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WHO: Intellectual Property Claims Hindering Research On Deadly Novel Coronavirus

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the soon-your-vaccines-will-have-protective-DRM dept.

Medicine 121

New submitter kwyjibo87 writes "The World Health Organization (WHO) publicly expressed dismay yesterday concerning news that intellectual property claims were hindering research on a deadly new emerging virus. Novel coronavirus (nCoV), a member of the same viral genus as the causative agent of SARS, has claimed the lives of 22 people (out of 44 reported infected) and left both researchers and health officials scrambling to develop effective diagnostic tests in addition to possible medications and vaccines against nCoV. Now, however, claims of intellectual property on the new virus are hindering research on nCoV according to the WHO, delaying advancements on tools to prevent further spread of the infection. Stories of intellectual property rights in science hindering advancements in research, particularly in clinical applications, are nothing new; the U.S. Supreme Court recently heard arguments on the validity of patents on the BRCA1/2 genes and has yet to issue a decision. The issue of sharing scientific information in order to promote faster research on emerging pathogens is not limited to intellectual property — a recent article in the journal Nature highlighted a case where Chinese researchers risked having their research scooped after uploading viral sequences to a public database designed aid global scientific collaboration."

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121 comments

Frosty Piss! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43816545)

Killin my karma faster than the corona virus. This is subtle humor folks!

Lawyers that are more deadly than the virus (2)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about a year ago | (#43818319)

The novel coronoavirus are deadly, we know that

What we did not know --- and thanks to the IP-scandal, now we know --- is how deadly the lawyers are

The outbreak of this novel coronavirus is at least (so far) somewhat contained --- what I am afraid is, and what all others should too, is that, next time, when there is an outbreak of a far more virulent virus, which spread very fast worldwide, will the world still allowing these deadly lawyers ram their law books into the medical research labs ?

Re:Lawyers that are more deadly than the virus (2)

mhajicek (1582795) | about a year ago | (#43819047)

They need more effective DRM on the virus to prevent unauthorized copying. Stiff penalties also need to be applied to those who contract the virus without paying royalties.

Re:Lawyers that are more deadly than the virus (1)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | about a year ago | (#43819315)

They need more effective DRM on the virus to prevent unauthorized copying. Stiff penalties also need to be applied to those who contract the virus without paying royalties.

Don't give the mafiaa any ideas.

Re:Lawyers that are more deadly than the virus (1)

Dr Damage I (692789) | about a year ago | (#43819563)

Hold the patent holders financially responsible for the results of withholding their intellectual property.

intellectual property (4, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year ago | (#43816563)

You freeloaders should be ashamed. It takes a lot of money to do that kind of research, and all these poor, defenseless companies are doing is protecting their investment by patenting the genes they discovered so if and when they choose to further develop it, they will make a reasonable perfectly reasonable 3000% profit on every pill sold.

Not only that, but I think you're all forgetting a very important point here: This virus kills quickly, and any treatment would only last a few days. Where's the profit in that? Sure, it'll kill you, but you as a patient are worth far less than the guy with the limp dick and a few extra bucks to eat pills to make him hard again.

If you want the situation to change, you need to get sick with diseases that are treatable but long-term. We're simply not interested in short-term illness, regardless of whether it kills you or not. Any cures or treatments for a short-term illness are purely accidental and you should be thankful we even bothered to develop it and market it! Ungrateful poor people... jeez. Why can't you all just dry up and die?

Yours Truly,

Big Pharma

P.S. I know you're taking Ritalin your friend gave you to do better on the finals. Contact me privately and I can hook you up with a doctor of questionable repute who will give you your very own legal script. Remember: Unless it comes from Big Pharma, it's a Bad Drug(tm).

Re:intellectual property (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43816603)

I hear ya' Big Pharma. In order to acknowledge your potential ownership of this IP and the related virus I would like to hereby volunteer to force feed it to you with a rusty funnel until you successfully recall the "share and share alike" lesson you should have learned in pre-school.

Re:intellectual property (3, Funny)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year ago | (#43816705)

I hear ya' Big Pharma. In order to acknowledge your potential ownership of this IP and the related virus I would like to hereby volunteer to force feed it to you with a rusty funnel until you successfully recall the "share and share alike" lesson you should have learned in pre-school.

