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USPTO Publishes Suggestions For Intellectual Property Enforcement 57

Posted by timothy
from the just-thinking-about-it-one-of-the-best-things-I've-ever-done dept.
First time accepted submitter rjkimble writes "In June, the USPTO solicited proposals for voluntary best practices supporting intellectual property enforcement, especially against infringement that occurs online. It received 23 responses from individuals and organizations, including Google, the EFF, and the MPAA and RIAA. [On Wednesday] they were posted to the USPTO web site."
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USPTO Publishes Suggestions For Intellectual Property Enforcement

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  • I would post my comments on it. But I'm not a powerful lobbyist with a shitload of campaign donation money or political influence (aka one of the "Member Organizations and Associations"). So I guess my opinion doesn't matter to them.

    • There's a list of individuals there that submitted comments.

      • by jalopezp (2622345)

        Which are hilarious. The first one, from Alexis Parrish is gold:

        My name is Alexis Parrish And I need to get my own patent please have someone. Contact me at alexisparrish28@gmail.com... US should come up with its own distinct logo that must be present somewhere on every item traded ;)

        He has a solid point there. Someone get him his own patent please have someone. And the distinct logo idea is innovative. Much better than this stupid comment by the EFF:

        See attached file(s)

    • by az1324 (458137)

      What do you mean? There are published comments from private citizens (and they are some real gems).

    • You simply missed the comment period. The problem is, they get posted in the Federal Register, which the general public never reads.

      If *that* had been posted to Slashdot, it might've been more useful. As it was, there were 6 people who submitted something as individuals who potentially will have some influence ... out of hundreds who might've otherwise taken some time to make sure that decision makers knew the voters cared enough to take a bit of time to write a letter.

      Generally, I hear about these things

    • by nospam007 (722110) *

      "So I guess my opinion doesn't matter to them."

      Like theirs doesn't matter to us.

  • by nimbius (983462) on Thursday August 29, 2013 @10:42AM (#44706425) Homepage
    google: I guess just...takedown notices, or DMCA takeouts, or whatever it is you want in response to twerk team videos and spiderman endings.
    EFF: %s/intellectual property/imaginary property
    MPAA: whats the name of that jellyfish with a sting that causes weeks of agony? that one. thats our suggestion.
    RIAA: In the eyes.
    • by slew (2918) on Thursday August 29, 2013 @12:41PM (#44707589)

      Ripley: I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

    • by Alsee (515537)

      Alexis Parrish: My name is Alexis Parrish And I need to get my own patent please have someone. Contact me at
      alexisparrish28@gmail.com... US should come up with its own distinct logo that must be present
      somewhere on every item traded ;)

      Ooooh...... was this supposed to be a thread for posting fake responses? Sorry, my bad.

      -

    • Honest portion of Humanity: Hey, I didn't eat the (salmon) mousse!

  • Patent enforcement should be a civil matter.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Nah, then it would cost the copyright holders money, which does not fit with privatize the profits, socialize the costs.

      • by shentino (1139071)

        Here's what I think.

        It's the copyright holder's responsibility.

        However, copyright infringement is still wrong, so let them collect legal expenses...if they win.

        If they lose, though, THEY should pay the DEFENDANT's legal bills. And promptly, I should add, with immediate sanctions per day if they go beyond 14 days or so without paying up, along with charges for contempt of court.

        This way, a brave defendant that is in the right can get charitable backing more easily, especially if the backers can get a refund

      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        Reading comprehension problems? He said PATENTS, your response was about copyrights. Patents and copyrights are alike like snakes and watermelons are the same things.

    • by Skapare (16644)

      And so should everything else, like home burglary.

      Not.

      • Re:Why do they care? (Score:5, Informative)

        by h4rr4r (612664) on Thursday August 29, 2013 @11:18AM (#44706797)

        Home burglary is a real crime. It is not a violation of a temporary monopoly. Someone is actually deprived of property and possibly placed at risk of real harm.

