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UN Bigwig: The Web Should Have Been Patented and Licensed

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the surely-he's-been-hypnotized-by-the-yes-men dept.

Patents 411

An anonymous reader writes "Cory Doctorow over at BoingBoing has unearthed an amazing video where the head of WIPO, the UN agency responsible for 'promoting' intellectual property, suggests that Tim Berners-Lee should have patented HTML and licensed it to all users. Amazingly this is done on camera and in front of the head of CERN and the Internet Society, who look on in disbelief."

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Hindsight (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37652770)

Always 20/20, especially if you're a greed-focused farging bastage.

Re:Hindsight (5, Insightful)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 2 years ago | (#37652960)

...and ignore that the web might not have grown quite so popular if everybody had to pay for everything and stick to some individual's arbitrary rules.

Re:Hindsight (0, Flamebait)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | more than 2 years ago | (#37653152)

Slashdot groupthink at its best in this thread. The tone are personal attacks. "Patents are evil! Burn pro-patent people! UN is stupid!". How sad. Nobody saw the video, or tried to understand the argument he was trying to make.

He made the point that IP are useful because patents document an invention, information otherwise lost. He brings the example of Violin vs. Saxophone.
I think his intention is correct, but should be solved by open standards as documentation, not patents.

He mentions there are many options in IP (I guess beyond patents [/. groupthink: bad] and copyright [/. groupthink: good]), but he doesn't explore what they are, or how they would have beneficial (to whom?) in case of the WWW.

I think he made the mistake of taking an example from the software/standards world. If he had taken an example of hardware, it would have been a good argument: It is beneficial if what happens behind the doors of e.g. car factories is patented -- i.e. brought to the open for improvements -- that way it is documented, can be improved upon, yet protected from IP theft.

The tone of the video [pressclub.ch] (jump to 0:49:50) is also different from what it is portrayed as. His "talk" was a tiny side-note on a discussion/presentation. Does his comment mean the whole "The Global Innovation Index 2011" is useless? I think there are better arguments to be made, for instance: Does history show that "innovation programmes" from top-level effectively stimulate innovation, or is it just random successes by individuals? What are really the important factors (not for economic success, but for beneficial contributions)?

Re:Hindsight (3, Informative)

ewanm89 (1052822) | more than 2 years ago | (#37653188)

Sorry but the IETF does a much better job of documenting than any patent office ever did. See: http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc1866 [ietf.org] - HTML 2.0 documented in all it's glory.

That's what WIPO want (5, Insightful)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 2 years ago | (#37653194)

web might not have grown quite so popular

I expect that would be WIPO's goal. The idea that people give stuff away, particularly intellectual property, undermines their whole existence. That something could become a standard, ubiquitous and free is their worst nightmare and they probably feel that the web's success is their failure.

Re:Hindsight (1)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 2 years ago | (#37653104)

It might not be too late, there's stories on here all the time about people patenting the obvious many years after it's already become a universal standard. Didn't someone just patent wifi?

Re:Hindsight (5, Informative)

Tsingi (870990) | more than 2 years ago | (#37653178)

From Wikipedia: The Washington Post reported in 2003 that Lois Boland (USPTO Director of International Relations) said "that open-source software runs counter to the mission of WIPO, which is to promote intellectual-property rights." Also saying, "To hold a meeting which has as its purpose to disclaim or waive such rights seems to us to be contrary to the goals of WIPO

Who... (2)

__Paul__ (1570) | more than 2 years ago | (#37652772)

...voted for this guy?

(Yes, pedants, I'm aware we don't get to vote for them)

Re:Who... (4, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 2 years ago | (#37652806)

I think some woman in a pond threw a sword at him.

Perhaps she should have thrown it harder.

Re:Who... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37653032)

Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government!

Re:Who... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37653060)

I mean, if I went around saying I was an emperor just because some moistened bint had lobbed a scimitar at me they'd put me away!

Re:Who... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37653184)

Watery tart is the best system of government.

Re:Who... (5, Insightful)

Eunuchswear (210685) | more than 2 years ago | (#37652836)

Your government voted for him.

