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In Defense Of Patents and Copyright

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the just-a-little-bit-biased dept.

283

Romer!can writes "C|Net Editor Michael Kanellos offers a potentially contentious opinion piece about patents and copyright on the CNet site. Highlights of the fairly biased piece include: a cheap shot dismissing open source projects as existing only to act as a foil for Microsoft, blatantly equating copyright infringement with stealing, and an embarrassing failure to even casually mention the current term lengths of patents and copyrights as a driving factor behind popular dissatisfaction. Instead, he wades through obscure humor and emotional appeals characterizing patent trolls as the guy next door. 'Nearly every so-called [patent] troll turned out to have a somewhat persuasive story. Intellectual Ventures, a patent firm started by former Microsoft chief scientist Nathan Myhrvold, was staffed with fairly renowned scientists who didn't fit the profile of people trying to make a quick buck in court. Another man, criticized as one of the most litigious people in the U.S., had a great explanation for his behavior. He had only sued people who had signed--and then violated--nondisclosure agreements.'"

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283 comments

So...you liked the article? (-1, Redundant)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | more than 6 years ago | (#19073281)

Highlights of the fairly biased piece include: a cheap shot..., blatantly equating copyright infringement with stealing, and an embarrassing failure (blah, blah, blah)...


So...you liked the article?

Re:So...you liked the article? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19073469)

The patents and the copyrightes are in contra-defense of the Intellectual Properties of each one of the creators.

The unique difference is that they don't list the creators's Intellectual Properties doing a trap game.

inventor != owner != creator

Re:So...you liked the article? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19073647)

So, did I like the article? As a matter of fact: yes, I did.
I also like Monthy Python, but I wouldn't want to live in the world as they paint it.

I was especially, ehm, 'touched', by this sentence:

"Why all the frothy sentiment? Intellectual property provides one of the most dependable means toward wealth and independence in the world today."

As true as a labrador. But not healthy. Not healthy AT ALL.

So if it is a biased piece... (5, Insightful)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 6 years ago | (#19073293)

...why post it? I can find similar trolls with little or no effort too, but usually I'm here for a honest discussion. It is not like this article would be news in itself.

Re:So if it is a biased piece... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19073407)

Maybe he posted it just because he knows it is a topic of interest to a lot of people who read this site? Sure, it may make a lot of people angry, and Zonk's summary comments will make a lot of other people angry, and there will be some flame wars....but isn't that what slashdot is all about?

Well, ok, maybe not really, but it sure does seem to keep people busily coming back for more...

Re:So if it is a biased piece... (3, Insightful)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 6 years ago | (#19073831)

Well, ok, maybe not really, but it sure does seem to keep people busily coming back for more...
Sure but in the process has removed any credibility Slashdot may have had as a news site. Unless you have been reading Slashdot for a whileand can spot the immediate drivel many of the articles now appear to be nothing more than deliberately inaccurate headlines followed by leading questions followed by hysterical comments with most rational debate modded out by groupthink.

Re:So if it is a biased piece... (4, Insightful)

Hijacked Public (999535) | more than 6 years ago | (#19074095)

I have been here a long time, pre-karma anyway.

The place has always had drawbacks: spamming; crapflooding; Shoeboy; ACSII art; goatse links; Jon Katz; Michael Sims.

Most of the 'debate' is the same record being played over and over. This article so far is, and certianly will continue to be, no exception. No new ground will be broken and the comments will be nearly identical to what went up during the Napster debate. Despite the lameness filters and low karma post restrictions, Slashdot has far more actual trolling than it ever did when Adequacy crowd was here.

I am here now, subscribing, because there are a small minority of users who actually not only know their stuff but actively participate in fields that are relevant to many of the submissions that go up. There aren't many places one can go on the internet and have a discussion with an actual attorney who actually defends RIAA cases. Bruce Perens doesn't show up just anywhere and comment on FOSS issues. There was some article on here a few days ago about carbon nanotubes, and I don't know carbon nanotubes from cans of paint so I may have been getting hoodwinked, but there seemed to be people posting who actually had more than just cursory knowledge about the things.

Anyway, enough emo about Slashdot. I don't think it has or ever had much credibility as a serious news site but it certianly offers something unique. If you can sift through the massive amount of drivel it makes visiting worth the time.

Re:So if it is a biased piece... (2, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 6 years ago | (#19074265)

Sure but in the process has removed any credibility Slashdot may have had as a news site.

Slashdot is not a news site. Slashdot doesn't report the news, it reports that someone else has reported the news. Slashdot is a discussion site. It provides a place for the nerd elite and nerd wannabes to come together and discuss the stories which interest them most (firehose++, even if it does have many shortcomings and annoyances.)

In addition, you must ALWAYS check ALL news from ALL sources to see if it is a bunch of bullshit. Slashdot is not unique in this regard! Nor at least in the time I have been here has the quality of fact-checking declined noticeably. If anything has gone downhill since Slashdot was younger it's the SnR, which I would suggest is simply due to the staggering number of users. (Not that there's a million actives, as it sometimes appears.)

Re:So if it is a biased piece... (3, Insightful)

yurnotsoeviltwin (891389) | more than 6 years ago | (#19074313)

Yea, seriously. If you want biased, you can just read the summary. To be honest, it's an opinion piece, and the purpose of an opinion piece is to be biased, and seriously, can anything that makes any sort of conclusion on such a complex/subjective topic as this NOT be biased?

Re:So if it is a biased piece... (0, Offtopic)

the_womble (580291) | more than 6 years ago | (#19073451)

usually I'm here for a honest discussion.

You are talking about Slashdot


Half the articles are flamebait, and the discussions are a battle between mindless OSS fanboys and corporate astroturfers.

Certainly, there is a lot of good discussion, but the crap is nothing new.

Re:So if it is a biased piece... (1)

ResidntGeek (772730) | more than 6 years ago | (#19073677)

Isn't real data fun? I'm glad you like it too. If you'd like to actually convince anyone, post up a few links to flamebait articles and debates between mindless OSS fanboys and corporate astroturfers. I'll make you a deal: I'll post an article to counter each of your examples, with both of use using only articles posted in the past 24 hours (24 hours before now, 16:13 EST). 24 hours isn't too many articles, it'll only take a few minutes. Go ahead, see how many you can come up with.

Re:So if it is a biased piece... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19073851)

Here is mine [slashdot.org], now it is your go.

Re:So if it is a biased piece... (1, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 6 years ago | (#19073881)

Half the articles are flamebait, and the discussions are a battle between mindless OSS fanboys and corporate astroturfers.

