Published April 19, 2012
Activism , Commentary , Law
Patents have been broken for 30 years since the rise of software and the improper extension of patent law to the digital domain. The dysfunction has accelerated with the rise of the Internet and mobile access that make the digital realm a fundamental part of modern life.
The large incumbent tech companies have been so bureaucratized that they’ve integrated IP in their operations, much like companies in other countries think nothing of paying bribes or playing whatever regulatory, legal, or illegal games are part of the cost of doing business. Patents are amassed by the thousands and deployed like troops in offensive and defensive formations as a strategic weapon against hostile or encroaching enemies. Companies continue to form to buy patents or outsource their management and prosecution.
And so the status quo has continued, while lone wolfs like the EFF howl in protest. Renegade billionaire Marc Cuban says your company’s largest risk is that you WILL get sued and not once but by dozens or a hundred lawsuits.
This permissive business-as-usual attitude is changing. Startups are starting to adopt ‘patent hacks‘ that give individual inventors certain rights. The goal is to share and use patents purely for defensive purposes so that companies can compete without the overhang of legal action.
If you’re an entrepreneur I urge to incorporate these patent provisions in your IP docs.
Twitter has signed on to this practice. VCs are jumping on board as well. So perhaps this is a growing trend and not a brief fad. There is hope yet that a tech industry that finally united to kill SOPA and push the JOBS Act can continue to work together to contain, if not reform, an innovation-stifling part of the legal system.
Published December 15, 2011
Activism , Internet
I’ve censored the following, in protest of a bill that gives any corporation and the US government the power to censor the internet–a bill that could pass THIS WEEK. To see the uncensored text, and to stop internet censorship, visit: http://americancensorship.org/posts/21371/uncensor
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Published October 30, 2011
Activism , Law , Politics , Technology
It’s that time of the year again. Because once more, on virtually an annual basis, big media lobbyists have succeeded in getting Congress to fast track legislation to turn the government into their personal cops. Apparently they didn’t get the memo that Occupy Wall Street pertains to all corporate overlords, not just banks.
The Senate bill is called Protect IP. In the House it’s E-Parasites. Of course it’s big business’s IP that they seek to protect and the parasites are them for transforming your friendly neighborhood ISP into their direct attack dog.
Once more they overreach in the name of online piracy, which is getting old. This legislation chills innovation, compromises online security, and strips consumer rights. It was written with no input from the technology industry or consumer advocates.
Please take direct action now. Tell your representatives in Congress to keep their slimy hands off your Internet through the EFF Action site.