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Google Music Patents Your Rights Online

Google Patents Using iPhones To Kill 'Free Bird' 176

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the jukebox-pranks-rebuffed dept.
theodp writes "At Chicago's Billy Goat Tavern, construction workers found physical threats an effective way to discourage smart-ass Whitney Young High School students from playing annoying jukebox songs over and over again. But with Google's newly-patented technology for the Collaborative Rejection of Media for Physical Establishments, you no longer need to resort to violence to prevent Elton John Songs from being played on jukeboxes in bars. Its invention, boasts Google, 'enables customers of an establishment to collaboratively reject a media file that is currently playing and/or pending to be played within that establishment by entering data into a personal wireless portable computing device on their person, for example a cellular telephone.' But don't get your hopes up too high, kids. Much like Google's dual-tier stock plan, the patent calls for 'customer status levels including a premium status and a standard status,' so a premium customer will be able to veto attempts by lowly standard customers to kill his requests to play MC Hammer's 'Can't Touch This'. The patent comes from a quirky Outland Research IP portfolio acquired by Google; its inventor is Louis B. Rosenberg, a Stanford PhD and professional film maker."
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Google Patents Using iPhones To Kill 'Free Bird'

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  • by crazyjj (2598719) * on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @12:30PM (#39942833)

    I would be happy about the premium service, to keep you people from cancelling my music. But, then again, there is no way that any jukebox in any of *your* bars is going to have the kind of music on it that I'm into anyway. And no bar that would let you people in is going to serve the kind of food I eat, or the drinks that I'm into these days. I would tell you about it, but you wouldn't get it. You see, I don't even *own* a TV. And everything you like is just a ripoff of the *real* stuff that only a few people like me know about. Of course, you don't get it. But I wouldn't expect people like you to understand. You should probably stick with your radio music. Doubt you could handle the real stuff anyway.

    Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm taking my custom painted iPad to a club that you haven't heard of, in a part of town that you've probably never been too, to listen to music you wouldn't understand, with people you would never meet. I would say goodbye, but no one says that anymore unless they're being ironic--or do they?

    • by jovius (974690) on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @12:44PM (#39943047)

      Is premium enough? I thought premium+ superseded it ages ago and that the current top status is hyper-double-elite.

      • Is premium enough? I thought premium+ superseded it ages ago and that the current top status is hyper-double-elite.

        No. There's a new level [youtube.com] now.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      How ironic is it for a "hipster" to have such a high UID?

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        He had a high UID before it was cool.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by camperdave (969942)
        Well, it could be that by the time he fired up his XT and dug out his acoustic modem, all the low UIDs were taken, or the parent meant the current definition of "hipster": men and women typically in their 20's and 30's that value independent thinking, counter-culture, progressive politics, an appreciation of art and indie-rock, creativity, intelligence, and witty banter who hang out at Starbucks drinking lattes.
    • by CannonballHead (842625) on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @12:50PM (#39943137)

      I would reply with a great comment, but I don't think you'd get it. Besides, I was replying to your comment before it was highly rated.*

      .

      * ok, so that's not true.

    • ...or the drinks that I'm into these days.

      Oh, right, that's the cheap beer that people with no taste drank when I was a kid in the poor part of town, right? You can have it. :-)

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I don't watch television. I don't even *own* a television. Notice how I said "television" and not "TV." TV is a nickname, and nicknames are for friends, and television is no friend of mine.

    • by Baloroth (2370816)

      Slashdot really needs a "+1 Ironic" mod, if only for this post.

    • Your sister is about to throw away some super cute jeans, better go stop her.

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      But, then again, there is no way that any jukebox in any of *your* bars is going to have the kind of music on it that I'm into anyway.

      You haven't been inside a bar for a while, have you? The new jukeboxes are connected to the internet and have an amazing variety of music. I've seen bands like the Pietasters and the Dead Milkmen on them. Unless you're into opera, muzak or that electronic diddly shit it's likely to be there.

      Don't woosh me, bro.

    • by bryan1945 (301828)

      Why was this modded funny? This is exactly the type of stuff I've heard hipsters say. It's like watching those poor kids who have to wear helmets because they're so dumb they bang their heads against the wall constantly. It's a verbal enema from a sloth on meth and or prozac. Having my dong slammed by a car door is less painful than listening to them. I thought the ultimate in stupid was the liberal arts majors who would spout "world changing" strategies while forgetting that it's already been tried 14

    • by Darinbob (1142669)

      I would pay extra in a bar that had a way to vote to eject hipsters, or the same with a restaurant that had ejection seats for foodies.

