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 Post subject: Is it over? FAT Long File Names
PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2017 5:29 am 
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Hello everyone!

Is it true that Microsoft can no longer claim long file names and that all of their patents have expired? Meaning that everybody can implement long file names and not care about Microsoft at all?
Since those patents can last only up to 20 years, it had to end one day. Boiiii, no more [-X $$ for M$.
I hope the rumors are correct.

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 Post subject: Re: Is it over? FAT Long File Names
PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2017 6:37 am 
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"caring about Microsoft" is the main food and sense of life for a lot of zealots, so hardly they'll stop.

speaking of the topic, I of course, am not a lawyer and never understood or cared about this kind of things, but I guess you could implement FAT for the long time and Microsoft weren't going to bite you. Unless you wouldn't ask them to do so. ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Is it over? FAT Long File Names
PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:03 am 
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Hi,

Octacone wrote:
Is it true that Microsoft can no longer claim long file names and that all of their patents have expired?


As far as I can tell (based on this web page) there's at least one patent ("Common name space for long and short filenames") that is valid in Europe (but maybe not Germany) until 2021.

Note that I've always held the belief that not supporting long file names (which hide user visible proof that FAT is a crippled piece of trash) and clearly labelling it as Microsoft's file system (e.g. "Microsoft's FAT" in all documentation, etc) is an "extremely fair" response to the Microsoft's appalling attitude towards interoperability. Essentially; give Microsoft what they asked for (no "borrowing" of their horrible long file name hack) in an attempt to give Microsoft what they deserve (a reputation for sucking).


Cheers,

Brendan

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 Post subject: Re: Is it over? FAT Long File Names
PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 2:49 pm 
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Brendan wrote:
Hi,

Octacone wrote:
Is it true that Microsoft can no longer claim long file names and that all of their patents have expired?


As far as I can tell (based on this web page) there's at least one patent ("Common name space for long and short filenames") that is valid in Europe (but maybe not Germany) until 2021.

Note that I've always held the belief that not supporting long file names (which hide user visible proof that FAT is a crippled piece of trash) and clearly labelling it as Microsoft's file system (e.g. "Microsoft's FAT" in all documentation, etc) is an "extremely fair" response to the Microsoft's appalling attitude towards interoperability. Essentially; give Microsoft what they asked for (no "borrowing" of their horrible long file name hack) in an attempt to give Microsoft what they deserve (a reputation for sucking).


Cheers,

Brendan


Dammit!
Looks like another ~4 years of waiting...
More hacks to come, so basically I have to do it the "Linux Way".
FAT should be officially renamed to FAKE A*S*S TRASH.
Maybe we should really reinvent the well and do it in a way that doesn't infringe any copyrights. Like something totally new.
Why couldn't we as developers create an exact FAT clone that only supports long file names? I would have to be 1:1 clone so other OS'es could read it.

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 Post subject: Re: Is it over? FAT Long File Names
PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 1:58 pm 
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The only reason to use FAT these days is compatibility.
It's a file system that is understood by pretty much everything.
So, "invent something new" kinda defies the purpose - there are plenty of better options as it is.


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 Post subject: Re: Is it over? FAT Long File Names
PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 3:13 pm 
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Artlav wrote:
The only reason to use FAT these days is compatibility.
It's a file system that is understood by pretty much everything.
So, "invent something new" kinda defies the purpose - there are plenty of better options as it is.


Exactly, compatibility.
Most of the memory cards and USB flash drives use FAT 32.
I wouldn't use FAT 32 as a default system filesystem anyways.
It is just really frustrating that I have to support something widely used and can't do it properly because M$.

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 Post subject: Re: Is it over? FAT Long File Names
PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2017 12:27 pm 
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I would like to point you towards SFS, which was designed by a certain one of the mods here (who apparently declined to engage in blatant self-promotion in his earlier post, a tactful move I can appreciate even if it doesn't really help the conversation). It is not significantly more difficult to support than FAT - in someways it is simpler, really - but is completely unencumbered to the best of anyone's knowledge (though that might not stop some patent trolls if they decide it violates some IP they bought that was patented at some point, even if the patent has expired, was never actually accepted, or was submitted after SFS was published - all things we've seen patent trolls actually do in real cases).

However, regarding flash drives and memory cards, you will note that Microsoft aren't likely to file a suit against you unless and until your OS becomes widely used - it simply doesn't gain them anything, even in terms of the requirement that they defend their IP in order to retain the patent. This is definitely a case of it being easier to ask forgiveness than permission - go ahead with the implementation, and if they throw a Cease and Desist order at you, you can drop support for it before it goes to court.

This is one of the things that differentiates a corporation like MS, Apple, IBM, or Oracle, and a patent troll. While the bigger players can be total Richards about their IP, this is mostly because of the requirement that they consistently defend their IP without favor - the rules state that if you don't defend the patent, trademark, copyright, etc., or only defend it against certain parties and can be shown to have deliberately ignored infringement by other parties, then it becomes invalid. They are usually more than happy to make a license agreement (if you can pay and are willing to abide by the terms - which are the two places where they are most likely to stick it to people), and as a rule won't pursue someone who has stopped actively infringing and has removed existing violations from use. Most corporations will open with a C&D in a neutral tone, then step up the threats by degrees,but if they are unable to get what they want from you, they will hit you in court, hard.

Patent trolls, on the other hand, tend to start with a demand for money backed by a threat of massive legal action, and will keep asking for it even if the 'infringement' has stopped, even if the IP is shown to be invalid or expired, and even if they have actually been defeated in court on the topic by someone else already - but will often back down the moment you show a willingness to fight.

The 2013 Prenda Law case is pretty typical of this sort of shakedown, if rather more blatant in its disregard for the actual legality of what they were doing. I also direct your attention to the recent Wetro Lan case - while they stuck their willy in a meat grinder that time, they had been doing this sort of thing for quite a while beforehand and this was their first real setback.

My point is that in terms of IP, the big boys aren't the ones you really need to worry about, at least not until you are big enough to get on their radar. The ones to be concerned about right now are the ones who are in it purely as a racket.

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