In The Patent Battle Over Speech Devices, The Real 'Irreparable Harm' Is A Child Losing Her Only Voice

from the irreparable-indeed dept

We've written a few times now about a horrifying patent dispute that literally threatens to silence a little girl. It involves an iPad app, called Speak for Yourself (SfY) that another company claims infringes on the patent it licensed. Prentke Romich Company (who makes come competing products, but not iPad software) and Semantic Compaction Systems (who licensed the patent to PRC) have been arguing that SfY infringes, and have even convinced Apple to remove the app from the App Store, despite no ruling in the case.

SfY had made a filing with the court, arguing that keeping its app out of the App Store was causing irreparable harm, while PRC/SCS has argued that there is no irreparable harm. But now, three children who are actual SfY users are apparently trying to intervene in the case to argue that having the app shut down represents irreparable harm to them, and thus the app should be put back for now.
If Speak for Yourself ceases to function when the iPad’s operating system is updated this fall, and Maya and Robert are suddenly left unable to communicate . . . that will be irreparable harm.

The panic, confusion, frustration, and sadness of these children as they tap their touchscreens, trying to open their “talkers,” and are met with blank screens . . . that will be irreparable harm.
It is definitely odd to see the users of a technology seek to intervene in a patent case like this, and if I had to guess, I'd say it's not actually going to work (and could possibly even backfire). But, at the very least, it should make the judge aware that there are more issues at stake here than just two organizations fighting over patents.


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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2012 @ 1:42pm

    Think about the childen.

    You have managed to become what you despise.

     

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      The eejit (profile), Jul 16th, 2012 @ 1:49pm

      Re:

      In this case, it might actually be relevant, though. When you scream "think of the children!!!" in order to extend monopolies, that's a much less moral issue than removing one person's entire ability to communicate with their family.

       

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      Machin Shin (profile), Jul 16th, 2012 @ 1:54pm

      Re:

      Hmm, lets step back and look at this.

      You guys scream "ITS FOR THE CHILDREN" when you want to censor things and stop speech. As a result we point out how stupid that is and how much it effects others.

      Now Mike is pointing out that something needs to be done "For the children" but instead of censoring anything he instead is fighting for THEIR VERY RIGHT TO SPEAK.

      So no in BOTH cases what Mike is fighting for is a FREE SPEECH.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2012 @ 7:27pm

        Re: Re:

        "You guys scream "ITS FOR THE CHILDREN" when you want to censor things and stop speech. As a result we point out how stupid that is and how much it effects others."

        I don't.

        "Now Mike is pointing out that something needs to be done "For the children" but instead of censoring anything he instead is fighting for THEIR VERY RIGHT TO SPEAK."

        Yes, but he is doing it by trying to "humanize" a problem, trying to put a sweet innocent face on the problem. He is doing EXACTLY what th dreaded congresscritters do, and you guys think he is great for it.

        It's amusing, that's all.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2012 @ 9:10pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Yes, so very amusing when you can point to actual children who will actually be harmed, right?

           

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          • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
             
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            Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2012 @ 9:29pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Yes, just like it's amusing when kids get molested, raped, and used as the stars of child porn. But you wouldn't care about that, because no-one points to a single specific kid and says "this one".

            Don't be two faced, admit that Mike is once again doing what he claims to despise.

             

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              The eejit (profile), Jul 17th, 2012 @ 1:24am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              You sick fuck. Stop trying to compare actual, provable harm with imaginary harm: in this aprticulkar case, you are removing someone's ability to communicate with their family, who they LIVEW WITH.

              Just shut the fuck up. Seriously.

               

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                Ninja (profile), Jul 17th, 2012 @ 4:50am

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

                Amen, brother. The trolling isn't even funny this time.

                 

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                Anonymous Coward, Jul 17th, 2012 @ 7:16am

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

                Yeah, so the kids in the child porn are just actors or 19 year old midgets or something, right?

                Provable harm my ass.

                You need to understand just because you don't know the kids name doesn't mean harm didn't happen.

