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  • Feb 11th, 2013 @ 1:58pm

    Legal

    I am not a lawyer. I don't even play one on TV. But isn't this effectively the Executive Branch deciding what actions are legal/illegal? How does this pass constitutional muster?

  • Jan 29th, 2013 @ 10:08am

    Modern Tinkerers

    Hackers are the tinkerers of the modern age. The inventors, the builders, the creative yet practical thinkers in a technological world. Watt, Savery, Fulton, and Whitney were all hackers of an earlier era. Were would we be if we had considered them criminals. Were are we going now if we consider hackers, the ones that don't actually break the law, to be criminals nonetheless.

  • Jan 16th, 2013 @ 8:33am

    What a deal

    Mobster: I don't like what you've done, it's been disrespectful to my bosses.

    Store Clerk: I haven't done anything wrong. What did I do? I'll be happy to fix whatever I've done.

    Mobster: Too late. Me and the boys are going to break your hand, and you better sit there and take it.

    Store Clerk: What? No way I'm going to sit there and take it. I like my hand. I'll fight you every way I can. I did nothing wrong.

    Mobster: If you don't sit there and take it, we're going to break BOTH hands, plus your jaw, and your legs, and your arms. We'll make such a mess out of you, you'll be begging us for mercy, but it will be too late. Everyone will know not to mess with us again.

  • Dec 7th, 2012 @ 9:50am

    Nuts

    How dare you name your cat "Nut". Totally distasteful.

  • Oct 22nd, 2012 @ 3:10pm

    Accountability

    Of course there are no studies done to determine if legislation did what it was supposed to do. Without such studies, legislators can always say, "See we did something." (Patent Reform Yea!!!) But they don't ever want their opponents to be able to say, "They acted and their own reports say they made things worse."

  • Aug 17th, 2012 @ 7:18am

    Copying Others

    So Congress took the former American patent system, in the country that traditionally was the model of economic growth, progress, and entrepreneurial spirit compared to the rest of the world. And Congress decides to scrap all that and do what the rest of the world does. Smart. Real Smart.

  • Jul 10th, 2012 @ 12:42pm

    Re: Protection Racket

    It's not only that the law makes this possible. It's that the current law provides economic incentives encouraging such behavior.

  • Jul 10th, 2012 @ 7:44am

    Differences

    Those numbers in the report clearly distinguish between Federal and State requests, so that's not the difference.
    But I can offer one reasonable explanation... The numbers reported to Congress were requests for actual criminal investigations. The numbers reported from Spring and the other Telcos were requests for harassment, curiosity and just plain good old fashioned fun!!!

  • Jun 19th, 2012 @ 2:25pm

    Past

    "because the way a few musicians made money in the past..."

    ...was to wander village to village as traveling minstrels singing folk songs to the people. And thus it must be forever the same.

  • Jun 12th, 2012 @ 2:58pm

    How is this promoting progress.

    Any patent that is found to not "promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts" should be rejected by default.

  • Jun 5th, 2012 @ 12:03pm

    Pirates

    But I thought all those Chinese viewers were actually pirates, unwilling to pay for movies and other media. Why would the studios want to be appease pirates. I guess they better start digitally removing all the junk boats from the movies too.

  • Jun 5th, 2012 @ 10:01am

    Doomed to repeat history.

    If there are going to be new businesses created from "productizing" patents, we can look into the past to see how well this will turn out. This is little different than when Wall Street "created" new investment products by packaging up other paper investment products, all without any "real" products behind them. At some point there was the realization that everything was a legal fiction, created from smoke and mirrors. That turned out well for everyone didn't it.

    That is exactly what these patents are. Legal fictions that get "created" by an overly permissive patent office. When everyone finally comes to their senses, that these patents don't actually create anything, the whole system is likely to collapse.

  • May 23rd, 2012 @ 9:17am

    Trust

    "importance of trust in creating a functioning internet,"

    It's not just important in creating a functioning internet, it's the importance of trust in creating a functioning democratic society. The government is constantly making claims of "Trust Us", and yet they are completely unwilling to trust The People.

