Tag Archives: “intellectual property”

Did the death of copyright hurt anyone?

Source: Ideas
by David Friedman

“Intellectual property in digital form is easy to copy and easy to share, which makes enforcing copyright law against it difficult, often in practice impossible. Thus the shift of Intellectual Property — music, books, movies — to digital makes it much more difficult for copyright law to serve its traditional purpose of providing an incentive to create by rewarding the creators. The obvious conclusion is that creators of intellectual property should now be much worse off than before and much less, or lower quality, work should be being created. The question, to which I do not know the answer, is whether it actually happened.” (12/09/17)


Tell the Copyright Office: Keep safe harbors safe

Source: Electronic Frontier Foundation
by Elliot Harmon

“The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) safe harbors are a vital protection for websites and Internet services of all sizes. But thanks to a new Copyright Office rule, website owners could lose safe harbor protections if they don’t register online by December 31. And that’s not all: Hollywood lobbyists are pushing the Copyright Office to create even more hoops for website owners to jump through in order to keep their safe harbor. Under current law, the owners of websites and online services are protected from monetary liability when their users are accused of infringing copyright. Owners must meet many requirements in order to be eligible for that protection …. The DMCA is far from perfect, but it does allow websites and other intermediaries that host third-party material to thrive and grow without constant threat of litigation.” (12/08/17)


Memed into the public domain?

Source: Common Sense
by Paul Jacob

“When the definitive history of the 2016 presidential election is written, the central figure may turn out to be … a frog. ‘Pepe,’ to be precise. The cartoon frog with red lips started out as a minor figure in a Matt Furie webcomic, but came to symbolize so much more. … Oddly — or maybe not, politics and culture wars being what they are — the lawyer for Pepe’s creator makes much of the alt-right/hate group usages of Pepe: ‘You can’t copy other people’s ideas and claim free speech,’ says Tompros. ‘[The alt-right is] absolutely free to spout hate in some other form. We just don’t want them using Pepe the Frog to do it.” Contra Furie’s lawyer, you are allowed to copy others’ ideas in a free society. Copyright is something a bit narrower. Trickier.” (12/06/17)


Editor’s Pick, episode 8

Source: Everything Voluntary

“Editor’s Pick 008 features a lecture by Stephan Kinsella on the effects that intellectual property (patents and copyright) has on wealth creation from innovation.” [various formats] (11/28/17)


New Zealand: Eminem’s publisher turns IP troll, knocks down $400k in “damages”

Source: Billboard

“A New Zealand judge said Eminem’s lyrics ‘You own it, you better never let it go’ turned out to be prophetic after ruling a political party breached copyright by using a song similar to Eminem’s ‘Lose Yourself’ in its campaign ads. High Court Judge Helen Cull on Wednesday ordered the conservative National Party to pay the Detroit rapper’s publisher 600,000 New Zealand dollars ($415,000) plus interest. The case earlier featured odd moments such as gowned lawyers listening studiously to profanity-laced rap and Eminem collaborator Jeff Bass flying in from Detroit to play the song’s distinctive opening riff, which he wrote.” (10/25/17)


Markets for secrets?

Source: Notes on Liberty
by Ash Navabi

“In a world without intellectual property, would it be possible to buy and sell secrets? I suggest the answer is yes. In this post, I provide both a theoretical framework for such markets, as well as pointing to real life examples of such markets already existing.” (10/12/17)


A troubling new tactic to keep bad patents from being tossed out

Source: Electronic Frontier Foundation
by Vera Ranieri

“On September 8, 2017, the multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical company Allergan announced that it ‘sold’ its patents relating to its eye drops ‘Restasis’ to the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe. But this was not a usual ‘sale.’ The Tribe doesn’t appear to have paid anything in exchange for becoming the legal owner of Allergan’s patents. Instead, Allergan paid the Tribe $13.75 million, and also agreed to pay the Tribe up to $15 million more each year in exclusive licensing fees. In other words, Allergan just paid out millions to give its patents away, and will pay millions more to license them back. Why would a company pay a Native American tribe to take ownership of patents? Simple: to make those patents harder to invalidate. … As Allergan explicitly highlights in the press release announcing the ‘sale,’ the Tribe has ‘sovereign immunity.’ The company hopes that the Tribe’s sovereign immunity will allow it to prevent IPR proceedings.” (10/03/17)


Key document unsealed in Waymo’s trade secrets case against Uber

Source: New York Times

“Waymo, Alphabet’s self-driving car unit, has been fighting in the courts for months to gain access to a key document in a trade secrets case that it has waged against Uber. That document became public late Monday, adding to the intrigue of whether Uber may have known it was getting stolen [sic] information for its autonomous vehicles operation. The document that became public was a due diligence report that Uber commissioned last year before buying an autonomous truck start-up, Ottomotto, for $680 million. The start-up was founded by Anthony Levandowski, a star engineer who had worked at Google’s self-driving unit before it became Waymo. Mr. Levandowski left Google six months before Uber’s acquisition of Ottomotto, and has been at the center of accusations that he stole [sic] information about Google’s self-driving technology and used it at Uber.” [editor’s note: While Lewandowski may have accepted a contractual obligation not to share or use certain information, and might himself be liable for breach of said contractual obligation, information was not stolen (copying isn’t stealing) – TLK] (10/03/17)


The war on general-purpose computing turns on the streaming media box community

Source: Electronic Frontier Foundation
by Jeremy Malcolm & Mitch Stoltz

“For most of the lifetime of Kodi since its release as XMBC in 2002, it was an obscure piece of free software that geeks used to manage their home media collections. But in the past few years, the sale of pre-configured Kodi boxes, and the availability of a range of plugins providing access to streaming media, has seen the software’s popularity balloon — and made it the latest target of Hollywood’s copyright enforcement juggernaut.” (09/29/17)


Yes, stealing intellectual property is stealing

Source: Heartland Institute
by Seton Motley

“One of the ongoing ridiculous myths that exists on the Left — and, even more maddeningly, with some on the alleged Right — is that stealing intellectual property (IP) is … not stealing.” [editor’s note: Motley is particularly reliable among supporters of the “intellectual property” scam when it comes to failing either to make a compelling argument for his side (beyond “but IP is property because I waaaaaaaaaaaaaaant it to be property”) or to honestly present, let alone take on, the arguments of the other side. You could damn near set your watch by him, if the process of setting your watch by him wasn’t presumably covered by some troll’s patent claims – TLK] (09/07/17)