Patent Policy Controlled by Giants Like GE and Apple, Not the Public

Posted in America, Law, Patents at 8:52 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Electric lobby

Great background

Summary: More new evidence that huge corporations with tens of thousands of patent monopolies are those which also control policy

IF THE USPTO proclaims to be there to serve the public, then it sure does a shoddy job. Being the granter of monopolies, it merely helps shut the public out and artificially elevate prices for the benefit of huge businesses (and the billionaires who run them). The sooner the citizens realise this, the greater the opposition to the USPTO will become (especially the “P” in USPTO).

Last week we showed that Intel was attacking public interests while pretending to do the opposite. It argued that software patents were good for the public. What a shameful, shameful lie. The “IP” crowd echoes Intel’s message by saying (in this case) that “Intel on necessity of software patents. It has 45K patents worldwide and invests $300-500M year in #smallbiz”

There is nothing like PR, is there? For a company which is worth (market cap) almost 1,000 times what it claims to invest (for profit) in small businesses this is purely propaganda. And that says nothing about the small businesses that Intel crushes all the time, even by breaking the law and then shredding the evidence. We have covered this before.

The president of the FFII responds with:

@ballard_ip Smallbiz cannot compete with Intel on patents. I should challenge Intel on their claim of hardware == software

Another company which is even larger than Intel would be GE, which also promotes software patents and other stuff which harms Free software. Well, according to this new article, “GE Joins Apple in Urging Congress to Let Patent Office Keep Fees”:

Apple Inc. (AAPL), the AFL-CIO and Yale University were among businesses, unions and universities urging House lawmakers to include a provision in pending legislation that would let the U.S. patent agency control its own funding.

More than 150 companies, schools and groups sent a letter today to House Speaker John Boehner, an Ohio Republican, and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, expressing their support for letting the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office keep all the fees it collects from users.

Conspicuously missing from this debate are representatives of the public. It just shows that to the USPTO the public does not matter. It’s not justified. The truth is, patents as a whole hurt the public in many ways, except perhaps members of the public who are highly ranked in some corporation like GE. Patents are for them. To the rest it’s just an issue that oughtn’t really exist. It is not just issues like cost of medical treatments but also minor things that relate to society and not purely cost; consider Microsoft’s patent’s on cameras that refuse to work (as a patent). Apple too making phones turn against their ‘owners’ based on this new article which says or at least asks, “Apple to ban iPhone concert filming?” Well, Apple is always serving the copyright cartel, which is abominable in itself. Well, now they pursue a monopoly on this Hollywood suck-up. Ain’t Apple a dreamy company?

Disclosure: My sister and her husband work in Intel and GE, but I reserve no judgment because principles come first.

Foggy and Binary Future (If Any) for Mono

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell at 8:15 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Statue of liberty

Summary: The freedom of Free/open source software is taken aback by cloudy weather and Mono becomes part of this problem

PROPRIETARY software is neither winning nor losing. The same goes for Free software and the only clear winner seems to be something worse than proprietary in the sense that it makes people’s own data proprietary, where the proprietor is hardly those people. We sometimes refer to this as “Fog Computing”. Another troubling trend is the emergence of so-called ‘shops’ or ‘stores’ for applications (or apps for short). These turn Free software into something indistinguishable (or hardly distinguishable) from proprietary and under the excuse/reason of ‘security’ users are prevented from installing their own code/program on devices which they thought they bought to own. This has “DRM” written all over it. In recent years we saw Mono catering for that latter market rather than the Free desktops which users can actually control.

A short while ago we wrote about the problems that Nat's Xamarin will be facing. It is interesting to note that despite Microsoft bias in the company, its CEO reveals that they go with Google’s ‘Cloud’ (or Fog Computing) rather than Microsoft. To quote his blog:

So part of my first three weeks as CEO of Xamarin has felt like a trip to a toy store. Everyone loves window shopping, so here is a list of some of the tools we’re using to run our startup…

To their credit, its not too bad. But they are facing a mountain they may never manage to climb. For them, “success” is also a success for Microsoft, which is not doing too well at the moment. Jos from OpenSUSE writes about the subject of ‘Cloud’ in this new blog post which says:

The ‘cloud’ has been a buzzword for quite a while. While some are still rather cynical towards the concept, products like mobile phones with Android have shown the value of putting your data in that huge, amorphous network of servers somewhere. Apple recently introduced their new cloud service and Microsoft has their cloud too. So with the other major players talking cloudy, what does Linux have?

