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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:2, Interesting)

    by willyhill (965620) <pr8wak@gmaELIOTil.com minus poet> on Tuesday January 01, 2008 @07:15PM (#21877972) Homepage Journal
    No, but hey, at least consider what they're doing and don't be "that guy".

    There is probably nothing of consequence here (legally), but the need to defend themselves will probably put a dent on how much more good the OLPC program can bring to children elsewhere.

    The sad thing is that Nigerian children probably need this device as much as kids in Uruguay or Mexico or Armenia, but thanks to some hardass nigerian scammer they might be negatively affected, because this will certainly put a chill on the OLPC distribution plans for their country.

    This whole thing is just a shame.

  • by canuck57 (662392) on Tuesday January 01, 2008 @07:17PM (#21877980)

    I guess OLPC didn't pay the kickback moneys in pricing the deal now the corrupt are howling foul. Goes to show us in the free world how well we are off when institutionalized corruption is so rampant.

    Or is it the government wanting to keep people dumb and stupid so they don't revolt for a democracy?

    Would be interesting to see who bribed who to deprive the children from knowledge. There could be one hell of a story in that.

  • Re:Cut to the chase (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Travoltus (110240) on Tuesday January 01, 2008 @07:28PM (#21878066) Journal
    China is doing that a lot in Africa, most likely Nigeria included.
    http://www.cfr.org/publication/9557 [cfr.org]
  • Re:No Reason to Pity (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 01, 2008 @07:52PM (#21878176)
    I see a trend here?

    - "Linux stole unix code!"
    - "Oh really? Which lines, exactly?"
    - "I'm not telling."

    - "Linux infringes 235 of our patents"
    - "That's likely, you patented the obvious. We'll see when IBM starts complaining about their patents you likely infringe upon. BTW, Which ones?"
    - "I'm not telling."

    - "OLPC steals our patented keyboard input method"
    - "Oh really? Which ones exactly?"
    - "I'm not telling."

    I'm reconsidering the real cruelty of the good ol' times where justice was administered by the king, and if you looked like you were making him lose time on useless technicalities you were going to be hanged.
  • Re:No Reason to Pity (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sortius_nod (1080919) on Tuesday January 01, 2008 @07:57PM (#21878202) Homepage
    I haven't lived in Africa, but I have lived in under-developed nations a large portion of my life. To be honest, you hit the nail on the head, and it's not just limited to Africa. The problem with aid agencies is that they are just as corrupt, if not more, than the governments they are trying to protect the citizens from.

    Aid agencies need to be a lot stricter on their staff members and have stiffer penalties for any transgressions - you know, like a bit of gaol time in a dingy cell rather than painting them as a Martyr like the "Chad Children Thieves".
  • Re:Cut to the chase (Score:2, Interesting)

    by R2.0 (532027) on Tuesday January 01, 2008 @08:29PM (#21878398)
    Excellent - I mean, colonialism has turned out to be a massive short-term/long-term fuckup. Now maybe China can play too.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 01, 2008 @09:08PM (#21878594)
    From talking to people from Nigeria, that seems to be the consensus. Everyone in power is trying to get their cut, and unlike more wealthy nations, there is not enough to go around. But it proves that for some peoples, the problem is large scale systematic corruption. I think I heard that some manufacturing concerns in Nigeria are trying to force the OLPC machines to manufactured locally, even though it will end up costing more.

    It kind of reminds me of NCLB here in the states. Officials and large businesses were not getting their share. There was too much small business innovation supplying solutions tailored to particular student populations. NCLB ended that by creating purchasing and testing programs that cut out the innovative local educational concerns, and funneled huge amounts of taxpayer money to primarily four testing companies. That is the norm for the world. The free enterprise business always at the government teat.

  • Re:No Reason to Pity (Score:2, Interesting)

    by BeanThere (28381) on Tuesday January 01, 2008 @09:33PM (#21878736)
    Are you denying that it is true though? The very existence of a "Nigerian keyboard" is only thanks to *incredible* amounts of work put in to create things like keyboards and the Unicode standard and software for easily creating IMEs and so on - countries like Nigeria have basically gotten a major free ride being able to simply directly import and use all these technologies, to massive benefit. Do you have ANY clue how much work and money went into creating Unicode alone, just one tiny component/aspect of such a system? It's mammoth, and all free to use, and yet when last did you hear one "thank you"? On the contrary, it's always just complaints about how it's not enough.

    Anyway, I'm not going to convince you, let me say this instead: Dedicate your spare time for the next few years to trying to help Africa, then we'll talk again.
  • Re:No Reason to Pity (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MMC Monster (602931) on Tuesday January 01, 2008 @10:07PM (#21878906)
    This is taking place in a Nigerian court.

    A hanging (ie: corporate death penalty) may not be totally out of the question. If I recall correctly, LANCOR has to pay court fees if it turns out to be a waste of court time.
  • LANCOR has a point (Score:2, Interesting)

    by tjstork (137384) <todd...bandrowsky@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday January 01, 2008 @11:18PM (#21879280) Homepage Journal
    Basically, the idea of OLPC is that we'll just flood Africa with a bunch of practically free notebooks using massive economies of scale.

    When you do that, you basically destroy any chance of a tech industry emerging in Africa, because, there's not going to be any indigenous computer manufacturing. It's always fun to look at free trade and say, geez, look at what the third world is doing to the USA, but, sometimes, you have to look the other way around.
  • by ikedasquid (1177957) on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @12:52AM (#21879728)
    It's Nigeria...hire some local guy for $100 to kill the plaintiffs. Given the corruption, I'd bet OLPC could get away with it and they'd be ridding the world of these corrupt bastards in the process. Good for the kids, good for the poor local guy, good for Nigeria, and good for OLPC. Everybody wins.
  • by Lord Apathy (584315) on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @11:11AM (#21882856)

    Surely you are not serious. Revolutions in Africa just replace one bunch of assholes with another bunch of assholes.

    Which is exactly why revolutions won't work. The whole system is fucked. There are only two things that will work and nether of them are pretty.

    One is armed conquest. The UN sends in the troops an we take over everything south of the Sahara. We totally clean house. Then for the next hundred or so years we re-educate everyone in africa and teach them how to behave in a civil society.

    The next is just as bad. We wall up everything south of the sahara, nothing comes in; nothing goes out. Then we let the africans solve their problems in any manner they see fit. In a hundred or so years maybe they will get tired of killing each other and decided to act like humans. That, or, we'll have a nice clean continent to give back to the animals.

    Both of them are pretty stupid answers to me but I'll be damned if I can think of anything better.

The key elements in human thinking are not numbers but labels of fuzzy sets. -- L. Zadeh

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