  • May 17th, 2012 @ 1:19pm

    Opt Out

    How many entrepreneurs out there, the ones that actually are interested in building a company that provides value, would take the option of never being sued for violating a patent if they promised to never file a patent themselves? I'm sure the answer is "almost all of them."

  • May 1st, 2012 @ 10:21am

    walled gardens

    Pretty soon we'll be back to the days of the walled gardens similar to the days of Prodigy, Compuserve, and AOL. At least that's what the fearmongers want.

    We'll have America Online. China Online. Poland Online. Iran Online. etc.

  • Apr 30th, 2012 @ 10:06am

    Expected

    The final results are expected. As more of these videos get put online, and as election cycles roll around, the officials that are actually dependent on the public for their jobs will start to take action.

    It will become increasingly hard for police chiefs and sheriffs to stay in office when their election opponents have free video footage of the behavior that are tolerated and encouraged within the police departments. Thus we will start to see chiefs to become even more proactive concerning their officers behavior by A) encouraging officers to not be filmed doing something questionable, and B) suspend and fire any officer that does get caught.

  • Mar 21st, 2012 @ 3:20pm

    Pornographic

    I don't get it. There's nothing pornographic about it.

    The book is about a small little boy, and the only way you would think it was pornographic is if you get excited thinking about small little boys.

    OH!!!. NOW I get it!

  • Mar 16th, 2012 @ 2:43pm

    Loaded with Junk

    In addition with the problems of paying, the apps from one platform are not comparable. I have both the iPad app as well as the Android app for my phone.

    You would think the iPad app would be more useful because of the larger screen. But no, I have switched totally over to my phone, which is actually less convenient for me. The iPad app screen space is loaded with chats, scores, and other non-useful info to me. They shove the actual video of the game into an iddy-biddy spot in the middle of the screen. I thought for sure I would be able to expand the video to fill my screen, but no such luck.

    Using my Android app, I get to watch the video, and the video alone, on my phones screen which equates to a bigger picture. So that's what I do, even though the app does not run nearly as well on the Android platform. You would think the NCAA would want to enable me to watch on whatever platform I find the most convenient and useful. But no, I have to choose between two mediocre experiences because they want to control things.

  • Mar 16th, 2012 @ 1:09pm

    License counter offer.

    "The Hobbit" pub should come back with a counter offer of licensing the name and characters for $100 a year in free beer for the folks of SZC. They would probably be much happier and they might start to lead a more hobbit-like life.

  • Mar 12th, 2012 @ 2:33pm

    Legal Definition of Property

    This demonstrates the problem with conveying traditional concepts of physical Property to Intellectual Property. From a legal standpoint, "Property" is the right of a person (or company or nation) to exclude others. "Its My Land" really means you can't trespass, you can't build a house, you can't drill, etc. unless I allow you to.

    In the physical world this makes sense. If you build a house on my land, then I can't build a house. If you mine the gold, then there is less gold for me to mine. It has also traditionally been very easy to recognize the limits of these exclusions, or rather the boundaries of the property; just look at a map. This concept easily transfers to other forms of physical property - "dude that's my car" not your car.

    But with "Intellectual Property" all of these concepts fail. Instead of limited and bounded resources that are scarce and well defined, we have infinite "ideas" - and yes all patents are really ideas, just ones that are supposed to be very, very specific and well documented.

    Let's say I patent a mechanical means of separating cotton fibers from their seeds. Can I exclude all other mechanical means from doing the same thing, or just means similar to my machine? How similar is too similar? Can I just exclude other sales of those machines and not the manufacture? Why stop at just sales? What if I add steam power to the machine? Do I have to patent that? What about electric power? The questions (i.e. the limits or bounds) are in fact limitless.

    So any expansion of intellectual property rights, actually is an expansion of exclusions placed upon others. Such expansion doesn't "create" more property as we would think of creating more land to farm. This expansion limits what others are allowed to do.

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