Apple and Microsoft do their silly things because they never cared about rights (of users) and their freedoms. Entities which promote software freedom need not bend to the will of trends that instead they should antagonise. To put Free software on the so-called ‘cloud’ without an Affero-type licence is similar to the inclusion of Free software in binaries-only stores (see the VLC saga). It evades the goals of ethical software. It is about ethics and freedom, not market share.

The Indoctrination of Engineers by Patent Lawyers and Monopolists

Posted in Intellectual Monopoly, Patents at 11:27 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

PHB (Pointy-Haired Boss)Summary: How people who are against software patents eventually become named for companies’ patent monopolies

Clearly enough, there is a point where paying a wage becomes conditional upon no longer being truthful to oneself. This subject was discussed yesterday in IRC and also mentioned a few years back when we saw Novell/GNOME people applying for software patents (due to the employer’s pressure). These are patents that end up in Microsoft’s hands, attacking Linux and other Free/open source software. Remember what Java’s inventor wrote about his patents after these had been used against projects complementary to Java.

Developers do not have misconceptions about patents. To patent lawyers it’s like a faith; it doesn’t matter what is true, as long as it’s convenient. The main victim is the wider public, on whom the large corporations and their lawyers are waging a war. Many members of the publics, who are supposed to be represented by politicians, really do fall for the illusion of patents correlating with innovation, where the relation is falsely assume to be causal. The only causality here is that patents cause decreased pace of innovation as they offer exclusive privileges, a monopoly of sorts.

Members of the public are under no obligation to drink the Kool-Aid, but what happens when one’s wage depends on such vidws? The culture of indoctrination by managers is one that is very dangerous for the same reason that soldiers blindly obeying orders from ‘superiors’ can lead to catastrophe. It removes logic and ethics, resulting in what’s sometimes called “machine men” (or women, to be politically correct these days).

Several months ago we showed that the partly Microsoft-owned Facebook had become a patent bully. It is amassing software patents either by filing or by buying them. This new article tells us that inside Facebook the engineers do not like patents, but they are being pressured to change their views:

Facebook’s “hack-a-thons” are the stuff of geek legend. Every month or two, software engineers stay up all night to brainstorm new features and write code to create them.

Refrigerators are stocked with Red Bull. Chinese food is delivered. House music plays till morning — and so do some of Facebook Inc.’s in-house lawyers.

Patent counsel Nair Flores’ input so impressed the engineers at one recent session that they gave her a hack-a-thon “hero” award: a replica of the helmet worn by Boba Fett in “The Empire Strikes Back.”

“Being able to relate and integrate at the hack-a-thon got huge respect from the engineers,” says Facebook General Counsel Theodore Ullyot.

Since Ullyot’s arrival in 2008, he and his team have made patents a priority. One thing they’re doing is trying to coax more patents from the engineers by breaking down the walls that separate them from lawyers.

How shameful. This is what the patent lawyers bring to a lively culture of code. They are not there to breed innovation but to create fences. It ought to be mentioned that, as we showed many times before, present and past Microsoft developers occasionally speak out against software patents. It is a risky opinion for them to share because their paycheck depends on it. Part of their wage comes from patent extortion by Microsoft.

New Zealand Beats Software Patents Legality

Posted in Law, Microsoft, Open XML, Patents at 11:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Early morning

Summary:”Minister Simon Power confirms the NZ Patent Bill will be passed without any changes. Computer Programs excluded,” heralds a leading Free/open source proponent in the large island

OUR dedicated page about NZ (wiki for kiwi) accumulates most of what we wrote about New Zealand’s fight against foreigners and their helpers inside the country — those who wanted monopolies on software recipes. There is good news this week.

