Old 13th November 2003, 05:19   #1
geotone
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Angry Patent Infringement

After publishing the new Artzar skin, we recieved the following message from Jeff at the Skins Factory. Has anyone else been harrassed by these people, who claim to have a patent pending for the rather simple concept of an image slideshow?

Mike

-----------------

From: "J. Schader" <removed --will>
To : <winamp3@artzar.com>
Date : Wed, 12 Nov 2003 00:19:33 -0500
Subject : Comments about Artzar: Patent Infringement


Mike,
I recently downloaded the winamp 3 skin you released for the website Artzar. We have a provisional patents that pertains to the alpha-phasing of images within an interface using a scripted timer. The process is called Hyper-Transient Color Phasing and Hyper-Transient Morphing. Because we must protect our patents i'm here to inform you that you must remove the skin in it's present state out of the public domain. The reason i'm emailing you and not having my patent attorney do it is out of professional courtesy. If it's not removed though in the next 24 hours i'm going to have to involve our patent attorneys which i would rather not do. We're all artists and because of that i'd like to handle this reasonably. If you need proof of the provisional patent than i can involve our patent attorneys. It's up to you. My suggestion is to simply remove the timer script and add a next and previous button so that users can cycle through the beautiful images and choose an image as a default. I'd really rather not have to involve lawyers. Please let me know what you decide.

Best Regards,
Jeff Schader
President/CEO
The Skins Factory, Inc.

[edit: removed personal details as per request --will]
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Old 13th November 2003, 05:28   #2
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A quick search of the forums have revealed many accusations of ripping artwork and many threats of legal action by our friend here. Perhaps some of these have basis in reality, but this example shows that they are not only interested in protecting their handiwork, but stifiling competition in any way possible. Has anyone ever actually heard from his alleged laywer?
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Old 13th November 2003, 05:46   #3
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Complete Asses!! Can you believe them!! A Patent on any Script that forwards an image inside a device that is a interface. Hmm tell em to show you the paperwork, and to explain it more. Sounds open to me.
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Old 13th November 2003, 05:49   #4
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haha..thats the biggest load if shit ive heard in a while. i agree with quad - get em to show u the paperwork. i seriously can't believe that.

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Old 13th November 2003, 07:21   #5
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yeah, and i patented a script too.....the process is called super-hyper-active-ninja-atomic-mega-chonolosticalia.

basically it tells you the time.

....i hope stuff like this doesnt become a trend.

.........?.
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Old 13th November 2003, 07:41   #6
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sorry guys but I got hyperlinks patented. legal actions will follow.
yours sincerely
CEO etc.
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Old 13th November 2003, 09:02   #7
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... i don't believe that... i mean.. i don'T believe they've got patents

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Old 13th November 2003, 09:23   #8
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I don't know how many things i did for the first time in winamp3, but (as an art-coder) I don't mind people using similar techniques as I, infact its a good thing.

I would be intrigued to see what exactly they are complaining about, I'm sure you could find something similar which predates it.

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Old 13th November 2003, 09:26   #9
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I've downloaded your skin, and I am sure you could find something which predates their patent.

All its doing is fading between images. Infact, I remember gonzotek doing this very thing during the winamp3 alphas.

I wonder if my first skin, blobAMP breaks this 'patent'

You know, it probably does.

[edit]just been speaking to Christophe, a winamp developer and he says they do this to scare people.
Find out the dates of this patent, and i bet we can find work which pre-dates it[/edit]

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Old 13th November 2003, 09:39   #10
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Re: Patent Infringement

Quote:
Originally posted by geotone
After publishing the new Artzar skin, we recieved the following message from Jeff at the Skins Factory. Has anyone else been harrassed by these people, who claim to have a patent pending for the rather simple concept of an image slideshow?

Mike

-----------------

From: "J. Schader" <removed--will>
To : <winamp3@artzar.com>
Date : Wed, 12 Nov 2003 00:19:33 -0500
Subject : Comments about Artzar: Patent Infringement


Mike,
I recently downloaded the winamp 3 skin you released for the website Artzar. We have a provisional patents that pertains to the alpha-phasing of images within an interface using a scripted timer. The process is called Hyper-Transient Color Phasing and Hyper-Transient Morphing. Because we must protect our patents i'm here to inform you that you must remove the skin in it's present state out of the public domain. The reason i'm emailing you and not having my patent attorney do it is out of professional courtesy. If it's not removed though in the next 24 hours i'm going to have to involve our patent attorneys which i would rather not do. We're all artists and because of that i'd like to handle this reasonably. If you need proof of the provisional patent than i can involve our patent attorneys. It's up to you. My suggestion is to simply remove the timer script and add a next and previous button so that users can cycle through the beautiful images and choose an image as a default. I'd really rather not have to involve lawyers. Please let me know what you decide.