The "UN" and it's myriad institutions is a figleaf for your rulers. It lets them do what they want and blame it on "The UN" or "WIPO" or "the WTO" or "the FMI" or "the World Bank".

Re:Who... (3, Insightful)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 2 years ago | (#37652840)

(Yes, pedants, I'm aware we don't get to vote for them)

Which is reason enough that the folks in the UN should not be dictating Internet policy.

Re:Who... (2)

houghi (78078) | more than 2 years ago | (#37652932)

Does that imply that people that were voted would do a better job? I have my doubts.

Re:Who... (2)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#37653160)

I don't remember anyone voting for Vint Cerf or Tim Berners-Lee either, but they seemed to do a good job...

Re:Who... (0)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#37653110)

Corporations. They run everything worldwide. Your vote is a cruel joke.

Patenting the web you say? (1)

youn (1516637) | more than 2 years ago | (#37652774)

what a ridiculous idea... it's not like anyone would try patenting ridiculous ideas such as 1 click purchases or pre existing stuff and sue others... it's been completely patent free haha

Impressive (5, Insightful)

Spad (470073) | more than 2 years ago | (#37652776)

It takes a monumental denial of reality to say something that stupid; anyone with even partial brain function is fully aware that if the underlying technologies of the web had been patented by Sir Tim (or similar) and licensed then we wouldn't be posting on Slashdot right now because nobody outside of large multinationals would even be *using* the web for anything.

Re:Impressive (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 2 years ago | (#37652890)

It takes a monumental denial of reality to say something that stupid; anyone with even partial brain function is fully aware that if the underlying technologies of the web had been patented by Sir Tim (or similar) and licensed then we wouldn't be posting on Slashdot right now because nobody outside of large multinationals would even be *using* the web for anything.

Oh, maybe we would be posting on Slashdot, but Slashdot would be a news server where the summary was the first message posted to each new group. Links would of course be manual, i.e. a description of how to get at the article.

Re:Impressive (5, Insightful)

MysteriousPreacher (702266) | more than 2 years ago | (#37653096)

Oh, maybe we would be posting on Slashdot, but Slashdot would be a news server where the summary was the first message posted to each new group. Links would of course be manual, i.e. a description of how to get at the article.

Good post. I would have posted before you if my ISP had licensed the AppleTalk to IPX bridge that would have allowed me to view Slashdot from my connection at home. Fortunately at work we have can afford to buy a browser that supports the mark-up used by Slashdot. I may be late responding to replies; the email clients here don't support the protocol my ISP uses.

Re:Impressive (5, Insightful)

Motor (104119) | more than 2 years ago | (#37652946)

Head of Intellectual Property at UN thinks Intellectual Property makes things better.

Pope thinks Catholicism makes the world better.

News at 11!

Re:Impressive (3, Insightful)

MysteriousPreacher (702266) | more than 2 years ago | (#37653008)

It'd be more akin to Pope claiming that the human race would have been more successful if everyone back in the 2nd century had followed Paul's advice to remain childless. Remaining true to an ideology is one thing; asserting ideology in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary is an entirely different matter.

Re:Impressive (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37653054)

Remaining true to an ideology is one thing; asserting ideology in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary is an entirely different matter.

Oh come now. Keep those tax cuts coming and the wealth is going to trickle down any day now! Just because it's taking a little longer than Reagan said doesn't mean we should give up hope!

Re:Impressive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37653070)

Well, the basic idea is not as bad as you make it out to be. I think his argumentation is fully in line with what your read in "Atlas Shrugged". It's just too bad our systems aren't made the way to promote the following:

If you had found a very flexible licensing model, in which the burden for the innovation of the world wide web had been shared across the whole user community in a very fair and reasonable manner, with a modest contribution for everyone for this wonderful innovation, it would have enabled enormous investment in turn in further basic research.

So I fully agree with you on the impact this would have had on the development of the web.

Re:Impressive (0)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#37653150)

Sure we would -- the patent would have run out by now, But in that guy's twisted view, he's right. People (and I use that term loosely) like him only value money and would sell their mothers and children into slavery.

The sad thing is, his views on what's valuable have become mainstream -- witness the American Tea Party.