“Minister Simon Power confirms the NZ Patent Bill will be passed without any changes. Computer Programs excluded,” writes Don Christie, citing this page. He also writes that:

“Method and apparatus for performing a marketing campaign on behalf of an advertises” – Business method patents in NZ – Patent App #591806

Maybe they can invalidate this just as they drove away this Microsoft OOXML patent a few days ago. It was not invalidated but withdrawn according to a press release. It remains for the “embedded” loophole (masking software as hardware) to be removed or explicitly addressed by the patenting guidelines.

ES: El Plan de Microsoft de Hacer Linux Pagar Tributo Utilizando las Patentes de Nokia

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Patents at 6:46 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

(ODF | PDF | English/original)

“Android tiene una cuota de patentes. Usted tiene que licenciar patentes.”~ Steve Ballmer

“… Microsoft deseó promover SCO y su pendiente demanda en contra de IBM y el sistema operativo Linux. Pero Microsoft no quizo ser visto como atacando a IBM o Linux.” -Larry Goldfarb, BayStar, inversor clave en SCO abordado por Microsoft.

Resumen: Microsoft hace un buen uso de su topo dentro de Nokia para imponer impuestos a la competencia (elevación de sus precios), mientras que también está tratando de bloquear al propietario de Android, Google, de conseguir patentes.

LA extorsión de Microsoft no es noticia. Este sitio ha cubierto desde 2006. Este sitio previó diferentes aspectos del problema y explicó con bastante exactitud lo que sucedería.

Como explicamos ayer[http://techrights.org/2011/06/13/cant-beat-them-tax-them/], Microsoft está imponiendo impuestos sobre Android, mientras que los medios corporativos en su mayoría le siguen el juego en vez de realmente denunciar la práctica de penalizar la competencia con una sanción sin ni siquiera un juicio. Esto es chantaje y ya hemos explicado por qué, incluso hace 4 años [1[http://techrights.org/2007/06/08/shuttleworth-on-racketeering/], 2[http://techrights.org/2009/07/17/racketeering-melco-microsoft/], 3[http://techrights.org/2009/12/29/microsoft-extortion-software-patents/], 4[http://techrights.org/2009/07/24/red-hat-on-microsoft-two-face/], 5[http://techrights.org/2009/09/08/staples-employees-anti-linux/], 6[http://techrights.org/2009/07/01/patent-racketeering-myhrvold/], 7[http://techrights.org/2008/02/22/open-for-patents/]].

“Microsoft quiere que Google permaneca indefenso mientras que el departamento legal de Microsoft, dispara a los distrubudores de Google uno por uno, incluso llevando a algunos de ellos a la corte (por ejemplo, B & N, Motorola) …”En lugar de atacar directamente a Google a través de patentes, Microsoft va a los distribuidores (menos incentivados para contraatacar), que es el equivalente a hacer chantaje de estilo de la mafia por ir tras los clientes de la tienda con una pistola, intimidando a uno por uno hasta que la tienda ya se queda sin clientes. Para empeorar las cosas, cuando Google (el tendero en esta analogía) quiere conseguir un arma para su protección, Microsoft (el mafioso) interviene y hace el papel de “policía” de nuevo. Sí, el delincuente se hace pasar por policía de nuevo. Microsoft está tratando de impedir que Google obtenga patentes a pesar de que Google no utiliza ningún tipo de patentes ofensivamente y Reuters escribió sobre ello por primera vez[http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/06/14/us-nortel-idUSTRE75C5WT20110614] en la cara de las cosas.Microsoft quiere que Google permaneca indefenso mientras que el departamento legal de Microsoft, dispara a los distrubudores de Google uno por uno, incluso llevando a algunos de ellos a la corte (por ejemplo, B & N, Motorola):

Google no deberia ser permitido de comprar miles de patentes que pertenecen a la quebrada Nortel Networks en términos de la venta actual, Microsoft dijo el lunes, el plazo para las ofertas en una subasta seguida de cerca.