        • by Rob Riggs (6418)
          Temporary monopoly? Copyright has not been that in my lifetime. And I'm what most around here would call "old". Who the fuck to I have to bribe to get Gilligan's Island in public domain? Sorry, I meant how many Senators do I need to buy? No, that's still not it... Which campaigns do I need to contribute to? Yeah -- that's the one I'm supposed to use in polite company.
        • "Trespassing" is a much better analogy, I think.
          • by h4rr4r (612664)

            Not at all, unless you care to elaborate.

            I can't sitting here in my desk trespass on your property. I can sing Happy Birthday and owe someone money though.

  • by artfulshrapnel (1893096) on Thursday August 29, 2013 @10:47AM (#44706475)

    I'm sure the USPTO has already received a DMCA takedown request from an automated bot, claiming the copyright enforcement suggestions as copyrighted material.

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      If I had points I wouldn't know whether to mod you funny or insightful. Good comment either way.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    PDFs. Amazing that in 2013 these guys still don't know how to put up web pages.

    I read a couple but eventually tired of the annoyance. Someone who is more patient, tell me this: did any of the PDF ideas, happen to suggest that one way to smack down piracy, is to .. oh, I don't know .. SELL working copies of the potentially infringed work? You know, as in, if I can buy an authorized copy of Movie.mkv instead of pirates being the sole source, that it might reduce piracy?

    If most of the PDFs don't include th

    • by Skapare (16644)

      Amazing that in 2013, HTML still cannot perform even half the functions a PDF can do. This includes, for example, non-flow oriented precise layout.

      • by b4dc0d3r (1268512) on Thursday August 29, 2013 @11:15AM (#44706753)

        flow is even more important now, with screen sizes between 4 inches and 60 plus inches.

        if you want precise control, there is a portable document format that does a great job.

        quit whining.

      • by N0Man74 (1620447)

        Amazing that in 2013, HTML still cannot perform even half the functions a PDF can do. This includes, for example, non-flow oriented precise layout.

        It's amazing that in 2013, hammers still aren't good at screwing and unscrewing screws.

        • by cellocgw (617879)

          Amazing that in 2013, HTML still cannot perform even half the functions a PDF can do. This includes, for example, non-flow oriented precise layout.

          It's amazing that in 2013, hammers still aren't good at screwing and unscrewing screws.

          You're holding it wrong.

      • Amazing that in 2013, HTML still cannot perform even half the functions a PDF can do. This includes, for example, non-flow oriented precise layout.

        Amazing that in 2013, anyone could still see non-flow oriented precise layout as a feature, rather than as a bug.

        You don't know the type of device I'm reading on, you don't know what size or shape its screen is, you don't know what size or shape the window within the screen is, you don't know my personal preference for fonts and their sizes. And you want to try

  • What i do is privacy, what i write, specially in private, is intellectual property. So first take out the biggest offenders in intellectual property violations (NSA and associated/contracted companies) and then we maybe could consider about enforcement in other areas.
  • by jonwil (467024) on Thursday August 29, 2013 @11:12AM (#44706727)

    Here are some suggestions on how to reduce piracy in Australia:
    1.Reduce (if not eliminate) the delay between the release of a film in the USA and the general cinema release in Australia. Right now I could go onto any number of pirate sites and download a very much watchable copy of "White House Down" (probably a screener rip) even though it isn't in Australian cinemas yet.
    2.Make more old films and TV available on DVD so people dont need to pirate them. I have a copy of Young Einstein (classic Aussie film) on DVD but I had to grey-market import a Region 1 copy to get it. Its ridiculous that so much content just isn't available in Australia even when its available on DVD in other countries.
    3.Stop giving Foxtel (and other pay TV operators) exclusive rights to shows. If the only way to get a TV show is to buy Foxtel (and possibly a channel package on top of that) then to hope that Foxtel airs the show you want to see then people will pirate it. If its available on a digital download service like iTunes or Google soon after its US airing (and at a reasonable price), people will have an incentive to buy it rather than pirating it.
    4.Stop delaying the local airing of TV shows and air them sooner. Under The Dome is the perfect example of how this should be done, its being aired on local free-to-air TV hours after the US airing AND if you miss it on TV, you can watch the episode on a "catch-up" TV website free and legal.

