☆ Meddling In Foreign Affairs

The Special 301 Report is an annual publication by the US Trade Representative (USTR), fulfilling US legal requirements to identify countries whose copyright, patent, trademark and trade secrets laws and practices are of concern to the USA. You may recall I’ve written unflatteringly about USTR before. The report’s content reflects the input of US trade […]

☞ Abuses

Barnes & Noble Charges Microsoft with Misusing Patents to Further an Anticompetitive Scheme Against Android Barnes and Noble’s strongly-worded response to Microsoft’s patent suit makes great reading, albeit rather depressing. They allege Microsoft is abusing patent complaints to engage in anti-competitive behaviour. Now where have I heard that fear expressed elsewhere…? CRS Report Withheld By […]

☞ Two Approaches To Patents

The Ultimate Patent Troll Patent: Get Sued When You File A Patent You almost never hear about IBM’s patent shakedowns (and there are many of them) because former VP Marshall Phelps (now at Microsoft) invented such an efficient machine for doing it that victims rarely attempt to publicly defend themselves. Looks like they have now […]

★ The Typhoid Mary of Three Strikes

Just before Christmas we saw the Spanish Parliament reject yet another attempt to introduce laws in Europe restricting Internet freedoms. There have been a rush of them this year, popping up in country after country, each national government calmly pretending it was their idea and they thought of it unaided and they think it’s a […]

☞ Kinds Of Trust

USTR’s Request for Comments on ACTA Your holiday project: send USTR at least one comment on ACTA. If you need ideas, let me know… The Anonymous WikiLeaks protests are a mass demo against control Really excellent article by Richad Stallman points out that the individuals arriving en masse to protest about the treatment of Wikileaks […]

The Internet’s Voltaire Moment

Let me say up front that I am not a massive fan of Wikileaks. It seems to me that taking stolen correspondence and publishing it for everyone to read is a fundamentally sociopathic act, whether it is a rival’s love-letters or a government’s diplomatic cables. There’s no doubt that there’s a role for whistle-blowing journalism, […]

DRM Is Toxic To Culture

It’s possible that you think that unauthorised use of copyrighted music, films and books is such a serious problem that it’s worth giving away a little of your convenience and freedom in exchange for stopping it. If you do, I’d like to suggest you think again – and time is running out. Approaches to Enforcement […]

☞ Right and Wrong

Symbian: A Lesson on the Wrong Way to Use Open Source Matt Asay correctly observes that this corporate attempt to use open source was ill conceived and doomed to failure. It was obvious to me right from the moment I heard the strategy (from a head-hunter trying to recruit me about 6 months before launch) […]

☞ Monopolies and patents

EU to push patent-free eGovernment The European Interoperability Framework (EIF) is still in play, and despite attempts by companies like Microsoft to "own" interoperability and neuter it to become a concept defining a preference for proprietary monocultures, there is still a chance the EU will enact procurement legislation that attacks their de facto monopoly and […]

☞ Transparency: Wrong and Right

The fishy mandate of ACTA If you thought there was something fishy about the European Commission engaging in secret negotiations at ACTA behind the backs of the European Parliament and against the interests of Europe’s digital society, you’d be right. I missed this when it was first posted back in April, but it turns out […]