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Submission + - "Happy Birthday" Public Domain after all? (techdirt.com)

jazzdude00021 writes: No song has had as contentious of copyright history as "Happy Birthday." The song is nearly ubiquitous at birthday parties in the USA, and even has several translations with the same tune. Due to copyrights held by Warner Music, public performances have historically commanded royalty fees. However, a new lawsuit has been brought to prove that "Happy Birthday" is, and always has been in the public domain.The discovery phase for this lawsuit ended on July, 11 2014, yet this past week new evidence surfaced from Warner Music that may substantiate the claim that the lyrics were in the public domain long before the copyright laws changed in 1927. From the source:

And, here's the real kicker: they discovered this bit of evidence after two questionable things happened. (1) Warner/Chappell Music (who claims to hold the copyright for the publishing, if it exists) suddenly "found" a bunch of relevant documents that it was supposed to hand over in discovery last year, but didn't until just a few weeks ago, and (2) a rather important bit of information in one of those new documents was somewhat bizarrely "blurred out." This led the plaintiffs go searching for the original, and discover that it undermines Warner Music's arguments, to the point of showing that the company was almost certainly misleading the court. Furthermore, it definitively shows that the work was and is in the public domain.

Comment Re:ISP (Score 1) 551

The only reason that they charge more right now is... because with only one provider in most areas, there is no competition and they can charge what ever the hell they like, because what are you going to do, not have internet access?

Comment Re:ISP (Score 1) 551

For privacy.

If I have sufficiently many users, it becomes quite possible (with reasonably simple-to-set-up systems) to make it virtually impossible to reconstruct any user's complete clickstream.

With each machine broadcasting a publicly accessible IP address that includes the full MAC address, it becomes trivial to permanently track the full clickstream of every user on my network -- and even to track that user's clickstream between all of the networks that they ever participate in, since the (publicly-broadcast) MAC will still be quasi-unique.

Comment Re:Most ISPs are doing /56 or /48 for residential (Score 1) 551

So wait, standard policy will be for all devices to be publicly accessible from the internet, with its *device-unique* IP Address exposing the HW (MAC) address of the device, with no ability to shield machines from publicly broadcasting their existence so that it becomes trivial to isolate each individual device's traffic, no ability to block this behavior, no ability to segment the network or have any devices that aren't publicly accessible.

This is better, how?

Comment Re:Answers and Suggestions and Further Questions (Score 2, Informative) 249

With regard to the patents, he has nothing to negotiate. However, if he wrote the code, and released it under the GPL, he could definitely claim that their software which uses the technology is a violation of the terms of the GPL license. This claim might be legitimate (if they copied) or completely not legitimate (if they didn't re-use any of the code, and merely developed new software with similar capabilities and features).

In reality, OP is going nowhere with this. The USPTO is unlikely to invalidate the patent because somebody presents them with prior art that they already considered. Even if the USPTO was wrong, they aren't going to reconsider. Even if this was new prior art that nobody had previously known about... the USPTO is extremely unlikely to reconsider the patent grant. If it has been granted already, then, as they say, "prosecution on the merits is closed." Oh, sure, if IBM sues somebody, the prior art might be helpful. Claim 1 might or might not hold up unmodified in court, depending. Were it to require modification, then IBM could potentially lose a suit. IBM is unlikely to pursue the matter at this stage anyway, and they probably don't even realize that they have this particular patent.

I'm not going to read the entire document to make sure that I understand precisely all of IBM's definitions of terms, so I can't give an informed opinion on the validity. Without doing enough reading to be informed ('cause hey, this is the internet after all, I'm supposed to be wrong or at least uninformed), the whole thing probably turns on the feature of not having to re-link or even re-load the application to set the heap checking feature on and off.

Remember, you're only infringing a claim if you are infringing the entire claim. This patent isn't on "heap checking" or even "run-time detection of invalid heap access", or anything of the sort. If you aren't infringing the entirety of claim 1, the entirety of claim 12, or the entirety of claim 16 (the 3 independent claims), then you aren't infringing this patent. Similarly, if the HeapCheck software didn't do everything listed in those claims, then the differences between HeapCheck and those claims is the part that is (supposedly) novel and non-obvious.

(standard disclaimers apply; I'm no lawyer, this isn't legal advice, I'm just an engineer that happens to work the IP/patent process for my department)

Comment Re:Might I suggest an alternative currency (Score 2, Insightful) 454

OK, fine. Nobody raises prices. Instantly all products sell out, since everybody has enough money to buy everything they need, everything they want, and everything that they feel like buying because its just lying there. Only there isn't enough stuff in the whole world to fill everybody's needs, wants, and whims. So people start fighting over the last few items. Someone offers to pay double, then someone offers to pay double that, etc.

A fanatic is a person who can't change his mind and won't change the subject. - Winston Churchill