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    This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
    The Patents Are Coming | Log in/Create an Account | Top | 37 comments | Search Discussion
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    Intellectual Property People
    by dtobias (dan@tobias.name) on Tuesday May 13 2003, @07:15AM (#11609)
    User #2967 Info | http://domains.dan.info/
    Personally, I'm getting pretty much fed up with intellectual-property people of all sorts... they've all taken enormous liberties with the scope of their claimed property rights, to the detriment of freedom and true innovation.

    * COPYRIGHTS: Congress has steadily extended their duration (recently upheld by the Supreme Court), so that works created in the 1920s and later might never go into the public domain. This is being done largely to protect Disney characters (some of which were created in the '20s and would be public domain by now under the laws in effect at that time), though, ironically, Disney has benefited greatly from the availability of public domain stories from earlier centuries which they can adapt into movies (e.g., Snow White, Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid). Meanwhile, laws like the Digital Millennium Copyright Act criminalize reverse-engineering around protection measures, even when it's done to enable fair use protected by law.

    * TRADEMARKS: Originally intended to protect consumers from marketplace confusion and deception, they have been expanded to the point where companies can claim to own common English words in all of their possible uses, and gain a pre-emptive right to grab them in any new namespace that is devised.

    * PATENTS: The USPTO has been granting patents to the most mind-numbingly obvious concepts, as long as they involve computers or the Internet. The true innovators of the Internet have mostly let their inventions be used freely without attempts at claiming IP rights to them; now a whole swarm of parasites has descended to try to profit from gaining proprietary rights to things that ought to be free for all, and the government has gone along with them.

    Is there any solution to all of this, other than lining up all IP lawyers against a wall and shooting them?
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re:Intellectual Property People
    by michael (froomkin@lawUNSPAM.tm) on Tuesday May 13 2003, @08:37AM (#11613)
    User #4 Info | http://www.discourse.net/
    Is there any solution to all of this, other than lining up all IP lawyers against a wall and shooting them?
    Well, I hope so. The traditional alternative is to get involved in politics, or at least donate money, so that more sensible people get elected and make better laws. Starting "WIPOwatch" wouldn't hurt either...
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re:Intellectual Property People
    by Anonymous on Thursday May 15 2003, @09:05AM (#11644)
    I'm afraid not. But hey, the states are very liberal wrt guns...
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]
    Re:Intellectual Property People
    by Jumart on Sunday May 18 2003, @03:15AM (#11675)
    User #3775 Info
    Gentlemen (& Ladies),
    This patent issue, where the US Gov't is issuing rights on global public developments, is one of the reasons for the general distrust/dislike of the US Citizens by the people outside of the USA.
    How many of these techniques originated outside of the USA? The US Patent office should be much more careful in its checking of who invented the techniques. Even if the technique was developed in the US, if the technique has been public domain why should the rights be granted by one local Government to one corporation? At the very least giving the sole rights of a public facility to one sole commercial organisation often degrades its potential.
    Verisign (or it's components) for a long time held a monopoly on the .com addresses, anyone who had to deal with them will remember those nightmares of poor service. When the .com was opened up to international registrars life became a lot easier for us all.
    [ Reply to This | Parent ]


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