I have a patent on that form of intra-oral medication delivery and since I haven't licensed it for commercial production, you'll owe me $150,000 per rusty funnel used so far by you, henceforce referred to as "John 'Rusty Funnel' Doe, Defendant", $15 million for the rights to use the rusty funnel -- a 1 year limited, non-exclusive license, treble the amount of any profits incurred through the use of the rusty funnel intra-oral delivery system, and $150 million in legal fees due to us being forced to defend our intellectual property.

Re:intellectual property (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43817085)

Lucky for me I've only used one rusty funnel over and over again. I fear that it would not fare well if subjected to an autoclave so I've just relied on the various germs battling it out with each other to 'sterilize' said rusty funnel. A kind of "survival of the sickest" competition. I'm trying to sell the pilot, filmed via a microscope camera, as a reality show.

As far as the $150k licensing fee for the rusty funnel, would you be willing to accept BitCoin futures based on my ability to harvest CPU cycles from those who succumb to this illness?

Re: intellectual property (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43819485)

Excuse me Big Pharma but, what variety of iron oxide are you using for your "rusty" funnel? I may have a claim here as I've taken patents out on seven varieties.

Re:intellectual property (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43816625)

[...] the guy with the limp dick and a few extra bucks to eat pills to make him hard again.

Oy, what did I tell you about telling on me in public? Not fair!

Re:intellectual property (2)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year ago | (#43816723)

Oy, what did I tell you about telling on me in public? Not fair!

You checked the box at your last doctor's visit that allowed your clinic to share your personal, non-identifying information about your condition for research purposes. And since you have now publicly disclosed your medical condition, not me, we can now use your comment and likeness in a public awareness campaign we're launching in your area on male impotence.

Yours truly,

Big Pharma

Re:intellectual property (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43816955)

You've been training to be a girl for a long time now, I hope you have graduated already.

Re:intellectual property (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43816715)

I will found the "Word Religitard Conglomerate", make world's deadliest super-T-ebola, and get it "protected" as the imaginary property said conglomerate. Then I'll spread it in all governments and governments only.

That way, by definition, all lobbyists (everybody who comes in contact with the government) will perish too, and we'll get imaginary property to be made illegal in no time.

Two birds with one meteoroid. I call that a win-win.

Re:intellectual property (2)

catchblue22 (1004569) | about a year ago | (#43817871)

The free unhampered exchange of ideas and scientific conclusions is necessary for the sound development of science, as it is in all spheres of cultural life.

Einstein, 1952

Two suggestions (2)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about a year ago | (#43816565)

1) If the funding for research that led to the "patent" was in any part public, then the Patent needs to be public domain at least for non-profit research. Period.
2) If the funding for the research was not public, then the Government should pay for the patent, and make it public domain for non-profit continuing research.

Ether case, The patent should be still commercially viable for commercial purposes.

This sounds like... (2)

Molochi (555357) | about a year ago | (#43816941)

Sounds like another issue of national security to me. So they could just take it away if it isn't offered.

Re:Two suggestions (2)

dgatwood (11270) | about a year ago | (#43816975)

Choice 3. The government declares that research use of the intellectual property is in the public's best interest, confiscates the patent through eminent domain, and invalidates it.

Re:Two suggestions (4, Insightful)

pmontra (738736) | about a year ago | (#43817365)

A modest suggestion: if the virus which is of your property kills someone you go to jail. Discounts granted if you own only a few genes. Let's see how long intellectual property lasts once it faces responsibility.

Re:Two suggestions (1)

jopsen (885607) | about a year ago | (#43820027)

A modest suggestion: if the virus which is of your property kills someone you go to jail. Discounts granted if you own only a few genes. Let's see how long intellectual property lasts once it faces responsibility.

You call that "A Modest suggestion" ? :)
I thought it was quite funny, but insightful or modest doesn't really fit...

<sarcasm> by the same arguments, if someone commits a crime with a 3D printed gun or knife for which you hold copyright, you go to jail.

On the topic of all 3D printed guns stories we've seen lately: I think it is the saddest most horrific thing in recent slashdot history. Why do people buy the idea that the ability to make guns have anything to do with freedom. It makes me so sad...

Re:Two suggestions (1)

kermidge (2221646) | about a year ago | (#43820103)

I've long understood freedom to mean doing whatever you want to do. For many it also implies a corollary - to accept responsibility for your actions. You are free to accept either one or both right up until someone relieves you of the burden of those freedoms.

