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The Public Patent Foundation Fights for Freedom From Bad Patents (Video)

Roblimo posted about 3 months ago | from the we-remember-the-cat-laser-pointer-toy-patent-all-too-well dept.

Patents 36

The Public Patent Foundations Fights for Patent Freedom (Video) The PUBPAT website's About page says, "The Public Patent Foundation at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law ('PUBPAT') is a not-for-profit legal services organization whose mission is to protect freedom in the patent system." Today's interviewee, Daniel B. Ravicher, is the group's Executive Director and founder. Eben Moglen is on the Board of Directors, and PUBPAT's goals have been aligned with the FSF since PUBPAT started. The most publicized PUBPAT success so far was, in conjunction with the ACLU, getting patents on naturally-occurring genes overturned. Go, PUBPAT!

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36 comments

OpenBSD + Truecrypt + Rip Anywhere MP3 player (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46093225)

Give me an MP3 player which has the following features:

1. OpenBSD
2. TrueCrypt - choice of encrypting all of device with 1st run and in settings
3. Rip from any device - an extension to the device (like the front part of ST:TNG ship's dish which separates for example) which allows CDs to be inserted and ripped on the fly without a computer connection, and the ability to plug into any electronic device which has the ability to contain audio files, scan for, and rip any audio files - all with the option to convert them to a format of your choosing
4. Complete support of as many audio/image/video codecs as possible.
5. Nothing about the device should be proprietary, neither hardware or software.

Before you say, "Why would you want to use a device with the MP3 format?" As #4 points out, and you should really know unless you're trolling, if you look at all of the MP3 players currently for sale, most support many audio, image (JPG and more) and sometimes several video formats.

Re:OpenBSD + Truecrypt + Rip Anywhere MP3 player (1)

ziggyzaggy (552814) | about 3 months ago | (#46093379)

how are you going to type in the password for truecrypt every time you want to listen to a song? otherwise, The Man will just yank the device from you while operating and discover your illegal wares. why openbsd? I like it for servers, good networked security for remote access but with physical access to an mp3 appliance there are probably no advantages

Re:OpenBSD + Truecrypt + Rip Anywhere MP3 player (1)

bzipitidoo (647217) | about 3 months ago | (#46097099)

Support for Ogg Vorbis is still hard to find. Some years ago, MS went to war in the US against Vorbis. The courts slapped MS down, but the effects still linger. On one mp3 player, to get the ability to play Vorbis, I had to download a European ROM for it, then trick its flash program into loading it since the program was coded to check which edition was already installed, and then refuse to update to any other edition than what it found. On another, had to install Rockbox. Car radios are still very lacking in support for Ogg Vorbis. Only practical way to get it is to make sure the radio has an audio input jack, and plug in the portable music player of your choice. For that matter way too may car radios still come with CD players. Who wants CDs anymore?

There's a new audio format, Opus. PC software is still catching up with that one.

Re:OpenBSD + Truecrypt + Rip Anywhere MP3 player (1)

Anrego (830717) | about 3 months ago | (#46099131)

At this point, using a lossy codec for audio seems silly to me.

We have the processing power and the storage, may as well keep all the data.

Re:OpenBSD + Truecrypt + Rip Anywhere MP3 player (1)

bzipitidoo (647217) | about 3 months ago | (#46138873)

Not at all silly. Recording equipment always filters and misses some data before it ever reaches a storage device. An audio CD may be a downsampled version. A lossless format like FLAC can't help with that. Main reason to use FLAC is for editing. If all one means to do with the audio is listen, why not be intelligent about what to toss, and save a lot more space?

kidney failure in 4 year old from tap water (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46093229)

spontaneous kidney failure they call it. this time it was a dog. nothing to ponder there

in conjugation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46093411)

I think that's supposed to be 'in conjunction with'.

Re:in conjugation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46093485)

I think that's supposed to be 'in conjunction with'.

Language evolves. Don't be so pedantic.

Re:in conjugation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46093823)

Agr. Tbhk. FTW! Good see. Bw thk conjunction?

Re:in conjugation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46094721)

Moron, that was a typo that stupid spell check missed. Conjugation [merriam-webster.com] is a real word with a real meaning. Saying "Fred stole my stapler" when you really meant Mary rather than Fred isn't evolution, it's a brain fart.

Likewise, you morons who spell "lose" with two Os. Both lose and loose are verbs, with completely different meanings. If you write "loose" when you mean "lose" you completely changed the meaning of the sentence and didn't say what you thought you said. Same with confusing conjunction with conjugation. The GP wasn't being a pedant, he was clarifying a really confusingly meaningless sentence; "in conjugation with" is completely meaningless.

