back to article P2P veterans sue the Cloud ... for copying their stuff

Google, Amazon, Dropbox and VMWare are on the receiving end of a law suit brought by former P2Ptards who claim that cloud products from the big companies infringe their peer-sharing patents. Kazaa founder Kevin Bermeister and StreamCast and Morpheus founder Michael Weiss - two pioneers of file-sharing in the early 2000s - have …


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  1. yossarianuk

    Sue Microsoft also !

    But surely that just copied napster ?

  2. JimC

    You just couldn't make this stuff up could you?


  3. Anonymous Coward

    The search for more money!

    Nothing more, nothing less. Because if they really were so concerned with their precious intellectual property why are they letting smaller companies (Vuze for example) get away with using it for free?

    1. Red Bren

      Going after the big guns

      Instead of following the well trodden legal path of suing the little guys and bullying them into licensing deals with non-disclosure agreements, then claiming precedent, they are going after the big guns.

      Hopefully this will go all they way and be decided in open court, rather than fudged in a dodgy back-room deal.

      The irony here is that the dinosaurs that insisted peer-to-peer technology was only used by thieves and communists have proved that it has legitimate applications. Are they going to deny the creators the fruit of their labours?

  4. Ashton Black

    Watching with mild interest

    .... but I don't see them winning this.

    1. John G Imrie

      Why not?

      Unlike the RIAA they actually own the IP they are suing over.

      1. sisk

        Re: Why not?

        Unless dragging this through the courts for the next decade until Bermeister and Weiss run out of money costs more than just paying the royalties they've got no chance. Sadly the American civil court system more often than not comes down to who has the most money that they're willing to throw at lawyers, and Google and Amazon have quite a lot of money to throw. VM Ware has a lot also, though not quite as much. I have no idea where Dropbox is sitting, but they can hide behind Google and Amazon on this one. The big boys won't want a precedent set against them just because Dropbox is smaller than they are.

        1. Mike Moyle Silver badge

          Re: Re: Why not?

          "Sadly the American civil court system more often than not comes down to who has the most money that they're willing to throw at lawyers, and Google and Amazon have quite a lot of money to throw. "

          Ordinarily, I would agree with you, except for the fact that two guys from Australia and Miami set up their joint business in Texas -- so that they could bring their suit in a state whose court, you may recall, has apparently never met an IP holder that they didn't like.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If they have been hit with the IP law suit hammer, why cant they use it themselves ?

    The author is the one who is the tard as it were.

  6. Scott 62

    obviously there is nothing to stop them, but surely you can see the irony of the people behind kazaa and morpheus sueing people for copyright infringment...seeing as they were probably the biggest illegal filesharing network after napster's demise, before all this torrent crap become popular anyway :P

    1. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

      I for one… not see any irony in that.

      I do see some irony in the fact that the copyright mafiaa would sue napster/kazaa et al. for breach of copyright and then use similat technology themselves without having to pay any royalties for using it.

      Of course the *MOST* ironic thing that could have happened is for the copyright mafiaa to have said to napster/kazaa et al. “Hey! That a great bit of technology you have there, can we buy it from you so we can use it as a delivery medium for the music we want to sell”

      icon for the copyright mafiaa

    2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Correction your honour

      It is Patent infringement, not copyright and I none of this surprises me in the slightest.

  7. Ged T

    Content Addressable Storage Claim?

    Good luck with that!

    The former UK computing company, ICL, had a whole range of Content Addressable Filestore (aka Storage) product, which they touted quite successfully, world-wide... In the 1970's and '80's.

    1. No, I will not fix your computer
      Thumb Up


      That's a blast from the past, I remember writing CAFS code, seeing run times being reduced from minutes to seconds, and when it magically worked in QueryMaster with no code change it was amazing (well as amazing as a 1980's tech can be) - was hideously expensive as I recall, we put our critical systems on it, which was pointless as they already performed well, in the end moved the less important reports to it and got a great performance boost... counter intuitive!

  8. AlanS
    Paris Hilton

    Virtualisation patents?

    I was working with VMs on IBM kit 30 years ago. Any patents they have must be of fine details, easily worked round, or fail because of prior art. Though Texas courts seem lenient with patent holders...