Microsoft, que reclama una “licencia mundial, perpetua, libre de regalías a todas las patentes de Nortel,” tras un acuerdo de 2006, dijo en una presentación ante un tribunal de quiebras de Delaware que los acuerdos existentes deben ser transferidas a cualquier nuevo dueño de la propiedad intelectual, que abarca muchos campos.

Mira quién habla …

Este comportamiento es absolutamente vergonzoso de Microsoft, que no hace mucho tiempo se embolsó las patentes de Novell con el proxy CPTLN. Microsoft el hipócrita es una vez más, haciéndose pasar por un agente de la ley[http://techrights.org/2008/02/02/microsoft-industry-cop/], mientras que en realidad es Microsoft quien debe cumplir la ley y ser sometido a juicio. Aquí hay más artículos sobre el tema [1[http://news.cnet.com/8301-10805_3-20070945-75/microsoft-raises-concerns-over-sale-of-nortel-patents/], 2[http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/06/14/nortel_google_microsoft/]].

“Microsoft está usando Nokia por sus patentes y es probable que el próximo objetivo de este topo de Microsoft (Elop sigue siendo el octavo mayor accionista MSFT) es agravar todos los dispositivos que funcionan con Linux, elevando sus precios al igual que SCO quería elevar el precio de cada instancia de Linux.”Pero espere, esto se pone peor. Después de haber sometido a Nokia[http://techrights.org/2011/06/10/microsoft-is-abusing-the-market/], adivinar lo que su mole, Elop, va a hacer a continuación. Patentes que “licencia” a Apple, lo que ofrece espacio para la imaginación. Bueno, lo hemos dicho desde el principio, porque Nokia había dejado caer pistas al respecto. Microsoft utiliza Nokia por sus patentes y es probable que el próximo objetivo de esta mole de Microsoft (Elop sigue siendo el octavo mayor accionista MSFT) es agravar todos los dispositivos que funcionan con Linux, elevando sus precios al igual que SCO quería elevar el precio de cada instancia de Linux. Es todo lo que Microsoft tiene como una estrategia, ya que ha perdido en el aspecto técnico en los teléfonos (como lo hizo en los servidores en los días de SCO). Por lo tanto, ahora se recurre a la recolección de patentes[http://www.mobilecrunch.com/2011/06/13/ios-5s-fancy-new-camera-trick-microsoft-has-a-patent-on-it/] y la extorsión, a veces por encargo (por ejemplo, Nathan Myhrvold y Paul Allen). Advirtimos acerca de esto en varias ocasiones en 2007. “Se ve mal”, nos dijo un lector de Finlandia por E-mail, señalando a este artículo[http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-20070970-37/apple-agrees-to-pay-nokia-patent-licensing-fees/]:

Apple se ha comprometido a licenciar patentes de teléfonos móviles propiedad de Nokia que desató una disputa legal de larga duración entre las dos compañías.

En el acuerdo se asentarán todos los litigios sobre patentes entre Nokia y Apple, y los dos se retiren sus denuncias respectivas con los EE.UU. y la Comisión de Comercio Internacional. Además, Apple va a pagar un Nokia un único pago no revelado y un curso de las regalías, Nokia dijo hoy.

Los “derechos de autor en curso” no se especifican y una abstención enorme ha sido enviado por el topo de Microsoft en Nokia. El a veces cómplice de Microsoft el Register cita a Microsoft Florian[http://techrights.org/wiki/index.php/Florian_M%C3%BCller], quien ha estado TRABAJANDO DURO PARA QUE LINUX SEA AGRAVADO Y FRACASE. Sí, Florian Müller, el cabildero que se apoya en los periodistas[http://techrights.org/2011/04/16/how-mobbyists-operate/], sigue cambiando de máscaras, esta vez[http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/06/14/nokia_apple/] a “analista de patentes”. Para citar a The Register: “En su patente blog Mueller Florian analista sugiere que esto abrirá el camino para Nokia empezar a extraer dinero de los fabricantes de teléfonos Android, señalando que es casi seguro que en violación de las patentes de Nokia por las que Apple ahora paga licencias. “En este punto es realmente correcto para un cambio. Hace apenas unos días Elop el topo insinuó que Android se deriva sólo o con base en el éxito del iPhone.

