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Why We Still Can't Really Put Anything In the Public Domain

American Patent Guy Impractical (98 comments)

It will never work, because the receiving party of a work declared to be in the public domain cannot verify that the declaring party had the right to do so. Such declarations could be made erroneously or falsely: just having a registry of such declarations doesn't remove the possibility that there is a true copyright-holder out there who might want to pursue his rights later. All the receiving party could to is claim not to have engaged in willful infringement, because he relied upon the declaration.

Imagine that I registered the song "Lucy In the Sky With Diamonds" and all its recordings into the public domain. As I am not the Beatles, I have no right to do that, and that registration would be false. Using this kind of registry would only confuse the potential market of licensees and clog up the courts with law suits.

2 days ago
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LA Mayor Proposes Earthquake Retrofits On Thousands of Buildings

American Patent Guy Re:Another "taking" by the California government.. (178 comments)

The best argument you could probably make is that the value of the buildings and the ability to collect rents would be enhanced by the L.A. ordinance, and correspondingly the government wouldn't have "taken" anything. But here were talking about a general ordinance, and L.A. would have to show that that enhancement would be experienced by virtually all the owners.

about a month and a half ago
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LA Mayor Proposes Earthquake Retrofits On Thousands of Buildings

American Patent Guy Re:Another "taking" by the California government.. (178 comments)

Yes, all buildings must be in compliance "with the sprinkler provisions applicable at the time the alteration permit was issued". So if the permit was issued in 1965, then the 1965 building codes apply until the building is altered (which requires a new permit). That permits continued use of the building as before, and is not a taking.

about a month and a half ago
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LA Mayor Proposes Earthquake Retrofits On Thousands of Buildings

American Patent Guy Re:Another "taking" by the California government.. (178 comments)

But here we're talking about disallowing the owners of buildings to lease/rent their space out because of new regulations/codes, which is the only economical use that can be made for those buildings. The state can't just attach an intent/purpose of serving the public good and escape the takings clause. (Mugler is an old case from 1887, where the owner still had a viable economic use of the property (other than a brewery), and correspondingly it doesn't control for the proposed L.A. ordinance.)

about a month and a half ago
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LA Mayor Proposes Earthquake Retrofits On Thousands of Buildings

American Patent Guy Re:Another "taking" by the California government.. (178 comments)

The CO detector law requires a $20 battery operated CO detector. (Look under "COSTS".) That is insignificant. What LA wants to do is require supports to be reinforced or replaced which will cost thousands to do.

The Sprinkler system law "requires sprinklers to be installed in accordance with the sprinkler provisions applicable at the time the alteration permit was issued". In other words, property owners who don't alter their properties are exempt.

For these two laws, neither is a "taking" of existing property rights under the Fifth Amendment.

about a month and a half ago
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LA Mayor Proposes Earthquake Retrofits On Thousands of Buildings

American Patent Guy Re:Another "taking" by the California government.. (178 comments)

You make the common mistake of thinking that property is the land or building. It's the rights *associated with* the land or building. When the state takes away the owner's ability to use those rights, then the Fifth Amendment requires just compensation. Who gets to use land or improvements thereupon does not matter; the fact that the building doesn't become a public one has zero relevance.

New laws will apply to new buildings or to improvements made to old ones (for permits to issue). There are lots and lots of old structures that remain the same because they haven't been improved. Unless the state wants to compensate the owner, it has no power to force the owner to act. If you look at those new laws in detail, you'll find that they do not impact the present owner's rights to use the property as they were before.

about a month and a half ago
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LA Mayor Proposes Earthquake Retrofits On Thousands of Buildings

American Patent Guy Re:Another "taking" by the California government.. (178 comments)

They don't. If a property owner is not maintaining a safe building, then all the hypothetical injured parties have a claim in court.

about a month and a half ago
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LA Mayor Proposes Earthquake Retrofits On Thousands of Buildings

American Patent Guy Re:Another "taking" by the California government.. (178 comments)

Ludicrous you may find it, but it is legally valid. Property rights, once granted, are not easily taken back. (We disposed of the idea of a Monarch that can do so over 200 years ago.)

about a month and a half ago
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LA Mayor Proposes Earthquake Retrofits On Thousands of Buildings

American Patent Guy Re:Another "taking" by the California government.. (178 comments)

These property owners aren't negligent. They're in compliance with the existing building codes. They have property rights, including the right to use their property in ways that were lawful at the time the buildings were constructed. Take away those rights, and the Fifth Amendment says they have to be fairly compensated. The purpose behind that taking is irrelevant.

about a month and a half ago
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LA Mayor Proposes Earthquake Retrofits On Thousands of Buildings

American Patent Guy Re:Another "taking" by the California government.. (178 comments)

It doesn't matter who owns the building. It only matters (for application of the Fifth Amendment) that the government pay for what it takes. If the government wants to change the rights of a homeowner to use his property, it gets to do that, so long as it pays for what it took.

about a month and a half ago
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LA Mayor Proposes Earthquake Retrofits On Thousands of Buildings

American Patent Guy Re:Another "taking" by the California government.. (178 comments)

Buildings are not condemned all the time because of new building codes. They are condemned because the become unsafe under the existing ones.

