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LANCOR v. OLPC Case Continues In Nigerian Court 281

Posted by timothy
from the get-your-passport-and-account-numbers dept.
drewmoney writes "According to an article on Groklaw: It's begun in a Nigerian court. LANCOR has actually done it. Guess what the Nigerian keyboard makers want from the One Laptop Per Child charitable organization trying to make the world a better place? $20 million dollars in 'damages,' and an injunction blocking OLPC from distribution in Nigeria."
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LANCOR v. OLPC Case Continues In Nigerian Court

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  • Re:No Reason to Pity (Score:5, Informative)

    by BeanThere (28381) on Tuesday January 01, 2008 @07:19PM (#21878004)
    Putting a bunch of Nigerian-language characters onto a keyboard doesn't qualify as an "invention"; it's exactly what's been done for hundreds of other languages around the world since before Nigerian-language characters were in the Unicode standard even (which, I might point out, that same generous West put in after working hard to create those standards in the first place and then giving them to poor countries like Nigeria for free). Perhaps the West should demand royalties from this company for using its technologies like Unicode and keyboards in the first place, haha, right.

    I'm afraid this is just how things go here in Africa, and as someone else pointed out, why it'll probably remain 3rd-world indefinitely. Try give a hand to Africa, and it will demand an arm, and then try kill you for not giving the entire arm. Mod me whatever, but I've lived here all my life and seen this kind of thing over and over, facts are just facts, I wouldn't expect someone who hasn't lived here to get it.
  • by RichMan (8097) on Tuesday January 01, 2008 @07:25PM (#21878044)
    It appears that the disputed keyboard layout was only used in the development devices and not in the production devices. By this there should be no injunction on the distribution and likely no/minimal payment for infringement.

    From Groklaw: http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20071203061340580#c652659 [groklaw.net]

    ----
    If you examine the OLPC Wiki's edit history for the West African (Nigerian) keyboard you can see what Adé Oyegbola is on about. To save you trawling back and forth here it is in a nutshell. Note that where I write "create" I am referring to the Wiki entires - these dates may not correspond to the physical devices.

          1. 2006-08-07 OLPC buy KONYIN keyboards
          2. 2006-11-13 OLPC create Nigerian layout based on KONYIN layout
          3. 2006-11-13 OLPC Nigerian image updated; layout unchanged
          4. 2007-03-02 OLPC image updated to show Beta-3 model; layout unchanged (Original Image March 2nd)
          5. 2007-08-?? LANCORP sends OLPC Cease & Desist Notice
          6. 2007-08-20 OLPC B3 layout revised completely, no longer looks like KONYIN (Revised Image August 20th)
          7. 2007-08-21 OLPC replaces B3 with B4 Ng-MP-Alt layout (more dialect symbols) and new image.

    So this boils down to prototype XOs that used the KONYIN layout. I'm not sure how many prototypes were made with the Nigerian keyboard (I'd guess not many more than the 300 used at Galadima primary school, Abuja) but the total quantities were B1: 875, B2: 2,500, B3: 100, B4: 2,000, C1: 300 (see Development Schedule.

    Since August 2007 with the C1 (pre-production) the West African (Nigerian) layout has been as you see it on the current Wiki page.

    So the crux is that LANCORP are upset over those beta prototypes but the production XOs (and all XOs made since August 2007) have not used the KONYIN layout.
    --
  • Re:No Reason to Pity (Score:3, Informative)

    by jfim (1167051) on Tuesday January 01, 2008 @08:13PM (#21878274)

    Putting a bunch of Nigerian-language characters onto a keyboard doesn't qualify as an "invention"; it's exactly what's been done for hundreds of other languages around the world since before Nigerian-language characters were in the Unicode standard even (which, I might point out, that same generous West put in after working hard to create those standards in the first place and then giving them to poor countries like Nigeria for free).
    Their keyboards don't really seem that inventive once you give them a look [konyin.com]. They seem to use a shift^2/Ng key which probably does the exact same thing as AltGr [wikipedia.org], which is present on a lot of multilingual keyboards, although not at the same location.
  • by Dun Malg (230075) on Tuesday January 01, 2008 @08:59PM (#21878530) Homepage

    gee that's funny, I always thought scammers didn't need to be living in Nigeria or connected to Nigeria in any way to send those kind of emails, silly me.
    Nobody said they did. The fact that the Nigerian 419 Scam originated and from and is still largely dominated by well-organized Nigerian gangs with the complicity of Nigerian government officials, however, makes the point perfectly valid.

    Really, you ought to at least cursorily research subjects before commenting on them.
  • Re:Die OLPC, Die. (Score:4, Informative)

    by mboverload (657893) on Tuesday January 01, 2008 @11:06PM (#21879230) Journal
    It's just a QWERTY keyboard with a second shift key and Nigerian letters painted in purple.

    Not kidding.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @12:34AM (#21879632)
    Yeah, and for most of that 11,000 years of history, its been bloody tribal wars. Sure there was iron smelting several thousand years ago -in Africa-... but it was used to make hatchets, knives, arrow-heads, etc. Human slaughter is the African way of life. Aids beats many Africans to the punch. They breed, die of Aids, leaving their children orphans, who then grow up, breed, die of Aids... Africans know about Aids, but don't want to do anything about it. They need so much of everything. They expect the world to help them. Why do they need all the help? Who helps out those who they expect to get help from? Why is it that they can't be self-motivated? Why is it that they aren't willing to help themselves? Why is it that the white farmers Robert Mugabe kicked out of the country could make Zimbabwe an exporter of food, yet on the same land, the very same land, the honorable soldiers he gave the land to after he got rid of the white trash couldn't grow shit? The land was fertile, the white people fled for their lives, re-settled, and have once again been prosperous. Here's the dirty word you didn't want to see: L A Z Y. Why run, when you can walk. Why walk, when you can stand. Why stand when you can sit. Why sit, when you can lay down. Planning ahead can get you through a drought, and save you from a flood. But you have to plan ahead...and not be lax.
  • LANCOR has no point (Score:4, Informative)

    by BeanThere (28381) on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @01:20AM (#21879860)
    You are technically correct, but your point has nothing to do with this LANCOR situation, since their claim is specifically about illegal use of "their" keyboard layout - nowhere does their complaint say anything about being harmed by cheap laptop dumping, nor do they represent any group of people who might have such claim.

    Anyway, there is a crucially important difference between this and other forms of dumping which are actually more wrong: This is basically PRIVATE charity, it's not e.g. the US government dumping cheap computers on the 3rd world to subsidise their own industry; rather, it's private individuals using private money.
  • Re:Question Mark (Score:2, Informative)

    by Esteban (54212) on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @04:07AM (#21880484) Journal

    Q: Should you place the period inside or outside quotation marks?
    A: Inside.

    Q: Are there any exceptions to the above rule?
    A: No. Exceptions exist for exclamation or question marks (depending on whether the mark applies to the quote alone or to the whole sentence), but never for commas or periods.
    I thought when I saw "Only in America" follow-ups, this would be addressed. It wasn't.

    Whether or not it's proper for periods (or commas, etc.) to go inside or outside the quotation marks very much depends on where your editor (or puler) was trained. If you're writing for some Brits (or Anglophiles), periods (or commas, etc.) must be outside the quotation marks.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @08:48AM (#21881574)
    You're general tone and comments are correct - however you spoil it completely with the "all the foreigners here on Slashdot" part. You do realise the Internet is global, and everyone is a foreigner to someone else?

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