04.14.09

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Defenders of Democracy and Free Speech Under Attack from Germany, AstroTurfers, and Maybe Microsoft

Posted in Europe, Microsoft, Patents at 2:17 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Summary: A summary of new reports that reveal a brutal, unethical system for information control and monopolies

THOSE GOOD folks from Wikileaks continue to show the world that juicy, truthful journactivism is far from dead. Having recently exposed the censorship plans from Australia, they also leaked ACTA drafts a few days ago and Glyn Moody, as usual, commends them.

Given that a draft is now available, and that others will doubtless follow, the best thing would be for for the ACTA nations to acknowledge that we live in different, more open times, and to embrace them. Let them release an official ACTA draft for everyone to comment on – and not just the chosen few that are permitted to walk the hallowed corridors of power.

Watch what is happening in Germany: Germany deletes WikiLeaks.de domain after raid

cording to claims of German registration authority DENIC, the Wikileaks.de domain has been sent to DENIC by the Internet domain registrar, “Beasts Associated” and therefore is “In Transit”. The registrar claims this had happened as a consequence of “contract breach” by the domain owner. WikiLeaks has open questions that cannot be answered at this point in time. It also remains unclear whether the “breach of contract” is related to content on the website or administrative issues. An update will be posted as soon as we have all information required to assess the situation.

The raid was blunt enough, but there are no clear answers in this later case. What really was the cause?

Another detested process in the making is the patent deform bill, which puts to shame the need to change for the better. Watch this report from ACS which names the stakeholders.

A group representing Silicon Valley giants such as Microsoft, Google, Apple, and Cisco has also endorsed the measure. Similar patent reform legislation (H.R. 1260) is awaiting action in the House.

What about the small companies? Or consumers? Who are these laws for anyway? Shades of the ACTA, which similarly involves only giant companies and thus leaves all the rest completely in the dark and/or without ability to make substantial impact.

Mind another AstroTurf which is going for this reform (a Microsoft-esque AstroTurf).

Lobbyists Get Random Unsuspecting Groups To Rally Against Patent Reform

[...]

Well, it appears that the same thing is happening with patent reform. Wired has done a little digging, and was curious why an anti-communist Hungarian group, the Minutemen (vigilante border guards), and various religious groups have suddenly come out against patent reform. In pretty much all cases, the groups don’t seem knowledgeable at all about the actual issues, and were basically told to “sign on” after being given a one-sided presentation that falsely claimed that patent reform was designed to harm American inventiveness and help foreign companies. The best explanation, however, goes to Laszlo Pasztor, the 87-year-old “honorary chairman” of the National Federation of American Hungarians, who is very much opposed to patent reform, though he seems rather confused why:

“It was in Chicago or Detroit, I can’t remember. Somebody brought this up, I don’t know for what reason… So I gave them permission to use my name.”

Here is the seminal report from Wired. It gives another example.

When asked if we could talk to other members of the group to understand their perspective on patent reform, Pasztor replied that it will be the last year that the organization was going to be around. “I am a 87 and a half years old,” he explained. “And our treasurer is 91 years old. Our chairman, who is a Roman Catholic priest, is so busy working on church issues in Ukraine and Slovakia, it is impossible to reach him.”

Pasztor volunteered to get us more information once he reaches Washington. “I will try to reach the still living members of the board,” he said.

While we’re on this abominable subject of intellectual monopoly, watch this report about the Czech Presidency, which is sponsored by Microsoft, making another move to legalise software patents in Europe. It could be part of another mighty lobby.

Despite all odds, the present Czech EU Presidency has prepared another patent policy Document 8588/09 titled “Revised proposal for a Council Regulation on the Community patent”. It conveys a revised Presidency proposal for a Council Regulation on the Community patent, based on recent discussions in the Working Party on Intellectual Property (Patents). Changes to the previous version of the proposal (Document 9465/08) are underlined. The Working Party will be invited to have a first exchange of views on this Working document at its meeting on 22 April 2009.

Don’t let software patents pass without a democratic process.

“Small Software companies cannot afford to go to court or pay damages. Who is this software patent system for?” —Marco Schulze, Nightlabs Gmbh

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A Single Comment

  1. max stirner said,

    April 14, 2009 at 4:05 pm

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    thanks for reporting on the wikileaks issue

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