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Comments

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Federal Judge Rules P2P Users Aren't In a Conspiracy

Kirijini Re:FTFY (66 comments)

What, you mean like when Jared Lee Loughner shot and killed Judge John Roll?

It's pretty tasteless to suggest that only "polite" people disapprove of the assassination of public servants.

more than 2 years ago
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Federal Judge Rules P2P Users Aren't In a Conspiracy

Kirijini Re:Innocent what? (66 comments)

Actually, by "innocent", the summary is referring to defendants who have not downloaded the porn - that is, people who are actually innocent of copyright infringement.

The problem is that if the porn companies screwed up and have a bunch of wrong IP addresses in addition to correct ones (that is, people who did download the porn as well as people who didn't), the people at the end of the wrong IP addresses will still get a letter threatening a lawsuit in which they will be publicly accused of downloading "bareback college studs" (or whatever) unless they pay up two thousand dollars. Regardless of whether they're innocent, most people would rather pay up (and keep the whole thing secret) than mount an expensive legal defense.

Most federal judges are not impressed with this "settlement extortion" legal strategy, and aren't letting porn companies (and similar plaintiffs) get away with this on the cheap. What I mean by that is, the porn companies* are getting people's names and addresses, which they need to send the threatening letters and settlement demands, by suing thousands of defendants at the same time. Not only is this very questionable so far as the rules of civil procedure, they also only pay one filing fee even though they're essentially suing thousands of people. The courts would really prefer that the porn companies pay the $350 filing fee for each defendant they sue, because these massive lawsuits generate huge amounts of paper work, and clog up the system to the detriment of other lawsuits that are perhaps actually about obtaining justice rather than extorting settlements.

*there's reason to believe that the porn companies don't really care that much, and these massive lawsuits are instigated by a handful of lawyers who think they've found an easy way to hack the legal system and make a bunch of money. These lawyers do these suits on a contingency basis - that is, the porn companies aren't actually paying the lawyers to file the law suits; instead, they split whatever profits they get from settlements.

more than 2 years ago
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Federal Judge Rules P2P Users Aren't In a Conspiracy

Kirijini Re:FTFY (66 comments)

Federal judges are protected by article III of the Constitution, and cannot be removed from office except by impeachment. Many judges never really retire, either, they just become "senior" judges with reduced case loads. They are nominated for their offices by the president and confirmed by the senate.

They aren't free of corruption (see Justice Thomas, or more specifically, his wife), but the federal judiciary is remarkably free from corporate pressure, and it really is the closest thing the USA has to a bastion of liberty and freedom.

more than 2 years ago
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Steve Jobs' Missing License Plate

Kirijini Re:Handicapped spots are poor design (579 comments)

but make sure the spaces close to the entrance never completely fill up [streetfilms.org].

The dude in your link suggests that you can keep one or two open spaces by setting the right price for parking - set the price high enough to deter some people from parking there.

So, you're suggesting charging more for spots near the entrance to buildings? And requiring people who need handicapped spots, because they're handicapped, to pay for it?

about 3 years ago
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Retailers Respond To HDD Squeeze By Limiting Purchases, Raising Prices

Kirijini Re:Also, people are dying (282 comments)

I do feel ashamed that the first I heard of this natural disaster / tragedy is from a news story about the price of hard drives. Thanks for drawing attention to the important part of this story.

about 3 years ago
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Retailers Respond To HDD Squeeze By Limiting Purchases, Raising Prices

Kirijini Re:Price discovery make distribution efficient (282 comments)

If you are hungry and have $1 only and this stake is $5, it doesn't mean that you have a 'moral' right to that stake.

If steak is the only, or cheapest, food source, then you *do* have a moral right to the steak.* You just don't have the resources to afford it.

Face it - markets may be efficient in terms of short-term allocation of money value, but they are blind to morality. If you accept market outcomes as always being the "best" outcome, then you're ignoring moral values. It's up to you to decide if moral values are important to you.

*assuming that human life is morally superior to money. Everyone else who is hungry also has a moral right to the steak. The greatest moral right presumably goes to whoever is hungriest / most in need of nutrition to survive.

about 3 years ago
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I'd like to see Yahoo ...

