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Intellectual Property Rights: The Quiet Killer of Rio+20

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the staying-in-the-lead dept.

Patents 198

ericjones12398 writes "Richard Phillips, president of the Intellectual Property Owners Association, sent a powerful message to Washington the day before the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development regarding the U.S. intellectual property community's stance on sharing IPR with developing nations. Philips argued any language included in the Rio+20 final declaration compromising the existing IP regime would discourage investment and destroy trade secrets. 'Any references to technology transfer should be clearly qualified and conditioned to include only voluntary transfer of IPR on mutually agreed terms.' The IPO has no interest in helping developing countries transition to a more sustainable economy if it means sacrificing valuable IPR. And the IPO's chilly message set the tone for what many pundits and participants considered a disappointing Rio+20 conference yielding few substantive results."

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I know this won't be a popular sentiment, but... (5, Insightful)

crazyjj (2598719) | more than 2 years ago | (#40519495)

The IPO has no interest in helping developing countries transition to a more sustainable economy if it means sacrificing valuable IPR.

In other stunning news, the rich still have it better than the poor, politicians don't have the best interests of their citizens at heart, and 2013 won't be the "Year of Linux."

Since when has anyone WITH that much valuable IP ever given it up freely? Oh sure, here and there, a token gesture. But does anyone really expect Monsanto or Intel to give up their *entire business model* and *everything that makes them money* tomorrow because some third-world country is poor? Not likely.

And to be brutally honest, how is it really fair to ask them to? If they paid for the R&D, why should someone else be entitled to it without paying a cent? Is it some first-world tech company's fault that your country is poor, that your government is too corrupt to invest in its infrastructure instead of padding El-Presidente's pockets, that your education system is a joke? Sure it would be a great charitable gesture for them to give it to you at a big discount, but that hardly gives you the right to *demand* it. You're certainly not entitled to it just because you're poor. And it probably wouldn't even do you any good, in the long term anyway, unless you deal with the underlying problems in your country that put you in poverty to begin with (El Presidente will just stuff his pockets deeper with any new money too).

Re:I know this won't be a popular sentiment, but.. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40519527)

Fortunately, the laws that magically make "intellectual property" "exist" are national laws.
Any poor country can create such things, or not, as it chooses.

Monsanto and Intel don't really have any choice as to whether or not their monopoly rights exist in a given country.
That's up to the country.

Re:I know this won't be a popular sentiment, but.. (3, Insightful)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 2 years ago | (#40519603)

Any poor country can create such things, or not, as it chooses.

But just think - if a small third-world company started manufacturing, say drugs that the local people who live on a dollar a day need, earning perhaps a trivial profit, it would be the end of the 1st world countries!

As if the idea weren't already impeding the progress [stephankinsella.com] of the arts and useful sciences. Because a company like Apple would never use such a system to try to band the competition from the marketplace or anything...

Re:I know this won't be a popular sentiment, but.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40519883)

But just think - if a small third-world company started manufacturing, say drugs that the local people who live on a dollar a day need, earning perhaps a trivial profit, it would be the end of the 1st world countries!

I think YOU need to think that through a little more. Or at least be more clear about what you are trying to say. Work on writing skills.

Re:I know this won't be a popular sentiment, but.. (3, Interesting)

poity (465672) | more than 2 years ago | (#40520671)

No, it wouldn't be the end of patent holders, as long as those developing countries help their local people and do not export any of their production. For example http://science.slashdot.org/story/12/03/13/1716206/indian-govt-uses-special-powers-to-slash-cancer-drug-price-by-97 [slashdot.org] would work if India keeps all production inside their borders.

What the IP holders fear (and rightly so) is that these countries will use the technology not only to help their people, but to supplant their benefactors in the future. I think a balance can be worked out with technology transfers based on a period of export restriction for the recipient country.

Re:I know this won't be a popular sentiment, but.. (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | more than 2 years ago | (#40519637)

Law of unintended consequences.

If they don't want the terminator gene to be widely deployed they will just have to pay up. There are technical solutions to national R&D freeloading.

That said even in the first world patents run for only 20 years. Companies could potentially keep secrets for longer.

Re:I know this won't be a popular sentiment, but.. (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 2 years ago | (#40519845)

You can 'widely deploy' terminator genes, but you just need a few fertile seeds to spread to undermine that. Seeds that don't reproduce are an evolutionary dead end.

Also, If they could reliably keep something secret for longer than 20 years in a certain instance, they wouldn't seek a patent on it, and right now, seeking patents is entirely voluntary.

Re:I know this won't be a popular sentiment, but.. (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | more than 2 years ago | (#40520069)

And when the value of patents falls more will just keep secrets, just like they did before patents were issued.

Like I said, unintended consequences.

I've asked this on this site many times. How do you make a Stradivarius? Losing knowledge like that is a cost of _not_ having patents.

