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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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  • by timmarhy (659436) on Tuesday January 01, 2008 @06:50PM (#21877822)
    Nigeria, the land of scammers and con artists. no wonder thier country is in the state it's in.
  • Cut to the chase (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Divebus (860563) on Tuesday January 01, 2008 @06:52PM (#21877830)
    Just send them weapons.
  • by callmetheraven (711291) on Tuesday January 01, 2008 @06:55PM (#21877856)

    Nigeria, the land of scammers and con artists.

    The silver lining of this truth is that the fewer computers Nigerians have the better off the rest of the world is. It would have been difficult and politically incorrect to boycott Nigeria from the OLPC, with a litle luck they just might boycott themselves.
  • by deepershade (994429) on Tuesday January 01, 2008 @07:10PM (#21877944)
    Why is this post modded as flamebait when in all the other threads about this subject, such a comment would be a minimum +4 funny? Someone needs a sense of humour perhaps?
  • by Databass (254179) on Tuesday January 01, 2008 @07:17PM (#21877988)
    Ok, but when OLPC asked "Assuming you aren't saying you own the entire idea of a multi-language keyboard, which parts of your particular keyboard design are you even saying we stole from you?"

    They didn't answer but they still want $20 million dollars.
  • by realmolo (574068) on Tuesday January 01, 2008 @07:18PM (#21877998)
    It's easy to forget that most of Africa's problems stem from the fact that the culture places very little value on human life.

    You know all those "relief funds" that go to poor/starving/fucked African countries? Yeah, most of those funds end up in the hands of the corrupt government leaders and/or military, who are MORE than happy to let everybody starve if it means more cash for them.

    The problems with Africa can't be solved with donations. They can only be solved with armed revolutions. Of course, the U.S. and most of the rest of the world is making too much money off of the exploitation of Africa to actually want to fix things.

  • by Dutch Gun (899105) on Tuesday January 01, 2008 @07:22PM (#21878024)
    If you do read the article, it's a complicated case (as legal cases always are), that essentially boils down to this: Nigeria's officials, including their judges and politicians, are still perceived as being hopelessly corrupt, and by all appearances this is nothing more than attempted legal extortion. The legal claims by which the lawsuit is proceeding is on shaky ground at best. Even if the claims are legitimate, it still is a sad day, when an organization like this is sued by the very people it's most likely to benefit.

    Maybe they aren't ready for a mass introduction of technology - they certainly have shown a compunction for abuse so far. Nigeria is already synonymous with Internet-based moneymaking scams. Does the third world have other, more important priorities instead of laptops, such as basic infrastructure, and a stable and responsive democratic government (most of the world's poorest countries are still ruled by dictators). Complain if you will about the governments of first-world countries such as the US, but if so, you likely haven't seen the corruption of others up close. Visit Mexico for a fine example of what happens when a country with significant potential is rife with corruption from top to bottom. Corruption tends to poison and overshadow even the benefits of democracy and capitalism, as it tends to keep power concentrated in very few hands.

    On the other hand, perhaps an opening of information can help to educate the next generation - to give them more options, and more information, more hope. Just as wireless technology is leapfrogging the old, expensive landline-based infrastucture in many countries, perhaps an infusion of technology can help jump-start an economic surge in places that need it most. I just hope they choose to use it wisely.
  • Nigeria (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BigBadBus (653823) on Tuesday January 01, 2008 @07:38PM (#21878120) Homepage
    I was born in Nigeria, and spent the first 7 months of my life there, so sadly I don't have any memories of the place. My mum and dad have regaled me with tales of corruption (everyone from the gardener to the police it seems) and it sounds like a horrible place in which to live and work. I have no desire to go back.
  • Re:Die OLPC, Die. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Jeremy Erwin (2054) on Tuesday January 01, 2008 @07:39PM (#21878124) Journal
    Here's a a problem for Negroponte: IP infringement.