Kirijini Re:Google! (214 comments)

Wow. Excellent point.

about 3 years ago
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Senators Slam Firm For Online Background Check

Kirijini Re:Can you say "Copyright Infringement"? (196 comments)

That's an excellent point, and I'd mod up if I had points.

Facebook can sublicense your info to a third party ("you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook"), but that sub sublicense necessarily terminates when facebook's does - when/if you remove the info ("This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account..."), though there may be a loophole if you've "shared" the info with others ("...unless your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it"). What does "shared with others" mean? I dunno, but I imagine it means posting on a friends wall, or something of that sort.

more than 3 years ago
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Obama To Sign 'America Invents Act of 2011' Today

Kirijini Re:I don't get "First to File" (244 comments)

"that one year exemption will only apply to win it's signed."

What does that mean?

"it will severally hamper in attempt I make to get investor in on my inventions"

What does this mean?

"that could, quite literally, take my idea and patent it and I have NO RECOURSE"

If they take your idea and try to patent it, you can sue them. When someone files a patent app, that person has to swear under oath that he/she invented the invention. If you can show that you invented it, and they stole your idea, then they're in deep shit. Their patent app is invalid, and you can file your own if you wish/if you have the money/investors.

So, you do have a recourse.

Plus, before you show a patentable idea to anyone, you need to get them to sign an NDA. This is standard practice.

more than 3 years ago
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Don't Study the Video Game, Study the Gamer

Kirijini Re:violent LEGO games (163 comments)

"I disagree with how this video game simulates reality" is not the same thing as "this video game is violent"

Likewise, that your choices in a video game may lead to some virtual deaths is not the same thing as violent.

more than 3 years ago
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Patent Reform Bill Passes Senate

Kirijini Re:Will it stop frivolous patents and patent wars? (368 comments)

Patent applications are rejected all the time. The problem is that the "inventor" (I.e., whatever company is backing the patent application) can revise the application, so as to avoid whatever got it rejected previously. Applications go through a lot of rejections - sometimes a dozen or more - before finally being approved. I've heard the statistic that 9 out of 10 applications are eventually approved... But it takes years and a lot of "rejections" to get there.

And, by the way, this means that patent examiners spend a lot of time reviewing applications. The process involves a lot of back and forth between the examiner and the inventor. I'm not going to vouch for their competency in the field, but it's unfair to say that examiners don't spend the time to understand the product, or don't know enough about it before approving the patent.

more than 3 years ago
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Patent Reform Bill Passes Senate

Kirijini Re:Will it stop frivolous patents and patent wars? (368 comments)

Prior art doesn't have to be on the market - it has to be available to the public in some way, whether via the market, or published somewhere, or patented already (not necessarily in the US), etc. Open source software, if it's available online, is published... Or at least available to the public. So, it would be prior art, if it is indeed prior to the supposed invention.

more than 3 years ago
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Ask slashdot: Copyright and publishing

Kirijini Re:Publishing Suggestion (7 comments)

Right. A state government can hold copyrights; even the federal government can hold copyrights. For the Feds, it's a question of whether a government employee authored the work. The fed gov can buy or license copyrights just fine; but it can't copyright works that it authored. State governments are not so bound.

Clear the copyright first. You're not likely to get sued, but a publisher will likely refuse to publish anything for which the rights haven't been cleared.

more than 3 years ago
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Patent Reform Bill Passes Senate

Kirijini Re:No more prior art? (368 comments)

Read the statute like this:

Prior art is an invention that
-was patented
-described in a printed publication
-in public use
-on sale
or
-otherwise available to the public.

The courts have determined that offering an invention for sale - regardless of whether it's openly on sale to consumers or only sold in private contracts - constitutes prior art, because otherwise, an inventor could sell the invention privately for a long time, and only patent it (and get the full patent term) when the inventor fears that someone else is close to patenting the same thing.

In other words, construing "on sale" to mean only "public sales" would allow an inventor to benefit from patent law for longer than the patent term. You have a choice - you can protect your invention by patent law, or you can protect it by trade secret law. Not both.

more than 3 years ago
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Patent Reform Bill Passes Senate

Kirijini Re:No more prior art? (368 comments)

Then how would this be different from what we already have?