Best Regards,
Jeff Schader
President/CEO
The Skins Factory, Inc.

[edit: removed personal details as per request --will]
prior art out the yoozoo. what do you think people have been doing with macromedia products for the last decade? I suggest you at least give us an appropriate USPTO reference to look this up. unless of course, you would prefer to gamble on the USPTO fucking up and letting this one slide through like they have done so many times before.

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Old 13th November 2003, 09:40   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by will

All its doing is fading between images. Infact, I remember gonzotek doing this very thing during the winamp3 alphas.

[/edit]
I remember that, even used it, along with several other people in published skins.

Maybe we should blame nullsoft for letting us use that function from MAKI in the first place, naughty Nullsoft.
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Old 13th November 2003, 10:10   #12
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a little bit of research reveals the following: the phrase "Hyper-Transient Color Phasing" and the exact scripts used to achieve it, seem to be copyrighted by The Skins Factory (the documents are very difficult to track down, so I cant validate this yet). Unless youre using this phrase or parts of the script (which your not, being that the script was written for WMP) youre not in violation there. to quote the skins factory:

Quote:
Hyper-Transient Color Phasing is a trademark of The Skins Factory, Inc. Patent Pending. All scripts related to Hyper-Transient Color Phasing are Copyright © 2003. The Skins Factory, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Ya, so...ya...NO. They have a patent PENDING on the TRADEMARK "Hyper-Transient Color Phasing"...and I think theyre just a little anxious to accuse others of ripping them off.

Oh ya, did I mention I could find NOTHING on "Hyper-Transient Morphing", which is the real concept theyre accusing you of stealing?

Now, I know The Skins Factory have an account here, and I could be wrong. But, well, explain yourself.
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Old 13th November 2003, 10:11   #13
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Re: Re: Patent Infringement

Quote:
Originally posted by CraigF
prior art out the yoozoo. what do you think people have been doing with macromedia products for the last decade? I suggest you at least give us an appropriate USPTO reference to look this up. unless of course, you would prefer to gamble on the USPTO fucking up and letting this one slide through like they have done so many times before.
good call jones.

-matt

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Old 13th November 2003, 17:06   #14
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HA! i've got you guys covered!

i was using alpha blending to transition multiple (user defined no less) images anchored to timers AND to interface function calls within the framework of a freeform media skin over two years ago under Sonique 2.

now if they continue to harass people, i'm gonna have no choice but to review their patent and determine the full extent of my rights as per united states copyright - i do believe patenting existing work is illegal.
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Old 13th November 2003, 17:15   #15
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As far as I know, there is no such thing as a Provisional Patent, which would sort of undermine the whole patent system. Some quick research has revealed that there is such a thing as a Provisional Patent Aplication, which is essentally a place holder that allows you to claim an early filing date for a patent that you are going to apply for later. A Provisional Patent Application does not require you to provide any research into prior art, which of course in this case would reveal that the cocept of a fading image slideshow has been around for quite a while. The Skins Factory seems to have no basis for any legal action until they are actually granted a patent, a wholly unlikely probability.
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Old 13th November 2003, 17:21   #16
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Uhhh, just one question. Don't thos guys always erase the editable maki-file. So isn't it true that you could be using a diffrent way to achieve exactly the same thing? And since you could not see how they did it how de fuck could you copy it?

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Old 13th November 2003, 17:33   #17
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Had a little email exchange

Quote:
The provisional patent was
executed in July 2003. Unless you created a scripted timer that will
alpha-fade pre-made images then i doubt you have something like what we've
done.
Wheres gonzo, he was doing this in 2001 with his slideshow script.

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Old 13th November 2003, 17:38   #18
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Hoop Life 3

Originally posted at winamp.com, August 2002, featured skin August 22 2002, last updated January 23 2003
http://www.winamp.com/skins/detail.j...onentId=118705

Uses Gonzotek's slideshow script

Metal Gear Solid.

Originaly posted at Winamp.com August 30th 2002
http://www.winamp.com/skins/detail.j...onentId=120205

I think (think) this is also based on Gonzo's slideshow script

Original Slideshow thread by Gonzo, dated April 4th 2002
http://forums.winamp.com/showthread....threadid=83821
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Old 13th November 2003, 17:42   #19
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I had been aware of thier "Hyper-Transient Color Phasing" patent for a while, but didn't realize it was being used to enforce such a general concept. Even Invicta (released June 2003) uses a "scripted timer that will alpha-fade pre-made images" for the pulsating light effects, it's just that the timer is running faster than it would in a slideshow.
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Old 13th November 2003, 17:46   #20
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.....
/edited

I hade some bad thoughts, but i found it better withdraw that statement since I dont't want to be banned for fl#ming.

