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Lawyer Puts $10k Bounty on Blogger's Identity

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the turn-yourself-in-for-ten-grand dept.

The Internet 286

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "Raymond Niro of Niro Scavone Haller & Niro is fighting back against criticism from the Patent Troll Tracker blog by offering a $10,000 bounty for the identity of the person behind it. He thinks the blogger might work for Microsoft, Intel, or has connections to a 'serial infringer' and that could 'color' what they say."

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286 comments

Oota Goota, Troll Tracker? (4, Funny)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 6 years ago | (#22214846)

This reminds me of the time Richard Stallman offered a half eaten french fry and all the change he could find in all the couches of MIT's student commons area for the identity of an Anonymous Coward on Slashdot that called him a "tree hugging bearded hippie."

Re:Oota Goota, Troll Tracker? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22215446)

I'm Troll Tracker!

Re:Oota Goota, Troll Tracker? (2, Informative)

Fallen Seraph (808728) | more than 6 years ago | (#22215694)

No I'm Troll Tracker!

Re:Oota Goota, Troll Tracker? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22215770)

No I watched Southpark.

No jokes about cereal infringers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22215492)

Dammit, they took out the joke link to the case of the counterfeit corn flakes :-(

Re:Oota Goota, Troll Tracker? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22215932)

This reminds me of the time Richard Stallman offered a half eaten french fry and all the change he could find in all the couches of MIT's student commons area for the identity of an Anonymous Coward on Slashdot that called him a "tree hugging bearded hippie."
I do not have a beard.

Hmm (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22214852)

Well we at least know it's not a nigger. Niggers aren't smart enough to write patents, unless it's a new crack/fried chicken recipe.

Reality check (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22215144)

African Americans invented the gas mask, the traffic signal, the street mailbox, control unit for heart pacemakers, the carbon filament for Edison's first lightbulb, peanut butter and potato chips. Oh, and to be computer-related, an African-American at IBM led the design teams for the ISA bus and the first 1 GHz CPU.

Also blood banks ... (0, Offtopic)

trolltalk.com (1108067) | more than 6 years ago | (#22215258)

http://www.nndb.com/people/391/000032295/ [nndb.com]

Charles Drew was a medical doctor and surgeon remembered as the inventor of the blood bank. He also established, and was the first director of, the blood bank of the American Red Cross. Although of African-American heritage in an age of rampant racial discrimination, Drew managed to achieve an extremely high level of education (BA from Amherst in 1926, MD and Master of Surgery from McGill University in Montreal 1933, and a Doctor of Science in Medicine from Columbia University in 1940) and to become a well-respected surgeon and professor.

...

Ironically, when Drew himself was critically injured in a car accident in 1950 he was refused admittance to the closest hospital because of his race. By the time he arrived at the more distant hospital for blacks he had lost so much blood that a transfusion was of no avail.

Re:Also blood banks ... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22215414)

You watch too much M*A*S*H

urban legend (1)

joggle (594025) | more than 6 years ago | (#22215688)

According to his wikipedia article [wikipedia.org] and its references that is an urban legend. A blood transfusion actually would have worsened his problems because he had numerous internal injuries.

What did likely kill him was the lack of sleep he had due to his profession (causing him to fall asleep at the wheel). Unfortunately that's still a problem for doctors and interns to this day. I have a friend who is a doctor and he works over 80 hours every week (at Duke, the hospital they would have ideally had gone to if it wasn't 30 miles away from the crash site).

Re:Also blood banks ... (2, Informative)

conlaw (983784) | more than 6 years ago | (#22215754)

This story about Dr. Drew's death is an urban legend. A biography of him, Charles Richard Drew : the man and the myth by Charles E. Wynes, sets forth what really happened:

Dr. Drew suffered fatal injuries in the wreck. Despite the immediate attentions of the three other physicians who were with him (two of whom were substantially uninjured), and prompt attention at a nearby mixed-race (segregated) hospital, where he was attended by three other physicians, one of whom was the co-owner of the hospital, Dr. Drew died from the massive injuries. Included in the treatment was the administration of "at least one blood transfusion" - the hospital stocked both whole blood and plasma.