Liability? (4, Interesting)

seven of five (578993) | about a year ago | (#43816567)

Fine, you knuckleheads want to claim ownership? How about some wrongful death suits?

Re:Liability? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43816627)

Are you one of those fags who're upset because we're not spending all kinds of money to cure your faggot diseases?

Re:Liability? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43816757)

Let me guess AC, you suffer from Piece of Shitism, which is unfortunately genetic :(

Re:Liability? (4, Funny)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year ago | (#43816663)

Fine, you knuckleheads want to claim ownership? How about some wrongful death suits?

"You think that one of the biggest, most powerful companies in America is secretly a profiteer who spends his nights beating the tar out of citizens in court... and your plan... is to blackmail this company? Good luck." -- Morgan Freeman

Re:Liability? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43817635)

Not going to happen.
First of all, you'd need thousands dead, not a couple of dozen.
Second, they'd need to be american.
Third, a terrorist group needs to claim responsability, otherwise, it would mean the campaign contributors of some senator were being sloppy, and that's against the law, why, they might halve the bailout money, those meanies.

Just Sue (2)

bobstreo (1320787) | about a year ago | (#43816577)

Any survivors/Next of Kin should sue the commercial labs which are claiming patents.

Re:Just Sue (0)

Black Parrot (19622) | about a year ago | (#43816641)

Any survivors/Next of Kin should sue the commercial labs which are claiming patents.

It's what you do to dogpooh on your porch.

Re:Just Sue (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about a year ago | (#43816947)

This is all on the courts who in a totally moronic decision greatly narrowed the research exemption back in 2002.

This decision needs to get overruled like right NOW.

Scooped? (0)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year ago | (#43816587)

I know Slashdot is a US centric site but please remember that there are many non-native-US-English speakers reading it as well. I'm a native English speaker but I don't know what "scooped" means in the context of TFS.

Re:Scooped? (2)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year ago | (#43816613)

I know Slashdot is a US centric site but please remember that there are many non-native-US-English speakers reading it as well.

There's a website [urbandictionary.com] for that problem. And just so we're clear; There's a lot of lingo us Americans don't understand. Calling gas "petrol", for example, or a semitruck a "lorry". Seems just a bit hinky, if you ask me. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to shove off and go do the needful somewhere.

Re:Scooped? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43816787)

Uuum, you think calling a product made purely out of petroleum "petrol" is strange, but calling it "gas" (as in: methane, air, farts) is normal??

And while "lorry" was the name for a large horse-drawn wagon, truck through history rather meant: “to fail, run short, deceive, disappoint”, “to fail, miss, lack”, “to tear, wrap, reap”, “to flay, split”, “to cheat, deceive, swindle”, “to extort”, “to flatter, fawn”. ;)

Re:Scooped? (1)

Bigbutt (65939) | about a year ago | (#43817003)

Why not, it's the same reasoning. 'gas' from 'gasoline' vs 'petrol' from 'petroleum'. And 'gas' is one syllable vs 'petrol' which is two.

[John]

Um... Gas is an abreviation (1)

Molochi (555357) | about a year ago | (#43817025)

Gas is slang and short for Gasoline, that stuff you might fill up your car with. Petrol is also slang for Gasoline but is short for Petroleum which makes it ambiguous as to whether you are speaking of Crude Oil or any other refined fuels.

Truck per OED (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43817061)

Origin:

Middle English (denoting a solid wooden wheel): perhaps short for truckle1 in the sense 'wheel, pulley'. The sense 'wheeled vehicle' dates from the late 18th century

Re:Scooped? (1)

RoknrolZombie (2504888) | about a year ago | (#43818709)

truck through history rather meant: “to fail, run short, deceive, disappoint”, “to fail, miss, lack”, “to tear, wrap, reap”, “to flay, split”, “to cheat, deceive, swindle”, “to extort”, “to flatter, fawn”. ;)

Quite fitting when you consider the current quality and cost of American made trucks now days...

Re:Scooped? (1)

Synesthes (1351729) | about a year ago | (#43817553)

We have the same sort of problems here in Canada.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go find a serviette, I seem to have spilled some poutine on the chesterfield.

