Life, Liberty And The Pursuit Of More Patents?

from the patent-apps-not-innovation dept

At the Republican Convention, Matt Yglesias catches a funny picture of an AT&T poster touting the company's enthusiasm for the patent system. It reads: "life, liberty, and the pursuit of more patents. AT&T: Averaging 2 patent applications per day. Proudly connecting political supporters in Minneapolis."

Photo by Matt Yglesias at Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport.

It's interesting that AT&T is bragging about its pursuit of "more patents" rather than, say, more R&D spending or more innovation. AT&T isn't exactly known for its record of high-tech innovation, so it's a little surprising to see it hold itself out as a poster child for the patent system—particularly when we remember that AT&T and other telco incumbents have used the patent system to extort tens of millions of dollars from companies like Vonage that are actually innovating.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Eric Foster-Johnson, Sep 3rd, 2008 @ 10:23am

    Convention is in St. Paul not Minneapolis

    What's funny is that the Republican convention is in St. Paul, not Minneapolis. The two are different and that is a big issue to the locals.

    Quick -- apply for a business process patent on correcting details on advertisements. And apply for another same as the above, but add "online".

     

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

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 3rd, 2008 @ 10:36am

    seems appropriate to me?

    This is an example of a large corporation “bragging” about its manipulation of laws and the government, to better enrich itself at the cost of the American people. What more appropriate place for them to do it then at the Republican National Convention, where those sorts of ideals are common place?

     

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

  3.  
    icon
    Kirby (profile), Sep 3rd, 2008 @ 10:48am

    Really?

    It probably says it all that I thought this was an anti-AT&T attack ad until I read the text.

    In the tech world, there's a culture gap with regard to patents. Seems to me to be heavily age related, and which side of the Open Source Divide one lives on.

    I wish I could use my iPhone with someone else suddenly. :-/

     

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

  4.  
    icon
    Crosbie Fitch (profile), Sep 3rd, 2008 @ 10:49am

    Patents are a suspension of liberty

    Patents are a suspension of liberty, so AT&T is actually conflicted.

    They cannot both pursue liberty and its suspension, unless they are only talking about their own 'liberty' and its unethical extension...

    Life and liberty are natural rights of human beings, not corporations. These should not be pursued by corporations. Indeed, a humanitarian corporation should actively divest themselves of any privileges remotely resembling those reserved for human beings, e.g. pretensions to life and the entitlement to liberty.

     

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

  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 3rd, 2008 @ 11:02am

    Re: Patents are a suspension of liberty

    "Patents are a suspension of liberty, so AT&T is actually conflicted."


    I think they are making a clever "pun" on the word property. John Locke often used the term property (in relation to freedom over ones own destiny) and supposedly Jefferson originally considered using "Life, Liberty and Property", but rejected the idea believing that not enough people would understand the concept of property as Locke and he intended (and not just tangible items you own). So he changed it to "the pursuit of happiness" to more simply convey their intention.

    I think the reference is clever actually, equating patents to property (even if it’s a misuse of the intended word). However, I also think it would be largely lost on a crowd of Republicans who are generally not very well versed on Political Philosophy or History. Of course they could just be saying getting patents is fun, but that’s not nearly as interesting or clever.

     

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

  6.  
    identicon
    hegemon13, Sep 3rd, 2008 @ 11:04am

    Re: Really?

    Me, too. I thought sure it was designed to be an attack on AT&T. I even laughed and thought it was pretty clever. I didn't know that simply "filing patents" was a "braggable" accomplishment since the whole RIM debacle.

     

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

  7.  
    identicon
    hegemon13, Sep 3rd, 2008 @ 11:11am

    Re: Re: Patents are a suspension of liberty

    Your analysis is fascinating, but you give ATT way too much credit. It is simply bragging to a bunch of rich, party-puppet Republicans about their so-called IP accomplishments. Strengthening of patent and the privileging of corporations is high on the Republican agenda, so this poster is right at home.

    (Before anyone flames me: I did not say that all Republicans are party puppets. I referred to the ones who are, and those are the people most likely to attend the convention.)

     

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

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 3rd, 2008 @ 11:19am

    Good god, there is no equating this word with that word. Some jackass came up with a phrase that is nothing more than a catchy sounding jingle.

     

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

  9.  
    identicon
    scott, Sep 3rd, 2008 @ 11:30am

    While I think this is a pretty stupid poster, I don't think I (or anyone here) is the target audience. I would imagine that the average person associates patents with technological progress and would see "2 patents a day" as evidence that ATT is a "good" company.

     

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

  10.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Sep 3rd, 2008 @ 11:34am

    Re:

    I could insert a trite comment about it being expected as it's the Republican convention, but I'll resist the urge...