    • by sootman (158191) on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @04:32PM (#39946579) Homepage Journal

      Q: How did the hipster burn his mouth?

      A: He bit into his pizza before it was cool.

  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn.gmail@com> on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @12:33PM (#39942881) Journal

    But don't get your hopes up too high, kids. Much like Google's dual-tier stock plan, the patent calls for 'customer status levels including a premium status and a standard status,' so a premium customer will be able to veto attempts by lowly standard customers to kill his requests to play MC Hammer's 'Can't Touch This'.

    I think there's some confusion here. I read that part of the patent as saying that if you, the owner of this jukebox system, have a patron at your place of playing music that is a regular then you can get his/her ID and promote them above random walk-ins. I used to bartend for two years in college. There was this lonely guy that came in everyday of the week. My first day there, the owner pointed at him and said, "This is Joe, you help Joe before any other customers, you charge Joe $1.25 for each of his beers no matter what size or kind, tap or bottle." Apparently for 30 some years that guy came in, drank five beers through the course of the entire evening and left. People like that, I think you'd let them have your way with your jukebox and maybe you, the owner would be above everyone else in case things got out of hand. Maybe google thinks bars will run promotions where the first birthday person in the door with a large party gets veto control over the jukebox? Who knows?

    At Chicago's Billy Goat Tavern, construction workers found physical threats an effective way to discourage smart-ass Whitney Young High School students from playing annoying jukebox songs over and over again.

    What the hell? Somebody want to fill me in? I just spent ten minutes googling for some news item about this and came up empty handed ...

    • by rhsanborn (773855) on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @12:41PM (#39942995)
      One thing that needs to be considered is reimbursement. Ostensibly, someone paid to have that song played. If it gets shut down because Joe Premium is a country fan, then you really ought to reimburse the guy who paid to play Black Sabbath.
      • by vlm (69642)

        Could simply lock out the selection button for 24 hours. That eliminates all refund issues because for the next 24 hours no one can select that song. This does open the considerable risk of having to hear an annoying song exactly once every 24 hours.

      • Most commercial bar-jukeboxes today have a remote control behind the bar
        Waitstaff are able to de-prioritize a song that the regulars don't like, if some random joe walked in off the street and played something not to their liking

        Some bars don't really care; but if you're the type of bar where your 'regulars' are 95% of your patrons, you cater to them and let some things slide (like backbones)
        • by rhsanborn (773855)
          Which is why I thought of it. I've had it happen to me, and insisted on a refund. The bar is making money on songs being played on the jukebox. I paid to have whatever freaking song I chose played, and if you decide it's not what you want to listen to, give me my money back. The song was Kodachrome, seriously, who doesn't like Kodachrome?
          • by pjt33 (739471)

            I hadn't heard of it before I read your post, but I just listened to as much of it as I could bear on YouTube and you can add me to the list of uncool people you're drawing up.

            Did Simon ever write a song that was worth listening to?

          • by khr (708262)

            The song was Kodachrome, seriously, who doesn't like Kodachrome?

            Never heard of it?

        • by cayenne8 (626475) on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @02:17PM (#39944519) Homepage Journal

          Some bars don't really care; but if you're the type of bar where your 'regulars' are 95% of your patrons, you cater to them and let some things slide (like backbones)

          Ah yes...I like those types of bars.

          And I know a few of them I'm regular at....it helps to be a regular, you get your drinks poured heavy...sometimes they start pouring when you walk in the door and they hand it to you as you sit down. You get to see what you want on the TV....and yes, you can get some c-rap killed on the juke box if some idiot plays something really obnoxious.

          It really helps if you're a regular that tips well.....

      • On every jukebox I've seen there's been a notice saying that not all selections will be played. When you think about it, there might not be enough time on a given night to play all the songs that are requested. Not being reimbursed when your song isn't played is not new, but this happening because someone paid more probably is.
    • What the hell? Somebody want to fill me in? I just spent ten minutes googling for some news item about this and came up empty handed ...

      Rumor has it they told the students "Cheeps. no fries" and "Cheeboyger" whenever they got near the juke box.

