Get a Patent Reformer On PPAC!

Posted 10 Apr 2001 at 08:22 UTC by MisterBad Share This

Well, they've opened up the nominations again, folks. And once again FREEDOM needs your help. Just a second of your time, a brief email, and the shackles holding down the INNURNET can be BROKEN. Do your job for liberty!

[This article reprinted from Pigdog Journal. Verbatim copies may be made as long as this notice remains intact.]

Long-time readers (do you really exist? Freaks!) will remember the open nominations for citizen members of the United States Patent and Trademark Office's Patent Public Advisory Committee ("USPTO-PPAC" -- take THAT acronym to the fuckin' bank!). PPAC is the main input point for actual non-bureaucrat human beings to make changes in patent policy in the US. Well, OK, PPAC, and buying a senator. But senators aren't as cheap as they used to be -- even the ones from pig-raising states of the Midwest are getting pretty damn pricey. So PPAC is pretty much the main input point for real humans.

Anyways, you can imagine how this board is normally packed -- with IP lawyers, CEOs, business-friendly university professors and the like. I mean, check out last year's committee. Anyone on there look like they understand Shit One about Information Freedom? Or that they would care if they did?

The fact is that the PPAC is like practically the ONLY POSSIBILITY of getting the voice of reason and liberty heard in the halls of the US-PTO. Patents are killing free information, and enemies of freedom have already said that they're setting PATENT TRAPS to undermine Free Software, limit free expression, and generally FUCK YOUR LIBERTY in the ear like a LATEX SEX DOLL. 13,000 patents per year are given out by the US-PTO! Software patents are going through the roof! Business-plan patents! All kinds of patents! It's horrible!

The HORROR is that granting of patents, and expecially intellectual property patents, is giving away a monopoly on a corner of the infosphere. It gives one group of people the right to put up fences around ideas, concepts, and practices, and keep the rest of us out. In a perfect world, this would be bad enough, but in the real world, patents are given out for practically anything under the sun. It's like someone's putting a fence around YOUR HOUSE and YOUR SCHOOL and YOUR LAUNDROMAT and not letting you in or out or around and it's wrong and there's nothing you can do.<

Not only that, but software and other IP patents make a powerful tool for the powerful. Patent threats are a BIG STICK and even if the patent is lame and wrong, individuals and small groups will always have a hard time defending themselves in court, either against infringement suits or to challenge the patents. It's just one more tool in the toolbox of litigious bastardos to SHUT YOU UP. Fuck that! Fuck software patents!

Last year, around this time, I published another article describing how to nominate people for the PPAC. It had all the necessary information for people to nominate. This year, the info has changed slightly, so you should check out the instructions on Linux Journal to make your nomination.

Basically, all you have to do is send the nomination with a name, brief description, and URL or text of a resume to Just an EMAIL! You probably send 30 to 40 of these things a day. How about sending one to some stooge at the US-PTO, eh? Just one or two? Hell, it's quick and easy.

Can't think of who to nominate? Here's the list of people I suggested last year, with resume links:

I'm sure there are plenty of people out there who can think of more, and if you do, send me some mail with their name and resume/bio URL, and I'll add their name to this list for other people.

The deadline for submissions is APRIL 12th, 2001, which means that you should get that mail out RIGHT NOW. NOW! Do it! Schnell, schnell! Freedom's window closes quick!

Lawrence Lessig, posted 11 Apr 2001 at 01:33 UTC by MisterBad » (Master)

Lawrence Lessig, law professor at Stanford University and author of Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace, would also make a good member of this committee. His resume is here.

Pamela Samuelson, posted 11 Apr 2001 at 04:09 UTC by mpruett » (Observer)

Pamela Samuelson, professor of law at the University of California at Berkeley, would also be a good choice. She serves as director of the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology. Here's her biography and her resume.

Hmmm (off-topic), posted 17 Apr 2001 at 12:55 UTC by dancer » (Journeyer)

Interesting how the careful use of word capitalisation can be used to change (and even reverse) the meaning of clauses and sentences, isn't it? I wonder if it was done deliberately, in this case....It's a tactic I normally associate with people who are lying to me in print in some fashion, so it's disturbing to see it in this context.

Just an observation.

Read. Corroborate. Use your brain. Choose wisely.

Depends on Your Definition of "Interesting", posted 23 Apr 2001 at 03:49 UTC by MisterBad » (Master)

I agree that the careful use of acronyms, all-caps, etc. etc. can be used in the way mentioned. But the CARELESS use of all-caps can be used to convey the FROTH-MOUTHED URGENCY of a FREE SOFTWARE FANATIC in the face of a RAPIDLY APPROACHING DEADLINE. Which was the entire point.

Anyways, the time has come and gone for making recommendations. Thanks to everyone who sent in a nomination -- you are a Hero of the Information Age. Everyone else is a sap and a loser and should go crack their own nose with a hammer.

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