                 

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                  Torg (profile), Jul 17th, 2012 @ 7:47am

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

                  You need to understand that just because someone mentions child porn doesn't mean what they want to do is going to do a thing to stop it.

                   

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                  Anonymous Coward, Jul 17th, 2012 @ 10:11am

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

                  You're ignoring a basic fact. That is already illegal, and covered by many many laws. New laws give a nod to child porn as a way to push through censorship and survellience that have absolutely nothing to do with child porn, or are so overly broad that it can be applied to anything. Combating child porn doesn't require more laws, it requires proper ENFORCEMENT. As such, the "For the children!" arguments for pushing through laws are bullshit.

                  Here, a "for the children!" argument is at least relevant, irregardless of it's legal merit. By the way, someone open source this shit and plaster it all over the freaking internet already :)

                   

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              Niall (profile), Jul 17th, 2012 @ 4:49am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Mike objects to 'meaningless' invocations of 'for the children' - where there are existing laws, where most of it is just meaningless grandstanding by organisations.

              Here Mike is telling a story of how specifically named children are harmed by a particular legal stupidity - and you have the gall to slag it off? He isn't saying "patents hurt (unspecified anonymous) children". He's saying "this patent fight and the way it's been handled is likely to hurt these specific vulnerable children". And still you find something to attack him with, and it's not even the same/correct thing. Pathetic.

              Also, it is massively insulting claiming (with zero evidence) that anyone here is 'not caring' about children being harmed. You sir, are not just a troll, you a a particularly vile form of one.

               

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              Cory of PC (profile), Jul 17th, 2012 @ 5:35am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              ... OK, how do I flag this comment? I think the lot of us REALLY don't want to see this awful comment. And why am I bothering to talk to this person? It's... well, disgusting! Really, how can I flag this comment?

              I need to take a long shower.

               

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          Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2012 @ 10:59pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Except that for all the child porn that these plans are allegedly supposed to stop, they don't. They merely inconvenience the law-abiding public. This case is about the removal of technological capabilities that someone, who happens to be a kid, is dependent on. You're attempting to compare apples and oranges.

          If anything, if "the dreaded congresscritters" are to be taken seriously about their claims, they should be screaming "for the children" for this case as well. But they're not.

          Your attempt to defend congresscritters and their attempts to put laws like SOPA in place are a failure.

           

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          John Fenderson (profile), Jul 17th, 2012 @ 10:04am

          Re: Re: Re:

          He is doing EXACTLY what th dreaded congresscritters do


          Actually, no. Usually, when the "think of the children" argument comes out, it's a lie. It's presenting something as a special harm to children when there really is no special harm to children. This is a case where a child is actually harmed.

           

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      weneedhelp (profile), Jul 16th, 2012 @ 2:12pm

      Re:

      Think about the childen. Please think about the childen, but my concern here is for the children. In this case there actual children involved.

      You have managed to become what you despise. - Someone thought they were clever today. Someone thought wrong.

       

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      Oblate (profile), Jul 16th, 2012 @ 2:16pm

      Re:

      How about "Think about these children"? There are specific children who will be harmed by this, not a generalization of children who might be harmed. I understand the logic of removing the App from the store pre-trial (even without agreeing with it)- I don't understand why they would remove this App from current customers before this case has gone to trial.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jul 17th, 2012 @ 1:20am

        Re: Re:

        thye haven't removed it from existing customers, it's just that the next iOS update coudl render the app unusable.

        In this case, though, I think that there is a clear case of there being no irreparable harm to the patent holder by the appbeig restored, since any harm can be reapired by damages. While the harm caused by the app being kept off the app store could concievably be irreaprable. Therefore, I would suggest that the app should be restored pending the resolution of the case, albeit possibly with a warning about the patent dispute.

        Not to mention, I personally think the app isn't infringing in the first place, since PRC/SS don't actualyl offer an iPad app of their own.

         

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          Ninja (profile), Jul 17th, 2012 @ 5:26am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Actually, the companies believe it is infringing thus the patent dispute. And there are cases where a removed App will be deleted from your device without warning upon update, regardless of compatibility or payment processed. Has happened to Apple before if memory serves. And Amazon has a pretty bad history with their books.

