Morning Brief: Lodsys files lawsuits against seven small developers, including Iconfactory; Fox News launches iPad app because no one can stop them from doing so
Lodsys followed through on its threat to sue developers for what it claims is patent infringements. The patent troll picked out seven small developers to sue, though one of them is fairly well known.
Iconfactory, the maker of Twitterrific was one of those companies targeted. Of the seven, most concerned apps for iOS, but there was one developer that also creates for Android.
Florian Mueller has a good post on the lawsuits over at his website Foss Patents, so there is very little for me to say on the subject.
Let me just say that the whole patent game is a sad condition of the current era. I remember very well the laughs Steve Jobs got during his iPhone keynote address in 2007 when he described multitouch saying “it works like magic” – which also got a laugh. But the big laugh was when Jobs said “And boy, have we patented it.”
The remark was obviously intended to show that Apple considered their new device groundbreaking and companies that had a tendency to copy Apple (read: Microsoft) should beware.
So while Lodsys and other patent trolls may be considered a threat to the new mobile and tablet industries, they are probably no more a threat than all the major players, Apple included, that are currently involved in patent lawsuits. The difference is that Lodsys has simply shown exactly how evil these companies can be by targeting small developers.
So Fox News has launched an iPad app, what is there to say? I downloaded it, opened it and then took a screenshot. There you have it, my report.
One could say that it is just another app, works in both portrait and landscape, etc. etc. In other words, I could be like the other media writers: pretending that Fox News has lowered the level of professionalism of the whole industry, blurred the lines between reporting and advocacy, etc.
No, it’s another news app, and I’m sure a lot of people will download it to read up on death panels, Obama’s fake birth certificate, how the country is moving towards socialism, and to hear about the latest adventures of Sarah Palin. Actually, this sounds like the CNN, NBC News and CBS News apps.
I find it interesting that few people question the wisdom of TV news networks releasing free apps, while everyone talks about paywalls for newspapers. Both are news products on the same platform.
My own thoughts on this are that this is a reflection of the decline of newspaper advertising. Newspapers have not made the transition to online very well, and now mobile and tablets are presenting the same problems.