Essentially, by compressing the raw RGB data coming off the sensor (where each pixel only has R, or G, or B) you avoid the data explosion of interpolating color values at each pixel. It's a technique for compressing raw files, and Red was early to the game.
Perhaps someone on here has more detailed technical info, I haven't actually read the patents, just talked to engineers close to the project.
There are sensors with more esoteric Bayer filters, like to better capture in low light there are sensors which replace one of the G's with an N (neutral light / "no" color filter)
The only similar thing nowadays is Foveon sensors where you have 3 color sites stacked on top of each other, but Foveon didn't really have the money to keep up with the arms race and nowadays the modern sensors are far better even though they do have to apply a low-pass filter to avoid mosaicing. When you have many, many, many nodes of improvement past the Foveon sensor, that stops being a big deal.
It was also never particularly widely adopted, because none of these things are new - it was a tough sell to market a "really high color-resolution!" 5mp camera going up against 20mp filtered sensors and 50mp unfiltered sensors even 10 years ago.
Interestingly though, the Foveon approach is similar to film. Film has multiple layers and all are exposed at once. There's no denying bayer is sort of weird. It's just very expensive to be the odd man out doing your own sensors. "Good enough" usually wins, Foveon may be betamax but bayer is VHS - and I use that analogy knowingly, in the sense of Betamax also doing key features worse in areas that consumers care a lot about.
I think you must be ignoring television and video here? Basically everything that was shot on digital video for broadcast for decades was shot on 3-sensor cameras, and every "serious" video operation from sports to news all the way down to wedding photographers and high school videographers with any scratch at all were using 3-ccd setups. Sony's current (and only) 8K TV studio camera uses 3 sensors.
All the others have now switched to bayer sensors.
 That was google shopping popping up the Z150, which is presumably less expensive. The Z450 is 20k, body only, and the Z750 is "in store purchase only"
Here's a deep dive with an expert from Arri (big movie glass company) here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q1n2DR6H7mk
They are really dinosaurs of electronic imaging. Sans Sony, I can say ALL sensor makers from the dawn of the era died off, or were sold/resold a million times.
They eventually made a CMOS sensor development from scratch
I suppose whether those points are pros or cons depends on design/manufacturing capability, and considering rarity of modern 3CCD designs, likely decisions are difficulties outweigh advantages today.
Goes something like:
It's a pretty deep topic and people do get degrees in basically just digital imaging. Not me though! I don't really understand most of this stuff...
That camera sensors mean a different thing for a pixel than what's typical for an image or an electronic display is a matter of convention.
True that interpolation is possible, but that's no reason to use different conventions as noted above.
I have seen a display manufacturer manipulate the same to artificially boost their resolution specifications.
1. There is the idea of compressing each Bayer color.
2. There is the compression method.
I believe this issue is about point 2, the compression. But it seems that Nikon is using a different compression so I am not sure Red will win this.
Edit: from the legal document, I believe it is about this part:
"The camera can be configured to transform blue and red image data in a manner that enhances the compressibility of the data. The data can then be compressed and stored in this form. This allows a user to reconstruct the red and blue data to obtain the original raw data for a modified version of the original raw data that is visually lossless when demosaiced. Additionally, the data can be processed so the green image elements are demosaiced first and then the red and blue elements are reconstructed based on values of the demosaiced green image elements."
So I wonder why Red isn't suing intoPIX.
intoPIX seems to be based in Belgium. I'm not sure exactly what type of patents RED has, but there are types like software patents which don't exist in the EU. Or perhaps it isn't about the type and RED just straight up doesn't have EU patents even if they theoretically could. Combine that with intoPIX (and I haven't verified this) only operating inside the EU, or at least outside of the US. You end up in a situation where RED would have difficulty suing intoPIX, because intoPIX doesn't operate in a jurisdiction where RED holds the relevant patents.
Once Nikon enters the picture, things change. Nikon clearly has US presence.
Of course it could also just be that RED doesn't care about small fish and only started caring now because Nikon has the potential for a lot of revenue.
Bayer pattern sensors were more common in DSLRs, because they were an extension of 35mm film, and you had to have a single, flat imaging device to work with film optics.
In the film industry, the only digital cameras were the Sony F900 series (iirc) which I believe had the three-chip design, the Thomson Viper (again, memory foggy), and maybe the Panasonic Varicam... I don't know if the Viper or Varicam were single sensor, but they evidently weren't Bayer pattern or didn't compress the Bayer pattern. (I think at least one had RGB stripe layout, which is just inherently inferior.)
So yeah, it's obvious now. But it was patentable then, because nobody (or very few) had ever made a Bayer pattern sensor for a video camera. It's easy to forget how long ago 2007 was, at least until I try to get out of bed in the mornings.
From the sounds of it, the patent literally seems to be about... compressing the data you get off of the image sensor. And that's it. Or are there important details I'm missing?
Actually this exact reasoning is textbook grounds for rejecting a patent application. If a “person having ordinary skill in the art” would trivially come up with the claimed invention, a patent application can be rejected without a reference of prior art by citing obviousness of the invention. If what you’re saying is true, the examiner that originally granted the parent was probably not familiar with the subject matter(which is common).
