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The Courts

Journal: I lost a court case :(

Journal by geeklawyer
I lost a case. OK all lawyers do and it was only a tiny insignificant one.

It depresses me because it was one that should have been won; even had I gone into court drunk, swearing at the judge and without any preparation at all, bugger it, even if I'd gone to the wrong court!! It was an open goal.
What went wrong? The judge. The lower courts are stuffed to the brim with inept ones. Some lawyers have ambitions of being judges and the role of county court judge is often the first step on that path. Too many crappy lawyers get the role of district judge. In part this is due to the shortage of lower court judges, in the UK at least, and I think standards are not all they should be. The Lord Chancellor appoints anyone just to cover the shortage.
In my case glaring errors in my opponents case were glossed over as mere technical defects, in defiance of precedence. Supporting case law was ignored or misunderstood and the basis of statutory interepretation completely misunderstood.
Of course you can make the case that I have this view since I lost and I'm biased. That's true to a degree but I have had and seen many other similar cases where these flaws have not arisen where I've won and lost on a well based judgement. It's not merely losing that's pissed me off, it really is about the quality of judges.
To compound it my client is too poor to appeal, which is the only hope of him getting the right decision. Litigation really is expensive. Justice is open to all? yea, jut like the doors of the Ritz.

I sincerely hope the judge in the SCO case is better and they arent starting off in the equivalent of a district court!!

User Journal

Journal: Bush in London

Journal by geeklawyer
Just came back from the London anti Bush protest. Great fun. I doubt if it will make the slightest difference, but it is great to feel you have a voice and can use it.
Of course this is what Bush & Blair like to rehearse as a justification: the Iraqi's can now do what we do. Well, yes, precisely: they can shout and have their voices ignored by their overlords just like us.
Patents

Journal: European Software patents

Journal by geeklawyer
I'm really in despair. this is going to happen and I suspect it is going to be bad. Either in the long or short term. And its really going to be a pain in the ass for Free software for at least two reasons: Free software writers are often more innovative and many ideas will pose a threat to solvent companies. these ay well choose to spend money crushing the Free competitor. Secondly, and relatedly, virtually all Free software authors are penniless, complaining on /. wont help much either, so in most cases they will just have to fold. There's a lot more to it than that and in truth it doesnt seem to happen too much in the US so I may be talking rubbish - I certainly hope so.

It's not like patents have much use: copyright and trademarks are genuinely useful but patents are a commercial legacy from a protectionist era. They should exist and all the arguments for them are at best unproven and mostly rubbish.

Of course I'm a hypocrite since many of my non-Free sftware clients are hoping to get them and I may be forced to draft them. Yech .
oh well life goes on, got to earn a living.

Slashdot.org

Journal: spooky banner ads

Journal by geeklawyer
is it safe?
is it safe?
is it safe?

why is it there are always legal banner ads whenever I use slashdot? is everyone getting these or is it some wierd cookie tracking stuff/nick fu?

wheres the hells my tin-foil hat?

The Courts

Journal: damn American IP holders

Journal by geeklawyer
Yet again Im asked by someone to help out because a US trademark holder is getting punchy. These guys seems to be the commercial equivalent of AIDs. I know hy have to police their marks but really they so overso it.

Once a US company sees you doing something similar you can be asurred they will scream 'unfair competition' 'lanham act' so the poor suckers have to shell out on fees to me. Good for me crap for them.US IP law needs a shake up. Badly.

ooh Im in a bad mood. Whats the smiley for frown? >:

The Courts

Journal: the SCO circus

Journal by geeklawyer
It is so frustrating to be on the outside of litigation. I'd love to get my hands on the case file for this. All we get are snippets of this and that; 'he said she said'. People expect me to have a view but all I can do is talk in generalities.
As for the SCO paralegal finding the copyright contract amendment - weeeellll wasnt that convenient! forgery. nah, doubt it no resoponsible company would be that dumb. But sometimes you cant believe how unlucky you'll get. Its not pivotal to this case at all at the moment - but it could become so.
What pisses me off is that so many people fuss about ripped of code. Yes I'd bet big bucks there is infringing code in linux somewhere regardless of the SCO stuff but it happens all over the place in commercial code. There the absence of source makes it hard to find and if anyone gets ripped off it is FOSS.
XBox (Games)

Journal: offtopic!!!! me!

Journal by geeklawyer
God damn got modded as offtopic for the below comment. Well of course it was, but it was such a good comment they should have ignored the flaw. pah! moderators eh.

http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=66412&cid=6113352
"...Next we have Linux users violating the EULA for the X-Box and tinkering with it so that it can run Linux...."

OK your a troll with a lobotomy but I'll respond.

This 'EULA' nonsense neatly illustrates dangers of software companies doing hardware. They apply, inappropriately, a legal paradigm appropriate to one type of property to another. The, simplified, reason for the existence EULA or other licences is to do with the necessity of giving someone the right to use software they have properly acquired without either breaching copyright or giving away legal ownership of the software. The latter would damage the company the other would make the software useless to the user. Hence the licence. This legal reasoning does not apply to physical goods. If I buy a Ford Im not violating any of their legal rights by driving it, parking it or re-painting it pink. Those acts do not involve breaching any of Fords rights. Ford do not get to tell me I can drive their car in any city of the World except London or New York or that I must agree not to exceed 70MPH. Yes painting a Ford pink might interfere with their carefully designed branding and marketing, it might embarrass them and cause adverse publicity. These acts whilst potentially disadvantageous are not prohibited by any law. At law the act of selling something gives the entire right of physical control to another.
Similarly Micro$oft do not have the legal right to tell me that I cant use the Xbox as a doorstop or to bang /. trolls upside the head. Or to rip out the ROMs and install and use Linux on it.

They want to prevent Xbox hacking because it does not accord with their inevitably abusive business strategy. Business strategies are not protected by law and so the 'EULA' give them no legal remedy. This doesnt of course permit anyone to breach the copyright in the software on the Xbox. Making derivative works, dissasembling reverse engineering the code or any other software/firmware, as opposed to hardware, acts may breach copyright law/DMCA or whatever. But hacking just the hardware of the Xbox is no-ones damned business but the owner.

This attempt to control not only how users use their software but also the hardware is typical of the anal control mentality of Micro$oft and big US corporation. I doubt if they are unaware of the poor legal basis for their actions but they are Micr$oft and since they bested the DOJ they think they are bulletproof. I havent read it but I suspect pivotal chunks of the supposed 'EULA' are unlawful.

I freely confess I do not know exactly what the Linux Xbox team are doing - there may be the possibilty of unlawfulness is what they are doing but certainly not if it only relates to hacking hardware.

A committee is a life form with six or more legs and no brain. -- Lazarus Long, "Time Enough For Love"

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