royleith’s Techdirt Profile


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  • Jan 15th, 2021 @ 8:03am

    Re: Sidney powell sued

    Hey, who's flagging Anonymous Coward? Am I the only one who got the joke?

    You've ruined my life... and my reply.

  • Jan 14th, 2021 @ 10:53pm

    Re: Sidney powell sued

    I agree entirely and I am unanimous in that. I am not a Democrat since I am from Tunbridge Wells, but my attorney, Lionel Hutz, points out that the judge's disregarding of Sidney Powell's evidence is a disgrace, so disgraceful.

    There will be trouble!

  • Jan 13th, 2021 @ 1:17am

    My Free Speech

    I know it's off-topic, but I want to rant about a serious limitation to my free speech. I wanted a column to express my political views in print and on the web-site of The Wall Street Journal.

    I was shocked, shocked to be refused. I thought it might be because the editor disagreed with my point of view. In fact, I could not find any publication anywhere in the world that would play fair and host my free speech.

    My only outlet was on something called Social Media which is only provided to support friends, family and acquaintances keep in touch.

    Lucky old President Don who can go global on Voice of America (well, perhaps only for the time being) and national on TV and radio stations any time he wants to. He can even take out adverts on almost any sort of digital or analogue media he likes 'cos he is rich, so rich.

    It's SO unfair. There's going to be trouble!

  • Jun 6th, 2020 @ 12:03am

    (untitled comment)

    It seems very unwise for the executive in Florida and the White House to attack the First Amendment rights of citizens under the Constitution whilst, at the very same time, reminding citizens of their rights under the Second Amendment.

  • Feb 13th, 2020 @ 8:32am


    This might be very old news.

    In the good old days, network equipment, including routers, could be accessed for management purposes from a computer on the network via a command line protocol called Telnet.

    Many still can.

    Telnet is relatively insecure and is deprecated for new equipment. The UK security authorities explained that the only security problem they had found with the Huawei equipment in UK public networks was due to lax coding including the failure to disable the Telnet port and code.

    Even if Huawei managed to access the network equipment management, they would not be able to get customer, public network or government data from it. The one truly damaging thing they could do, possibly at the Chinese government's direction, is turn the equipment off or disable it. That has been dealt with, already, for G4 Huawei equipment and would be checked for in G5.

    Most network equipment can be made to log and flag management access, so the network administrators would be able to spot such nefarious doings and identify the perpetrators very easily.

    I'm surprised that the mobile network operators do not use out-band control and management of network equipment as is common in terrestrial networks.

    Finally, if Huawei managed to inveigle code into their equipment to forward customer telephony and data calls to China GCHQ, how would they select the juicy stuff?

    Only by enabling it from masts near government installations - just the ones that the UK government are excluding them from. This is Hatton Garden security for the rest of the network. The Chinese government is never going to spy on Daisy's Snapchat postings, this way.

    Network administrators can also employ network sniffers and analyse the data they produce to identify rogue communications. I'm sure the UK authorities have server farms set up that can do just this work.

  • Apr 11th, 2018 @ 9:28am

    Bye-bye and Thanks for all the Fish

    Software is copyright.

    Bye-bye, Android, Firefox, Linux, MySQL, LibreOffice...

    Oh, so are computer languages (even the lists of functions),

    Bye-bye, C, C++, Ruby, Python, OpenJava...

    Oh, there is copyrighted open-source hardware,

    Bye-bye, Ardunino, Raspberry Pi...

    Those wicked, freeloading, Raspberry Pi-using kids better start saving up their pocket money and pay their dues to Ubuntu, Raspberry, Python...
  • Apr 5th, 2018 @ 11:16pm


    Version 1 of Winamp was released in 1997. Patent Priority date: 1998-06-17.

    Winamp, Spotify, iTunes, iPods, Windows Media Player and all media players have the music organisation and selection features of the patent. What none of them use is a Custom CD-ROM, a sound card that decompresses the music files or catagorisation provided by the service provider.

