Random Posts

Thursday, March 1, 2012


The world is full of people who seem to make a living out of suing people.  I once knew a business owner who made most of his money suing people.  In fact as one of his customers I was once, on behalf of my employer, on the receiving end of one of his lawsuits which he later dropped.  I’m not much into USCF politics, but it’s been impossible in the last several years not to be aware of some of the pathetic dirt bags involved in US chess politics.  I personally knew a couple people involved over the years and some were really nice people who had the best interests of the chess community at heart.  Unfortunately the same can’t be said of all of them.  Then, too, there are politicians.  I’ve always wondered how you can have a job that pays $60,000 a year or so and become a millionaire several times over. 

I am not too familiar with the program LOOP but it appears that it was last offered free in 2007 and ended up in programs like Wii & Nintendo.  Anyway, I just read that the International Computer Games Association (ICGA), which according to their website is a site of prime interest to computer-game enthusiasts across a wide spectrum of games and headed by IM David Levy, has received a formal complaint from Fabien Letouzey, the programmer of FRUIT, regarding the program LOOP.

The allegation is that LOOP, which has participated in the World Computer Chess Championship, uses code derived from FRUIT, which placed second at the 2005 World Computer Chess Championship in Reykjavik.

The International Computer Games Association (ICGA) says, in part:

The email address that had previously been used by Dr Reul is no longer active, so on behalf of the ICGA I sent him an email via a friend of his who indicated that he would pass my email on to Dr Reul, did not respond to that email. The ICGA has attempted to contact Dr Reul in order to give him the opportunity of commenting on the allegation prior to the ICGA conducting a technical investigation into LOOP, but it appears to us that Dr Reul does not wish to be found

The ICGA is now planning to conduct an investigation into LOOP in order to examine the allegation about the use of code derived from FRUIT and once again invites Dr Reul, to contact the ICGA with his comments on the matter.

It was the ICGA who made accusations against the programmer of Rybka and now they appear to be on a witch-hunt against another chess programmer.

I do not have a problem with programmers making money on their work.  I was sorry to see Robert Houdart start selling the latest version of Houdini, but I understand why he did it and certainly can’t blame him.  But what I do have a problem with is suing every programmer you can and making them prove they didn’t do anything wrong.  So, did Dr. Ruel use Fruit as a basis for his program?  I don’t know.  What he did do was, as described by the US Patent Office, perfectly legal.

... any person who “invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof, may obtain a patent...”  

That appears to be what Dr. Ruel did; he found a useful improvement by adapting the program to work with a game console.

No comments:

Post a Comment