Re:Scooped? (1)

SirGarlon (845873) | about a year ago | (#43816683)

It means someone else got "the scoop," the big story. It's bad grammar (turning a verb into a noun and back into a verb), which may explain some of the confusion. Scientists or news reporters are said to get scooped when they've been working on a project/story and then someone else publishes the same thing before they do and steals all the attention.

The idea that scientists are under pressure to be first depresses me. Proper science requires a lot of thought and attention to detail, and to rush the process threatens its integrity.

Re:Scooped? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43816739)

Bill Clinton didn't know what the definition of "is" is. What is your point? That Slashdot should not use English idioms that might cause people to have to google a word? There's like 1 post an hour, double click the word in question, click "search google for...", and learn something new with the 59 minutes you're not reading an article.

Re:Scooped? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43816771)

I know Slashdot is a US centric site but please remember that there are many non-native-US-English speakers reading it as well. I'm a native English speaker but I don't know what "scooped" means in the context of TFS.

If you want to receive a multicast message, it is on you to understand the protocol regardless of who you are or where the message comes from.

Re:Scooped? (3, Interesting)

stephanruby (542433) | about a year ago | (#43816807)

I know Slashdot is a US centric site but please remember that there are many non-native-US-English speakers reading it as well. I'm a native English speaker but I don't know what "scooped" means in the context of TFS.

The term scooped means "first one to get the credit for a discovery". It's usually used in the context of journalism, but the term still works in this case.

It's just like when French scientists first discovered the HIV virus (or so they claim). They mailed their blood samples to American scientists so the American scientists could confirm their findings and replicate their results, but the exact same American scientists who received those samples and the methodology the French scientists used, just used the same samples and ended up publishing the same results -- claiming the original discovery for themselves (at least, that's the story being told from the French side).

It's not just a question of ownership, although that's a part of it too, it's also a question of who gets the original credit (or shared credit) for the discovery (since that also determines who ends up getting mountains of public funding and/or royalties). And even public institutions are capable of stealing credit even if there are no patents/royalties involved, since reputation and public funding are just as important to them (as profits are to a private corporation).

Re:Scooped? (1)

Kreigaffe (765218) | about a year ago | (#43817089)

Nobody gives half a shit. The term is 140 years old and is not simply an American term (though it was coined here).

Enjoy your expanded vocabulary. At least it isn't some godawful full-retard work like gaol, or some fucking Australian throwing rhyming slang that can't be deduced without knowing the generations-past pop culture reference it was originally based upon.

patents vs. research? (3, Interesting)

Black Parrot (19622) | about a year ago | (#43816623)

I thought patents did not prevent research that uses the patented material.

At any rate, allowing patents on discoveries (vs. inventions) is just stupid.

Re:patents vs. research? (5, Interesting)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about a year ago | (#43816885)

Yes, that was my impression as well. In fact I used to routinely investigate patented techniques in my research when I worked in R&D.

Ah the frigtarded Courts screwed us over:

From Wikipedia:

"In 2002, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit dramatically limited the scope of the research exemption in Madey v. Duke University, 307 F.3d 1351, 1362 (Fed. Cir. 2002). The court did not reject the defense, but left only a "very narrow and strictly limited experimental use defense" for "amusement, to satisfy idle curiosity, or for strictly philosophical inquiry." The court also precludes the defense where, regardless of profit motive, the research was done "in furtherance of the alleged infringer's legitimate business." In the case of a research university like Duke University, the court held that the alleged use was in furtherance of its legitimate business, and thus the defense was inapplicable."

this is disgusting

The purpose of patents is to "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts".

Re:patents vs. research? (4, Informative)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about a year ago | (#43816933)

In fact this really pisses me off. The court of Federal Appeals is supposed to be subject matter experts on patents. Instead they are the maroons who have done more to expand the patent system to cover all sorts of malarkey that should have never been covered.

When I first heard about establishment of this court I thought it sounded like a good idea because in theory it was going to put an end to crap like venue shopping for patent appeals.

Well, I was dead wrong about that. These nuts turned out to be more radical than any of the existing venues.

Arrgh.