So, which are you?

Re:So if it is a biased piece... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19074149)

Slashdot needs a +1 Pwnage moderation.

Re:So if it is a biased piece... (1, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 6 years ago | (#19073473)

If it is opposed to what you beleave then it is a troll.

Here is the mantra I have been hearing for a while. Free Speach for all who beleave in the same values as me. To the moderation dungion if you disagree. We only want stories telling how Patents and Copyrights are bad and evil. Explaining how they can be good makes the story bad.

Re:So if it is a biased piece... (4, Insightful)

Lockejaw (955650) | more than 6 years ago | (#19073619)

Your ideas don't make you a troll. The way you express them does.

This is not trolling:

I think patents, trademarks and copyrights are simply fantastic and a primary, necessary driver of the world economy.

This is:

And frankly, without them, most open-source projects would rapidly wither away: without an intellectual property behemoth like Microsoft to fight, what would be the point?

Re:So if it is a biased piece... (4, Insightful)

ajs (35943) | more than 6 years ago | (#19073737)

Yes, indeed! Please, do not feed the trolls. Do not click on the C|Net link, and if this really bothers, you just file it away in the back of your mind as another in the long list of reasons to never visit C|Net's site.

Re:So if it is a biased piece... (3, Insightful)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 6 years ago | (#19074341)

I was surprised to find that anyone with even half a clue read C|Net to begin with. I literally can't remember the last time I read an article there.

Re:So if it is a biased piece... (1)

superbus1929 (1069292) | more than 6 years ago | (#19073909)

Are you kidding? Of COURSE he's going to post it! Here on /., "pro copyright" equals "pro Microsoft", "Pro DRM" and "Anti-America". This is a perfect opportunity to have another foam-at-the-mouth fest at the expense of the RIAA, Microsoft, etc. It's probably the whole reason it's up at CNet anyway, just to get readers angry.

Re:So if it is a biased piece... (4, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 6 years ago | (#19074137)

I think it's more basic than that. Most of us (by which I mean myself, and everyone I project onto) is 'pro-fairness.' I am not against copyright. I use copyright on an almost daily basis to protect my own work. But I acknowledge that, when I use copyright, I am entering into a social contract. Society agrees to protect my temporary monopoly on my creations, in return for which I agree to:
  1. Make them available now at a reasonable price.
  2. Allow certain fair-use rights to everyone.
  3. Let them fall into the public domain eventually.
The 'pro-copyright' lobby has not been playing fair recently, by blocking fair use with DRM and blocking the public domain with copyright term extensions. Similarly, the 'anti-copyright' lobby hasn't been playing fair either, by simply refusing to respect copyright at all.

Re:So if it is a biased piece... (4, Insightful)

superbus1929 (1069292) | more than 6 years ago | (#19074355)

Sadly, perception is reality nowadays, and the perception is that anyone that owns a copyright is doing whatever they can to fuck their customers over any way they can with Draconian EULAs, the death of the public domain, DRM, dragnet litigation, you name it. That perception makes people overreact, and that brings in the other extreme. Now, we have two groups who want everything, no compromise, no exceptions, engaged in this massive pissing contest, and the only ones needing an umbrella are the moderates like us in the middle.

Re:So if it is a biased piece... (-1, Troll)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 6 years ago | (#19074307)

Why post it? So that Slashdot can take yet another anti-copyright position even as it trumpets the GPL philosophy, which relies on copyright. It doesn't matter if it's a double-standard as long as a bunch of morons can spew hot air in the comments section for a while.

Re:So if it is a biased piece... (1)

MoogMan (442253) | more than 6 years ago | (#19074559)

Ironically, the original article is about as biased as the slashdot story about the original article.

I heard a great quote not so long ago, that the story poster (and many other Slashdot readers) would do well to read:

"Every man should periodically be compelled to listen to opinions which are infuriating to him. To hear nothing but what is pleasing to one is to make a pillow of the mind" -- St John Ervine

First post! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19073299)

w00t

Article summary +5 flamebait (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19073329)

But hey, what do you expect?

Re:Article summary +5 flamebait (3, Insightful)

Suspended_Reality (927563) | more than 6 years ago | (#19073467)

Actually, I thought it was too lengthy of a summary. Doubt it was "fair use", and we all know paraphrasing is stealing, too. Sue the bastard!

Copyrighted Editorial (1, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#19073331)

Newsflash: corporate media execs will say anything to protect their monopolies on intellectual products. As a last resort they might produce an intellectually satisfying argument, but only once they've exhausted all the easy ways to keep their fat status quo.

(C) Doc Ruby. All Rights Reserved.

Re:Copyrighted Editorial (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19074443)

I love goofy anti-capitalist rhetoric on Slashdot. How you liking that computer you typed your post on? It was designed and produced through CAPITALISM. Go watch a Michael Moore film and jerk off to Canadian health care that requires you wait a week with a broken arm and leave the world-leading to the workaholic red-bloods here in the States. We're busy making the world in which you leech.

Re:Copyrighted Editorial (1)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 6 years ago | (#19074449)

>As a last resort they might produce an intellectually satisfying argument ...still waiting on that one; or are you saying they still have a few alternatives left?

        Copyright (c) RLiegh 2007.
        Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this post
        under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
        or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation;
        with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts.
        A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU
        Free Documentation License".

Treat it as a troll (5, Insightful)

rbrander (73222) | more than 6 years ago | (#19073341)

...it IS a troll. NOBODY who works for C-Net can possibly be ignorant of the rest of this story, or of the tempest in a teapot that a biased editorial is sure to stir up. Therefore, it is purposeful, intended to drive up traffic and replies.

If that's his goal, don't give him the satisfaction. Don't read it, don't comment, don't reply.

Which is not about "winning" some argument, it's just about not letting media people get paid for the almost mindlessly easy job of drumming up fake controversy. Same as ignoring all the cable TV and radio "shock jocks". Let them all work for a living, do some investigative reporting, find out some new facts (you know, "news"?) to fill up their sites with.

Not just, as Jon Stewart said about 'Crossfire', "theatre".

Re:Treat it as a troll (5, Insightful)

Uruk (4907) | more than 6 years ago | (#19073953)

This really applies to a whole class of media - the "any publicity is good publicity" crowd.

Think about it. If you come across a guy on a soapbox on the street corner, raving about how he communicates with purple unicorns in the 4th dimension, do you spend a lot of time refuting his arguments in a public forum?

No. Just let it go. Don't legitimize nuttiness by addressing it.

The old saying: "Never get in a fight with a pig. You'll get dirty, and the pig will enjoy it."