...

But the story lives on. A McGill University publication, the _McGill Reporter_, repeated it in its December 1981 issue. Fortunately, it brought a vigorous denial from Dr. Edward Bensley, professor emeritus of medicine at McGill, [...]. Part of the evidence that Dr. Bensley had was a copy of a letter written by Dr. Ford [another black physician who was with Dr. Drew in the accident], in which Ford tried to lay the 'bled to death' canard to rest.

...

[Dr. Ford stated that] Doctor Drew's cause of death was that of a broken neck and complete blockage of the blood flow back to the heart. Immediately following the accident in which he was half thrown out of the car, and actually crushed to death by the car as it turned over the second time, the doctors who were were able to, got out of the car quickly and came to Doctor Drew's rescue, but it was of no avail because even at that time, it was quite obvious that his chances of surviving were nil.

Quoted in http://tafkac.org/death/charles.drew/charles_drew.html [tafkac.org]

Re:Reality check (1)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 6 years ago | (#22215346)

All Americans are African-American.

Re:Reality check (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22215496)

And either all of us are Native Americans, or none of us are.

Re:Reality check (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22215616)

I would have reservations if I was a Native American.

Re:Reality check (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22215870)

Indeed, an excellent point, we're all Africans, race comes down to the finer points of how long ago our immediate ancestors left Africa and gained a tiny evolutionary advantage in colder and less sunny climates by growing more body hair and producing less Melanin. Makes racism seem very silly doesn't it?

Re:Reality check (5, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#22215746)

You mean that Americans (who happened to be black) invented them. I don't mean anything derogatory by that, but making such distinctions only serves to demean those individuals and their works. The implication is that there's something so noteworthy about a black person achieving anything of substance that their race must be mentioned. Of course black people have made significant contributions to our society, our culture and our technology. So have French, Greeks, Germans, Italians, Russians, Czechs and millions of others of all nationalities. Why does their ethnic background matter so much to some people? They were all citizens of this great nation, all helped to make it what it is today. That should be enough.

My girlfriend is a true African-American ... she came to the U.S. about twenty-five years ago from that continent, earned her citizenship, and has the right to call herself an African-American. But she doesn't. She calls herself an American and she's proud of that. This is her country now. As for me, I was born here, but I don't go around brandishing my ethnic roots. That would be complicated, since I'd be something like a "Greek-Irish-German-with-some-other-stuff-mixed-in-American". Not so easy on the ears.

She told me flatly that she could cure all of them of their desire to be called "African Americans" by the simple expedient of sending them to her home country for a few months. Most of them would come back here and would count themselves lucky to be Americans. Bad as things can be for many people in the United States, there are places that are worse. Much worse.

Re:Reality check (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22215972)

Why do people like you always say "African American"? Please know that I do not agree with the GP that you replied to. What an idiot. I agree with you, blacks have contributed a wealth of knowledge and culture to our American society.

I just hate the term "African American". Most of the black Americans in the USA have _never_ been to Africa. So what makes them "African"? If someone watched me commit a crime, would they say it was a German/Irish/English American? No. They would say it was a white guy. So why should I say that all black people in America are "African Americans"?

What if the black person is not from Africa, but Jamaica? Or, what if a black guy, on vacation from England, committed a crime? Should I say it was an "African American" even though the guy is not an American, but from England? How would some bloke from England be an "African American" when he certainly is not an American. Should I just say it was an "African"?

I hate PC-terms. When I recently started a new job I was asked, after getting the job:
() White
() African American
() Hispanic
() Asian
() Native American
() Other

WTF? Why as a "White guy" am I identified by my skin color and that is "OK", yet all other races have a "name"? So if I was Mexican I am "Hispanic", however, if like my good friend, I was born in Puerto Rico, I am some how also "Hispanic"? Oh, and as a programmer, I have 3 good friends I work with every day. Very good guys. One is from the Philippines, one is from Korea (South), and one is from Japan. Very, very different people and ethnic groups, yet they are all "Asian"? Not to mention the people from India I have worked with, I guess they are "Asian" too?