COMMUNIST! (3, Funny)

WOOFYGOOFY (1334993) | about a year ago | (#43816665)

WHO==U.N.==SOCIALISM==COMMUNISM

Sure, maybe IP is *interfering* with scientific research in this case, but so what? If you take down the IP and interfering with corporations maximizing their profit, no one will be motivated to do anything. We'll all just loll around , (if they're people like me) staring at our navel disinterested in the world (if they're people like me) ....We'll be like Old Sick Europe . Then where will ALL of science be? Do you think people are motivated by the mere chance to relieve human suffering ? Do my whores fuck me because they love me???? We need REAL motivation !!!!!

What's your value system here? Is science for the betterment of mankind , to save human lives and advance the general welfare of people or is its primary purpose to make money for people with money so they'll go on doing science ?

COIMMUNIST! I SMELL A COMMUNIST!!!!
If the IP system is pared back, then all progress will cease.

Re:COMMUNIST! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43816781)

Your rant about communists is all wrong if so called capitalists are paying the wrong people. And abusing their power. Poor leadership is poor leadership regardless of the ideology backing it. It's a stupid move to enslave humanity through IP.

I.e. those of us who are supremely pissed at the way in which we are being treated. Regardless of our goals, or creed, or isms..

There are days were the way I feel inside that makes characters like Khan Noonien Singh look like a god damned kitten.

Keep singing the oppression mantra. Eventually someone will rise up and crush you. You can't be a tyrant forever. You may get this generation. But you won't get them all.

It does not matter how it is achieved the end results are the same. You people are fucking insane.

Re:COMMUNIST! (1)

WOOFYGOOFY (1334993) | about a year ago | (#43816897)

uh, I think you may have missed my sarcasm.

Not that I blame you, since there ARE people who think just like my post in the U..S

Re:COMMUNIST! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43817339)

It's all good. Normally I would ignore this kind of comment and let the world discuss. But I've been having a particularly bad week, which is no justification for being an asshat.

But the anger needed an outlet. And I appreciate your candor.

Re:COMMUNIST! (1)

WOOFYGOOFY (1334993) | about a year ago | (#43817573)

Just sop we're perfectly clear, my original post was 100% sarcastic and I actually hold the exact opposite views as those I posted there...

cheers.

Re:COMMUNIST! (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about a year ago | (#43817989)

Stop being an idiot. Communism is opposed due to what it is, a horrid system that killed tens of millions of humans in pursuit of a perfect society. They tried your idea where nobody wants to make a profit and it failed. Making a ridiculous extremist straw man post doesn't help things.

Re:COMMUNIST! (2)

WOOFYGOOFY (1334993) | about a year ago | (#43818579)

They tried your idea where nobody wants to make a profit and it failed. Making a ridiculous extremist straw man post doesn't help things. He. Have a look in the mirror. Where did I say no one should make a profit? You guys are all the same. Binary, thinking is all you're capable of. Either we're maximizing profit under all circumstances or it's Communism. I know you meant to diminish my post by pointing out what you thought was my straw man. Too bad you had that gun pointing the wrong way.

vaccines don't work (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43816699)

They have to keep on engineering virus so they can kill more people. Then there is their vaccine scam. “Up to 90% of the total decline in the death rate of children between 1860-1965 because of whooping cough, scarlet fever, diphtheria, and measles occurred before the introduction of immunisations and antibiotics.” Dr. Archie Kalokerinos, M.D. PhD. It was the new sanitation, clean water, better food that stopped childhood diseases, not vaccinations. Vaccinations are a plot to make people sick.

Re:vaccines don't work (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about a year ago | (#43816759)

That clean water, sanitation, and better nutrition have had a larger role doesn't say anything about the efficacy of vaccines. It's basically an application of the 80/20 principle [wikipedia.org]. That doesn't mean that we don't need vaccines. It does mean that improving the infrastructure of less developed nations is generally more efficient than passing out vaccines. However, there are some exceptions, particularly in regards to eradication. Completely ridding ourselves of polio would totally stop it forever.

