VC Sends Sends Out 200 DVDs Of Documentary About Absurdity Of Software Patents

from the getting-the-message-out dept

We've mentioned in the past how well-respected venture capitalist Brad Feld was one of the first to come out against software patents. Since then, he's grown more and more concerned about patents in general, including those outside of software. He's been getting more and more active in the discussion as well, with his latest move being to send out 200 free copies of the movie "Patent Absurdity," to 200 people who he believes should see it. The movie itself looks pretty good, though I haven't had a chance to see the whole thing yet. That said, while patents and copyrights are different (but related) issues, I'm a bit surprised to see the filmmakers put a "no-derivatives" license on the movie. That seems contrary to the concept being promoted here.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 7th, 2010 @ 5:12pm

    why not just point them at a link to download it or watch it on youtube? seems to me he is still a little too connected to shiny plastic discs.

     

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  2.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Jun 7th, 2010 @ 5:24pm

    Re:

    why not just point them at a link to download it or watch it on youtube? seems to me he is still a little too connected to shiny plastic discs.

    I'm assuming it's for impact. If someone points you to a link, you probably don't watch it. Or care. If you get a letter in the mail, along with a DVD, at least you pay attention.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 7th, 2010 @ 5:24pm

    Re:

    A: Not everyone has convenient high speed Internet access.

    B: Not everyone who does can conveniently watch it on their normal televisions, so handing out DVD's will enable those with DVD players to do so.

    C: DVD's are dirt cheap these days.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 7th, 2010 @ 5:28pm

    Re: Re:

    uhm.... come to think of it, I wonder if he shipped it, the shipping charges probably cost more than the DVD's. Also, it takes time to burn 200 DVD's, I think the time spent burning them is the most expensive factor.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 7th, 2010 @ 5:32pm

    Since I haven't seen the video, I don't know what precise what "concept [is] being promoted here."

    That said, I don't really see any conflict in criticizing the patent system while reserving *some* copyright-based rights.

     

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  6.  
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    Drak, Jun 7th, 2010 @ 6:01pm

    Um...

    Who cares what license he puts on it. Is he going to sue anyone who downloads it with mass Doe lawsuits? Probably not.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 7th, 2010 @ 6:08pm

    Re: Re:

    actually, I would think someone is trying to sell me retirement planning or some walk in bathtub. it would pretty much hit the spam pile directly. i doubt that the videos made it past the collective secretaries and assistants.

     

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  8.  
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    Jim, Jun 7th, 2010 @ 6:17pm

    DVD Forum

    I hope he paid for his replication license fees to the DVD Forum. I'm sure MPEG-LA would like him to get "coverage," too.

    I can see why he sent the DVDs. It makes a point.

    I agree that they should not have put "no derivatives" on the movie. But I also understand the concern that a lot of film makers have about maintaining the integrity of their work.

    I saw the film. I wish everyone should.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 7th, 2010 @ 6:26pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    You're probably right :(

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 7th, 2010 @ 6:32pm

    Re: Youtube

    When it comes to Youtube it's good that they subdivide it because it allows for more accurate rewinding and forwarding since you can't use the keyboard as effectively to rewind and forward a small amount of time.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 7th, 2010 @ 8:02pm

    I burned 500 copies and intend to hand them out on the campus of the state college here in my city.

     

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  12.  
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    Lucas, Jun 7th, 2010 @ 8:10pm

    about 'no-derivatives'

    I'm a filmmaker and in my last movie I had to use the 'no-derivatives' CC because some public materials have this stupid contract.

    So, most of the time if one do a film that includes public photographies, public videos or something public, is mandatory to use this 'no-derivative'.

    (sorry about the english. Isn't my motherlanguage)

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 7th, 2010 @ 9:31pm

    Remember the thing about saving journalism. What about a DVD system that acts like a magazine system where you subscribe and you get a new DVD once a month. This DVD updates people on various general issues and key news exerts that our mainstream media mostly censors. I think such would be a great idea that would appeal to the older generation and yet allow them to have the same convenience they have watching normal television at home without watching it on their computer screen or even having the Internet. Maybe $10 a month subscription. Or it could be a weekly DVD publication for $20 a month. People should be free to make copies of the DVD and give those copies to others if they wish.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 7th, 2010 @ 10:26pm

    Re:

    shiny plastic discs. mike will hate it.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 7th, 2010 @ 10:56pm

    Re: Re:

    So does the public.

     

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  16.  
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    btrussell (profile), Jun 8th, 2010 @ 2:20am

    Re: Re: Youtube

    Use your mouse to go to exact time or go back or forward.

     

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  17.  
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    Big_Mike (profile), Jun 8th, 2010 @ 5:05am

    Can I get a copy?

    Hey Mike, When you get this can you burn me a copy?

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 8th, 2010 @ 6:14am

    Re: Re: Re: Youtube

    I know. My point is that it's harder to control when moving the slider one pixel moves the video half an hour.

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 8th, 2010 @ 6:18am

    Re:

    Really? I wonder if there is a way that you can measure how effective it is at getting the message out. How many people watch the video vs how many people throw it away? I'm sure the majority throw it away but I'm sure the percentage of people who watch it is greater than had it been if you had just given them a URL.