/. will continue to ignore 'secrets' as IP and claim that IP is a government invention. Par for the course.

Re:I know this won't be a popular sentiment, but.. (4, Insightful)

Mprx (82435) | more than 2 years ago | (#40520281)

You make a Stradivarius the same way you make any other high quality violin, as shown by skilled musicians failing to distinguish them from modern replicas in blind tests.

Re:I know this won't be a popular sentiment, but.. (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | more than 2 years ago | (#40520393)

Citation needed. I call bullshit.

We can see what is different about Stradivariuses (wood pores are wide open), but we don't know what varnishing process was used.

Re:I know this won't be a popular sentiment, but.. (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#40520513)

Lots of tests have been done. There is nothing special about those violins.

Re:I know this won't be a popular sentiment, but.. (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 2 years ago | (#40520379)

And when the value of patents falls more will just keep secrets, just like they did before patents were issued.

And that's bad how? Just because they try to keep secrets doesn't mean that they will actually manage to do so successfully. If they could, they would be idiots to seek patents. The argument that patents reduce trade secrets is an obvious joke. The decent rationalization is that it spurs on R&D funding, although that doesn't seem to hold up to scrutiny either.

I've asked this on this site many times. How do you make a Stradivarius? Losing knowledge like that is a cost of _not_ having patents.

You are assuming that the luthier would have ever disclosed this knowledge for a patent, when there's no evidence that he would have. It's also assuming that his patent would disclose the entire secret, instead of just the elements that would be easy to figure out and copy, such as the combination of woods used, without the juicy details that we still haven't reverse engineered.

Re:I know this won't be a popular sentiment, but.. (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#40520501)

You market the hell out of a name and make them expensive enough that only really good players can get one.

Look it up yourself, there is nothing magic about those violins.

I have said it many times and will again, people will not stop creating for lack of protection, they did before.

Re:I know this won't be a popular sentiment, but.. (5, Insightful)

Internetuser1248 (1787630) | more than 2 years ago | (#40519831)

Except that when 3rd world countries don't do what they are told, they are hit with economic sanctions, their leaders are demonised in the world media, and in extreme cases they are invaded, bombed or both. The poverty in the third world is manufactured, not in the sense that it wasn't there before and someone created it, but in the sense that it would have naturally faded away by now if powerful rich nations weren't working their asses of to perpetuate it. Cuba is a nice example, they got the sanctions for having strong welfare, education and medical policies designed to bring them up to first world status. First they got crippling sanctions, and although these succeeded in keeping them poor, it didn't make them give up their system. Then they got the invasions.

Re:I know this won't be a popular sentiment, but.. (4, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#40519999)

The thing is when we were a basically a 3rd world nation, right after we became a nation we ripped off everyone's IP.

Without that step you can never really get to a point at which you can create a workable economy.

Re:I know this won't be a popular sentiment, but.. (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#40520301)

The national anthem of the US is actually a reworded English drinking song.

Re:I know this won't be a popular sentiment, but.. (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | more than 2 years ago | (#40520411)

As is the English national anthem. The same drinking song.

Re:I know this won't be a popular sentiment, but.. (1)

crazyjj (2598719) | more than 2 years ago | (#40520003)

While you may have a point about Cuba, I'm pretty sure the vast majority of third-world countries aren't under any economic sanctions from the the first-world.

Re:I know this won't be a popular sentiment, but.. (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 2 years ago | (#40520085)

They will be if they don't do enough to 'respect IP.' That's the purpose of the Special 301 report.

Re:I know this won't be a popular sentiment, but.. (2)

HornWumpus (783565) | more than 2 years ago | (#40520173)

We kept the rest of the third world impoverished by trading with them (or something).

We kept Cuba impoverished by not trading with them (or something).

When your axiom is 'The poverty in the third world is manufactured' you twist everything to support that view.

Re:I know this won't be a popular sentiment, but.. (2)

Jeng (926980) | more than 2 years ago | (#40520715)

Cuba is a bad example since the reason for their sanctions has absolutely nothing to do with what you said.

The reason for the sanctions is that the US paid for a revolution and then the people of Cuba had the gall to go communist.

Re:I know this won't be a popular sentiment, but.. (1)

poity (465672) | more than 2 years ago | (#40520789)

Cuba was sanctioned for having strong welfare, education and medical policies designed to bring them up to first world status.

I thought it was because they were aligned with the Soviet Union, and also because they nationalized billions worth of US assets.