    • by c0lo (1497653)
      5. careful with that geo-pricing schemes.
    • by shentino (1139071)

      Piracy actually proves just how valuable the IP is.

      It doesn't matter how much it costs you to produce. You also need to take into account opportunity costs of giving up other activities you could spend your time on.

      And in the free market, opportunity costs count because they drive supply.

      I'm not ok with piracy.

      But I am ok with indies and open source software that give the proprietary media (both software and entertainment) a run for its money.

      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        I'm not ok with piracy.

        I'm not ok with plagiarism or commercial piracy, but I'm fine with file sharing. And I say that as someone who just registered copyright on a book I'll be releasing as soon as I get an ISBN.

        The MAFIAA knows piracy sells. The trouble is, it sells indie stuff as well as MAFIAA stuff, and when you buy two indie CDs that's an RIAA CD that lost a sale. The fight against "piracy" is a fight to stifle competition.

        Nobody ever lost money on piracy, but many artists have gone hungry from obscur

        • by shentino (1139071)

          I'm not ok with rewarding greed, even if it's by allowing beneficial piracy.

          And if an author wants to "ratify" a piracy by proclaiming in advance he will not prosecute anyone for it, more power to him.

          So crack down on piracy as much as the copyright onwers want. It's their foot to shoot off if they want to.

          Also, the RIAA cannot prosecute someone for pirating indie work. And if they even try, they should be fined for wasting the court's time.

          • by mcgrew (92797) *

            Also, the RIAA cannot prosecute someone for pirating indie work.

            No, but they get their message across. The message is "downloading music is wrong and illegal". THAT is why they fight piracy, they have no need to prosecute indie fans. Any alleged downloader will do.

        • by chrismcb (983081)

          I'm not ok with piracy.

          I'm not ok with plagiarism or commercial piracy, but I'm fine with file sharing.

          So you are ok with sharing, as long as the person sharing doesn't make any money off of it? I guess your argument is "if they didn't pay for it, then they wouldn't have given me any money for it, but if they paid someone else, I want that money." This is fine, except for the fact that many people would pay for it. But free is cheaper.

          • by mcgrew (92797) *

            This is fine, except for the fact that many people would pay for it. But free is cheaper.

            Free is advertising. Nobody's going to buy your album or book if they've never heard of it. If your premise "nobody will pay when they can get free" were true, libraries would have killed publishing centuries ago.

      • IM not ok with absurd copyright lengths. Until such time as copyrighted works start flowing into the Public Domain as originally intended, the entire system is a sham.
        • by shentino (1139071)

          It still will be. There was retroactive clawback that was approved by SCOTUS itself, don't forget.

          I first want grandfather clauses in favor of already lapsed works so that they STAY public domain.

          THEN we can bring sanity to the length of a copyright. Otherwise limits are meaningless becuase they can be retroactively extended at will.

    • Right now I could go onto any number of pirate sites and download a very much watchable copy of "White House Down"

      Yeah, I don't think any copy of that movie counts as watchable

      (This has been the obligatory snarky comment about the quality of the movie you provided as an example. I actually think it looked kind of funny.)

  • It shouldn't be possible to violate a patent on the internet. Transmitting data should not be patent infringement. If so, then hosting patent documents on the net would be infringement. Software source code is the ultimate description of HOW to implement something, so it should be immune (IANAL) even for software patents. I suppose an executable would constitute infringement where software patents are allowed. But WTF does RIAA and MPAA have to say about patents anyway? They're all about copyright. Right?
  • Here I was, thinking that this might actually be an interesting insight into how each of these sides think, and then:

    The MPAA is a not-for-profit trade association founded in 1922 to [...]

    Suddenly, I realized that there actually was nothing of interest here at all.

