Posts Tagged ‘ intellectual property ’

“Intellectual property” keeps right on killing

May 22, 2016
posted by

Kevin Carson Center for a Stateless Society
by Kevin Carson  

"Habitual apologists for agribusiness like Reason's Ron Bailey gushingly cite studies that show glyphosate, the 'active ingredient' in Roundup, are unlikely to cause cancer in the concentrations that appear in supermarket produce. But as it turns out, the focus on glyphosate was actually a distraction .... There's evidence ('New Evidence About the Dangers of Monsanto's Roundup,' The Intercept, May 17) that Roundup is indeed carcinogenic, especially in the concentrations that farm workers are exposed to. ... legally, Monsanto is required to make public only the active ingredient -- glyphosate -- itself. The 'inert ingredients' are all trade secrets, legally protected by so-called 'intellectual property.'" (05/21/16)

https://c4ss.org/content/45029  

16 Comments »

Cato, “Derby Pie” [TM], the “Super Bowl” [TM] and trademark law

May 8, 2016
posted by

Stephan Kinsella Center for the Study of Innovative Freedom
by Stephan Kinsella  

"In a recent Cato Podcast, Trademarks and Derby-Pie[TM], host Caleb Brown interviews Walter Olson about trademark law, with reference to a recent controversy where the Kentucky Derby was threatening restaurants from selling a 'Derby Pie' (see NPR, What's Inside A 'Derby Pie?' Maybe A Lawsuit Waiting To Happen), and similar absurd situations such as the NFL using trademark law to coerce companies not to use the term 'Super Bowl.' ... I was hoping this short podcast would condemn trademark law in general, as I have done, or at least condemn these uses of trademark as clear examples of abuse and injustice and as obviously incompatible with libertarian principles, as I have also done. But Olson nowhere clearly does either. Instead, he insinuates trademark law is an ostensible sensible policy (it's not) ..." (05/07/16)

http://c4sif.org/2016/05/cato-derby-pie-the-super-bowl-and-trademark-law/  

1 Comment »

Standardized DRM will make us less safe

May 5, 2016
posted by

Electronic Frontier Foundation Electronic Frontier Foundation
by Cory Doctorow  

"Earlier this year, an independent security researcher named Rotem Kerner came forward to disclose critical bugs in a digital video recorder that was integrated into over 70 vendors' CCTV-based security systems. The vulnerability is a grave one. These DVRs are designed to be connected to whole networks of security cameras. By compromising them, thieves can spy on their targets using the targets' own cameras. In fact, Kerner was part of a team at RSA who published a report in 2014 that showed that thieves were using these vulnerable system to locate and target cash-registers for robberies. ... CCTV and video recorders that include EME or other digital locks could effectively become off-limits to the sort of important disclosures that Kerner made last month. A researcher coming forward about vulnerabilities in a system that includes EME could risk criminal and civil punishments." (05/05/16)

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2016/04/standardized-drm-will-make-us-less-safe  

No Comments »

Yes, all DRM

May 4, 2016
posted by

Electronic Frontier Foundation Electronic Frontier Foundation
by Parker Higgins  

"Everybody knows that the digital locks of DRM on the digital media you own is a big problem. If you've bought a digital book, album, or movie, you should be able to do what you want with it -- whether that's enjoying it wherever you want to, or making it more accessible by changing the font size or adding subtitles, or loaning or giving it to a friend when you’re done. We intuitively recognize that digital media should be more flexible than its analog forebears, not less, and that DRM shouldn't take away rights that copyright was never intended to restrict. But while it may not be as intuitive yet, DRM on digital media that you don't own is also a major threat. ... That's because DRM in any form requires us to give up control over our own devices to the companies distributing the media." (05/03/16)

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2016/05/yes-all-drm  

No Comments »

