Zenimax vs Oculus Heats Up

GameInformer reports that Zenimax is turning up the heat on their lawsuit against Oculus over VR technology. They say the company is now directly accusing John Carmack of theft. They now say the former technical director of id grabbed code that belonged to them after he left to work on the Oculus Rift. Here's what's going on based on Zenimax's amended filing:
“Instead of complying with his contract, during his last days at ZeniMax, he copied thousands of documents from a computer at ZeniMax to a USB storage device,” the amended filing (below) alleges. “He never returned those files or all copies of them after his employment with ZeniMax was terminated. In addition, after Carmack's employment with ZeniMax was terminated, he returned to ZeniMax's premises to take a customized tool for developing VR Technology belonging to ZeniMax that itself is part of ZeniMax's VR technology.”

Further, the suit increases its allegations that Palmer Luckey is not the inventor of contemporary virtual reality. In the original filing, Zenimax states that "Luckey increasingly held himself out to the media and the public as the visionary developer of the Rift’s VR Technology, which had actually been developed by ZeniMax without Luckey’s involvement."

The similar passage from the amended complaint is far more damning, suggesting that Iribe knowingly spread a tall tale about Luckey creating VR in his parents' garage. "Oculus, at Iribe’s direction, disseminated to the press the false and fanciful story that Luckey was the brilliant inventor of VR technology who had developed that technology in his parents’ garage," the new document reads. "In fact, that story was utterly and completely false: Luckey lacked the training, expertise, resources, or know-how to create commercially viable VR technology, his computer programming skills were rudimentary, and he relied on ZeniMax's computer program code and games to demonstrate the prototype Rift. Nevertheless, this fraudulent tale was frequently reported in the media as fact. Luckey increasingly and falsely held himself out to the media and the public as the visionary developer of the Rift’s VR Technology, which had actually been developed by ZeniMax without any substantial contribution from Luckey."

Additionally, Facebook’s role in the suit has been expanded. The social networking company closed its deal to acquire Oculus after the original Zenimax lawsuit was filed in 2014. Zenimax asserts that Facebook had been provided a copy of the non-disclosure agreement made with Oculus. However, the sale was executed despite misrepresentations made by key Oculus officials.
View : : :
33 Replies. 2 pages. Viewing page 1.
Newer [  1  2  ] Older
33.
 
Re: Zenimax vs Oculus Heats Up
Aug 23, 2016, 16:17
33.
Re: Zenimax vs Oculus Heats Up Aug 23, 2016, 16:17
Aug 23, 2016, 16:17
 
jdreyer wrote on Aug 23, 2016, 04:54:
Ravenus wrote on Aug 23, 2016, 02:53:
Carmack's own views on software code ownership are not in line with the current choking legal standpoint on copyright, so it is possible that he took some of his own work at Zenimax without an iron-clad understanding of the possible legal ramifications of the fine print in his contract.

I don't know anything about legal matters but maybe Zenimax could request the court to allow them a look at the Rift VR code and see if it has similarities to any code Carmack did when he was an employee?

That sounds like a fishing expedition. Courts are reluctant to acquiesce to such requests without definitive proof.

My thoughts exactly.
Cliff "Devinoch" Hicks
Host of the Starlight Society Podcast
http://tinyurl.com/starlightsociety/
32.
 
Re: Zenimax vs Oculus Heats Up
Aug 23, 2016, 14:59
32.
Re: Zenimax vs Oculus Heats Up Aug 23, 2016, 14:59
Aug 23, 2016, 14:59
 
If he "stole" anything, it was semantics over how much of his personal projects belonged to the company. I'm against those kind of clauses in general, so even if it turns out to be true, fuck zenimax. The only reason they care is that having Carmack made them look better and they are pissed he left; and the reason he left was because they DIDN'T CARE ABOUT VR, and now VR is a thing, so they have egg on their face they are trying to clean up.

But throwing that egg at a beloved developer is not going to make you look any better, you dumb idiots.
31.
 
