Friday June 10, 2011
Professor Norman Siebrasse on why
it won't: the statute is different, the precedent is different, and
the U.S. Supreme Court expressly did not consider policy arguments.
TagsShareFriday June 10, 2011
Tuesday November 23, 2010
note that Microsoft has changed its tune on modifications to its new
Kinect box. While initially indicating it would work with law
enforcement to stop the activity, it now says that the Kinect was left
open for tinkering by design.
TagsShareTuesday November 23, 2010
Tuesday September 14, 2010
The NY Times ran a bombshell
over the weekend in which it reported that Russia has been using the
pre-text of intellectual property enforcement to seize computers from
NGO groups involved in advocacy and dissent. The article notes
the authorities have been receiving active assistance from Microsoft,
which had been delivering statements describing the company as a victim
and asking for criminal charges against the NGO groups. While
rights groups had been pressing Microsoft to address the issue for
months, it only responded
yesterday after the article's publication.
The company now says it will offer free blanket licences for its
products to NGOs to prevent actions under the guise of IP
It will also establish a new legal assistance program to assist NGOs
who need to respond to enforcement actions.
While the Microsoft response is a good one, it must be noted the abuse
of IP enforcement is surely connected to efforts by the
U.S. government and copyright lobby groups to actively encourage Russia
increase its IP enforcement. The US has regularly cited Russia in
301 report, this year including it on the Priority Watch
list. The IIPA, the industry lobby group that includes software
the U.S. to target Russia, saying that is imperative that prosecutors
bring more IPR cases. In fact, the IIPA complained that Russian
authorities do not seize enough computers when conducting raids.
top of all this is the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, which will
provide Russia with a template to follow on IP enforcement, including
new seizure powers with less court oversight.
It has often been
pointed out that the ACTA/Special 301 report approach seeks to export
enforcement measures - often to countries where free speech is not a
given - without including the exceptions, due process, and balancing
provisions. The recent Russian case highlights why this is such a
dangerous and misguided approach that is apt to cause more problems
than it solves.
Update: EFF and ZDNet cover the same issue. Rebecca MacKinnon offers her analysis here.
Update II: Public Knowledge adds its perspective. TagsShareTuesday September 14, 2010
Monday June 07, 2010
The CBC reports that Quebec's government broke the law by buying software from Microsoft without considering offers from other vendors, the province's Superior Court has ruled. TagsShareMonday June 07, 2010
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