Re:Treat it as a troll (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19074125)

Don't read it


Isn't that a good reason to post it on Slashdot?

That's no troll (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19074131)

I found that C-Net is only anticipating a change in the political views when this article appeared. It's no different than watching how Amazon vs IBM turned into a crying match over patents, with IBM puting-down Amazon for no legaly-prevailing reason. Both could have easily proved their points, with the interested parties to decide the purpose and intent of their Patents, but instead it was a dog and pony show because there are some things about patent law that they don't want to reveal until the very end of societies willing to tolerate eachother's patents. Don't pat me down on that matter, but consider my petting the ideal outcome. It's pretense to war, when societies divide one from another. Entire countries have gone to war over patents; in the past it was over cotton fabrics, tavern beer, competition to established barristers, mint of money, the conduct of currencies, and the preservation of rites. The first deception on the intent of patents is to isolate counterfeit matters, when in fact there is no such thing as counterfeiting a thing until computers came along. Now patents are trying to establish their foot-hold on computer software because it is arguable if the data on one disk shares the same time and space continuum as that on another disk; it's the matter pressed (pat) of origin (ent) is the cause.

This [lastexitonly.com] will help you out on the matter.

Re:Treat it as a troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19074437)

The article is only a troll because of where it appears--eg., on Slashdot. As is normal behavior, the people who tend to read Slashdot are fond of surrounding themselves with others who think alike. The article is only given a derogatory label of "biased" because the author states an opinion that runs counter to most people reading here. As if the people reading Slashdot aren't themselves biased! LOL Any court in the country would treat copyright infringement like stealing. If Slashdot readers don't believe so, then they really do distinguish themselves as a bunch of goofballs. There. That's my "troll" for the day.

It never fails (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19073365)

The people arguing in favor of copyright/patent law, always belong to the richest .001% of world population. Some of us can't afford to buy every piece of software/media we want to consume.

You too can be a part of the .001%, like all of us (0)

NRAdude (166969) | more than 6 years ago | (#19073699)

without prejudice,
  M. Gregory Thomas(tm)

All software under copyright can be lawfully used for non-profit non-commercial purposes. Here is your tickette to the theatre. Enjoy the State actors, without prejudice [UCC 1-207].

Re:It never fails (1)

Canthros (5769) | more than 6 years ago | (#19073717)

Some of us can't afford to buy every piece of software/media we want to consume.
So ... don't? You're free not to 'consume' software or media you cannot afford, after all. It's not like you'll die for want of access to Die Hard XV: My God, Bruce Willis Is Getting Old, or Microsoft Windows XP .NET for Professionals. When did desire ever imply a right?

Re:It never fails (1)

KalgarThrax (984520) | more than 6 years ago | (#19073897)

When I heard on the radio that "my" roadways will be clogged with traffic and when someone aksed me whether I had gotten "my" IPod yet. I am fat, and I want to eat, and eat more until I eat the world.

Re:It never fails (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19073987)

You do live in a capitalism, right? You are aware that many parents can't afford a babysitter, so they are forced to resort to corporate indoctrination (we call it TV in the land of the almighty dollar)? This babysitter-that-is-television indoctrinates them, perhaps before they can walk, to be good consumers, to want nothing less than the immediate fullfillment of every desire they could have. Why, then, should it be a corporate right to indoctrinate consumers to want to consume, what they never can? Why should corporations be allowed to deprive us of fulfillment in our lives, hollow though that fulfillment may be?

When it stops being a corporate right to clog every free inch of the world with pollution and commercials, essentially consuming the world beyond their means, is (in my view) when it will stop being my right to consume beyond my economic means.

Re:It never fails (1)

Canthros (5769) | more than 6 years ago | (#19074283)

Criminy. This is the stupidest argument every time I hear it. I'm not even going to dignify it with a counter-argument. Grow up or get bent, hippie twit.

Re:It never fails (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19074019)

I think copyrights and patents (as a general thing; I'm not getting into whether or not any given copyright or patent law should be adjusted) are a good and useful thing. So, basically, I'm one of the 65,000 richest people in the world. Wow. Either that's a pretty poor 65k people, or my income bracket needs to be adjusted upwards significantly.

Re:It never fails (2)

starX (306011) | more than 6 years ago | (#19074085)

False.

I'm a far cry from the richest .001%, but I still feel that copyright and patent laws are a good thing. I think the term of copyright is egregiously long, and I hope that Sonny Bono is rotting in Hell and sucking the cock of a demon that looks like Mickey Mouse for all eternity for his part in the most recent copyright extension.

So called intellectual property does need protection in order to encourage invention and innovation, but after a point (20 years at most), that protection starts having a stifling effect.

Why isn't it persuasive? (3, Interesting)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 6 years ago | (#19073393)

Intellectual Ventures, a patent firm [and alleged patent troll] started by former Microsoft chief scientist Nathan Myhrvold, was staffed with fairly renowned scientists who didn't fit the profile of people trying to make a quick buck in court.

Why isn't that a persuasive argument? Isn't that kind of argument used all the time around here? Don't believe me? Have you ever heard:

"Drug companies don't deserve patents/as-lengthy-patents because they spend more on advertising than research."

They're both rank appeals to one's sympathy (or lack thereof) with the patent holder.

Re:Why isn't it persuasive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19073937)

You make a valid point, and few would argue with the notion that Slashdot has many spurious arguments.

However, with respect to the "Drug companies don't deserve patents/as-lengthy-patents because they spend more on advertising than research" argument... The argument can be framed as "They spend as much on marketing as saving lives, therefore they are bad people and don't deserve our money" which is a weak argument.

However one could also frame it as: "Ostensibly, patents are there to allow drug companies to recover their R&D costs. The subtext is that publicly funded research institutes could not achieve the same efficiency of research (in an economic sense) because they are not subject to market forces. Yet, drug companies are demonstrably inefficient inasmuch as they spend as much on marketing as R&D. Thus, if publicly funded research is even half as efficient as drug company research, then it is economically more efficient to fund research in that mode and stop giving out patents to drug companies."

Like I said, I'm not saying that every argument you hear on Slashdot is a gem... merely pointing out that many arguments have more substance to them that a one-sentence summary allows for.

Re:Why isn't it persuasive? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19074475)

It might also have something to do with the large government subsidies that they use to fund their research.

Is there a tag for corporate shill? (1)

Steauengeglase (512315) | more than 6 years ago | (#19073481)

Honestly, why is anyone even posting something from C/Net on Slashdot? They are just another lobbyist mouthpiece.