Re:I know this won't be a popular sentiment, but.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40520807)

Score:10, Truth

Re:I know this won't be a popular sentiment, but.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40520035)

Not once they're part of the WTO...
Even in Iran the WIPO found an useful idiot who signed IP treatees and published an on-ed in the local newpaper that thanks to this signature there was now an expo about iranian art in the geneve office of the WIPO.
And the real reason all those people hang on to IP is because they very much remember how the fact that Europe let go, and let the americans do massive infringement was the main reason the US got a leg up (and of course our own stupidity in making two world wars, that helped too)

Re:I know this won't be a popular sentiment, but.. (1)

lbschenkel (751547) | more than 2 years ago | (#40520207)

...for now.

Re:I know this won't be a popular sentiment, but.. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40519537)

They make more money than me. Therefore, they are too rich and their wealth should be re-distributed, preferably to groups that include me.

Re:I know this won't be a popular sentiment, but.. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40519729)

Obama? Is that you? You summed up every loser on this site.

Re:I know this won't be a popular sentiment, but.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40519981)

Romney? Is that you? You just summed up every brainwashed asshole who refuses to accept the reality that not every obscenely wealthy person worked hard to get there, or deserves to be so.

Re:I know this won't be a popular sentiment, but.. (2)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 2 years ago | (#40520075)

Ah, ideology is always just a tall, cool drink of water, isn't it? Refreshing! New ideas!

Re:I know this won't be a popular sentiment, but.. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40519557)

The fact that they were talking about this at Rio simply illustrates that the entire AGW scam is aimed at taking from the industrialized nations and giving to the third world hell holes.

Re:I know this won't be a popular sentiment, but.. (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#40519575)

Because of course industrialized nations don't rely at all on the resources from "third world hell holes", as you put it.

Re:I know this won't be a popular sentiment, but.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40519807)

You have yo be deliberately dense to miss that point that AGW is simply another tool for third world nations, who usual have some tin pot dictator, a strong tendency towards Socialist agendas an not so thriving middle class (or, non at all) to line their pockets.

Re:I know this won't be a popular sentiment, but.. (2)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#40519909)

AGW is the consensus view of an overwhelming number of climatologists and researchers in related fields. As I always say, the Universe doesn't give a fuck about the Third World, about your particular favorite socio-economic philosophical stance, about whether gas is cheap or expensive. If AGW is happening, your political leanings mean absolutely fucking nothing.

Re:I know this won't be a popular sentiment, but.. (-1, Troll)

Mr. Firewall (578517) | more than 2 years ago | (#40520011)

No, AGW is the consensus view of journalists and politicians. There is no consensus among climatologists. In fact, the majority of same do not believe that the current warming period has anything to do with human activity.

Not that belief matters. Or how many believe or don't believe. The point is that there is no "scientific consensus" (an oxymoron if there ever was one) on the "A" in "AGW" and never has been.

Re:I know this won't be a popular sentiment, but.. (2)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#40520143)

This is a complete falsehood.

I've got to love it. The deniers either deny there is a consensus, or use the consensus to claim a flaw.

Make no mistake. The vast majority of climatologists accept AGW, and the above poster is a lying sack of shit.

Re:I know this won't be a popular sentiment, but.. (-1, Troll)

Mr. Firewall (578517) | more than 2 years ago | (#40520649)

Anyone who uses the word "denier" in the context of the global warming issue has invoked Godwin's Law and automatically loses the argument.

Thanks for playing.

Re:I know this won't be a popular sentiment, but.. (1)

sycodon (149926) | more than 2 years ago | (#40520067)

If AGW is happening, then your political leanings dictate if you get to live in a huge house next to Al Gore or in a green shanty designed lesson your impact on the environment.

Re:I know this won't be a popular sentiment, but.. (2)

Rosy At Random (820255) | more than 2 years ago | (#40519583)

That's some mighty industrious reasoning you got there, son.

Re:I know this won't be a popular sentiment, but.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40520013)

A man puts a gun in your face and demands your wallet.

Someone with "industrious" reasoning:

"This guy must be the product of a broken home, or maybe his mother smoked crack. Perhaps he could get into some program to teach him a skill or maybe get him on food stamps to he wouldn't have to hold up people at gun point."

You normal person:
"This fucker wants my money. "

Those third world fuckers want our money.

Re:I know this won't be a popular sentiment, but.. (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#40520095)

Finding out why might be a good idea.

Heck, giving them some of it might be a wise idea. It can be cheaper to spend a little on educating that criminal into a functional member of society than to let him continue to live this way.

Re:I know this won't be a popular sentiment, but.. (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | more than 2 years ago | (#40520453)

It might, in some cases, be a wise idea to give a poor person/country some gold.

It is never a wise idea to give someone threatening you gold, give them high velocity copper jacketed led. If you must, throw them a nickle then shoot them when they bend to get it.

Re:I know this won't be a popular sentiment, but.. (1)

budgenator (254554) | more than 2 years ago | (#40519911)

What is "sustainable development" anyways, and why should the UN be concerned with it anyways? Most countries that need "development" are festering cesspools of corruption, nepotism and cronyism, and don't see how throwing a bunch of resources at the problem is going to do anything except give the leaders more to pillage from their countries.