    Funnily enough, the pursuit of patents (i.e. hoarding intellectual property rights and blocking innovation in favour of extorting income) may well equate to the pursuit of happiness for many of its target audience. Sadly.

     

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

  11.  
    identicon
    Amorous Candy Now, Sep 3rd, 2008 @ 11:35am

    It says they apply for an average of 2 patents per day. How many are they actually granted?

    AT&T: Proudly bogging down an already overwhelmed system.

     

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

  12.  
    identicon
    Derek Vandercook, Sep 3rd, 2008 @ 11:47am

    umm....

    isn't this just a bit disturbing??

     

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

  13.  
    identicon
    Simon, Sep 3rd, 2008 @ 11:51am

    Sadly many higher ups believe that patents=innovation, and that the number of patents is a wonderful metric to measure their progress.

     

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

  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 3rd, 2008 @ 11:51am

    "...extort tens of millions of dollars..."

    Heaven forbid that people and companies engaged in both basic and applied research ever get the opportunities afforded to them under the auspices of the US Constitution.

     

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

  15.  
    icon
    chris (profile), Sep 3rd, 2008 @ 12:14pm

    you missed their other sign

    "The eff can suck our collective balls."

     

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

  16.  
    identicon
    dorpus, Sep 3rd, 2008 @ 12:49pm

    Fact checking

    This blog likes to berate reporters for fact checking. But how do we know this picture is real? Should we believe everything people put up on their blogs?

     

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

  17.  
    identicon
    ronji, Sep 3rd, 2008 @ 1:07pm

    fact checking, hmm

    this flickr photo, higher res and in a different display, seems to prove this is real.

     

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

  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 3rd, 2008 @ 1:12pm

    Re: fact checking, hmm

    So where is the proof that this photo is real, still?

    In the past, techdirt has linked to socialist activist blogs and passed them off as "news".

     

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

  19.  
    icon
    Derek Kerton (profile), Sep 3rd, 2008 @ 1:27pm

    What??! AT&T Labs Has The BEST Record Of Innovation EVER!

    While I think the AT&T poster is real, and I find it ridiculous and even offensive...

    I must disagree with:

    "AT&T isn't exactly known for its record of high-tech innovation"

    While recent past hasn't shown AT&T to be a tech leader, your statement is completely incorrect if you want to examine the "record" of AT&T innovation.

    Have you ever heard of Bell Labs? See this link
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bell_labs
    to read about such innovation as:

    "Bell Laboratories was the premier facility of its type, developing a wide range of revolutionary technologies, including radio astronomy, the transistor, the laser, information theory, the UNIX operating system, and the C programming language. There have been 6 Nobel Prizes awarded for work completed at Bell Laboratories."

    Would you not agree that a trio of guys (including the father of Silicon Valley, William Shockley) inventing the silicon chip at Bell Labs, all by itself, would constitute a significant contribution to global innovation?

    Honestly, you are berating what is arguably THE most significant scientific research facility in the history of man for having a poor record of innovation. Oops.

     

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

  20.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Sep 3rd, 2008 @ 1:59pm

    Re: What??! AT&T Labs Has The BEST Record Of Innovation EVER!

    While recent past hasn't shown AT&T to be a tech leader, your statement is completely incorrect if you want to examine the "record" of AT&T innovation.

    The AT&T of today is really SBC, not the AT&T/Bell Labs of the past.

     

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

  21.  
    identicon
    TheJuice, Sep 3rd, 2008 @ 2:25pm

    Re: Re: What??! AT&T Labs Has The BEST Record Of Innovation EVER!

    Well SBC was originally AT&T. In the Beginning there was AT&T and everything and everyone belonged to American Telephone and Telegraph

    Then they were broken up and different parts have remerged forming the three big competitors AT&T (Which is just AT&T now by the way), Verizon and Qwest. So in a way AT&T can trace its roots to the old great Bell Labs.

    However in the break up Bell Laps was sold off to a Lucent so anything after 82 can’t really be clamed by AT&T.

    But you are right, with the recent move by Bell Labs to only focus on telecommunications technology and computing, gone are the great days of Claude Shannon, Clinton J. Davisson, and Phillip Anderson.

     

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

  22.  
    identicon
    Ed, Sep 3rd, 2008 @ 6:10pm

    I saw that too

    I passed by that in the E concourse at MSP earlier today and had the same thought. What happened to competition in America? I thought the RNC was all about personal responsibility and ingenuity rather than government programs.

     

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

  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 3rd, 2008 @ 6:14pm

    Re: Re: Re: What??! AT&T Labs Has The BEST Record Of Innovation EVER!

