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drewslater

Stencil Shadows Patented!? WTF!

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Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe that an RPG is simply an idea, and that you can not patent or copyright an idea. You could copyright mabee certian aspects of an RPG if you developed them yourself(like if another RPG used the Materia system from FF7) but simply copyrighting an RPG cant be done I believe.

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Patenting algorithms is stupid unless it''s really original and complex and you release the source code. You shouldn''t patent something, wait for someone to get the same idea independently, and then sue him.

~CGameProgrammer( );

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Perhaps people will need to patent their own original algorithms, to ensure that no one else will. It doesn''t mean that that person would need to enforce it. Seems like the only way one could ensure that no one of a more shady nature would patent it for their own ends.

Oh, and to Trienco... Yes, I _believed_ what _I_ posted. Not what you said I had posted... I highly doubt that ''Carmack''s Reverse'' is anywhere near as basic of an innovation as the wheel. I really cannot understand how you are able to compare the two. Stencil shadows are based on a great number of innovations... the wheel is the wheel... Oh well.

Besides, I think that Arbiter is correct. The method in the patent and ''Carmack''s Reverse'' are not quite the same thing. So this is all mostly irrelevant.

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hm.. shall i note that i invented carmacks reverse and/or the patented thing on my own, too? wich i did. and about a week later i''ve read about carmacks idea and thougth.. hm.. sounds similar.. hm.. dave had a good idea! :D

and both techniques, carmacks and the patent are the same. they are as different as if(a < b) and if(!(a >= b))

patents are wrong. copyrights are fine. it should not be possible to patent algorithms. everyone can reinvent them and should be allowed to use them then. nobody should get allowed to copy your work. but doing it on his own, he is allowed.

what if one would have patented the algorithm for binary search? or hash-mappings. or bilinear filtering..

carmacks reverse isn''t a complex new algorithm. it took me half an hour to invent it actually. it was part of the try to explain how shadow-volumes work.. while counting the ray-ins and ray-outs i found out that we could continue counting behind the depth-buffer and that worked as well.. nothing special..

we just have 3 points, a,b,c = front,depthbuffer,back. and normally we compared a-b and a-c, but everyone knows with simple math that b-c can be used as well.

it IS a simple algorithm. it should not be patentable to steal it from the world.

and if that is not simple, what is x-oring then to create a cursor? is that complex? or is that simple enough to understand how stupid patents are, how they hurt the software-development?




If that''s not the help you''re after then you''re going to have to explain the problem better than what you have. - joanusdmentia

davepermen.net

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Patents can be fair. But if two induviduals come up with same idea/code independently, it could never be considered _morally_ justified for one to sue the other just because he patented it first. If you disagree with this you need to see a doctor. Period.

And since this occurance is so common with software, I don''t believe software patents should be allowed.

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daveperman,

I agree that being allowed to patent algorithms is a detractor for all programmers. I was not trying to say otherwise, but I am obviously not very good at getting my points across in forums. All that I have suggested in my whopping two other posts was that we are only limited by patents if we choose to be.

Patents exist, I do not like them. I will not, however, feel or be limited by them. Likewise, I would much rather invent totally new algorithms, it just seems more fullfilling somehow...

I would beg to differ about the "if(a < b) if(!(a >= b))" thing, though. The results may be the same, but they are obviously different methods of acheiving the same goal.

Patents are about methods... so the method is actually different, and thus, the patent isn't specific to the other method. They are not the same (wouldn't the generated machine code for the two if statements actually look different as well - barring compiler optimisation).

Here's to hoping one of you out there will reinvent the wheel - and maybe another shadow rendering method too, one that looks better than the hard edged shadow volumes... ick...

[edited by - deiterate on September 26, 2003 12:47:59 PM]

[edited by - deiterate on September 26, 2003 12:49:11 PM]

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quote:
Believe it or not, Microsoft was actually against the legalisation of software patents in the US.


Of course, since they don''t invent anything. Having to pay money for ideas is a real big deal for a multi billion company.

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quote:
Original post by deiterate
daveperman,

I agree that being allowed to patent algorithms is a detractor for all programmers. I was not trying to say otherwise, but I am obviously not very good at getting my points across in forums. All that I have suggested in my whopping two other posts was that we are only limited by patents if we choose to be.

Patents exist, I do not like them. I will not, however, feel or be limited by them. Likewise, I would much rather invent totally new algorithms, it just seems more fullfilling somehow...

i have completely invented on my own the z-fail approach, and it feels fullfilling to do that. i felt great as i realised i invented the same as carmack at the same time on my own. i feel dissapointed now that i could possibly get sued by someone else for my own invention. just because he had the same idea. thats all. for the rest i agree

quote:

I would beg to differ about the "if(a < b) if(!(a >= b))" thing, though. The results may be the same, but they are obviously different methods of acheiving the same goal

mathematically they are equivalent. smaller, and not bigger, is the same. for real numbers at least. and we''re talking about real numbers here. so it is the same. just a different implementation. but software patents are not about implementation details. so for the patent, its the same.

quote:
Here''s to hoping one of you out there will reinvent the wheel - and maybe another shadow rendering method too, one that looks better than the hard edged shadow volumes... ick...

there are enough ways to do that. just be warned in using any of those. they could get patented in some years..




If that''s not the help you''re after then you''re going to have to explain the problem better than what you have. - joanusdmentia

davepermen.net

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quote:
Original post by arbiter
FYI this presentation is from GDC March 1999 describes zfail stencil volume intersection:

http://developer.nvidia.com/attach/1807

The patent being discussed actually claims z pass stencil incs & decs with a reversed zbuffer test, not z fail stencil operations that are commonly used today. It is not described in more general terms it is described and claimed very specifically as a reverse z test with z pass increments and decrements.
He already mentioned that here:
quote:
Original post by SimmerD
Don't worry about it fellas. I described this technique publicly a few months before they filed the patent - hence Prior Art. Ironically, it was at a Creative Labs developer's forum.

During my stencil buffer talk, I described doing shadow volumes the 'reverse' way. At the time, I didn't realize the major reason why the z fail method is better than the z pass method, although I did realize they were logically equivalent, which is why it's now known as 'Carmack's Reverse' and not 'Dietrich's Reverse'!

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