Well, there is a patent for the Linke button. There's a patent for a "Dynamic progress marking icon" (progress bar), a "Method and system for placing a purchase order via a communications network" (one-click buying) and an "Internet test-taking method". See more here: https://www.eff.org/patent-busting
I've read the manifest and I disagree radically with several of the proposals.
In my opinion, politics is a team work, but they are anti-party. They propose independent candidates, but in reality you need a team that can do projects. By voting a single person, you don't know who's in the team. That's the point of parties: to vote for a team, where you know what they think and what they want to do, even if you don't know each member of the party.
They mention "multi-center power", which I don't understand if it means decentralization (which we can discuss how much we want) or that some public decisions can be done by specific groups, excluding the rest of the citizens (that's happened here in Uruguay).
They want to "democratize the media". Internet's here, what else do we need? They want to force media companies to break in pieces, when by clicking a web broswer theres gazillions of choices already.
They want to impose quotas to each and every minority, like left-handed, fat people and the kind. That reinforces discrimination, not integrates people.
They want "effective institutions of global governance". That sounds like imperialism to me. They are opposed to national sovereignty.
Last but not least, the manifest never mentions freedom as a basic element of an ideal society. They say that society should be built collectively, in the sense majority decisions must be accepted by everyone. I think that the government shouldn't intervene in private matters, where people should be totally free, but only deal with public issues.
If you build a calculator and patent the machine design, ok, I understand that.
But if you build a computer program that works like a calculator, people can patent a "system that performs mathematical calculations with a button interface". That's ridiculous, because the patent covers all program designs that fit the definition, not just the program that was developed.
Like the Anon says, you shouldn't be abled to patent an idea. Like Niall says, it's happening right now.
Fuel taxes are very high in Western Europe and here in Uruguay, and I agree with that. Instead of charging for internet sales, the American Congress should tackle the energy issue and raise fuel taxes.
It's just business for them. When executives start to believe that launching an online-only service will be profitable, they will do the switch. It's matter of time, that is, some things will have to change before it happens. Companies will have to change, consumers will have to change, technology will have to change, laws will have to change. (I'm talking from the perspective of company executives and owners, not mine.)
Tim, I love the way you wrote the article. Yes, the content is good too, but it's hard to do tasty stuff out of this subject.
The problem with that definition is that it mixes things. "Literature" is a technical definition of a work (text), just like "photography", "illustration", "audio" and "film". That's how you classify works in such a law: by media.
But "arts" and "science" is another completely different thing: it's subject or intent, just like "entertainment" and "journalism". By that definition, sports films and advertising illustrations don't have author rights.