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  • Jul 2nd, 2009 @ 1:03am

    Re: not creative?

    Half of humanity 'not creative'? What a ridiculous thing to say. No facts can convince a person who would willingly put such a statement in writing, but hey, China is pouring money into biotech research, and if you don't think this is creativity, take a gander at Chinese cinema. India not creative? Do you know what Europeans were wearing before they 'stumbled across' Indian textiles, prints, colors, etc.? Brown rags (see Braveheart for a taste of early European aesthetics) that's what. These are just a few of thousands of examples. Please, think before you tap.

  • Jun 27th, 2009 @ 3:22pm

    Re: Mickey Mouse

    Yes, Disney considers Mickey protected by trademark. But think about it - when you see a t-shirt or anything, with Mickey on it, does that indicate that the t-shirt was made by Disney? This is the function of trademark, which is totally inappropriate for protecting a character, as Disney well knew for the first fifty years of Mickey's life. This is a cheap attempt to extend Mickey monopoly in perpetuity, but one which arguably would never survive a court challenge. Again though, who would pay to launch a fight against Disney's army just to use the image of Mickey Mouse (and run the risk of losing, given the propensity of courts to bow to anything claiming to be IP). Better just get yourself another mouse and save the bucks/euros/rubles and rupees for a rainy day.

  • Jun 18th, 2009 @ 9:55am

    Re: Super Secret Club

    Public support? Since when was that an issue? The 'public' neither knows, understands, nor cares, and 'support', well...

  • Jun 9th, 2009 @ 10:10am


    Yes, at this stage it would be a disaster. But some points to understand: this is not necessarily a copyright issue, but a design protection issue. One important difference: the term is not 70 years, but (if the US follows Europe) 5 years with a potential 4 renewals. I am not a great fan of exaggerated IP, BUT, one reason we have no designers in this country (and why we are terminally addicted to 'classics' (i.e. what my grandmother wore is good enough for me) as opposed to new designs) is that designers flee. All I'm saying is, there is a debate there.

  • Jun 9th, 2009 @ 10:10am


    Yes, at this stage it would be a disaster. But some points to understand: this is not necessarily a copyright issue, but a design protection issue. One important difference: the term is not 70 years, but (if the US follows Europe) 5 years with a potential 4 renewals. I am not a great fan of exaggerated IP, BUT, one reason we have no designers in this country (and why we are terminally addicted to 'classics' (i.e. what my grandmother wore is good enough for me) as opposed to new designs) is that designers flee. All I'm saying is, there is a debate there.

  • Jun 4th, 2009 @ 7:16am

    Re: Mr. Riley

    Yes, 'kick the crap' out of the all thieves (bankers included?). That's a brilliant strategy. Works everywhere. And when US biopirates steal from other countries (basmati, neem, pig genes, etc.), I assume Mr. Riley is all for 'kicking the crap out' of them too, right? Now that kicking the crap out of everyone is legal (Mr. Obama has also decided not to prosecute kickers, among others), why don't we just kick the crap out of everyone we meet, just in case.

  • Jun 4th, 2009 @ 1:06am

    trade agreements

    Rereading the article linked in this, it is sad indeed that here as in so many other areas, Obama has done the opposite of what we had hoped. Staffing the "Justice Department" with RIAA front men and continuing to back the secretive ACTA are just the most obvious examples. What one lawmaker (Dan Durbin, I think) said of the banking industry, ("These guys own the place") is equally applicable to IP types. As the economy continues to tank, the IP lifeline to (pseudo) hegemony, creative costs be damned, can only thicken.

  • May 27th, 2009 @ 12:23am


    This conflict has been a done deal for a long time. The European Court of Justice confirmed the 2006 Data Retention Directive that requires data retention last year, in seemingly (the devil is in the details) direct conflict with its own 1995 Data Protection Directive. All 27 EU member states should theoretically implement the Data Retention Directive this year, if they haven't already done so. Privacy rights, friends, are a thing of the past, even in Europe, where they started. To call this Swedish law 'IPRED' (Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Directive) is a bit of a misnomer though. This term was used to describe a 2004 EC Directive in which the 27 member states agreed to harmonize enforcement, but fell short of the heavily lobbied provisions that such measures include criminal sanctions. RIAA and MPAA lobbies are still lobbying heavily (in an unregulated EU lobbying environment) for prison terms though, so whether the secretive Commission and the unfortunately powerless Parliament will go for it this time remains to be seen.

  • Apr 27th, 2009 @ 2:28am

    Re: sports copyright

    Thanks for this excellent summary. The situation is the same in Europe - it is the basis of copyright. You can't own a game, only the fixed form of the performance (a related right, along with those of record producers and performers). This is why we are seeing an increasing amount of criminal penalties being enacted for bringing a copying aparatus (camera or recorder) to any kind of performance, including a sports event. It's the only way to stop people from recording their own 'version' of the sports event.