    Paris? Just because I can!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      and who wouldn't want...

      to be in Paris?

      1. jake Silver badge

        @AC 12:00

        I wouldn't want to be in Paris. I don't know where it's been.

        Honestly, do grow up, all y'all. The whole "Paris" meme is old and tired, and was never funny to begin with. It's actually kinda sad, when you think about it ... Remember, even her grandfather disenfranchised the bint ...

        1. HMB

          If you keep using Paris icons on a tech forum, continually justifying why you used them, it's either time to come out the closet and admit that you're gay, or you really need to get out to a singles bar.

          Either way... Issues!

          1. Sean Baggaley 1
            Thumb Up

            At last!

            The Paris backlash!

  9. jake Silver badge

    Prior Art?

    Even over TCP/IP ... WAIS, Gopher, FTP & that johnnie-come-lately WWW ;-)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I suppose you could class it as prior art if you don't fully understand what prior art is, or what client server is, or what peer to peer is.

      1. jake Silver badge

        @AC 19:37

        OK, fine. How about Usenet, Fidonet, and other BBSes?

        I think I smell a fanboi ...

        1. corrodedmonkee

          I'm sorry... fanboy...of what, protocols? Did you accidentally post here instead of Youtube?

          1. jake Silver badge

            No, corrodedmonkee ...

            Not protocols. Methodology. Grok the difference?

            1. KnucklesTheDog

              Can I just say on behalf of everyone not previously involved in this thread:


              1. jake Silver badge


                Might want to scroll back up ... I had briefly had two posts in a row. One was my post that started THIS thread (posted 13:16). The one above it (posted 13:34) was an answer to the thread above this one. When scanning through posts, it's easy to miss the change of thread in this kind of scenario. Happens sometimes. Have a beer on me? :-)

    2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Probably not WAIS et al...

      I haven't read the patents in question, but I doubt WAIS, Gopher, etc would be strong candidates for prior art for specific claims in them.

      However, there were certainly peer-to-peer applications long before the Kazaa generation (or Napster, etc). I worked on peer-to-peer applications and middleware in the '80s, using a variety of protocol suites (SNA, TCP/IP, and others). As others have pointed out, virtualization was similarly well-established in that era.

      So I'm dubious that the plaintiffs have patents for technologies that are actually novel (when the patent application was filed), significant, and important to the products and services offered by the defendants. Of course, the USPTO's ability to evaluate software patent applications is negligible, as we all know too well, so it's quite possible they hold patents for techniques that are obvious to practitioners, covered by prior art, or insignificant.

      1. jake Silver badge

        @Michael Wojcik

        For WAIS, see "Z39.50". From the 1970s. Might change your mind.

        I had access to "Community Memory" (look it up) in the mid-70s from my dorm room through a friend of mine's thesis computer at Berkeley. My teletype was connected to a node on the then DARPANET, and then one jump to his computer.

        Fido (early/mid-eighties) & other BBSes (late 1980s) were obviously doing the same thing as Kazaa, Napster et alia vis a vis file sharing.

        My Great Aunt is still publishing her searchable life's story, complete with download-with-a-click scans of old pictures and letters, video & audio clips, and etc. via Gopher. Why Gopher? I taught her how to publish using it 25 years ago. She's in her mid 90s today, no point in updating her skill-set. I'll translate it to HTML or something, eventually. Might even publish it as a dead-tree book, in four volumes[1][2]. It's already a fascinating read.

        [1] Early Childhood in the post WW I years to The Great Depression; The Depression up to WW II; WW II through to her retirement; Retirement itself through the WWW and Web 2.0 ... Yes, she gets the joke ;-)

        [2] Posthumous, and only if she decides to allow it. She's not certain yet ...

  10. TeeCee Gold badge

    So freetards grow up to be patent trolls?

    For some reason my irony-o-meter (tm) has just gone up in flames.

    1. Drew V.

      Only P2P "freetards" who release their software as closed, proprietary software do. Which shouldn't come as a surprise, really.

  11. arcanine

    Every post I read on the register seems to be some variation of tard, I feel like I'm reading tech news from a small child who has learnt a new word. (and then repeated it for months)

    It's not professional and it's not appropriate to take a slang word that describes those with mental or physical disabilities to gleefully write it into all your articles.

