Self-editing is overrated. Or is it?

Thursday, January 26, 2006

What is the emoticon for you cannot be serious?

Example


Do you know what emoticons are? God bless you if you don't. They're those stupid little things that your little sister puts at the end of her sentences in her emails like this:

:-) or :-( or :-P.

Please don't make me go on.

Then, a while ago, people starting writing code that when you typed an emoticon onto like a bulletin board, they would look like this:

Example or Example or Example.

Well, if you find it impossible to believe people use these things at all, then you'll really find it amazing that, according to Cellular News, Cingular Wireless is attempting to patent them. That's right, Cingular, who currently uses emoticons in their advertising to distract from how bad their actual phone service is, have made an application for patent (number US 2006/0015812 A1) for the use of emoticons in cell phones.

Let's see, I'll just let that sink in for:

......1...............2....................3............and........................................

YES. Your conclusion is correct. If your little sister uses an emoticon in a text message to you, even if you have begged her not to, she would, in fact, be in violation of patent law, and could be sued by Cingular for millions of dollars.

Which is great if you're trying to discourage your sister. But is like BULLSHIT otherwise, as the emoticon has been in existence for as long as corny people have had access to the internet and text messaging. Is Sprint gonna like copyright that stupid "Bill Gates will give you a thousand dollars if you forward this to everyone you've ever met." email? Is Verizon copyrighting "LOL"? Is AT&T copyrighting the douchebag "Call me" hand gesture?

We can only hope.

Seriously, though, which would be more embarrassing? To have go to court to prosecute someone for this? Or to be brought to court because you did it? There should an emoticon for someone wearing a jacket over their head.

The whole thing is outrageous, but, on the other hand, if we can make it so that they only patent material in the public domain that sucks, then maybe this will all be ok. Otherwise, seriously, this is not a slippery slope, this is a slippery cliff.


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2 Comments:

Anonymous Alex said...

:-)

1/27/2006 10:52 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I say :p to them!

1/27/2006 3:32 PM

 

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