Source: was a patent examiner a good while back
A lot of high value software patents seem to be things that would be in the realm of a solid candidate to come up with on the spot in a 30 minute interview for a programming job, and not because the technique is "known". Compressing individual channels is definitely something that sounds in the realm of good intern candidate to be able to come up with the idea on the spot in an interview.
So the problem isn't really software parents intrinsically, it's that they are so absurdly out of line with the "invention costs" such that "something an average programming intern would be able to come up with independently has a high chance of actually being patented". If the parents were only actually for "nonobvious to someone who hasn't been exposed to it before" things then they wouldn't really be a problem.
edit:  has a more in-depth look at the problem
 https://www.oecd.org/site/stipatents/5_4_Frakes_Wasserman.pd... - "on average, an examiner spends only nineteen hours reviewing an application, including reading the patent application, searching for prior art, comparing the prior art with the patent application, writing a rejection, responding to the patent applicant’s arguments, and often conducting an interview with the applicant’s attorney"
It probably took quite a bit of experimentation to come up with a number of different ways of separating the colours and compressing the individual colours, and identifying the approach that played best with the de-bayering process. So the basic "compress before de-bayering" idea might not be patentable, but the actual algorithm and specific approach(s) sounds reasonably difficult to refine, and thus patentable.
yeah really this is a commentary on just how poorly-suited a 28-year exclusivity period is given the rate at which modern technology advances.
I fully agree, this is something that definitely would have been novel at the time, it's a good patent, but even 14 years later it's grating that fairly basic/obvious stuff to contemporary eyes is still patent-protected.
And on top of that, the lenses produced ugly images. Going to single chip designs was a big upgrade in image quality, mostly for optical reasons.
A lot of people were shooting video with their DSLRs before more dedicated devices became available (myself included). Is there actually a fundamental difference between a DSLR and video camera at that point?
I doubt it. DSLRs didn't have video shooting capabilities till quite later on (late 00's?) compared to phones and point and shoot digital cameras which did much earlier.
If I remember correctly, three-chip cameras became impractical at higher resolutions because of the focusing problems that resulted from refraction. Red, green, and blue wavelengths refract at different rates... which was a problem when they're all coming through the same lens. I don't remember details beyond that.
Major patent reform is required.
The IP landscape is wildly different than it was when these patents were first filed. That they've held up under scrutiny implies they're not _total_ junk.
Also, it probably still needs reform. But my understanding from talking to lawyers (who I was paying, to be fair), it's better than it was.
So the novelty is that they separate R,G and B planes before compression?
There are other compression algorithms that work with other colorspaces, giving even better compression. E.g. splitting luminance and chromatic components. I think these algorithms might also be older.
But the patented part is treating each channel separately; the actual compression algorithm isn't at issue (which, in Red's case, is JPEG2000).
That said, as soon as you get into colorspace conversions or color sampling conversions (like YUV, etc), you're baking in choices and dealing with quantization and roundoff errors. If you want the most pristine image possible for dealing with it in post, you want the raw photosite information. And if you want that, without deBayering (which introduces those same errors!), you get to pay Red a royalty check.
I don't make the rules, I'm just pointing out what the stakes are here. Yeah, it's pretty fundamental and obvious now, but at the time no one was selling a professional video camera with a single chip for that price. It was a different world.
> Yeah, it's pretty fundamental and obvious now, but at the time no one was selling a professional video camera with a single chip for that price. It was a different world.
I don't see how no such cameras being on the market makes the software any less obvious, unless we are totally abdicating the meaning of "obvious" to reduce it to "non-novel". But if that were the law's intent, it wouldn't require non-obviousness and novelty - just one or the other would suffice.
This requirement often appears to be effectively ignored, as in this case. Compressing the raw data (i.e., before transformations like de-bayering) is a pretty obvious thing to try out. This sort of run-of-the-mill development does not deserve a 20-year monopoly.
The patent office seems to evaluate the requirements in a manner very favorable to patent applicants/holders. I think that's a bad thing; the criteria for what counts as an invention should be stricter.
If the choice is between the current state of affairs and no software patents, then no software patents is the way to go.
No. The novelty is that they compress before de-mosaicing (aka debayering).
In other words, rather rebuilding the image from the signals and compressing that image, it compresses the signals themselves (not even seperated I think).
BUT, if I compress lossily then the unrelated colors next to each other are going to bleed into each other while compressing. VS if I separate them out so
It would also seem to compress better. Imagine you're filming something pure green. Exaggerating but you'd get this
And you're right, that treating it as a single monochrome image makes it less compressible, because you get lots of high frequency information between adjacent pixels with different color. Which is sort of the opposite of what you want.
Note also that, despite calling it "raw," Red's implementation is lossily compressed. You can even tune the compression ratio of their "raw" codec, and back in the very early days, there was certain subject matter that just looked terrible coming out of the camera, even as raw -- I remember one particular tree that an early user would film to test new firmware updates; in the earliest firmware builds, it actually crashed the camera (!). The images it did produce showed tons of wavelet compression artifacts.
