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Preliminary Finding Invalidates VoIP Patent 77

netbuzz writes "After a review, the US Patent Office has issued a preliminary finding that the Electronic Frontier Foundation calls 'an important first step in busting a patent that stifles innovation and the use of VoIP as a free speech tool.' (Here is the EFF's press release.) C2 Communications has used the patent to extract one-time payments from the likes of AT&T, Verizon, and Qwest."
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Preliminary Finding Invalidates VoIP Patent

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  • Free VoIP (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Algorithmnast ( 1105517 ) on Thursday September 23, 2010 @01:53PM (#33677962)
    Perhaps this will allow the Free VoIP providers to expand without having to worry about Death By Lawyer. Now where's my FIOS?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 23, 2010 @02:07PM (#33678178)

    If Americans don't rein in software patents soon, they're eventually going to turn us into a technological backwater.

    Can you imagine if mathematicians couldn't use certain types of calculations for 20 years if somebody else happened to use them first? What if fiction authors weren't allowed to use particular combinations of words if another author "registered" them for "protection"?

    As a programmer, I'm continually amazed by how backwards, technically-illiterate politicians are tricked (or willingly lead) into outlawing technological advancement. Make no mistake, that's what software patents do. There are a bunch of rationalized lies about "protecting innovators" -- but in the real world, software patents exist solely to profit a few extortionists who use them as an easy way to gain market share without actually inventing anything.

    In the real world, software patents do not protect innovations; they protect conceptual monopolists, and hinder actual innovations.

  • Re:Free VoIP (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Lunix Nutcase ( 1092239 ) on Thursday September 23, 2010 @04:04PM (#33679534)

    I really wonder if it would be so bad.

    It would be. No one is going to invest in companies that they could be held personally liable for its actions. Why should some mutual fund investor (which make up a whole lot of investors) be held liable for the actions of some company just because the person running the mutual fund bought some stock in that company?

    Just seems like a big lack of responsibility and accountability.

    Most investors have little or no say in the day to day runnings of a company. It's not as if they have some direct feed into every single decision that the company makes or even have any sway at all over the day to day actions. So, no, it is not a lack of responsibility or accountability. If you want to hold someone responsible, you hold the person who authorized the wrong doing (usually some executive or board member) not the person who just happened to own stock in a mutual fund that owned stock in the company.

    To make this political, then why does Glenn Beck give a shit about "where the money comes from" so much?

    Because he's an blustering asshole? What Glenn Beck says or does means little to me.

    Why do New Yorkers care where the money for a mosque comes from?

    Because they are also assholes?

    The people investing have no accountability, right?

    It depends. If those people directly involved in the day-to-day running of the company and those people are directly responsible for ordering or personally carrying out a wrong-doing, yes. If it's some minority shareholder who has pretty much nil sway over how the company is run, no.

"I prefer the blunted cudgels of the followers of the Serpent God." -- Sean Doran the Younger