Did I mention I hate PC-term "African American" yet? ;-)

Re:Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22215646)

What is with all the hate on Slashdot lately? I don't understand why racist trolls have to post on a geek website. Could someone take the time to explain?

Counter-Offer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22214890)

Yeah, well I'll pay $20,000 to whoever can track this bloodsucking lawyer down and "terminate" his legal practice.

Re:Counter-Offer (1)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | more than 6 years ago | (#22215172)

Yeah, well I'll pay $20,000 to whoever can track this bloodsucking lawyer down and "terminate" his legal practice.

I am interested in your offer. Who shall I write to when it comes time to collect my money?

Re:Counter-Offer (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22215488)

My best friends call me "cash".

So long as said blogger is truthful.... (5, Informative)

KublaiKhan (522918) | more than 6 years ago | (#22214900)

Truth is a defense for libel. So long as the blogger in question has not made any actual false statements, and has couched all opinions as such, rather than as facts--then he should STFU and GBTW.

But then, if he's a patent troll, he's rather defined as "not being able to STFU and do something useful," now, is he?

Re:So long as said blogger is truthful.... (4, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 6 years ago | (#22215008)

Truth is a defense for libel.
Yeah, but what about 'truthiness'? If Niro, Jabba, Hutt & Niro hope to pursue litigation, how do they deal with someone who has a gut feeling that what they are doing is generally wrong?

After reading his blog [blogspot.com] it's evident that this bounty is the only thing this lawyer can do. This blogger is good with what he writes and knows his limits. They won't be able to force blogspot into divulging that info without a warrant in my opinion though I am not a lawyer, I still have a soul.

Have they tried asking Mr. Troll Tracker nicely? He lists his e-mail as trolltracker@gmail.com ...

Re:So long as said blogger is truthful.... (2, Funny)

KublaiKhan (522918) | more than 6 years ago | (#22215070)

Perhaps I could email Mr. Troll Tracker and let 'im know that I could use the $10k, and could I have his contact information to pass onto this sad sack of a lawyer who apparently is unable to engage any of the numerous detective firms out there who could find his information for much less--or even to take the time to ask nicely?

Whaddaya think, would it work? I really could use the $10k...trying to save up for a wedding, and it's slow going.

Re:So long as said blogger is truthful.... (5, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 6 years ago | (#22215136)

... lawyer who apparently is unable to engage any of the numerous detective firms out there who could find his information for much less ...
Unable? I thought exactly the opposite when I read this. I think this Niro lawyer probably wants people to know he's taking this route. I figured it was a lawyer showing his true colors. He's making a public announcement that typically comes from gangsters who have grown too powerful. It is something to the effect of:

"I am the law. I have so much money and disposable income that I pay any problem away without batting an eye. You want to start a blog criticizing me? Well, this is how I deal with you. I don't have time for warrants and regular channels. I will find out who you are and make you pay. Let this be a lesson/example for the rest of you."
And that, my fellow Americans, is the stench of corruption. Fix it or face becoming a victim yourself.

Re:So long as said blogger is truthful.... (1)

KublaiKhan (522918) | more than 6 years ago | (#22215174)

Sorry 'bout that. I meant to indicate a slightly mocking tone of voice, along the lines of "Awww, wookit teh poor widdle troll" but forgot the appropriate emoticon.

But yeah, it's fairly obvious that the information's not what he's paying for--it's the publicity.

Re:So long as said blogger is truthful.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22215244)

And that, my fellow Americans, is the stench of corruption.

You might have more of a point if you weren't railing against a "quote" you just made up, y'know?

Re:So long as said blogger is truthful.... (3, Insightful)

TheSkyIsPurple (901118) | more than 6 years ago | (#22215626)

I was involved in a libel suit awhile back, and the court was not thrilled with the whole anonymous thing.