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Old 13th November 2003, 17:46   #21
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Yep. I did the code for that bit of that skin and I've always made my code available for use by anyone.

http://forums.winamp.com/showthread....ight=slideshow
[edit] Jones! Beat me to my own link!
Can someone direct me to a SkinsFactory skin that uses this? I'd like to do some comparing.

-=Gonzotek=-

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But I'm feeling much better now.
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Old 13th November 2003, 17:59   #22
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I couldn't seem to find any Winamp skins done by The Skin Factory. Their work seems to be exclusively in Windows Media. In fact the only topic they seem to write about more than IP infringement is how they think that Winamp is going to be destroyed by Microsoft.

However, there were posts that The Skin Factory was going to start making Winamp skins. I hope after all of this abuse aimed towards their users, the Winamp folks will refuse to publish their work...

Mike
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Old 13th November 2003, 18:03   #23
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well said. that actually looks quite like the thing i did not post. And there fore you are copying my work and i will drag you to court.

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Old 13th November 2003, 20:04   #24
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Quote:
Originally posted by geotone
As far as I know, there is no such thing as a Provisional Patent, which would sort of undermine the whole patent system. Some quick research has revealed that there is such a thing as a Provisional Patent Aplication, which is essentally a place holder that allows you to claim an early filing date for a patent that you are going to apply for later. A Provisional Patent Application does not require you to provide any research into prior art, which of course in this case would reveal that the cocept of a fading image slideshow has been around for quite a while. The Skins Factory seems to have no basis for any legal action until they are actually granted a patent, a wholly unlikely probability.
Precicely. I would email the Skin Factory asses back and tell them "when you have a patent, let me see it, and then 'maybe'".
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Old 13th November 2003, 21:28   #25
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http://www.theskinsfactory.com/skins...ortfolio&id=90

Thats the skin that makes use of the never-before-seen-alpha-fading-that-has-actually-been-seen-a-lot technology. yes, only for WMP, but if you wanna check it out, there it is.

//edit - sidenote: you think the skins factory is aware that the feature to fade between images with a timer is also built into MAC OS X?
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Old 13th November 2003, 21:49   #26
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[edit: blobamp, which doesn't work with any current releases but only with beta 3 of winamp3]

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Old 13th November 2003, 21:54   #27
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Quote:
Originally posted by simon snowflake
Uhhh, just one question. Don't thos guys always erase the editable maki-file. So isn't it true that you could be using a diffrent way to achieve exactly the same thing? And since you could not see how they did it how de fuck could you copy it?
what they were saying wasn't that the script was copied (which wouldn't have been possible, as their skin was a wmp skin), what they said was that the EFFECT(and the way how it'S been built) allready exists and is patented by them.
hey, i thaught about something very nice(for ME! *LOL* [in "the-skin-factory"-logic]):
i search the web for every makiscript i can find, think about some additional ones, and patent everything! HAHAHAHAHA! you gotta pay me in the future for making skins with scripts! HAHAHAHA *LOL*
that'S totally sick *G*

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Old 13th November 2003, 22:14   #28
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email from jesh.
Quote:
we do have a provisional patent and it is a placeholder hence patent
pending. The names are register trademarked with the gov they won't change.
Will i pursue a non-provisional patent now that i've seen this? Of course
not.
We thought we had something new and the fact i don't use winamp we
never came across evidence that this had been done before. As far as OSX
doing this, it's a different concept. We checked into that. As far as
"stifling" creativity, we do this for a living, this isn't a past-time so
yeah we take what we do seriously.

Now lets address the gripes in the forum about how we cry about IP rights
all the time. More than a few times i've received emails saying someone over
at winamp has taken our work without our permission and has started a port.
So yeah i get a bit bitchy when it comes to stealing our work. And yeah i do
say i'm going go after them if they don't take it down and yeah i do have an
IP attorney for that very purpose. I would think it's better to threaten
them with legal action so maybe they won't do it again than to actually have
the lawyer do it. I try not to let it get that far. The Official Xbox skin,
TDK and Terminator 3 have all been taken without our permission and put up
on your forums during the start of the port. I'm sick of winamp "artists"
thinking they can take our graphics and do what they want with them. You
want to use our skins then use Windows Media Player. If you don't want to
use WMP then go download a skin from someone else.

You can post the above comments. I can't find my password for winamp.com and
i'm not going to go back and forth. Also please delete my personal
information including telephone and address off of the forum. The email was
done in private and my personal information does not belong up there. Thanks
Will.