Open Soruce lol (0, Flamebait)

edizzles (1029108) | more than 6 years ago | (#19073489)

The fact that he thinks that what OS projects are tells me, that he is a MS hugging cave man who can bearly work his cell phone, let alone understand projects like linux, open office, and my person fav WINE. Moral of the story, dumb people are in the big chairs because the smart people are to busy being inovative.

Re:Open Soruce lol (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#19073581)

I doubt the man is stupid. Ignorant? misinformed? yes.

Re:Open Soruce lol (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 6 years ago | (#19074625)

Not understanding the real purpose behind Open Source and Public Domain software projects would indicate a seriously underdeveloped, perhaps even to the point of brain damage, sense of creativity.

Re:Open Soruce lol (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19073605)

Interesting that you mention "innovation", preceeded by open-source projects like Linux (UNIX rip-off), Open-office (MS-Office rip-off) and WINE (Windows API theft). If that's your definition of innovation, it's no wonder you're not a big fan of patents.

Re:Open Soruce lol (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19073705)

You're insulting cavemen... didn't you learn anything from the Geico Ads?

In Defense of Slashdot (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19073495)

Slashbot denizen, Group McThink offers a potentially contentious post about software, copyright and/or politics on the Slashdot site. Highlights of the fairly biased piece include: a cheap shot accusing Microsoft of attempting to foil open source projects, blatantly dismissing the fact that copyright infringement is stealing, and an embarrassing failure to even casually mention the current state of Linux on the desktop and it's failed adoption because of end-user dissatisfaction. Instead, he wades through obscure humor and emotional appeals characterizing lawful patent owners as the evil incarnate. Further, he blamed bush for something and then later posted some tired Monty Python joke that was instantly modded +5 funny.

In other news (1)

Rydia (556444) | more than 6 years ago | (#19073521)

In other news, Romer!can submits a fairly biased article summary which includes: a cheap shot dismissing one critique of the open source community, blatantly pretending that there is popular dissatisfaction behind copyright and patent term lengths, and an embarrassing failure to even casually mention the serious legal status of copyright infringement. Instead, he wades through obscure humor and emotional appeals, mocking the comparison of infringement to theft and characterizing anyone who disagrees with him as a wanker.

Re:In other news (3, Informative)

NewWorldDan (899800) | more than 6 years ago | (#19074011)

Well, on Slashdot (as well as much of CNet's target audiance) there is widespread dissatisfaction with the current copyright term length. I don't think there's so much dissatisfaction with patent term lenghts as there is just with bad patents. Most people, if asked about it and forced to think about it, would say that 95 years is far too long of a term for a copyright. Most people, on the other hand, don't think about it. They just accept it as the way it is. They also frequently engage in casual piracy of music, movies, and software.

Patents are a more complicated issue. For one thing, most people don't really have an opportunity to casually infringe patents. Current patent terms are not that far out of step with what might be considered a reasonable time frame. We see patented inventions pass into the public domain on a regular basis, whereas no copyrighted works have fallen into the public domain in my lifetime. The big problem with patents is that it is generally not obvious what is currently patented and what is not. Even after reading the abstract of a patent, I have no idea what it really covers. I have any number of suggestions for reforming patents, but they're really outside the scope of this post.

Re:In other news (1)

orclevegam (940336) | more than 6 years ago | (#19074075)

Ah, I see we have another wanker on here.</sarcasm>

Seriously, even though the guy has a biased summary, most of his points are fairly valid. Not that I'm saying this deserves to even be on slashdot of course. Frankly I have to agree with what most of the others have said, the guy is just trying to drive up traffic by posting a story espousing some very controversial opinions but without much meat to it.

FUCK YOU AMERICA! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19073525)

I'm 24 years old. I don't want to go through the next 50 years of my life living in an international air of worry and uncertainty. I don't want to live in a permanent state of fear, generated by a megalomaniacal American government taking advantage of the majority low IQ populous' capacity for being brainwashed.

I don't want to live like Israel, fighting militant Muslims round every corner. The problem of Muslim extremists exists and needs to be dealt with, not encouraged by invading innocent countries and waging war on people who have done nothing to deserve it. I want my children to grow up in a world free from military oppression and I want a government that understands that the wars of the future are guerrilla ones which can never be won, even if they are waged for noble purposes (which theirs never are).

The world is fu*cked up enough as it is. The food chain has been poisoned so badly the average human is full of chemicals normally found in plastics and toxic waste. I'm sick of global warning and environmental damage to the planet and the fact the all this time the greenies were right. I'm sick of America being the biggest wilful contributor to the pollution of the planet.

I'm sick of an American school system that produces children who are brought up to believe that America IS the world and anything that goes on outside is irrelevant. Children so stupid they think America invented the Internet, computer, motor car, light bulb, telephone etc ad infinitum....

The Internet or it's successor is the future of entertainment and I'm sick of stupid low IQ, ignorant Americans infecting every corner of it with their insular, jingoistic mindsets, their whiny voices and manifestations of their low self esteem driven by the fact that despite it being their turn as the world's super power, no one actually takes them seriously or gives them the respect that the British or the Ancient Greeks got because a superpower best known for producing mass produced crap is never going to get the respect that one who gave the world Shakespeare, culture, philosophy or mathematics will get.

I'm sick of hypocrisy and two facedness. I'm sick of Gangsta Rap and hamburgers, Political Correctness and TV programmes that begin with 'When' and end in 'go bad and attack people'. I'm sick of reality TV and I'm sick of news programmes that are more censored than accurate. I'm sick of tokens, token minorities, token universities, token degrees, token attempts at the truth, tokens. I'm sick of fat people, ugly people, stupid people, gay people, coloured people, female people, whiny people all complaining they don't have the opportunities in life they would like and it must be someone else's fault. I'm sick of women that act like men and femininity being a crime, unless you're a man in which case you're a new man which nobody ever wanted because there was nothing wrong with the old one. I'm sick of people falling over and suing the ground and people watching nipples and suing the TV and I'm sick of coffee cups with 'don't pour over yourself, you may get burnt' on the side to try and counter this.

I'm sick of stupid Americans who don't know the difference between patriotism and jingoism and who think flag waving should be an Olympic event. I'm sick of Americans who cry that people hate them or are jealous of them or who are anti them because someone dares to point out that the America they've been programmed to believe in from birth bears no relation to the one that exists in real life.

Re:FUCK YOU AMERICA! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19073955)

Everyone knows Al Gore invented the internet.

Re:FUCK YOU AMERICA! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19074057)

"Children so stupid they think America invented the Internet, computer, motor car, light bulb, telephone etc ad infinitum...."