You'd think someone like that would know better... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37652782)

...than to disclose how closed-minded they are by saying that one of the biggest and most successful innovations of the last 30 years should have been done differently.

I used to think the I in WIPO stands for Imaginary, not Idiot.

To quote Mr.T. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37652786)

I pity the fool

I patent frst posts! (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 2 years ago | (#37652790)

n/c

Re:I patent frst posts! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37652846)

n/c

Just like a Hollywood blockbuster.

Re:I patent frst posts! (1)

John Bresnahan (638668) | more than 2 years ago | (#37653164)

n/c

Just like a Hollywood blockbuster.

That's OK. We'll just start the posts with #2.

Second post!

Re:I patent frst posts! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37652868)

There appears to be some prior art...

Re:I patent frst posts! (1)

Sparx139 (1460489) | more than 2 years ago | (#37652918)

There appears to be some prior art...

Easy enough to get around, just add "on a computer" to the end of it and you're all set

Re:I patent frst posts! (1)

JabrTheHut (640719) | more than 2 years ago | (#37652992)

Easy enough to get around, just add "on a computer" to the end of it and you're all set

I'm one step ahead - I'm getting all the old ideas and adding "on a refrigerator" to the end of them all...

Gurry simple doesn't understand "sharing" (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37652810)

He talks about the possibility that the burden of developing the web could have been shared by the users. Well, it was shared. The development of the web was as shared as it could have been. Hundreds or thousands of open source developers contributing pieces to it. Some commercial companies trying as well. All users paying for their share of the bandwidth. The web is a wonderful example for how sharing the burden can work without a traditional organization apportioning the shares. This guy simply doesn't get that. He may know something about the P in WIPO, but the I seems to be somewhat underdeveloped.

damn... (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#37653162)

...no mod points today. That was insightful, I wish the poster would get a /. account.

I agree. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37652818)

He should have patented the web and licensed it with a clause prohibiting the use of patented technologies unless they were likewise freely licensed to all users.

Other observations made in hindsight... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37652822)

Francis Gurry's dad should have pulled out.

Re:Other observations made in hindsight... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37652944)

He did.

The pull-out method has a failure rate of 15%-28% [wikipedia.org]

WIPO == Idiots (5, Interesting)

zabzonk (1467209) | more than 2 years ago | (#37652824)

I worked at WIPO as a consultant for a year - a bigger collection of clueless f*ckwits would be hard to find.

If only... (4, Funny)

mudshark (19714) | more than 2 years ago | (#37652848)

This certainly might have prolonged Gopher's viability.

Don't click expecting a video clip (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37652850)

Here's the video; Gurry's talk starts at 0:49:50.

The video in question is a 240mb download. I'm sure the 49 minutes leading up to that part is interesting and all, but perhaps cutting straight to the few minutes relevant to the frigging article would have been nice.

Well? What do you expect? (4, Interesting)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 2 years ago | (#37652852)

A surgeon will recommend to operate. A lawyer to do legal work. A soldier to kill someone.

This guy is at WIPO, patents and such is what this guy does. You won't get creative commons out of him.

The problem is not even this guy, the problem is his opposition. There isn't one. As always, "Yes Prime Minister" has the example. Story: Hacker is given the task of coming up with a new transport policy involving road, rail and air. He soon learns that each sector is represented by a civil servant fighting not for the common good but for HIS sector.

This story alone does not cover it. In another story his chauffeur comments on a radio story and points out that all the decisions for public transport, public schools and public healthcare are made by people that go to private hospitals, send their kids to private schools and have chauffeur driven cars. Which Hacker sayed they need because else they would have to make public transport a lot more reliable...

The problem ain't sector reps fighting for their sector, the problem is the common man, the non-commercial, the non-status quo, has no such rep fighting for their cause.

People who are in ivory towers have plenty of sky bridges connecting them to other ivory towers. But never ever a connection to ground level. I have seen it myself, even if some newbie tries, the disconnect is already so great once they have enough power that any contact attempt is extremely uncomfortable so they soon learn not to do it again.

This is just how the system works, calling this guy an idiot only helps keep the system in place. Sadly getting a useful opposition in place is nearly impossible.