Re:I know this won't be a popular sentiment, but.. (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 2 years ago | (#40520133)

Sustainable development is easy. My computer models show as much. For example, once you're done punching a tree to pieces, replant a few of the saplings that drop as the floating foliage evaporates. Potable water? A 2x2 well provides infinite buckets of it. Crops can be expanded indefinitely if you collect the seeds from your wheat harvests for replanting.

Re:I know this won't be a popular sentiment, but.. (1)

Mr. Firewall (578517) | more than 2 years ago | (#40520141)

What is "sustainable development" anyways

I think Ron Bailey answered that question the best in one of his Reason articles (sorry, no URL, I'm at work and won't go to Reason from here) on the Rio fiasco:

It means whatever you want it to mean.

Re:I know this won't be a popular sentiment, but.. (1)

inode_buddha (576844) | more than 2 years ago | (#40520231)

"....are festering cesspools of corruption, nepotism and cronyism, and don't see how throwing a bunch of resources at the problem is going to do anything except give the leaders more to pillage from their countries."

What, like the USA is any different?

Re:I know this won't be a popular sentiment, but.. (1)

semi-extrinsic (1997002) | more than 2 years ago | (#40520797)

Sustainable development is an oxymoron used by politicians to show the $green lobby that they care about $green stuff. It's almost as funny as when they say "sustainable growth", or as when you show them an exponential function. If you find a semi-educated one, try explaining to him/her that the laws of thermodynamics say we can't sustain global growth for more than ~100 years no matter what magic technology we invent. Please youtube the resulting facial expression.

Re:I know this won't be a popular sentiment, but.. (5, Interesting)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#40519577)

The problem TFA specifically addresses is the problem of pollution and "green" technology. The developed world, understandably, has done most of the research in that field. What the IPO is basically saying is they don't give a shit if the developing world gets clean technology or not. That severely hampers the ability of developing nations to control pollution and CO2 emissions, even if they want to, which can have a global impact down the line on the entire planet. And that is frankly the problem, because it would mean the short-term selfishness of the corporations (in and of itself actually understandable and acceptable, in many ways: they're in it for the profit, after all) will, in the long term, do tremendous damage to the planet (which is not acceptable).

Not to mention it is in the best interest of the world for undeveloped countries to develop stably, not just for pollution concerns. An unsustainable but otherwise relatively developed country is a recipe for World War III, in the long run. Possibly even nuclear war, if they are developed enough and desperate enough.

Re:I know this won't be a popular sentiment, but.. (1)

crazyjj (2598719) | more than 2 years ago | (#40519641)

There is nothing stopping governments from doing the R&D themselves. But you can't very well let a private company foot the bill and then turn around, after the company spent all the money on the tech and are looking to sell products based on it, and tell them "We're taking it and giving it away." That's just glorified theft.

Again, the governments could pay for the research *themselves*, you know.

Re:I know this won't be a popular sentiment, but.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40519757)

The governments already pay for a lot of the research and then, especially in the US, allow private corporations to make profits from them.

When a company like Dow is able to deny information on exactly what was leaked at Bhopal to the medical authorities on the grounds of commercial confidentiality you just know that the world is being mismanaged for the benefit of the very, very few at the expense of the rest of us.

Re:I know this won't be a popular sentiment, but.. (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 2 years ago | (#40519927)

Governments do pay for a lot of the research, the company chips in a pittance, gets the patent and gives a nominal royalty to the university that developed the technology. Even if a private company completely did all of the research, the patent they hold is agreement between themselves and the governments of nations that have agreed to give them patents for a temporary legal monopoly in exchange for having done the research and disclosure. Nations that have not agreed to give them patents have made no such agreement, and in no way need to be charitable to that particular corporation.

Re:I know this won't be a popular sentiment, but.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40520573)

I just wanted to add here: Something that most people are also forgetting is:
VERY FEW PATENTS ON THE BOOKS ACTUALLY EXPLAIN THE DEVICE OR PROCESS NECESSARY TO REPLICATE IT.

What does this mean? It means future generations are being screwed out of the ability to replicate necessary techniques that WE'RE LETTING THEM PROFIT WITH.

What's the point of intellectual property rights if after a suitable amount of time they are not returned in whole to the public interest?

That's where my gripe is on all this bullshit. How much digital archeology has been lost because source code and development processes weren't logged during the early days of hardware/software development? What about movies? Manuscripts? Original masters of music? Etc. The list goes on. And they're recieving exclusivity of sale of the finished product for a lifetime/indefinitely (in the case of copyright) with nothing in return being given back to society as a whole.

