Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 28th Oct 2010 18:02 UTC, submitted by viator
Legal If you can't compete, litigate. This train of thought has been quite prevalent among major technology companies as of late, most notably by Apple and Microsoft, who both cannot compete with Android on merit, so they have to resort to patent lawsuits and FUD. Both Asustek and Acer have revealed that Microsoft plans to impose royalty fees upon the two Taiwanese hardware makers to prevent them from shipping Android and/or Chrome OS devices.
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RE[3]: Threatened
by TheGZeus on Thu 28th Oct 2010 19:57 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Threatened"
TheGZeus
Member since:
2010-05-19

Indeed.

The issue is that all SD cards would need to be re-formatted and interoperability would be destroyed.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[4]: Threatened
by bogomipz on Thu 28th Oct 2010 20:33 in reply to "RE[3]: Threatened"
bogomipz Member since:
2005-07-11

So basically, it's illegal to make devices that are compatible with how every memory card on the planet is meant to be used?

Surely, the cards are meant to be used with FAT32 since they come pre-formatted that way.

Of course, devices that complement Windows powered devices are allowed to use FAT32. Outcasting camera makers, for instance, would just make FAT32 less useful. Microsoft probably want all complementing products, but no competing products, to use their "standard".

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE[5]: Threatened
by Neolander on Thu 28th Oct 2010 20:40 in reply to "RE[4]: Threatened"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

So basically, it's illegal to make devices that are compatible with how every memory card on the planet is meant to be used?

Surely, the cards are meant to be used with FAT32 since they come pre-formatted that way.

Of course, devices that complement Windows powered devices are allowed to use FAT32. Outcasting camera makers, for instance, would just make FAT32 less useful. Microsoft probably want all complementing products, but no competing products, to use their "standard".

+1 Insightful ;)

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[5]: Threatened
by lemur2 on Thu 28th Oct 2010 22:22 in reply to "RE[4]: Threatened"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

So basically, it's illegal to make devices that are compatible with how every memory card on the planet is meant to be used? Surely, the cards are meant to be used with FAT32 since they come pre-formatted that way. Of course, devices that complement Windows powered devices are allowed to use FAT32. Outcasting camera makers, for instance, would just make FAT32 less useful. Microsoft probably want all complementing products, but no competing products, to use their "standard".


There is no problem with FAT32. There is only a problem with writing both long filenames and short filesnames on a FAT32 filesystem for the same file at the same time.

This is why makers of SD cards are not sued ... there are no files on the cards.

This is why a lot of cameras save files as 8.3 filenames. Have you seen my latest photo .... DSC21867.JPG ?

(DSC probably stands for Digital Still Camera, BTW).

None of this violates Microsoft-held patents. The FAT filesystem is an IBM invention ... floppy disks existed with FAT filesystems well before the first ever version of MSDOS.

Linux doesn't violate Microsoft's long filename on FAT32 patents either, because it never writes bot a long filename and a short filename for the same file.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[5]: Threatened
by lemur2 on Fri 29th Oct 2010 01:18 in reply to "RE[4]: Threatened"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

So basically, it's illegal to make devices that are compatible with how every memory card on the planet is meant to be used? Surely, the cards are meant to be used with FAT32 since they come pre-formatted that way. Of course, devices that complement Windows powered devices are allowed to use FAT32. Outcasting camera makers, for instance, would just make FAT32 less useful. Microsoft probably want all complementing products, but no competing products, to use their "standard".


Microsoft's patents in question are not for FAT32 per se, they are for writing long filenames to FAT32 filesystems.

Backup:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File_Allocation_Table
FAT file systems are commonly found on floppy disks, flash memory cards, digital cameras, and many other portable devices because of their relative simplicity. For floppy disks, the FAT has been standardized as ECMA-107 and ISO/IEC 9293. Those standards include only FAT12 and FAT16 without long filename support; long filenames with FAT is partially patented.


It is only the long filename functionality that is patented, and AFAIK even more specifically the patents protect Microsoft's "invention" of a way to store both long and short filenames for the same file.

Digital Still Cameras typically avoid this patent by not writing long filenames.

http://ask.metafilter.com/35663/DSCF
Camera types and filename structure:

"dcp#####.jpg" - Kodak, range of 0 to 4000
"dsc#####.jpg" - Nikon, range of 0 to 4000
"dscn####.jpg" - Nikon, range of 0 to 4000
"mvc-###.jpg" - Sony Mavica
"mvc#####.jpg" - Sony Mavica
"P101####.jpg" - Olympus, Using default camera date of 101
"PMDD####.jpg" - Olympus, M is in hex from 1 to c, DD is 01-31
"IMG_###.jpg" - Some other camera
"IMAG####.jpg" - RCA and Samsung
"1##-####.jpg" - Canon 1TH-TH## thousands, hundreds
"1##-####_IMG.jpg" - Alternate Canon name. MUCH thanks to Donald
"IMG_####.jpg" - Canon
"_MG_####.jpg" - Canon raw conversion. Thanks to Ira
"dscf####.jpg" - Fuji Finepix
"pdrm####.jpg" - Toshiba PDR
"IM######.jpg" - HP Photosmart
"EX######.jpg" - HP Photosmart timelapse?
"DC####S.jpg" - Kodak DC-40,50,120 S is (L)arge, (M)eduim, (S)mall. Thanks to Pholph
"pict####.jpg" - Minolta Dimage. Thanks to Bram
"P#######.JPG" - Kodak DC290. Thanks to Peter
"MMDD####.JPG" - Casio QV3000 and QV4000. Thanks to Fabian
"YYMDD###.JPG" - Casio QV7000 - M is hex. Thanks to Kimble
"IMGP####.JPG" - Pentax Optio S. Thanks to Matthew
"PANA####.JPG" - Panasonic video camera stills. Thanks to DeAnne
"Image(##).JPG" - Nokia 3650 camera phone. Thanks to usmanc
"DSCI####.JPG" - Polaroid PDC2070. Thanks to David


It is interesting that most of the discussion in the link above has totally missed the real point about not using long filenames in digital still cameras, which is done only so that digital camera makers do not have to pay Microsoft for this silliness.

Edited 2010-10-29 01:23 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[4]: Threatened
by BlueofRainbow on Thu 28th Oct 2010 20:46 in reply to "RE[3]: Threatened"
BlueofRainbow Member since:
2009-01-06

Removing FAT32 as a installable file system to circumvent this situation would also reduce the interportability with the USB Flash/Hard drives and all the other devices (cameras, mp3 players, mp4 players, etc. we have become dependent on) using this file system.

If pushed too hard in this regards, the community and interested hardware and software parties will likely find a way around this. Maybe time to do this sooner than later anyways as eventually the capacities of USB Flash/Hard drives and memory cards on devices will exceed the limits of the FAT32 system!

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[5]: Threatened
by lemur2 on Thu 28th Oct 2010 22:28 in reply to "RE[4]: Threatened"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

If pushed too hard in this regards, the community and interested hardware and software parties will likely find a way around this.


They already have. Over two years ago.

http://arstechnica.com/open-source/news/2009/07/vfat-linux-patch-co...

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13505_3-10278003-16.html

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: Threatened
by lemur2 on Thu 28th Oct 2010 22:16 in reply to "RE[3]: Threatened"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Indeed. The issue is that all SD cards would need to be re-formatted and interoperability would be destroyed.


No need to do that. Linux doesn't violate Microsoft's patents for long filenames on FAT32 filesystems, and "FAT filesystems" itself is an IBM invention.

Reply Parent Score: 2