Tag Archives: intellectual property

How intellectual property poisons video games

Source: The Anarchist Shemale
by Aria DiMezzo

"[N]o one is entitled to being paid twice for something that they've sold. If, for example, I sell you a vehicle for $3,000, and you go on to sell that vehicle to someone else for $4,000, absolutely no one in their right mind would contend that I was due any additional money from you, or from the person who bought the car from you. … Intellectual Property, as a duplicitous way of allowing people who have created a thing to maintain ownership after the point of selling it, would dictate that, if I had been the one who invented this car — thereby making it my intellectual property — then I would, in fact, be due compensation. It is every bit as asinine as thinking that, if I sold my Chevrolet Impala to you for $3,000, then I needed to give a cut of that to Chevrolet." (02/17/17)


Tax-funded Harvard/MIT outfit wins versus tax-funded Berkeley outfit in CRISPR fake property rights case

Source: Nature

"The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has upheld a series of patents granted for the CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing technology to the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. The hotly anticipated decision could conclude a contentious battle between the Broad Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the University of California over intellectual-property rights to the potentially lucrative technology. Although the Broad was awarded its patents first, the University of California was the first of the two to apply for a patent on the technology. The California contingent also argues that its team in Berkeley invented the technique before investigators at the Broad." [editor's note: Even if "intellectual property" was actual property, the Broad Institute gets more than half its funding from the federal government, and the University of California is government funded as well — which makes any patents rightfully "public property" – TLK] (02/15/17)


Another way to explain the problem with IP: Resources v. knowledge; ownership v. possession

Source: Center for the Study of Innovative Freedom
by Stephan Kinsella

"I've observed before that information is a guide to action, not a means of action. Means of action are scarce and ownable so as to prevent conflict over the use of those means. The same is not true of knowledge or information, which merely guides action. Another way to see this is to understand that ownership may be viewed as the right to possess or control something, and is distinct from possession or control." (02/06/17)


Leaked TISA safe harbor proposal: The right idea in the wrong place

Source: Electronic Frontier Foundation
by Jeremy Malcolm

"A new leak of the Electronic Commerce chapter of the Trade in Services Agreement from the November 2016 negotiating round has exposed a brand new U.S. government proposal on Internet intermediary safe harbors. The proposal, which the European Union is shown as opposing, is a rough analog to 47 U.S.C.§ 230, enacted as part of the Communications Decency Act (known simply as 'Section 230,' or sometimes as CDA 230). Section 230 is one of the most important provisions of U.S. law for online platforms that host users' speech. It provides a shield protecting online intermediaries against a range of laws that would otherwise that would otherwise hold them responsible for what their users say or do online." (01/31/17)


US regime, "intellectual property" monopolists, shut down automated threat system

Source: ZDNet

"The Center for Copyright Information (CCI) has announced that the United States Copyright Alert System (CAS), designed to combat online piracy, has been abandoned by its members after a four-year run. The CAS was run by the CCI and involved voluntary participation by five ISPs — AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Cablevision — which all agreed to send users a warning notice when requested by copyright owners represented by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) or the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)." (01/30/17)


Copyright shouldn't be a tool of censorship

Source: Electronic Frontier Foundation
by Daniel Nazer and Mitch Stoltz

"Copyright was meant to be an 'engine of free expression,' and with the right limits, it can be. But today's copyright law stifles free speech far too often. Its broad reach, its excessive and unpredictable penalties, and its flawed enforcement mechanisms make tempting tools for anyone seeking to make speech they don't like disappear from the Internet." [editor's note: I don't know what they're smoking over at EFF, but no, copyright was never meant to be an 'engine of free expression.' That may have been its marketing guff, but in both motive and effect it has always been a state-granted monopoly scheme that requires suppression of expression – TLK] (01/19/17)


Paul McCartney sues Sony over Beatles songs

Source: BBC [UK state media]

"It could become one of the most important legal battles in music — Sir Paul McCartney is suing Sony over control of The Beatles' back catalogue. The star has gone to a US court, seeking to regain the publishing rights to 267 of the band's classic songs. He's been trying to get them back since the 1980s, when Michael Jackson famously out-bid him for the rights. Jackson's debt-ridden estate sold the songs to Sony last year, along with others including New York, New York. Sir Paul's legal case, filed in a Manhattan court on Wednesday, is over what is known as copyright termination: the right of authors to reclaim ownership of their works from music publishers after a specific length of time has passed." (01/19/17)


Offensive trademarks are free speech

Source: Reason
by Jacob Sullum

"In 2004 the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office agreed to register Heeb as the name of a magazine covering Jewish culture. Four years later, the PTO refused to register Heeb as the name of a clothing line conceived by the magazine's publishers, because the term is 'a highly disparaging reference to the Jewish people.' Such puzzling inconsistency is par for the course at the PTO, which since 1946 has been charged with blocking registration of trademarks that 'may disparage … persons, living or dead, institutions, beliefs, or national symbols, or bring them into contempt, or disrepute.' A case the Supreme Court will hear today could put an end to that vain, vague, and highly subjective enterprise, which sacrifices freedom of speech on the altar of political correctness." (01/18/17)


One weird trick to improve copyright: Fix EULAs

Source: Electronic Frontier Foundation
by Corynne McSherry and Kit Walsh

"Congress has been spinning its wheels on comprehensive copyright reform, but it could do a lot of good with one simple fix: forbid manufacturers from using EULAs to force consumers to waive their fair use rights. Traditionally, once a person has purchased a product, she has been free to use it however she sees fit without oversight or control from the copyright owner. Purchasers have also been free to use competitors’ add-on software and hardware that interoperate with the goods they buy, because innovators have been able to develop and distribute such technologies. That expectation is upended when it comes to products that come with embedded software, from tractors to refrigerators to toasters and children’s toys." (01/17/17)


There is no structure for production of ideas

Source: Foundation for Economic Education
by Jeffrey Tucker

"What is the relationship between ideas and social change? It's a gigantic question that has spawned a vast literature with nothing approaching a consensus. This is for a reason. Ideas are not like physical property. They do have to be rationed because they do not have the properties that make for economic scarcity. Their distribution does not follow a predictable, manageable, traceable production structure. What happens in some times, places, and issues does not seem to happen in others. It's for this reason that every contribution to this debate seems partially right and partially wrong." (01/12/17)