Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 25th Feb 2010 18:11 UTC, submitted by Troy Farrell
Legal On Tuesday, the US IP Enforcement Coordinator made a request to the public for input on how IP enforcement should work in the current administration. After the business with ACTA, and yesterday the IIPA, this could be a great opportunity for our American readers to voice their concerns tot he Obama administration.
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by fretinator on Thu 25th Feb 2010 18:29 UTC
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I'll consult the Easter Bunny Coordinator and the Office of Santa Clause Idea Indemnification and get back to you.

Reply Score: 6

Yes, I have a comment....
by heron on Thu 25th Feb 2010 18:37 UTC
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There are other laws to protect people against such things. Your position shouldn't exist.


Reply Score: 2

What to do...
by bnolsen on Thu 25th Feb 2010 20:33 UTC
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Defund it and save the money?

Reply Score: 3

Comment by antidroid
by antidroid on Thu 25th Feb 2010 20:59 UTC
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Wow! Who drafted that? Microsoft?
When will the corporate police come breaking down your door?

Reply Score: 3

My only request...
by jakesdad on Thu 25th Feb 2010 21:33 UTC
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Actually understand what you are enforcing. Don't defer to others (read corporations) for enforcement.

Reply Score: 2

v enforcement
by ralphcarlsonjr on Thu 25th Feb 2010 21:47 UTC
I sent mail...
by Tuishimi on Fri 26th Feb 2010 00:03 UTC
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2005-07-06 the specified address. What the heck, I am already on every government watch list I am sure - why not add to it. I actually did not have a suggestion on how to implement enforcement, but asked if they could not also take a look at patent law and the submittal process.

Reply Score: 2

this guy "invented" a calendar
by ozonehole on Fri 26th Feb 2010 00:14 UTC
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Did any of you bother to click the link to patent 7,397,731 to find out what this guy "invented?" It looks like a digital calendar, but it's even less than that. Just a calendar consisting of blocks of wood or plastic with numbers printed on them. You display the date by rearranging the blocks in an appropriate direction to show the date you want.

I know my family had one of those when I was a little kid. And I'm 58 years old.

No wonder other countries have no respect for America's "intellectual property." The patent system is so broken that you can patent your dog taking a dump or scratching an itch.

Of course, it's all about the money. It costs several thousand dollars in fees to secure a patent, money that makes the US Patent Office a self-supporting cash cow. They don't make money by denying most patents, so they just accept anything, pocket the cash, and let the courts sort it out later. And then US trade representatives have the audacity to pressure foreign countries to "respect" US patents. If they had their way, you'd have to pay a royalty every time you wipe your butt.

The USA is a crumbling empire in so many ways. Future historians will no doubt gape in wonder as they research how what was once the world's wealthiest and most powerful nation destroyed itself.

Edited 2010-02-26 00:18 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: this guy "invented" a calendar
by Tuishimi on Fri 26th Feb 2010 05:40 UTC in reply to "this guy "invented" a calendar"
Tuishimi Member since:

LOL! I said almost exactly the same thing about patents to a friend of mine today after reading this article. I think mine had to do with farting tho'.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by StychoKiller
by StychoKiller on Fri 26th Feb 2010 00:36 UTC
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I just read this article on:

[quote]Microsoft has won court approval to shut down a global network of computers which it says is responsible for more than 1.5bn spam messages every day.

A US judge granted the firm's request to shut down 277 internet domains, which it said were used to "command and control" the so-called Waledac botnet. [/quote]

What really blows my mind about this is the fact that no one questions why Microsoft hasn't fixed their Windows OS (various flavors) to prevent such botnets from existing in the first place!

Software can be digitally signed by the creator of the software and can probably be prevented from running at all without an enabling key from said creator.

IIPA exist only because some companies cannot or will not change their ways of doing business. It's far easier to get Congressional lapdogs to write laws to uphold the status quo.

Fortunately, all such dinosaurs will go extinct and govt. agencies that enable them are only delaying the inevitable.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by StychoKiller
by darknexus on Fri 26th Feb 2010 01:34 UTC in reply to "Comment by StychoKiller"
darknexus Member since:

Fortunately, all such dinosaurs will go extinct and govt. agencies that enable them are only delaying the inevitable.

Perhaps, but they'll drag a lot of people into oblivion with them and destroy more in the fight to survive.

Reply Score: 2

Let's see...
by Flatland_Spider on Fri 26th Feb 2010 14:26 UTC
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Looking into this, the ProIP Act looks like a bad deal, but the plus side is, we now have a bureaucrat to apply pressure to, for whatever that's worth.

I sent the following letter for fun.

To whom it may concern:

If you want to create jobs, create an atmosphere hospitable to innovation. Here are some steps that would help to foster innovation:
1) Rollback the DMCA. Nothing has had more of a chilling effect then anything else, and companies use the DCMA as a tool to drive other companies out of business, which reduces jobs and innovation.
2) Get rid of software patents. Software shouldn't be patented, and software patents have the effect of choking out competition, which reduces jobs and innovation.
3) Revert Copyright back to a temporary protection. Copyright was never meant to be a permanent thing. It was designed to let innovators get a couple years lead time on competitors not to lock out competition, which reduces jobs and innovation.

The way to prosperity is less IP enforcement, so companies actually have to compete. Intellectual Property should only exist for a temporary time. It should be used to reward innovators and entrepreneurs, not to punish them, and the current system punishes them. The current field is slanted towards the entrenched players who have a vested interest in locking everyone but themselves out of the playing field.