          The solution for these kids will be to cut any connection from the iPad permanently, preventing an update.

           

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      DCX2, Jul 16th, 2012 @ 2:22pm

      Re:

      The difference is that we are actually thinking of the children, instead of merely using children as a pretext to pass laws that would not pass if the authors were honest about the intention and motivation of said laws.

      You see, when honest people say "think of the children", we are thinking of actual children, with names like Maya and Robert, instead of metaphorical generic "children".

       

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    Thomas (profile), Jul 16th, 2012 @ 1:46pm

    To a corporation..

    irreparable harm only applies to their products. They don't care about anyone else. The corporation wouldn't care if ten thousand children lost their ability to speak as long as the app got removed. Corporations only care about themselves and profits anyway.

     

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      Jake (profile), Jul 16th, 2012 @ 1:51pm

      Re: To a corporation..

      Which is why I get very irritated when corporations speak of "rights" (IP or other rights, see Verizon and Net Neutrality for a good example). With rights come responsibility, but these corporations only have responsibility to their shareholders not citizenry at large and so should not get the rights of the citizenry either.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2012 @ 3:23pm

        Re: Re: To a corporation..

        > but these corporations only have responsibility to their
        > shareholders not citizenry at large

        So how does that work with citizens? If corporations shouldn't have rights because they don't exercise them for the good of society, does that apply to individuals as well? I have 1st Amendment rights to free speech and religious choice, but I'm not obligated to exercise those rights for the good of society. It might be nice if I did, but I have no moral or legal obligation to do so. Why should corporations be the only entities morally required to exercise their rights on behalf of society?

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2012 @ 3:49pm

          Re: Re: Re: To a corporation..

          Do imagine that society and community exist for things that are not human beings? You think non human things have the same right to benefit from society as things that happen to be human beings? That the rights of a table or dildo have to be considered too, because they're things as well?

          I shudder for a world in which someone so devalues people that they think non human things should be on an equal footing in terms of rights. Frightening.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2012 @ 4:43pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: To a corporation..

            But we're not talking about non human things.

            Corperations are full of people and are literlly nothing without them.

             

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            btr1701, Jul 16th, 2012 @ 5:16pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: To a corporation..

            > You think non human things have the same right to
            > benefit from society as things that happen to be human beings?

            That wasn't the assertion to which I responded. The assertion was that corporations shouldn't have rights because they don't use them for the good of society. If that's a basis for denying rights to a corporation, why does it it apply to individuals as well?

            > That the rights of a table or dildo have to be considered too,
            > because they're things as well?

            First, corporations *are* people. They don't exist without the people who run them, work for them, and invest in them. When someone speaks about a corporation's rights, that's just a shorthand reference for the rights of all the people who make up the corporation.

            Second, yes, I believe that certain non-humans are entitled to rights. I believe (and the law agrees) that my next door neighbor's dog has a right not to be beaten and neglected, for example. That doesn't mean I believe that the dog's rights are superior or even equal to a person's, but the dog ought to (and does) have rights.

             

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              VMax, Jul 16th, 2012 @ 10:18pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To a corporation..

              No, corporations should not have rights. The people who make them up have rights. My wife and I disagree on many things, but could be thought of as a separate entity. I'm on the board of a medium sized company, we rarely agree. I'm VP of another company and I disagree with the president on quite a few things. Now, I'm part of 4 legal entities, 3 of them have separate rights (married couples don't count), I only agree with 1 of them. 3 to 1. Tell me again how companies deserve rights.

               

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                btr1701 (profile), Jul 17th, 2012 @ 1:36pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To a corporation..

                > Tell me again how companies deserve rights.

                If we have a system where rights can be seen as only belong to those who deserve them, you've opened up an entirely different Pandora's Box of government abuse.

