Monday, October 27, 2008

Faulty patents may affect innovation by music composers (classical and rock both)

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has a “patent busting project” aimed at preventing illegitimate patents from stifling innovation.

A case of recent importance involves Seer Systems, which had been awarded a patent (by USPTO) for combining files of different types to be played on the Internet. Seer had already collected some money in litigation against Beatnik, which develops software for mobile devices (and might even be used for “Gossip Girl” style mobile blogging). Some of Seer’s technology had already been published in a book by the patent inventor, Stanley Jungleib. An Amazon search shows that Mr. Jungleib has published several works on electronic or computer-generated music and even on the theory of tonality, a topic important to modern composers (who today often write “atonal” or “twelve-tone” music).

The story on “Outlook Series” is called “EFF Challenges Bogus Patent on Internet Music Files” here.

EFF’s own blog reference (Oct. 8, 2008) is similar and gives some detailed technical links. The URL is here.

This case would be important to modern music composers, both classical and rock or disco, and I am familiar with some of their work.

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