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 8th, 2010 @ 6:19am

    Re:

    Wow, 500 copies, how many CD burners do you have? Did you even have enough time to burn 500 copies yet since the video even came out? That musta taken a long time. Unless you own a business that burns stuff to CD's for the sake of selling the content.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 8th, 2010 @ 7:42am

    Re: Can I get a copy?

    You can watch it for free on Youtube or download it from their website and burn yourself a copy.

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 8th, 2010 @ 8:36am

    Re: Re: Re:

    actually they dont. heck, even the morons claiming they will go all sneakernet on the movie industry are moving the content on shiny discs.

     

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  23.  
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    drkkgt (profile), Jun 8th, 2010 @ 9:11am

    Re:

    Go check out the names and you will understand. It looks to me like he is providing the material in a format that they can easily access rather than hit them with the one/two punch of "hey patent reform"/"hey free streaming movies" Some of the industry shills on the list would probably freak on the last part.

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    A. A. Citizen, Jun 8th, 2010 @ 9:50am

    VC Sends Sends Out 200 DVDs Of Documentary About Absurdity Of Software Patents

    That's a brilliant idea!

    Since 'software' is virtually running our entire economy, scientific endeavours, financial systems, etc., maybe we should just let the Chinese, Indians, etc. 'batch download' all America's intellectual property, trade secrets, etc. and get it over with.

    He's obviously...an idiot who needs professional help!

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    staff, Jun 8th, 2010 @ 9:53am

    large repeat infringers

    "well-respected"

    Sure he is...by large repeat infringers. Like him, they only want protection for their work, not others.

     

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  26.  
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    Jose_X, Jun 8th, 2010 @ 10:14am

    Re:

    Derivative capabilities is quite useful to third parties, in this case, to third parties that want to help the effort.

    Oh, well, there is always next time.

     

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  27.  
    identicon
    Jose_X, Jun 8th, 2010 @ 10:35am

    Re: DVD Forum

    >> I agree that they should not have put "no derivatives" on the movie. But I also understand the concern that a lot of film makers have about maintaining the integrity of their work.

    I think it's a habit reaction that can definitely change over time. Once you see what others are capable of adding to what you do [you can promote those you like over those you don't, and in most cases the changes will not overwhelm your efforts] and what others allow you to use by the creation of their own ND works, you start to loosen your grip.

    The totality of what others can do vastly exceeds what the most talented individual can do working alone (hey, hollywood blockbusters surely aren't the product of a single person.. though neither was this video), so the question becomes do you want to have an isolated product that will be recognized as a great "small" effort or do you want to be part of a great blockbuster and in the process (as a major player) accrue free credit in being associated with the more "blockbuster" work?

    A person's contribution does not disappear from history and can always be preserved on a website.

    I think the CC people need to create Source Code licenses, but we aren't yet at a time when most people create things where they have significant source code they want to share. [Here is an exception: http://www.sitasingstheblues.com/ though the animation source does currently require closed source software.]

     

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  28.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Jun 8th, 2010 @ 11:45am

    Re: VC Sends Sends Out 200 DVDs Of Documentary About Absurdity Of Software Patents

    Since 'software' is virtually running our entire economy, scientific endeavours, financial systems, etc., maybe we should just let the Chinese, Indians, etc. 'batch download' all America's intellectual property, trade secrets, etc. and get it over with.

    Someone's very, very confused.

    Doing away with patents on software is not the same thing as giving up the software industry.

    You do realize that, for the vast majority of the software industry's history (including its massive growth phase) software was considered unpatentable? Right? But you're not big on details, are you?

     

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  29.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jun 9th, 2010 @ 12:08am

    I watched the video

    Since I know Brad Feld and would always give consideration to his viewpoints, I watched the video.

    What I came away with was that it will be the big corporations, not the little guys, who will have the most success getting the system for issuing software patents overthrown. The video cited several big companies that found themselves sued by software patent holders. The big companies have the financial and political clout to go to senators and congressmen to get the laws changed. And they have the incentive to do so because they have found the laws to be a hassle.

    So rather than attacking big companies, you might want to work with them toward common goals.

     

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  30.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Jun 9th, 2010 @ 1:29am

    Re: I watched the video

    So rather than attacking big companies, you might want to work with them toward common goals.

    Hi Suzanne, can you explain this rather odd comment? What do you mean "attacking big companies"? I find this pretty amusing, actually. The patent system supporters keep claiming that I'm a shill for big companies and insist that my blog posts are paid for by them. But now others are claiming that I attack big companies.

    Which is it?

     

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  31.  
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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jun 9th, 2010 @ 1:47am

    Re: Re: I watched the video

    Hi Suzanne, can you explain this rather odd comment? What do you mean "attacking big companies"? I find this pretty amusing, actually. The patent system supporters keep claiming that I'm a shill for big companies and insist that my blog posts are paid for by them. But now others are claiming that I attack big companies

    I wasn't directing that comment to anyone in particular. Some of the discussions seem to take on anything big as standing in the way of start-ups who want to adapt ideas to fit their own needs. So I found it interesting to hear the video cite how corporations want the problems to go away and will lean on politicians in DC to do that.

    Like I have said, IP issues aren't really my thing. I follow the discussions as I run across them, but I haven't really felt strongly about them one way or another.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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