Talk:Video assist

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I think it is nessisary to mention that a video tap is not exactly what the camera operator is seeing. There is very often a diffence in color balance as images produced by a CCD are very different from the physical format of film. I think that part of this artical should be revised.

Jerry Lewis patent[edit]

A Jerry Lewis patent for video assist was mentioned on the Oscars show tonight, and I see it's also mentioned in this article, but I can't find it.

I searched the full USPTO database under "Jerry Lewis" as well as "Joseph Levitch" in combination with keywords as basic as "camera" without finding anything. I did find the 1990 patent Video assist system for motion-picture camera, which includes a list of prior-art patents. None of these are from Jerry Lewis, or even in the right timeframe.

So is this just an urban legend, or what? (talk) 03:10, 23 February 2009 (UTC)

Followup Comment: The USPTO database only goes back to 1975. This invention would have been sometime in the late 50s or early 60s. You'd need the patent number to look it up. According to the TCM Movie Database,, and, the "Closed Circuit Television Applied to Motion Pictures" machine was invented in 1956 and perfected by Paramount and Ampex. Lewis is said to own the patent on the specific machine: a video camera mounted in parallel to a motion picture camera... not the idea. Apparently others may have invented similar systems, but it was Lewis' invention that got noticed. (talk) 05:44, 24 February 2009 (UTC)Chris Ch.

The USPTO database goes back a lot further than that-- the old patents just have to be searched separately, and the full text of the application isn't digitized, so you have to review page images to get most of the details. Titles and inventor names are searchable, though, and I've simply failed to find anything that could be this alleged Lewis patent. Try it for yourself at this page or the other search pages there.
I have spent enough time searching-- and let me add, this is something I do professionally-- that I'm reasonably sure no such patent is on record. Not in his real name, not in his stage name, and not based on the words "Video Assist" or "Closed Circuit Television Applied to Motion Pictures" or anything else along those lines. I've done dozens of dead-simple searches like (camera and Lewis) with no luck. By comparison, searching the pre-1976 database for inventors named "Hedy Markey" (Hedy Lamarr's name at the time) brings up her 1942 patent on spread-spectrum communications with no problem, and the patent number is mentioned prominently in the Hedy Lamarr article, as it should be.
Also, the utter lack of any relevant prior-art references in the patent I mentioned above as well as in other patents related to video assist is more strong evidence that there is no such patent. Searching the database for all references to "Hedy Markey" or "Hedy Lamarr" turns up multiple patents referencing that 1942 patent.
Lewis's patent could still be in there somewhere, hiding under some other name or even just lost in the database, but at this point I'd have to see it to believe it. (talk) 07:03, 3 March 2009 (UTC)

I really wish people would stop removing the dubious tag without actually resolving the issue. The only way to resolve the issue is to identify the patent by number and provide a link to it. If we do that, I'm fine. I'm not trying to prove Lewis didn't invent something. I like the guy. But that has nothing to do with the factual claim here. If Wikipedia says a patent exists, there has to be a patent number! (talk) 07:16, 3 March 2009 (UTC)

Sorry, but what you are doing is original research, and your assertion that we have to have a patent number is really not the way it works here. You're more than welcome to satisfy your curiosity about this, and seek out better sources, but we go by published, reliable sources - and there are quite a few that say that Lewis patented the method. I took out the Oscar-related article as source and replaced it with a strong source - a textbook about entertainment patents, with a link to the specific page that discusses it (the link has been fixed). Your feeling that the claim is dubious is based on what evidence? Our standard is verifiability, and this claim is verified in numerous sources. I've worded it as "reported" to try to satisfy your problem, but the fact is that the sourcing is fine, and that's what we use. So please don;t reinsert the tag based on your research. FInd a source that refutes the claim, specifically, instead. Tvoz/talk 08:29, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
It's not a violation of WP:OR to add a dubious tag. The NOR rule applies to claims made in articles, not to discussion about the article on the talk page. THF (talk) 02:19, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
Well, that does solve the original problem with the article, but only by creating a new problem: now you have weasel words in there. That wouldn't be tolerated in other articles. Similarly, I'd say there's nothing notable about a mere claim that someone invented the subject of a Wikipedia article, no matter how widespread the claim is-- only the actual fact of the invention, as supported by an external reference, is notable.
And come now, looking up a reference isn't what Wikipedia policy means by "original research." Was finding that reference in Aharonian's book "original research"? Of course not. That's how Wikipedia works. We have to look up references before we can cite them. Anyone would. The policy against original research means that an article can't consist of original research-- facts or inferences that don't exist outside Wikipedia.
Finally, are you seriously saying that assertions can be included in Wikipedia unless someone can prove they're false? That isn't Wikipedia policy either.
But I'll leave the article alone for the time being while I keep trying to find this patent. (talk) 22:13, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
Yup, you're right about the weasel words "widely reported" (although they were accompanied by a citation as an example of those wide reports) - I only put that in to try to satisfy your concern that the statement might not be true. But I wasn't comfortable with it either, so I've removed "widely reported" - in fact we have a strong source that states unequivocally the same thing that numerous other sources say, and that is the standard we use here: verifiability, not truth. We want the claims to be true, of course, but we go by the sources and include contradicting evidence if it's available. If you find the patent listing, you can add it as an additional source but your not finding it doesn't negate the point that has been reliably reported. Find a source that says that he is erroneously credited with the invention/patent, or that it is in question, and you should include that and rewrite the sentence. Tvoz/talk 04:25, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
Don't you understand that the fact a claim is widely reported does not qualify as verification of the claim itself? The claim here is that Lewis has this patent. The only thing that can verify this claim is a reference to the patent. The fact that other people claim it doesn't verify the claim. Aharonian doesn't know the patent number; he told me so. I wouldn't put THAT fact in an article for obvious reasons, but it does mean that his book doesn't verify the existence of the patent. All we have here is a _rumor_ that Lewis has this patent. There is no fact behind it, and no reliable source. That's what the dubious tag is for, I think, to alert people that the claim has not been verified. (talk) 01:57, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
There is a source now. 67.164 was correct in asking for a source. It's the affirmative claim that needs to be sourced, not the negation of one. It's clearly a WP:NOR violation to put something not clearly true in an article on the grounds that "Everybody knows this to be true." THF (talk) 02:19, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
Per the discussion at the Reliable Sources noticeboard I have removed the claim about the patent, reverting to the same basic language as on the Jerry Lewis article: the available sources show that Lewis deserves credit for inventing the system, but the existence of the patent can't be verified at this time. (talk) 05:18, 7 March 2009 (UTC)

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