“Intellectual property” just keeps getting deadlier

April 28, 2016
posted by

Kevin Carson Center for a Stateless Society
by Kevin Carson  

"The whole point of proprietary software and other forms of proprietary information, coupled with the DMCA's restrictions on circumvention technology, is that you never actually own anything you buy. In fact directly accessing the source code is a crime. That's bad enough -- an injustice and an inconvenience -- when it comes to your computer operating system or a song you paid for. But when it involves the software running a device inside your own body, that you depend on to keep your heart beating, it's a lot more serious. As Doctorow says: 'However you feel about copyright law, everyone should be able to agree that copyright shouldn't get in the way of testing the software in your hearing aid, pacemaker, insulin pump, or prosthetic limb to look for safety risks (or privacy risks, for that matter).' Of course this is nothing new." (04/27/16)

https://c4ss.org/content/44735  

No Comments »

The misguided plan to expand a performers’ veto: More “copyright creep” through policy laundering

April 27, 2016
posted by

Electronic Frontier Foundation Electronic Frontier Foundation
by Corynne McSherry  

"A proposal to rewrite parts of copyright law being pushed by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office would create new restrictions for filmmakers, journalists, and others using recordings of audiovisual performances. Against the background of the the Next Great Copyright Act lurching forward and the Copyright Office convening a new series of roundtables on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, few have noticed the USPTO push happening now. But these proposals are a classic instance of copyright creep and are dangerous for users, creators, and service providers alike." (04/26/16)

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2016/04/another-fine-mess-ustr-has-gotten-us-misguided-plan-expand-performers-rights  

No Comments »

SCOTUS affirms Google Books scans of copyrighted works are fair use

April 19, 2016
posted by

TechCrunch    

"A Supreme Court order issued today closes the book on (or perhaps merely ends this chapter of) more than a decade of legal warfare between Google and the Authors Guild over the legality of the former’s scanning without permission of millions of copyrighted books. And the final word is: it’s fair use. The order is just an item in a long list of other orders that appeared today, and adds nothing to the argument except the tacit approval of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals 2015 decision -- itself approving an even earlier decision, that of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in 2013. So in a way, it's old news." (04/18/16)

http://techcrunch.com/2016/04/18/supreme-court-affirms-google-books-scans-of-copyrighted-works-are-fair-use/  

No Comments »

Led Zeppelin on trial: You can’t copyright a cliche

April 17, 2016
posted by

spiked spiked
by Christian Butler  

"Spirit's late guitarist Randy Wolfe, better known as Randy California, had been quoted as saying 'I'll let [Led Zeppelin] have the beginning of 'Taurus' for their song without a lawsuit.' Now, some 40 years after the realise of 'Stairway' on Led Zeppelin IV, the trustees of Wolfe's estate will fight the legal battle Wolfe himself had no intention of getting involved in There is a genuine similarity between the riff in the two songs -- they’re even played in the same key. But 'Taurus' lacks the melody of 'Stairway,' which is played on the higher strings of the guitar. What's more, the chord progression is so cliched musicologists have actually given it a technical name: the minor line cliche." [editor's note: Hopefully the next judge to get hold of this turkey will dismiss it and levy heavy financial sanctions for frivolous litigation on the vulture lawyers who talked Wolfe's heirs into pursuing it - TLK] (04/15/16)

http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/led-zeppelin-on-trial-you-cant-copyright-a-cliche/  

1 Comment »

Lawyers who won Happy Birthday copyright case sue over “We Shall Overcome”

April 13, 2016
posted by

Ars Technica Ars Technica    

"'We Shall Overcome,' a song that was the 'unofficial anthem to the civil rights movement,' was wrongly placed under copyright and should be put in the public domain, according to a lawsuit filed today in federal court. The complaint was filed by the same group of lawyers who succeeded at putting the world's most famous song, Happy Birthday, into the public domain after years of litigation. It's a proposed class action that seeks the return of copyright licensing fees they say were wrongfully collected by Ludlow Music Inc. and The Richmond Organization, which claim to have copyrighted 'We Shall Overcome' in 1960. According to the lawsuit, the song is much older than that. The plaintiffs say the song is based on 'an African-American spiritual with exactly the same melody and nearly identical lyrics from the late 19th or early 20th century.'" (04/13/16)

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2016/04/lawyers-who-won-happy-birthday-copyright-case-sue-over-we-shall-overcome/  