What then was the point of giving them these PRIVILEGES in the first place. That's perhaps the most infuriating part. It's all being treated as PROPERTY which is generally considered an indefinite form of control rather than a time-limited PRIVILEGE, which is what it was actually enshrined as.

Anyways someone more eloquent than me should probably rephrase and consolidate this so more people will bring it up during future topics like this.

Re:I know this won't be a popular sentiment, but.. (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#40520093)

Governments do sponsor a lot of the development, either through contracts/loan support (like Solyndra) or through university research (which may be direct or simply letting them use the facilities cheaply). In any case, they aren't trying to "take it away", what they want is for them to sell the technology at below market prices. Realistically speaking, the companies will make back their research profits selling in developed countries anyways (or they would never have developed it in the first place). What the companies want is to be able to sell it at full market value in other countries as well. In fact, they could sell it for much less (ideally, whole-sale prices, but probably above that) and lose nothing or even make a small profit, but their greed prevents that. They view selling things for less than as much as they can a "loss." They don't want to make a small profit, they want to make all the profit (which ironically ends up making the less money, since they end up not selling in those countries at all).

Re:I know this won't be a popular sentiment, but.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40520213)

Governments don't pay for a fucking thing themselves. It's either taxes previously collected or taxes the will collect from your kids and grandkids being spent now.

Re:I know this won't be a popular sentiment, but.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40520309)

But you can't very well let a private company foot the bill and then turn around, after the company spent all the money on the tech and are looking to sell products based on it, and tell them "We're taking it and giving it away." That's just glorified theft.

In the U.S. you do that after twenty years. Society grants exclusive rights to encourage innovation which helps society. If you were to believe the IP fud of today it's a miracle anyone ever started a fire what with there being no incentive to monopolize the ability to do so.

Poorer countries gain little by respecting IP in richer country. Quite frankly the problem is that 3rd world countries pay any attention to IP laws in another country at all.

Human beings are the dominate species on this planet because we are capable of sharing information better than any other animal. I do not understand why some people think knowledge is useless unless money is being made off of it or that it is some kind of god-given right to exclude other from or that it won't happen without IP protection have no clue about the history of mankind for the last several dozen millennia (hint: On a logarithmic scale, knowledge has increased at the same rate for recorded history regardless of the laws and politics of any given time). Ben Franklin had it right with patents.

Re:I know this won't be a popular sentiment, but.. (1)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 2 years ago | (#40520679)

They are "taking" nothing. The R&D is still there, was still done. The developing world just wants FRAND licensing at rates below what anyone wants to offer. And if FRAND isn't offered, then their only other option to use that tech is to use it unlicensed. And the IPO has said they'd rather deal with that than be seen as being weak by issuing FRAND licenses for their tech.

Details. (2)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#40519681)

Big picture ideas, fail when details get in the way, and people are unable to find an appropriate compromise, and take your opponents view into account.

For Example... Lets simplify the US tax plan, and get rid of all those loopholes that the 1 percent use to get off tax free.
Well what about deductions for charity?
How about investing in your retirement?
Well you have kids? ....
You shortly find the simple idea of making the Tax Plan easy and fair quickly comes up with a lot of details that you find, that there are not easy answers too.

Or lets go to the right... Lets reduce government services, that keeps all our taxes high.
How about military, can we reduce that?
What about funding R&D?
Incubators for new business ideas?
Road, and Infrastructure....

Paraphrasing Douglas Adams. To summarize the summery of the summary; people are a problem.

With the exception of the people who grew up with a golden spoon in their mouth. Most of the successful people in the United States and the World usually got there with Hard Work, personal sacrifice, and taking risks. They choose a lot of personal trade offs to get in that position. They won't freely give it up.

Re:Details. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40519809)

Liar, why don't people ever admit that half of America pays no tax? They are not the rich your so jealous of either. You tout the typical socialist subservient lie.

Re:Details. (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#40520065)

Why don't people ever admit that you are full of shit? They pay sales tax, property tax, SS, the list goes on and on. They might not pay any income tax, but that is not the same as paying no tax.

That half is also broke. You can't get blood from a stone.

Re:Details. (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | more than 2 years ago | (#40520265)

Speeking of being 'full of shit'. Sales tax only (which is state and local). As you well know SS is refunded as the 'earned income tax credit'. They don't pay a penny towards the federal government.

Re:Details. (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#40520609)

Not for 50% of the population. Lots of people get their Federal taxes nearly all back but don't get an EIC.

Also they pay highway taxes on fuel. Where do folks who do no qualify for an EIC, more than 50% of our population get that back?

Re:Details. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40520359)

What kind of idiot believes half the population pays no taxes. Oh you mean specifically income tax right? Never mind the details when making talking points. I'll bet 99% of people don't pay taxes on the purchases of jets either so clearly it's unfair that the rich have to.

