Re: A professional would have responded in an adult manner, and not with an infantile refilling of the same document with material blacked out and a snarky footnote added.
When dealing with recalcitrant bureaucrats, there is a certain advantage to being not only on the side of the angels, but on the side of the SCOTUS.
On the merits, EFF is clearly right, and the USPTO is clearly wrong here - SCOTUS has already ruled to that effect in Alice.
The USPTO can be sniffy about it, drag their feet, and delay things. But in the end EFF is going to get their way, because they have the SCOTUS backing them up.
In that situation, there's some merit in going out of your way to humiliate the recalcitrant bureaucrats involved. Because you know you can get away with it. And it will teach them to take you more seriously next time.
I do realize that Americans have deep-ingrained Puritan instincts about sex.
And that people over the age of, say 40, didn't grow up with the Internet, and that influences their thinking.
But stop and have a look at reality. The internet is a ocean of pornography. Is ANYONE going to even notice a few more drops in that ocean?
I'm 100% fine with laws that prevent adults from coercing minors into sex. But are photographs really going to do any harm in themselves?
Is photographing a naked minor (or a minor having sex) really worse for anybody than the very fact of the minor being naked in front of an adult, or having sex with same? Are the photographs going to steal their soul or something? [Rhetorical question. No.]
If it weren't for the Streisand Effect of publicity for child porn prosecutions, who would even notice a few more porno pics on -ferGodsSake- the Internet?
Exactly right - the world has become so safe that people freak out at harmless things.
It's exactly like the allergy epidemic. Our ancestors lived with filth and parasites, and evolved immune defenses against them. Today we live in clean houses, shower, and use disinfectants. Result? Immune system freaks out at nothing, because it's evolved to react to SOMETHING.
Same with danger. Our fears are tuned to react to SOMETHING. Without something real, we react to harmless things.
We either need to end this civilized-living thing (it's unnatural), or start hacking the genome to make ourselves better suited to today's world.
Re: Re: Re: You have no idea what this "Sovereignty" thing is, right?
Wow; I seem to have set off a brushfire.
We don't want a society ruled by corporations whose own interests supersede the public interest or sovereign governments.
Agreed. Neither do we want a society rule by individual people whose interests supersede...
Lots of people think certain kinds of speech should be prohibited because its "bad for society". Is that a valid argument against the right of free speech I don't think so.
There's a huge difference between ruling and having protected rights. I don't rule anybody, but I have rights protected by law. I think that's a good thing.
"That's the point of rights - a majority can't vote them away just because they're a majority."
They prevent a small minority of rulers from taking away the rights of the majority.
In democracies, the rights of majorities don't need protection (by definition).
On the contrary, rights protect minorities, and individuals, from being bullied by majorities.
I do agree the secrecy is a bad sign. On the other hand, as the comments here illustrate, it can be hard to introduce new protections for minorities in democracies. Nobody likes having power taken away, and that includes voters.
For example, this is much of the logic behind the EU - member states could free trade, allow labor movement, etc. without joining the EU. But it's politically impossible to do so because of protectionist instincts among voters. By joining the EU, member governments get to say "we have no choice, the EU made us do it."
Most corporations are not Walmart. My wife and I own a corporation - it employs 11 people including ourselves. The vast majority of corporations are like that. And anybody with $500 can form their own.
Re: Re: You have no idea what this "Sovereignty" thing is, right?
Is this necessarily a terrible thing?
One can argue that the progress of civilization is a function of limiting the power of rulers.
Think of Magna Carta, the separation of powers under the US Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the UN Declaration of Human Rights. These all limit the power of rulers - that's what we admire about them.
And they "undermine democracy". That's the point of rights - a majority can't vote them away just because they're a majority.
Obviously the details matter tremendously. But is TPP and ISDS necessarily a bad thing? Or is it the next step in limiting the power of rulers to treat people (corporations are made of people) unfairly?
I don't know the answer, but I do wonder if we're jumping to conclusions.