canopic jug writes:
The Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure has a call for donations against the Unitary Software Patent Trolls after Thursday's disastrous Bundestag vote. On Thursday in Germany, the Bundestag voted on ratification of a proposal for a Unified Patent Court, largely seen as purely a vehicle for introducing software patents into Europe. As software patents in the US were on the way out, introducing them into Europe would bring them back into the US after further "harmonization". Thursday's vote is the result of the software patent lobby changing its strategy in Europe by creating a central patent court outside of the control of the individual member states under which it would make its own rules and avoid democratically elected legislators.
FFII is now calling on its supporting companies and on the open source community to donate to crowdfund a Constitutional Complaint in Karlsruhe. Stopping the UPC in Germany will be enough to kill the UPC for the whole Europe. Politicians willfully ignored the problem that the UPC violates the “Rule of Law” principle, as the EPO still cannot be sued for maladministration, where there are 4 pending complaints in Karlsruhe, which should be issued in early 2021.Next steps are a vote in the Bundesrat, according to Stjerna’s blogpostLegal Committee of the Federal Council is currently scheduled for 02/12/2020Federal Council can therefore be expected to make its final deliberation on the draft legislation in its 998th session on 18/12/2020–Dr Stjerna blog, Status of the UPCA ratification proceedings in Germany (12/12/2016, latest update on 26/11/2020) https://www.stjerna.de/restart/?lang=enGerman government believe that they can ratify before the end of the year, as they consider the UK still a member of the EU till 31st December. The agenda of next votes have been designed on purpose to ratify the UPC before the end of the year.
FFII is now calling on its supporting companies and on the open source community to donate to crowdfund a Constitutional Complaint in Karlsruhe. Stopping the UPC in Germany will be enough to kill the UPC for the whole Europe. Politicians willfully ignored the problem that the UPC violates the “Rule of Law” principle, as the EPO still cannot be sued for maladministration, where there are 4 pending complaints in Karlsruhe, which should be issued in early 2021.
Next steps are a vote in the Bundesrat, according to Stjerna’s blogpost
Legal Committee of the Federal Council is currently scheduled for 02/12/2020Federal Council can therefore be expected to make its final deliberation on the draft legislation in its 998th session on 18/12/2020–Dr Stjerna blog, Status of the UPCA ratification proceedings in Germany (12/12/2016, latest update on 26/11/2020) https://www.stjerna.de/restart/?lang=en
Legal Committee of the Federal Council is currently scheduled for 02/12/2020
Federal Council can therefore be expected to make its final deliberation on the draft legislation in its 998th session on 18/12/2020
–Dr Stjerna blog, Status of the UPCA ratification proceedings in Germany (12/12/2016, latest update on 26/11/2020) https://www.stjerna.de/restart/?lang=en
German government believe that they can ratify before the end of the year, as they consider the UK still a member of the EU till 31st December. The agenda of next votes have been designed on purpose to ratify the UPC before the end of the year.
This plot twist is time-dependent and hangs upon a loophole in Brexit. Thus the time between now and New Year are crucial for preserving the ability to use or develop software in Europe. Again, this is about the uses to which software may be applied, not distribution. Usage is covered by patent law, distribution by copyright law.
The FFII is a pan-European alliance of software companies and independent software developers. It is currently working to neutralize the Unitary Patent project, which is a third attempt to introduce software patents into Europe. The previous two attempts failed, but only because of the joint efforts of thousands of companies to defend against software patents in Europe.
(2020) UK Formally Abandons Europe's Unified Patent Court
(2020) Deadly Blow to the Pox of Software Patents in the EU
(2018) Software Patents are Harmful
(2018) A Case for the Total Abolition of Software Patents
The grass is somehow always greener on the other side. Having a proportional system isn't some cure all, it comes with its own set of issues and problems. So having lots of small parties is not exactly good either, you get paralyzed as every party is supposed to get their taste of the action or trying to get a multitude of parties to agree on things is quite hard. So you end up with lots of people being disappointed in this system to.
The Pirate party is not some kind of roaring success. They now seem to be a vehicle that pops up here and there, exist for an election cycle or two and then go away. The original one, Sweden appointed one horrific leader after another that was more into various fringe issues then the original cause, is non-existing at this point and it seems to movement have been taken over by people in the Czech Republic, Luxembourg and Iceland.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pirate_Party [wikipedia.org]
In Sweden they were frozen out by the media. The state media in particular made a point of ignoring them and going as far as to snub them by not inviting them to panel discussions even though other ministers of parliament were present. Instead the media called on neonazi groups to fill their seat. Then once out of office, the Pirate Party unofficially abandoned its core values of copyright (and patent) reform, Internet neutrality, and privacy protections.