                 

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                  Chargone (profile), Jul 18th, 2012 @ 12:31am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To a corporation..

                  not if you either assume that humans deserve them by default or tie them directly to the related responsibilities. mostly the former.

                  the problem here being that somehow corporations have come to rate as 'people' in their own right, rather than simply organizations made up of people.

                   

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          Paul Hobbs (profile), Jul 16th, 2012 @ 4:23pm

          Re: Re: Re: To a corporation..

          You may not be (or feel) obliged to exercise those rights for the good of society, but in my experience, most people don't actively exercise those rights for the detriment of society, whereas corporations frequently do.

          We need to remember that most people come hard-wired with a conscience - there are relatively few psychopaths out there. If you accept the idea of a corporation as a "person" (which I don't), then corporations exhibit many of the characteristics of a psychopath - lack of concern for the feelings of others; disregard for the safety of others; inability to feel guilt; etc. The prime objective of a corporation is to financially benefit the shareholders. If the directors/executives/managers of a corporation fail in that objective, they are generally dismissed (and in some cases there can even be stiff penalties). But as a person, my prime objectives are very different. As a father and husband, my "shareholders" are my wife and children. And while I work hard to benefit them financially, there are other objectives which are far more important than making my family rich.

          So, the problem as I see it is that corporations want to enjoy the same rights as people, but they have none of the in-built mechanisms to ensure they exercise those rights responsibly. In fact, I would argue that the very nature of a corporation predisposes it to exercise those right irresponsibly. I'm not a religious person by any stretch, and I don't believe that the "love of money is the root of all evil". But the love of money is the root of many evils in our society - and corporations love money more than most. Which is why I believe we need externally imposed regulations to try to ensure that corporations behave as responsibly as possible.

           

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          rallen, Jul 16th, 2012 @ 5:06pm

          Re: Re: Re: To a corporation..

          Why should a corporation be the only entities morally required to exercise their rights on behalf of society?

          I believe it comes down to the practical matter of resources and influence. Even a small corporation has resources that dwarf those of all but a very exclusive minority, and those resources can exert a greater-than-average influence over society. Individuals are members of society, and subject to being influenced by society in return. Companies can influence society directly by lobbying and marketing, but are not themselves normally directly influenced in return. There is no direct feedback control mechanism to regulate their behavior. Why are individuals commonly labeled as "threats to society", when companies are a more obvious and greater threat?

           

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            btr1701 (profile), Jul 16th, 2012 @ 5:29pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: To a corporation..

            > Even a small corporation has resources that dwarf
            > those of all but a very exclusive minority, and those
            > resources can exert a greater-than-average influence
            > over society.

            So one's right to speak should be inversely proportional to one's ability to make oneself be heard; the greater your ability to get your point across, the less right you should have to do it? Or put another way, the more effective your speech is, the less it should be protected and only the speech which reaches no audience and has very little chance of convincing anyone of anything should enjoy full governmental protection?

            > Individuals are members of society, and subject to being
            > influenced by society in return. Companies can influence
            > society directly by lobbying and marketing, but are not
            > themselves normally directly influenced in return.

            I'd say an individual like Gates or Soros or the Kochs can influence society every bit as much as any corporation and are even less likely to be influenced in return because they don't have to worry about government regulation the way corporations do, thus they are more free to use their speech to push whatever personal agendas they may have without fear of reprisal.

             

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            Jake (profile), Jul 16th, 2012 @ 5:46pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: To a corporation..

            The bottom line for me is this: Corporations only have one legal responsibility and that is to make money (fiduciary responsibility). So any rights that you grant them are applied only to this. In fact it may be considered criminal, in the US at least, to act in a humanitarian way if it can be definitively proved that that act is not in the best interest of making company money.

            Humans on the other hand have the capability to make decisions that are not only good for themselves, but for the society as a whole. Teachers are a great example of this, especially teachers of younger children, where the pay is slightly less than that of someone who breaks rocks with other rocks. These people, who often could do many other things with the years of education that are required to teach in the US, choose to make less in order to enrich society (and no I am not a teacher). Legally corporations can not do this.