Internet: Developed by the US Department of Defense

Motor Car: Karl Friedrich Benz, Germany, co-founder of what would later be Mercedes-Benz - modern factory-process manufacturing of said automobile: Henry Ford, American

Light Bulb: Thomas Edision, American. Prior to that there were electric lights, but not light bulbs.

Telephone: Elisha Gray and Alexander Graham Bell, Americans both.

Go back to school, fucko.

Comparing 95 year Copyright with Open Source (4, Interesting)

GodWasAnAlien (206300) | more than 6 years ago | (#19073613)

In 2095, Windows 2000 binaries enter the public domain. The source, was never published and died on some overwritten/corrupted backup media long before.

Would the binaries be useful at all?
If not, the the copyright duration is effectively infinite.

Now compare the Public domain Windows 2000 of 2095 with ReactOS or Linux in 2095. which is more useful?

But you don't need to wait 95 years to see this result.

How many years of development do you think it takes for ReactOS to surpass Windows2000?

How many years of development does it take for Linux to Surpass an abandoned UNIX, like IRIX?

If for some reason, you wanted to create a DOS system, would you use MSDOS 6, or FreeDOS?

Oh boy (1, Insightful)

SpiffyMarc (590301) | more than 6 years ago | (#19073615)

Here come the "it's not stealing" crowd.

"Waah, you spent hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars on something and I want to see it, but I don't want you to get a dime for it! I need justification! Oh wait, here we go, IT'S NOT THEFT CAUSE I MADE A DIGITAL COPY OF IT!"

All you whiners who hate on "Old Media" and want everything completely free should hang out on YouTube and exclusively watch all the video blogs and clips of people running into each other with shopping carts. Because if you're successful in killing Old Media, that's all you'll have! Sorry guys. It may not require tens of millions of dollars to produce gobs and gobs of high quality video entertainment with mass appeal, but it does take more then a couple dudes with a camcorder and six bucks.

That is NOT IT (1, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#19073645)

Yes, it is a crime, but that crime is NOT THEFT.

There is a distinction for a reason. I suggest you might study the history of copyright, you fucking dumb ass.

Old Media monopoly again (3, Insightful)

openright (968536) | more than 6 years ago | (#19073803)

Historically, what happened when the publishing monopoly of the Stationers was killed, 300 years ago (decreasing the monopoly duration from infinity to 14 years)? Did people stop writing books?
 

Re:Old Media monopoly again (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19074325)

The "monopoly" simply shifted from one set of hands to another. There was still protection for people involved in the production of books, so it was still possible to sell a book.

If you want to look at a world without patent and copyright, look to the Middle Ages. Without general protection of "intellectual property," small groups of professionals (craft guilds) jealously guarded their trade secrets, contracturally binding their members not to disseminate the information. To ask a counter-question, then, when do we see more technological progress: over the past two or three centuries, when patent and copyright make it viable to invest in developing new ideas without worrying that someone will copy your ideas and undercut your investment, or during the several centuries before that?

Re:Oh boy (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19073857)

IT'S NOT THEFT CAUSE I MADE A DIGITAL COPY OF IT!"

Can you provide any evidence based on legal facts to refute that statement? Nope. Because no matter what you want to believe, it's *still* not theft. It just isn't.

Re:Oh boy (1)

mmurphy000 (556983) | more than 6 years ago | (#19073931)

Mike Masnick [techdirt.com] covers all this quite nicely in his attempt to explain how Old Media "should encourage people to get their content for free". Old Media does not have to die at the hands of the "whiners", as you eloquently put it, though some may choose (business) suicide rather than change. To quote from Mr. Masnick's summary:

It's not about defending unauthorized downloads. It's not even about getting rid of copyright -- just recognizing that copyright holders can actually be better off ignoring their own copyrights. It's very much about showing the key trends that are impacting all infinite goods -- and pointing out a clear path to benefiting from it (while making life more difficult on those who refuse to give up their old business models).

Re:Oh boy (1, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | more than 6 years ago | (#19074061)

"Oh wait, here we go, IT'S NOT THEFT CAUSE I MADE A DIGITAL COPY OF IT!"

Well DUH! Its not theft.

They made a 'digital copy of it': that means:

its not assault
its not loitering
its not shoplifting
its not election fraud
its not running a red light
its not coveting your neighbors ox ...
oh and its NOT THEFT.

It is however... "copyright infringement".

So how about we just call it THAT, mkay? Call it what it is.

Calling it theft is inaccurate and just confuses the issue.

Re:Oh boy (1)

Chosen Reject (842143) | more than 6 years ago | (#19074177)

I used to feel the same as you do. But the reality is that they are different crimes. Notice how they are both crimes, they are both illegal, but they are still different. I'm saying this without feeling any need to justify my illegal habits, because I have none. It's more of a pedantry. It's similar to drunk drivers. I don't drink, even socially, I hate drunk drivers, and I especially hate when they cause the loss of life, however, when they do, it isn't called murder, but manslaughter. You could argue that both of them take a life, but that's not the point, they are different. You could also argue that theft and copyright infringement have an effect on a copyright holders income, but they still aren't the same crime. Just like shoplifting isn't embezzlement, but they are still crimes that deal with taking what is not lawfully yours.

However, I can understand why you might be upset. Some people do use the difference as justification. There could be lots of reasons why someone views one as reprehensible and the other as acceptable, and thus feel justified in making that distinction, but that doesn't negate the distinction. There is still a difference. Accept that, recognize that some people are idiots, some people are pedants, and try to figure out which ones are which.

Re:Oh boy (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 6 years ago | (#19074289)

Sorry guys. It may not require tens of millions of dollars to produce gobs and gobs of high quality video entertainment with mass appeal, but it does take more then a couple dudes with a camcorder and six bucks.


Admittedly not a lot more. After all quality improvement is exponentially function of current investment.

Re:Oh boy (5, Funny)

Lithdren (605362) | more than 6 years ago | (#19074557)

It may not require tens of millions of dollars to produce gobs and gobs of high quality video entertainment with mass appeal, but it does take more then a couple dudes with a camcorder and six bucks.


Clearly, you dont watch much p0rn.