Re:Details. (2, Interesting)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 2 years ago | (#40520005)

For Example... Lets simplify the US tax plan, and get rid of all those loopholes that the 1 percent use to get off tax free.

Well what about deductions for charity?

- Not needed, people keeping more of their tax money will have more to give.

How about investing in your retirement?

- Not needed, people keeping more of their tax money will have more to save for retirement.

Well you have kids? ....

- Not needed, people keeping more of their tax money will have more to spend on raising children. And aside from that, why should we even give tax breaks just for people having kids?!

I mean...this is human nature, people will fuck...people will have kids. Is it fair that people with less or even no kids essentially subsidize those that do have more kids?

Taxes shouldn't be used to try to manipulate human behavior...it should be used only for funding essential, constitutionally mandated govt. responsibilities. And...should be just enough to fund said services.

If we had no loopholes, no deductions...we could lower the tax rates, and everyone would have a simple time knowing exactly what they had to pay, what they were paying, and know that everyone was indeed paying, and have some skin in the game.

Re:Details. (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#40520031)

Well what about deductions for charity?
How about investing in your retirement?
Well you have kids? ....

None of those deductions should exist. I say this as someone impacted by 2 of the 3.

You shortly find the simple idea of making the Tax Plan easy and fair quickly comes up with a lot of details that you find, that there are not easy answers too.

Somethings do have easy answers.
All income should be taxed at the same level based on a simple progressive tax scheme. No deductions means no loopholes.

Re:Details. (1)

Mr. Firewall (578517) | more than 2 years ago | (#40520235)

All income should be taxed at the same level based on a simple progressive tax scheme.

You just contradicted yourself. If all income is being taxed at the same level, then it is not a progressive tax scheme. The very definition of "progressive" (as it applies to taxes) IS taxing people unequally.

Re:Details. (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#40520651)

No I mean all types of income would be taxed on the same progressive tax scheme. Meaning the first $X at Y% and the next $Z at AA%, no matter the source of that money.

I assumed slashdot posters read at at least the 8th grade level. Clearly you have proved me wrong.

Re:Details. (2)

RKThoadan (89437) | more than 2 years ago | (#40520063)

With the exception of the people who grew up with a golden spoon in their mouth.

That "exception" is rapidly becoming the rule, at least in the US.

I also know plenty of extremely poor people who easily work just as hard and sacrifice as much as as the wealthy. "taking risks" is just code words for "had enough money to take risks with" and wasn't a complete idiot. In my experience who you know is far more important than any of those factors anyway.

Re:Details. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40520089)

Tax the churches, that would be a very good first step....

Re:Details. (1)

Pinky's Brain (1158667) | more than 2 years ago | (#40520659)

Social mobility in the US (and everywhere else) is decreasing ... there are a lot of golden spoons.

Re:I know this won't be a popular sentiment, but.. (1)

cpicon92 (1157705) | more than 2 years ago | (#40519947)

2013 won't be the "Year of Linux"

I know that you're kidding an all that. But I should point out that 2013 doesn't need to be the year of Linux because 2011 was. Linux dominates the mobile space around the world now.

Re:I know this won't be a popular sentiment, but.. (1)

stanlyb (1839382) | more than 2 years ago | (#40520051)

If they have paid for R&D......
IF, and only IF, ELSE what? Because, you know, it very rare for the big companies to actually invent something new. They do prefer to buy it. Look GOOGLE for example, except their search engine and gmail (which now is becoming more and more bloated), there is NOTHING else that they did invent. Literally. ZERO.

Re:I know this won't be a popular sentiment, but.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40520429)

In a way they did pay for R&D. The wealth accumulated by R&D is stored in the form of company and IP valuation, which Google did pay for. What you have said is similar to saying 'You didn't pay for your 100 year old house to be built, therefore you don't really own it.'

Re:I know this won't be a popular sentiment, but.. (1)

Frederico Camara (976080) | more than 2 years ago | (#40520469)

"It is the greatest good to the greatest number of people which is the measure of right and wrong." (Jeremy Bentham)

<quote> And to be brutally honest, how is it really fair to ask them to? If they paid for the R&amp;D, why should someone else be entitled to it without paying a cent? Is it some first-world tech company's fault that your country is poor, that your government is too corrupt to invest in its infrastructure instead of padding El-Presidente's pockets, that your education system is a joke? </quote>

To be brutally honest: yes it is. Corruption works both ways, and both are equally guilty, the one being corrupted *and* the one who corrupts. Companies do not only pay for R&D, they pay for monopoly, they pay to get others out of competition, they pay to keep entire countries in misery and poverty. So, honestly, blame the system or whatever, they take part on keeping it the way it is, it is their fault.

The problem is, it is destroying the environment. People will have to be living in bubbles if nobody takes action, and companies do not care if they have to commit suicide to make money. Environmental concerns are calculated, into their revenues, to maximizes profit.