Re: Zenimax vs Oculus Heats Up
Aug 23, 2016, 14:45
31.
Re: Zenimax vs Oculus Heats Up Aug 23, 2016, 14:45
Aug 23, 2016, 14:45
 
jdreyer wrote on Aug 23, 2016, 04:33:
“He never returned those files or all copies of them after his employment with ZeniMax was terminated. In addition, after Carmack's employment with ZeniMax was terminated, he returned to ZeniMax's premises to take a customized tool for developing VR Technology belonging to ZeniMax that itself is part of ZeniMax's VR technology.”

This is the stupidest statement ever. You don't freakin' return copied files. You delete them.

Second, if Zenimax had a VR division for years and years, why are we just hearing about it? Was Zeni going to build a VR headset back in 2011? If so, where is it? Was Zeni going to produce some VR games? If so, where are they? This isn't passing the smell test.

Lastly, am I the first one to pull out the popcorn icon? This is going to be a great show!

Popcorn


Yup, agreed. Zenimax's history of sue everybody for everything doesn't help perception that they're the big victim here.

I don't know if Carmack stole stuff, frankly I don't really care. We'll probably never know, this one has all the markings of an "undisclosed settlement with no admission of wrongdoing" and will vanish. Facebook will write a cheque once their lawyers go over everything and that will be it. Zenimax isn't looking for justice or to right a terrible wrong. They just want money. Justified or not, they'll probably get some. Then onto the next lawsuit.
30.
 
Re: Morning Mobilization
Aug 23, 2016, 09:49
30.
Re: Morning Mobilization Aug 23, 2016, 09:49
Aug 23, 2016, 09:49
 
Tom wrote on Aug 23, 2016, 05:00:
wtf_man wrote on Aug 22, 2016, 20:30:
When you code for a company, the shit is automatically theirs. That's part of your employment agreement. You have to explicitly get permission to work on something on the side that they can't claim as theirs. (like making a little commercial app that has nothing to do with the company's business, nor competes against the company).
This depends on the contract. In 20+ years of getting paid to write code, I've always managed to avoid signing a contract including such language. I have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to companies attempting to own or control what I create outside of work.

Then you have been rather fortunate. There are a lot of companies that will not hire you, without a clause like that, especially if you are salary instead of hourly. Their point being it's their paid development time, not your free time. (Not saying I agree with this)

Also it's to protect them from someone coding on their time and running off and making a mint.

I suspect that when Zeni bought Id.. they made it clear that they were buying Carmack's (and other's) tech work, among the game IPs.

Him playing with VR to possibly put in the Id Tech engine, would definitely fall under Zenimax ownership.

If he took nothing and started writing from scratch "from within his head" over at Oculus... that would be one thing. If he actually copied code and took it with him to Oculos, ESPECIALLY from company machines (not a home machine)... well... there's a strong case against him, unless he had some sort of clause in his contract (which I doubt).

/shrug
Get your games from GOG DAMMIT!
Avatar 19499
29.
 
Re: Zenimax vs Oculus Heats Up
Aug 23, 2016, 06:25
29.
Re: Zenimax vs Oculus Heats Up Aug 23, 2016, 06:25
Aug 23, 2016, 06:25
 
Dirk wrote on Aug 22, 2016, 19:15:
I have a large team of engineers that report to me, and as much as I encourage them to have interesting and exciting side projects to keep them engaged, I also have to warn them not to make anybody too aware of anything they are working on personally that might be seen as a competing product in even the vaguest sense of the word. It's a shitty, corporate owned world in which we live.

KUDOS man, KUDOS!
Avatar 58327
28.
 
Re: Morning Mobilization
Aug 23, 2016, 05:47
28.
Re: Morning Mobilization Aug 23, 2016, 05:47
Aug 23, 2016, 05:47
 
Tom wrote on Aug 23, 2016, 05:00:
wtf_man wrote on Aug 22, 2016, 20:30:
When you code for a company, the shit is automatically theirs. That's part of your employment agreement. You have to explicitly get permission to work on something on the side that they can't claim as theirs. (like making a little commercial app that has nothing to do with the company's business, nor competes against the company).
This depends on the contract. In 20+ years of getting paid to write code, I've always managed to avoid signing a contract including such language. I have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to companies attempting to own or control what I create outside of work.