    Describe, in your own words, what IP has been infringed.

  • by Jeremy Erwin (2054) on Tuesday January 01, 2008 @07:45PM (#21878146) Journal
    The problems with Africa can't be solved with donations. They can only be solved with armed revolutions. Of course, the U.S. and most of the rest of the world is making too much money off of the exploitation of Africa to actually want to fix things.

    So, 3.8 million deaths weren't enough [wikipedia.org]?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 01, 2008 @07:55PM (#21878192)
    Apparently not.
  • by Wonko the Sane (25252) * on Tuesday January 01, 2008 @08:19PM (#21878318) Journal

    Ooops. Too late. That cycle started quite some time ago, and I don't think there's any stopping it at this point...

    Our culture at one point had an answer to that:

    That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
    But now, quoting Thomas Jefferson is likely to get you put on a suspected terrorist no-fly list.
  • by houstonbofh (602064) on Tuesday January 01, 2008 @08:24PM (#21878362)
    I know that may people may find this shocking, but Africa is not a country! Really! It is over 50 countries, and almost as many cultures. And believe it or not, some of the countries are not completely fucked up! However, a lot are, and they make better news...
  • Re:Die OLPC, Die. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Tuesday January 01, 2008 @08:31PM (#21878402)
    LANCOR is claiming to have a patent on a keyboard that allows the user to type in Nigerian. How can you possibly call that an innovation, and how can you possibly accuse anyone of stealing that? Do you think that Nigerians should be required to pay LANCOR every time they write anything down, or just when they decide to type in their native language? How can anyone claim a patent on a system that follows the already existing rules of any language, or anything at all? They didn't invent anything, they just put into code a long list of rules that already existed.

    Here's a problem for you: patent a keyboard that can render all the strange facets of written English: upper case letters, lower case letters, diacritical markings, punctuation, etc. Come back to me when coding language rules is considered to be innovation.

  • Very racist, but oh so true.
    Nope. Not racist at all.

    "Don't deal with black people" is racist. "Don't deal with African Countries, unless they're white" is racist. "Don't deal with country X that has a history of corruption, and happens to be black" is no more racist than "don't go down Johnson street, there were fifty murders there last year."

  • by Tablizer (95088) on Tuesday January 01, 2008 @09:20PM (#21878662) Journal
    I don't know why you say this is a "3rd-world" problem. We in the US have crap like One-Click-Buy patents that are laughable (although it looks like it is finally getting overturned). Or, letting MS be the annoying monopoly it is and make every PC pay the Windows Tax even if you want another OS. Organizational stupidity is not limited to the 3rd world. Rationality is the exception.

    Further, countries still have their pride, and for us to come in acting like they "need help" is a kick in the ego. By roughing up the westerners a bit it restores a sense of control over their world (even if it may harm them in the longer run). Even starving people want a sense of control (and those doing the activity may not be the starving ones).
         
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 01, 2008 @10:13PM (#21878938)
    Let's get them to stop shitting in their drinking water first. No kidding.
  • by Lisias (447563) on Tuesday January 01, 2008 @10:50PM (#21879122) Homepage Journal
    Let me tell you a little "third world" history. I used to live in Manaus, Amazon, Brazil (where a Free Tax Zone was, one day, promoted by the Military Goverment). That Free Tax Zone gived a lot of power to some goverment officials and, guess what, corruption prospered there. Man, you had to bribe someone for everything to be able to manufacture something there. The situation gone to a point where, even by being 100% legally, you still had to pay a bribe to import your materials - or the official would hold forever your cargo for "further investigations". Well, a friend of mine works in one american company settled there (that one that created ETHERNET and the GUI), and told me this little history: Someday, one official demanded a bribe to allow a cargo full of supriments to be delivered. The company refused. The official holded EVERY single cargo for months, but the company didn't submit itself. The situation deteriorated to a point where higher goverment officials feared a major break on (legal) tax incoming - a company that doesn't have its materials it's a company that don't pay employees and don't sells nothing for no one. Even more, a lot of lateral industries threatened to just send their business to another place, as they aren't making any money. Kiss a lot of taxes byebye. What happened? The corrupted officials just don't mess with this company's cargo anymore. Doesn't worth the trouble. Pay a single bribe to a officer, and you will pay bribes for the rest of your life.
  • by ScrewMaster (602015) on Tuesday January 01, 2008 @10:53PM (#21879134)
    If you're concerned about all the cyberdamage being done around the world, the real truth is that you'd be far better off disconnecting from China, Russia and the United States.