    The categorisation is embedded in the metadata of the mp3 or wav music file according to the industry-wide CDDB/FreeDB system linked to the musicCD ID.

    CDDB was invented by Ti Kan around late 1993 as a local database that was delivered with his popular xmcd music player application.

    So, key elements of the patent are not practised by any product or service, The combination of music selection, playing and categorisation were obvious to a person of "ordinary skill" in the relevant field of music players as shown by Ti Kan.

    This troll might just be worth challenging in court.
  • Jun 29th, 2017 @ 1:49am

    Free Market?

    I think that the EU Commission have made a legal blunder.

    They say 'Google has abused its market dominance as a search engine'.

    Wikipedia says:
    "A market is one of the... systems... whereby parties engage in exchange. [M]ost markets rely on sellers offering their goods or services... in exchange for money from buyers."

    There is no market for search engines. We don't pay for search results. The search engine service is an alternative to offering free, internet, kitten videos in order to attract people to your sales site.

    Whether your sales site sells your own product line or also provides paid links to 'partners' a la Amazon, is your choice of business model. If Kelkoo want prominence on Google's sales site, then they will have to pay more for that prominence.

    Try 'Google has abused its market dominance as a free, internet, kitten, video company'. Does that pass the legal test for antitrust?
  • Aug 20th, 2016 @ 1:46am

    Oracle Gave Google A License for Java SE

    The point of this case is that Java SE is licensed for 'General Purpose Desktop Computers', but not for mobile phones.

    Sun wanted Java to be implemented on as many general purpose computer platforms as possible and roped in many organisations, including Apache, to make this happen.

    (Note: the original Sun licence in force during Google's development of Android did not refer to tablets and was much more loosely phrased. Oracle 'tightened it up' after the start of the case. Google never used Sun's binary code, but used the Sun licensed Apache code. The Sun license must apply to the API as well as any Sun binary code otherwise the licence is useless for Sun's desktop plans.)

    Oracle were incensed that their plans for a money-making, Java-based, mobile phone OS were stymied by Android. That is why there was all the discussion about mobile phones and tablets in the case because that's the basis of the complaint.

    Google Chrome is a general purpose computer. It has a full Java SE licence. It can also use the open source Java JDK licensed by Sun.

    If Oracle are going to sue every Unix/Linux based general purpose computer OS that implements or uses Java SE, then that is the end of Java.
  • Dec 11th, 2015 @ 9:16am

    ISDS Festering?

    Is there any chance it will turn black and drop off?
  • Dec 5th, 2015 @ 11:35pm

    (untitled comment)

    @ That One Guy & Maurice Ross

    As Maurice will know, 17 USC says 'Copyright protection subsists... in original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression'.

    It explains that the intention of the limited monopoly on copying is:
    '(A) To maximize the availability of creative works to the public.'
    '(B) To afford the copyright owner a fair return for his or her creative work and the copyright user a fair income under existing economic conditions.'

    As That One Guy points out, the production of the photos was accidental. David Slater never planned for the monkeys to take their selfies and neither did the monkeys: it was not a creative work of authorship and does not qualify for copy protection under the law.

    PS: 17 USC § 801 uses the phrase 'copyright owner' which seems to allow for the 'ownership' of a legal right under the law.
  • Dec 5th, 2015 @ 3:55am


    Oh dear, I've come to the conclusion that David Slater does, indeed, have the copyright to the snapshot. But... later!

    First, copyright is not property under the Constitution: it is a right. That's why it is called copyright.

    Irell & Manella are wrong to state 'Defendant Slater does not argue here that he owns the copyright'. Nobody owns the copyright: one can only have, or not have, the right to copy.

    If a wildlife cameraman sets up a camera with an infra-red detector and catches a picture of a fox, there is nothing that passes the low hurdle under copyright law of creative expression.