My company used to be privately owned by the CEO and CIO. Then they sold it to a big national company. That company tried to make everyone sign contracts stating that any code they wrote anywhere was owned by the company. A couple of senior devs refused, as they had side gigs. So they had to get lawyers to meet company HR and lawyer to tell them they were refusing. Of course, we couldn't do without these guys without putting our plans on hold for a year. So they were allowed to quit and become contractors, at +20%. They were already making six figures...
To prevent CV-19, avoid the Serious Seven: weddings, funerals, faith-based activities, bars, gyms, house gatherings and other small events.
Avatar 22024
27.
 
Re: Zenimax vs Oculus Heats Up
Aug 23, 2016, 05:01
Slick
 
27.
Re: Zenimax vs Oculus Heats Up Aug 23, 2016, 05:01
Aug 23, 2016, 05:01
 Slick
 
While that is generally true in this case every core feature of both the Rift and Vive HMDs are directly derived from Valve’s research program. Oculus has their own CV-based tracking implementation and frensel lens design but the CV1 is otherwise a direct copy of the architecture of the 1080p Steam Sight prototype Valve lent Oculus when we installed a copy of the “Valve Room” at their headquarters. I would call Oculus the first SteamVR licensee, but history will likely record a somewhat different term for it…

This is the story i was referring to earlier
For your transgressions you shall be labeled a shill, called an idiot and anytime you mention facts or disagree with a tribe member you will henceforth be known as a troll. The best you can hope for is that the labels won't haunt your offspring. -RedEye9
Avatar 57545
26.
 
Re: Morning Mobilization
Aug 23, 2016, 05:00
Tom
26.
Re: Morning Mobilization Aug 23, 2016, 05:00
Aug 23, 2016, 05:00
Tom
 
wtf_man wrote on Aug 22, 2016, 20:30:
When you code for a company, the shit is automatically theirs. That's part of your employment agreement. You have to explicitly get permission to work on something on the side that they can't claim as theirs. (like making a little commercial app that has nothing to do with the company's business, nor competes against the company).
This depends on the contract. In 20+ years of getting paid to write code, I've always managed to avoid signing a contract including such language. I have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to companies attempting to own or control what I create outside of work.
25.
 
Re: Zenimax vs Oculus Heats Up
Aug 23, 2016, 04:54
25.
Re: Zenimax vs Oculus Heats Up Aug 23, 2016, 04:54
Aug 23, 2016, 04:54
 
Ravenus wrote on Aug 23, 2016, 02:53:
Carmack's own views on software code ownership are not in line with the current choking legal standpoint on copyright, so it is possible that he took some of his own work at Zenimax without an iron-clad understanding of the possible legal ramifications of the fine print in his contract.

I don't know anything about legal matters but maybe Zenimax could request the court to allow them a look at the Rift VR code and see if it has similarities to any code Carmack did when he was an employee?

That sounds like a fishing expedition. Courts are reluctant to acquiesce to such requests without definitive proof.
To prevent CV-19, avoid the Serious Seven: weddings, funerals, faith-based activities, bars, gyms, house gatherings and other small events.
Avatar 22024
24.
 
Re: Zenimax vs Oculus Heats Up
Aug 23, 2016, 04:33
24.
Re: Zenimax vs Oculus Heats Up Aug 23, 2016, 04:33
Aug 23, 2016, 04:33
 

“He never returned those files or all copies of them after his employment with ZeniMax was terminated. In addition, after Carmack's employment with ZeniMax was terminated, he returned to ZeniMax's premises to take a customized tool for developing VR Technology belonging to ZeniMax that itself is part of ZeniMax's VR technology.”

This is the stupidest statement ever. You don't freakin' return copied files. You delete them.

