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there's a deeper problem here. australia now has the framework of an fta
with the us. it has yet to pass legislative hurdles in both countries.
regrettably as part of the deal, we have agreed to us standards for ip
including the digital rights acts etc. so the problem goes much deeper
than one greedy us company. that issue may well affect our access to
region one dvd's - a difficult and absurd issue where many fine
australian movies are only available on region 1 and because they don't
always reach acceptable region 1 sales levels they don't get released
for region 4 - i suspect under the new deal we won't be legally able to
access them! (note the export prohibited clause in the dvd copyright
trade with the us, something none of us, particularly close military
partners, can avoid, involves a required amount of submission to what
the us thinks is right. we get lots of what the us government wants, but
don't seem to get much of what we want. i wonder if nafta works the same
i routinely insert copyright statements - basically a year and the name
of my company as the owner - all that has been previously required in
australia. now it seems i will have to regularly lodge source code with
the copyright office to establish and maintain my claims.
however, just like a diary there is a lot of documented prior art.
that's real politik. i just hope you guys remain friendly (well sort of
On Tue, 2004-02-17 at 04:58, Elliotte Rusty Harold wrote:
> At 1:58 PM +1100 2/16/04, Rick Jelliffe wrote:
> >It feels like Microsoft spitting on ISO and W3C, and the
> >standards-making community.
> >What is the point of making general-purpose standards if one rich company or
> >another can go ahead and monopolize chunks? Don't US citizens see that
> >(some in) rest of the world see this kind of thing as a pattern of
> >behaviour, where
> >the US (indeed, the West) grabs whatever it can get away with,
> >pompously talking
> >about freedom or innovation or rights or development, thereby preventing
> >non-Westerners from having a fair chance?
> Please don't paint this as a U.S. vs. the world issue. It isn't.
> There are many, many programmers here in the U.S. who are just as
> pissed off about this as you are. There are also companies and
> programmers outside the U.S. who play this game as well, though for
> historical reasons the biggest players are still in the U.S. This
> would be a non-issue in much of the world were it not for the
> compliance of local governments.*
> The real conflict here is between corporations and individuals. (Even
> that is vastly too simplistic, but it's a first stab at defining the
> problem.) IBM, Apple, Microsoft, Intergraph, Intel, Fujitsu, etc. can
> afford to play this game. We poor open source developers can't.
> If this were really a conflict between countries (as opposed to
> between classes) then it would be simple enough for Australia, China,
> etc. to simply not provide any legal patent protection. If that's too
> radical a notion, then they could easily place more stringent
> requirements on originality before a patent was granted.
> The failure to do this should be seen as a failure of the local
> government, not a failure of the United States. We're responsible for
> our own broken patent office, and indeed it's hurting us badly.
> However we are not responsible for Australia's broken patent office,
> or Japan's, or anyone else's. Non-U.S. patent systems are broken for
> the same reason the patent system in the U.S. is broken: the broken
> patent system does server some local interests to the detriment of
> other local interests.
> Personally, my interests are served by a much weaker patent system,
> and I would cheer any country that chose to move in that direction.
> However, I do recognize that this a conflict of interest between
> different classes, and the class that is well-served by the current
> patent system is hardly unique to the United States, any more than
> the class to which I belong.