            So, do all members of society take the responsibilities of our society as seriously as the rights? No, no setup of this nature is perfect, but at least they have that ability.

             

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              Niall (profile), Jul 17th, 2012 @ 7:37am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: To a corporation..

              That's a little Randian fundamentalist. Maybe a company can have other responsibilities, although making money can be one of the most important. Certainly, it should be making money legally and responsibly. Companies benefit from society and its protections, so they should contribute back.

               

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          John Fenderson (profile), Jul 17th, 2012 @ 10:07am

          Re: Re: Re: To a corporation..

          If corporations shouldn't have rights because they don't exercise them for the good of society, does that apply to individuals as well?


          No, corporations shouldn't have rights because they are legal fictions -- tools for society's use -- not people. That they have no responsibility is just one of a thousand strong indicators of that fact.

           

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2012 @ 1:51pm

    if the company won't, why doesn't someone just make a android version of the app?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2012 @ 2:53pm

      Re:

      I'll get right on it, you want to start saving for my legal fund?

       

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      fogbugzd (profile), Jul 16th, 2012 @ 3:09pm

      Re:

      Patents apply to Android software, too. Google will pull cases of patent infringement, and the developer would still be libel for damages.

      I develop some Android software, and I seriously considered doing a form of this app. My wife teaches early childhood special ed, and she had several students who use various forms of word boards. They are basically pieces of stiff cardboard with pictures stuck on them. Students who can't talk can point to pictures to show what they want to communicate. It seemed obvious to convert this system to a tablet. I actually started work on the project when I ran into the patent issues. Patents are supposed to be about implementation, but the one in this case includes claims about general concepts. The fact that I developed the patent independently of any technology revealed in the patent would not be a defense.

      This is a classic example of software patents doing nothing but impeding benefits to society and giving one company control over a general concept that is pretty obvious.

       

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        ComputerAddict (profile), Jul 17th, 2012 @ 5:23am

        Re: Re:

        With Android many devices come unlocked, and you can side-load APK's. In this case if the App was available, especially open sourced, people could hold on the to APK (or compile new versions, add languages, etc) and install it on future versions of tablets regardless of upgrades to the operating system.

        Not that this response is particularly legal, But think of it as kind of "Internet Nullification." Yes SFY may interfere with stupidly broad patents, but by consensus of the internet we're going to allow it. And honestly if the internet wants something, the internet gets it, one way or another...

         

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        Ninja (profile), Jul 17th, 2012 @ 5:39am

        Re: Re:

        Except that you can make the APK and source code available via torrents (ah The Pirate Bay

         

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          Ninja (profile), Jul 17th, 2012 @ 5:53am

          Re: Re: Re:

          My comment was cut but the idea is basically let it out in the wild and use the power of open source. Once out there it will stay out there and the patents can go to hell.

           

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      Wally (profile), Jul 16th, 2012 @ 10:23pm

      Re: Why doesn't someone make an android app of this

      There is a very good reason for this. You see, these children are deep within the Autism Spectrum. Having a brother who is high functioning Autism (he is lucky to be anle to articulate and communicate) I know all too well the results of a sudden change like something being taken away where they have become attached. These AUTISTIC children have gotten comfortable and used to using that specific app, and anything that suddenly comes along to change that homeostasis they carry in that product will do irreparable harm to their psyche. Without it, they will not be able to speak their minds verbally as easily as you or I do.

      So the argument stands:
      Since they are used to it and won't budge because it would severely disrupt their lives if this app disappeared or changed, and you cannot get them to sufficiently understand the change, then clearly it would be mildly inhumane to sue someone making the ability to speak available for these children who would have no other way of speaking.

      Please note I said Autism Spectrum, not all out Autism, not
      Asperger's Syndrome.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2012 @ 1:58pm

    the only time anyone of any consequence is interested in anything that is 'for the sake of the children' is when it can be used to increase copyright protections, as in this case, so you can guess what notice is going to be taken of 'the irreparable harm' that is being/will be done to these kids or a million more if in the same situation. in other words, unless it is going to achieve what a company/industry/patent lawyer wants, no one is going to give a shit about 'the children'!!