This makes a lot of sense to me, since green is sort of 'luminance'. It is like a poor-mans LAB color space that exists before demosaicing.
The ordinary consumer will never see these video file formats, unless they go buy at least a $2500 blackmagic pocket 6k pro and add another $2500 of lenses and accessories to make it useful.
But... the fact is that Red ripped off JPEG2000 and are now suing over it. And why not, when they're abetted by a corrupt patent regime.
It's quite ridiculous, really, basically any camera which internally records compressed lossless sensor data prior to debayering (any "internal RAW" format) is vulnerable to RED patent trolling.
Apple and Atomos co-invented ProRes Raw, and this nonsense has hampered Atomos's external recorders as well. Apple and Atomos are paying Red's extortion and... that's how bullshit patents are used to steal people's work in the USA.
Instead it ought to be a number of years from the day the patent is granted.
For software that should be around 5 years, if we really need software patents.
(When reading patents, skip to the claims, they are the only part that actually matters).
7,830,967's independent claim is a 2k+ resolution video camera that records sRGB or rec709 gamma. That's it.
8,174,560 is even more ridiculous. It's a 2k+ resolution camera that records at a 6:1 or more compression ratio. No actual method or anything, just the concept of compressing at least 6:1 compression ratio. Check out indepedent claim #1.
Both of these are very likely to have very easy prior art available. Finding any camera that records high resolution video, made before the priority date would do it.
"an image processing system configured to perform a pre-emphasis function on the digital raw image data, to compress the digital raw image data after performing the pre-emphasis function such that the digital raw image data remains substantially visually lossless upon decompression, and to store the compressed digital raw image data in the memory device at a rate of at least about 23 frames per second, wherein the pre-emphasis function comprises a curve defined by the function y=(x+c)^g, where 0.01 <g<1 and c is an offset."
Edit - to clarify better that what I'm trying to convey is that the time and context matters too, and the claims have to be read in light of the description, so suggesting that claims are trivially invalid is something to be cautious about.
All you can say red is doing is reciting the rather obvious combination of a 2k+ camera with rec 709, 23+ fps, etc.
Maybe it's the case that someone can't find a 2k camera being offered to the public early enough to invalidate on a prior art basis-- but I can't see how anyone could conclude from this that a red success would be indicative of anything but a deeply flawed patent system in dire need of reform.
Nikon never settles out of court. They have excellent IP lawyers.
That said, the video/imaging arena is a minefield of highly-enforceable patents. Very old ones. I don't miss writing that kind of software.
Like I said, I don’t miss that field too much.
Like dancing in an iron maiden.
How does that even get granted? Does the patent office not have domain experts?
No, I am not joking: https://www.uspto.gov/about-us/performance-and-planning/budg...
There's your problem.
The problem is that that the USPTO doesn't have enough money to hire inspectors and officials. They are woefully, desperately underfunded. The same problems that plague the USPTO also plague the IRS, and for the same reason. The USPTO would do much better if they were permitted to double the fees, or more, for patent application.
Note that increasing fees alone won't necessarily change anything if USPTO management doesn't give examiners more time in response. For example, the USPTO charges applicants extra if they have more than a certain number of claims (20, I believe), but examiners only get 1 hour extra if there are more than that number. I once had an application with 45 claims... I estimate that I only got around 23 hours total for the first "office action" on that one (most of the work), and that includes the extra hour I got. So I got 5% more time for 125% more work!
Edit: Here's the application with 45 claims that I worked on: https://patents.google.com/patent/US20190160529A1/en
The FDA gets billions in funding from the government and the USPTO does not. I'm not saying you are right or wrong about the problems regarding the USPTO but to compare its funding to the FDA is disingenious and wrong.
According to them. This is exactly what a patent lawyer told me when I asked about how they test for that requirement.
I've heard a second-hand story of one examiner who granted a patent that was later strongly criticized. They specifically requested more time from their supervisor to work on it, but their supervisor denied the request. Since they didn't have any valid reason to reject the application, they allowed it. The examiner suspected that it wasn't valid, but they really didn't have a choice as they have to meet a quota and "docket management" requirements. So it's not a matter of an examiner using their own discretion. The examiner knew it was likely a problem but they couldn't find any evidence which was legally enforceable.
Why do patent examiners sometimes grant invalid patents? For the same reason software developers sometimes release buggy software: Management doesn't give them enough time or resources to do a quality job.
False. Let's say Claim 1 has elements A, B, and C. Claim 2 adds element D. Thus Claim 2 really has A, B, C, and D.
If 'A' is invalidated, then any claim that includes it, i.e. that depends from Claim 2, is also invalidated.
To invalidate a claim, you have to knock out ALL the elements, not just one.
More comments below.
It's not hard to find online sources to back this up, for example:
If an independent claim isn't infringed, then by extension none of the dependent claims are infringed and they don't have to be considered. So the easiest route to defending a patent lawsuit can be proving the independent claims don't apply.