“Hace apenas unos días Elop el topo insinuó que Android se deriva sólo o con base en el éxito del iPhone.”Nos pareció divertido que alguien en el IRC cree que Müller es citado es una señal de su credibilidad. Como hemos explicado anteriormente, Müller trabaja -por encargo de Microsoft -enviando correo masivo a periodistas, exhortándolos a imprimir sus citas en artículos para que después pueda alardearse de ellos. Hace afirmaciones falsas acerca de sus credenciales[http://techrights.org/2011/01/29/where-is-ms-florian-provenance-es/] y que también propaga desinformación (en su haber, su Inglés es excelente). Así es como los grupos de presión suelen trabajar. Este en particular pasar su tiempo en Twitter hablar con los abogados de patentes (software pro-patentes) y pro-Microsoft bloggers como Bott, Enderle, y otros. Uno sólo puede imaginar quién está financiando sus esfuerzos de cabildeo. En cualquier caso, hoy en día en las noticias que encontramos otro recordatorio[http://computerworld.co.nz/news.nsf/news/risk-taking-and-social-networking-in-the-new-broadband-era] de que los abogados de patentes son fríos y apáticos cuando se trata de los daños causados por las patentes de software[http://techrights.org/2011/06/14/odf-wins-in-russia/]:

En la segunda parte de las Preguntsas y Respuestas de Computerworld y una entrevista con un abogado de propiedad intelectual …

¿Qué te están diciendo tus clientes sobre el cambio en la ley, con exclusión de las patentes de software?

Tengo clientes que tienen patentes de software y otros que están relajados acerca de ello y no se molestan en obtener una patente si pudieran. Se trata de caballos para los cursos. Creo que lo que realmente necesita cambiar es la posibilidad de obtener patentes sobre las “innovaciones” que no son realmente nuevas.

Escuche lo que Linus Torvalds acaba de decir acerca de las “innovaciones” (vídeo de abajo). Está a unos 20 minutos desde el inicio. Uno tiene que preguntarse cómo Torvalds se siente sobre el gigante de la tecnología de su país de origen (tiene doble nacionalidad, ahora) se convierta en un esclavo de las patentes-manejadas por Microsoft.

Translation produced by Eduardo Landaveri, the esteemed administrator of the Spanish portal of Techrights.

IRC Proceedings: June 17th, 2011

Posted in IRC Logs at 6:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz




#techrights log

#boycottnovell log

#boycottnovell-social log

Enter the IRC channels now

Links 18/6/2011: Linux 3.1 Prospects, OLPC Infographic

Posted in News Roundup at 6:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Airtime: open source software for radio stations

    The Sourcefabric developers have released an update to their open source Airtime radio software that adds a number of improvements which make it easier to install and upgrade to new versions. Airtime is a server application which allows users, from any modern web browser, to upload audio, create playlists with drag and drop, incorporate track transitions, build complete shows and then schedule them for transmission.


    The developers recommend using Ubuntu 10.04 LTS on a computer with at least 512 MB RAM and a 1 GHz processor.

  • Second “Win a Boxee Box” contest kicks off!

    BoxeeBoxTips.com is pleased to announce our second “Win a Boxee Box” contest. The contest begins immediately and runs through midnight (PDT) on July 31, 2011.

  • Tomahawk releases its sleek new avatar

    Hope this name is not too unfamiliar! Just for those hearing this for the first time, Tomahawk is a cross platform open source media player and it can play music regardless of where the music content is stored. It is gaining popularity as a media player among the Ubuntu community too. Tomahawk recently announced the release of a new version –the Tomahawk Media Player 0.1.

  • Open Source Could Change the Future of E-Discovery

    Software developers on the outskirts of the e-discovery field are working on several open-source projects to make the electronic search-and-analysis process into a cost-free, standards-based proposition.