Some thoughts about corruption (5, Interesting)

boorack (1345877) | about a year ago | (#43816713)

In the western world we tend to perceive corruption as simple bribery. In my opinion, this thinking is way to narrow - but it keeps us in a kind of comfort zone, that in western world we have much less corruption than anywhere else. BUT if we add regulatory capture and start measuring corruption (simple bribery plus regulatory capture) in terms of human costs, world starts to look totally different. Broken intellectual property law - in this case hindering efforts to fight off a (potentially) deadly virus - is one of many examples of this. I'd rather call it legalized corruption than involve in debating rights and wrongs of this particular (narrow) issue. The same with patented cancer genes, software patents, financial institutions being out of control, monsanto force-feeding us with their toxic crap, legalized tax evasion etc. All those things are legal! Yet until we won't recognize this as ("legalized") corruption, these things won't be solved as root cause of all of this (regulatory capture) will still be there. It will cost us money, health and ultimately lives until we recognize that western countries - especially US - are propably the most corrupt ones in the world just because of sheer scale of this "legalized" corruption and its effects in terms of human costs. If you include all those banana republics we (western countries) imposed corrupt broken regimes just to steal their wealth, the whole picture looks even more grim. Stop debating rights and wrongs of narrow issues - it plays well to the hand of our corrupt corporate overlords. Get up and start fighting corruption in all its forms, including "legalized" one.

Re:Some thoughts about corruption (3, Interesting)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#43816883)

technically, if it's legalized and in the open then it is not corruption - it is the system working as intended.
it's better than having corruption, because it could be changed if there was enough public demand for it. with plain old corruption changing it is harder, as it's shady who is allowed to do what and why.

Re:Some thoughts about corruption (3, Insightful)

mspohr (589790) | about a year ago | (#43817179)

Actually, it is corruption if the system is not working as intended... and I don't think anyone would argue that the US political system is working as intended. The entire system is corrupted by money where the rich buy the laws they want to make more money. It is very open and somewhat transparent (and thanks to the rich buying the laws they want, it is "legal") but it is thoroughly corrupt.
Lawrence Lessig makes the case very eloquently here:
http://www.ted.com/talks/lawrence_lessig_we_the_people_and_the_republic_we_must_reclaim.html [ted.com]

Re:Some thoughts about corruption (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43817195)

If I say the sky is yellow, and pass a law saying it's yellow, it's still not really yellow.

Just because the corruption is legal doesn't mean it isn't corruption.

Re:Some thoughts about corruption (2)

Velex (120469) | about a year ago | (#43818551)

I think that GP was arguing that just because it's legalized and in the open doesn't mean it's not corruption, i.e. the laws themselves are corrupt. Perhaps the distorted worship of obscene wealth in the name of some kind of Randian stark individualism that leads to these laws itself is corrupt.

Not to get off topic, but it works the other way around, too. Just because the law says marijuana is a highly addictive and dangerous narcotic with no medical application doesn't make it so. Athough perhaps that's another example of corrupt law. In that particular case though I'd argue the history is more steeped in racism and xenophobia than corruption. ymmv

Re:Some thoughts about corruption (1)

rabbin (2700077) | about a year ago | (#43817653)

Agreed. It is "corruption" in the sense that *the intent of the institution* (e.g. to act in the public's interest) is corrupted. Just because it is legal does not mean the system is working as intended.

But regardless, anyone who justifies their or some else's heinous behavior with a "because it is legal" argument is too far gone to be worth your time anyway.

Render unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar (2)

gmuslera (3436) | about a year ago | (#43816747)

They own it? Then they should have it, in their blood. Then we could discuss if we want to cure them or not, after all, we don't want to harm their intellectual property.

Plain rubbish (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43816831)

Once again another fear mongering story without any merit. No where in any of this
is there actually a single reference to a single IP, person, or company that is
interfering with research.

This is just another bit of propaganda to persuade readers to attack corporations
as evil.

Re:Plain rubbish (2)

someSnarkyBastard (1521235) | about a year ago | (#43817499)

Because we all know that in reality corporations are actually paragons or morality [/sarcasm]

Corporations are evil in the same sense that sociopaths are, the benefit or harm they do unto others is inconsequential so long as they get what they want. (which in the case of corporations is money, ROI, and market share)

Re:Plain rubbish (1)

the gnat (153162) | about a year ago | (#43817885)

No where in any of this is there actually a single reference to a single IP, person, or company that is interfering with research.

I agree, it is entirely unclear from the article whether any IP claims have been put forth, or if this is some kind of pre-emptive action. I think gene patents are truly evil, and pharma companies can be truly sleazy at times, but I'd like to see some actual evidence before pointing fingers in this case.

Easy way out (4, Insightful)

Vintermann (400722) | about a year ago | (#43816893)

If I own a bull, and this bull gets loose in a china shop, I'm liable. Why should intellectual property be any different?

