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[News] Intellectual Monopolies Inherently Unethical

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Train Operators Around The World Stopping Others From Helping Riders... Due To
Intellectual Property

,----[ Quote ]
| We've already talked about those who run trains in Germany and Australia 
| cracking down on people creating their own iPhone train schedule apps, 
| claiming they violated intellectual property rights of the train operators. 
| This makes very little sense for a variety of reasons. First, it is still 
| quite ridiculous that any sort of factual information can be covered by 
| copyright -- but in Europe such "collections" of information can be covered 
| by the database copyrights -- the idea that if you put factual information 
| into a "database" that database then deserves copyright protection. Europe 
| has this, while the US does not -- and studies have shown that contrary to 
| what copyright supports insist, this increased right has actually hindered 
| the database industry in Europe... but that hasn't made the law go away.            


Help people without broadband around the world 

,----[ Quote ]
| That's it. Nothing special or fancy. It won't solve the world problems, but 
| it may help a few people. I'm not fully sure about possible legal 
| implications of shipping software around the world, but I don't see major 
| obstacles that prevents ordinary users, de-facto individual non-profit 
| organizations, from helping fellow humans around the globe.     



Time to rethink intellectual property laws?

,----[ Quote ]
| Conversely, there is widespread anecdotal evidence that the act created a
| mind-set among many researchers that their knowledge represents a potential
| goldmine not to be shared with potential competitors (i.e. those working in
| other universities) - at least until it has been protected by a patent
| application.
| Similarly, the act has led to a flood of “upstream” patents on basic
| scientific knowledge, leading to what some commentators describe as a
| virtually impenetrable “patent thicket” blocking small-scale inventors from
| marketing their products. For example, restrictive software patents limit
| further development and commercialisation in the field of information
| technology.

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