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ABA Network has a Story on all the stupid patents the the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has been issuing. 1-Click ordering is of course the most famous example. People like NoWebPatents.org try to talk some sense, but it seems to fall on deaf ears.
\"Law professor Pamela Samuelson of the University of California, Berkeley, charges that the PTO \"simply can’t be competent in issuing [business-method] patents\" because of examiners’ insufficient training and \"woefully inadequate prior art\"—the legal term for previously published descriptions of a patented invention. \"Besides,\" she says, \"the Constitution was intended to allow patents for technology. And business methods aren’t that.\"
If you speak leagalease, Tim says there is a copy of the DOJ \"Petition for Writ of Certiorari\" that went to the Supreme Court
about going after the
the Child Online Protection Act (COPA). This
proceeding is now titled Ashcroft v. ACLU.
HTML Version and the PDF Version
The original on the case is here:Third Circuit\'s opinion.
\"Libraries will have exemptions similar to the ones they already hold for distributing information but they will not be able to build up searchable collections, or provide material in competition with commercial providers.\"
There\'s a new coalition called Americans for Fair
Electronic Commerce Transactions (AFFECT), formed by merging several anti-UCITA groups. If you are in the states of California, Delaware, Georgia, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Washington, Arizona or Texas you need to be aware of this law.
\"I have been troubled by the possible practical problems that may arise from this decision,\" Hatch said. \"I am troubled as a strong supporter and prime author of much of our copyright law and intellectual property rights.\"
A Story from the Washington Times talks about
what they call the \"cultural war raging inside America\'s
libraries\", piting Conservative groups that watn
unrestricted access to Internet indecency in the nation\'s
public schools and libraries threatens to create virtual
sanctuaries of smut across the land against the
American Library Association and others who say
patrons have a right to view pornographic material.
\"There is no constitutional right to view this kind of
obscenity in public places like our towns\' libraries,\"
says Janet LaRue, senior legal studies director at the
Family Research Council (FRC).\"
UCITA was passed in Maryland and Virginia last year, things are only getting worse, Arizona, Oklahoma, Delaware, and Texas are scheduled to take up the Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act (UCITA) this year. UCITA is opposed by leading bar associations, the attorneys general of more than 20 states, consumer groups, and everyone else with more than 2 active brain cells. CNN has the Full Story.
Post has a rather I
nteresting Story on copyright. Ilana Mercer
says the copyright system shoul be abolished because
there can be no justification for the use of force against
legitimate property owners.
\"And force is, very
plainly, what flows from the enforcement of the law.
Since ideas should not be treated as property, laws that
target those who have not violated person or property
I can\'t say I agree or disagree, but it is a very well
thought out argument.
SF Gate has a story on a woman whose 12-year-old son downloaded pornography at a CA public library, has reinstated her lawsuit that would require parental consent for minors to access the Internet at libraries.
\"We have to do a little more to protect children from themselves than to protect adults from themselves,\"
UPDATE from SF Gate. Hearing Was Held.
A panel of three justices of the 1st District Court of Appeal in San Francisco did not indicate when or which way it would rule. But one justice noted that a Virginia library was subjected to a successful suit when it blocked pornographic access and was ordered to reinstate full access.
As seen on the Freenet page and elsewhere, this essay by John Gilmore (of the EFF) explains why you should care about the efforts of industry to protect content through arbitrary technical means. Read it and send a copy to your colleagues. :)