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Comment: Re:Innocent what? (Score 4, Informative) 66

by Kirijini (#39546641) Attached to: Federal Judge Rules P2P Users Aren't In a Conspiracy

Actually, by "innocent", the summary is referring to defendants who have not downloaded the porn - that is, people who are actually innocent of copyright infringement.

The problem is that if the porn companies screwed up and have a bunch of wrong IP addresses in addition to correct ones (that is, people who did download the porn as well as people who didn't), the people at the end of the wrong IP addresses will still get a letter threatening a lawsuit in which they will be publicly accused of downloading "bareback college studs" (or whatever) unless they pay up two thousand dollars. Regardless of whether they're innocent, most people would rather pay up (and keep the whole thing secret) than mount an expensive legal defense.

Most federal judges are not impressed with this "settlement extortion" legal strategy, and aren't letting porn companies (and similar plaintiffs) get away with this on the cheap. What I mean by that is, the porn companies* are getting people's names and addresses, which they need to send the threatening letters and settlement demands, by suing thousands of defendants at the same time. Not only is this very questionable so far as the rules of civil procedure, they also only pay one filing fee even though they're essentially suing thousands of people. The courts would really prefer that the porn companies pay the $350 filing fee for each defendant they sue, because these massive lawsuits generate huge amounts of paper work, and clog up the system to the detriment of other lawsuits that are perhaps actually about obtaining justice rather than extorting settlements.

*there's reason to believe that the porn companies don't really care that much, and these massive lawsuits are instigated by a handful of lawyers who think they've found an easy way to hack the legal system and make a bunch of money. These lawyers do these suits on a contingency basis - that is, the porn companies aren't actually paying the lawyers to file the law suits; instead, they split whatever profits they get from settlements.

Comment: Re:FTFY (Score 4, Informative) 66

by Kirijini (#39546297) Attached to: Federal Judge Rules P2P Users Aren't In a Conspiracy

Federal judges are protected by article III of the Constitution, and cannot be removed from office except by impeachment. Many judges never really retire, either, they just become "senior" judges with reduced case loads. They are nominated for their offices by the president and confirmed by the senate.

They aren't free of corruption (see Justice Thomas, or more specifically, his wife), but the federal judiciary is remarkably free from corporate pressure, and it really is the closest thing the USA has to a bastion of liberty and freedom.

Comment: Re:Handicapped spots are poor design (Score 1) 579

by Kirijini (#37864706) Attached to: Steve Jobs' Missing License Plate

but make sure the spaces close to the entrance never completely fill up [streetfilms.org].

The dude in your link suggests that you can keep one or two open spaces by setting the right price for parking - set the price high enough to deter some people from parking there.

So, you're suggesting charging more for spots near the entrance to buildings? And requiring people who need handicapped spots, because they're handicapped, to pay for it?

Comment: Re:Price discovery make distribution efficient (Score 1) 282

by Kirijini (#37800916) Attached to: Retailers Respond To HDD Squeeze By Limiting Purchases, Raising Prices

If you are hungry and have $1 only and this stake is $5, it doesn't mean that you have a 'moral' right to that stake.

If steak is the only, or cheapest, food source, then you *do* have a moral right to the steak.* You just don't have the resources to afford it.

Face it - markets may be efficient in terms of short-term allocation of money value, but they are blind to morality. If you accept market outcomes as always being the "best" outcome, then you're ignoring moral values. It's up to you to decide if moral values are important to you.

*assuming that human life is morally superior to money. Everyone else who is hungry also has a moral right to the steak. The greatest moral right presumably goes to whoever is hungriest / most in need of nutrition to survive.

Comment: Re:Can you say "Copyright Infringement"? (Score 1) 196

by Kirijini (#37450946) Attached to: Senators Slam Firm For Online Background Check

That's an excellent point, and I'd mod up if I had points.

Facebook can sublicense your info to a third party ("you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook"), but that sub sublicense necessarily terminates when facebook's does - when/if you remove the info ("This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account..."), though there may be a loophole if you've "shared" the info with others ("...unless your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it"). What does "shared with others" mean? I dunno, but I imagine it means posting on a friends wall, or something of that sort.

Comment: Re:I don't get "First to File" (Score 1) 244

by Kirijini (#37422822) Attached to: Obama To Sign 'America Invents Act of 2011' Today

"that one year exemption will only apply to win it's signed."

What does that mean?

"it will severally hamper in attempt I make to get investor in on my inventions"

What does this mean?

"that could, quite literally, take my idea and patent it and I have NO RECOURSE"

If they take your idea and try to patent it, you can sue them. When someone files a patent app, that person has to swear under oath that he/she invented the invention. If you can show that you invented it, and they stole your idea, then they're in deep shit. Their patent app is invalid, and you can file your own if you wish/if you have the money/investors.

So, you do have a recourse.

Plus, before you show a patentable idea to anyone, you need to get them to sign an NDA. This is standard practice.

Comment: Re:Will it stop frivolous patents and patent wars? (Score 1) 368

by Kirijini (#37355962) Attached to: Patent Reform Bill Passes Senate

Patent applications are rejected all the time. The problem is that the "inventor" (I.e., whatever company is backing the patent application) can revise the application, so as to avoid whatever got it rejected previously. Applications go through a lot of rejections - sometimes a dozen or more - before finally being approved. I've heard the statistic that 9 out of 10 applications are eventually approved... But it takes years and a lot of "rejections" to get there.

And, by the way, this means that patent examiners spend a lot of time reviewing applications. The process involves a lot of back and forth between the examiner and the inventor. I'm not going to vouch for their competency in the field, but it's unfair to say that examiners don't spend the time to understand the product, or don't know enough about it before approving the patent.

Comment: Re:Will it stop frivolous patents and patent wars? (Score 1) 368

by Kirijini (#37355800) Attached to: Patent Reform Bill Passes Senate

Prior art doesn't have to be on the market - it has to be available to the public in some way, whether via the market, or published somewhere, or patented already (not necessarily in the US), etc. Open source software, if it's available online, is published... Or at least available to the public. So, it would be prior art, if it is indeed prior to the supposed invention.

Comment: Re:Publishing Suggestion (Score 1) 7

by Kirijini (#37353906) Attached to: Ask slashdot: Copyright and publishing

Right. A state government can hold copyrights; even the federal government can hold copyrights. For the Feds, it's a question of whether a government employee authored the work. The fed gov can buy or license copyrights just fine; but it can't copyright works that it authored. State governments are not so bound.

Clear the copyright first. You're not likely to get sued, but a publisher will likely refuse to publish anything for which the rights haven't been cleared.

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