Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment: Re:I don't understand Scalia's logic here. (Score 5, Informative) 85

by BitterOak (#49779663) Attached to: Supreme Court Rules In Favor of Patent Troll

The logic the majority used in ruling on this case seems pretty simple (unless I'm totally off): the patent troll had a patent that was still legally valid because there had been no court challenge to declare it invalid. Because the patent was still legally valid, the infringement of the patent is still a valid cause of action in a lawsuit.

Scalia's logic is that you can bypass a legal challenge over a patent that might be ruled invalid in court because it was never valid in the first place. The question is, though, how would you know whether the patent is valid without the court saying so?

But there are two separate types of infringement at issue here. First is direct infringement. This occurs when the defendant actually violated the patent him or herself. This is a strict liability offense, meaning that it doesn't matter if the defendant was aware of the patent or not, and it doesn't matter if the defendant was aware that his or her actions infringed the patent or not. And if the patent has not been declared invalid, it is presumed valid and the defendant is liable for damages even if the patent is later ruled invalid. This is well-established law and is not at issue in the Supreme Court's decision.

The other type of infringement is induced infringement. This occurs, for example when a defendant sells a product which would cause the end users to violate the patent. The defendant is not violating the patent directly. According to patent law, for a defendant to be liable for induced infringement, he or she must be aware of the patent and also aware that the usage of the product would be a violation of that patent. So the question before the Supreme Court was in the case of induced infringement, what if the defendant had a good faith reason to believe the patent to be invalid? I tend to agree with the majority here: if the patent wasn't declared invalid by a court, the usage of product would be infringing, so the defendant must have known that such usage would be infringing, since they knew of the patent. The dissenters (Scalia and Ch. J. Roberts) thought otherwise: if a patent is invalid, how can the defendant believe it to be infringed?

Comment: Re:Illeagal Teaching? (Score 1) 246

I feel like teaching anyone anything should never be illegal. Wanting to learn is the most natural human trait in the world.

Great. I'll open up a terrorism school where I teach people how to fly planes into buildings, assassinate government leaders, sabotage trains, make poison gases, bombs, and other weapons of mass destruction. I'm just teaching so it shouldn't be illegal.

Comment: Re:The trick... (Score 1) 246

I teach people how to relax, control their heart rate and galvanic skin response. It's actually a pretty trivial technique, basic meditation and centering exercises. We use a machine that measures heart rate and galvanic skin response to test our students. Once they learn the techniques, they can do with them what they want. It's not on me.

And that by itself is not illegal. But, if one of your perspective students said to you: "I think your techniques might help me to beat a polygraph test for a federal government job that I'm applying for. Where do I sign up?" And you say: "Right here, just give me a deposit check for $50 to guarantee your spot in the class." then you are an accessory to fraud. And because your student has said they are applying for a FEDERAL government job, you've committed a federal felony which carries some serious prison time.

Comment: A lot of other things are challenging too... (Score 1) 182

by BitterOak (#49660153) Attached to: The Challenge of Web Hosting Once You're Dead
There are a lot of other things that are challenging once you're dead too, like brushing your teeth, combing your hair (and it's a real pain when it starts to fall out), and even scratching an itch. Being dead sucks, actually, and you'll have a lot more on your mind than keeping your WordPress site up to date!

Comment: Re:Nope (Score 3, Informative) 90

by BitterOak (#49660089) Attached to: How To Set Up a Pirate EBook Store In Google Play Books

The DMCA safe harbor protects them as long as they take it down immediately on request, and google is big enough to weather any lawsuit. Now if you or I were running an app store...

No, the DMCA provides no safe harbor for anyone profiting directly from the unauthorized sale of copyrighted works, intentional or otherwise. As long as the Google bookstore gets a cut of the profit on the sale, there's no safe harbor.

Comment: Re:'Hidden city' explanation (Score 1) 126

by BitterOak (#49597711) Attached to: Judge Tosses United Airlines Lawsuit Over 'Hidden City' Tickets

How exactly is the seat unsold in this case? It was sold, it is simply unoccupied.

I agree. If anything the airline made *more* money as it didn't have to expend the fuel to get the passenger from Chicago to LA.

Not only that, but if the seat is unoccupied when they're ready to close the doors, they can let a passenger on if the flight is overbooked, saving the airline both a seat on the next flight, and whatever compensation they had to offer the passenger who would have missed his flight because it was overbooked.

Comment: Re:The author forgot one other option. (Score 4, Informative) 105

by BitterOak (#49573891) Attached to: Why Crypto Backdoors Wouldn't Work

If you had read the article you link to (and I just did) you'd see that it does not conclude the same thing you do. Instead the article points out that it is far from a settled question on whether or not a defendant or suspect can be compelled to decrypt files. The Supreme Court has yet to deal with that issue directly, and the Circuit Courts of Appeal that have considered the issue have adopted a standard in which the government must first show they know the location and existence of encrypted data. If they've seized a suspect's phone, they certainly can know these two things, so the Fifth Amendment, under that analysis, would offer no real protection.

Comment: The author forgot one other option. (Score 4, Interesting) 105

by BitterOak (#49573317) Attached to: Why Crypto Backdoors Wouldn't Work
I just read the entire article and the author forgot one other solution: the British solution Instead of putting the burden on app developers to include backdoors, or on Google to block apps that don't, put the burden on end users to turn over their keys to police when asked. I'm not saying I like this solution, but it is a solution the author of the article didn't consider. If you make the sentence for non-cooperation long enough, it doesn't really matter if the police find what they're looking for: they can just lock you up for not handing over the keys.

Comment: Re:This never works (Score 4, Informative) 304

by BitterOak (#49547571) Attached to: Microsoft, Chip Makers Working On Hardware DRM For Windows 10 PCs

Whatever they design, it'll be broken fairly easily and circumvented just like DVD and Blu-ray and every other DRM format. This is just keeping the plebs from making easy copies.

"Keeping the plebs from making easy copies" would be a huge victory for the movie industry. There will always be some piracy, but the piracy the Industry fears most is that which occurs solely in the home, without the use of file sharing sites, cause it is ultimately the hardest to police.

Whenever people agree with me, I always think I must be wrong. - Oscar Wilde

Working...