Father of optical-digital technology without one red cent

The Seattle Times did an article on the father of optical-digital technology, who happens to hit close to home. Jim Russell, a retired Batelle’s PNNL (Pacific Northwest National Laboratory) scientist engineered the technology behind what is known as the compact disc. While Sony and Phillips roll in billions of dollars from retail sales and lawsuit settlements, they licensed technology that was created from 1960s. The first patent was filed in 1966 and the first prototype for optical digital technology was built in 1973. Because Russell’s contract ended (from ORC) before settlement of patent infringement by Sony and Phillips, Russell never got a cent.

Personal note: What? Thus corporate greed has once again screwed the people that took them there. ORC (Optical Recording Corporation) won a settlement from Time Warner in 1992 for $30 million dollars. Jim Russell didn’t see a dime. If anything should perturb anyone, that would definitely perturb me. Of all the stupid things that RIAA is doing to “stop” piracy, the least they could do is give a little something to this man. Even a nice statue or plaque for what has created their empire(s) but not a dime was spent. Sometimes you wonder if corporate America has let those that helped create its wealth fall through the cracks.