    The forced break-up of AT&T in the early '80s makes it darn near impossible to trace its subsequent lineage. The Wiki at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AT&T makes a pretty good stab at deciphering the make-up of the current AT&T.

    One thing, however, seems clear. AT&T is not resting on its laurels and is actively engaged in a wide spectrum of R&D.

    Re AT&T and patents, I am still a bit ticked off at the Supreme Court's decision in AT&T v. Microsoft last year.

     

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

  24.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Sep 3rd, 2008 @ 6:23pm

    Re:

    Heaven forbid that people and companies engaged in both basic and applied research ever get the opportunities afforded to them under the auspices of the US Constitution.

    You're suggesting that suing companies that actually innovate is what was intended by the Constitution?

    I know you and I have had this debate before, but I'm curious why you feel the need to repeat this myth.

     

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

  25.  
    identicon
    Tim Lee, Sep 3rd, 2008 @ 6:41pm

    Re: What??! AT&T Labs Has The BEST Record Of Innovation EVER!

    Except that what used to be Bell Labs was spun off as Lucent a decade ago. A previous company called AT&T certainly did a lot of innovative things, but that was decades ago and the innovative parts of the old AT&T aren't in the new AT&T.

     

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

  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 3rd, 2008 @ 8:40pm

    Re: Re: What??! AT&T Labs Has The BEST Record Of Innovation EVER!

    The Bell Labs of today, as well as all of its siblings such as AT&T Labs, bears virtually no commonality with the Bell Labs of yesteryear other than the word "Bell". The break-up of AT&T in the early '80s signified a move from "research for the sake of research", what I term basic research, to "research in support of current and future products", what I term applied research.

    Up until about 20 years ago it was not at all uncommon for many companies involved in cutting edge technologies to have dedicated basic research facilities. In the ensuing years most have fallen by the wayside as companies moved from long-term to short-term business plans, and we are all the lesser for it.

     

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

  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 3rd, 2008 @ 8:53pm

    Re: Re:

    I would hardly call Section 4 to the Patent Act of 1790 and its progeny a "myth".

     

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

  28.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Sep 3rd, 2008 @ 10:54pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I would hardly call Section 4 to the Patent Act of 1790 and its progeny a "myth".

    You and I both know that's not what we're talking about... But, alas, especially since you refuse to identify yourself these days (again I ask why?), it's not worth getting into this debate again. You've been shown to be wrong time and time again (perhaps that's why the anonymity).

     

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

  29.  
    identicon
    Azrael, Sep 4th, 2008 @ 12:02am

    Re: Re: fact checking, hmm

    >
    I don't know, maybe because they were news ??
    P.S. Since when "socialist" is a flaw ? Maybe it is in the mind of an inbreed redneck WASP, not for the rest of the world.

     

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

  30.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 4th, 2008 @ 6:14am

    Re: I saw that too

    " I thought the RNC was all about personal responsibility and ingenuity rather than government programs."


    ROFL . . . no one could reasonably think that after 8 years of the Bush administration? The republicans themselves cant even parrot that garbage without snickering anymore?

     

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

  31.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 4th, 2008 @ 9:02am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "You and I both know that's not what we're talking about..."

    You asked a question concerning the "intent" of those who debated and enacted the US Constitution in 1789. A few months later virtually the same persons enacted the Patent Act of 1790 and the Copyright Act of 1790. Your persistent comments about their "intent" must mean that even they did not understand what they intended by Article 1, Section 8, Clause 8.

     

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

  32.  
    identicon
    John, Sep 4th, 2008 @ 9:12am

    This poster was actually at Denver Airport too, during the DNC convention last week.

     

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

  33.  
    identicon
    BC, Sep 4th, 2008 @ 4:39pm

    Painfully unsophisticated

    Those that would criticize the patent system or the strategic management of portfolios leveraging it out themselves immediately as laymen in the field. I'll admit, there was a time, when I was in my embryonic stage of understanding intellectual property, that I thought the popular media's negative take on such was somewhat defensible. That's what we get for trusting people who could only squeak by with a degree in communications try to explain technical subject matter, though. Suffice to say that it's a great deal more complicated than it seems at first blush, and while imperfect it does not encumber and often acts in harmony with a free market.

    But seriously, if you like socialism, this is not the country for you. There is a whole socialist world I implore you to explore; for some reason, many more people "there" are trying to come here than vice versa. Shame we can't just trade one-for-one.

     

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

  34.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Sep 4th, 2008 @ 4:51pm

    Re: Painfully unsophisticated

    Those that would criticize the patent system or the strategic management of portfolios leveraging it out themselves immediately as laymen in the field.