No Comments »

Stop the copyright creep

April 10, 2016
posted by

Electronic Frontier Foundation Electronic Frontier Foundation
by Jeremy Malcolm  

"In essence, copyright creep is an effort to expand copyright restrictions and/or allowing new parties to impose them in new ways. For example, civil law countries such as Europe and Latin America, may allow people who aren't traditional rightholders to exercise copyright-like restrictions, calling them 'related rights' (or 'neighboring rights'), as distinct from 'authors' rights.' In the United States, we are more likely to give traditional rightholders new powers, such as the ability to sue people who circumvent technological protections on a work. These experiments are dangerous: copyright and related rights are powerful tools, and the farther they reach the more likely they are to cause collateral damage to speech and innovation." (04/08/16)

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2016/04/stop-copyright-creep-new-restrictions-are-not-answer-challenges-digital-publishing  

No Comments »

Intellectual property protection is a fundamental free market tenet — not a tax

April 4, 2016
posted by

Seton Motley Heartland Institute
by Seton Motley  

"Intellectual property protection is government protecting productive people -- and their productions. A tax is unproductive government taking money from productive people to do unproductive things. See the difference?" [editor's note: Well, it's true that IP isn't exactly a "tax." It's more of a protection racket with the state serving as the muscle - TLK] (04/04/16)

http://blog.heartland.org/2016/04/intellectual-property-protection-is-a-fundamental-free-market-tenet-not-a-tax/  

No Comments »

Patent lawsuits should not be shrouded in secrecy

March 31, 2016
posted by

Electronic Frontier Foundation Electronic Frontier Foundation
by Vera Ranieri  

"The public has a First Amendment right to access court records, and that right is generally only curtailed when there is 'good cause'to do so. Unfortunately, when it comes to patent cases, courts routinely allow parties to file entire documents under seal, without any public-redacted version being made available. That's why EFF, with the assistance of Durie Tangri, has filed a motion to intervene and unseal documents in a patent case, Blue Spike v. Audible Magic. The court has allowed the parties in this case to keep more than half of the docket under seal, including the court's own rulings, making it impossible to fully understand and evaluate both the parties' arguments and the court's decisions." (03/30/16)

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2016/03/blue-spike-patent-lawsuits-should-not-be-shrouded-secrecy  

No Comments »

Trust in Mother Market … don’t support IP law’s protection of greed

March 22, 2016
posted by

Students For Liberty Students For Liberty
by Alexis Esneault  

"As a law student, most of my experience with the intellectual property regime has been fairly removed and abstract. But I also happen to have an awesome big brother who is a genius of a businessman. His new business was doing stunningly well, although, he recently got sued. Why? Another company is alleging he has infringed upon their intellectual property. I was never certain where I stood in the whole IP debate, and I am still not certain where I stand now. But, with one phone call, my brother made me realize that there are serious problems with our current approach to IP. Indeed, there are some forms of 'intellectual property' that cause a hell of a lot more harm than good." (03/21/16)

http://studentsforliberty.org/blog/2016/03/21/trust-in-mother-market-dont-support-ip-laws-protection-of-greed/  

No Comments »

How South Park saved fair use

March 21, 2016
posted by

Reason Reason
by Alexis Garcia  

"For 19 seasons, South Park has provided cutting cultural commentary centered around the foul-mouthed adventures of elementary school students Stan, Kyle, Kenny, and Cartman. But the raunchy cartoon has also helped establish an important legal entertainment precedent that expands free speech rights." (for publication 04/16)

http://reason.com/archives/2016/03/20/how-south-park-saved-fair-use  

No Comments »

Amazon files payment to let you complete a payment with a selfie

March 15, 2016
posted by

ABC News ABC News    

"No need for a password -- the transaction of the future could be completed by simply taking a selfie. Amazon filed a patent application this month, spotted by Re/Code, for a system that would allow users to take a selfie or video of themselves to complete a transaction. The technology would identify the person completing the transaction is "a living human being" by using facial recognition technology, according to the patent application. They could also be prompted to perform an action, such as smiling, blinking or tilting their head a certain way to add an extra level of security and ensure the system isn't being duped by someone holding up a photo of a user." (03/14/16)

http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/amazon-files-patent-complete-payment-selfie/story?id=37639745  