    • The Billy Goat (great place, highly recommended) is only a couple of blocks from this school.

      I'll assume, in the absence of any actual facts, the OP goes to that high school and had an unpleasant encounter with the normal clientele of that fine establishment.

      If you try to play Drake in the Billy Goat:

      You're gonna have a bad time.

    • by pjt33 (739471)

      What the hell? Somebody want to fill me in?

      It's not just the summary that reads as an in joke. Even the title contains unexplained mysteries. Why "Free Bird"?

  • Um, it's called voting. It's ridiculous what absurdly obvious and trivial things can be patented. Well I'll one up them and patent the same thing, but for regulating the temperature of the room.

    • It is is so obvious, why aren't there open source implementations all over the place?
      • by gl4ss (559668)

        it is obvious, shouldn't be patentable, it's an automated human process. there's systems like it. the hard thing is to get the bar to use the jukebox.

        I work for a company that has almost this thing implemented(we have a working solution for bars etc, just not exactly like this)... currently we don't believe in preferring different customers from others(and again, it's not the hard thing to do it, it's to get customers to sign up for such tiers which is hard, this adds complexity to the process of just getti

        • by geekoid (135745)

          You don't[patent idea, you patent implementation of that idea.

          Why can't you people understand that.

          I can ALSO patent a system for voting for songs, as long as the technical implementation is different.

          Needing wing to fly is obvious, but that doesn't mean I can't patent different wing technologies.

    • by timeOday (582209)
      It's pretty useless if it requires effort such as casting a vote. Perhaps it models your preferences based on what you listen to the most, among the songs on your phone or streamed from the web etc. And like Pandora, it hopefully would not limit you to those specific songs, but would use that information to infer what other songs you might like.
  • Please Just Stop! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Githaron (2462596) on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @12:41PM (#39942999)
    The patent office needs to stop awarding idiotic patents. Anything plus a computer/mobile should not equal a patent.
  • Music, boooorrring (Score:5, Interesting)

    by vlm (69642) on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @12:41PM (#39943001)

    Music is by far the most boring application of this "media banishment system", especially at an exercise club or waiting room.

    I would love to see this applied to TV News and the financial news shills and the weather channel. Oh god not another "it bleeds it leads" hit skip. Not another kitten in tree saved by firefighters. The commentator on CNBC right now is a real estate shill .... flushing sound .... Onsight live broadcast breathlessly reporting "its raining" zapped.

    The main problem is there's a million recorded songs out there, the bar flies cannot possibly block them all even if they were sober and cooperated. But unleash this on the financial news channels and a small team could literally wipe the slate clean of all stories leaving a blank screen or test pattern. Its very likely that if you zap all the video news releases, and network entertainment news self promotions, and celebrity news, and pointless human interest stories, there is nothing left in a typical newscast.

    • by Mindcontrolled (1388007) on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @01:09PM (#39943427)
      I always suggested that TV channel execs get outfitted with an electroshock machine that activates when at least a given number of people press the "FUCK THAT SHIT"-button on their remote.
      • by vlm (69642)

        finally, a reality TV show I'd want to watch.

      • I always suggested that TV channel execs get outfitted with an electroshock machine that activates when at least a given number of people press the "FUCK THAT SHIT"-button on their remote.

        Anyone out there remember the mid-70's Dr. Who episode about this, where the president of whateverworld got hooked to an electric chair on live TV for every no confidence vote? It was one of the Tom Baker/Lalla Ward ones, but I can't remember the title.

    • You're looking for a nice .410 shotgun with #8 skeet shot.

      (Not appropriate for airports and certain other venues).

  • So what are 17-18 year old at the most students from a high school doing in a tavern? Maybe they should just enforce the existing rules to keep them out of there.
    • by Baloroth (2370816)

      A lot of bars will let you in, even if you are 21, especially during the off-peak hours (i.e. before 8-9 on Fri/Saturday), although it does depend on the bar. They won't let you drink (ostensibly: in actual practice, they often won't bother IDing you, but again, that depends almost entirely on the bar/bartender), but it can be nice if you have an under-21 friend who won't drink and can therefore drive.

      • by vlm (69642)

        Check the address of the linked website. In the midwest, Bar/Restaurants vastly outnumber bars-only plus restaurants-only combined. Alcohol only facilities are extremely rare in my area, even if all they offer is fryer food and sandwiches, they sell at least some chow.

