem to cover say old style FAT file systems
    that could handle only 8.3 file names. Maybe they are going to
    quote more patents? In any case, a 1976 patent would have
    expired in 1993.

    However given that Microsoft didn't deliver operating systems in
    its early days, it is unlikely to have any 1976 patents relating
    to them. Microsoft bought a non-exclusive right to use Seattle
    Computer Company QDOS (Quick and Dirty Operating System) for
    $50,000 when they got the IBM contract, which would be around
    1981.

    It sounds like the usual FUD from some Microsoft lawyer who knows
    nothing about their history.

    The easy way around it is to stop using long file names in a FAT
    system. Microsoft introduced their long file names in Windows
    95, so they could have patents in that area. The extended
    attributes in IBM's OS/2 may involve Microsoft patents. Since
    there are multiple ways of doing the equivalents of long file
    names (JPSoftware's 4Dos did hidden description files), I'm sure
    there are ways around it.

    Regarding FAT files used elsewhere, I note with interest that the
    standard DCIM files used by digital cameras seem to store their
    photo files using only 8.3 file names.

    --
    Eric Lindsay http://www.ericlindsay.com/guff
    Airlie Beach Qld Australia - Great Barrier Reef entry
    Psion & Epoc site http://www.ericlindsay.com/epoc
    Bait for spammers: root@localhost postmaster@localhost
    admin@localhost abuse@localhost postmaster@127.0.0.1

  3. Re: We all owe Microsoft $0.25

    JF Mezei wrote:
    > 1976 (didn't know Microsoft existed back then)


    WRONG. Micro-Soft were around before then.

    > > Essentially, Microsoft wants $0.25 for every device built that uses the FAT

    > file storage design


    WRONG. They want 25c for any one of a list of device types which does not
    include PDAs, smartphones or paperweights. For 'other' devices they want to
    negotiate a price with the vendor on a product-by-product basis. We can only
    speculate as to whether this would lead to FAT licensee 'A' paying one price
    for their POCKET PC device and licensee 'B' paying a different price for their
    SYMBIAN smartphone or PALM PDA.

    > it means that we owe Microsoft $0.25


    WRONG.

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/4/34348.html


  4. Re: We all owe Microsoft $0.25

    Captain's log. On StarDate Fri, 05 Dec 2003 04:17:04 -0500 received comm from
    "JF Mezei on channel comp.sys.psion.misc ":

    : http://www.microsoft.com/mscorp/ip/tech/fat.asp
    :
    : Essentially, Microsoft wants $0.25 for every device built that uses the FAT
    : file storage design which Microsoft claims to have copyrighted in 1976 (didn't
    : know Microsoft existed back then)
    :
    :
    : Since the PSION Series 3 (and I think the 5) use FAT as file system, it means
    : that we owe Microsoft $0.25 :-) I wonder if PSION will have to pay this (there
    : is a cap of $250,000 per manufacturer).
    :
    : I think Bill Gates wanted to buy a new car and decided to find a way to raise
    : a few million bucks :-)

    IIRC Psion already has a license for using FAT and the disk system in Psion from
    Microsoft. I remember a Swedish Psion rep telling that the file system and disk
    code in Psion S3 was licensed from Microsoft.

    Best regards,

    martin törnsten

    --
    http://194.236.153.211/

  5. Re: We all owe Microsoft $0.25

    JF Mezei wrote:

    [snip]

    > (didn't
    > know Microsoft existed back then)


    [snip]

    I recall adverts from a firm (in the UK) called ACT Microsoft back in
    the late 70s, when the awful Microsoft Basic was hard to avoid on US
    micros.

    Rowland.

    --
    Remove the animal for email address: rowland.mcdonnell@dog.physics.org
    PGP pub key 0x62DCCA78 Sorry - the spam got to me
    http://www.mag-uk.org
    UK biker? Join MAG and help keep bureaucracy at bay

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