Compare the new law, posted in GP, with the current law:

A person shall be entitled to a patent unless—
(a) the invention was known or used by others in this country, or patented or described in a printed publication in this or a foreign country, before the invention thereof by the applicant for patent, or
(b) the invention was patented or described in a printed publication in this or a foreign country or in public use or on sale in this country, more than one year prior to the date of the application for patent in the United States, or ...
(d) the invention was first patented or caused to be patented, or was the subject of an inventor’s certificate, by the applicant or his legal representatives or assigns in a foreign country prior to the date of the application for patent in this country on an application for patent or inventor’s certificate filed more than twelve months before the filing of the application in the United States, or
(e) the invention was described in (1) an application for patent, published under section 122(b), by another filed in the United States before the invention by the applicant for patent or (2) a patent granted on an application for patent by another filed in the United States before the invention by the applicant for patent, except that an international application filed under the treaty defined in section 351(a) shall have the effects for the purposes of this subsection of an application filed in the United States only if the international application designated the United States and was published under Article 21(2) of such treaty in the English language;

more than 3 years ago
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Patent Reform Bill Passes Senate

Kirijini Re:It's About Time (368 comments)

Other than the first paragraph, about publishing before patenting, GP's post is insightful. You should stick with correcting/clarifying posts you disagree with, not slamming them.

more than 3 years ago
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Patent Reform Bill Passes Senate

Kirijini Re:I'd like to take this time to patent.... (368 comments)

That's where the "lawyereze" comes in. Is my "I invented a banana peeler" provisional patent the same thing as "1) a device for peeling elongated fruits utilizing a metallic thingamabobber 2) Claim 1 wherein the thingamabobber is made of plasic 3) Claim 1 wherein the thingamabobber is made of magma 4) ..."?

Provisional applications contain only the specification, not the claims. All you have to do is describe the invention, you don't have to pin down exactly what the patent would protect. A patent lawyer is still a good idea when writing up the spec, but such help is not nearly as crucial as writing claims.

more than 3 years ago
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Patent Reform Bill Passes Senate

Kirijini Re:I'd like to take this time to patent.... (368 comments)

first-to-file systems generally have "prior use" defenses.

That does not appear to be the case in this new legislation, which I think is a serious problem. However, the legislation does call for the USPTO director to issue a report on prior use defenses in other countries. Maybe the report will prompt congress to add a prior use defense.

As far as I know, first to invent only goes back one year. That it the most you can back-date an invention.

Nope, you can backdate an invention as far as you have records for, though you might run the risk of having "abandoned" the invention if you invented it 10 years ago, sat on it, and only bothered to patent it recently.. The year requirement you're thinking of is probably related to the grace period, in which inventors can sell or publicly disclose their invention up to a year before filing a patent. That grace period appears to be preserved in the new legislation.

more than 3 years ago

Submissions

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Exemptions to DMCA announced

Kirijini Kirijini writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Kirijini writes "The US Copyright office has announced new six exemptions to the DMCA's anticircumvention rule. A regulation to be issued on Tuesday, July 27th will make it legal to circumvent DRM for noninfringing purposes in certain situations. Notably, the exemption would allow jailbreaking and switching wireless carriers; it would also allow breaking DVD encryption for some fair use situations. The exemptions the result of a review the Copyright Office is required to undertake every three years; the exemptions will last until at least the next three year review. The Librarian of Congress has also issued a statement explaining the review and exemption process.

The six announced exemptions are 1) making copies of DVD video for educational, documentary, and noncommercial uses; 2) interoperability of applications on mobile phones (i.e., jailbreaking); 3) interoperability of mobile phones on different wireless networks; 4) testing security vulnerabilities in video games; 5) bypassing hardware dongles when the dongle is broken or obsolete, and no replacement is available; and 6) to enable "read-aloud" functions and specialized formatting of ebooks."

Link to Original Source
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Podcast reenacts Bilski oral arguments

Kirijini Kirijini writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Kirijini writes "The Intellectual Property Colloquium podcast just put up its latest episode — a reading of the Supreme Court oral arguments for Bilski v. Kappos (also known as In re Bilski in the Federal Circuit). Bilski is the most important patent case in years, and based on the Justices' questioning during oral argument, it seems likely that the eventual decision will overturn business method patents. A broad ruling by the court may even overturn software patents. If audio isn't to your liking, a written version of the transcript can be found here (PDF warning)."

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