Friday, May 11, 2007

Links for May 11, 2007

Motion Picture Academy Sues OscarWatch For Promoting The Oscars

Back in February, we were absolutely stunned at the Motion Picture Academy's rationale for taking down all online clips of the 2007 Oscars. The Academy actually claimed that pulling all the content offline would "whet people's appetite for next year's show." Yes, removing all that free advertising is supposed to make people more interested in watching next year's show.
Europe Says No Backsies On Patent Infringement Awards If Patent Is Later Rejected
It appears that there's a similar problem over in Europe, where the Court of Appeal has decided that even if a patent is later rejected by the European Patent Office fees paid for earlier infringement on that patent will remain in place. The ruling makes it clear that the court understood the two sides, but somehow decided that "certainty" was more important than "fairness" and "not having to pay for doing something that was perfectly legal."
My comment on this one: This decision makes absolutely no sense. It essentially rewards people who file and litigate over frivolous patents by allowing them to retain ill-gotten gains. I hope that this decision can be appealed even further.

If Resources Aren't Scarce, Why Do You Need A Market?
It's interesting to see folks who believe in free market economics struggle around the issue of intellectual property rights. You have those who recognize that economics still works without scarcity, and then you have those who insist the market breaks down when things are free and abundant.
Big Victory: House Affirms Limits on Warrantless Spying
Last night, the House passed legislation aimed at preventing illegal government spying. Attached as an amendment [PDF] to the intelligence budget authorization bill, the legislation reaffirms that the NSA's domestic surveillance program must comply with Congress' laws.


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