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+ - UMG v Grooveshark settled, no money judgment against individuals

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: UMG's case against Grooveshark, which was scheduled to go to trial Monday, has been settled. Under the terms of the settlement (PDF), (a) a $50 million judgment is being entered against Grooveshark, (b) the company is shutting down operations, and (c) no money judgment at all is being entered against the individual defendants.

Comment: Re:Just like "free" housing solved poverty! (Score 1) 262 262

You know that you don't have to just add useless and uninteresting words to something that already had substance, right? At least borrow some quotes from Socrates' Dialogues to spice things up: There is admirable truth in that. That is not to be denied. That appears to be true. All this seems to flow necessarily out of our previous admissions. I think that what you say is entirely true. That, replied Cebes, is quite my notion. To that we are quite agreed. By all means. I entirely agree and go along with you in that. I quite understand you. I shall still say that you are the Daedalus who sets arguments in motion; not I, certainly, but you make them move or go round, for they would never have stirred, as far as I am concerned. If you're going to say _nothing_, at least be interesting about it, post anonymously, or risk looking more clueless / foolish. This is why the moderation system is in place, and mods typically don't listen to inanities like "Well said" when deciding on what to spend their points.

1. I'm too busy to sit around thinking up additional words to throw in so I can score "mod" points

2. The people I like on Slashdot are too busy to read a bunch of additional words I only threw in so I can score "mod" points

3. It's not in my nature to waste words, or to waste time

Comment: Re:Great. (Score 1) 262 262

If other posts here on Slashdot are any indication, "Mr. Councilman" is just as likely to lose political points by supporting the poor.

Actually this particular councilman represents an extremely high-rent district--Manhattan's upper east side. I doubt there are many wealthier neighborhoods in the world. He's not doing this to 'score points', he's doing it to do the right thing.

Comment: Re:Just like "free" housing solved poverty! (Score 3, Insightful) 262 262

It is my opinion that poverty is partially systemic. Our economic system depends on there being a pool of available workers (unemployed and underemployed). So as long as there is capitalism and a functioning free market, there will always be poor people. That being the case, we have a responsibility to make sure the basic needs of everyone are met. Increasingly in order to succeed in school and in life, Internet access isn't really a luxury.

Well said

Comment: Re:There is no free anything (Score 4, Insightful) 262 262

Time and again, history has shown a healthy middle class is the best road to alleviate poverty on a grand scale.

Let me fix that for you:

Time and again history has shown the way to have a healthy middle class is to alleviate poverty on a grand scale.

Comment: Re:Just like "free" housing solved poverty! (Score 1) 262 262

shutup. just shut the fuck up. you neither know you are talking about, nor have any valid point to make. its not about solving the digital divide any more than the housing thing is about solving poverty. its been widely and clearly shown that there is an increase in opportunity and outcomes between homes with and home without internet access. you're essentially complaining about improving someones potential opportunities to enrich themselves and make their life better and maybe even get out of that housing you mock. but again, you have no valid point, so therefore theres little sense in talking sense, like pointing out to you that without subsidized housing many of these people would be on street, homeless, increasing both crime rates and homeless and deaths among the impoverished. Theoretically we are a civilized nation. But a civilized nation doesnt advocate intentionally making it harder if not impossible for those most disadvantaged to improve themselves, nor advocate for them to die quickly and get out of the way.

Well spoken, bro

Comment: Re:Just like "free" housing solved poverty! (Score 1) 262 262

The "digital divide" is a real thing. It's the difference between spoiled people like yourself growing up with a computer in your home, and inner city kids who have no computer access at home and have to wait on line at the public library to get a 15 minute time slot.

If you don't recognize that in this society those without computer access are at a disadvantage, you are as stupid as you are uncaring.

+ - Power -- And by that I mean Free Broadband -- To the People

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: Slashdot member and open source developer Ben Kallos @KallosEsq — who is now a NYC Councilman — is pushing to make it a precondition to Comcast's merging with Time Warner that it agree to provide free broadband to all public housing residents in the City (and by free I mean free as in beer). Kallos, along with NY's Public Advocate, Letitia James, are leading a group of state and local politicians calling on Comcast to help bridge the digital divide in NY.

Comment: Patent attorney chiming in (Score 5, Informative) 224 224

The real question is: are you applying for a job or are you trying to license your technology? In all likelihood, a blended negotiation is probably not going to happen unless: 1. you're looking for work in academics/advanced research or 2. you're a pre-eminent engineer/scientist being hired for your contributions in your inventive space.

If you're applying for a job, then the recruiter probably doesn't want to hear your invention pitch. The recruiter probably doesn't care about your patented stuff other than perhaps an aggregate count: e.g., I'm a named inventor on 3 million patent applications. You should be focused on what your qualifications for a job are.