  • by PPH (736903) on Thursday August 29, 2013 @12:09PM (#44707291)

    If all of this intellectual property stuff is so much like real property, then why don't we see law enforcement treat IP theft like the car thieves in my town? Steal my shitbox beater and the cops will risk their own lives, the lives of the criminals plus any innocent bystanders in pursuit of the crapmobile. They'll put down spike strips or ram it to get hold of the thieves.

    So, when Microsoft, Apple, or Google steals my invention, who do I call to bring on the SWAT team?

    • by Alsee (515537)

      Crapman and Dropin?

      -

    • by b4dc0d3r (1268512)

      The BSA if you are a member. Simple, no?

      Also, straw man. Laws are not enforced the same in different cities due to different priorities. Barney Fife might chase a stolen tractor to the end of the earth, but cops in a large city with piles of murders are going to wait it out unless there's a pretty white girl inside.

      SWAT team should not be involved for copyright/patent issues, so you shouldn't be able to call anyone. but it happens [businessweek.com] (yes that is an old article, but feel free to search for bsa raid 2013 o

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 29, 2013 @12:46PM (#44707661)

    A. Member Organizations and Associations

    Independent Film & Television Alliance (2013JUL22) -- Our business exists on licensing agreements. We want to keep strict control over the scope of those agreements, but we are cool with third parties such as ISPs, advertising providers, and payment processors doing our enforcement for us. Thanks in advance (suckers).

    Recording Industry Association of America (2013AUG17) -- Well said IFTA, but you forgot search engines and cloud storage providers. They should work for us too. We recommend the PTO think long and hard about this issue so we can continue lobbying around you in the background. PS -- trust these attached academic papers which may or may not provide multiple perspectives and may or may not be funded in part/whole by us or our interests.

    International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition (2013AUG21) -- We need to get all payment providers & monetary institutions signed up for our DMCA Takedown for Payments system. No false positives or your money back!

    Center for Copyright Information (2013AUG21) -- The Copyright Alert System is probably working, but it would be impossible to prove that using empirical data. But we can't prove it's not working either so let's just keep marching.

    Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies (2013AUG21) -- Counterfeit medication is dangerous. We should be diligent in our efforts to reduce this problem.

    Public Knowledge (2013AUG21) -- Efforts to combat infringement must not themselves infringe on the rights of individuals. "Under the Dome" name drop. It will be hard to determine if any of these programs are actually working and publicly available data is an important part of that evaluation.

    Center for Democracy & Technology (2013AUG21) -- We agree with PK about transparency. We also specifically call out CCI on this issue.

    Motion Picture Association of America (2013AUG21) -- Hey, IFTA & RIAA, don't exclude anyone. We are all in this together. Let's include everyone in the enforcement gang (I'm looking at you, user generated content sites). Also, we can probably just guess some statistics if we need to.

    The Internet Association (2013AUG21) -- We really need to reevaluate the entire copyright system. These initiatives may not be providing any long term benefit. Lets focus on productive solutions like increasing legal sources for content.

    Association of American Publishers (2013AUG21) -- Small content creators cannot protect themselves from infringement so if we do not enlist third parties there will be no more quality content. Can we make DMCA Takedowns easier?? Here's an idea, lets make the third parties we are using to do our enforcement also keep track of how well it's working. Then they can just tell us.

    Computer & Communications Industry Association (2013AUG21) --- Back off, government. You're disturbing the market. Let's not forget the purpose of copyright, the public good. These problems will solve themselves as industries evolve (and they already are).

    Electronic Frontier Foundation (2013AUG21) -- Cooperative Voluntary Initiatives? Hah, voluntary. Public good, remember? Fair use, too. Don't fall into the trap of serving a special interest.

    Copyright Alliance (2013AUG21) -- Expand enforcement! Empower small content creators!

    Consumer Electronics Association (2013AUG21) -- Counterfeiting is bad, mmkay? We are for strict measures insofar as they benefit our interests. We are against strict measures insofar as they do not benefit our interests. That's fair, right?

    B. Companies

  • Now stop making yellow snow, IP.

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