That court at least was of the opinion that if I was doing something anonymously then I clearly knew I was doing something wrong.
(Completely missing the argument that what I did was legal, and I was trying to avoid being in court making the argument that it was legal because I knew one of the other parties was a litigious psychopath... in my opinion ;-) )

Re:So long as said blogger is truthful.... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22215750)

You're totally wrong. Maybe it's inexperience. Maybe your life has been sheltered. But you're totally wrong and by your own admittance.

It sounds as if you were the agitator, the defendant in a court being prosecuted for libel. You also say that you knew that your target was wantonly litigious. If you line up against a boxer, expect to get punched. If you line up against a punter, expect to get kicked. If you line up against a litigator, expect to be litigated. If you don't want to be punched, kicked, or litigated, then don't line up against them. Nobody forced you to take up that particular battle.

But, for the sake of truth and justice, don't hide and sneak around and act like you think you're getting away with something. That's just common sense. The court didn't miss the argument. The court knew that your argument was hogwash. You knew you were getting yourself tangled with a litigious person. Libel is on the books specifically to allow people to face their agitators (right to face the accuser and all that). What made you think you were on some mission from God that such basic concepts wouldn't apply to you? Did you have any reasoning that the libel laws were incorrect? Did you request a jury nullification or a similar dismissal?

And that's exactly what is at issue in TFA. The agitator wanted to cause an altercation with the target but wanted some force field of immunity to magically protect them, as if they have some right to agitate the target. What does that say for the agitator? They have nothing better in life to do? They have no productive hobby which gives them a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day? Their only sense of accomplishment is to be gained, not by working for the advancement of mankind, not by working for the advancement of their own family, not by working for their own advancement in their career, not by working for the advancement of their community, but their only sense of accomplishment is to target one single individual, Niro, and an individual who is just one of thousands in the pool of attorneys, and repeatedly go after that one person again and again and again.

Just what are you doing in life?

Re:So long as said blogger is truthful.... (2, Funny)

rk (6314) | more than 6 years ago | (#22215818)

Thus spake the Anonymous Coward...

Re:So long as said blogger is truthful.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22215824)

Do you generally pronounce such sweeping, grandiose judgements on people based upon two sentences?

Re:So long as said blogger is truthful.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22215840)

"Nobody forced you to take up that particular battle"

how the fuck do you know that? if your home was at stake are you suggesting that's not being forced? putting a gun to someones head isn't the only way to have your hand forced you know.

this anonymous person might even work for said law firm and want to protect their job while being allowed their freedom of speech, but i guess such concepts never crossed your mind did they.

Re:So long as said blogger is truthful.... (0, Flamebait)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 6 years ago | (#22215966)

this anonymous person might even work for said law firm and want to protect their job while being allowed their freedom of speech, but i guess such concepts never crossed your mind did they.
Freedom of speech without freedom of response is meaningless.

Re:So long as said blogger is truthful.... (1)

norton_I (64015) | more than 6 years ago | (#22215024)

Well, so far there is no legal action. He is just offering $10,000 to anyone who can tell him who the guy is.

Presumably if he had a legitimate case, he wouldn't bother with that, he would file suit against the anonymous blogger and try to get the courts in force the ISP to release the records. Since he apparently hasn't done so, presumably he thinks nothing illegal is going on, he just wants to out the blogger publicly.

Re:So long as said blogger is truthful.... (4, Insightful)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 6 years ago | (#22215430)

Look at the list(and pockets) of the companies that he thinks the blogger may work for. More than likely what he is hoping for is that the blogger works for big company X, and then he can sue big company X for a lot, and in order to avoid (potential) embarrassment and/or the potential for a huge loss, he assumes that big company X will settle out of court for a handsome sum.

Re:So long as said blogger is truthful.... (4, Interesting)

russ1337 (938915) | more than 6 years ago | (#22215060)

this post [blogspot.com] has a list of what he's said and why the Blogger has a 'bounty' on him. Here's the summary:

Here is a grand summary of my posts about Ray Niro (you can click on the Niro Scavone labels [blogspot.com] to read them all):

1) I posted Fish & Richardson's allegations against him. But those were F&R's words, not my own. By the way, the judge granted expedited discovery to allow F&R to determine whether to add Ray Niro personally as a defendant. And if F&R does sue Niro, personally, I'll report about it here. Which is not disparaging him, just reporting.

