Oculus CTO Reacts Angrily to ZeniMax Court Victory
In a long and angry Facebook post, Oculus CTO John Carmack vented his frustration over the victory ZeniMax scored against his company in court. The Texas jury that was asked to deliberate on whether or not Oculus had used proprietary ZeniMax designs awarded the latter a total of $500 million in damages after they found that Oculus co-founder Palmer Luckey had broken an NDA with ZeniMax, though they did not see any evidence of misappropriation.
Though losing would smart in the best of circumstances, John Carmack himself was accused of having stolen proprietary code pertaining to VR that ZeniMax developed and ended up being used in Oculus’ designs. Being branded a thief is never pleasant, but Carmack took to Facebook to express his anger, a very unusual tactic in the U.S. legal landscape, where it pays to keep mum, win or lose.
Carmack’s main objection is with the expert testimony that was presented by one of ZeniMax’s witnesses. Carmack claims he never got access to the documents this expert based his conclusions on, nor did the opinions of the witness live up to Carmack’s standards. “I just wanted to shout ‘You lie!'” says Carmack in his post. He also objects to this witness’ use of the term “absolutely certain,” saying that none of the statements he made fit that description.
What the entire Facebook post boiled down to is that Carmack feels that the expert was paid to say what he said and that, therefore, his testimony should be pulled into question. As social media posts and courts of law are very different arenas, however, it seems unlikely anything will come of these accusations. On the other hand, they may end up hurting Carmack as Oculus has appealed the jury’s decision: it isn’t unlikely that Carmack’s rant may end up as a piece of evidence for ZeniMax.
Fergus has been tinkering with computers since he was a kid and likes to put a stop to parties by listing the specs of all the digital devices in the room. It's best not to let him near your computer since he'll take it apart and may not put it back together again before he leaves.