     

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    Torg (profile), Jul 16th, 2012 @ 2:02pm

    If Speak for Yourself loses, patent law will be abridging freedom of speech in the most literal sense of the phrase.

     

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      btr1701, Jul 16th, 2012 @ 3:28pm

      Re:

      > If Speak for Yourself loses, patent law will be
      > abridging freedom of speech in the most literal
      > sense of the phrase.

      But only in the literal sense. Legally, which is what actually counts, the 1st Amendment and its free speech protections doesn't apply to a private individual/business.

       

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        Pitabred (profile), Jul 16th, 2012 @ 3:37pm

        Re: Re:

        The patent system is a government-enforced monopoly. This isn't a private business matter when you're using the government as a stick to whack another business.

         

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          btr1701 (profile), Jul 16th, 2012 @ 8:07pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          > The patent system is a government-enforced monopoly.

          So? That doesn't turn a private company acting to assert its legal rights into government action any more than someone filing a lawsuit under the 14th Amendment becomes a government actor.

           

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        Torg (profile), Jul 16th, 2012 @ 6:06pm

        Re: Re:

        That would be why I didn't say that Semantic Compaction Systems would be abridging freedom of speech. Patent law comes from Congress, and thus presumably is supposed to be held to that standard.

         

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          btr1701 (profile), Jul 16th, 2012 @ 8:12pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          > Patent law comes from Congress, and thus
          > presumably is supposed to be held to that standard.

          *All* law comes from the government. Using your criteria, there would be no such thing as non-governmental action in the law.

          This company using patent law to assert its rights is no more government action than someone suing under the Bill of Rights for violation of their right to peaceably assemble.

           

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            Torg (profile), Jul 17th, 2012 @ 1:36am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "Using your criteria, there would be no such thing as non-governmental action in the law."

            Congress making no law that abridges freedom of speech certainly sounds like it isn't limited to Congress not passing laws that allow Congress to abridge freedom of speech. Using your criteria, Congress could make a law that allows private firms to remove anything criticizing them from the Internet, and it would be perfectly okay because it wouldn't be the government removing criticism of itself.

            "This company using patent law to assert its rights is no more government action than someone suing under the Bill of Rights for violation of their right to peaceably assemble."

            Well, it's certainly not a government-independent action. Let's see someone try doing that in a country where the government doesn't afford them First Amendment protections.

             

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        John Fenderson (profile), Jul 17th, 2012 @ 10:10am

        Re: Re:

        the 1st Amendment and its free speech protections doesn't apply to a private individual/business.


        True, and this is the main reason why the wholesale privatization of government functions is evil.

         

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    SilverBlade, Jul 16th, 2012 @ 2:23pm

    Why aren't advocate groups for the disabled/deaf people coming in to join the family, and possibly even provide some financial backing if needed?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2012 @ 2:38pm

      Re:

      This. A strong case can be made here for this app being specifically targeted at an underserved market of people with specific disabilities. By removing the app, these companies are targeting people with disabilities. That has to earn some traction somewhere.

      I hope they let that older girl got to speak for herself in the brief. They'd have to be heartless to ignore kid's words about how much it sucks to be obviously different in school and to have to carry around a piece of equipment that makes her a target of ridicule. Not to mention that in today's world, a single-use piece of technology is a waste of money and space. Why shouldn't she have choices just because some company asshole somewhere wants to declare that they have a patent on her ability to speak?

       

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        Sad Mac, Jul 16th, 2012 @ 11:09pm

        Re: Re:

        I agree,In this child's case, she is unable to properly communicate without the program. I think she would not be able to articulate her feelings properly about being ridiculed without the device. You never make a sudden change like that on an Autistic child. It not only causes psychological disruptions that interfere with her life, but the panic alone in the sudden change causes physical stress as well. You just don't do that to ANY autistic person, it's inhumane to do so.

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2012 @ 3:53pm

      Re:

      Yeah, where is the notorious Autism Speaks?