2) I posted about how Niro secured a permanent injunction that was stayed in light of BMC v. Paymentech. True!

3) I dared Niro to sue the New York Yankees in Boston on the '341 patent. But I don't think he wants to litigate out of state. C'mon Ray, if you want to stay in Chicago, at least add the Detroit Lions and Minnesota Vikings as defendants, too. (They have JPEG [detroitlions.com] images [vikings.com] ).

4) I reported that he represents Acacia in a bit of patent litigation. All true.

5) I speculated that he actually represents non-practicing entities as a fair amount of his overall practice. Also, true.

Re:So long as said blogger is truthful.... (1)

Basehart (633304) | more than 6 years ago | (#22215410)

If someone wrote that shit about me I'd want to know wtf they were talking about!

Re:So long as said blogger is truthful.... (4, Insightful)

(H)elix1 (231155) | more than 6 years ago | (#22215094)

Truth is a defense for libel.

True... but you still have pay for *your* defense - even if you 100% in the right. That sucks.

That's what I do (1)

markov_chain (202465) | more than 6 years ago | (#22215142)

So long as the blogger in question has not made any actual false statements, and has couched all opinions as such, rather than as facts--then he should STFU and GBTW.
I print out all my opinion blog posts and keep them on my sofa.

Re:That's what I do (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22215350)

LOL!

Re:So long as said blogger is truthful.... (2, Informative)

arizwebfoot (1228544) | more than 6 years ago | (#22215158)

Yeah, truth IS a defense for libel, but not an absolute defense. If you hold someone up to public ridicule, regardless of the level of truth, you can still be guilty of either libel or if it's spoken, slander.

Re:So long as said blogger is truthful.... (1)

KublaiKhan (522918) | more than 6 years ago | (#22215200)

True, it's a bit muddled, especially as (especially with this proclamation!) he's putting himself out as a sort of a public figure, and the standards as regards libel and slander are quite different.

Re:So long as said blogger is truthful.... (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 6 years ago | (#22215642)

> Truth is a defense for libel. So long as the blogger in question has not made any actual false statements, and has couched all opinions as such,
> rather than as facts--then he should STFU and GBTW.

Can't someone from the EFF claim to be the blogger, and have them collect $10,000 or whatever. I guess this twonk can try and sue them if he wants...

eBountyHunter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22214906)

So, instead of meth junkies and fake Navy SEALs hunting the target, we'll have Jolt junkies and fake uber hackers?

It's obvious who it is (4, Funny)

ProteusQ (665382) | more than 6 years ago | (#22214944)

CowboyNeal. Isn't that the answer to everything around here?

(Attention lawyers: I'm _kidding_! Put the subpoena down!)

It's obvious who it is (1)

HomelessInLaJolla (1026842) | more than 6 years ago | (#22215224)

Possibility #1: A rival patent troll who is exposing (to an outsider) what is actually common practice among patent attornies. In this scenario it's no different from McD's vs. BK, Coke vs. Pepsi, or any political campaign trail. Except that, as the article states Niro's position (and I tend to agree), that unless someone is working for a massive regime change in the government then posting anonymously is nothing more than veil of plausibility deniability for deliberately harassing and defaming someone.

A right to free speech is not necessarily a right to anonymity, and anonymity has very few true legitimate uses. While I staunchly request that the government abide by its limited roles (which it doesn't, nevermind that for a moment), I do mostly believe in "if you're doing nothing wrong then you have nothing to hide."

Possibility #2: A rival patent attorney who sees Niro's clients as spending resources on litigating current patents rather than retaining his services to accumulate new ones. Same analysis applies.

Possibility #3: A jealous family member of one of Niro or one of Niro's partners who wants to see them go down in flames. Same analysis applies.

In a perfect world the government would play within the rules. In a perfect world, if you're doing nothing wrong, you have nothing to hide. It's quite easy to see that the only real usefulness of anonymity is to criticize an organized power-wielding entity (eg. government). Using anonymity to attack someone is no better than maliciously spreading rumors--even if there is any grain of truth to them.