Second, if Zenimax had a VR division for years and years, why are we just hearing about it? Was Zeni going to build a VR headset back in 2011? If so, where is it? Was Zeni going to produce some VR games? If so, where are they? This isn't passing the smell test.

Lastly, am I the first one to pull out the popcorn icon? This is going to be a great show!

Popcorn

To prevent CV-19, avoid the Serious Seven: weddings, funerals, faith-based activities, bars, gyms, house gatherings and other small events.
Avatar 22024
23.
 
Re: Zenimax vs Oculus Heats Up
Aug 23, 2016, 04:26
23.
Re: Zenimax vs Oculus Heats Up Aug 23, 2016, 04:26
Aug 23, 2016, 04:26
 
Rigs wrote on Aug 22, 2016, 23:30:
Almost all of his rocket projects failed, so that's not something that Zenimax has an interest in. This thing with Oculus could be worth billions so, yeah, even if they settle out of court, it's something. I have a very hard time believing a guy as smart as Carmack wouldn't have all his ducks in a little row (with tiny little rocketpacks and nailguns! ) before he scooted off to hop in bed with Oculus. It just doesn't jive with me...

I'll just point out that the creative types aren't always the best at business. It wouldn't surprise me if Carmack screwed the pooch on this. That being said, whether or not Zeni can actually prove it is another matter entirely.
To prevent CV-19, avoid the Serious Seven: weddings, funerals, faith-based activities, bars, gyms, house gatherings and other small events.
Avatar 22024
22.
 
Re: Zenimax vs Oculus Heats Up
Aug 23, 2016, 04:14
22.
Re: Zenimax vs Oculus Heats Up Aug 23, 2016, 04:14
Aug 23, 2016, 04:14
 
wtf_man wrote on Aug 22, 2016, 20:30:
Dirk wrote on Aug 22, 2016, 19:15:
I wouldn't be surprised to find out that Carmack was the original author of all of the code that he purportedly absconded with. I also wouldn't be surprised to find out that he was under a contract that automatically made Zenimax the owner of any programs that he authored, in or out of the office, regardless of the project that code was associated with.

This.

When you code for a company, the shit is automatically theirs. That's part of your employment agreement. You have to explicitly get permission to work on something on the side that they can't claim as theirs. (like making a little commercial app that has nothing to do with the company's business, nor competes against the company).

So, if Carmack took any code with him, he's fucked.

Sounds like a good reason for developers and IT in general to get unionized. That, and being undercut by H1-Bs.
To prevent CV-19, avoid the Serious Seven: weddings, funerals, faith-based activities, bars, gyms, house gatherings and other small events.
Avatar 22024
21.
 
Re: Zenimax vs Oculus Heats Up
Aug 23, 2016, 02:53
21.
Re: Zenimax vs Oculus Heats Up Aug 23, 2016, 02:53
Aug 23, 2016, 02:53
 
Carmack's own views on software code ownership are not in line with the current choking legal standpoint on copyright, so it is possible that he took some of his own work at Zenimax without an iron-clad understanding of the possible legal ramifications of the fine print in his contract.

I don't know anything about legal matters but maybe Zenimax could request the court to allow them a look at the Rift VR code and see if it has similarities to any code Carmack did when he was an employee?
Avatar 55876
20.
 
Re: Zenimax vs Oculus Heats Up
Aug 23, 2016, 02:14
20.
Re: Zenimax vs Oculus Heats Up Aug 23, 2016, 02:14
Aug 23, 2016, 02:14
 
There's the real possibility that Zenimax is going to make the case that John Carmack IS the code, and that him working for ANY company breaks some contractual obligation. That is to say, they might think that they don't have to prove that he stole physical or digital copies of anything, but that it's all in his head, and therefore anything he touches is tainted. It's dirty, it's underhanded, and it's exactly the sort of shit a fucked-up company like Zenimax would try to pull.
19.
 
