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Comment: Re:Fucking Lawyers (Score 1) 179 179

In the US at least, "sweat of the brow" does not by itself allow copyright protection; it is irrelevant how much work is done.

According to wikipedia, sweat of the brow implies:

Substantial creativity or "originality" is not required.

Designing APIs or instruction sets requires a ton of creativity and originality, since billions of lines of code are going to be using it and since changing them in the future is costly and difficult. The originality comes from improved API design that reduces coding time/debug time as is the case in Java API vs C API. Sweat of the brow type of work means something trivial like creating a database of people's names and phone numbers or printing phone books.

That being said, there is a lot of tedious, sweat of the brow concepts involved in designing APIs. For example, reading a text file still needs something like fileopen(), fileclose(), fileread() that is present in all programming languages in some form. But this API should still be copyrightable since copyright protects creative expression of an idea, but not the idea itself.

The TL;DR version: the API ideas/concepts are similar across many programming languages but the way they are expressed differently means they deserve copyright protection.

IP protection is poor and archaic because it was created in the 1700s where you only had to deal with protecting books and mechanical inventions. API/instruction set are a type of IP that seem like a blend of design patents and copyright. IP law should be extended to protect all types of intellectual property using different tools, not just patents and copyright.

I didn't read the NEC vs Intel case too much but it seems like copyright infringement because copying the body/implementation of a function API is similar to copying the microcode (or subassemly language) of a CPU.

Comment: Re:Fucking Lawyers (Score 1) 179 179

Maybe the law back when Lexra was around was that instruction sets were not copyrightable. It is this hole in the law that allowed Google to reimplement the Java Standard Library without paying any licensing fees. But since SCOTUS has already ruled APIs are copyrightable, it should stand that instruction sets should also be copyrightable since APIs and instruction sets are very similar, conceptually.

I did find something about Lexra on google:

Nobody can patent, copyright, or otherwise own a language or an instruction set. Lexra had the right, legally and ethically, to design an IP core with the MIPS instruction set.

I disagree with the Lexra employee since a lot of effort and creativity goes into designing an instruction set. Both x86 and MIPS allow programs to execute common operations on their CPUs. However, there are a lot of design decisions that go into designing the nitty gritty portions of the operations.

You were right that Lexra did something similar to what Google just did. They created a MIPS clone but were sued for patent infringement:

Though you can not patent an instruction set, you can patent designs and methods that are necessary to implement a particular unusual instruction that is part of the instruction set. That prevents competitors from creating a fully compatible clone of your processor without infringing your patent. There are four instructions in the MIPS-I instruction set that are protected by one US patent, 4,814,976. These instructions, lwl, lwr, swl, and swr are known as the unaligned load and store instructions.

Comment: Re:Drone It (Score 1) 757 757

Wait... Are you saying that people who make weapons don't get paid a lot of money for their weapons? Because they do actually make a lot of money.

I'm not so sure about that. Iron Man may make billions from his military inventions, because it's a movie. In the real world, Tony Stark's inventions would make billions, but that money would go to the corporation hiring him, while Tony himself would only make between $200K to $1M max/year for his work.

So my point is, the money goes to the businessmen running these weapon companies and to the govt who profit from winning wars using these weapons. But the person actually responsible for winning the war through good weapon-design makes diddly squat, relatively speaking.

Comment: Re:Fucking Lawyers (Score 1) 179 179

They already are. Here is some legal stuff stating Intel licensing copyright of x86 instructions to AMD:

3.4 Intel Copyright License to AMD. Subject to the terms of this Agreement, including without limitation Section 5.2(e), Intel grants to AMD, for use in or with an AMD Licensed Product, licenses under Intelâ(TM)s copyrights in any Processor instruction mnemonic for an instruction developed by Intel, and the related opcodes, instruction operand mnemonics, byte format depictions and short form description (not to exceed 100 words) for those instructions, to copy, have copied, import, prepare derivative works of, perform, display and sell or otherwise distribute such mnemonics, opcodes and descriptions in user manuals and other technical documentation. No other copyright license to AMD is provided by this Agreement other than as set forth in this paragraph, either directly or by implication or estoppel.

It is therefore logical that Google should also obtain a license to use Oracle's Java API.

Comment: Re:Drone It (Score 0) 757 757

The same could be said of pretty much every advancement. Guys with clubs are cowards because the barehanded guys don't have a chance. Guys with swords are cowards because the guys with clubs don't stand a chance. Guys with arrows are cowards because the guys with swords across the field don't stand a chance. So on and so forth.

You seem to agree to the philosophy that:
weapons are of much greater importance than the soldier using it

If that's true, why aren't the inventors (or IP creators) of these weapons not rulers of countries or at least receive a sizable royalties from the spoils of war? Don't these weapons win wars? Why do administrator type politicians and capitalist businessmen divvy up lion's share of a country's output and war profit, leaving only scraps for others?