Ask yourselves: If the blogger would shed their anonymity, what do they stand to gain? They profess to want no popularity for themselves. Wouldn't it be easy enough for them to refuse any gifts or interviews if there were to be any popularity? Of course it would. The "I'm posting anonymously because I'm completely selfless" is a coverup, and one so thin that anyone with any measure of life experience should be able to see through.

Unless Niro's law firm represents a group of known gangsters, killers, and extortionists. I didn't see any mention of homicide or brutal beatings in TFA, so I must assume it's just run of the mill backstabbing.

Re:It's obvious who it is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22215384)

Sorry, who are you again?

Re:It's obvious who it is (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22215462)

He's king of the world, dumbass. You've been pathologically following him online for close to a year. That's more than long enough to know that.

It's me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22214960)

I'm Spartacus!

Re:It's me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22215036)

He's Spartacus!

--

Anonymous Coward

This is getting rediculous (3, Insightful)

Alexx K (1167919) | more than 6 years ago | (#22214972)

It's not even been a week since The smartphone was patented [slashdot.org] , and now we've got people wanting to sue for criticising patent trolls. I thought America was the "land of the free". Oh wait, it is, if you've got millions of dollars in your pocket and a lot of lawyers.

What's saddening is that this stuff never makes it to the mainstream media.

Re:This is getting rediculous (4, Insightful)

riseoftheindividual (1214958) | more than 6 years ago | (#22215474)

I thought America was the "land of the free"

That's a common mondegreen... it's actually "Land of the FEE". Don't sweat it, I used to believe it was "free" myself.

Re:This is getting rediculous (2, Interesting)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 6 years ago | (#22215964)

Just remember, Jesus loves patent trolls. He wants greedy non-innovating lawyers to flood the patent office with useless and obviously ludicrous patents. Jesus loves lawyers, and wants them to make vast sums at the expense of the public, because Jesus hates the common man.

(See previous references as to why Jesus hates the poor. Let's remember, Jesus only loves money, and those with lots of it).

Scam him! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22214984)

Find some random guy i thailand, cut a deal with him to admit it's him.
Laugh at said lawyer.
Untill he realises it and offers another 10k bounty for your identity.

blog link (3, Informative)

TheRealZeus (1172755) | more than 6 years ago | (#22214992)

http://trolltracker.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com] *slashdot effect activate*

Re:blog link (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22215748)

http://trolltracker.blogspot.com/ *slashdot effect activate*

Doesn't this firm have an 800 number? "o hai, i no who tha troll am!!!!! but first, do u liek mudkips? I NEED 2 NO!!! PLEASE NOPE JUST ANSER FIRST"

great publicity (5, Insightful)

nguy (1207026) | more than 6 years ago | (#22214994)

Thanks! I hadn't heard of this blog before, but now that the $10k bounty has been offered, I know about it. Great publicity!

Re:great publicity (1)

russ1337 (938915) | more than 6 years ago | (#22215226)

The Anonymous Blogger has already offered (on their blog [blogspot.com] ) to turn themselves over to Niro if the bounty hits $50K.

Tu quoque (2, Interesting)

MyNymWasTaken (879908) | more than 6 years ago | (#22215006)

A position isn't false, or wrong, because its proponent fails to consistently act in accordance with said position.

ad hitlerum (1)

BorgCopyeditor (590345) | more than 6 years ago | (#22215096)

You know who else thought that a position isn't false, or wrong, because its proponent fails to consistently act in accordance with said position? That's right!

Doosh... (4, Insightful)

caspper69 (548511) | more than 6 years ago | (#22215012)

"Is he an employee with Intel or Microsoft? Does he have a connection with serial infringers? I think that would color what he has to say."

This is douchebag lawyer speak for "companies that spend money researching, developing and selling products." Unlike his clients who think up obvious ideas and rush to file a patent, without ever doing a bit of work. It's scumbags like this that exacerbate the terrible state of our patent system. I for one can't wait until there's real reform and this guy's out of business.