Invalidity can be proven outside of a full-blown lawsuit (via re-exam) and so it's cheaper. Asking a jury to judge invalidity is asking for trouble, because they usually figure they're not competent to do it.
I actually watched a video of a mock jury, where they debated this. It's pretty shocking how little they understand the law. One juror actually said, "well, that prior art reference -- it's not fair to expect the PTO to have heard of that."
You have it backwards. If a dependent claim is invalid, then the independent claim from which it depends is also invalid. It doesn't make sense the other way around.
Your Patently Obvious article refers to patent prosecution, which is different from re-examination. Let's keep referring back to my original 1(A, B, C) and 2(D) example.
A dependent claim is "backup" because the examiner may find that (A, B, C) is not patentable, but coupled with D, you get (A, B, C, D) which is.
This happens all the time in prosecution. So let's say (A, B, C, D) is allowed and issued.
Note that you did not win the right to sell a product with (A, B, C, D), because someone else (Call them CompanyX) has patented (A, B, C) and you are infringing it.
All you've got is the right to exclude anyone, including CompanyX, from selling (A, B, C, D).
If someone else infringes your patent and you sue them, and they're able to prove that 'A' was known in the art, then CompanyX's patent and yours are both invalidated.
1. A fly-swatter comprising
(A) a shaft,
(B) a handle attached to one end of the shaft, and
(C) a perforated paddle attached to the other end of the shaft.
2. A fly-swatter according to claim 1, further comprising
(D) a robot attached to the handle and configured to identify and kill a fly by applying force to the handle so as to cause the perforated paddle to strike the fly.
Here, if claim 1 is invalidated (*) by a prior art fly-swatter, then claim 2 may remain valid if the combination with element (D) is novel, non-obvious, and the other requirements are satisfied (written description, enablement, etc). If claim 2 was invalidated by a prior art fly-swatter, however, then claim 1 would also be invalidated.
(*) Note: This would only happen in a trial or IPR because during prosecution if the examiner objects to a claim then it must be withdrawn or amended to be allowable.
You have two contradictory hypotheses: "if claim 1 was invalidated by a prior art fly-swatter" and "If claim 2 was invalidated by a prior art fly-swatter"
If fly-swatters are prior art (as they are), then you would claim your robot thingie as :
"An automated fly destroyer, comprising:
a fly swatting device,
and a robot configured to etc. etc."
And you would say in your spec, "the fly-swatting device can include, in one embodiment, a commercial fly-swatter, but could be any device capable of killing a fly, including newspapers, rolled up magazine, board, book, and many more."
However, if your claim enumerated the features of a fly-swatter, then it would certainly be questioned. You should not bother listing things that are known in the art, and furthermore, you'd have failed to claim the book, newspaper, magazine, etc. methods of killing the fly.
On further editing: your idea of knocking out a dependent claim by knocking out all the elements is theoretically correct. However, that's not the way things are usually done.
 explains the issues around this. IPRs almost always go after the broadest claims, and the patentee needs to respond "even if claim 1 is invalidated, claim 2 is still valid because blah blah blah."
Patents almost always put the heavy novelty in claim 1, like I did for your robot fly-swatter invention. The dependent claims are narrower because they add additional elements which often aren't very novel. However, you're right that they can still survive and be useful.
I am a registered patent attorney (*), but I don't practice in patent prosecution.
> a fly swatting device ... And you would say in your spec ...
You're alluding to means-plus-function claiming. "An element in a claim for a combination may be expressed as a means or step for performing a specified function ... and such claim shall be construed to cover the corresponding structure, material, or acts described in the specification and equivalents thereof." (35 USC 112(f) or pre-AIA 35 USC 112 sixth paragraph).
> You should not have claim elements that are known in the art, and furthermore, you'd have failed to claim the book, newspaper, magazine, etc. methods of killing the fly.
As a strategic matter, I agree because you usually want to claim the broadest, most essential form of an invention, and that's a good reason to use means-plus-function claiming. The presence of prior art elements in a claim, however, do not invalidate the claim because (1) for a prior art reference to anticipate a claim, all elements must be present in the prior art reference (all elements rule), and (2) for non-anticipating prior art references to render a claim obvious, the claim must be considered as a whole, not element-by-element. (35 USC 103, "...such that the claimed invention as a whole would have been obvious...").
(*) Not your attorney, not legal advice, etc.
Now that we've managed to alienate all the civilians, would you say
"means for killing flies" or
"fly-killing device" where you say in the spec what that includes? Or have dependent claims that name the most common fly-killing devices.
I don't know. Again, I passed the patent bar, but I don't practice in prosecution. So, by my estimate, you have infinitely more experience than me. The answer probably depends on whatever the Federal Circuit most recently said about 112(f).
Difficult to win, though.
Hit up https://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/pac/mpep/s2206.html so that the USPTO can actually do the work necessary here because you prompted them to (they're not going to invalidate a patent until someone shows they should. They are backlogged for years on their regular queues already).