This is especially true where today's drone operators are not much more than video game players wielding very powerful weapons.

Comment: Re:Fucking Lawyers (Score 1) 179 179

How is this any different than Intel copyrighting x86 instruction code.

It's not very different: APIs are interface to library systems layered below the app whereas CPU instructions are interface from app to CPU below the app.

AMD has a license to use the interface (CPU instruction API) whereas Google does not for Java. The fair use argument is totally bullshit, because under that excuse some company could build an x86 CPU without paying Intel for the x86 instruction set.

Comment: Re:Fucking Lawyers (Score 1) 179 179

they copied the structure, not the code.

Really? Class API declarations are not code? The API declarations were copied, but not the implementation, and that's still copying code exactly. Google just has a habit of not paying for copyrighted content. Let's look at some examples:

* The content Google search displays when you use a search phrase -- this might be okay because of fair use.
* Google Images
* Google Books
* Google News

So they followed the same routine and copied the API of Java (because copying code implementing API will lead to a guaranteed loss in a lawsuit).

Comment: Re:Here's an idea... (Score 2) 333 333

Why don't the cab drivers move to Uber so they don't have to pay the licensing fees

Why should taxi drivers pay thousands of Euros for the privilege of driving a taxi? That seems excessive and non-democratic. The taxi driver in turn has to charge the passenger extra to cover the high cost of the license.

The license fees should be cheap and nominal. If there are more drivers than licenses, there should be a lottery system (not a bribe system) to select which driver wins the (non-transferable) license.

Comment: Re:Penn State did this back in 1983 (Score 1) 89 89

where the professor, as far as we knew, existed only on some VHS tapes in the corner of the room.

Why do you need a $80-100k professor to repeat the same words over and over for 10 or 20 years? A video recording can do the job an order of magnitude better (assuming high-quality graphic models shown to augment the audio portion of the professor).

I ended up having to go to my physics TA to figure out what was going on. I remember feeling ripped off and pretty much disgusted.

With a flesh-and-blood professor, how many times can you interrupt him in class with a question before he throws you out? No many, I assume. I wish each lecture video had a youtube-like comment section where students could ask questions about a certain issue s/he is facing in that particular video as opposed to a general forum to discuss all problems.

Comment: Re:Noticed slower speeds (Score 1) 181 181

The study, conducted by internet activists BattlefortheNet, looked at the results from 300,000 internet users and found significant degradations on the networks of the five largest internet service providers (ISPs), representing 75% of all wireline households across the US.

When 5 companies have 75% market share, it's a highly monopolistic market, which will result in very high prices because of lack of competition.

You need to figure out how (politically and technically) only five companies are allowed to profit from a commodity service. Imagine if only 5 vendors made and sold all t-shirts. How high would the price of t-shirts be then?

Comment: Re:I don't understand (Score 1) 131 131

You want to prevent a private company from offering a product for sale? I am not sure that I agree.

Why not? There are plenty of restrictions on the sale of weapons, like guns and you can't buy machine guns or bazookas. These Glass-like products are worse than guns because they can be used way more often.

I hate the very idea of Google Glass and what it could become but I do not want to ban it. I would be okay with restricting some uses of it, I would have to think about the uses carefully before I agreed with them,

The user of Glass (usually a glasshole) does not care about the privacy of others. Cameras were more benign (used mainly for security) before the advent of computers+networking. With networking, you can now permanently store images of people even if these people don't want to. Therefore the age old law of no privacy in public is no longer valid and needs to be revisited. The new laws would set boundaries as to what can and cannot be recorded in public.

Comment: Re:I don't understand (Score 1) 131 131

But what if there's a hit and run, and some bystander witnesses the accident? What if a driver in a sports car speeds away from the cops while breaking the speed limit? There are plenty of such cases where license plates are necessary but these plate readers are abusing this requirement. I guess you can commit crimes openly when you write the laws.

It's time to rewrite the laws: the public has a right to privacy, even in public places. Stop evil, criminal technologies like license plate readers, CCTV cameras on streets, Oregon's GPS car tracking and Google Glass.

Comment: Re:The Other Story: (Score 1) 172 172

How will they know you read a page in an ebook unless they have 24/7 access to what you are reading with your ereader/tablet.

Well, the book reader software will just store the pages you read (and perhaps how much time you spent on each page) into flash storage. When you connect online, it will upload the data to amazon's servers. I gotta agree with you, fuck this shit. These people need to be forced to stop this and fined tens of millions for privacy violation.

As of next Thursday, UNIX will be flushed in favor of TOPS-10. Please update your programs.