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Open source edition could reignite dormant patent issues

Lawyers advise Carmack to rewrite Doom 3 code

Games programming icon John Carmack has been advised to rewrite some of the Doom 3 code to pave the way for its open-source release.

The 2004 FPS employs a stencil shadowing technique, sometimes known as “Carmack’s Reverse”, that was co-written yet fully patented by Creative Labs.

Prior to the original release of Doom 3, id Software agreed to license Creative Labs’ sound technologies in exchange for indemnification against lawsuits. It is now feared that the non-commercial release of Doom 3 would reignite the conflict.

“Lawyers are still skittish about the patent issue around "Carmack’s reverse", so I am going to write some new code for the Doom 3 release,” Carmack said on his confirmed Twitter account.

Earlier in the year, at the annual Quackecon event that id Software hosts, Carmack announced that source code for Doom 3 would be released during 2011.

Recently he said the source code release was imminent, but the rewriting could delay the project into the next year.

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