I didn't say the City didn't have a stake in this. What I said is that its proposed solution (merely changing the building code) won't work. California politicians are infamous for waving magic wands (new laws) that turn out to be worth less than a straw found in a disposable cup in the gutter.

If the City wants to require a building upgrade AND pay for that upgrade, it can do it. If it wants it for free, then up to the Supreme Court we'll go. (If it makes it that far.)

about a month and a half ago
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LA Mayor Proposes Earthquake Retrofits On Thousands of Buildings

American Patent Guy Re:Another "taking" by the California government.. (178 comments)

Hey, I'm not telling you how to fix the problem of unsafe properties. I'm just telling you what won't work (as per the present L.A. government.) Calling a stupid politician stupid doesn't require me to find a better one to replace him...

about a month and a half ago
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LA Mayor Proposes Earthquake Retrofits On Thousands of Buildings

American Patent Guy Re:Another "taking" by the California government.. (178 comments)

No, the really sad part is that you don't see that the City isn't enforcing building codes. They're passing new ones, and that is a "taking" of the property owner's rights. The building owners already complied with the law that existed at the time the buildings were built. If the City wants safer buildings, they get to pay for it one way or another.

about a month and a half ago
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LA Mayor Proposes Earthquake Retrofits On Thousands of Buildings

American Patent Guy Re:Another "taking" by the California government.. (178 comments)

The government has to give the property owner fair compensation if they use eminent domain. Here's a link at the top of the Google search: http://www.eminentdomainlaw.ne...

The fact that they do it through regulation rather than a transfer of title makes no difference.

about a month and a half ago
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LA Mayor Proposes Earthquake Retrofits On Thousands of Buildings

American Patent Guy Another "taking" by the California government... (178 comments)

Folks: the U.S. government (or any part thereof) can't just march in and force property owners to change their property. Government has to compensate the owners for any taking of a property-owner's rights. If the City of L.A. wants to march in and say "you don't get to use your office building because it isn't earthquake-proof", then the City has to buy the property at fair market value.

Are all politicians in California really this dumb? All they have to do is compile a list of buildings that the City deems to be unsafe, and the owners will be sufficiently encouraged to make the upgrades (or lose their present tenants.) No subsidies, no tax breaks, no cost to the city.

about a month and a half ago
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Warmer Pacific Ocean Could Release Millions of Tons of Methane

American Patent Guy More "scientific" articles to attract readers (329 comments)

FTA:

Still unknown is where any released methane gas would end up. It could be consumed by bacteria in the seafloor sediment or in the water, where it could cause seawater in that area to become more acidic and oxygen-deprived. Some methane might also rise to the surface, where it would release into the atmosphere as a greenhouse gas, compounding the effects of climate change.

In other words, they don't know what the hell is going on or what's going to happen. It could be part of a self-correcting, natural process, or it could be the end of the world as we know it. Tune back in at 5:00...

about a month and a half ago
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Civil Case Uses Fitbit Data To Disprove Insurance Fraud

American Patent Guy Re:Unreliable evidence (99 comments)

And that's even worse. The owner could merely take the device off to show his "incapacity" allegedly due to an injury, while he goes right on about his business about town. Conversely, if he wanted to show he was active around town, he could hand the thing to his friend or pace around the floor. It's unreliable.

about 1 month ago
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Civil Case Uses Fitbit Data To Disprove Insurance Fraud

American Patent Guy Re:Unreliable evidence (99 comments)

My point is that the reliability of the evidence will be so low and susceptible to attack, that no competent trial attorney will bother with it.

about 1 month ago
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Civil Case Uses Fitbit Data To Disprove Insurance Fraud

American Patent Guy Unreliable evidence (99 comments)

There's one big problem with trying to use fitbit data. There's no way to prove that the device was actually attached to a person that is allegedly producing the data. Six months down the road, the witness (alleged wearer) won't remember what he had for dinner, let alone what was on his person. Add to that motives to lie (and people do that on the stand in spite of the penalties) and you have a data source that won't prove anything in most cases.

Besides, who the hell cares whether or not I was moving at any particular time during the day? Can't my level of activity already be determined from my phone, where I eat and what kind of shoes I buy? My privacy isn't being invaded in any substantial way even if these companies release my data. Sheesh!

about 1 month ago

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