    Independent projects are underway from a contract programmer in Houston, a team of information management experts throughout Europe and Australia, and a search engine consulting firm in Virginia. Their mutual goal: to help companies get respectable e-discovery software and make the technology feasible for every size of lawsuit and budget.


    Starting points for that kind of software stack are Apache-licensed components such as the Lucene indexing and searching program interface, Mahout machine-learning tool, Nutch data crawler, Solr enterprise search package and Tika document filtering utility, he explained.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox 5 RC Updates Version Number and Little Else

        Over the past seven years, we’ve come to expect Firefox Web browser releases to bring major new interface changes, improved performance, and browsing tools. But since Mozilla decided to follow Google’s frequent release strategy, we’ll have to temper our expectations for new Firefox releases. Version 5 of Mozilla’s volunteer-crafted browser software brings a lot of fixes, but pretty much zilch when it comes to interface advancements or new user tools.

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibreOffice 3.4 released: Is it a worthy replacement for premium Office Suites?

      Microsoft seems to have a tough ride ahead, they seem to have lost the patent case for its Office suite. Now open source tools from Open Office.Org and LibreOffice Suites are competing aggressively with MS Office for market share. The main reason is the Open Source tag associated with the first two choices. It is inexpensive and enjoys backing from a large community of developers. Today let us take a look at the latest release from the LibreOffice Suite- the LibreOffice 3.4.

    • LibreOffice gets serious with new release and Advisory Board

      This week we saw the release of a stable version of LibreOffice with the 3.3.3 release, which in my mind is a big deal. Sure they just put out LibreOffice 3.4 recently, but putting out new releases (in a way) is almost easier than doing the nitty, gritty of maintaining ‘older’ releases.

      Keeping two (or more) software tracks on track is no easy task for any open source project, but it seems to be one that the Document Foundation is pulling off with flying colors.


    • Manual Override
    • Evergreen Joins the Software Freedom Conservancy

      The Software Freedom Conservancy (SFC) has added another organization — the Evergreen project joins the SFC as the 27th member project. Since we’re halfway through 2011, I took the opportunity to check in with Conservancy executive director Bradley Kuhn to see how things are going with the organization.

  • Licensing

  • Programming

    • EGit and JGit 1.0 Released

      In the end, we are happy to bring Git tooling to the Eclipse community and the Indigo release. I hope by the time this next year, the eclipse.org community has fully migrated to Git. It should be a hard requirement to join the Juno simultaneous release in my opinion.


  • Science

    • How Republicans Talk About Climate When No One’s Listening

      Sarah Palin may now dismiss global warming as a “bunch of snake oil science,” but just a few years ago, back when she was governor of the state melting into the sea, she was inclined to care about the subject. It’s well-known that she established a task force to address climate change in the state, but later flip-flopped on the issue. Yet as one exchange in the trove of emails released by the state of Alaska last week shows, Palin at one point actually took climate science quite seriously.

      In an email exchange from July 2007, Palin discussed global warming with her brother, Chuck Heath Jr., who was taking part in a climate change study program for science teachers at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and the state’s environment commissioner. Heath wrote:

      Sarah, I’m just about done with my 80 hour course on global climate change. Most of it has been focused on coastal erosion which is probably a bigger deal than you’re aware of … I have met some of the top scientists in the world on the subject and if you’d like, I can organize another advisory task force (which would include scientists, economists, citizens who live in these areas) who can give recommendations to the state. The problem is accelerating quickly so it would be good to get a handle on it now.

  • Security

  • Cablegate

    • Exposure Of Information v. Exposure To Information

      The government’s recent declassification of the Vietnam-era Pentagon Papers corrects a 40-year mistake. But the motive may have had more to do with defending a current wrong than righting an old one.

      Several months ago, the White House directed federal agencies to warn employees and contractors that viewing classified documents made public via WikiLeaks violated “applicable laws and…policies.”

      After it was pointed out that this notice could be equally applied to the Pentagon Papers – long available on public bookshelves and a staple of modern history courses despite their continued “secret” status – the government announced that they would be declassified.

      (Most Americans probably didn’t even realize the Pentagon Papers still were officially secret. Until that announcement, people familiar with the case expressed surprise to me that this was so.)