Next Step: Math Patents (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 3 months ago | (#46093469)

The most publicized PUBPAT success so far was, in conjugation with the ACLU, getting patents on naturally-occurring genes overturned.

Well, considering that math is naturally occurring, and in fact is pretty much the basis of all things in nature*, getting software patents thrown out altogether should be a trivial matter, right?

* I know, I know... please, no lectures.

you go eben (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46093497)

they're still whistling, albeit a slightly different tune..

Re:Next Step: Math Patents (1)

DickBreath (207180) | about 3 months ago | (#46094001)

Humans are naturally occurring.

Innovations and inventions from humans are naturally occurring. *

Do not allow patents on things that are naturally occurring.



* just try giving a kid a couple boxes of Mindstorms and sit back

Re:Next Step: Math Patents (1)

Wootery (1087023) | about 3 months ago | (#46096065)

Innovations and inventions from humans are naturally occurring. * * just try giving a kid a couple boxes of Mindstorms and sit back

Kids' ideas aren't really 'naturally occurring', in the normal sense of the term. Even if they were, that doesn't mean that all ideas are 'naturally occurring'.

One can argue that invention and discovery are ultimately equivalent, but it doesn't follow that we should abolish the patent system completely.

A bit of sanity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46093657)

Great ... the way it's going somebody is likely to patent air, or water, or all chemical compounds that contained carbon and a heap of other natural stuff that some clown thinks they can make a buck out of.

The Patent Office deserves all the aggravation it can get.

best website (0)

stevejf (2724307) | about 3 months ago | (#46093743)

thankfully PUBPAT won't have to defend itself against patent infringement for its website: any patents reading on this 1993-looking site have long since expired.

Re:best website (3, Informative)

Anrego (830717) | about 3 months ago | (#46094031)

I actually like their site.

It's refreshing to see a nice clean design that just presents the information you're probably there to see. It feels like the right amount of content. It's not a big wall f text, but it still lists what they are doing, latest news, and their main mission.

I find the lack of social media "like/share" buttons, tag clouds, annoying animation, and weird floating dealies gives it a professional feel.

"bad" patents (2, Insightful)

jmcvetta (153563) | about 3 months ago | (#46093813)

All patents are bad patents. The ownership of ideas is immoral. It is an affront to human dignity, and retards social & technological progress. We must work for the abolition of idea property just as our ancestors fought to abolish human property.

Re:"bad" patents (1)

DickBreath (207180) | about 3 months ago | (#46094061)

Don't allow patents on things that are naturally occurring.
Humans are naturally occurring.
Ideas from Humans are naturally occurring.

Re:"bad" patents (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46094309)

Idiot.

The realistic (as in, "this is what will happen") alternative to patents is trade secrets. Now, maybe some of those can be reverse engineered (until Congress passes a DMCA equivalent for them) but a patent encourages publication, and is only enforceable for a limited time. Trade secrets impede technological progress, patents don't (except where they're bogus).

Re:"bad" patents (2)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 3 months ago | (#46094453)

The realistic (as in, "this is what will happen") alternative to patents is trade secrets.

So currently there are no trade secrets?

If a company believes it can keep the invention secret for the time the patent protection lasts, and nobody will independently discover it during that time, then it will certainly not patent it. So the patent will in general only tell you what would have known anyway at the time when the patent ends.

Re:"bad" patents (2)

Anrego (830717) | about 3 months ago | (#46094503)

Where "limited time" is still quite large, and licensing is often well out of reach for the little and even medium sized guys, they may as well be trade secrets.

I think I'd prefer a world where if you can figure out how to do it, you can sell it. Maybe in the large scale stuff this would be terrible, but from where I am it would seem to open a lot of currently closed doors and allow a lot of innovation at the garage and small business level.

I do agree that simply abolishing all forms of IP protection is probably not a viable option, but some serious reform would seem in order.

Re:"bad" patents (2)

bzipitidoo (647217) | about 3 months ago | (#46097221)

simply abolishing all forms of IP protection is probably not a viable option

I think that abolishment is a viable option. Money can compensate people for revealing trade secrets. Don't have to give them a monopoly in order to give them money. The details of just how that should be done will need much hashing out, but it's doable, and being done by the likes of Kickstarter and Indiegogo, Monopoly protection on ideas has always been bad for innovation, and expensive, difficult, and problematical to enforce. It's only in recent times that this has become painfully obvious.

Someday, the exclamation "you stole my idea!" will sound utterly quaint and ridiculous, like accusing someone of using witchcraft to cause your cow or goat to sicken and die sounds today. Future generations will be glad that whatever else is good or bad about current times, they didn't live in the dark ages of intellectual property laws, when "making available" a mere 24 songs could trigger a witchhunt and a financial crucifixion.