Re:I know this won't be a popular sentiment, but.. (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#40520865)

They shouldn't give it up for free. First world countries should give up their tech as long as the recipients guarantee cuts of pollution in return. This is the system every global ecological problam should be handled: for example, instead of blaming the poor Brasilians because of deforestation, the Western world (that has already cut down most of its forests) should hire the forest areas giving third world countries an income and incentive to preserve. This is how Kyoto is supposed to work, unfortunately the CO2 quota exchange was terribly implemented because politics got in the way.

Wasn't anybody else expecting Rio+20 to fail? (4, Insightful)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 2 years ago | (#40519569)

Reading the MSM I got the impression I'm was the only person in the world expecting the conference to fail. I always assumed that was because MSM is stupid, but came-on, here too?

Why would anybody expect any agreement? Wasn't Kyoto enough to show that nobody wants to commit, and everybody wants everybody else to? There is no more easy stuff to do for the environment (like banning CFCs), nobody will reach an agreement on anything hard. Claiming the failure is due to any cause, but lack of commitment is a lie.

Re:Wasn't anybody else expecting Rio+20 to fail? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40519629)

It's a collective action problem. People aren't very good at those.

Amen - a lack of enthusiasm killed Rio (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40520441)

... Some are blaming the leaders who didn't attend, including President Obama, Chancellor Merkel of Germany, and Prime Minister Cameron of the U.K. ... link [thinkprogress.org]

I agree with the parent. Rio was dead before it began.

Greed. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40519597)

Not much more to say about it. Of course they don't wont a level playing field.
I just wish they would make an exception for pharmaceuticals, because access to affordable working medicines is a moral issue.

Re:Greed. (1)

Mr. Firewall (578517) | more than 2 years ago | (#40519803)

"I just wish they would make an exception for pharmaceuticals, because getting the fruits of someone else's labors for nothing is a moral issue."

There, fixed that for you.

Re:Greed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40519895)

I prefer the Telvanni/Shadowruner moral code. If you're good enough to steal it, you've earned it.

Why are there sirens outside? Why did my dog suddenly stop barking at the sirens?

Re:Greed. (2)

Mr. Firewall (578517) | more than 2 years ago | (#40520057)

I prefer the Telvanni/Shadowruner moral code. If you're good enough to steal it, you've earned it.

Which is the current moral code in those 3rd-world countries, and (if you understand economics) precisely the reason why they are poor.

Without strong property rights, poverty is the inevitable result.

Re:Greed. (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#40520131)

Bullshit.
We have strong property rights and poverty in the first world.

Property rights are nice, but they are no magical solution. When you can't build a middle class, because you face sanctions for competing that is the problem.

Re:Greed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40520193)

Getting the fruits of someone else's labor for nothing is bad in general, mostly because it discourage people from doing any labor.
Now of course if the labor itself is something you want to discourage, then giving the fruits to somebody else, maybe the initial victims of the labor is a good idea.

So giving back your car is not "stealing the work of the nice robber (well it is, but that's ok) it is giving back you car to you.

Not letting monsanto use lobbying and abusive patents to fuck the world is a moral duty
Not letting big pharma spend most of their cash in marketing and litigation and very little in real research is also good.
Making sure that people in the third world country have a better survival plan than breeding as fast as possible is also a good plan

Read "the sheeps look up" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sheep_Look_Up before it's too late...

Re:Greed. (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#40520201)

Yea; I mean, it's not like the vast majority [blogcritics.org] of the research [citizen.org] pharmaceutical companies profit from [news-medical.net] is publicly funded, [nybooks.com] or anything...

"I just wish they would make an exception for pharmaceuticals, because getting the fruits of someone else's labors for nothing is a moral issue."

There, fixed that for you.

Meanwhile, here in Reality, pharmaceutical companies are doing just that, and jackasses are jumping blindly off the cliff to defend them...

Re:Greed. (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 2 years ago | (#40520203)

Oh, look, it's one of those idiots that goes on about that "fruits of labor" drivel.

Not that unreasonable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40519635)

Requiring these companies to license their IP and/or forcing conditions on those licenses would amount to expropriation. The US government has been very harsh on regimes that expropriated assets of its citizens without fair compensation (and rightly so) so it would be strange if it forced this upon it's own companies. I doubt the lobbyists were really needed to get this point across.

Shocker of the day .. (0)

bdemchak (1099961) | more than 2 years ago | (#40519651)

Capital must be free ... it will always seek out the highest ROI ... capital and capitalists are not slaves.

I seriously doubt... (4, Insightful)

Mr. Firewall (578517) | more than 2 years ago | (#40519705)

...that the the IPO’s "chilly message" set the tone for anything at Rio +20. It was doomed from the start and everyone involved knew it.