Re:Well? What do you expect? (3, Insightful)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 2 years ago | (#37652894)

A surgeon who will recommend to operate when it's not necessary, will lose his license, can be sued for malpractice and may even face criminal charges if he knew that he endangers a patient without a good reason for it.

This asshat, on the other hand, has no oversight over his whoring to corporations, and should never be placed into any such position.

Re:Well? What do you expect? (3, Insightful)

rollingcalf (605357) | more than 2 years ago | (#37653102)

Except that there is often a significant degree of subjectivity and room for disagreement on decisions of whether to operate, so the surgeon who recommends unnecessary operations won't face any consequences 99% of the time.

Re:Well? What do you expect? (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 2 years ago | (#37653116)

At the level of blatant disregard for everything other than money demonstrated by the aforementioned asshat?

Re:Well? What do you expect? (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 2 years ago | (#37653126)

No, the difference is that doctors are licensed and can lose a license if they do something exceptionally negligent. This guy has no backstop.

Re:Well? What do you expect? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37653050)

Do you really believe all soldiers are bloodthirsty killers?

Then stop putting money in these idiot's pockets! (1)

Alwin Henseler (640539) | more than 2 years ago | (#37653080)

The problem is not even this guy, the problem is his opposition. There isn't one. As always, "Yes Prime Minister" has the example. Story: Hacker is given the task of coming up with a new transport policy involving road, rail and air. He soon learns that each sector is represented by a civil servant fighting not for the common good but for HIS sector.

The people that are supposed to support the common good are... politicians, and that's why we have elections. And to some degree they might even do their job. But I'm not naive enough to think that a constant barrage of lobbyists & documents crafted by pro-IP industry groups will leave those politicians clear-headed (or do what their voters want).

Rules to say what lobbyist groups can or cannot do may help, but not enough. Big money & vested interests will find a way to distort reality for those politicians.

Therefore the only way is to stop putting money into the pockets of these industry groups. If you don't like what a business does, stop buying their products (if there's only evil to choose from, choose the least evil). Period. That will give said industry less money to work with, less means to manipulate public opinion & corrupt the system.

Now I'm also not naive enough to think that the general public will do so; most people simply don't give a shit about copyright / patent / trademark issues. Up to the point where it bites them in the ass, hard (at which point it will be too late). But still: voting with your wallet / feet (& red pencil) does make a difference, if enough people do it.

Re:Well? What do you expect? (4, Interesting)

Halo1 (136547) | more than 2 years ago | (#37653156)

I also experienced very nice example of this during the fight against the software patents directive in Europe. I had a discussion with a guy from WIPO and at one point said that software patents were generally bad for small companies. Rather than denying this like EICTA (the organisation representing mostly large ICT companies), he fully agreed with that.

But then he went off the cliff: he argued that this is actually how the system is supposed to work. By making sure that most small companies will be driven out of business or swallowed by larger ones, you get a consolidation in the market. And consolidation is good for efficiency, cost cutting etc. Basically, he considered software patents as a market optimisation tool to get rid of all the fragmentation, to speed up the "natural" evolution that any economic sector is supposed to go through (starting out with many small time independent businesses, followed by a consolidation phase that leaves a few giants to rule it all).

That said, WIPO isn't the worst. Countries such as India and Brazil also have a say in there, and they're far less extremist than the Western world (at least for now). WIPO is in fact so annoying to the current extremists that the US, EU and friends completely bypassed it with ACTA. So anyone arguing against UN bodies with the argument that those people are not accountable should be careful, because there at least you have countries from all over the world that have a say rather than only the interests of your own administration (or rather your own "IP"-lobbyists) and some self-selected partners.

Their Goals (4, Insightful)

bky1701 (979071) | more than 2 years ago | (#37652856)

The copy of copyright and patent supporters is to prevent systems like the internet from being founded. This is a great example: were the important protocols and general structure patented, what you know of as the internet would not have been delayed or more expensive, it would have never existed. It is quite obvious that the greater good is of no concern to IP supporters, only their own profits.