    Hmm. You do realize we've been researching and writing about the IP system for well over a dozen years?

    But seriously, if you like socialism, this is not the country for you.

    You seem to be suggesting that an IP system is capitalistic, while getting rid of it is socialistic?

    Can you please clarify how a system that involves a centralized gov't handing out monopolies is somehow *less* socialist than a system of free market competition without monopolies?

    Thanks.

     

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

  35.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Sep 4th, 2008 @ 4:56pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You asked a question concerning the "intent" of those who debated and enacted the US Constitution in 1789. A few months later virtually the same persons enacted the Patent Act of 1790 and the Copyright Act of 1790. Your persistent comments about their "intent" must mean that even they did not understand what they intended by Article 1, Section 8, Clause 8.

    Yes, and you are now claiming that you seriously believe that the intent of those debates and the laws they put in place was to allow one company to patent a minor obvious concept and then hold hostage any company that successfully, independently created something similar (since it was obvious) and hold them hostage for millions of dollars?

    Fascinating take on history.

     

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

  36.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 4th, 2008 @ 5:55pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Yes, and you are now claiming that you seriously believe that the intent of those debates and the laws they put in place was to allow one company to patent a minor obvious concept and then hold hostage any company that successfully, independently created something similar (since it was obvious) and hold them hostage for millions of dollars?"

    No, I am not making any such claim. It seems, however, that you may be in attempting to craft support for your position.

     

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

  37.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Sep 5th, 2008 @ 3:19am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    No, I am not making any such claim. It seems, however, that you may be in attempting to craft support for your position.

    Um. Yes, you were. Let's review the record, which you like to ignore, despite it being above.

    Tim pointed out AT&T's history of abusing the patent system in the way described exactly here: taking a patent on a minor obvious concept, and then holding Vonage hostage for successfully and independently creating something that included that minor obvious feature.

    And you claimed this is what was intended by the framers of the patent system.

    Now you are trying to backtrack.

    Typical.

     

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

  38.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2008 @ 8:57am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    As I noted, Article 1, Section 8, Clause 8, together with the Patent Act of 1790 (and specifically Section 4 thereof), address your questions.

    Apparently unsatisfied with their citation, you then crafted a scenario and stated I was claiming the scenario was consistent with law.

    When I subsequently noted I have never made any such claim pertaining to your scenario, you then suggested I am deliberately ignoring the "record", which is not the case.

    I endeavor to provide accurate information concerning matters of law while avoiding lengthy discourses about specific statutes and caselaw because this is a blog and not a legal treatise. If you believe statutory/caselaw analysis would be helpful, I will of course be please to provide it.

     

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

  39.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Sep 5th, 2008 @ 2:31pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    As I noted, Article 1, Section 8, Clause 8, together with the Patent Act of 1790 (and specifically Section 4 thereof), address your questions.

    Heh. The framers were quite clear what the system was for, and the situation described by Tim was obviously not what they intended, and was clearly stated by the framers that they were afraid this might happen.

    Are you disagreeing with that?

    Or are you going to pretend that you're "just providing accurate info" when you have shown that's not the case at all. You come here frequently, insult myself and others, and generally spew biased and factually questionable info -- and then when called on it, you act hurt, go anonymous and pretend you're just here to give factual info.

     

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

  40.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2008 @ 5:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Since the original 1790 act US patent law has been predicated upon a first to invent system (See: Section 1), and the rights granted by a patent have accorded a patent holder the right to assert the patent against any third party...irrespective of independent invention, being "innovative", etc. by such third party (See: Section 4).

    So, when someone asks the initial question you first posited, "You're suggesting that suing companies that actually innovate is what was intended by the Constitution?", the answer is "yes".

     

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

  41.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Sep 6th, 2008 @ 1:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    So, when someone asks the initial question you first posited, "You're suggesting that suing companies that actually innovate is what was intended by the Constitution?", the answer is "yes".

    You are seriously saying that the framers of the patent system, the same folks who said:

    "But grants of this sort can be justified in very peculiar cases only, if at all; the danger being very great that the good resulting from the operation of the monopoly, will be overbalanced by the evil effect of the precedent; and it being not impossible that the monopoly itself, in its original operation, may produce more evil than good."

    Really meant that it was perfectly fine to SLOW down innovation?

    You've already established that you are not here as an unbiased observer providing facts, but you are an extremely biased IP attorney who will twist things to the point of absurdities, and still not admit it.

    If you honestly think that the patent system's purpose is to sue innovators, then you are a sick individual. Seriously.

    I knew money corrupted, but who knew it would corrupt someone so much to even admit that their chosen profession purposely slowed innovation and that's what they wanted it to do.