Re: Zenimax vs Oculus Heats Up
Aug 22, 2016, 23:52
19.
Re: Zenimax vs Oculus Heats Up Aug 22, 2016, 23:52
Aug 22, 2016, 23:52
 
Yes, I was kidding about the rocket thing.

Serious question next, though. So, if I understand correctly, he was working at *both* Oculus and id at the same time (id being bought by Zenimax). He left id because Zenimax wouldn't let him develop games to work on the Oculus.

If he's already working at the VR company, I'm confused as to how he could be "stealing" VR tech from Zenimax, considering they acquired id while I'm sure he was developing his own VR in his crazy-absent-minded-professor way.

Isn't that like someone buying your house, then saying they own everything inside of it because it's "inside" the house?

Edit: And, again, this comes back to me not believing he wouldn't immediately get all his private research the fuck out of that building pronto.
18.
 
Re: Zenimax vs Oculus Heats Up
Aug 22, 2016, 23:39
Dirk
 
18.
Re: Zenimax vs Oculus Heats Up Aug 22, 2016, 23:39
Aug 22, 2016, 23:39
 Dirk
 
Typically those contacts only cover things that are potentially competing. So video game VR they can go after, rocket tech not so much. Unless Zenimax had some secret Rocket division that I'm unaware of.
17.
 
Re: Zenimax vs Oculus Heats Up
Aug 22, 2016, 23:30
Rigs
 
17.
Re: Zenimax vs Oculus Heats Up Aug 22, 2016, 23:30
Aug 22, 2016, 23:30
 Rigs
 
Vall Forran wrote on Aug 22, 2016, 23:19:
I also cannot believe that Carmack wouldn't have some serious exclusions from the typical company "anything you make while employed by us is ours" boilerplate. Are they gonna try and sue his rocket projects as well?

Almost all of his rocket projects failed, so that's not something that Zenimax has an interest in. This thing with Oculus could be worth billions so, yeah, even if they settle out of court, it's something. I have a very hard time believing a guy as smart as Carmack wouldn't have all his ducks in a little row (with tiny little rocketpacks and nailguns! ) before he scooted off to hop in bed with Oculus. It just doesn't jive with me...

Slick wrote on Aug 22, 2016, 21:00:
So anything to see Zuckerberg squirm gives me a little tuggle in my sweatpants.

...yeah, that doesn't jive with me, either. I really didn't need to know that...


=-Rigs-=
Avatar 14292
16.
 
Re: Zenimax vs Oculus Heats Up
Aug 22, 2016, 23:20
16.
Re: Zenimax vs Oculus Heats Up Aug 22, 2016, 23:20
Aug 22, 2016, 23:20
 
I bet it's a Zenimax moneygrab for Facebook money.

Unless, the hacker who let you mod Doom despite everyone else on the team thinking it was a bad idea, was stupid enough to copy *.* to a USB drive.

Didn't think so.
15.
 
Re: Zenimax vs Oculus Heats Up
Aug 22, 2016, 23:19
15.
Re: Zenimax vs Oculus Heats Up Aug 22, 2016, 23:19
Aug 22, 2016, 23:19
 
I also cannot believe that Carmack wouldn't have some serious exclusions from the typical company "anything you make while employed by us is ours" boilerplate. Are they gonna try and sue his rocket projects as well?

I also feel weird in that I literally ordered my oculus 6 hours before this story broke.
14.
 
Re: Zenimax vs Oculus Heats Up
Aug 22, 2016, 23:16
Beamer
 
14.
Re: Zenimax vs Oculus Heats Up Aug 22, 2016, 23:16
Aug 22, 2016, 23:16
 Beamer
 
Cutter wrote on Aug 22, 2016, 19:33:
Occulus is fucked anyway you slice it. John-boy must be kicking himself for jumping on board with OR only to have it snapped up by FB.
Occulus sold for, what, 2 billion? Carmack, in order to jump ship, had to have, I'd say, a minimum of 1%. Probably upwards of 5%.

For $20-$100M, he's probably not kicking himself too hard.
33 Replies. 2 pages. Viewing page 1.
Newer [  1  2  ] Older