Yet these people are still given free rein of our legal system and allowed by the weak minded to claim that copyright and patent infringement is "theft," while the real theft is that of the copyright and patent holders from society as a whole. It's time that stop, before the next big innovation is prevented. End these archaic systems this decade, support the abolition of imaginary property.

Re:Their Goals (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37652872)

Minor correction:

The goal of copyright and patent supporters is to prevent systems like the internet from being founded.

Sorry about that.

Re:Their Goals (0)

jopsen (885607) | more than 2 years ago | (#37652930)

The copy of copyright and patent supporters is to prevent systems like the internet from being founded........... It is quite obvious that the greater good is of no concern to IP supporters, only their own profits

No, they just believe that if everybody pays for everything that makes everything better. I think it might just be some form of super extreme capitalism...

Re:Their Goals (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37652994)

The copy of copyright and patent supporters is to prevent systems like the internet from being founded........... It is quite obvious that the greater good is of no concern to IP supporters, only their own profits

No, they just believe that if everybody pays for everything that makes everything better. I think it might just be some form of super extreme capitalism...

And if nobody ever paid for anything and every Tom Dick and Harry could take your ideas and use them for his own profit without compensating you that would solve all the world's problems? Just because a world where everybody has to pay for everything is a bad place to live doesn't mean that the exact opposite is any better. There may be massive room for reform in our current system but it's not software/music/movie pirates that keep these industries alive, it's the people who pay for the privilege of consuming their products.

Re:Their Goals (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37653048)

I think it might just be some form of super extreme capitalism...

Hardly. Unlike real property which you can hire people with guns to protect, Imaginary Property is only 'property' because you have a magic certificate from the government claiming that it is. The entire structure is artificial, it functions like a parasitic vine [Public domain abolitionists] growing around a tree [legislation/government], shaping the direction the tree grows so that the vine can reach higher above everything else whilst slowly strangling it. The tree will eventually collapse under its own dead weight, what exactly happens after that is not going to be pleasant.

This whole thing started as a trade off, a deal, the idea wasn't to give artists 'ownership' of anything, it was to allow them to make a living and be able to afford to eat whilst they worked on something new. The idea of perpetual copyright and the seemingly vast collection of patents on simplistic or vague ideas is antithetical to the entire point.

Re:Their Goals (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 2 years ago | (#37653142)

And it's also worth noting that artists existed and survived just fine prior to the invention of copyright... They worked a job just like everyone else, they got paid while they performed their work and if they stopped performing they stopped being paid.

William Shakespeare was able to write his plays without needing copyright protection, why can't modern artists do the same? In fact, it's partly due to copyright that its unlikely any of todays works will go down in history the way Shakespeare did...

A lot of work is simply forgotten and/or lost when the publisher stops selling it after a year or two, and this work then sits useless, still copyrighted and not in the public domain for many years. By the time copyright expires, the work is long since forgotten.

Re:Their Goals (0)

Required Snark (1702878) | more than 2 years ago | (#37652970)

What they want is to patent the wheel, so they can ride and the rest of us (peasants) can walk in the ruts. They deny the concept of the greater good, because they are degenerate sadistic elitists.

I have been thinking recently that the USA and Russia have been following the same course since the end of the cold war. Both countries have been taken over by government/business oligarchies that are ruining both the economies and the political culture of their respective nations. Hearing this kind of crap makes me even more fearful that I am right,.

I am starting to think that the only way to rid ourselves of these parasites is with ropes, pitchforks and torches, like Frankenstein and Dracula. Except it will be in color on TV.

Re:Their Goals (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37653034)

Except it will be in color on TV.

No.

The revolution will not be televised

Re:Their Goals (2)

JockTroll (996521) | more than 2 years ago | (#37653038)

with ropes, pitchforks and torches

Guns, incendiaries and explosives are a better option, though the accidental sharp knife can help.

Re:Their Goals (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37653030)

I kind of feel the need to point out that internet != web.

Re:Their Goals (1)

sgt101 (120604) | more than 2 years ago | (#37653212)

How would writers (novelists for example) make a living without copyright? Isn't society enriched by their work? My mind is enriched by their work - isn't it fair that they are compensated for the work and value that they create?

Prior Art (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37652870)

Hey WIPO - never go full retard.