        1) You aren't likely to get any if you're in the socioeconomic class that can only afford McD or taco bell. Coffee shop is infinitely more culturally acceptable.
        2) You almost certainly are not in the $150/plate steakhouse socioeconomic clas

        • by steveg (55825)

          Years ago the manager of a restaurant (El Torito chain) kicked us out of the bar section because one of our party had an infant with him. This was in California, which does not normally have draconian policies about things like that.

          I suspect he was a transplant from somewhere else and was confused about what was allowed, but he apparently had the authority to do it.

          • by geekoid (135745)

            No, he was legally correct. You can not be in a designated bar are with someone under 21, Legally.

            He as the manager, he can refuse service to whom ever he wants.

            • by steveg (55825)

              Keep in mind that this was the bar section of a restaurant, and is also part of the eating space. According to the California ABC site:
              There are no restrictions regarding minors entering or remaining on premises licensed for off-sale of alcoholic beverages or premises licensed and maintained and operated as a bona fide public eating place. (Section 25665)

        • by cayenne8 (626475)

          I guess in some parts of the country its illegal for underage people to be on the premises of a bar? That must cut into sales even worse than smoking bans.

          I live in New Orleans...there are LOTS of bar only bars here. The old fashioned "neighborhood bar" is still around here.

          Sure some sell food too, but they are primarily bars, alcohol is the main money makers. Heck, even at restaurants, bar sales often top or come close to topping food sales for profit.

          But that being said...down here, we still have choi

    • by admdrew (782761)
      The Billy Goat(s - there are more than one in Chicago) is closer to a bar/grill than a straight up bar, and is commonly visited for lunch. Still no idea where the story poster's anecdote came from, though.
  • ...you no longer need to resort to violence to prevent Elton John Songs from being played on jukeboxes in bars.

    There's always been a non-violent resort: have the proprietor remove Elton John discs/records from the jukebox. If the regulars request it, the owner will be happy to make the regular, paying customers happy.

    • by jackbird (721605)

      Trouble is, the newer MP3 jukeboxes pull down tracks from a VAST media library somewhere offsite. It takes some doing to find a major-label track that isn't available in my experience.

  • Why is it that everytime an article mentions a "cellular phone", /. editor needs to put the i*** word in the headline ?

  • by sl4shd0rk (755837) on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @12:46PM (#39943077)

    Seems there's another issue here besides the jukebox.

    • by vlm (69642)

      The linked "tavern" (copyright 2004 so the prices are only 8 years out of date) seems to be a restaurant/bar. Fairly common in the midwest for "casual family dining". I would further extend that to I've only seen 3 classes of restaurants here in the midwest, the $50+/seat with no bar but full bar service for the diners, the $20/seat casual family dining eatery with a bar nearby the entrance, and the dollar menu fast food joints (mc donalds, etc)

      If you're "out with a date on friday night" (stereotypically

    • Seems there's another issue here besides the jukebox.

      Actually, no. It's not a tavern as in bar but as in eatery. The Billy Goat Tavern is a Chicago landmark with a varied and colorful history.

    • by billcopc (196330)

      Depends on the legal drinking age where you live.

      Here in Canada, it's usually 18 or 19. I don't have hard numbers but I would guess a good 5 to 10% of high school seniors could be legal.

  • if only one could invent something to prevent people from going to such bars.

  • by Mabhatter (126906) on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @12:50PM (#39943133)

    People are more than able to caught $20 for the music THEY want to here. The problem with Jukeboxes is that they play all of one customers songs in the order paid for. Some kid dumps $10 for the same song 20 times there's nothing to do about it. There are a lot of other ways to deal with the situation that could be built into the player.. Randomize tracks, only accept 3 songs at a time, only let so many repeats in an hour, etc....

    This is a classic Tragedy of the Commons situation. The music affects everybody at the location, but the play rights are sold to one jukebox provider. Once they got the rights, they have no further interest in making user the experience is good for everybody. Free Capitalism baby! If somebody wants to harass the other customers with $20 of MCHammer it's not the jukebox providers problem.. They got their $20! If you didn't like the selection put your own $20 in first. You had the same chance as anybody else... Why did you "share"? It's exactly like the Ferengi Rules of Accusition.