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

    • Fukushima: It’s much worse than you think

      “Fukushima is the biggest industrial catastrophe in the history of mankind,” Arnold Gundersen, a former nuclear industry senior vice president, told Al Jazeera.

      Japan’s 9.0 earthquake on March 11 caused a massive tsunami that crippled the cooling systems at the Tokyo Electric Power Company’s (TEPCO) nuclear plant in Fukushima, Japan. It also led to hydrogen explosions and reactor meltdowns that forced evacuations of those living within a 20km radius of the plant.

      Gundersen, a licensed reactor operator with 39 years of nuclear power engineering experience, managing and coordinating projects at 70 nuclear power plants around the US, says the Fukushima nuclear plant likely has more exposed reactor cores than commonly believed.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Usage based billing is a joke and a major scam.

      It always amazes me how large corporations can never get enough money and constantly surpass the line between good business sense to complete corporate greed. For over a decade, Internet Service Providers have been providing unlimited Internet usage at a relatively reasonable price. Today, these same corporations no longer provide unlimited Internet usage and have imposed draconian data caps. They have moved from unlimited data transfer to a mere 80 gigabyte limit for $65 per month and an additional 1 gigabyte will cost you $1.50, even though it only costs $0.03 for the ISP to transfer it over their networks.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Non paper distributed at SCCR 22 at 1pm on Friday, on disabilities

      In a major breakthrough on the WIPO negotiations on copyright exceptions for persons with disabilities, at around 1pm today, a non-paper “resulting from informal discussions among Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, the European Union and its Member States, Mexico, Paraguay and the United States of America” was distributed at the WIPO SCCR 22.

    • Copyrights

      • Access Copyright Backlash Grows: Canadian Poets Pass Resolution Supporting TWUC Motion

        The League of Canadian Poets has lined up in support of the recent Writers’ Union of Canada resolution recognizing the lack of control over how licensing revenue is managed and the inability of Access Copyright to represent creator interests. As a result, the TWUC plans to investigate operational separation of creators’ and publishers’ interests in collective licensing. The LCP passed a resolution expressing support for the TWUC motion with plans to send a representative to the joint signatory committee investigating creator copyright.

      • Fair Dealing in the Post-Secondary Environment
      • Access Copyright’s Desperation: From Fair Dealing Allows Everything to It’s Too Risky to Rely Upon

        The battle over competing visions of educational copyright licensing in Canada is coming to a conclusion. One on side, there is Access Copyright, which argues that a comprehensive collective licence is an essential part of an institutional copyright policy. On the other, are the Canadian education institutions, who believe that a more flexible, cost-effective alternative lies in relying on the combination of purchasing works, site licences, open access, fair dealing, and transactional licensing. Having first faced a proposal for a massive increase in Access Copyright licensing fees and later weeks of costly, unnecessary Copyright Board interrogatories, the educational institutions are clearly ready to break away from the Access Copyright comprehensive licence.

      • ACTA

        • Europe Considers Using CETA To Create “Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement Plus”

          As Canada and the European Union continue their negotiations on a trade deal, a source has provided a copy of the EU proposal for the criminal intellectual property provisions. The IP criminal provisions was the one aspect left out of early drafts (the CETA leak from last year is available here). The initial EU proposal uses the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement’s criminal provisions as the model. This includes ACTA Article 23 on Criminal Offences (criminal provisions for wilful trademark counterfeiting or copyright piracy on a commercial scale), ACTA Article 24 on Penalties (including imprisonment), ACTA Article 25 on Seizure, Forfeiture, and Destruction, and ACTA Article 26 on Ex Officio Criminal Enforcement. Several of these provisions would require domestic legislative change in Canada that were not found in Bill C-32 (suggesting that an IP enforcement bill will be introduced sometime in the near future).

        • Mexican Senator Drafts Resolution Asking Government To Reject ACTA

          We’re now a few weeks into “open season” on the final final version of ACTA, so expect to see random stories planted by certain folks about how “important” it is to sign the document and “live up to our international obligations.”

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