SGML [wikipedia.org] is almost certainly prior art.

Re:Prior Art (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 2 years ago | (#37652914)

But this was using SGML on the internet!

Re:Prior Art (1)

qxcv (2422318) | more than 2 years ago | (#37652928)

Berners-Lee still could have patented HTTP (or core parts of it) without any problems. The HTML spec is only a very small part of the "web", and even then the real patent troll payoffs come from registering far more vague and general patents like "Method of Communication and Rendering of Styled, Semantically Structured Documents over a Network"

This clearly shows their incompetence (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#37652882)

This complete denial of reality and disregarding of facts clearly shows the incompetence of WIPO.

WIPO - World's Idiot Personalities, Organized (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37652892)

Nothing more to say on that...

WIPO (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 2 years ago | (#37652906)

Its not the World Intellectual Freedom Organisation.

WIPO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37652908)

I WIPO my *** with this guys opinion.

What a absolute failure. (4, Insightful)

tramp (68773) | more than 2 years ago | (#37652912)

Luckily Tim Berners-Lee did have a vision about his idea and probably even knew about the lack of vision of those greedy bastards.

Re:What a absolute failure. (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 2 years ago | (#37652948)

Tim Berners-Lee did have a vision

Well he was working at CERN. I wonder if Tim wants to tell us more about those FTL neutrinos?

Re:What a absolute failure. (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 2 years ago | (#37653012)

Tim Berners-Lee did have a vision

Well he was working at CERN. I wonder if Tim wants to tell us more about those FTL neutrinos?

Sorry, the patent on FTL is held by God and not licensed for use by mere mortals.

Re:What a absolute failure. (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 2 years ago | (#37653078)

Tim Berners-Lee did have a vision

Well he was working at CERN. I wonder if Tim wants to tell us more about those FTL neutrinos?

Sorry, the patent on FTL is held by God and not licensed for use by mere mortals.

And yet it works. We had a glimpse..

The point of laws and courts... (3, Insightful)

bmo (77928) | more than 2 years ago | (#37652916)

...is to keep people from resolving their differences at the point of a gun.

If you turn laws into something that people can no longer turn to for fairness, then what?

--
BMO

Re:The point of laws and courts... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37652936)

Oh, very nice.

Re:The point of laws and courts... (1)

rambling (2193222) | more than 2 years ago | (#37653028)

The point of laws and courts is to bring justice. Unfortunately, it can be perfectly well used to justify injustices; that is, to do the exact opposite of what it is advertized to be doing. The first law in every law system, is the law that says that you will not recognize any other law system than then one you just have recognized: ONE: 'You shall have no other gods before Me.' If you believe that a bunch of corrupt politicians, sitting in congress, can keep voting on new laws, again and again, to restrict your freedom, again and again, you are their slave. I personally prefer to be the slave of something that may not even exist.

Re:The point of laws and courts... (4, Funny)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 2 years ago | (#37653092)

One way or another, a whole bunch of people get shot up and you start all over again.

It isn't the first time it happened, and it won't be the last. Hell, it's happening right now in the Middle East. It's starting to brew here. Granted, it's a bunch of rail-thin, jobless hipsters who think they can bank a liberal arts degree towards a white collar salary, but it's starting nonetheless.

Re:The point of laws and courts... (0)

the_raptor (652941) | more than 2 years ago | (#37653182)

Then you simply redefine fairness and justice with a comprehensive propaganda campaign so that the average persons expectations are adjusted inline with what those in power want.

The program has been working wonderfully in America from what I have observed (how else do you explain people that demand to pay more for a private health system with worse outcomes then public health systems?).

In related news (1)

jpapon (1877296) | more than 2 years ago | (#37652922)

"In related news, Mr. Doctorow also emphasized his continued belief that the revolution should have been televised, and the buggy whip industry subsidized".

Here is The video (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37652954)

Here is The video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VEWUAdlen6M

Good point though (1)

boulat (216724) | more than 2 years ago | (#37652962)

And he is absolutely right. If Internet was patented by the Universities, today we would have more money centered around basic research and development. We would still have businesses competing to create an alternative and perhaps yield a better standard than HTML. Ultimately the price level and innovation are correlated and depend on consumer demand.