Re:Doosh... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22215354)

Has anyone worked out a good way to sell fixing the patent system as an issue to the general public, as well as most businesses? It's not just software patents that are a problem, it's things like the ability to patent a gene in the most trivial manner possible, then extend that patent for any new use discovered. It's drug patents on life-saving medicines that grant a decades-long monopoly and are enforced in even the most obscene circumstances.

There's a whole mess of issues here, adverse effects of the current patent system. I have no problem with patents in principle; the average $1 billion it takes to develop a new drug needs to be recouped somehow. But major reform is needed; my quick proposal would be to limit the duration of a patent to five years. An exceptional new discovery (blue LEDs, say) could be grounds for extending the patent another five years, to encourage real innovation. Add another 5 for an absolute maximum of 15 if it will take considerable resources to commercially exploit (say, an innovation leading to a workable nuclear fusion reactor). In short, patent extensions should only be granted in extraordinary circumstances.

Secondly, up the patent filing fee by at least 10x (it only costs a few hundred bucks now), and use that to hire more examiners and experts, so bullshit patents get rejected.

Re:Doosh... (2, Insightful)

caspper69 (548511) | more than 6 years ago | (#22215554)

There is no good answer, but I would say that it should be a much more open process, and as a condition you should have to actually develop your idea, or partner with a commercial firm that will (i.e. have a sponsor).

Eliminating patent examiners, as they are now, would also be a great start. Have people volunteer from various fields of expertise, and when reviewing a patent, pick 12 randomly to review the application and vote on whether to approve or deny the patent. This would eliminate stuff like "smartphones" being patented, even though they've been in production for years, and talked about for decades before that.

Obviously this is a very complex issue, with many interested parties, and a lot of egos to stroke. But if something doesn't get done about it soon, there's going to be some serious ramifications both in the courts and to the bottom lines of many companies.

Re:Doosh... (2, Insightful)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 6 years ago | (#22215586)

I think you mean the $3Billion for new drugs. $700Million or so to actually develop it, and the rest for marketing. You know, the "Ask your doctor if $Drug is right for you" without ever mentioning what the hell the drug does... If their drugs are so miraculous, why would they need to advertise them? Shouldn't the results speak loudly enough? Oh, and don't forget the "tweaking" the drug and filing a new patent. Zyban was a anti-depressant that had a side effect of people not wanting to smoke. Near the end of the patent, they tweaked it a little, and started a huge marketing effort about the new "quit smoking" pill. Can't imagine that cost them much.

Re:Doosh... (1)

jmauro (32523) | more than 6 years ago | (#22215706)

Raising the fees won't help since most of the fee is not put into hiring and keeping patent examiners, but put into the general fund to spend on other things. Also, even at 100x times the current fee, I doubt it'll make much of a dent in the trolls business since their only real expense is the fees and the lawyers. If you try to make something it'll hit you harder since your costs need to calculate in the higher fees your going to have to pay per widget that you make.

Re:Doosh... (1)

Dr Caleb (121505) | more than 6 years ago | (#22215416)

"Raymond Niro of Niro Scavone Haller & Niro"

And of such girth that he needs his name mentioned 3 times on every business card.

Re:Doosh... (4, Insightful)

canuck57 (662392) | more than 6 years ago | (#22215440)

I for one can't wait until there's real reform and this guy's out of business.

Don't hold your breath. For the most part it were elected lawyers who made the law in the first place. Make a problem like the patent system, then profit by it.

I too would like to see all software patents expired. It is hindering innovation and diversity in this business. Even if a patent is blatantly prior art, frivolous and meaningless, it can bankrupt most in just defending off an attack by the vultures. Thus, kicks the little guys out.

Re:Doosh... (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 6 years ago | (#22215980)

Does he have a connection with serial infringers?

note that connections to serial infringers require less wires than parallel ones.

he's not so dumb...

I'm Spartacus! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22215020)

$10,000 please.

Re:I'm Spartacus! (1)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 6 years ago | (#22215210)

Horseshit.

I'm Spartacus.
$10K please.