The level of bullshit that this industry gets away with is absolutely fascinating. I'm a gamer and I was part of the crowd who were galvanized by TotalBuiscuit, rest his soul. I am not alone, and part of an ever increasing amount of people, that seriously question the anti-consumerism (hence, anti-capitalist, if you're very patriotic) practices employed by the status quo. It's patently obvious to do so in hindsight, but I look at a lot more through that lens nowadays.
Red is that 6-times distilled, 10-times cold filtered, 50 times purified, embodiment of anti-consumer practices and it's maddening.
I'm not defending their IP practices, but this is not as stupid as it seems. Nikon knew about the patents when they designed their cameras. The patents were not dumb in 2007-2008.
Claims like the one excerpted are part of larger claim sets; if any claim gets invalidated, the rest that rely on it are useless. For the sake of being explicit, but also robust, lawyers will take a technical description and devolve it into a series of nested claims. Those individual claims, in isolation, sound dumb. But they're usually contingent on earlier claims that might reveal the novelty.
(I have not read the patent.)
However, the product was/is okay-ishm but the fan boys are utterly toxic pricks.
the charged for everything, made special names for all sorts, and had tesla levels of bullshit when it came to deadlines and capabilities.
For example, the "RED ray" laser projector, which supposedly was a 4k native laser based projector, except that it wasn't, never ran at 4k during NAB and if I recall correctly at some point was replaced by a barco. (https://www.extremetech.com/electronics/126579-red-ray-4k-ci...)
They made "redrockets" that were supposedly super high tech decoding cards, but were in reality rebadged from another company. They were extra ordinarily fragile (I personally accidentally killed 3 in just one event) and fucking expensive (£4k each)
It was me, apparently that was the problem, not the design. In the same event I replaced graphics cards, a boat load of Fusion IoDrives, none of them died.
So yes, they were anti-consumer to a certain extent. However if they liked you, they'd invite you to the ranch, you'd hang out with other RED people and generally have a good time.
I think you know like everyone else here what consumer means in this context, it's not literally about consuming food, or the disease known as consumption, and that entities that aren't individual consumers in the nightly news sense of the word are called 'consumers' as well.
In this instance semantics isn't insightful.
This misunderstanding came up in another thread. If a dependent claim is invalidated, then it invalidates the claims it depends from, but not the other way around. For example, consider the following claims:
1. A method comprising steps A, B, and C.
2. The method of claim 1, further comprising step D.
If the prior art only teaches claim 1, then claim 2 could still be valid if the addition of step D is non-obvious over the prior art. If the prior art teaches claim 2, however, then claim 1 is also invalid.
Everything is consumer these days. CNC machines, milling machines, soldering stations, tablesaws, planers, and, yes, high-end cinematic cameras.
You're no longer talking about Hollywood and maybe 4 or 5 other big studios leveraging this stuff. Marques Brownlee, Linus Tech Tips, Corridor, and tons of other Youtubers (and I'm sure many more from other platforms) eat these things like candy. If you or I wanted to get into this stuff, we reasonably could with a little financial discipline (and maybe bargaining with our significant other :D).
They are unimaginably vulnerable to someone coming along with a platform that accepts any, say, NVME, with some form of "works best with" certification system. That way, if your risk is low ( enthused hobbyist) go with your MLC dumpster diving special, if your risk is high then go with OEM, certified, or better (because there is better storage than what Red offers). Keep in mind that Red have supplanted a stupidly broken industry with a vastly less broken industry, but on the absolute scale they are still pretty fucking stupid. They are living on the time it takes for someone to realize that, given a huge amount of R&D into a sensor (because Red is likely the leading sensor), a more capitalist/competitive approach exists.
are not consumers but media businesses.
I’m sure many farmers would consider John Deere’s practices regarding DIY repairs, anti-consumer, as they are the consumers. Any person who might reasonable be considered an end-user of a product, or might buy a type of product might be considered a consumer of that type of product.
Anti-consumerism and protectionism do not even require that you be a customer of the company in question, some practices extend beyond the product itself when the company seeks to stifle competition.
Did you actually believe, or even think about the position you're now taking prior to reading the comment thread about it?
I'm highly skeptical that someone genuinely holds the position "businesses aren't consumers."
I think it's more likely that you're just arbitrarily taking a contrarian position to argue online to pass the time.
> are not consumers but media businesses.
This idea of yours is extremely out of touch with reality, just like Red are. Those "media businesses" would be nowhere without an engaged audience. The modern audience are participators, not watchers. Commodity 3D printers have succeeded for a reason.
People aren't as one-dimensional as they used to be. They take their interests to an extreme degree. It might take a videography/cinematography enthusiast 2 years to save up for a Red, but they will.
Compare this to someone like me, who also owns expensive cameras, but I have them to take pictures and show my friends. I plan to make $0 from this endeavor. I'm a consumer, not a business.
I agree that RED is cost-prohibitive for individuals that aren't running a business because of things like the 500% markup on SSDs. That is always the risk of a proprietary ecosystem; kind of like how you can buy 128GB of RAM for your PC for a few hundred dollars, but the same RAM in an Apple computer is $1600. That's just the price of "we guarantee that it will work", and for business use, it makes a lot of sense. For consumers, it kind of sucks, because you feel so close to being able to afford something really cool, but you just can't make the math work.