Re:Good point though (2)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 2 years ago | (#37652978)

Nobody would have used the patented internet. Look at all the commercial protocols which failed to take off. DECNet for example.

Re:Good point though (1)

boulat (216724) | more than 2 years ago | (#37653010)

Fax is patented and it is still used today worldwide and is unlikely to go away. What is so wrong with Coke and Pepsi? McDonalds and Burger King? All these are proprietary, patented products, that have created a market and inspired competition FOR that market share. If Internet was a commercial entity, then perhaps we would have faster expansion of various networks trying to compete with one another for the customers. Since there is a free networking standard, Cisco still managed to monopolize it, so did Microsoft and any other company. And what did they contribute to the basic research? Very little compared to what would've been contributed by a nonprofit entity.

Re:Good point though (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37653042)

Fax is patented and it is still used today worldwide and is unlikely to go away.

Fax? Are you serious? Fax is a relic that only the US still takes seriously, the rest of us have to deal with it when trying to deal with US customers/suppliers.

Re:Good point though (1)

ubersoldat2k7 (1557119) | more than 2 years ago | (#37653074)

Ehm... I still have to send a stupid FAX to any motherfucking ISP in Spain when I want to cancel off their shit full service of 1Mbs download and 256Kbs upload.

Re:Good point though (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 2 years ago | (#37653076)

The Internet (and its subset, the web) are the common spaces which commercial enterprises rely on. They are the streets and roads which connect the shops where consumers choose to buy Coke, Pepsi and Big Macs. Without those common spaces there would not be Coke and Pepsi. Only one would remain in business because Coke could have bought up the roads and made sure they would not stop at shops which sell Pepsi.

Re:Good point though (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 2 years ago | (#37653166)

There were multiple incompatible network services, AOL, Compuserve and many smaller ones...
That simply doesn't work because they are all limited in scope and incompatible, you end up having to have 50 different accounts in order to communicate with everyone.

The Internet worked because it was a single network, open to all and used by everyone.

NOT a Good point though (2)

eddy (18759) | more than 2 years ago | (#37653044)

No, it's not a good point, because if the basic Internet was such encumbered, it would never have grown as fast, and that delay would would be a real cost on the REVOLUTION that instant global communication brought not only to "basic research and development", but the world.

We might have been ten years behind, with people still using dial-up while companies paid through the nose for the ability to email. The idea that a global system of levies would get pumped back into basic research is LAUGHABLE. There'd be HUGE overhead in collecting, and all the money would go right back to 'enforcement' and shit that has nothing to do with research or the betterment of human kind.

This is a joke. The whole idea is pure idiocy.

Re:NOT a Good point though (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 2 years ago | (#37653140)

This. The adoption of the internet was, in part, because it was practically free advertising. Businesses are acutely aware of return on investment, and the early internet was not an obvious play to many conservative types. Still, when getting a presence on was a few hundred dollars and the IT guy was so jazzed about it he would do the coding as part of his regular job, the response often was "why not?" The acceleration of relevance of the internet was staggering.

No he didn't (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37652984)

The relevant quote:

Intellectual property is a very flexible instrument. So, for example, had the world wide web been able to be patented, and I think that is a question in itself, perhaps the amount of investment that has gone into or would be able to go into basic science would be different. If you had found a very flexible licensing model, in which the burden for the innovation of the world wide web had been shared across the whole user community in a very fair and reasonable manner, with a modest contribution for everyone for this wonderful innovation, it would have enabled enormous investment in turn in further basic research. And that is the sort of flexibility that is built into the intellectual property system. It is not a rigid system...

What he says is that *if* the web had been able to be patented, (which is not clear), and *if* you could find a flexible licensing model which is fair (which is certainly not clear to me, though he doesn't seem to make an opinion), then you could spend any money received from licensing on basic research.

He does not state that the web should have been patented. He even goes so far as to say that he's not sure it could have been patented. He's simply discussing how money received from licensing could be used. I don't really want to download a 240 meg video just to clear up this issue, but just looking at the wording it's clear that he's responding to something about licensing fees. My guess is that somebody commented that the purpose of patenting the web would be to get rich. I'd appreciate it if someone who's seen the video could comment.