     

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

  42.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 6th, 2008 @ 6:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The "monopolies" quote you present (written by Mr. Madison in the 1820's as a part of what is referred to as his Detached Memorandum) has a predicate paragraph that can be read at:

    http://classicliberal.tripod.com/madison/detached4.html

    My prior comment likewise has a predicate paragraph.

    It is useful to read Mr. Madison's predicate and my predicate before presenting quotations that rely upon extrinsic material to place them in an appropriate context.

     

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

  43.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Sep 7th, 2008 @ 4:16pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The "monopolies" quote you present (written by Mr. Madison in the 1820's as a part of what is referred to as his Detached Memorandum) has a predicate paragraph that can be read at:

    Odd that you choose not to post the entire quote here if you believe it actually supports your argument. It does not. I will post it since you apparently are afraid to do so, knowing that it does not actually support your argument:

    "Monoplies tho' in certain cases useful ought to be granted with caution, and guarded with strictness agst abuse. The Constitution of the U. S. has limited them to two cases, the authors of Books, and of useful inventions, in both which they are considered as a compensation for a benefit actually gained to the community as a purchase of property which the owner might otherwise withold from public use. There can be no just objection to a temporary monopoly in these cases but it ought to be temporary, because under that limitation a sufficient recompence and encouragement may be given. The limitation is particularly proper in the case of inventions, because they grow so much out of preceding ones that there is the less merit in the authors and because for the same reason, the discovery might be expected in a short time from other hands.

    Monopolies have been granted in other Countries, and by some of the States in this, on another principle, that of supporting some useful undertaking untill experience and success should render the monopoly unnecessary, & lead to a salutary competition. This was the policy of the monopoly granted in Virga to Col. Jno Hoomes to establish a passenger-stage from ____ to ____ But grants of this sort can be justified in very peculiar cases only, if at all, the danger being very great that the good resulting from the operation of the monopoly, will be overbalanced by the evil effect of the precedent, and it being not impossible that the monopoly itself, in its original operation, may produce more evil than good."

    As is made quite clear, Madison feels that there are definite dangers to the granting of any monopolies. He is claiming that based on what he believes, the good outweighs the bad in two very limited cases, but notes that we should still be very much aware of the potential for the bad to outweigh the good.

    For you to take from that and conclude that he means it's perfectly fine for a company to extort money from another who actually innovates brings to mind another quote:

    "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it." -- Upton Sinclair

    Your salary depends on your misunderstanding of the IP, and you help prove Sinclair's quote on a near daily basis.

    Madison knows that there are both good and bad effects from monopolies, and he's quite clearly worried about the bad outweighing the good, and notes that we should be careful that should we see that happening, it's a sign that the system is in trouble.

    You, on the other hand, insist that it's PERFECTLY FINE for the bad to outweigh the good, because that's what the law says.

    That, to me, is a morally troubling position. One should never support a bad law just because it is the law.

     

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

  44.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 7th, 2008 @ 5:55pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I much prefer to talk about what I have actually written than to talk about what you assert I have written.

     

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

  45.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Sep 8th, 2008 @ 1:04am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I much prefer to talk about what I have actually written than to talk about what you assert I have written.

    You have been free to correct anything that is incorrect. I have asked you to clarify repeatedly your troubling position, and you chose not to do so.

    I can only conclude that I have accurately portrayed your position. Your response shows exactly the cognitive dissonance that Upton Sinclair pointed out: because you cannot logically explain away your morally questionable position, your response is to insist I mischaracterized it.

    If that were the case, you should be able to correct my mischaracterization. You have chosen not to. The most likely conclusion, then, is that my characterization was quite accurate.

    MLS, you've demonstrated, repeatedly, an inability to respond to these questions about the contradictions or morally troubling aspects of your position. Yet, you don't hesitate to accuse me and others of acting immorally. You don't hesitate to insult and make fun of well respected individuals, even when you admit you are unfamiliar with their work. Yet, when we ask you to provide a little clarity on your positions, you run and hide.

    That's not an acceptable response.

     

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

  46.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 8th, 2008 @ 9:39am

    There are many outstanding law schools proximate Belmont (Stanford, Golden Gate, Santa Clara, Hastings, Berkeley, University of San Francisco (and perhaps others of more recent vintage)). Perhaps it would be more productive for you to consult with any one of a number of distinguished scholars of law on their faculty and discuss your views pertaining to constitutional and statutory law.

    I daresay that your expertise in economics will be favorably received. However, I am not sanguine the same will hold true concerning your interpretations of federal and state law pertaining to "intellectual property".

     

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


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This