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Current Topic: Intellectual Property

Justice Dept. wants new antipiracy powers, supports induce | Tech News on ZDNet
Topic: Intellectual Property 10:29 am EDT, Oct 13, 2004

] The U.S. Justice Department recommended a sweeping
] transformation of the nation's intellectual-property
] laws, saying peer-to-peer piracy is a "widespread"
] problem that can be addressed only through more spending,
] more FBI agents and more power for prosecutors.
] In an extensive report released Tuesday, senior
] department officials endorsed a pair of controversial
] copyright bills strongly favored by the entertainment
] industry that would criminalize "passive sharing" on
] file-swapping networks and permit lawsuits against
] companies that sell products that "induce" copyright
] infringement.
] "The department is prepared to build the strongest, most
] aggressive legal assault against intellectual-property
] crime in our nation's history," Attorney General John
] Ashcroft,
who created the task force in March, said at a
] press conference in Los Angeles on Tuesday afternoon.

Justice Dept. wants new antipiracy powers, supports induce | Tech News on ZDNet

Hotspot Operators Face Patent Lawsuits
Topic: Intellectual Property 1:29 pm EDT, Oct  8, 2004

] The licensing pact demands hotspot operators pay Acacia
] $1,000 a year for up to 3,500 redirected connections.
] After which, operators would have to pay 5 to 15 cents
] for each redirected connection.
] "Anybody who operates a hotspot with redirection can
] assume they'll hear from us," Acacia's executive vice
] president of business development and general counsel Rob
] Berman told Wi-Fi Networking News.

I had no idea how high the licensing fees where. This is a terrible patent. There is prior art. The companies (actually there are two) know full well that there is prior art and that they both can't own the same patent. And yet because they are targetting people who cannot afford to defend themselves none of this is challenged!

Hotspot Operators Face Patent Lawsuits

Topic: Intellectual Property 9:59 am EDT, Sep 29, 2004

] Therefore, IPac will support elected representatives and
] candidates for public office who fight for these
] principles:
] Creators of ideas and inventions have the right to be
] compensated for their work, but not to limit political
] expression, veto technological innovation, or restrict
] education and scientific research.
] Intellectual property laws should be judged by their
] potential to foster new creativity, as required by the
] U.S. Constitution.
] Intellectual property laws should be clear and explicit,
] so anybody can create without fear of lawsuits.

IP laws aren't going to improve until people loose their jobs. The EFF can't endorse candidates because of the way they are organized. These guys can.


Congressman Boucher talks with folks on Lessig's blog about Induce
Topic: Intellectual Property 4:58 pm EDT, Aug  9, 2004

] Likewise, the savings clause in the Induce Act saying
] that its provisions do not enlarge the doctrines of
] contributory and vicarious copyright liability will be
] equally ineffective because the bill creates the new
] offense of inducing copyright violation, under which
] actions under the bill would be brought.

Congressman Boucher talks with folks on Lessig's blog about Induce

Boing Boing: a total victory for the good guys
Topic: Intellectual Property 11:39 am EDT, Aug  7, 2004

] Going forward, Plume and the author have decided to
] re-title this book A Girl's Life Online.

Public pressure can do what the law refuses to do, but only for those luck enough to get attention.

Boing Boing: a total victory for the good guys

EFF: This Land isn't your land
Topic: Intellectual Property 10:18 am EDT, Jul 27, 2004

] The two brothers who created the fantastic "This Land"
] parody -- sending up President Bush, Senator Kerry, and
] the current state of American democracy to the tune of
] "This Land is Your Land" -- have been threatened with a
] copyright lawsuit.

Of interest...

EFF: This Land isn't your land

Copyright Office wants to ban VCRs
Topic: Intellectual Property 12:30 pm EDT, Jul 23, 2004

] While you have carefully crafted this bill to preserve
] the 20-year-old decision in the Sony case, it may become
] necessary to consider whether that decision is overly
] protective of manufacturers and marketers of infringement
] tools...

This is an extremely biased opinion for an executive agency to be presenting.

Today, the way things work, is that if a tool has non-infringing uses then its legal. The induce act flips this standard around 180 degrees and says if a tool has infringing uses then its illegal. There are many shades of gray in here that we could be having a reasonable discussion about. Instead we have this radical non-sense, and its coming from the people we pay to offer reasonable technical perspectives.

This isn't the first time that people working in the Intellectual Property arena in our government have proven to be foaming at the mouth copyright maximalists. Recently our UN abassador to WIPO argued that WIPO had no business discussing open source software because a discussion of anything other then "all rights reserved" is apparently inappropriate for an Intellectual Property organization. I concur with this author that some serious house cleaning needs to occur. People need to be fired.

Copyright Office wants to ban VCRs

Wired News: EFF Publishes Patent Hit List
Topic: Intellectual Property 1:27 pm EDT, Jun 30, 2004

] The Electronic Frontier Foundation is spoiling for a
] fight, and on Wednesday it named the top 10 patents it
] wants killed, or at least redefined.
] The EFF said all 10 patents are in some way illegitimate
] and are being used to limit free expression.

Wired News: EFF Publishes Patent Hit List

Kahle v. Ashcroft submission site (Kahle v. Ashcroft)
Topic: Intellectual Property 11:25 pm EDT, Jun 15, 2004

] Kahle v. Ashcroft is a lawsuit that challenges changes to
] U.S. copyright law that have created a large class of
] "orphan works." Orphan works are books, films, music,
] and other creative works which are out of print and no
] longer commercially available, but which are still
] regulated by copyright.

The first time I tried to read Erich Fromm's "Escape from Freedom" it was OOP and unavailable. Fortunately it is back in print. Furthermore, with the rise of the internet, used books are far far easier to find then they used to be. But, in any event, the fact remains that there are many orphaned works out there. Have you ever tried seriously to get access to one? If so, lessig needs you.

Kahle v. Ashcroft submission site (Kahle v. Ashcroft)

Wired 12.06: The Free & The Unfree
Topic: Intellectual Property 1:47 pm EDT, Jun  7, 2004

] Against this backdrop, Wired offers an atlas of the
] intellectual property world. The maps and charts on the
] following pages show how IP enforcers are manning the
] ramparts while IP antagonists are challenging the
] protection regime.

Some interesting infographics from Wired about intellectual property.

Wired 12.06: The Free & The Unfree

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