Oculus' Carmack Denies ZeniMax Copyright Infringement Claims


Oculus CTO and game industry icon John Carmack took to Facebook yesterday to deny ZeniMax's personal allegations against him in their recently concluded case against his current employer, Oculus. In his post, Carmack says quite flatly that ZeniMax's entire case was flawed, and all of their allegations were false. He called their expert witness testimony into question, pointing out that the same code slides that the expert had prepared for ZeniMax were used in his defense after being zoomed in to make the code on them legible to everybody in the courtroom and clearly showing the differences in the codebases. He also said that the expert's assertion of absolute certainty that Carmack had copied code wholesale from ZeniMax-owned id Software's databases was downright offensive.

Carmack explained that the term used by the expert, "non-literal copying", could be applied in overly broad strokes, but was plainly not the case here, which would be apparent to anybody familiar with the code being analyzed. He compared the use of the term in this case to various literature, saying that swapping out Harry Potter characters and otherwise rewriting the books verbatim would give author J.K. Rowling grounds to sue, but that taking the basic formula and transmuting it could make a number of different stories like Star Wars or Hero's Journey. According to Carmack, the differences in the codebase were similar to the latter example; the two codebases were made to accomplish many of the same things, but used very different methods, language, structure, dependencies, and basic coding principle to do so.

ZeniMax reportedly fired back, saying that instances of literal copying were indeed found between the codebases, and multiple Oculus employees actually confessed to copying code. They also said that Oculus c o-founder Brendan Iribe had at one point tried to get a license for code that he claimed Carmack had shared. They refuted Carmack's denial entirely, saying that he had attempted to wipe his hard drive after being notified of the lawsuit. On that note, they even accused Carmack of perjury, saying that he had signed a false affidavit claiming that he did not wipe his hard drive.

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Daniel has been writing for Android Headlines since 2015, and is one of the site's Senior Staff Writers. He's been living the Android life since 2010, and has been interested in technology of all sorts since childhood. His personal, educational and professional backgrounds in computer science, gaming, literature, and music leave him uniquely equipped to handle a wide range of news topics for the site. These include the likes of machine learning, Voice assistants, AI technology development news in the Android world. Contact him at [email protected]

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