One look at the drafts of the ridiculous "The Future We Want" document is sufficient to explain the failure of Rio +20. No "chilly message" from IP owners is required.

The soup had too many cooks . . . (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 2 years ago | (#40520043)

. . . 50,000+ delegates? That's just too many to get any real work done. Even G20 has too many wonks. And everyone wants to step up to the podium to get heard; even if they have nothing worth contributing anyway. And that in Rio. What you end up with is a wet & wild, boozy spring break mayhem.

Instead, get a small group (less than 10) of the most important developed and non-developed countries together to agree to a draft first. Hold it in Minsk, in the middle of winter, to keep all the hang around wonks and protesters away. Then try to haggle, horse trade and beat the rest of the world with iron fists to accept it.

However, I can't even believe that the first step will succeed either.

We have to start treating this as organized crime! (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40519755)

The content Mafia has invented a model, that allows them, to take the works of others (the actual creatives) via a adhesion contract, and make money on every worthless copy, without moving a single finger. It's fraud. Plain and simple.
And for those who don't fall for the bullshit, they have set up a racketeering scheme, where they scaremonger people into not going to court and paying money, because they know exactly that in court, they wouldn't stand a chance, because they have as much proof as that one "lawyer" in Idiocracy.

Not to forget, that this industry is ridiculously tiny, and only can keep up its ego through massive overinflated self-importance. (Comparison: The whole global music industry has the same revenue, as a single bankrupt German construction company [Holzwinkel]. The whole German music industry has one quarter of the revenue of the municipal transportation services of a 1 million people city. That's *nothing*!)

Yet they want to destroy our entire society to keep up their insane delusions. Even though their fantasies aren't even physically possible, unless you think putting DRM (you know: that thing that by definition can’t work) in every single brain and device is somehow realistically doable and would work too.

Come on guys! We have to push against a bunch of madmen with extreme (often drug-inflated) egos! We can't just push normally. We have to push *harder*!
it is a valid argument, to note, that the reason Germany got the Nazis was not the few crazies. It was the whole nation not doing much against it, and falling for the propaganda!
(Hell, I've seen loads of people even here already use their bullshit propaganda terms like "intellectual property", or even *defend* those criminals! That's *completely* and *utterly* unacceptable!)

Socialist pablum from jet-setting hypocrites (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40519865)

Rio+20 failed bloviations have nothing to do with IP.

uh, so... the business model was steal and cheat? (4, Funny)

swschrad (312009) | more than 2 years ago | (#40519875)

the expected business model of the have-nots is to steal and cheat their way into international economic solidity?

that's not fair! -- you're copying Wall Street bankers! quit it!

Re:uh, so... the business model was steal and chea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40520289)

the expected business model of the have-nots is to steal and cheat their way into international economic solidity?

that's not fair! -- you're copying Wall Street bankers! quit it!

Right; we own the monopoly on that particular activity.

Now, cut it out before we sick our fully-militarized police on you.


Ever yours,
the 0.04 Percent.

Douchebags (2)

benjfowler (239527) | more than 2 years ago | (#40519879)

The myopia and greed really makes them no better than that other special interest group determined to crimincally enrich themselves at the expense of everybody and everything else: the bankers.

Re:Douchebags (2)

HornWumpus (783565) | more than 2 years ago | (#40519987)

Don't be that hard on them. All they want is everything anybody else made for free.

Disappointing? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40520059)

Hardly disappointing.
The great success of the Rio conference lies precisely therein, that progress towards world government was thwarted.

This is really bad ! (1)

winspear (2504164) | more than 2 years ago | (#40520205)

Forget about technology. People have been living without computers and gadgets for centuries. This will adversely impact the health of the developing and some underdeveloped nations because it will have a direct impact on the pharmaceutical and medicine field. One simple example would be the cure for AIDS. If some company found a cure for aids in the form of a $50,000 shot, then it is not going to help people in the poor countries where AIDS is more prevalent. Unless they wish to sell it for $10 or less, nobody can benefit from it. This has been true with many pharma companies in the past who don't collaborate or make a cheap recipe to be used in poor countries. So does that mean the people's lives in poor countries are less valuable than the people in developed and rich nations? This is what you get for being purely capitalistic. The age of "love thy neighbour and everyone deserves a chance" is gone. :(

Re:This is really bad ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40520757)

So, who is going to pay for the hundreds of billions of dollars it will take to develop a cure for AIDS, exactly?

The killer of Rio + 20 is junk science. (0)

jvillain (546827) | more than 2 years ago | (#40520415)

Poll after poll shows that the people have wised up to the alarmism. So there is no mileage in it for politicians any more.

Oligarch cage match? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40520727)

If a bunch of fascist oligarchs and a bunch of communists destroy eachother at some pretentious UN conference where you're not invited, is it really all bad? I'll pop the popcorn.

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