Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Singapore company wants websites to pay for linking images

vuestar_02

Vuestar, a Singapore company which owns patents focusing on internet searching via visual images, identity security and copyright assets, is demanding website owners to pay them a fee if their website "has been developed by or for a URL addressee/owner and uses visual images to hyperlink to other pages in which any first or subsequent page provides the contact details of an Organisation would in Legal terms appear to use the steps and methods outlined in a claim of the Patent".

Yup. WTF!

Vuestar has started issuing invoices (see a scanned copy above and view the rest here) to a number of websites in Singapore. According to its Vuestar's FAQ page, those who do not pay up will not be able to use images to link to other pages on their websites:
What happens if I don’t pay?
You will not be granted the VUESTAR User Licence and will be unable lawfully to use visual images to access the worldwide web. Our collection agencies will recover unpaid fees.

What if I still use visual images to access sites/content?
Having been provided with proper notice of VUESTAR ’s rights, you will be deemed to have entered into a user Licence and be liable for a fee each year based upon usage/traffic. Our collection agency will recover any annual unpaid fees.
I think this is perhaps the most ridiculous thing that I have ever come across and no one should pay these suckers a single cent at all. Violating their intellectual property? Intellectual property my ass! Since when is linking images be deemed as an intellectual property?

If they think they can profit by charging websites for linking images, then they are not only stupid and brainless but they are also so very, very, very wrong and I'm sure the law for the benefit of the internet community, will not allow these suckers to do so regardless if they have the damn patent or not.

Update:

Keystone Law says that claims by Vuestar should be taken seriously. (PDF)

Vuestar may think it has the right to start invoicing companies in Singapore but in the U.S., "the results of ordinary innovation are not the subject of exclusive rights under the patent laws".

(Thanks Mr Big, Lord Kimbo, GeekGod, Sir Thomas)

13 comments:

Anonymous_X said...

It takes only one company or someone who is willing to fight it out against Vuestar's (ridiculous) claim to see how it turns out in court.

My gut feeling is that Vuestar won't even want that to happen because of the possibility of losing.

By sending many invoices, Vuestar would have expected that at least, some are going to comply & pay.

a_x

Anonymous said...

who wld be stupid enuf to pay them?

Shy said...

How could the patent office even allow such a patent in the first place?

Bengster said...

Daylight robbery sia!!!

Anonymous said...

they shld announce this during april fools

Sebastien Paul Tan said...

This smells like a patent troll:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patent_troll

primus said...

try invoicing google or yahoo. :oP

Anonymous said...

This is so silly that it will NEVER be uphold in the court of law.

Mr Big said...

I want to patent 'breathing oxygen and converting it to carbon dioxide'. I will be super rich then.

xXx said...

Judge to Vuestar: Don't waste my fucking time!!!!!

jinjin said...

vuestar wanna compete with odex to be the most hated company in sg lah... n looks like they are succeeding.

wyng said...

It seems that keystone law wants to capitalize on the resultant legal crossfire that will ensue.

Evil lawyers trying to leap in on evil patent trolls.

SeaBird said...

Hmmm, that's really interesting. Sometime soon, though, I'm sure the technology will be available for people to control the use of their images more - which is both good and bad, I guess!

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