If you're afraid that once you get the job that you're going to be deprived of a subsequent royalty stream, you should review your employment contract and should just flag that as a concern of yours. I suspect you're unlikely to get much value for your IPs from your employer, but at least the paperwork will be clear as to rights to use, the existence of the inventions prior to employment, etc.

If you're talking about trying to license your technology, then you need to talk to the right people. Probably their patent attorney or the person in charge of in-licensing technology. This is usually a protracted negotiation.

Last point, on your moral quandary: your patent probably doesn't stop you from deploying your full efforts at a job. It might stop you from implementing your own patented invention. But, on that point, you're the gatekeeper of your own invention. If you elect to deploy your patented invention as part of your regular work, you shouldn't expect compensation for it unless your employer asks you to.

Comment: Re:You can copyright maps and manuals (Score 5, Informative) 146 146

Patent/IP Attorney chiming in.

You can copyright maps and manuals

Sure. You're very specific expression of both. You don't get to copyright the "facts" in either case. Everyone is free to copy the factual aspects of both maps and manuals. The distinction is an important one. And while not addressing maps and manuals directly in their petition, Google takes on the concept: you can write a book about art, but you don't get to stop other people from doing that art.

You can draw (and potentially get a copyright for) an outline of the world, but you can't stop other people from doing the same.

Google's argument about the API isn't all that much different: you can copyright an implementation of the API, but you don't get a copyright for the "facts" of the API: function names, arrangement, etc. The argument is that copyright, by statute, expressly does not extend to "extend to any idea, procedure, process, system, method of operation, concept, principle, or discovery, regardless of the form in which it is described, explained, illustrated, or embodied in such work." (17 USC 102(b)). This is not a trivial argument. It's also pretty important because if Oracle/Federal Circuit are correct, then you can have de facto patent protection for a century without any of the procedural protections such as examination.

Comment: Re:Technological Software as Patent Eligible (Score 1) 92 92

You mean that the Federal Circuit actually followed Congressional intent and the statutory law (35 USC 101) -- apparently against the wishes of the Supreme Court.

Foolishness. Section 101 is broader than you give it credit for. Patent attorneys love to overlook the language.

Whoever invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof, may obtain a patent therefor, subject to the conditions and requirements of this title.

One may very well look at the Alice patent (or any of a whole series of the business method/software cases) are realize that those claims are drawn to things that the patentees neither invented nor discovered, were not new at the time, etc. What's more Section 101 is entirely permissive "may obtain" which is hardly a requirement: shall or is entitled to, etc.

And, in any case, Congress is bounded by the Constitution's copyright clause: "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries." (Art. I, Sec. 8, Cl. 8). Extending patent rights to abstract ideas, general principles, etc., would arguably be unconstitutional. So, to avoid the constitutional question, it's best to resolve the broad language against that patentability.

Comment: Re:Patent Attorney chiming in (Score 1) 92 92

... at trial, yes. Not at the USPTO or before the PTAB.

I rarely care about non-issued patents, other than my own. Patent examiners can do their thing. Alice gives them a tool now too.

IPRs are a possible strategy. But people don't willy-nilly file those either. They're more part and parcel of modern patent litigation now to get a stay and hopefully wreck claims. A good IPR is still 5 figures.

And in KSR, SCOTUS pushed that way back. Now it's actually quite easy, unless the claims recite an element that you just can't find a reference for, anywhere.

And that's still an issue for mid- to late-90s patents. Words are different. Language is different. Experts and lawyer arguments are expensive.

Plus, a wealth of everyday computer stuff from the 90s is still pretty hard to come by or expensive or time consuming to retrieve.

That'd be an easy 103 rejection: you can prove it's been "done previously," right? You can prove that the platform existed previously, right? Where's the problem?

If that's all that was required, woo-boy.

How do you define "actually inventive"?

Here are the questions I ask when contemplating patent filings, post-Alice, for a software method (or computer implemented method):
* Can I reasonably determine the bits and pieces you put together a specific solution to a specific problem based on your claims?
* Do the claims give me all of the pieces of the puzzle or does it give me a flowchart?
* And, to entirely avoid an Alice question, are you using generic bits of technology for their ordinary purpose to solve an old problem the old way?

"Good" answers to these questions should avoid a 101 issue.

Comment: Re:Patent Attorney chiming in (Score 1) 92 92

of which I've to actually see an example

Let me quickly respond to that point too. One recent victim (at least at the lower courts) was this patent: The district court found the claims to upselling to an online buyer invalid under the Alice case.

Comment: Re:Patent Attorney chiming in (Score 1) 92 92

One of the important things to realize is that that actually doesn't matter. The fact that the practice had been done in the real world before did, though. Merely gussing-up the language with technological tools didn't make it patent eligible. The court never gets to the issues under Sections 102 (anticipation) or 103 (obviousness) of the patent laws.