    If you don't like the reality of piracy, fine, but clear your god damn act up, makes this blog look like a snidey little trying to get off on swearing and using bad language to get that moment of attention

    1. TurtleFace


      Indeed, I was actually looking forward to a decent 'boot on the other foot' article until I read that.

      It's old, it's never been funny, it immediately discredits anything you say/write as being childish and uninformed (regardless of the effort you put into the rest of the article) and at the end of the day, you're only really doing to try and get a cheap giggle.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        My PlayBook's browser lunched itself while opening a sixth tab full of flash, so I'm not gonna retap the bit about the article propper. But:

        I agree completely with the previous posters; even if Reg's coverage of copyright / ip was unbiased (and it surely is not) the rancid tones in which the articles simmer is enough to make me question the judgment, and therefore conclusions, of the authors.

        The same goes for climate science - I was rather inclined to agree with Lewis Page when he first started doing such articles (and am a fan of his in general) but after reading 10 or 15 of his clim-sci articles (particularly the ones pandering to the dirty-tricks release of cherry-picked and out-of-context research emails) I must count myself closer to the Gore camp on this issue. Mr. Page's almost vicious tone, and relentless skew, are self-evident, even to those who would sooner pave earth than save it. And if someone can be smart, informed, write well, and have a passionate personal bias, and -still- not convince me? That suggests a serious problem with the evidence.

        And that, as well, holds true for IP issue coverage. It does no good for Grover Norquist to fulminate at me for hours regarding tax cuts, but have Jon Huntsman make his case in 45 minutes and just maybe you'll make some progress.

        Reg... your IP and climate coverage isn't yet causing me to be skeptical of your general coverage. But if you skew too far down the angry-bias-as-humor-and-in-jokes road (Also known as "Inquirer Way") then I may start getting my tech news from C|Net. and none of want that, now, do we?

  12. Knowledge
    Thumb Up

    And that, ladies and gentlemen....

    ...really IS ironic.

  13. Sean Baggaley 1

    Surely the "cloud" stuff...

    ... is just a rebranding of the earlier "Thin Client" concept? If memory serves, that concept has been around since at least the 1970s.

    1. Brian Miller Silver badge

      Cloud = Multics?

      Doesn't all of this compute utility stuff date back to Multics? And IBM has been doing virtualization for decades. And how much of these peer-to-peer patents are actually unique, without covering any prior art?

    2. Stupidscript

      Everything old is new again

      Yesterday, a client asked me, "Do you do anything in The Cloud™"

      When I informed them that "The Cloud™" was just a marketing term for any type of non-local service, and that, yes, I had been "doing things in The Cloud™" since 1976, they insisted that I must be mistaken. Surely "The Cloud™" was only rolled out a few months ago? Surely is is defined by services offered by Apple and Google?

      Just another reminder that people really have no idea what is going on around them, and that it is extremely easy to baffle them with the bullsh*t.

      Thin client, "The Cloud™", web mail, SaS, SAN, etc.etc.etc. All are variations on the same marketing push ... stuff that you don't need to install on your own box in order to use ... we'll manage it for you! Oh well ...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Your answer really should have just been yes, no one likes a smart arse.

  14. bobbles31

    I guess the difference is between generics and specifics. If you have a generic idea such as an Internet addressing system then probably isn't patentable (even the us patent office require some details) however, if you have solved a specific problem it's quite easy after the fact to say that is obvious without having had to go through the process of actually solving the problem.

    From an irony stand point I don't see it. I doubt that anyone would think that murder laws shouldn't protect gun manufacturers.

    1. mhenriday

      Now that's a thought...

      «I doubt that anyone would think that murder laws shouldn't protect gun manufacturers.» Hmmm - extend that to armaments manufacturers and other elements of the military-industrial complex and you may be on - inadvertently and arse-backwardsly - to something here....


  15. Tony Paulazzo
    Paris Hilton

    and the schizophrenic split gets deeper and bigger and wider and higher

    -random thought quote of the day.

    Paris: Just because... I've never used her before the brief backlash (and surely it should be that overmade up clown that was on a reality show and is now trying to emulate that Sugar show and married that Aussie singer guy - can't recall... Katie Price).

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