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Submission + - New Hampshire Fires First Shot Of Civil War (patdollard.com)

Merpy writes: The New Hampshire state legislature took an unbelievably bold step Monday by introducing a resolution to declare certain actions by the federal government to completely totally void and warning that certain future acts will be viewed as a "breach of peace" with the states themselves that risks "nullifying the Constitution."

The remarkable document outlines with perfect clarity, some basics long forgotten. For instance, it reminds Congress "That the Constitution of the United States, having delegated to Congress a power to punish treason, counterfeiting the securities and current coin of the United States, piracies, and felonies committed on the high seas, and offenses against the law of nations, slavery, and no other crimes whatsoever;. . . . . therefore all acts of Congress which assume to create, define, or punish crimes, other than those so enumerated in the Constitution are altogether void, and of no force;"



Submission + - Response to Ars Technica's article on ODF/OOXML (burtongroup.com)

willdavid writes: "Guy Creese of the Burton Group has posted a response to Ars Technica: Five days ago Ars Technica issued its view of the Burton Group ODF/OOXML report and made it clear that they disagreed with its findings, going with the headline, "Analyst group slams ODF, downplays Microsoft ISO abuses." We've had some questions from Burton Group clients and others about the article, so I thought it would be worthwhile to go through where we agree, where we disagree, where Ars Technica mischaracterizes what we said, and where it's wrong. http://ccsblog.burtongroup.com/collaboration_and_content/2008/01/response-to-ars.html"

Feed Techdirt: Supreme Court Allows EULAs On Seeds (techdirt.com)

Richard Ahlquist writes: "A farmer has now felt the wrath of the SEULA or the Seed End User License Agreement! It turns out one farmer who goes by the name Homan McFarling decided after his crops came in to hold some of the seed generated from his produce and use it to replant the next year. Evidently the seed police at Monsanto found out about this (perhaps he didn't buy any new seed the next year) and sued McFarling. That was in 1999. Fast forward to today and you will find that the Supreme Court has decided that he did indeed violate the license agreement by planting his own seeds and he is being fined $375,000.

The story presents an interesting thought. These genetically engineered strains are built to thrive better than our existing crops. Once the seed manufacturers have managed either through attrition or engineering to destroy our natural plants, they will control the agriculture world wide because in order to grow anything you need seeds. If it's illegal to hold seeds from the crop you grew to replant because of the license agreement it would effectively mean an end to many smaller farms as they become unable to compete with the superior seed and the prices charged for it. Now where is that trademark application so I can trademark SEULA....."

We wrote about this case initially a few years ago, when it was going to the appeals court, where we hoped there would be a little common sense applied, recognizing how silly it is to tell someone they cannot replant seeds from the very plants that they, themselves, grew. It's rather unfortunate that the Supreme Court disagreed. The real problem here is yet another artifact of bizarre intellectual property laws. Tangible goods and digital goods are very different. Intellectual property laws try to make digital goods more like tangible goods, but due to the nature of those goods, it actually provides even more control -- such as when it comes to limiting what a buyer can do after they've bought the product. It's quite depressing that, rather than helping people realize how these laws are problematic, they've just made producers of tangible goods start to drool about the possibility of putting similar rights on tangible goods.

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Submission + - iPhone Unlocked (cnn.com)

reabbotted writes: According to CNN, the iPhone has finally been unlocked. This is good news for Europe. From the article, "A teenager in New Jersey has broken the lock that ties Apple's iPhone to AT&T's wireless network, freeing the most hyped cell phone ever for use on the networks of other carriers, including overseas ones."

Mommy, what happens to your files when you die?