I do understand the pushback; people want to pay for the impressive sensor and not the mind-numbingly-boring SSDs, but they want to make money on both. I am not sure that's strictly consumer unfriendly, but just how they do the financial engineering.
isn't the whole basis of capitalism that capital drives competition which drives innovation and consumerism?
What does TotalBiscuit have to do with video compression? What does anti-capitalism have to do with being patriotic? How is TotalBiscuit related to anti-consumerism?
The only thing that somehow makes sense is that Red employs some anti-consumer practices through overly broad patents, thus restricting innovation.
Is that what you were trying to say?
this is one of the most bizarre sentences ever written
How many people on this forum, specifically, suggest that they use Apple devices because of, ultimately, good-will garnered by Apple? There should be no doubt that Apple manufactured the best laptop hardware on the planet, for the general use-case, between 2014 and 2020. Yet, many people continue to perceive Apple based on historic merits as opposed to current merits. You could always get much more than Apple for much less, but they had the quality nailed down: it is certainly not rare (especially on HN) to come across someone still using their MBP from 2014 and reluctantly considering an upgrade. Following the golden days of Apple hardware, we still have people defaulting to that prior perspective, even in the face of the the keyboard "don't use it in an environment with dust" problems of recent history.
Consumer psychology is extremely fascinating, and until you look at the overall behavior of consumers (which includes your own stupid self), you just don't realize how you've monkey brain has been exploited.
That sentence is only bizarre to people who haven't realized their own bizarre behavior.
Edit: I include myself in monkey-brain analogies, I am a human/stupid/exploitable just like you.
Yeah, I mean, kinda right back atcha here ;) A lot of people are still stuck in the "apple is dumb Jony Ives design with no ports and super bad performance and overheating" era too, despite Apple actually putting ports back on laptops and having an in-house ARM core that is far and away the most performant laptop you can buy with multiples of the battery life of similar x86 laptops too.
A more productive take on the topic is that a lot of times these things come down to values differences between various consumers: you value repairability and open ecosystem, Apple customers value high-quality OEM parts/service and the all-around build quality (other laptops have a few of the selling points, but it's hard to check all the boxes that Apple does). You highly value the keyboard, Apple customers are willing to tolerate it even if it's not ideal because of the rest of the package. Apple customers value the battery life, you are willing to tolerate plugging in more often even if it's not ideal because of the rest of the package. Etc etc. Those are values differences, not in the sense of moral differences but different customers have different needs and preferences and a lot of time is spent arguing about stuff that ultimately comes down to "I value different things than you do".
It's fairly rare that things actually come down to what I'll call "alternative facts" scenarios - sometimes it does, like the broad disagreement over how to interpret M1 performance numbers (but the differences in performance/battery life that people observe tend to lead to a pretty obvious conclusion imo). But it's generally a lot rarer than the "I like different stuff than you" spats.
I'm saying this as someone who has an x86 apple laptop for work and is not particularly pleased with it, but who is looking at the M1 as a prospect for a personal laptop, but also considering a few particular x86 laptops as well. People get super weird on the x86 side with the "nothing apple can ever be good" shit too, or the Android people getting super weird about how sideloading is a must-have feature (and ignore how that sidesteps the app-review process and leads to facebook/netflix/other must-have apps forcing their way to escalated privileges). It's generally a lot of values arguments, people value different things and that leads them one way or the other.
Of course marketing does play a key role in telling people what they should value, and I am no different from anyone else in that I am affected by marketing even when I think I'm making rational, logically-supported choices ;)
Of course, Nikon likely has an arsenal of camera patents with which to negotiate with RED so that might be different.
> "As [the original post] said, ZRAW stores a full RAW, albeit compressed (Huffman and Golomb). This means that the original information about YUV is not correct. In the code, they called the channels that way, indeed, but the channels themselves, as it turned out, store the usual RGB CFA Bayer."
> "ZRAW is not RAW anymore. After firmware v0.94.1 it's an AES-encrypted MOV-container-corrupted overXORred shit, that contains only HEVC bitstream."
7,830,967: Applying a gamma correction before compression
8,174,560: Above with a transformation to take a delta between green and the red and blue channels to enhance compressability. Claims are extremely vague on this one.
9,245,314: Lossy compression prior to moving sensor data into memory
9,436,976: Just looks like a combination of the three previous patents
Kodak had prior art on a lot of this for their satellite image processing which isn't technically video but the data rates are in the same realm.
Talk about bullshit.
Mathematics by itself is not patentable, but its usage certainly is. (In fact, if that were not the case, perhaps nothing would be patentable given how mathematical nature is.)
These patents are actually core parts of RED’s products (and compressing raw sensor data pre-debayer was actually fairly unique back in 2007 when they started doing it).
These seem to have the biggest impact on our ability to interoperate with complex technologies at scale.
Let end users install & set up their own data-pipelines.
You'd need good application processors with honky gpus, and probably a lot of weird image processing hard blocks sprinkled in.
