Sunday, December 23, 2007
Boing Boing said the developer, Matthew Garrett, asked the MPAA several times to release the source code it used in building upon his work in creating the University Toolkit. GPL terms require such development to be released back to the open source community. Being a major lobbying force for wealthy studios, the MPAA likely did not regard such requests as ones they need to obey. Garrett followed up the non-response by feeding the MPAA a dose of its medicine - a DMCA take down request sent to its ISP.
An ISP can maintain its safe harbor status by quickly complying with DMCA notifications. Though this has been used controversially, in Garrett's case it worked as it was meant to do.
Brian Krebs at the Washington Post discussed the University Toolkit at length in November. He highlighted privacy concerns, but the copyright issue was not known at the time.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
The paper that Slashdot referred to is : Sequential Innovation, Patents, and Imitation by James Bessen and Eric Maskin (the aforementioned Nobel Prize winner.) The paper was written in 1999 and is an MIT Economics Department Working Paper #00-01 (one of first working papers to be published at MIT in 2000.)
To read more on James Bessen work on software patents, you can go to "Research on Innovation" website.
Saturday, December 15, 2007
The revised European Patent Convention took effect this week, bringing in a system designed to substantially simplify patent issues for businesses, according to the European Patent Office.
The updated Patent Convention has been 10 years in the making, and updates the original 1973 agreement with more flexibility, more legal certainty, simpler procedures and reduced costs, the European Patent Office (EPO) said.
The new patent convention may accelerate changes to the legal environment around IT patents, as one of its provisions simplifies further revisions to Europe's patent framework. Revisions can now be effected through decisions by the EPO's Administrative Council, something that previously required diplomatic conferences between member states.
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
China’s Computer Software Copyright Regulations hold that providing revised software without the express agreement of the copyright owner may cause the provider to be civilly — or criminally — liable. There are few Chinese laws or regulations specifically governing add-ons, although add-ons to online games have been prohibited since 2003. As for whether an add-on application constitutes software piracy, Mr. You says it defies definition.“Intellectual-property protection in China is still complex at this stage,” he says.
SCABR.COM has an interesting article about a Chinese instructor who has been found guilty for Copyright Infringement for writing a small Add-on patch that modifies a popular Instant Messaging program in China.
Monday, November 26, 2007
The funny thing is that they are suing small business who can't actually prove (by means of providing their receipts) that they legally bought a copy of software they are using!!! DO we keep the receipts for everything that we buy?!
What BSA is doing is completely legal, i.e. enforcing software protection; but the fact of the matter that they are going after small business who don't have enough financial or human resources to fight BSA and probably will settle by paying fines, makes it really ugly!
Saturday, November 24, 2007
It's interesting to have a company devoted to a very narrow field of IP protection and dealing exclusively with Audio Software industry. The problem might be that they only have one client!
On November 21, 2007 a message was posted on the popular SONICSTATE.COM forum from the CEO of BanPiracy, criticizing the Audio Software developers for not caring enough about their legal rights and getting on board to fight the audio software piracy. In his post, Michael David is also replying to some of the harsh criticisms pointing to his company.
The fact is that stopping software piracy is and should be a multidimensional and international effort. Despite the fact that United States has one of strongest copyright protection laws, pirated software can be found everywhere; from the basement of a self-claimed hacker to the research labs of university students and in case of Audio Software, even in the most prestigious Audio Production studios.
Installing cracked software on a computer is nothing but stealing somebody else's property and using it for free, but enforcing software protection will not work without educating students, developers and even illegal users of the consequences of their action.
I have seen many students, even in my own class!, using cracked software for many different reasons. In one of my classes I asked them what was their reason the last time they used or installed an illegal software. They were mostly sophomore kids and quite interestingly it was a multimedia production class so there was a very good chance that most of them had cracked software at home or on their laptops. Their answers were fun to read:
- software is expensive
- I don't want to come to the lab to do my projects everyday and I don't have the money to buy it!
- I am not profiting from this! it is just for a school project!
- I think the price is really unfair! I would buy it if I thought it is worth it!
- I hate ***** company and I am not paying them a dime!
- Software should be free and open source!
- Students should not pay to learn how to use a software, we will get used to it and later the company will make more money from us! because we are using their software after school
A successful Anti Piracy campaign, in my ideas,should start with students, educating them about the production costs, expenses, international competition, Intellectual Property laws so that when they get to high school and later in college that have at least some answers for their excuses!
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
The Review sets out a number of targeted, practical recommendations to deliver a robust Intellectual Property framework fit for the digital age. One of these recommendations is to enable authorities to raid businesses suspected of using unlicensed software without needing warrants. John Lovelock, director general of the Federation against Software Theft, said that they have been lobbying for the reforms for 13 years. You can here more about this story here.