If you own a gene, and a virus is using that gene to kill people, well, it's your duty to stop that virus doing what it's doing, and if you don't, expect to pay damages!

(But somehow I don't think the champions of intellectual property want the property metaphor to extend that far.)

Re:Easy way out (1)

DRJlaw (946416) | about a year ago | (#43819557)

If I own a bull, and this bull gets loose in a china shop, I'm liable. Why should intellectual property be any different?

Ignoring the fact that you cannot patent a product of nature, which means that nobody (should) have patented the virus rather than isolated genes or segments of cDNA which might be used to uniquely identify it in a laboratory assay (i.e., patenting a non-viable portion of an organism shouldn't make you liable for the existence of the natural organism)...

I cannot buy this argument from the software crowd, whether commercial, open source, or GNU-ish. The coders among you lot disclaim warranties, liability, and general responsibility for anything which you write as a matter of course. The users among you lot sit there and take it. But when it comes to patents, suddenly the patent-owners should be liable for anything remotely related to their patent.

Why should intellectual property be any different? Because you treat so every chance that you get, and there are far better arguments for why the owner of 'a gene' is not responsible for the actions of the natural virus. First and foremost, a little concept called 'proximate cause.' [wikipedia.org]

Re:Easy way out (1)

Vintermann (400722) | about a year ago | (#43820283)

The reason FSF have all these disclaimers is of course that they're necessary in the present copyright regime. That does not mean they approve of it. FSF/Stallman would prefer a regime where even their copyleft licenses would be invalid. That is old news, and you aren't very familiar with the debate if you didn't know it.

But really, if copyrights are like property, the same logic should apply to them. If buying a program is like renting a lawnmover (and it would be, since a program is still someone else's intellectual property after you buy it), then could you get away with a disclaimer saying "This lawnmover may not be useful for anything at all, inlcuding mowing lawn, and if it malfunctions and attacks your family dog that's not our responsibility"?

It is of course possible to have a system where there are copyrights and they're not like property. But then you should lay off the property rhetoric and the property thinking, and accept that as you don't have the full obligations that come with actual property, you don't have the full rights either.

If this company claims 'ownership' of this virus (4, Interesting)

number6x (626555) | about a year ago | (#43816907)

Then I think they should be charged with 22 cases of murder. It might not be murder 1, but manslaughter.

  • If a car you owned hit someone, you would be charged.
  • If a building you owned fell on someone, you would be charged.
  • If a pit bull you owned killed someone, you would be charged.

If you want to 'own' this virus, you get to 'own' the consequences. Corporations are people. Some places have the death penalty for people who commit crimes.

The linked story ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43816973)

makes no mention of a specific patent. Also, the people complaining were in Saudi Arabia -- a country in which most companies NEVER get patents.

Of course, it would be slashdot if we didn't have our daily patent scare article.

The Takings Clause and the Police Power Clause (1)

MarkvW (1037596) | about a year ago | (#43817071)

The government can't take property (including intellectual property) pursuant to the TAKINGS clause of the US Constitution without paying just compensation.

The government can take property (including intellectual property) pursuant to the POLICE POWER clause of the US Constitution without paying just compensation.

If the public need for an antivirus is strong enough, I say pass police power legislation relating to the public health that frees up the scientific field of research.

If pharmaceutical companies are going to behave like pigs at the trough, then screw them.

Re:The Takings Clause and the Police Power Clause (1)

mysidia (191772) | about a year ago | (#43819461)

The government can't take property (including intellectual property) pursuant to the TAKINGS clause of the US Constitution without paying just compensation.

The "intellectual property" is a government grant, not a contract. Someone's patent or copyright can be nullified or revoked; if the right law is passed, and the executive takes the right action.

Re:The Takings Clause and the Police Power Clause (1)

MarkvW (1037596) | about a year ago | (#43819705)

I didn't know that. You're saying that my copyright could be revoked by statute immediately?

Please sign my whitehouse.gov petition on this (1)

TwineLogic (1679802) | about a year ago | (#43817073)

http://wh.gov/hrbB [wh.gov]

Let's turn our swords into plowshares and grab all those patents for the public domain.