But relying on companys to navigate the software seas, especially with shitty ass patent minefields for dumb-as-fuck obvious-shit (todays: compress raw before you combine) littering the field, is just sad. This is like the invert of the much desired non-smart TV, one which is good hardware but doesnt rot, doesnt decay, doesnt get crappy revamps. When vendors make software it is rarely "soft" for users, it is fixed & immutable. So just sell the hardware. Have the world be free to figure out & explore as it will what to do with the hardware. Unbundle the software.
(And for god sake someome do something about the piece of shit degitimizing trashfire of ruin & obstruction that is the patent system. Software patents are almost always completely stupid, stop patenting information theory.)
- 7,830,967 "Video Camera"
- 8,174,560 "Video Camera"
- 9,245,314 "Video Camera"
- 9,436,976 "Video Camera"
- 9,521,384 "Green Average Subtraction in Image Data"
- 9,716,866 "Green Image Data Processing"
- 10,582,168 "Green Image Data Processing"
Almost all patents use the following generic description or variations thereof:
"Embodiments provide a video camera that can be configured to highly compress video data in a visually lossless manner. The camera can be configured to transform blue, red, and/or green image data in a manner that enhances the compressibility of the data. The camera can be configured to transform at least a portion of the green image data in a manner that enhances the compressibility of the data. The data can then be compressed and stored in this form. This allows a user to reconstruct the red, blue, and/or green image data to obtain the original raw data or a modified version of the original raw data that is visually lossless when demosacied. Additionally, the data can be processed in a manner in which at least some of the green image elements are demosaiced first and then the red, blue, and/or some green elements are reconstructed based on values of the demosaiced green image elements."
IANAL, but this legal description is gobbledygook describing a video camera, that can compress video, in a visually lossless manner, by rearranging RGB data to be more compressible, and then being able to obtain original data from a "demosaiced" version of the RGB data.
RED clearly doesn't like Nikon's use of GREEN.
I believe the technique at issue is a way to compress the data -- using standard codecs like JPEG2000 -- without first de-bayering the image. I imagine it was pretty novel when the patent was filed, which would've been the mid '00s. (The Red One used this technique, and it launched in ~2007.)
Whenever there is some data which passes through several conversion stages, there is a certain point in the chain of transformations where compression is more efficient than in the other points, so it is always necessary to choose carefully where to insert a compression transformation.
For example, if you aggregate some files into an archive file and then you encrypt the archive file, a compression step must be inserted between the concatenation of the input files and the encryption step.
Inserting the compression before concatenation or after encryption will give much worse compression ratios.
The same is true for any chain of transformations. It is always necessary to identify the point where the compression must be inserted, which for image processing in a camera happens to be before debayering.
Absolutely anyone who would receive the task to add compression to an image processing chain of algorithms would start by making tests to determine where to insert the compression.
Discovering the claim of the patent does not require any kind of creativity or any other special skill in the domain. It would have happened automatically to the first one who happened to work at this problem.
I don't think a company should be granted a 20-year monopoly just because they were the first to write an idea down. I don't see how patents on run-of-the-mill innovations further innovation in the economy as a whole.
Even if there were no such thing as patents, companies would have begun compressing individual channels prior to de-bayering, because it makes sense and is a fairly obvious thing to try. The patent system didn't spur innovation in this case. It just allowed one company to demand a rent from everyone else.
There is a theory that patent rights can encourage inventors to publish their invention, so that everybody benefits in the long run. This is a nice theory, except it doesn't hold up in practice (at least in the tech industry) because (1) patent language is so obfuscated that it is not a useful source of knowledge; and (2) the threat of triple damages means that no (honest) practitioner in their right mind would ever read a patent other than their own.
It is possible that in other, slower moving industries, people do get some minor value from reading expired patents. Though somehow I doubt it: in our industry, the useful inventions spread through other channels, and I suspect the same is true everywhere.
Nikon has 100s or 1000s of their own patents, I would guess that they will counter sue for random violatations by RED.
RED, while protecting their first to market realm and making sure they get the check, have really stifled where the camera industry can go. Apple, Sony, Kinfinity, all lost out to RED on similar cases.
Assuming Nikon isn't completely ignorant (they've been protecting patents for a long ass time), introducing internal RAW in the Z9 was a red flag on announcement day for this very topic. It gave them the splash they needed to launch their flagship camera, so it's very possible they figured they'd take the win while they can, even if it came with a hard slap for everyone after the fact.
And it's a thin, but very legal argument to say they compete in the same space. No Z9 owner in a professional space is looking to buy a RED really. If there are, it's probably less than 10 in the world.
A huge part of me wishes people just wouldn't buy RED cameras in protest to how big of a road block they've created and the business practices they've employed themselves.
And Maybe the rest of the industry just collectively gangs up on them to apply pressure. One can dream. Right now, the only way this ends is if people talk with their money, or the patents expire.
