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10.18.13

New Strategy for Fighting Software Patents

Posted in Courtroom, Law, Patents at 10:48 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Taking into account systemic corruption in law and politics (Chris Dodd shown below)

Christopher Dodd

Summary: When law is controlled and composed (by proxy) by corporations and their lobbyists, a new strategy for reform is needed

WHEN the highest court (SCOTUS) relies on a broken Internet (where material just vanishes [1]) and judges are political and/or tied to corporations, it is no surprise and there is no reason to wonder why there’s reluctance to end bribery/corruption (euphemisms include “campaign-finance”). The ‘legal’ system is so broken that even innocent people who were unjustly punished oughtn’t bother suing [3] and guilty cults that defraud thousands and run their own prison system walk away free, despite being recognised as organised fraud in other, more civilised nations [4]. It seems like in the eyes of this ‘legal’ system, dissent against crime or the pursuit of justice are now the real enemy. This is the sign of a a legal system entering a state of calamitous collapse. To blindly assume its moral higher ground would be unwise.

It has been about 2 months since we last covered patents on a regular basis. This is not a coincidence. Having campaigned against software patents since my days as a student, I hardly see any progress. In Europe, debate focuses on unification with US patent law (the typical cross-Atlantic treaty loophole), in New Zealand the fight against software patents never ends (even when the arguments are all settled), and in the US the debate is totally dead; all they talk about right now are “patent trolls”.

Fighting against a system which is inherently broken and does not permit progress — just fake Change® — is a tiresome exercise. It feels like a waste of energy. Larry Lessig tried to reform copyright law for years. He hardly succeeded. Corrupt politicians like Chris Dodd — those who literally bribe Congress — always get their way. Lessig understood this after years of campaigning regarding copyright law. Instead, after years of wasted effort, he turned his attention to fighting corruption in US Congress. it’s no simple task, either. Perhaps we too, at least in the coming years, will need to dedicate some time to fighting the patent issue from a political angle, not just a technical and logical angle. From the technical point of view, the argument was resolved a long time ago. Developers reached a consensus. But the patent lawyers and their lawyer/politician friends stand in the way and they will never give way to change unless they are named and shamed. SCOTUS and CAFC are part of the problem because their decisions continue to legitimise software patents.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Link Rot and the US Supreme Court

    “Hyperlinks are not forever. Link rot occurs when a source you’ve linked to no longer exists — or worse, exists in a different state than when the link was originally made. Even permalinks aren’t necessarily permanent if a domain goes silent or switches ownership. According to new research from Harvard Law, some 49% of hyperlinks in Supreme Court documents no longer point to the correct original content. A second study on link rot from Yale stresses that for the Court footnotes, citations, parenthetical asides, and historical context mean as much as the text of an opinion itself, which makes link rot a threat to future scholarship.”

  2. Obama’s Lawyer Should Have Used Originalism to Sway Originalist Justices

    If he had met a conservative Court on its own ground, the solicitor general could have notched a victory for liberalism—and helped safeguard campaign-finance protections.

  3. Unlawfully Detained by the U.S. Government? Don’t Bother Suing.

    Last Monday, on the same day as the opening of the new Supreme Court term, the federal appeals court in San Francisco threw out a damages suit by a former Guantánamo detainee who alleged that his detention and his treatment while detained had been unlawful. The decision by a unanimous three-judge panel in Hamad v. Gates did not hold that the plaintiff’s rights hadn’t been violated; rather, it held that it lacked the power to even address that question because of a 2006 statute that appears to take away the jurisdiction of the federal courts in such cases. Although there are reasons to quibble with the Ninth Circuit’s analysis, the result underscores a far broader point about which there can be no dispute: In case after case, on issues ranging from Guantánamo to surveillance to “extraordinary rendition” and torture, the federal courts have been categorically hostile to damages claims arising out of post-September 11 counterterrorism policies. And as in Hamad, this hostility has been reflected in the courts’ reliance upon a host of procedural doctrines to reject the plaintiffs’ claims without actually adjudicating—one way or the other—the underlying legality of the government’s conduct.

  4. Scientology’s fraud conviction upheld in France

    France’s top appeals court has upheld a fraud conviction and fines totalling hundreds of thousands of euros against the Church of Scientology, for taking advantage of vulnerable followers.

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