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Under the headline,
"SAVE THE U.S. PATENT NOW!
IT'S THE HEART AND SOUL
the Professional Inventors Alliance ran a two-full-page ad in the New York Times (Monday, April 7, p A10 and A11, not available on line). The alliance has a website link here
which has a single webpage with some of the thrust of the ad, but tells little more about the group.
It is an attack on the Patent Reform Act (S. 1145) and an ostensible plea to unions to join the Alliance in opposing the legislation. It asserts that "the fundamental dependence of America's economy [is] on America's patents" and that "U. S. patented inventions have been the primary source of America's historically unparalleled wealth." It also claims that "the growth of America's GDP [is] generated by American manufactures products and that there is "nearly universal opposition to the IT sectors self-destruct proposals for patent reform." It then identifies the members of the Senate Judiciary committee who voted for the bill and those in the House who did so.
It finally gets to what it calls the patent destroying provisions of the bill:
tipping off potential infringers by the 18-month publication of pre-issuance submissions;
replacing the first inventor-to-file in place of the actual inventor;
restricting the apportionment of damages to the incremental value of the invention, not its total value;
giving priority to venue for suits where the infringer resides; and
allowing post grant challenges of patents for their entire 17-year lifetime.
Here we go again with the same questionable claim that patents promote innovation. More clearly, they provide some with large incomes. Who else could afford a double-page spread like this. It also identifies the issues on which the losers from the pending bill choose to fight it.
[Posted at 04/09/2008 07:51 PM by John Bennett on Politics and IP comments(0)]
Economist magazine has a great story on Larry Lessig and his attack on copyright extensions link here
. Because the article is open, I will not try to summarize it. But the subhead conveys the essence of what Lessig is up to: "Copyrights will not expire so long as Congress is free to be bought to extend them again."
His approach is refreshing. He doesn't oppose copyright but rests his case on the constitution which allows a monopoly limited in time. He argues that in practice there is no limit. Since his appeal to the courts failed to get one, he has chosen the political route, to force legislators to enact one.
[Posted at 12/08/2007 07:46 PM by John Bennett on Politics and IP comments(1)]
The US Congress is working overtime to create new coyright cops
while in Canada they busy passing a new DMCA
- with such minor considerations as fair use to be considered at some future time by a committee.
[Posted at 12/08/2007 08:53 AM by David K. Levine on Politics and IP comments(0)]
Inside Higher Ed
reports that "legislation requiring NIH-supported research to be online and free is on fast track, encouraging those who want that requirement for all federally supported research". The legislation is receiving bipartisan support and is part of an appropriation bill that Congress wants to pass.
I believe the bill has potentially disruptive effect on the academic publishing model. Needless to say, publishers have mounted furious opposition. Read the article for some of the bogus arguments they are trying to make, such as the risk of lenghtening the time researchers would spend processing their papers (comparing it to the requirement police officers have to file their reports). As if the time we need to fine-tune our papers to comply to the minutia of each journal's different editorial requirement was well spent.
[Posted at 07/25/2007 08:12 AM by Andrea Moro on Politics and IP comments(0)]
John McCain from allthingsdigital
"There should be as little government regulation of broadband as possible. Walt notes that the telecom industry is re-aggregating back into "one unified AT&T."
... we should let the market and technology solve the Net-neutrality issue: "When you control the pipe you should be able to get profit from your investment."
[Posted at 05/31/2007 06:25 AM by Andrea Moro on Politics and IP comments(0)]
James Surowiecki sounds a cautionary note in The New Yorker about
The U.S. has demanded in recent free-trade agreements that foreign governments
import I.P. regimes even though they hinder access to protected technologies.
After repeating the I.P. party line that protection is necessary to spur innovation, but that a "balance" is necessary to protect the interests of entrepreneurs, inventors, and consumers alike (excuse me while I adjust the scales...there, that's it), he points out that the American economy grew rapidly in its youth by ignoring I.P. laws. He might have pointed out that foreign authors got paid on their American sales even without an American copyright law.
He nails it at the end by pointing out that I.P. laws making the world safe for Pfizer, Microsoft, and Disney don't deserve the name free trade.
Now if he could just ditch the balancing act.
[Posted at 05/15/2007 06:33 PM by William Stepp on Politics and IP comments(0)]
Don't get me wrong, I'm all in favor of freeing Mickey Mouse into the public domain and having a robust fair use of his image. But if Disney is going to insist on bribing Congress to extend copyright terms in order to keep Mickey under copyright, and if they are going to bully casual Internet users over the unauthorized use of Mickey's image, why are they not suing Hamas over their own use of Mickey
If I were to make my own video using Donald Duck to convince people to divest themselves from organizations connected to Hamas, am I to assume now that Disney would have nothing to say about that either??
[Posted at 05/08/2007 02:50 PM by Justin Levine on Politics and IP comments(2)]
Barack Obama's web site
reports a letter sent to Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairman Howard Dean urging the DNC to make the video from any Democratic Presidential debate publicly available after the debate for free and without restriction under a Creative Commons license.
"I am a strong believer in the importance of copyright, especially in a digital age", he writes, "But there is no reason that this particular class of content needs the protection". Unfortunately, Obama does not seem to hold any unconventional views on copyright.
[Posted at 05/04/2007 09:06 PM by Andrea Moro on Politics and IP comments(0)]
With enough momentum, copyright reform has the potential to one day become a political issue in Washington. But its naive to think that it will ever become a partisan issue.
Still, many are sitting up and taking notice of the current cozy relationship between the RIAA and the Democrats.
[Posted at 04/13/2007 03:23 PM by Justin Levine on Politics and IP comments(0)]
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