    If David Bailey sets up a studio shot, poses the model, has the lighting and flash set up to his satisfaction, chooses the ISO setting and shutter speed and gets an assistant to click the shutter, that does leap the creative hurdle and David Bailey has the copyright to the image.

    David Slater was half way there. He set up the camera, settings, backdrop, flash, iso, etc (some of which might have been the cameras automatic doing) and then arranged for the model to operate the shutter once in a suitable pose. Since the 'creative' hurdle is so low under copyright law, I cannot see how David Slater does not have the right to prevent others copying his creative expression.
  • Jan 2nd, 2015 @ 7:04am

    The Constitution, Article I, Section 8, Clause 8

    'To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.'

    "[I]t leads to... a huge loss for society and culture."

    If copyright leads to a huge loss for society, it contravenes the Constitutional purpose for the law permitting the copyright monopoly in the first place.

    The Constitution limits exclusive rights to just the authors and for only a limited time so that authorship is encouraged, but society also benefits, in exchange.
  • Nov 15th, 2014 @ 12:24am

    A gesture to the Law, the Constitution and Common Sense

    At last the CAFC puts front an centre the law that says a patent is invalid if it fails to fall into the four classes of invention permitted by §101.

    It also concedes what the Supreme Court has long impressed on them that there are judicial exclusions.

    In O'Reilly V. Morse (Supreme Court 1853) the court said "The mere discovery of a new element, or law, or principle of nature, without any valuable application of it to the arts, is not the subject of a patent. But he who takes this new element or power, as yet useless, from the laboratory of the philosopher, and makes it the servant of man; who applies it to the perfecting of a new and useful art, or to the improvement of one already known, is the benefactor to whom the patent law tenders its protection."

    They intended 'philosopher' to encompass scientists, mathematicians, engineers, computer programmers, pharmacists, chemists etc. as we see in Bilski, Benson, Mayo, Flook, Diehr and so on.

    "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
  • Aug 22nd, 2014 @ 12:00pm

    What's the Issue?

    Sure it's an abstract idea, but it's onna computer and a interweb, for goodness sake! Some of the computers have to be servers which is special rather than generic... I expect.
  • Aug 19th, 2014 @ 1:04am

    a generic computer

    One day the CAFC will realise that the computer that runs generic apps in a smart phone, tablet, smart TV or smart Blu-ray player is also a generic computer.

    The generic computer is added to a dumb device that already requires a user input device and a display for its operation and is only powerful because of the need to run generic software.

    Is swiping a mechanical slide switch to power a device on or off a different invention to swiping a touch pad to do the same thing? Is it a novel machine invention being patented or is it just patenting the abstract idea of using a swipe motion to power a device on or off?

    A browser running on a TV is no less generic software than a browser running on a desktop computer.

    A software invention onna phone or onna computer or onna server or on the interweb is a software invention on one or more generic computers.
  • May 6th, 2014 @ 11:59pm

    The Broadband Service

    It's worth asking why anyone buys Internet access service.

    An Internet Service Provider uses a fast, broadband connection to the internet (if they have to!) for a rental charge. The Internet is not a content provider: it is connectivity only and that is what the service customers contract for. The customer expects to have full access to any legal Internet supported product or service.

    In addition, the ISP may offer additional services; some based on connectivity such as email and VOIP and some based on content provision such as 'broadcast' and on-demand television.

    I gather that each ISP in the USA is a government authorised commercial monopoly for the provision of Internet service.

    When Microsoft used their monopoly to act anti-competitively against Netscape (which was later adopted by Mozilla) the courts found that they were violating the Sherman Act. That was on the basis that Netscape, Java and other programs provided a potential OS-like platform (web and java based programs) that could compete with Windows.

    I'm not sure that this applies to Internet provided content services, but it does apply to competing Internet-provided connectivity services including cloud-based services.

    Let's just ask the DOJ to take the irresponsible ISPs to court for using a business monopoly for anti-competitive activities and extorting non-market related tariffs from other companies.

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