Dyspeptic Curmudgeon’s Techdirt Profile


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  • Apr 28th, 2021 @ 8:25pm

    Defence Costs

    Another fine mess, which could easily be avoided by adopting the Common Law position on costs: Loser Pays. The usual argument against loser pays is that poor people cannot afford to uphold their rights. But holders are rarely that poor. And appositely, the prospect of making the loser plaintiff pay the costs, can (and does in Canada and elsewhere) induce lawyers to represent defendants. It should work for patent cases. Then the troll loses the cost advantage.
  • Apr 22nd, 2019 @ 9:52pm


    Sorry, my comment seems to have done a Breakaway, and lost all its breaks.
  • Apr 22nd, 2019 @ 9:48pm


    Being a sovereign nation, Iceland should have taken a more Game of Thrones attitude. It appears that some 56% of Iceland the schmuck corporation is owned by a South African investment group. Iceland the sovereign should have just made teh the South Africans an offer they could not refuse. (Not because someone would wake up with a horses head, in their bed, or even a 100 kilo haddock!) Just a wad of cash being instant profit. At 57%, you control the Board of Directors, so some 'Game of Thrones' in the boardroom, including especially the in-house and out-house lawyers how had so thoroughly covered themselves in shit, would then be in order. And the Board of DIrectors would require the managing officers to file a cancellation/ abdication of the trademark (with or without the right to renew in a limited form). I doubt that Iceland the sovereign would actually need to exercise all of its powers. (although the image of Danaerys-style torching of the prisoners would be interesting... even if a flamethrower was a standin for a dragon!). The writing would not just be on the wall, it would be carved into the wall! I suspect that the head mojo did not actually realize what his minions were doing . He strikes me as being a pretty impressive guy. Sir Malcolm Walker, OBE. There's a rags to riches to rags to riches story here. This is a chunk of its history, taken from its website: Iceland the foodco started in 1970 by Malcolm Walker. Went public in 1984 By 1995, Iceland the foodco had 752 stores and 25 consecutive years of profit and revenue growth. In 2000, Walker fails to recognize the flim-flam. 2000 Iceland makes a recommended offer for Booker, the UK’s largest cash-and-carry operator, with the aim of exploiting buying and other synergies between the two businesses. 2001 New Iceland chief executive Bill Grimsey issues a massive profit warning, and Malcolm Walker and other senior managers are forced to leave the company 2002 Iceland-Booker is renamed The Big Food Group and launches a grandiose recovery plan (Click here to read the saga of ‘The one, two, three, four, five year recovery plan’) but customer numbers and sales remain in steady decline while costs escalate. 2004 The Big Food Group is nearing bankruptcy as provisions made in 2001 come close to exhaustion. 2005 The Big Food Group is taken private and Iceland returned to the management of Malcolm Walker and other senior executives who had been ejected in 2001. ... 2007 Iceland is restored to robust financial health, generating cash and recording an operating profit of almost £100 million. 2009 Iceland opens more than 70 new stores across the UK, including 51 bought from the receivers of Woolworths, and sales exceed £2 billion for the first time. And so on.
  • Jan 30th, 2019 @ 1:00pm

    For the technically illiterate

    For the technically illiterate judges, the best possible example of an API would be RULE 33 of the Rules of the Supreme Court of the United States.

    That Rule is all about how documents are to be sized, printed, colored and bound. How many words may be contained in any particular class of document, and how many copies are to be filed.

    The Rule says NOTHING about the actual contents of the documents beyond specifying the general type of content. The Rule is an API for the production of the paper-based aspects of an application for, and the hearing of an appeal to the Supreme Court.

    Similarly the API at issue in Google v Oracle has nothing to say about the contents of or even the names of the variables being used in the code 'behind' the API, only the structural manner in which that code is called, and the intended results of a call *of that type*.
  • May 28th, 2016 @ 1:57pm

    The Real Answer

    The real answer to this sort of stupid, is for the AirBnb's of the world to host in a different country. The US has become so reactionary and grasping that the safest business model is to have the active portions hosted somewhere safe, such as in Brazil.. where there is no extradition or mutual assistance treaty.
    Here a few weeks ago it was noted that a LEO had subpoened information from 23andMe. The intention being, one assumes to track a DNA match to or from a suspect. And there is no effective way for 23andMe to fight back, except, to have all of the DNA profiles stored somewhere in the world where there are strict data privacy laws. The DNA testing could still be done in the US (or better, Canada) but the data would never be retained.
    Same with AirBnB. And there would be very little exposure for airbnb.ca to any US municipality's whinging.

    And of course, the lesson never sinks in. This is a parallel to situation to the utility of anonymous Panana corporations.
  • Feb 7th, 2016 @ 8:02pm

    Superb Owl 1, 1966

    Re that tape of the Big Aim Superb Owl One, maybe the owner should find some country which is NOT a Berne convention signatory, and offer the tape for auction there, to the highest bidder. No Berne, watch the NFL burn!
  • Dec 18th, 2013 @ 11:32am

    Corporate Sovereignty

    The 'received-wisdom' backup to this is that 'Texaco was a bad corp'. Of course, there is the little question about how the plaintiff's lawyers bribed the judge, and paid an 'expert' to write the judge's decision. Of COURSE, they got a massive judgment. But it was a fraud, and should not have been granted.
    Chevron is now suing the plaintiff's lawyers in the USA for damages for fraudulent conspiracy. For the same amount as the judgment.
    So 'corporate sovereinty is not actually involved here. Just extortion and fraud.
  • Oct 30th, 2012 @ 12:31pm

    Re: copyright is the right to control COPYING

    Copyright is not *properly* about the copies, it is about the COPYING.
    Wiley wants to make this about the copies. It jumps into the sec106 quagmire but wants sec 109 struck out on a semantic quibble concerning the words 'lawfully made under this title' (which Scotus screwed up dealing with Omega v Costco inho).

    Wiley wants 'lawfully made' to modify 'under this title', so that something not made in the USA with the consent of the US copyright owner is 'not lawfully made under this title'.
    I have not seen any mention of the Berne Convention. But that Convention effectively means that *any* copyrighted work, produced by a national of a Convention country and subject to copyright in his country, is granted copyright protection in all other Convention countries.
    I presume that Wiley published first in the US, and possibly in other places within 30 days of the US publication.
    So Wiley's publication of the book in Thailand, is with Wiley's consent. That consent pursuant to the Berne Convention is good worldwide: the Convention countries agreed to accept and uphold minimum mutual standards.
    Thus those books were 'lawfully made under this title': they were made with the consent of the copyright owner.
    Wiley is trying to say that the copyright it (or its subsidiary) holds is a different copyright, but it has to argue that it is for the same book (otherwise there would be no question: 2 different books/copyrights, Wiley cannot object).

    I am surprised that the effect of the Berne Convention was not mentioned, since that Convention, which expands the extent of a US copyright's 'aura' also extends the owners' consent when view in this manner.

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