Software Pirates Revel In Notoriety: Software Manufacturers Not So Much Anymore
ArsTechnica.com: What’s in a word? Well, if the word in question is “piracy” as it relates to copyrighted files and those that use them in unlawful ways, plenty. In a recent piece, Nate Anderson takes a look at the vilification of file copying by rights owners and the strong identification with the term “pirate” by those who believe they have every right to copy their files, such as music, in any way they see fit. From Anderson’s “Piracy” sounds too sexy, say rightsholders we learn how sailing the seven seas of the Internet while flying the Jolly Roger is changing:
Some of those concerned about online copyright infringement now realize that they may have created a monster by using the term “piracy.” This week, at the unveiling of a new study for the International Chamber of Commerce which argued that 1.2 million jobs could be lost in Europe as a result of copyright infringement by 2015, the head of the International Actors’ Federation lamented the term.
“We should change the word piracy,” she said at a press conference. “To me, piracy is something adventurous, it makes you think about Johnny Depp. We all want to be a bit like Johnny Depp. But we’re talking about a criminal act. We’re talking about making it impossible to make a living from what you do.”
Translation: we should have chosen a less-sexy term.
Might be too late to put the genie back in the bottle, me hearties. And yes, we would all like to be a little bit like Johnny Depp as long as it doesn’t involve affecting a terrible Keith Richards-esque accent and slathering on a bunch of messy black eyeliner. Arggh!
The Jakarta Globe: Indonesia continues to struggle for removal from the US Trade Representative’s list of International IP Rogues, and is hoping that an upcoming visit by the president of the United States can make it happen. Indonesia Seeks to Exit US Intellectual Property Blacklist has more information on Indonesia’s high hopes for better IP relations with America:
Gusmardi Bustami, the director general of international trade cooperation at the Ministry of Trade, said the government asked the USTR to look into the issue last month.
In 2008, the USTR took Indonesia off the priority list and placed it in the regular watch list in recognition of the government’s crackdown on copyright theft.
But Indonesia was put back on the priority list in May 2009 as US authorities determined that Indonesia was no longer providing an adequate level of copyright protection or enforcement.
The USTR has estimated that the US music and film industries lose more than $205 million every year due to copyright infringement in Indonesia.
“We hope we could improve from the status during the Obama visit,” Gusmardi said during an international trade forum on Thursday.
Indonesia is a somewhat significant import/export partner with the US coming in at #28 with close to 22 billion dollars a year in trade. Indonesia is reportedly “serious about tackling the problem” but whether or not such claims are enough to influence President Obama to remove them from the USTR’s list remains to be seen.
ipeg: In IP news from across the big pond, the Benelux countries (Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg) feature prominently in their generous tax law provisions for those corporations seeking a place to headquarter their operations for the greatest intellectual property benefit. The topical and aptly-titled piece, Patents and Tax Planning in Benelux, provides some background on this advantageous circumstance.
Belgium, Netherlands and Luxemburg have introduced tax laws that were officially aimed at improving innovation but of course with the strong intention to attract companies to place their patent portfolio in a Benelux based entity with the incentive to provide lower tax exposure. The big difference between the Benelux countries is which patents qualify for the tax regime. Are these only patent applications filed by their resident company as a result of own R&D, or can also acquired patents (e.g. sales from another patent owner, or patent aggregator or patent investor).
Also included in the piece is a helpful chart showing the various benefits to companies wishing to chose among the 3 Benelux countries with Luxembourg seizing the top position handily. And if the Benelux doesn’t suit, the article also mentions Hungary and Ireland as competitive nations to host your company’s intellectual property assets while helping to relieve that oh-so-unnecessary, and pesky, tax burden.
CNet News: HP has finally come to the conclusion of a huge lawsuit against imitation printer cartridges for its very popular line of printers. And wouldn’t you know it, they won big. Lance Whitney reports:
Last September, the tech giant–arguably best known as a printer maker–had filed its latest complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), claiming that several makers of cartridges for use in inkjet printers were infringing on HP patents by importing and selling their products in the United States. Following an investigation by the ITC, 11 different companies were found to have violated patents related to HP’s 02 inkjet cartridges.
Among the 11 companies charged with patent infringement, InkPlusToner.com and Comptree Ink reached settlements with HP. Both have paid HP an undisclosed amount in damages and have promised to stop selling the compatible 02 cartridges in the U.S. HP added that it expects to reach a similar agreement with SmartOne Services.
Other infringing companies have had the bejusus scared out of them, and are pleading with HP and the ITC to call off the dogs if they stop producing cheap, knock-off replacement printer cartridges. “The ITC also approved the request of another company, Zhuhai Gree Magneto-Electric, to stop the investigation into alleged patent violations as long as it promises not to import or sell future compatible inkjet products in the U.S.” Read Whitney’s HP settles inkjet cartridge patent complaints for the rest of this juicy story.
TechDirt.com: Nathan Myhrvold’s non-practicing entity (NPE) Intellectual Ventures is becoming strong enough that tech industry giants are starting to take notice of its “sue to profits” business model. Mike Masnick explains how Kodak has come out swinging in response to a recent IP infringement lawsuit, and how the company wants to know what they’re getting into before they sit down at the negotiating table. And rightfully so. Here’s what one subject-area expert has to say about the situation:
“Kodak should be accorded the right to sit down across the table from IV as well as PFI, so that it can inquire as to IV’s intentions,” Jones Day lawyers write. “It should come as no surprise that Kodak’s attitude towards settlement may be affected by learning whether or not this case is the first of a series of patent litigation salvos to be launched against it by IV, whether directly or through a proxy like PFI.”
PFI is reputed to be nothing more than a shell company that is acting as a front for IV’s assault on Kodak’s IP. Or at least that’s the claim. But until Myhrvold and Co. come to the table and turn over at least one card in their hand, Kodak will be playing blindly with a whole lot of loot in the pot. Read Masnick’s complete piece, Kodak Says Intellectual Ventures Behind Patent Lawsuit Filed By Shell Company, and find out all the dirty details.