I'm Lesley Stahl. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22215928)

Those stories and Andy Rooney tonight on "60 Minutes".

No Harm, No Foul (4, Insightful)

Mansing (42708) | more than 6 years ago | (#22215086)

I would hope an attorney of Mr. Niro's stature and experience would realize he has no right nor legal recourse against this anonymous blogger. I suspect that had the blogger written anything libelous, Mr. Niro would have already brought suit.

Since Mr. Niro has not brought legal proceedings against this blogger, I can only quote the next best legal authority on this matter:

Ha, Ha!

Re:No Harm, No Foul (1)

Shados (741919) | more than 6 years ago | (#22215156)

What this attorney realizes, is that laws, in practice, are just suggestions, and that how the legal system works, is that you have to throw money at problems until you can bend the meaning of one of these suggestions with the purpose of getting a dumb judge to create a precedent.

Re:No Harm, No Foul (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 6 years ago | (#22215204)

I would hope an attorney of Mr. Niro's stature and experience would realize he has no right nor legal recourse against this anonymous blogger. I suspect that had the blogger written anything libelous, Mr. Niro would have already brought suit.

Of course he knows that, that's why he's offering the reward instead of suing and issuing a subpoena. I'm just surprised he doesn't just hire a private investigator, would probably cost less than $10,000.

10k eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22215088)

I posted it. I'll email you an address where you can send the check to.

It's me! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22215168)

Where's my 10K?

Copyright Solution (4, Interesting)

rxmd (205533) | more than 6 years ago | (#22215264)

The blogger could write them a letter disclosing his own identity, cash in the $10k himself, and when they publish the letter sue them for infringing upon his copyright on the letter.

I'm willing to confess for $5000 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22215424)

Someone else can collect the reward and split it with me.

Make it 20 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22215484)

Make it $20k, and I'll reveal my identity myself.

-Anonymous Blogger

One Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22215678)

If I mirror his blog, can I turn myself in for the $10,000?

Classic smokescreen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22215726)

"He thinks the blogger might work for Microsoft, Intel, or has connections to a 'serial infringer' and that could 'color' what they say."

In other words:

"He thinks he might be able to extort a large sum of money out of the blogger's law firm, or at the very least, shut down his blog after being inundated with paperwork from a blood-sucking lawyer who can't stand up to criticism."

$10k is next to nothing (2, Insightful)

oldsaint (736226) | more than 6 years ago | (#22215762)

The identity of the blogger will lead to accusations and lawsuits, and the legal fees for the blogger will dwarf $10k. And the threat will shut down the criticism, which is the point. The identity of the blogger should be worth a lot more to Niro, say $100k. And then let the blogger win by revealing his identity.

I am Troll tracker (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22215852)

can i have my money now?

we can win this. (3, Funny)

DingerX (847589) | more than 6 years ago | (#22215866)

Go to questionable startup rate your prof^H^H^H^Hlawyer [lawyerratingz.com] and pull up their list of IP and Patent lawyers. Send "registered" emails from separate accounts for each name on the list. Then, if he should ever determine the identity, chances are it's on the list, and whoever sent the email will have a good claim on the money. That is provided, of course, said mouthpiece doesn't accuse the snitch of participating in a conspiracy to do exactly that. So the flipside is that if we spam the address with false positives, either the real stoolie will have little hope of making any money off of it, or we get in on the action.

I'm just speaking hypothetically, of course. I'm pretty sure someone else holds a patent on this sort of spam, and the lawyer involved has set an elaborate trap for an infringement suit.

Re:we can win this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22215906)

Also, bonus points for posting a script that generates false-positives. Perhaps
using rig? (http://rig.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net] )

Nothing to worry about ... (4, Funny)

golodh (893453) | more than 6 years ago | (#22215868)

Well, nice mr. Niro probably wants to know the identity of the anonymous blogger to have a chance to have an intimate legal conversation with him. Lawyer talking shop to lawyer as it where, in a private setting.

I really don't see the problem, do you? I'm certain it will all be legal, so there's nothing to worry about. No. Really.

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