  • Apr 27th, 2009 @ 2:20am

    understanding legislation

    Did they understand TRIPS (written by the pharma industry among others)? Did they understand the Patriot Act (silly question, I know, since they didn't claim to have read it as there wasn't time) (written by the torture industry?). They don't write legislation anymore, they sell the right to others to write it. Get over it. It's the American way.

  • Apr 27th, 2009 @ 2:05am

    Re: Character of the EU

    The EU has kept Europeans for bashing each other (which they previously did whenever the opportunity presented itself) for over 50 years and encouraged millions of people to think beyond their own little cultural pen - that's no small potatoes. The culprits here are US lobbies operating in Brussels and the Commission for responding to them. Calm down anonymous coward.

  • Apr 27th, 2009 @ 1:53am

    Re: Burgers in perpetuity

    Are there, can there be, two anonymous cowards, or have we started conversing with ourselves? But yes, why does singing a song one night lead to perpetual income while flipping the burg to perpetual poverty. Lobbying power? Flippers unite!

  • Apr 18th, 2009 @ 2:03pm


    Hi Tor Arguably. I guess you still have confidence in 'competent national authorities' and 'national law'. I have long abandoned such comforts. Don't the former dream up methods of abuse and then write up memos backing themselves up with the latter? Or am I confused here?

  • Apr 18th, 2009 @ 9:12am


    Doesn't IPRED refer to IP Rights Enforcement Directive(2), the as yet un-enacted EC Directive, pushed by US lobbies, that mandates criminal penalties for IP offences? (There is IPRED1, enacted in 2004 and addressing civil penalties, but the controversial IPRED2 is still waiting in the wings.) Sweden's law (relating to criminal penalties for illegal downloads discoverable through the retention directive) cannot be an IPRED law if there's no IPRED. It is hard enough to follow the fate of this proposed Directive without using its name for only tangentially related legislation, no?

  • Apr 18th, 2009 @ 8:50am

    (untitled comment)

    Hi Tor, Articles 4 and 6 of the 2006 Data Retention Directive (see below) would appear to suggest that there is a case for mandatory disclosure.
    What's next? See ACTA, and combine it with Data Retention, the mix of BSA, MPAA and RIAA aversion to new business models and equating piracy (patch kind), terrorism and downloading, and and Sarkozy's shenanigans, and the picture is not pretty.

    Article 4
    Access to data
    Art. 4 - Member States shall adopt measures to ensure that data retained in accordance with this Directive are provided only to the competent national authorities in specific cases and in accordance with national law. The procedures to be followed and the conditions to be fulfilled in order to gain access to retained data in accordance with necessity and proportionality requirements shall be defined by each Member State in its national law, subject to the relevant provisions of European Union law or public international law, and in particular the ECHR as interpreted by the European Court of Human Rights.
    Article 8
    Storage requirements for retained data
    Member States shall ensure that the data specified in Article 5 are retained in accordance with this Directive in such a way that the data retained and any other necessary information relating to such data can be transmitted upon request to the competent authorities without undue delay.

  • Apr 14th, 2009 @ 10:19am


    BSA will do anything and everything they can to control, scare, intimidate. See
    for their lobbying paper to back the EU Data Retention Directive. People were asking "what's BSA got to do with lobbying for data retention"... As they say, duh. Latching on to Somali pirates should come as no excuse to anyone.

  • Apr 13th, 2009 @ 1:47pm

    patent reform

    You're getting derailed here. What's important is the lobbying, as L. Lessig and anyone else who is informed about the futility of fighting IP creep through normal legal channels well know. They get what they pay for, and they are paying a lot. The purpose of patent law, the state of the country (beyond the few IP holders that represent the country as things stand) - none of these matter to these guys. Read So Damn Much Money, and Ken Silverstein's new book. The lobbysts own the place. Stop sweating the small stuff.

  • Apr 3rd, 2009 @ 3:19pm

    France's new 'law'

    You people have really weird ideas about France and the Civil Code, but that being said, does anyone ever ask themselves why this, why now? Cute Carla whispered something in Nicky's little ear about her 'music business'? France doesn't even have music to protect. EPiaf is long dead and I really can't imagine it's her heirs behind this. US lobbyists need a lot more light shined on their nefarious profession. Never mind due process, the entire west left that behind long ago. And equal protection? Today it's flavor-of-the-month-offense tax avoiders who are denied protection of the 'law' - who will it be tomorrow? Pooper non-scoopers? Smokers? Very sloppy, but France is not alone. You don't hear this before the US congress because RIAA is going straight to the ISP's - through contract 'law'. Why bother with congress when you can guy your way with ISPs, and probably more cheaply.

  • Mar 14th, 2009 @ 12:59pm

    Re: Trade Secrets/ National Secrets

    ACTA is not about trade rules. It's about making sure nothing that would break IP national monopolies goes over borders. It authorizes all electronic equipment searches by all signatory states' customs officials, and combined with data retention and disappearance of privacy, and high criminal penalties, it will assure that no one downloads or carries anything that these guys think threatens their last claim to hegemony - IP.

  • Mar 14th, 2009 @ 8:12am


    Re rumor quality, see with links. Not all that obscure.

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