25 July 2008

More Bad IP Legislation

Well, it appears that Senator Patrick Leahy has merged two draconian IP bills to create a bill that combines the worst of both.

I think that the problem is two fold:
  • The large IP driven businesses know that their business model exists only because of government support, so they spend lavishly.
  • That IP enforcement has been defined as ownership, when it is merely an exclusive license granted for the benefit of society.
So, we now have
  • Doubling of penalties
  • The authorization of federal prosecutors to use civil suits, where the burden of evidence is 50%+1
  • Confiscation of any property tangentially involved, like computers and houses.
  • The creation of an IP "Czar", which would necessarily lead to an expansive and aggressive policy towards pursuing the law, as it is how the "Czar's" office would justify its existence.
Bad law, bad policy, and a fundamental misunderstanding of the reasons behind copyright and patent protections.


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