Jeff Schader
President/CEO

The Skins Factory, Inc.
AKA: result!!

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Old 13th November 2003, 22:14   #29
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will take a look at this new skin, it has hyper-phasing
http://forums.winamp.com/showthread....hreadid=156042
dont want the guys to come after him.
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Old 13th November 2003, 22:20   #30
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there is more than one way to do this script though will, as you know. so, i say we leave them to it and let the violate the winamp3/5 licence by doing this and then get sued up the ass for doing this
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Old 13th November 2003, 22:24   #31
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"We thought we had something new and the fact i don't use winamp " ... but bitching around that someone'S stealing?! how dumb have you gotta be to do THAT?!

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Old 13th November 2003, 22:25   #32
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Quote:
Originally posted by geotone
However, there were posts that The Skin Factory was going to start making Winamp skins. I hope after all of this abuse aimed towards their users, the Winamp folks will refuse to publish their work...

Mike
ah but see, thats how TSF works, they just pay people like you guys to do their skins for them. So chances of any of you being willing to do a skin for them now? slim i would assume. so who else do they get to do winamp skins for them? well, this really is the center of the community, so I guess no one.

Besides, there is always petrol designs. they knew where the real power was way before TSF even hinted at doing modern winamp skins.

I guess the whole issue could change if people get a chance to try winamp 5

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Old 13th November 2003, 22:33   #33
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they come in here having a go at us for stealing there gfx, they come in here broadcasting they are paying someone to steal our code... what would we call this?
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Old 13th November 2003, 22:34   #34
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Like wow...I've inadvertantly joined the movement of people providing prior art examples to stop "stupid" patents(no offence intended to TSF). I would never have EVER thought that something like the slideshow script could become an "important" legal point. I just make cool things up when the inspiration hits me. I thought it was pretty useful, and definitely something that "everybody" (skinners) would want to do, and why make them re-invent the wheel everytime?
Cool...Yay me!


For what it's worth, I respect The Skins Factory for wanting to protect their ip. They do have a right to earn money off of their own work, you know. When "skinners" (using the term very loosely) rip somebody's work and try to pass it off as their own, they should get whatever is coming to them. But it's not Winamp or the forums that's to blame. It's the individual doing the ripping who should be held accountable. We don't appreciate rippers either. I might give my code away for free, but I still want to see credit given to me if you want to use it. I find someone using my code without obeying it's license terms, and I'll likely react much the same as TSF (of course my lawyers are large men with sticks ).

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Old 13th November 2003, 22:38   #35
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>We thought we had something new and the fact i don't use winamp we
>never came across evidence that this had been done before.

Oh my, this is just hilarious, slide shows based on crossfading an alpha channel have been around for years and years. This is just ridiculous.

Btw, the ability to "change the alpha on a timer" is built right into wa3/5, so does this mean you're going to threaten Nullsoft too ? Or just skinners who make use of the script function ?

Shaking head...
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Old 13th November 2003, 22:41   #36
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:Heh, and as I recall...I wouldn't have done it "properly" if it weren't for you explaining it to me in irc...
=D

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Old 13th November 2003, 23:22   #37
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well i have a few hours before CSI is on so...

here's a choice quote: "ah but see, thats how TSF works, they just pay people like you guys to do their skins for them. So chances of any of you being willing to do a skin for them now? slim i would assume. so who else do they get to do winamp skins for them? well, this really is the center of the community, so I guess no one.

Besides, there is always petrol designs. they knew where the real power was way before TSF even hinted at doing modern winamp skins."

Here's a choice response: You're kidding right?

I'm going to end this with i was wrong about the patent. I can admit when i'm wrong. I'm not wrong about flaming rippers who steal our work without our permission.

As far as just hiring people to do the work, i art direct everything that gets done. The Skins Factory is not an art agency, it's a design studio.

I'm not going to be drawn into a big flame war about this. I said what i had to say and that's it. I guess you won't be hearing from me until some loser decides he likes our work and wants to port it over to winamp without permission ;-)
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Old 13th November 2003, 23:26   #38
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well, all's well that ends well then?

do a li'l more research next time you file a patent though... usually a simple copyright on the code will do, and that prevents messy lawsuits and people hating you and stuff.
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Old 13th November 2003, 23:30   #39
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the code is copywritten. That's not changing. The name is trademarked. That's not changing.
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Old 13th November 2003, 23:33   #40
QuadHeliX
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Washington State
Posts: 1,133
Wait you guys have a Lawyer right, you are using winamp 3 patented scripting technology. They will get a hold of you.
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