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Posted on Techdirt - 27 August 2011 @ 12:00pm

Killer_Tofu's Favorite Techdirt Posts Of The Week

This week’s favorites post comes from Killer_Tofu whose name intrigues me, but I’m not sure I really want to know.

This week I have been given the honor of sharing my favorite posts with my fellow Techdirt readers. The TD gang thought it nice to allow me to do this… and they didn’t even charge me! Talk about a lost opportunity because I would have paid about a whole… I don’t know… five or so dollars to be able to get this posted. How could they possibly get any benefit from allowing me to do this? Its almost like I am stealing something because they didn’t make me pay them. (I am just joking, as all of us regular readers know, it is a great way to include the community and to CwF.)

Okay, before I start with my favorite posts, I want to mention that a lot of my views are shaped by what I feel is best for the human population as a whole. What would help the most people. Being a techie and reading TD, one of the things I see holding a lot of us back is patents. For now, patents seem to get in the way of a lot of innovation and to be a non-stop drain of money from the system. All the money that should be put into innovating is shifted around from company to company with some always being siphoned off by lawyers. That is why I found it great to hear that both The Guardian and The Washington Post had rather great articles about how broken the patent system is today. A little bit of icing on the cake from the Washington Post article was that it was written by Steven Pearlstein, who we were told is read by those in Congress. Hopefully they listen. If those two weren’t enough, to follow it up during the same week we had The Wall Street Journal also adding a great piece as to why patents are not all they are supposed to be.

Moving on from patents we had a fair few good lawsuit outcomes this week. We had a couple of good instances of bad lawsuits being dropped. There was one for The Expendables, where it was another case of “sue every IP address we can find on the internet.” They ended up dropping the lawsuit entirely. And Poor Righthaven. About the only lawsuit that could be considered anywhere near good for them was dismissed due to a lack of standing. I do have to give them kudos for their persistence. Even if they went about… well, everything, the wrong way (including the idea behind their lawsuits). There was the absolutely wonderful and great to read article about a federal court defying the other federal courts, saying that law enforcement needs a warrant and probable cause to get your location data. I hope that another court or two will lean this way and then get the idea up to the Supreme Court and they will rule in favor of our 4th amendment (saying a warrant is indeed necessary). As if that ruling wasn’t good enough (and really, we can never get enough good rulings) we have the MP3Tunes ruling that went the way of the greater good. Here EMI failed in their lawsuit and the DMCA safe harbors came through right where they should have. Reading through that article also presented us with the gem that the DMCA applies to pre-1972 recordings as well.

Another great topic I find uplifting is when large corporations get called on their lies. I will start off this section with yet another article on EMI. In this case, they were caught screwing an artist. I don’t see how this could be considered anything other than lying, with as many times as their story changed. As if their mistakes weren’t enough, they ended the conversation with Bill Nelson of Be-Bop Deluxe by telling him that he should feel lucky they will give him royalties from here on out. How insulting of them. Why would anyone believe the major labels or the RIAA have the artist’s interests are heart at this point? Next we have AT&T’s accidental disclosure that they lied about why they need T-Mobile. I was almost shocked to find that the FCC is actually going to question them about this. It almost feels kind of sad when one of the government areas does what you would think they should do for the people and you are pleasantly surprised.

For the last section I have some miscellaneous posts that I enjoyed. First off there was the individual giving away lemonade for free. The man in charge of the farmer’s market going on around him threatened him, assaulted him (tried to take the camera right out of our protagonists hands) and finally called the cops on him. It almost feels like civil disobedience for standing up for giving away lemonade, except for the fact that it is perfectly legal (just as legal as his recording of all of the events). I am curious if the cops can get in trouble for arresting you for something they know is legal though (reference the cop saying “we won’t arrest you today”). Next there was the news that the messengers were right about Fox delaying the release of its shows online. Sure as rain the copyright infringement rates went up for their shows the instant they delayed them. It is almost like the only ones who didn’t see that coming were Fox themselves and the MPAA (who had the nasty slam article trying to shoot the messengers pointing out what would happen).

Next up, we had Nina Paley pointing out where we can get more public domain material, in her article on… public domain material. And the last gem I leave you guys with is part of Samsung’s response to Apple saying they patented a rectangle (with rounded corners). Samsung included a link to this wonderful image from the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey as part of their prior art claim.

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