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Education

NCAA to Tighten Twitter Rules 116

theodp writes "Facebook and Twitter have made student athletes more accessible than ever, but Tweets that catch the watchful eye of the NCAA could be all that's needed to bring down a successful college athletic program. Among the allegations leveled against the Univ. of North Carolina by the NCAA is a failure to 'adequately and consistently monitor social networking activity,' which the NCAA argues would have caused the school to detect other violations sooner than they did. To cope with the daunting task of monitoring hundreds of accounts on a daily basis, some sports programs are turning to software like UDiligence, while others are opting for a simpler approach, such as having a coach frequently check on posts from the team's players."

Comment Re:Software Patents are anti-competitive (Score 1) 221

First, let's consider the US company doing the suing...what if they have no assets the EU can touch?

Well I see no reason why selling a software patent removes liability (in the eyes of my hypothetical version of the European Commission). The European Commission (EC) would want to decide for itself whether the transfer of a software patent was performed in good faith or not. I.e. when you sell a software patent, the liability may not transfer in the eyes of the EC.

So for example, Dow Jones software company A, patents a software idea. They then grant themselves an eternal licence to use the idea and then sell the patent (i.e. the enforcement rights) to patent pool B. B then sues European-based company C.

C goes to the European Commission and asks for the refund. The EC then sues both B and A for the money.

Most software patents are developed within a context of software development. It is the fact that they are resold that creates the patent trolls. However, the patent still has the original company's name on it.

Sometimes getting the money will be difficult, but if it is a software patent that is generating income, there is usually a link somewhere.

In other cases, none of above stops the EC on behalf of A, from trying to prove that the patent is invalid within the US system.

Lastly because the EC is imposing punitive damages above the original damages awarded in the US, there should be enough profit in the pool from the successes to take a hit on the failures.

Comment Re:Software Patents are anti-competitive (Score 1) 221

Easy way to sort that, make patents only for real substantial inventions. Not for abstract ideas or for incremental changes that can be implemented by anyone versed in the state of the art.

So you get a patent for inventing the first steam engine. You don't get a patent increasing that efficiency of a steam engine by 1%, or for controlling a steam engine using software.

Comment Re:Software Patents are anti-competitive (Score 1) 221

It is not about whether one wants to comply with the laws of the US. I was suggesting that the hypothetical company pays the damages and so does comply with the law.

It is about fairness. The EU allows American software firms to sell and distribute their software in the EU. The American firms compete based on the merits of their products.

This needs to be a two way street. The US government grants exclusive monopolies on abstract ideas that are just part of the known Universe. This is unfair competition on countries.

EU firms (and others) cannot compete on the merits of their products in the US if they risk frivolous and expensive lawsuits based on these nonsense software patents. My suggested unfair competition law would mitigate this risk. The European Commission would 'insure' this by providing a European based way to get the money back.

I am suggesting that we should have fair competition between countries, where we compete on the merits of the products.

The US federal government's way is to game the system. So it is based on who has the most slippery lawyers and bureaucrats. Like the World Series of Baseball that only has the US competing. Federal and legal monarchy instead of a free market.

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