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Monopoly corrupts. Absolute monopoly corrupts absolutely.





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The Heroic Professor Nesson

The recent issue of IP Law & Business has a fascinating Q&A with Harvard law professor Charles Nesson, who is representing Joel Tenenbaum, a 25-year-old doctoral student being sued by five record companies under the Digital Theft Deterrence and Copyright Act of 1999. Tenenbaum refused to settle, and Nesson is arguing "that the law is unconstitutional because it allows for 'grossly excessive' awards."

While it's demeaning to have to hope for a just statutory interpretation by fake judges appointed by the criminal state of an artificial positive law enacted by "law"-makers of another department of the same criminal gang, it's heartening to see some people fighting back, and some otherwise mainstream legal professionals fighting for them. I doubt Nesson is a libertarian or against IP completely, but some of his comments are great. For example, he says,

"With the Net, there are artists who are figuring out ways to profit without using this clout of the copyright law. ... I believe the recording companies have great skills to offer artists, and there may need to be some reshuffling in the way those skills are passed around and the ways in which revenue is returned. ... If you see the United States in a competition with other nations in a digital world, and you think the best asset you have for the future are your own children, who will become the digerati, who think imaginatively in that environment, you will be against the idea that you use the law, the power of the state, to make those learners fearful of clicking on the Net."

(Aside: I also like how the same publication refers to a recent patent settlement as a "tax": Intuit Taxed $120 Million by Intellectual Ventures.)

[Cross-posted at SK and Mises]


Comments

Hi,

Sorry about this post, but I couldn't find a way to contact you by email. I've been reading one of your books and your website along with a few others. I thought it might be useful to point out one vexatious litigant known as The SCO Group. You can find a summary of their activities here: http://www.groklaw.net/staticpages/index.php?page=20031016162215566.

If there ever was an argument against Intellectual Property, these guys would represent the pinnacle of that argument.

Oh,wait. I forgot about these guys: http://www.law.com/jsp/article.jsp?id=1202431711930&Intuit_Taxed__Million_by_Intellectual_Ventures.

There's nothing like non-practicing entities threating lawsuits over patents.

Given the following from Intuit's SEC filing, I believe it is merely speculation to say that its arrangement with Intellectual Ventures is a "patent settlement". Maybe it is. Maybe it is not. Only the parties know, and they are not talking.

12. Subsequent Event On May 14, 2009, we entered into an agreement to license certain technology for total consideration of $120 million payable over the next ten fiscal years. Using currently available information, we estimated the total present value of this arrangement to be approximately $89.2 million. We determined that approximately $78.6 million of this amount is related to future licensing rights and we expect to record an asset for that amount in the three months ending July 31, 2009. We will amortize the asset on a straight-line basis over the estimated useful life of the technology, primarily to cost of revenue in our statements of operations. We accrued the estimated remaining cost of $10.6 million, which we determined was related to the historical use of licensing rights, in accounts payable on our balance sheet at April 30, 2009 and recorded a corresponding charge to cost of service and other revenue in our statements of operations for the three and nine months ended April 30, 2009. We may adjust our preliminary estimate of the total present value of the arrangement or the allocation of the total present value between future licensing rights and the historical use of licensing rights after obtaining more information regarding, among other things, the licensing rights and our expected use of those rights in our current and future products and services. We expect to finalize our valuation of the licensing rights during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009.

Re the following:

While it's demeaning to have to hope for a just statutory interpretation by fake judges appointed by the criminal state of an artificial positive law enacted by "law"-makers of another department of the same criminal gang

Surely this is made in jest.

"Given the following from Intuit's SEC filing, I believe it is merely speculation to say that its arrangement with Intellectual Ventures is a "patent settlement". Maybe it is. Maybe it is not."

Nonsense. What else could a $120 million "licensing agreement" negotiated with a patent troll at gunpoint possibly be?

"Re the following:

While it's demeaning to have to hope for a just statutory interpretation by fake judges appointed by the criminal state of an artificial positive law enacted by "law"-makers of another department of the same criminal gang

Surely this is made in jest."

Actually, a few people here are anarchists that firmly believe that sort of stuff. :)


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