Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 30th Jun 2012 19:34 UTC
Legal Yesterday, we were treated to another preliminary injunction on a product due to patent trolling. Over the past few years, some companies have resorted to patent trolling instead of competing on merit, using frivolous and obvious software and design patents to block competitors - even though this obviously shouldn't be legal. The fact that this is, in fact, legal, is baffling, and up until a few months ago, a regular topic here on OSNews. At some point - I stopped reporting on the matter. The reason for this is simple: I realised that intellectual property law exists outside of regular democratic processes and is, in fact, wholly and utterly totalitarian. What's the point in reporting on something we can't change via legal means?
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RE[2]: A questions for Thom
by mkone on Sun 1st Jul 2012 02:29 UTC in reply to "RE: A questions for Thom"
mkone
Member since:
2006-03-14

Thom, your last statement (question actually) in your "article" was "What's the point in reporting on something we can't change via legal means?".

Wel, you generally don't change laws via the legal process, but via the legislative process which is the domain of politicians. IP law exists because lawmakers made it so.

As far as I am aware, most countries' legislative bodies are sovereign, i.e. they can legislate whatever they want.

The fact of the matter is that the public is not clamouring for a change in IP laws, therefore what is happening is completely democratic. If the vast majority of people want IP laws to change, then they should vote in people who pledge to change them. However, we all know most people aren't bothered about IP law, therefore it is entirely democratic that the law, as it stands, is applied. By not voting for change the public is voting for the status quo.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[3]: A questions for Thom
by Alfman on Sun 1st Jul 2012 04:31 in reply to "RE[2]: A questions for Thom"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

mkone,

"The fact of the matter is that the public is not clamouring for a change in IP laws, therefore what is happening is completely democratic."

That doesn't necessarily follow, and to be sure there are plenty of counter examples too where politicians do whatever they hell they want to without regards to their supposed constituency. In reality even local politics requires millions of dollars, which is typically funded by corporations. They've recently been allowed to pledge infinite funds to influence politicians and elections, not to mention think tanks and apostrophising. This is corrupts the notion of a government democracy which exists "for the people". I find the control corporations have over government to be the downfall of a functional democracy.

"If the vast majority of people want IP laws to change, then they should vote in people who pledge to change them. However, we all know most people aren't bothered about IP law, therefore it is entirely democratic that the law, as it stands, is applied. By not voting for change the public is voting for the status quo."


I think it's a fallacy to say people aren't voting for change...they're always voting for change. But the only issues we'll ever get an opportunity to debate and vote on are "hot button issues" like jobs, affordable healthcare, war, union rights, taxes, education, housing, abortion, even religion and marriage, etc. You don't know what people think about their IP rights from the polls because the polls haven't attempted to measure that - election data is too granular to draw those kinds of conclusions.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[4]: A questions for Thom
by mkone on Sun 1st Jul 2012 11:45 in reply to "RE[3]: A questions for Thom"
mkone Member since:
2006-03-14

The reason that IP issues aren't brought up when campaigning for votes is precisely because voters don't see them as particularly important. There is nothing about democracy that mandates that every issue under the sun will be in a manifesto. Part of the democratic proces is about deciding which issues are important enough to be presented to the public to garner votes. IP law just so happens to be such a low priority issue for most individual voters that they don't really care one way or the other.

Whilst individuals in a democracy can state their preferences for the big issues, and the political process is oriented in that way, voters are also delegating the responsibility for other "smaller" issues to the politicians. If the public don't like how the politicians are dealing with the small issues, they should vote them out, or make their feelings known. If they don't, then they either happy with it, or at least not bothered by it.

Reply Parent Score: 2

The1stImmortal Member since:
2005-10-20

Thom, your last statement (question actually) in your "article" was "What's the point in reporting on something we can't change via legal means?".

Wel, you generally don't change laws via the legal process, but via the legislative process which is the domain of politicians. IP law exists because lawmakers made it so.

Perhaps in this instance, Thom means legal as opposed to illegal, rather than legal as in court?

As far as I am aware, most countries' legislative bodies are sovereign, i.e. they can legislate whatever they want.

Unless they voluntarily give up such sovereignty, through the signing of treaties.
As the US civil war (amongst others) demonstrated, the giving up of sovereignty can be done irrevocably.
And it appears that in this case it's only revocable through departure from the WTO, which is economic suicide.

The fact of the matter is that the public is not clamouring for a change in IP laws, therefore what is happening is completely democratic. If the vast majority of people want IP laws to change, then they should vote in people who pledge to change them. However, we all know most people aren't bothered about IP law, therefore it is entirely democratic that the law, as it stands, is applied. By not voting for change the public is voting for the status quo.

Popular apathy in itself does not mean that the status quo is democratic. It just means the issue hasn't received enough publicity recently to test its democratic support.

Reply Parent Score: 2