Amusing progression... (4, Insightful)

kebes (861706) | more than 6 years ago | (#19073761)

From TTA (the trolling article):

In the Dark Ages, one could obtain wealth by raising an army and burning someone else's kingdom to the ground. In the Gilded Age, those on the fast track had a secret weapon of success: they bribed state legislators to obtain canal and railroad contracts. Unfortunately, those career options just aren't as viable as they once were. Instead, we have to invent stuff, and thus people should get compensated for the effort.
It's positively hilarious that he structures the argument in this way. First he presents two methods that were historically used to obtain money. These methodologies are based upon using illicit means to gather power, and then turn this into a monopoly (in the first case, the power is military and the monopoly is the conquered land; in the second case the power is bribes and the monopoly is, well, a monopoly). The subtext is that these are "bad" ways to make a buck.

Then the author immediately describes current "intellectual property." However the current state of "intellectual property" is more of the same: one uses some means (money, lobbying, market domination, bribes, etc.) to persuade the government to create laws that protect your monopoly. Of course instead of concluding that this current incarnation of monopoly-power is just as bad as the previous ones, he goes on to defend it. The analogy with the previous examples is so close that it almost makes me think the entire article is a gigantic joke.

Does the author honestly not see the parallel? At one time, wars and railroad monopolies were certainly considered legitimate business. In 100 years, will our era be looked upon as a similarly barbaric time, where, ridiculously, the citizens were oppressed in the name of profits for a select few elite?

It's easy to win an argument (2, Informative)

hey! (33014) | more than 6 years ago | (#19073775)

when you get to invent the position of your opponents. It gets easier if all you have to do is to dream up some anecdotes about people who were emotional about the issue (especially if you don't bother to recount any reasons they may have to feel that way).

Honestly, how many people think there should be no copyrights? Very, very few. I don't dismiss the opinions of those people just because they are a tiny minority, of course, but it is really dishonest to imply that everybody who has a problem with the current copyright system is against all copyrights.

Very few people are entirely against patents either, although quite a few people are against certain categories of patents, which implies at least some more nuanced thought than the emotional rejectionism painted by the author.

The broad consensus among people who create intellectual property for their daily bread is that the system is badly managed and is being extended beyond its reasonable and proper boundaries. The net result is that it is not a "sure path to wealth", but a threat that undermines their ability to earn a living.

That would make anybody "emotional".

Patent benefits (4, Interesting)

debrain (29228) | more than 6 years ago | (#19073793)

Make no mistake, the Chinese are famous for having invented many of the greatest inventions in history. Problem is, they often did it multiple times, independently. In the Western universe, I seem to recall that intellectual property was kept as trade secrets, to the exclusion of the public and similarly lost to antiquity.

The reason for the prior (retention) is often equated to their lack of proprietary interest in intellectual property, and the reason for the latter (publicity) is adjoined by the consequences of divulging your technological advantages. While the incentive exists to invent gunpowder (for its usefulness), the incentive and mechanism to publicly retain a collective body of knowledge for such inventions in Chinese society did not exist. Thus, I believe the secret to gunpowder was lost to the Chinese on more than one occasion, only to be re-invented later. (Or perhaps that wasn't gunpowder, but some other set of inventions).

Patents help alleviate this loss of intellectual achievements to both antiquity and secrecy. However, in our society they have gone to an extreme, whereby we can rightly complain that they stifle innovation, undermine competition, and they may even be unnecessary in light of modern mechanisms for keeping tabs on new IP, notably the internet, and public collaborative projects like open source.

Nonetheless, patents are predictable, and having arisen out of hundreds of years of jurisprudence over the need to retain and publicize useful inventions. They appear to be econommically over-bearing nowadays, and may even be superfluous in light of modern technology for retention and dissemination of intellectual property (i.e. the internet), but they are integrated into our economy in ways that make it superbly difficult (not to mention prohibitively expensive, as in the USA the government may have to compensate patent holders by weakening their rights) to completely do away with the system. They also still serve the purpose for which they were intended, publishing and retaining useful innovations, but they have side effects which now make us question their value.

While we can and should criticize the patent system for its failures, we should also bear in mind the consequences of going too far in the opposite direction. Too few discussions of patent reform have an intelligent, informed and balanced basis in the purpose and benefits of the current patent system, with suggestions for either balanced reform across all arenas where patent law is applied (drugs, software, hardware, automobiles, etc.), or any sound alternative that is not subject to the same criticisms that are inherent to what we have now.

(That being said, I think the idea of patenting software strikes me as wholly inappropriate, the problems of publicity and retention long having been solved by the internet and open source projects, and the value software patents provide to the public is virtually nil in almost every way.)

Re:Patent benefits (1)

kebes (861706) | more than 6 years ago | (#19074309)

Your idea that cultures without notions of IP were less successful at amassing and publicizing new ideas is quite intriguing. It is something that certainly bears further investigation. Indeed one of the original intents of patents was to encourage public disclosure of implementation details, the fear being that otherwise every invention would involve many trade secrets and purposeful internal obfuscation or anti-tampering measures.

However I also wonder, in the examples you gave, whether other factors like distances and speed of communication played an equally large role. Societies that are denser and more interconnected, in terms of communication, can more rapidly disperse knowledge. Such dispersal/replication of knowledge is catalytic and causes the information to spread more rapidly.

They also still serve the purpose for which they were intended, publishing and retaining useful innovations
On this point, I must question to what extents such arguments still apply. Even if, historically, IP laws were indeed successful in encouraging disclosure and dissemination of information (and thereby promoting progress), I wonder whether they still achieve that end. For instance, modern patents frequently do not disclose critical implementation details (or, worse, no actual implementation yet exists), and software binaries are copyrighted, even though the source is not published. Similarly copyrighted works do not enter the public domain in a timely manner, preventing that information from being fully used by society at large. Thus government protections are being issued to encourage disclosure of information, but the actual disclosure is nowhere to be seen.

Given that, and given the massive interconnectedness of our modern world, I suspect that the equilibrium position for useful IP laws does not lie where it once did. More importantly, I believe our modern laws have strayed far from the optimal position.

How open source survives (1)

micah_hainline (1022705) | more than 6 years ago | (#19073813)

I think patents, trademarks and copyrights are simply fantastic [...] and frankly, without them, most open-source projects would rapidly wither away: without an intellectual property behemoth like Microsoft to fight, what would be the point?
The point would remain, as it always has been, to create software that is useful to us. The idea has never been to "fight" Microsoft. The utility of software that is open to inspection and customization is simply higher than similar software that cannot be examined for security vulnerabilities, and is only as customizable as the original author thought to make it. Free is also a benefit. In the workplace, it is much easier to take a piece of software that is free in all respects and begin to use it than it is to fill out requisition forms, attend budget meetings, and finally have your request for that small proprietary tool approved. The only reason any open source software project continues is that the people involved find the software useful enough to contribute to.