Anyway, I'm rather rabidly anti-software patent. But this kind of bullshit "reporting" doesn't do us any good. Whipping up a frenzy over a non-issue just makes us look stupid.

Re:No he didn't (2)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 2 years ago | (#37653154)

No, you have to read between the lines. It's clear that he is trying to pander to his audience with the promise (or admonishen) that, had they patented it, they would all be taking treasure baths right now. And he justifies it by saying that proper management would have fleeced every single user on an ongoing basis in an amount that was small enough that everyone would be willing and able to pay it.

It's classic evil genius. Just remember - the easiest way to tell if a lawyer is lying is if his lips are moving.

The real problem ... (1)

rambling (2193222) | more than 2 years ago | (#37653002)

The real problem lies elsewhere. It lies in a system in which a congress or a parliament or another national assembly is allowed to invent new laws. This system is only possible because the population believe that newly-invented laws can be legitimate. This is how (corrupt) politicians managed to invent intellectual property laws and impose them upon your hapless self. I am simply going back to the old stuff. The only person or thing allowed to create laws to restrict my freedom, is something which may not even exist (God). All other stuff is illegitimate; aka, the First Commandment. If a few hundred goat shepherds manage to make exactly that point, against an entire NATO military deployment, it can't be that hard a point to make, can it?

Hey Mr. UN guy... (1)

toriver (11308) | more than 2 years ago | (#37653004)

... the UN, through the ITU-T, already has its own set of protocols (X.400 et al) it can play around with, instead of giving bad advice to people inventing internet protocols and specifications. The internet does not need you, you are damage.

Where do they find these guys... (1)

Delgul (515042) | more than 2 years ago | (#37653040)

For some reason, we always succeed to plant clueless people in positions like this. If it wasn't so very dangerous it would be funny...

But I thought WIPO was a fan of the FOSS-spirit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37653062)

What if the Koha community decided to patent Koha. The licencefee of WIPO could have been used to make library systems across the globe better...
http://www.wipo.int/cgi-bin/koha/opac-main.pl [wipo.int]

Just sad (1)

Uraeus_ (113453) | more than 2 years ago | (#37653066)

It is just sad how disconnected from reality the patent maximizers are :(

He's right in a way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37653108)

My daughter did think so as well. Now she is nearly 4 years old and knows about changing prerequisites.

cb

Steve Jobs App (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37653138)

Hey!!!

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Check the reviews for the opinions of other people ;)

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The perfect expression of conservative philosophy (2, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 2 years ago | (#37653170)

For your basic corporate conservative, the only things that have value are those things that are owned by somebody. And that's a private owner, not a government.

So, for instance, breathable air is worthless under this philosophy. Worthless, that is, unless you can charge people to breathe it, maybe put it in cans [youtube.com] . I wish this were a joke, but the corporations, with the World Bank practically forcing the government's hand, already tried to do the same thing to rainwater [youtube.com] .

Historically, no (1)

kabdib (81955) | more than 2 years ago | (#37653198)

France had MiniTel (expensive, slow, clunky and hard to use). I think they turned it off a few years ago.

Europe had the ISO networking standards. These were intellectual train-wrecks written in ivory towers by architecture astronauts; too complex to implement or use, and by the time people starting implementing then, the "RFC" world had solidly taken over. (We're left with the awfulness of X.500, X.509 and so forth).

This guy isn't necessarily an idiot. But it's who we need to fight.

Apply for the job (4, Insightful)

frisket (149522) | more than 2 years ago | (#37653210)

The guy is delusional and an asshole, but then he was employed to be delusional and an asshole, for an organisation full of delusionals and assholes, pursuing objectives set by assholes, for assholes; and he satisfies the requirements perfectly.

The job of Director of WIPO is still open for applications (closes 18 Oct): https://erecruit.wipo.int/public/hrd-cl-vac-view.asp?jobinfo_uid_c=25114&vaclng=en [wipo.int]

And never forget that your government that you elect[ed] is in favour of all this crap. If you don't like it, the proper remedy is to take the matter up with your friendly local pubic representative.

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