Re: "bad" patents (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46110845)

This is utter shit. You offer the premise that ip laws can be totally extinguished with a nonsensical statement. Then discuss making cows sick with magic for no reason. The subsequently say that you should be able to copy music illegally without the artist receiving anything. You should feel bad, due to this post being bad.

Re: "bad" patents (1)

bzipitidoo (647217) | about 3 months ago | (#46111255)

It should be legal to copy music. Artists can be compensated, with money, in many other ways. Don't have to put tolls and restrictions on the copying of information, in order to fairly compensate artists.

Re:"bad" patents (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46094725)

I don't accept the premise, "Trade secrets impede technological progress". A lot of technology is developed in parallel, but the company that wins the race to the patent office can shut out the contributions of its competitors, even if the competitor has a superior approach. Yes, cross-licensing is possible, but it's not guaranteed to happen, and the legal wrangling that often precedes such agreements can slow the pace of progress substantially.

And I don't accept the premise, "Patents don't (except where they're bogus)". What are your sources? Where are the controlled studies supporting these contentions?

And why would "bogus" patents have the magical power to impede technological progress, which "non-bogus" patents are somehow magically denied? I find your distinction to be bogus.

Re: "bad" patents (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46110675)

Controlled studies. You're a moron. Like that is the only way to prove a statement. Also what you call impeding discussions surrounding licensing is called "negotiations" you fucktard, and frequently accompanies an exchange of funds.

Re: "bad" patents (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46110617)

You're a fucking idiot.

why a bad patent? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46094379)

There is a naturally occurring mutation X which is a cause of something bad, Y.
    Nobody knows what the sequence X is, but if they did it would be easy (obvious) to look for it and predict Y.
    Somebody works to discover the sequence of X and patents searching for it to predict Y.
The patent did not prevent others from making the gene X, so I'm not sure how they 'patented a gene'. (Patent, yes)

If the patent is invalid, then in the future, will there be resources to find the sequence for the next X?
    Considering how fast gene technologies are advancing, probably yes. (Patent, no)

The key novelty in the patent was in finding the naturally occurring sequence X.
      A process patent on a new chemical reaction is ok.
          It seems unlikely that there is any chemical reaction that has not existed in nature somewhere, sometime.
          So one could argue that inventing a new one is like claiming one that exists in nature. (Patent, yes)

If you believe that the gene sequence for X would have been (or actually was?) discovered anyway, then the patent did not 'advance a useful art', but rather retarded one. So in that sense, invalid seems the right outcome. (Patent, no)

Fortunately, the supreme court gets the last say and the final answer is no.

Re:why a bad patent? (1)

pepty (1976012) | about 3 months ago | (#46097395)

The patent did not prevent others from making the gene X, so I'm not sure how they 'patented a gene'.

Actually, the original patent did claim "making the gene X": a lot of the controversy was over whether creating an isolated gene or an isolated fragment of a gene qualifies as an invention. The court decided that isolated DNA does not qualify, but that cDNA (which has had at least one intervening sequence spliced out) does.

It seems unlikely that there is any chemical reaction that has not existed in nature somewhere, sometime..

Actually many of the conditions, catalysts, and chemicals used in chemical synthesis will never occur in nature, especially not at the purification levels necessary to get the reaction to run. On the other hand, there is evidence that cDNA created in the normal way from a naturally occurring gene (which is what most cDNA patents cover) has existed in nature due to recombination by viruses. Finding those naturally occurring cDNAs would be quite a fishing expedition though.

Re: why a bad patent? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46110723)

The best part about this is how long you spent on it and how little anyone will ever care about it.

Go PUBPAT!! (1, Redundant)

ZipXap (2773541) | about 3 months ago | (#46094965)

I give them a lot of credit to take on this challenge. The US Patent system has degenerated into a system by which the rich can pay to stifle the innovation of others and claim it as their own.

Re: Go PUBPAT!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46110755)

Yeah kudos to them for doing the obvious. You're an idiot. When every story about patents devolves into a bunch a boner-ridden programmers talking out of their ass about patent reform, how is this entity worth praise? They've been doing the same shit for a decade. Also, they are likely paid for this. I know how the exchange of money with LAWYERS makes you /. types skittish.

Flash player, Slashdot? Still? (1)

Wootery (1087023) | about 3 months ago | (#46096039)

And to watch this video, you'll be needing Flash, the shining example of why to be hesitant to depend on closed-source software.

Is the codec patent-encumbered, for additional irony? Can't tell, only the black-box knows.

Isn't it time for Slashdot's video-playing to get with the times?

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