BSA Wants To Make The DMCA Worse

from the some-good,-some-bad dept

While the BSA has mostly sat back and let the RIAA and MPAA take the brunt of the bad publicity for suing customers, you can be pretty sure that they're also freaking out over file sharing and avoiding any and all evidence about how it could help their member companies. Just as the RIAA lost yet another case saying they have to actually file lawsuits before sending subpoenas to ISPs for user info, the BSA is asking Congress to modify the DMCA to force ISPs to cooperate and give up user info without a lawsuit being filed. This is very problematic for plenty of reasons -- not the least of which is that it would turn ISPs into an enforcement arm that will be forced to monitor how people use their network. ISPs just provide the service. If companies have a problem with what an individual is doing, they should file a lawsuit and then request the info from the ISP. Without a lawsuit, it's all just a fishing expedition. At the same time, however, the BSA is at least interested in exploring some amount of patent reform -- including plans to make it easier to challenge granted patents. That might be a slight improvement -- but it could also lead to many frivolous challenges. It seems a much more reasonable idea is to open up the patent process so that people have an easy process to make prior art claims before a patent is granted.

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  • identicon
    Steve Mueller, 6 Jan 2005 @ 5:48pm

    Enforcement Arm

    the BSA is asking Congress to modify the DMCA to force ISPs to cooperate and give up user info without a lawsuit being filed. This is very problematic for plenty of reasons -- not the least of which is that it would turn ISPs into an enforcement arm that will be forced to monitor how people use their network.
    While I agree that lawsuits should have to be filed before somebody subpoenas an ISP, I don't think allowing subpoenas before filing a lawsuit will turn an ISP into an enforcement arm for content providers. I also don't believe ISPs will be forced to monitor their networks any differently than they do now.

    There may be more to the BSA's request than that, but this article didn't discuss it and I'm not about to register to read the source (or install BugMeNot to skip registration).

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

  • identicon
    acousticiris, 7 Jan 2005 @ 2:00pm

    Software / Technology patents

    Love them or hate them...there is one big reality. The terms are *way* too long.
    When the patent system was put in place, 7 years was probably a reasonable amount of time to give someone "exclusive rights" to their invention or idea. Thinking back in the 1800s, it might have taken 7 years to get any kind of return on the investment made to a product. When talking software, or technology...most technology that is patented (especially software technologies) become obsolete years before the patent even expires.
    If they shortened the term to say.. a year... that would give a small upstart (or *gasp* a large corporation) enough time to recover costs for the R&D that went into the invention, but wouldn't completely screw the competition from being able to .... compete.

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

  • identicon
    Steve Mueller, 7 Jan 2005 @ 6:39pm

    A Year?

    One year? That may work for software, but what about other industries? I doubt one year would be enough to cover the investment in something like drug research. Maybe the patent system could have different lengths depending on the kind of patent, but a year for every patent seems far too short.

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


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