Perspective and individual details are important (4, Insightful)

The Empiricist (854346) | more than 6 years ago | (#19073823)

There is a lot of talk about getting rid of patent trolls, but little consensus as to what a patent troll is. Very few companies will say "yes: we're patent trolls." At best, they're willing to tolerate being called patent trolls [com.com].

What makes a patent troll? Does a company that develops a new technology but licenses it because it does not have the capital or market position to exploit the technology count as a patent troll? What about IBM? They produce products, but they license their patents [ibm.com] for use by others in products that don't compete with IBM's products. Does that make IBM a patent troll? Would they have to be making competing products to be on morally solid ground?

There are definitely companies out that abuse the patent system (e.g., by filing continuation applications or requests for reexamination during which the applicants try to stretch the claims of their patents to read on subsequent innovations). But this author has a point that distinguishing the bad guys from the good guys is not easy. Many companies out there see themselves as just legitimately trying to leverage their full rights. Is that significantly different from consumers trying to maximize their rights as consumers by engaging in activities that aren't clearly legal (e.g., using direct music and movie clips for new works without seeking permission, creating libraries of MP3s and copying them to multiple systems, etc.).

Activities that push the limits of the law create risk. Patent applicants pay significant fees and must spend a lot of time in their efforts, resulting in a guaranteed loss. Certain uses of a patent can raise anti-trust concerns or result in loss of the patent. Consumers pushing the boundaries of "fair use" often play a lottery in which the winner loses a nasty law suit. And there is always the risk that Congress or the courts may react by changing the law or interpretation of the law to minimize questionable activities.

But those who are engaged in those activities probably believe that all they are doing is playing by a valid interpretation of the rules.

so.. (1)

Ogive17 (691899) | more than 6 years ago | (#19073913)

A completely biased summary trying to describe a biased article... makes for good reading... ???

After reading that "summary" I assumed it was a submitted blog. I can't believe garbage like that makes it on to the front page.

hey, he believes in hydrogen powered vehicles too (1)

Locutus (9039) | more than 6 years ago | (#19073915)

so it's obvious he's not really up on science very much and therefore, is more like a salesmen who writes articles.

LoB

Obviously NOT a creative brain type (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 6 years ago | (#19073917)

And frankly, without them, most open-source projects would rapidly wither away: without an intellectual property behemoth like Microsoft to fight, what would be the point?

The point would be to get the nightmares out of my head, you idiot! Fighting Microsoft or even earning money is a distant motivator in comparison to actually fixing something that needs fixing and that I know how to do.

Copied, Not Stolen (1)

TheLazySci-FiAuthor (1089561) | more than 6 years ago | (#19073929)

I was thinking about copyrights the other day and how "stealing" is not the right word. When a car is stolen, it is not there anymore, when money is stolen is cannot be accessed anymore.

But when a file is "stolen" it is not taken away from the owner. It remains. How could a car be stolen if it's still in your driveway?

So I tried very hard to imagine a way that something could be stolen, while still leaving the original item intact and I realized that genes might be a good example.

For instance, let's imagine that someone copies your genetic pattern and clones another you. Sure, he's not you - has different memories and such - but still, isn't that YOUR dna?

What if he is used for medical experiments - wouldn't you feel more strongly about him than just a random person because he has "your" genes?

Just a thought experiment.

I am wholeheartedly opposed to DRM and in fact the current state of copyrights. Still, I find it useful to determine strong arguments for any opposing view.

After all, in my opinion any scientifically-minded and reasoning person's greatest joy should be derived from being proven wrong.

Doubt is the beginning, not the end, of wisdom.

Re:Copied, Not Stolen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19074215)

"Wisdom begins in wonder."
  - Socrates

There is no defense. (4, Insightful)

Concern (819622) | more than 6 years ago | (#19073933)

You don't even have any choice as to whether or not to ignore software patents. There are hundreds of thousands of them. Then there are several thousand new applications a day. I'll give you a hint. It's impossible.

That's why Microsoft ignores software patents. Even they, the richest company on the planet, have no alternative. And that's also why they're getting hit with a few 9-figure verdicts already. But they still play the game and pretend they're legitimate, because they somehow think they'll benefit, in the end, using them to crush current and potential competition with multi-million legal actions and the threat thereof.

It is impossible to tell if any piece of code infringes. By the way, have you read many of these things? Almost every line of code does infringe.

Every line written is a ticking patent timebomb. Every player has to ante up and make their own "patent portfolio" which they can then apply against whoever sues them. If that sounds like it excludes everyone but a few rich, dominant corporations... now you're getting the idea. Only minor fly in the ointment: those patent shell companies that actually don't do any work except suing people, therefore can't be hit with a retaliatory claim. Ooops. And yet even after getting whacked by a few, MS is still winking and continuing to play the game. Shows you how much they hate honest competition.

Software Patents are currently ignored by almost everyone. But to the extent they are enforced, they will categorically end the American software industry, and software will continue to be a business in Europe, Asia, and... well basically every other civilized nation, who have soundly rejected this silly game and are by the way laughing their asses off at us.

Translation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19073965)

I Michael Kanellos am a rare species of toad. Abandoned by my parents at an early age, I was fortunate to be adopted by a family of bovidae. It was during these formative years grazing with my adopted family that I became intimately familiar with bullshit. Bullshit provides one of the most dependable means toward wealth and independence in the world today. In the dark ages, nobody much cared for opinion pieces that reeked of bovine excrement, thanks to intellectual property that has changed. Real progress means restricting ideas and information, just like they did in the dark ages. Err...

I believe in copyright so please print and distribute this article.

Hello? (1)

gillbates (106458) | more than 6 years ago | (#19073975)

And frankly, without them, most open-source projects would rapidly wither away: without an intellectual property behemoth like Microsoft to fight, what would be the point?

Maybe to produce truly good software, rather than just lie about doing so in your marketing, perhaps? The author seems not to understand that some people create things for the sheer beauty of it; more often than not, OS projects have nothing to do with Microsoft; in fact, if OS was out to "get Microsoft", it is doing a pretty poor job considering the level of skill which goes into most OS projects. If we wanted to "get Microsoft" we wouldn't be licensing our code with the GPL; instead, we'd use a restrictive license which would prevent someone from compiling the code on a Microsoft platform, or not supply the code at all.

While some open source contributors do have an anti-Microsoft bent, most open source projects go beyond mere competition with Microsoft. In fact, the roots of open source were growing before Microsoft was even a company; Richard Stallman was doing it in the sixties at the MIT AI lab. It wasn't called open source until someone needed a term to differentiate those who felt software should benefit everyone from those who believed only the priveledged few (i.e., rich) should be able to benefit.