       

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    Shmerl, Jul 16th, 2012 @ 2:34pm

    Software patents need to be abolished.

     

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    Nigel (profile), Jul 16th, 2012 @ 2:34pm

    Sad

    This story never fails to totally bumb me out.

    Nigel

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2012 @ 2:41pm

    Just curious what other products/software are available that are substantially equivalent in function to this app?

     

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      Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Jul 16th, 2012 @ 6:03pm

      Re:

      None.

      As the previous articles note, the product sold by SCS and PRC are significantly less usable for this little girl, and outrageously more expensive.

       

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        Wally, Jul 17th, 2012 @ 7:27am

        Re: Re:

        "As the previous articles note, the product sold by SCS and PRC are significantly less usable for this little girl, and outrageously more expensive."

        Not to mention that impliments sudden change as well. That girl was able to speak for herself in the brief of I recall.

        Also, someone suggested Jailbreaking her device. The only problem I see with that is the simple fact it's a WiFi based iPad for which there is no Jailbreak, and again, it breaks her routine.

         

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    Travis, Jul 16th, 2012 @ 2:45pm

    I don't get it...

    I don't get it, is it really that hard to port this app over to Android? At least THERE no one could block it from being distributed. Hell, it could probably continue to being used no matter WHAT the courts decided. Why anyone hangs their hat on the Apple platform when they continue to hold customers and developers hostage to their whims is beyond me.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2012 @ 2:58pm

      Re: I don't get it...

      Because 3 years ago they had a vast majority of the cell market and 90% of the ipad market.

      Sure if they were making this today they would probably go cross platform or possibly just android. But 3-5 years ago if you only had enough money to dev for one system you really didn't have a choice.

       

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    Baldaur Regis (profile), Jul 16th, 2012 @ 2:46pm

    Yet another segment of the world's population will find workarounds to onerous regulation, and so become 'pirates'.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2012 @ 7:17pm

    Maybe the developer should have put it on Android. Unfortunately, this is what you get for buying into a walled garden business model.

     

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      Wally (profile), Jul 16th, 2012 @ 11:20pm

      Re: Maybe someone should put it on droid

      Ok, that is not a very bad idea. Honestly though, it would not be too wise in this case. Autistic children tend to be very attached to things or people they care about. In most cases they cannot verbally articulate it. Sometimes it's like thinking something, but when you try to articulate it, it doesn't work out the way you wanted it too. Most people take that ability for granted. Some people have no ability to articulate what they are thinking properly. They could be thinking one thing and when they articulate it, it doesn't make sense. Some of the cases I have seen (mind you this is really really rare) mildly higher function Autistic people have only the ability to articulate through text what they think and that it comes our properly.

      Ok that aside, she would not be able to handle or comprehend the sudden change once she is set comfortably in her ways in using a specific set of rules in her mind. Some autistic people become frozen from being forced to adjust or deviate from their ways and there isn't a thing people can do to help it.

       

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  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2012 @ 9:40pm

    as Eddie implied I'm blown away that a person able to profit $7977 in four weeks on the internet. did you look at this site NUTTYRich dotc o m

     

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    Spencer (profile), Jul 16th, 2012 @ 11:10pm

    This disgusts me. How dare congress write bullshit bills "for the children", and then when this shit comes along, they simply turn a blind eye.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2012 @ 11:20pm

    I'm all for the app being put back up, but I still don't understand why it's so necessary?

    * Surely the app can be run on a jailbroken ios device?
    * Surely the device can be taken offline so that they don't lose access to the installed app? (Do Apple remotely delete stuff?)
    * Is this app made with such incredible secret sauce that it's impossible for people who want it so badly can't get a dev to make an android version? (Where jailbreaking would be unnecessary)

    Anyway, like I said, I hope Apple about-face, but even if they don't it doesn't seem to me to be an insurmountable problem...