    For all you people that want to pick on Nigeria, not everyone that comes from there is a scammer or a crook. As it happens, my girlfriend is from there (emigrated to the U.S. about 25 years ago) and is a remarkable individual. I consider myself lucky to have her. As an American, I tend to get irritated at all the foreigners here on Slashdot that like to make uninformed generalizations about the United States and its people. Anyone who's ever read any of my posts along those lines knows that. Conversely, I figure it's only fair not to paint everyone in a given country with the same brush, even if they do it to us with monotonous regularity.

    That said, I wouldn't advise answering any Nigerian emails that show up in your inbox.
  • by Fulcrum of Evil (560260) on Tuesday January 01, 2008 @11:29PM (#21879360)
    Not nearly. What's needed is leadership after the bastards in charge are against a wall. But first you have to take out the trash. Yeah, and the africans will probably have to move the borders around - the current ones are externally imposed. One more step towards post colonial functional countries.
  • Re:Question Mark (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SamP2 (1097897) on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @12:26AM (#21879594)
    Tutorial, continued further...

    Q: Should you place a comma in the sentence "Tutorial, continued..."?
    A: Yes.

    Q: When using the dash as a separator for an unordered list, should you place a space character between the dash and the first character of the list item?
    A: Yes.

    Q: Should the sentence following a sentence ending in ellipsis be capitalized?
    A: Yes.

    Q: Can someone "trend towards perfectionist"?
    A: No. One can either trend towards perfectionists or trend towards perfectionism, the latter presumably being your intended meaning.

    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.

    Q: Are any of the above rules relevant to Slashdot comments?
    A: No, as I stated previously. The objective of communication rules is to facilitate maximally convenient communication between parties, and the rules vary depending on the medium and circumstances. In the case of Slashdot comments, the time required to analyze and correct spelling, grammar, punctuation and stylistic errors is unjustifiably high compared to the meager benefit it provides to the readers. Slashdot articles themselves, which are more formal than comments, have a greater time period to be written and checked, and are read by more people, have a justifiably higher standard applied to them. Still, they will have a lower standard than a formal academic paper. Similarly, in cases where communication speed is much more important than rigorousness, such as instant messaging or online game chat, it is perfectly acceptable that the sentence "lol kthxbye" has a better cost-benefit ratio than the sentence "That was amusing; all right, thank-you, and good-bye." The very definition of a "Grammar Nazi" is not simply one who uses formal grammar, but one who expects its use in situations where the expectation is not justified.
  • by mrchaotica (681592) * on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @09:16AM (#21881760)

    You should work on your reading comprehension. Try again, and you'll discover that I was making the point that there are not inherent racial differences between (for example) Nigerians, Americans, and Mexicans, but that rather the perceived differences are caused by the fact that we get a skewed sample (immigrants vs. non-immigrants).

    Luckily, I don't have to generalize to realize that, because you automatically equate simply mentioning a particular ethnic group with being racist, you're the one who is obsessed with issues of race and is thus racist yourself!

  • by Lord Apathy (584315) on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @10:50AM (#21882624)

    So once again it's the White man's fault. You know how sick I get of hearing that shit? Africa's / Nigeria's problems are caused by Africans / Nigerians. It's time you liberal fucks got that through your thick heads.

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