Re:Please sign my whitehouse.gov petition on this (1)

TwineLogic (1679802) | about a year ago | (#43817961)

Assign U.S. Army laboratory (USAMRIID) to investigate and develop a treatment for the MERS virus outbreak. [whitehouse.gov]

The emerging MERS virus poses a potential threat to the health of all U.S. Citizens. MERS may represent a second example of "SARS-like" viruses and the present emerging outbreak is a good time to practice our national response to a potential emergency.

The U.S. Army laboratories including USAMRIID, national labs, and other reasources at your disposal stand at the ready to defend the United States from various organisms. These laboratories may have the ability to quickly research the MERS virus for the people of the United States.

The United States government should in turn give the patents and other properties created by the United States to the American people, and to all the nations of the world.

I knew it! (2)

machine321 (458769) | about a year ago | (#43817201)

I knew when Microsoft and Novel signed that patent cross-licensing deal they were up to no good! Who knew they were working on a Novel virus?

Re:I knew it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43819253)

That's Novell,, not Novel.

By their own definition... (4, Insightful)

FuzzNugget (2840687) | about a year ago | (#43817323)

They are murderers.

Hey, if you can equate copyright infringement to theft, you can draw the same comparison between willfully withholding information and murder.

Re:By their own definition... (3)

erroneus (253617) | about a year ago | (#43817609)

I don't have any problem with making that definition. Wilful denial of access to information which can save lives is far more important than money -- any amount of money. And we need some laws on the books that will enforce this notion. It's truly sickening how far people will go.

But you know, I also consider war to be murder. Leaders who risk nothing send people to other places to kill other people and get killed. All the while, telling people lies about "freedom" and crap like that.

Re:By their own definition... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43819669)

I sympathise with your disdain, but I don't really think you want to be encouraging anyone to draw the same comparison between withfully withholding information and murder.
Because then you play into the hands of "the authorities" when they demand your passwords, and I've gone all slippery slopey already, so I guess that's all I've got to say about that...

Shouldn't have copied the whole Novel (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43817577)

Just use a non-significant portion, or use it to treat porn industry-related diseases in order to claim parody.

patents should apply to inventions (1)

neghvar1 (1705616) | about a year ago | (#43817657)

This is why patent laws should be reformed to specify that a patent applies to something that was invented/created by a person(s) or company, not discovered.

What a load of nonsense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43817699)

'SARS' the 'deadly' virus, that amounted to not very much. 'SARS' that was actually caused by idiotic orientals building blocks of apartments with sewage pipes INSIDE the rooms, going down from the top of the building to the bottom - how disgusting is that?
'SARS' the 'deadly' virus that was going to kill hundreds of thousands, but was in fact just conventional pneumonia, renamed so that the sickeningly corrupt drug companies could make billions by selling 'cures' to a disease that affected HARDLY ANYBODY.

Re:What a load of nonsense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43818743)

Can you please post your evidence that it was caused by "sewage pipes INSIDE the rooms".

I thought the generally accepted cause was wild Civets?

Time out (1)

lightknight (213164) | about a year ago | (#43818593)

I must be missing something, as it has been a while since I've attempted to read the MPEP, but...when did we start patenting viruses? Last I checked, biotechnology patents related to genes were limited to patents on implementations on finding a gene...

Details? (1)

almechist (1366403) | about a year ago | (#43818857)

So can anyone actually tell me what the actual IP problem is here? That is, who precisely is making claims that are preventing needed research, and what is the nature of those claims? The BBC article linked in the summary is notably weak on these details, so it's hard to judge the true seriousness of the problem, if problem there be.

Boycotting Youtube. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43819431)

Youtube recently made a backroom deal with Nintendo to confiscate Let's Players revenue and limit their video for any Nintendo products to 10 minutes.

I posted a friendly comment defending copyright but criticizing Nintendo for its move.

Youtube has the right to censor their private service. But they do not have the right to brainwash America's youth over any and all political speach that does not serve their Corporate overlords. They are supporting themselves off of people with no income. Children. People unable to become politically informed and active.

These people are being funded by the T.V. ads, the internet ads we willingly watch. I highly recommend deleting all associated accounts and boycotting there service. If you have a favorite forum please explain to the users there why they need to boycott youtube.

--Definitely not APK, just someone else who is pissed at this bullshit. Start thinking about how to spread the word and stop these people from making single buck.

That's Dr. Pestilence to you Sir (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43820121)

If you claim "ownership" over a disease you had better be Pestilence of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse...

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