For all the sophisticated analysis by economics, economic historians, law-and-economists and lawyers, we still cannot say with any conviction that in general IP law stimulates creativity or promotes innovation, though it may contribute to the process of communication between producers and consumers.
And it is precisely this "process of communication" that has had its technological costs practically eliminated over the last quarter century or so. In other words, the contribution being made by IP law has been diminished to near zero levels, despite the law being expanded to ridiculous levels.
My disillusionment with the Supreme Court came with the appointment of Clarence Thomas; not because of his political views or the harassment scandal that arose during his confirmation, but owing to the fact that his entire judicial career included just 18 months as a sitting judge. Up till that point I hadn't realized that Supreme Court Justice was basically an entry level position.
Advocating or asserting that many, many of these communications are confidential simply denies that they are necessities of life ...
I fail to see a connection between whether something is confidential and whether it is a necessity of life; certainly not so as to make them mutually exclusive.
Again, posting a letter is not the same as walking out the door into the street. If I ask Fred to give a letter to Mary, that is not a public transaction -- Fred is acting as my agent per what agreement we've arranged. He is not a third party to the transaction and, though he may be a third party to the message, he is certainly not the "public". If he requires that I provide him with certain information to assist him in his duties, that information is still between him and me; there has been no public disclosure.
Taken to its logical conclusion, much of what you seem to want declared confidential would bring social interchange to a virtual halt, and I certainly see how that would bode well at all. Quite the contrary.
I am not saying such "pen data" information should be completely off limits to the government, merely that it should require a warrant.
The same technology that facilitates recording and accessing such information also facilitates rapid obtaining of proper warrants. If there is current not the capability for law enforcement or government agents to obtain a warrant in a matter of minutes then I would say it'd make more sense to spend money implementing such an infrastructure, rather than spending billions of dollars building facilities and employing personnel to intercept and record the particulars of every communication that ever takes place on the entire planet.
The exterior of an envelope contains information specifically enabling a communication contained in the envelope to be routed correctly. Much the same can be said for internet addresses, telephony data, etc. They are all necessary predicates for the correct routing of the communication.
Yet the information is being provided to the postal service as part of the transaction of sending the communication, it is not being published in the local newspaper or posted on a litfass column. It should be considered private between the customer and service, and a warrant should be required from outside parties to access that information.
Let me add one more point: the idea that each subscriber has his own antenna, and that the antenna is the sole source of the signal he receives is pure smoke and mirrors.
The issue is not whether the antenna is the sole source of the signal (though it is), the issue is whether the signal from the antenna ends up going to anybody other than the antenna's owner (renter, actually).
I'm not familiar with the story about which you speak (a link would be appreciated), however, the New York Public Library (about a week ago) released scans of their collection of public domain maps, for no fee.
Your point is well-taken for the sense of copying in a manner that might qualify as infringement under current laws. But in the broader sense of copying, it is undeniable that "we all do it". You see, I just copied from your post ("we all do it"), and you copied it from the video. Would such copying qualify as infringement? Probably not*, but it is copying.
* But then, some courts have found that a single-line poem, or a 13-second performance, is deserving of copyright protection. So who knows for certain?
"Come to its milk" is an old dairy farming phrase that means the calf has been weaned and will drink milk out of a bowl. The sooner a calf could be trained to "come to its milk", the sooner its dam (mother) could return to production.
What I don't understand is this: how did software ever get patented in the first place
I attribute it to a combination of things, starting with the unfortunate wording of the Patent Act which says that "processes" can be patented, and then defines processes as follows:
The term "process" means process, art or method, and includes a new use of a known process, machine, manufacture, composition of matter, or material.
Ignoring the inane circularity of a "'process' means process", the act was amended to employ the word "process" in the 1930s, back when "information processing" was virtually non-existent. So the term as intended by the legislators of the time obviously only referred to processing associated with mechanics, chemistry, and manufacturing for which granting of patent protection is arguably reasonable (or at least the processes are not abstract).
With the advent of computers, and the ability of machines to "process" information, the term took on the connotation of performing manipulations upon purely abstract concepts -- something that has traditionally been rejected as deserving of patent protection.
Unfortunately there are many misguided folk who fail to grasp that no matter how much you process an abstract concept (such as information), that concept is still going to be abstract.
We also do so because it is a matter of safety for our customers. Our tools are used in high-energy industrial environments, where precision and safety is an absolute necessity.
It is not the purpose of trademark law to protect people from misusing items they've purchased; it's purpose is to protect them from being misled in their decision to make the purchase.
That an electrician, engineer, or hobbyist might grab the wrong DMM out of the toolbox because of similar schemes is not an issue to be addressed with trademark law. If there is a concern that the CAT II, III, and IV markings on the device are not sufficient then a more conspicuous standard (such as color coding) should be mandated.
By mentioning the fact that the CIA searched the network of the Senate Intelligence Committee staffers, it means people will die?
I don't see where Sen. Udall even mentioned that much. All he stated in his letter was that the CIA had taken unprecedented action of some sort. Hardly revealing at all (perhaps they refused to serve meatloaf in the cafeteria).