I'm not against copyrights and patents, per se, though I do realize that the system has been, and continues to be abused by corporations. Those who create works should share in their successes and from their labor be able to earn a decent living. The problem is that while a reasonable person would overlook the occasional sharing of IP among friends, a corporation would not; nor would a corporation feel any pity for those who would use their software if they could afford it.

Perhaps things would be better if it were illegal for corporations to possess intellectual property. Or perhaps fair use should be extended to any purpose for which there is no commercial gain.

But creating and propping up an artificial property right is not the answer. It is just the closest thing we have at the moment.

Who cares about the patent angle? (0, Offtopic)

NearlyHeadless (110901) | more than 6 years ago | (#19073981)

Ocean Tomo, a Chicago-based company that holds auctions for patents, copyrights and other intellectual property, will put a gem on the block in its next auction taking place in London on June 1: film footage of the Rolling Stones guitarist getting electrocuted during a U.S. concert in 1965.
Keith Richards was executed back in 1965! This explains so much. He looks really good for someone who's been dead for over 40 years.

Foil (1)

telso (924323) | more than 6 years ago | (#19074089)

a cheap shot dismissing open source projects as existing only to act as a foil for Microsoft
If open source projects acting as a foil [wikipedia.org] for Microsoft causes them to emphasize the traits of Microsoft by contrast, that seems fine to me. Or maybe he meant a comic foil [wikipedia.org]; compared to open source projects, Microsoft certainly looks funny.

Help me with my conflict (2, Insightful)

bmajik (96670) | more than 6 years ago | (#19074091)

On one hand, the current legal environment around intellectual property is broken. Everytime you read something by RMS and think "this guy is a crack pot", 6 months later something happens that is uncomfortably moving us toward some of his dystopian predictions (i.e. "Freedom to Read").

OTOH, the key innovation in the liberal western revolution (liberal in the Adam Smith sense of the word) has been the ability, due to lax legal and societal restrictions, of the individual to use their ingenuity to better their condition.

Said differently, absolutely all of the progress of society in the last 300 years comes not from the owners, or from the workers, or such strange Marxist notions, but from the ideas and ability to make good on them.

The progress of humanity western society is based in the ability of the individual to profit from their own intellectual labor - not their lower back strength.

So how does one resolve this apparent conflict? It is man's mind, not his back, which creates wealth, progress, and an easier life. Yet the current implementation of intellectual property laws is broken, causing many to question even the valididty of intellectual property as a concept?

I'm familiar with Jefferson's quote, but i don't think it can credibly used as an argument for dismissing the concept of intellectual property entirely.

So what does a world look like where people are still compensated for the labor of their mind but which has a rational / sane legal framework around that compensation?

You're expecting intellectual integrity from (1)

Master of Transhuman (597628) | more than 6 years ago | (#19074153)

a patent troll?

That's like expecting it from a Zionist - or a Republican - or a Democrat - or...well, just about any human.

In the beginning... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19074169)

"... and an embarrassing failure to even casually mention the current term lengths of patents and copyrights as a driving factor behind popular dissatisfaction."

I'm going to ask another one of these "unpopular" [slashdot.org] questions that slashdot doesn't like. How many illegal copyright violations are within the 14 years that the original [asu.edu] copyright stated?

Re:In the beginning... (1)

Macadamizer (194404) | more than 6 years ago | (#19074327)

I'm going to ask another one of these "unpopular" questions that slashdot doesn't like. How many illegal copyright violations are within the 14 years that the original copyright stated?

Mod Parent Up.

Re:In the beginning... (1)

Elvis Parsley (939954) | more than 6 years ago | (#19074469)

A good question. I imagine that copyright violation in relation to most media is likely to happen when a game/book/movie/TV show is new and most popular, and therefore a more attractive target for piracy. Certainly, when Hollywood complains about piracy, they're usually talking about the latest Big Summer Movie, not Casablanca. And I know that Lord of the Rings (the books, not the movies) was released in an unauthorized edition in the US well within 14 years of original publication.

Re:In the beginning... (1)

Macadamizer (194404) | more than 6 years ago | (#19074603)

And that's the point. Slashdot posters compain about copyright because the term is far too long -- and then use that as an excuse to download and copy stuff that hit the stores last week, or in some case, hasn't appeared in theaters yet. In other words, for these folks, the only rational copyright term is "zero" -- but so long as the copyright term seems really, really, long, it's a good excuse as to why we can feel free to ignore copyright, because, you know, its the corporations that are misuing copyright.

You all can ignore this "article" (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 6 years ago | (#19074173)

He was talking to me. But I won't dignify him with a response...maybe a raspberry, but I'll leave it that.

off-topic: GIANTslashdot ad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19074197)

I know this is off-topic, but is anyone else seeing the GIGANTIC flash ad that is covering the first story on the front page?

a meandering editorial (2, Informative)

spirit_fingers (777604) | more than 6 years ago | (#19074285)

Kanellos' piece was not particularly well thought out, and frankly it's not worth getting too worked up over it. He begins by defending the very notion of patents and copyrights themselves. Fine. Almost everyone would agree that SOME kind of intellectual property protection is necessary and just. But then he suddenly launches into a defence of so-called "patent trolls", and claims that "almost every one" he talked to had a persuasive story, and then preceeds to cough up a few anecdotes in support of his defense.

First of all, "almost everyone" isn't "everyone". I'd like to hear about those that didn't have a persuasive story too. And there's no way we can tell from this piece if his sampling of the "trolls" is in any way characteristic of the group as a whole or if his selection was pre-sorted by political or economic bias. The article contributes nothing to the public debate on this issue and therefore deserves to be dismissed with dignified scorn.

It's funny... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19074429)

He contrasts wealth acquisition in the Dark Ages against what is available today as if there was no "intellectual property" during the Dark Ages.

From everything I've read, the general explanation for the explosive advancement in the sciences during the Age of Enlightenment was the acknowledgement by scientists that discoveries belonged to mankind and should be shared so that work can be done advancing progress rather than duplicating effort. I believe that is why there are restrictions on what can and cannot be patented and why there are time limits.

Prior to the Age of Enlightment, discoveries that promised a competitive advantage were used as "property" which hindered innovation and progress.

Contentious eh? (1)

hellfire (86129) | more than 6 years ago | (#19074643)

"C|Net Editor Michael Kanellos offers a potentially contentious opinion piece about patents and copyright on the CNet site.

So we just had to post it on Slashdot in order to get an assload of new hits.
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