Data and knowledge should be free; they want to be free! Data and knowledge should enrich the world, and they can't enrich the world locked up in a steel box inside a vault buried under sixty tons of concrete. They need to be out in the open where people can study them, apply them, and build on them. We have the world we have today because the knowledge and data of the past was free and open to all.

Thank you for your time.


Reply Score: 1

RE: Let's see...
by nt_jerkface on Fri 26th Feb 2010 23:40 UTC in reply to "Let's see..."
nt_jerkface Member since:

Get rid of software patents. Software shouldn't be patented, and software patents have the effect of choking out competition, which reduces jobs and innovation.

That's not true, a well designed patent can create wealth since by definition people are obviously willing to pay for it under the current system. If a patented commercial compression algorithm can reduce bandwidth used by ISPs then that is a net production of wealth. No one is going to invest capital in the research of such an algorithm if ISPs could just use it without payment.

The software patent system needs to be reformed but throwing it out would be a bad idea.

Why spend millions on software r&d if everyone can just use it without paying?

Relying on open source programmers isn't the answer when there have been numerous times when there was no open source alternative to a commercially developed algorithm. There are also a lot of industry specific algorithms that will never, ever be developed by open source programmers. It's just too boring and uninteresting and will only be developed through a profit motive.

The problem with the software patent system is that they have been given out too readily. Of course there shouldn't be a patent on something simple like a checkbox but something like a compression algorithm that takes years of development by highly paid engineers deserves protection.

Reply Score: 1

Letter Sent
by wingnut2292 on Fri 26th Feb 2010 20:42 UTC
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I decided to send a letter. After all the worst case scenario is that I wast my time. I thought it may prompt some conversation. Please keep in mind that I'm disgraphic and that getting thoughts to paper/screen in an organized manor can me difficult at times. Here's the letter.

To Victoria Espinel, Int. Prop Enforcement Chief - Office of Business Management:

I hear your call for input and am happy to answer. I fear that we have lost our way on what copyrights and protect. It seems today that our existing IP protections are more used today to prevent competition and secure a de-facto monopoly, or as a bludgeon against consumers fair-use rights. I think it's critical that the Administration look at the origin of the copyright and the patent. Both of these Int. Prop. protections were enshrined in the Constitution by our Founding Fathers. How does that original intent compare to today's practice. A review of existing patents is honestly well needed, for prior art, weather the patent piratical use or if the product or if the patent was ever brought to market.

A way to crystallize my thoughts is that the copyright is for all the arts - be they visual arts, performing arts, prose and verse or even political free-speech; patent is for science, when that science is useful for society (e.g. it does something no other device or process does) and is intended to be sold on the open free market; and that neither protection is appropriate for science when science is done for research or expand humanity's body of knowledge.

I am very worried about software patents. How can a computer program be both a useful device intended for market and a free-speech work of art?

Another flaw in our current system is when I install Windows, I can make use several media formats. But when I shutdown Windows and boot to Linux on my dual-boot machine I am not able to use those same media technology. Why? I've paid for the royalties on these technologies with my purchase of Windows and it's the same physical computer, so why the difference? I've yet to get a good answer.

A third concern is that consumers fair-use rights are being violated. I have a feeling that many, maybe as much as third-to-half of the IP-law violations in America are consumers reserving their innate natural-right of fair-use for the things they own. I strongly encourage you and the Administration to create an End-Consume Int. Prop. Bill-of-Rights to modify the DMCA.

Lastly, while I know this is something that you and your office can't change, could you lean on major American IP organizations (RIICA, MPEG-LA, the scriptwriters / screen-actors unions, etc.) to a) value their product fairly. Consumers are less likely to break the lay if the market price for IP goods is at or near the public's opinion of what the price should be. And b) the best thing the major IP goods vendors can do to prevent violation of the law is to not make their product computer-compatible. After all computers and cassette-tapes grew up together, but there was never any major sharing of IP in the 80's; ink & paper books to this day don't have the problems music and movies do. The best way to make sure that IP isn't spread on the Web is to make sure that it can interface with computer in a limited way, if at all.

Thank you for your time. Please consider my points.


[my name, censored for privacy]

Reply Score: 1

Here's my letter
by nt_jerkface on Fri 26th Feb 2010 23:17 UTC
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Dear Government,

Please eliminate intellectual property laws so I don't have to pay for software anymore.

We can just download Chinese software instead of paying for American software. The Chinese ignore intellectual property laws and have created a wealth of software alternatives to programs like Autocad and Photoshop such as......well I don't know....they must have something....right?

I really hate that I am expected to pay for software and music when it is so easy to copy. I mean it is so easy to come on...let me do it.

There are also open source programmers that can compete with proprietary offerings. Just look the games industry. Instead of playing games like Darksiders that depend on intellectual property laws for license sales like we can just play Tux Racer and Quake III mods.

Yours truly,

A freshman sociology major who doesn't understand the complexities of software development or even basic economics but likes downloading stuff without paying.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Here's my letter
by Soulbender on Mon 1st Mar 2010 03:09 UTC in reply to "Here's my letter"
Soulbender Member since:

Dear Government,

Please don't piss of China. As an American citizen I dont want to pay a fair amount for anything, I just want to pay enough that I can pretend that our capitalist system is working. The cheaper the better. I'm sure oll those workers for the companies we use in China get a fair salary, healthcare and all that other stuff that *I* require in my employment.

Please don't support Open Source or open standards, it just never goes anywhere. Why use standard email when we could be using immensely successfull and lasting products like CC:mail, MSMail and Lotus Notes.
I also miss Pointcast.

Yours truly,

A Firefox user who really don't know what's going on with this Entarnet thing but likes to have opinions anyway.

Reply Score: 2