Most people that do real R&D do it because they want to, not because they're rewarded with patents. They want to make a better camera, a better camera format, and sell it. And nobody learns how to make something by reading the patents, in the past 50+ years they're practically unreadable legalese. Once upon a time they had diagrams for mechanical devices or chemical processes, but now they're just ideas that many people faced with similar challenges and available technologies would have considered, except the first to bother to patent a general idea like "compress raw sensor data before debayering" now gets to be a massive pain in the ass to people actually doing R&D to make things.
What we really need is much more strict requirements for what qualifies as a truly unique innovation worthy of patent protection. None of this BS about virtual shopping carts on eCommerce sites, or playable minigames on video game loading screens.
For what it's worth, patents are limited to a 20 year duration. This is (was) fine in some slower moving industries, but completely ridiculous for something like consumer electronics or software.
This is an impressive feat to be sure, but to compare it to modern EUV lithography is like comparing a crossbow to an ICBM
Regardless, anyone could do this type of fabrication in their garage given removing the legal and technical barriers that keep EUV technology behind lock and key.
The idea that the risk of patent infringement is the only thing preventing him from building a chip comparable to a modern Intel or AMD CPU in his garage today is absurd.
Everybody's gotta eat. Would you work your job if you weren't getting paid?
Ahh, MONEY! Which is as made up as it gets. This person is worth more than that person because this computer says so and it has to be TRUE, or else society wouldn't work. We are about to find out real quick how the world works again, and I am warning everyone here, if you think you are safe because of money, the world is going to humble you.
It's simply not true to say that innovation or R&D would grind to a halt if patents ceased to exist. If anything, we might even see the complete opposite, because it massively lowers the barriers to entry.
Bad patents and their negative impact on the world far, far outweigh the positive impact from the good ones (if there is such a thing). Scrap the whole damn system.
Or kept purely secret
The raw dollar value R&D in the private sector is higher, but that's accounting gymnastics for tax purposes, not actual R&D.
Besides, patents are not the only way to protect R&D.
Previous discussions here https://hn.algolia.com/?q=qoi+image
The amount of human waste generated by patents and the resulting machinery surrounding them, entire ecosystems of support that self perpetuates this insanity. The human race cannot advance until ideas are exchanged freely and scientifically and not via combat.
BTW my parent comment was at -2 when I posted this.
Seriously, if I infringe a patent in some DRMed software, can anyone ever legally discover that fact?
Yes, RED can file a suit, and 'discover' the software. The legal system is not some arcane and buggy piece of code.
Future movies will be filmed in mocap + multisensor photogrammetry and scaled up with AI techniques. (My startup does this.) Cost and time savings of not doing location scouting, set dec, lighting, and blocking are huge. Plus you can edit way more than a static grid of photons in post.
Consumer smart phones use computational photography and sensor arrays to work magic.
$100,000 glass optics are dying. They'll maybe find future use in industry and research, but the entertainment field will move on.
But I wish your startup well. I hope you've hired filmmakers, directors, producers so someone on your team understands how movies are made today.
(Plus: there's lots of money to be made in downmarket production. More money is being spent on video production today than ten years ago. The industry is not dying.)
This is almost certainly what the commenter is targeting. I'd guess that and/or the adult film industry.
This is moving down market, fwiw, but it's not disrupting traditional moviemaking. It's a fast-growing but tiny niche that I believe will saturate before it comes close to replacing the entire industry. (Full disclosure: I work with cameras professionally, so maybe I'm not an unbiased observer of the industry.)
[ edit for clarity ]
Yes, but that shouldn't matter.
> most of the production spending is still using fancy optics and traditional production.
It used to be shot and physically spliced together celluloid, too.
Optics are punch card technology. The art, and indeed the end goal itself, is storytelling. The technology is just a means to an end. A grid of photons can be crafted and manipulated much easier with new techniques than by trying to put those photons in the correct places by hand. We're going to look back at optics and glass as the dinosaur age.
> And even for virtual production, the actors are still people
For now. Models can generate animated poses. This is moving faster than you're giving it credit.
(Even when robots replace us, people will still want to act - no question. The technology will still afford that. But just like ADR can now be model-based, so can posture correction.)
Your average ten year olds will be making their own Star Wars films by the end of the decade.
Though I strongly prefer independent films, people "vote with dollars". Take a look at Disney.
The problems with filmmaking are the institutional capital, planning, and complicated logistics required to create a film. There's only so much money to make movies, not everyone gets a shot. This is why generic "for the masses" films get made and get theatrical release placement. This is why we have more Twitch streamers than filmmakers.
It will change.
Reducing the need for films to spend $10m+ on production would mean all kinds of cool shit could be feasibly created.
Look at the video game space where we have indies producing all kinds of complex, 3D games through tools like Unity.
Yes this worked awesome on the Star Wars prequels. Some of the most natural and real acting I've ever seen. /s
If you were a betting man, what would your timeline be? When does computer generated imagery surpass camera footage when representing reality? When does a drama shooting in Toronto pretending to be New York just render the whole thing? Finally, do you think performances will be noticeably worse and we’ll all just live with it, or is the whole idea of actors having a harder time acting with greenscreens/mocap sets overblown?