No Comments »

Patrick Smith: Un-intellectual property

March 7, 2016
posted by

C4SIF Center for the Study of Innovative Freedom
by Patrick Smith and Stephan Kinsella  

"In this short and well-done video, libertarian and photographer Patrick Smith provides an argument against IP, explaining how he finally 'saw the light' and realized that patent and copyright law are unjust and incompatible with property rights. Whereas he would previously become angry when people 'took' his photographs and 'used' them -- especially, gasp, for profit! -- he realized his arguments justifying his reaction were just emotional and finally came to see that there can be no just 'intellectual property' rights; there can be no ownership of information." [Flash video by Patrick Smith, with text review by Stephan Kinsella] (03/04/16)

http://c4sif.org/2016/03/patrick-smith-un-intellectual-property/  

No Comments »

Stupid Patent of the Month: Phoenix Licensing trolls marketers

March 1, 2016
posted by

Electronic Frontier Foundation Electronic Frontier Foundation
by Daniel Nazer  

"This month, we feature another yet another patent that takes an ordinary business practice and does it on a computer. Our winner is US Patent No. 8,738,435, titled 'Method and apparatus for presenting personalized content relating to offered products and services.' As you might guess from its title, the patent claims the idea of sending a personalized marketing message using a computer." (02/29/16)

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2016/02/stupid-patent-month-phoenix-licensing-trolls-marketers  

No Comments »

The federal circuit sticks to its guns: Patent owners can prevent you from owning anything

February 17, 2016
posted by

Electronic Frontier Foundation Electronic Frontier Foundation
by Vera Ranieri  

"A 'notice' slapped on the outside of a package saying 'single use only' continues to ensure a manufacturer selling you the product can sue for patent infringement should someone dare reuse its goods. This is what the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit held on Friday .... The issue is one of 'patent exhaustion.' This is the patent law version of 'first sale,' the doctrine in copyright law that says that once a consumer buys a copy of a work, she owns it, and can do what she wants with that copy. Patent law is similar. Once a patent owner sells a product, it cannot later claim its use is infringing. Yet the full court of the Federal Circuit held that so long as the sale was 'restricted' by something as simple as a notice placed on the disposable packaging of a product, patent rights could be reserved by the patent owner and not result in exhaustion." (02/16/16)

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2016/02/federal-circuit-sticks-its-guns-patent-owners-can-prevent-you-owning-anything  

No Comments »

Independent Institute on the “benefits” of intellectual property protection

February 16, 2016
posted by

Stephan Kinsella Center for the Study of Innovative Freedom
by Stephan Kinsella  

"As an increasing number of libertarians nowadays are aware or sense, intellectual property is utterly incompatible with private property rights and libertarian principles. In fact, it is one of the most insidious and harmful of statist policies. Ever since the advent of the Internet, which has magnified the costs of IP and made them more apparent, causing libertarians to turn their attention thereto, more and more libertarians are coming to oppose IP. Virtually all anarchist-libertarians, left-libertarians, and Austrian libertarians, and a growing number of minarchists, oppose IP, and in increasing numbers. Yet there remain stubborn holdouts: primarily Randians, older generation minarchists, novelists and other authors who think their livelihood depends on copyright, and a few others financially dependent on IP who want to preserve their gravy train." (02/15/16)

http://c4sif.org/2016/02/independent-institute-on-the-benefits-of-intellectual-property-protection/  

1 Comment »

The benefits of intellectual property protection

February 16, 2016
posted by

John R. Graham Independent Institute
by John R Graham  

"If there is one thing about which libertarians are never likely to agree, it is whether intellectual property -- patents, copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets -- should receive the same legal protection as physical property. Without wading too deep into the philosophical debate, but showing my colors as an IP advocate, let me share some new research published by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Global Intellectual Property Center (GIPC) on the benefits of legal protection of intellectual property." [editor's note: Graham mis-identifies the issue. It's not whether or not "intellectual property" deserves legal protections. It's whether or not "intellectual property" is actually property under any defensible theory (it isn't) - TLK] (02/15/16)

http://blog.independent.org/2016/02/15/the-benefits-of-intellectual-property-protection/  

