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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Comment by Gone fishing
by Gone fishing on Sun 1st Jul 2012 07:56 UTC
Gone fishing
Member since:

Lots of issues – firstly is Apple a patent troll? If a troll is a company that collects patients, but makes no products using them, but simply uses the products to extort money out of other companies the Apple isn’t a troll, its just hypocritical, unethical and bullying – hope I’ve made all the Apple fanboys happy.

The issue of democracy – firstly to say that capitalism and democracy cannot exist together is just silly. Democracy is the political system of modern capitalism. If you think democracy means that society is totally fair and a level playing field for all, then your being naive. A Marxist analysis would be something like; the democratic state attempts to regulate the conflict between the classis so that class war does not break out whilst maintaining the existing property relations. I don’t agree with that analysis, however, I think it is fair to suggest that the democratic state does allow for tensions to be resolved, but in a way that usually favours the interests of the powerful who exert more influence, as they have more levers of influence. The cards are stacked against the weak in favour of the powerful – that shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. This would certainly apply to the current state of affairs with large corporations and IP.

Certainly trans-national bodies that are un-elected and exert massive influence over our lives are a concern. However, I do not take the view that they are unchangeable. They seem to me to be quite vulnerable. Possibly the crisis in the Euro at the moment is indication of how fragile these apparently powerful bodies can be when torn by the self interest of states (which are under democratic control). Will more Europe, more trans-national bodies, regulators save the Euro? – I’m doubtful, unless that is the will and general consensus of the European people, and even with that I’m sceptical.

A problem with IP law and governance is that large corporations that have powerful levers of influence unduly control it. The fact that some of these corporations are particularly unethical is also disquieting. However, an equal problem is that western governments (and people?) see IP and the control of information as a way of making themselves powerful and wealthy forever, without the need to produce or innovate. As they are powerful this is entrenched in trans-national bodies, but it will fail. Production and innovation produces wealth and wealth produces power, with power you can re-level the playing field in your favour.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by Gone fishing
by Slambert666 on Mon 2nd Jul 2012 07:50 in reply to "Comment by Gone fishing"
Slambert666 Member since:

Lots of issues – firstly is Apple a patent troll?

A patent troll is a troll that trolls using patents.

Because a company can choose to do this trolling itself (like Apple) or by proxy (Microsoft, IBM, etc.) there really is no need to distinguish between the different types of trolls.

Reply Parent Score: 6