     

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      Spencer (profile), Jul 16th, 2012 @ 11:22pm

      Re:

      The problem is a legal one. Even if someone makes an android version, it still would suffer the same legal fate as the iOS version. What needs to happen is the lawsuit needs to be dropped, or a judge needs to realize that SCS doesn't actually want to help anyone but themselves, and tell them to go fuck themselves and throw the lawsuit out.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2012 @ 11:27pm

        Re: Re:

        But who cares if it's illegal? I'll bet those parents don't.

        If it exists, and they have access to it (and can share it with other families) that's all that matters.

        They can probably achieve this with a jailbroken ios device (probably...), but they can CERTAINLY achieve it with any android device where there are no restrictions on what you can install.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2012 @ 11:32pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          In fact, I'd be happy to do it myself (I'm a software developer): make as close to possible a perfect clone of the ios version on android, for free for people to share...

          ...if I wasn't a student doing my second degree struggling to find a spare 5 minutes to scratch my arse...

          I don't care about the legality, and I'm sure any dev who did this could be sure the parents of users would be more than happy to not reveal his identity (if they even knew it).

          (I've never seen the software, know nothing about it right now, btw)

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2012 @ 11:34pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            They should put up a kickstarter page for it - bet they'd be swamped with money and devs offering to do the work.

             

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    Spencer (profile), Jul 16th, 2012 @ 11:43pm

    For those in the US, might I suggest contacting your representative. Congress wants to "protect the children". Well, let's let them know that here are real children who really need protecting, and demand they do something about it.

     

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    Mike42 (profile), Jul 17th, 2012 @ 4:36am

    Apple vs Samsung

    Sorry I'm late to this, but it looks like Apple has a new legal strategy, and that's why they removed the app from their store.
    Apple has decided that reselling products that infringe on patents is illegal, see here

    To try and make this stick, the company will have to treat all patent-infringing material the same way, no matter how full of BS it is.

    From the article:

    A statement released by Samsung condemned Apple's actions, saying "Apple’s menacing letters greatly overreach, incorrectly claiming that third-party retailers are subject to the prohibitions of the preliminary injunction, which they clearly are not."

     

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      Wally (profile), Jul 17th, 2012 @ 7:42am

      Re: Apple vs Samsung

      You are on the wrong article there bub.

       

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      Niall (profile), Jul 17th, 2012 @ 8:02am

      Re: Apple vs Samsung

      By this very argument, the moment someone accuses Apple themselves of patent infringement, they have a duty to remove products from the market! So it's a bit stupid, and prematurely judgemental. They only have a duty to remove products once they have been found to infringe.

       

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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Jul 17th, 2012 @ 5:48am

    Mike, Please elaborate

    Mike,

    Can you elaborate on the backfire part of this? Curious how it would backfire because I don't see it. Although, I know judges often make no sense and seem to toss common sense out the window so ..

    It is definitely odd to see the users of a technology seek to intervene in a patent case like this, and if I had to guess, I'd say it's not actually going to work (and could possibly even backfire).

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 17th, 2012 @ 7:50am

      Re: Mike, Please elaborate

      Mike has had very little faith in the US judges lately. The users intervened and it prohibits the girls right to speak out for herself. I think he's implying that it will be backfiring on the plaintiffs.

      Oh and Mike, most judges in these situations usually rule in favor of the defendant (the child). They are human.

       

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        Killer_Tofu (profile), Jul 17th, 2012 @ 1:13pm

        Re: Re: Mike, Please elaborate

        I read it twice and still interpreted it as Mike saying that the children and their families adding files to the case would backfire against the children and their families. I perhaps could just be misunderstanding it because of how I thought it was said first.

         

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    Rationalization, Jul 18th, 2012 @ 9:47am

    Honesty

    It is this keen ability to rationalize that makes us fearful of the new morality line on the eighth commandment. We do not disagree with the principle that the lesser of two evils is the best choice. If the little boy who stole the apple would have followed this principle, he would have chosen to be guilty of coveting rather than stealing. Often we have been guilty of leading people to sin by teaching that all sins are equal. A person with this attitude easily yields to temptation. He figures if he desires to sin, and that is as bad as doing the sin, then he has nothing to lose by acting out his desire, for he is already guilty.

     

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


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