1 Comment »

MPAA may like donuts, but they shouldn’t be the (copyright) police

February 10, 2016
posted by

Electronic Frontier Foundation Electronic Frontier Foundation
by Mitch Stoltz  

"The company Donuts controls about 200 new top-level domains, including .movie, .theater, and .media. Yesterday, MPAA announced that it has made a deal with Donuts that will make MPAA a 'trusted notifier' for reporting copyright-infringing websites, with the expectation that Donuts will disable or suspend those websites' domain names. According to the website TorrentFreak, this will make MPAA 'the definitive authority on what is considered a large-scale piracy website.' This raises the risk of a website losing its domain name, or having it co-opted, without a court judgment or other legal process." (02/10/16)

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2016/02/mpaa-may-donuts-they-shouldnt-be-copyright-police  

No Comments »

Warner/Chappell doesn’t own “Happy Birthday;” must pay back $14 million

February 10, 2016
posted by

Fox News Fox News    

"Music publisher Warner/Chappell Music will return $14 million in fees to settle a lawsuit that challenges its claim to 'Happy Birthday,' one of the world's best-known songs. A federal judge ruled in September that Warner/Chappell didn't own the lyrics and had no right to charge for their use. The Los Angeles Times cites court documents released Monday that outline terms of a settlement reached in December. Under the deal, Warner/Chappell will give up its claims to the ubiquitous song and reimburse those who paid licensing fees. The settlement was announced as a trial was set to begin." (02/10/16)

http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2016/02/10/music-publisher-doesnt-own-happy-birthday-has-to-pay-back-14-million  

No Comments »

Not Mormon [TM], but still Mormon

February 10, 2016
posted by

Electronic Frontier Foundation Electronic Frontier Foundation
by Vera Ranieri  

"Who is a Mormon? This is a fundamental question of self-identity, religion, and even Wikipedia. One would think, however, that that answer would not be found in trademark law. Intellectual Reserve, Inc. (IRI), which owns and manages the trademarks of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has made a series of trademark claims against small startups and organizations using the term 'Mormon' in their names and URLs, including our client, the Mormon Mental Health Association (MMHA)." (02/09/16)

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2016/02/not-mormonr-still-mormon  

No Comments »

The research pirates of the Dark Web

February 9, 2016
posted by

The Atlantic The Atlantic
by Kaveh Waddell  

"There's a battle raging over whether academic research should be free, and it's overflowing into the dark web. Most modern scholarly work remains locked behind paywalls, and unless your computer is on the network of a university with an expensive subscription, you have to pay a fee, often around 30 dollars, to access each paper. Many scholars say this system makes publishers rich -- Elsevier, a company that controls access to more than 2,000 journals, has a market capitalization about equal to that of Delta Airlines -- but does not benefit the academics that conducted the research, or the public at large. Others worry that free academic journals would have a hard time upholding the rigorous standards and peer reviews that the most prestigious paid journals are famous for." (02/09/16)

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2016/02/the-research-pirates-of-the-dark-web/461829/  

No Comments »

Je suis #researchparasite

February 3, 2016
posted by

Kevin Carson Center for a Stateless Society
by Kevin Carson  

"In an editorial at the New England Journal of Medicine ('Data Sharing,' Jan. 21), Dan Longo and Jeffrey Drazen have coined an interesting new term: 'research parasite.' In theory, the authors say: Data sharing is beautiful. But when you get down to all the practical details, it turns out to be one of those beautiful theories that just won't work in the real world. ... Put in slightly less adversarial language, the term 'research parasite' seems to include both people who try to disprove other researchers' findings, and people who try to build on them without the original researchers' permission. In other words, research parasites are people who do what they used to call 'science.'" (02/01/16)

https://c4ss.org/content/42994  

No Comments »

Our Sponsors