  • i want this in my local Giant as well. Many people go to bars to actually listen to damnboxes, but nobody goes to Gian to listen to their muzak.

    Another application of iPhone-based voting: where should the drone fly and where to drop. Like crane game in arcades.

  • by mypalmike (454265) on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @12:51PM (#39943165) Homepage

    You don't deserve a music-related patent if you can't spell Zeppelin.

  • This is funny, but it's probably an abuse of the patent system. At best it is trivial.

    And Vonnegut thought American life was absurd in his heyday. We seem to be living in a Dali painting now....

  • by seanzig (834642) on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @12:56PM (#39943231)
    ...that allows certain people, let's call them "moderators," to assign -1 or +1 rating points to the song. If the song falls below the bar's threshold, then it doesn't play. The selector of the song also accumulates these points from the moderators; we can call this "karma." Bad or good karma gives their future song selections a lower or higher initial rating, respectively. I'm so novel and smart! Time for me to file for my patent, beyotches!
  • Can we focus on some REAL issues!? I have some much simpler suggestions: 1-leave 2-use earplugs 3-battle of the jukebox songs! (Or, I Can Drive You Crazier Faster Than You Can Drive Me Crazier!)
  • by tverbeek (457094) on Wednesday May 09, 2012 @12:56PM (#39943239) Homepage

    I'm as free as a bird now, and this bird you cannot chayayayayayayange!

  • I have little doubt of prior art on this. I used to work at a company in New Zealand where one could vote a song up via a web interface.

    One day one of the owners complained to, if I recall correctly the programmer, Adam, who had written the code for it and handled the tracks, if he could change the music since it most likely was highly disturbing to me, and since I was working on a Perl project from hell (no, not all Perl projects are like that), I needed peace. Then the guy told him that what was currently

  • FTFS:The patent comes from a quirky Outland Research IP portfolio acquired by Google

    In other news: The Onion Spins off R&D Department, Eyes IPO in April 2013
  • I love that song :)

    • I'm as partial to a bit of middleweight metal mildly racist redneck rock as the next man, but I always felt that somewhere inside was a really good six and a half minute song struggling to get out.

  • The links are to sites, not to the events or activities described. Who cares about the Billy Goat Tavern, except if one lives within driving distance?
  • If he can't play "What's New, Pussycat" 21 times in a row, with an "It's Not Unusual" thrown in occasionally.

  • If you're running iTunes on a computer, you can enable iTunes DJ (formerly called Party Shuffle). From there, any iPhones on the network with Apple Remote installed can connect to it and vote songs up that they'd like to hear (assuming you enabled the ability to make requests). Granted, it doesn't kill songs that are playing that no one wants to hear, but it's been on shipping devices for several years already.

    As for the problem of killing songs no one wants to hear, the better way to handle that is to NOT

  • You're talking about a commons (the music being played in public). The most efficient use of a commons is to auction it off: whoever wants the next song most wins.

    If the kiddies want to play Elton John over and over, and can afford to bid it up, let 'em. The owner of the place, who is the one who makes the decision about who gets to be in the bar, will be happy to have them paying $25 rather than 25 per song. If he feels badly about the construction workers being driven out, he can use the proceeds to buy t

    • by retchdog (1319261)

      yeah, as long as you ignore the externality of driving away more affluent customers, it's efficient.

      • by jfengel (409917)

        Seems to me that it would tend to encourage affluent customers, the ones with the free cash to waste getting their favorite song on the jukebox. It's the less affluent, or at least more thrifty, customers who get driven off. And from a purely financial standpoint, that's not necessarily a bad thing.

        It might fill your bar with assholes, and THAT could be a problem, but you can ban assholes with money if you want. (Unless you also want to auction off access to your bar...)

  • back in the old days, we played the entire nine inch nails album broken on a jukebox at a neighborhood pizza hut(!).

    it was really amusing to hear "fist fuck" over the speakers at a family restaurant, although not everyone shared our opinion.

  • I see two possibilities here,

    A) I go to a bar, want to listen to music, but get my music gets rejected. I sure as hell don't want to be at that bar anymore.
    B) Or in averaging people's dislikes and likes, the only music that will actually play are songs that no one hates enough to down vote, but no one likes.

    It seems like this will piss off new customers, or just ensure no one gets to listen to what they actually really like.

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