In Finland, they never really picked up on the core issues and went straight into the fringe stuff, the least controversial of which is drug legalization.
Iceland was active for a while, but nothing has been visible lately, at least not at an international level.
Czech and Germany have been where they've remained focused on the three technology values. I would say there is a causal relationship between that focus and acquisition of elected positions.
Unfortunately the mainstream media is a huge part of the problem. That's what much of the Internet reform (ie: relaxing section 230) is intended to do, to turn the Internet into the mainstream media. Because the mainstream media is losing viewership special interests must force their censorship onto other platforms as well.
Unfortunately the solution is for some people to actually go out there and inform people IRL. They must post flyers everywhere, talk with people, etc..., it must be a persistent long term thing, and not rely on modern government controlled communications, and inform people of the issues. Inform them of why free speech is important and why laws that protect it are important and how the legal system may prevent free speech from being expressed (ie: the legal system responsible for the cableco and broadcasting monopolies and how information gets to your house via cable channels and how alternative views are prevented from getting onto those channels. How payment processors may block views they don't like).
Maybe the old brick and mortar newspaper model (the problem is that often times the audience is the product which creates a conflict of interest between advertisers and newspapers).
This has a cost and people have to pay bills. It's not easy, it required hard work.
Some of it also boils down to individual responsibility, it's up to every individual to be informed to some extent but how can they be expected to be informed about issues the media never even talks about (or if they talk about it they are one sided)? They have to seek it, demand the government doesn't do anything to prevent the dissemination of information.
It's not easy, it required hard work.
it must be a persistent long term thing, and not rely on modern government controlled communications,
Given the claims made in this thread about the mainstream media, it seems incorrect to call this a problem of "government controlled communications"; after all, in western nations, the press is free. Instead, it seems that the problem is that the media has its own interests that it pushes, which may or may not coincide with those of powerful people in government, and in this case, the interests of the media run counter to those of the pirate party.
Unfortunately, this is one of the problems with these checks and balances. Historically, a free press served as a check to the power of the government, by providing a source of information that people could turn to which would not have the bias of those running the government. However, what do you do when the press and the government have a common interest in suppressing something? Well these days, we have the internet with things like YouTube and various message boards which have more freedom than the press (which can choose not to report things it doesn't want aired), but as we're seeing, this also invites lots of misinformation and disinformation. Let any wacko have their own "news" site, and suddenly we have people believing that there's satanic cannibalistic pedophile groups in the basements of pizza parlors, and people electing candidates to Congress who believe this insanity. One nice thing about having a mainstream media is that they filter out utter garbage like that.
"the interests of the media run counter to those of the pirate party."
Of course this doesn't mean the interests of the pirate party run counter to the public interest. It just means that the media is less inclined to give the pirate party the due attention it may deserve and they may in fact give opposing views undue credit and attention in favor of those viewpoints.
It should be noted that broadcasting monopolies are implemented and enforced by the FCC, a governing body. Cableco monopolies are also often implemented by various regional governments so it is, ultimately, governing bodies responsible for which interests can get their viewpoints expressed on cable (even if it's indirectly by providing those special interests with the monopolies that allow them to censor views they don't like). Those cables traverse public property in order to get their message from private corporations to your home and there are laws that regulate this.
On the issue of intellectual property, the media will never tell it straight, and would rather not even mention it. Media owners believe in copyright, the more extreme, the better. Not even PBS can resist the forces. Journalists, whether at PBS or elsewhere, think that by burying or spinning copyright, they're protecting their own.
Journalists, authors, and artists also think copyright gives them more bargaining power. Often it does, but sometimes it backfires, actually making it illegal for authors to use their own work. Probably everyone has heard the story of exploitative music labels screwing naive new musicians with the very bad contract that gives them a big advance that is actually a loan, not a payment, taking advantage of youthful ignorance of just what an advance is. Then the band is stuck working the rest of their careers trying to get out of debt to the music label. Hollywood Accounting further tightens the chains.
Authors of comics used to get a raw deal too. In the days before the first blockbuster superhero movie of any kind, Superman in 1978, because Hollywood used to think a superhero movie couldn't possibly succeed, and like the campy 1960s Batman TV show wasn't serious enough, comic book writers were given to understand that comics weren't worth much, were the lowbrow, uncouth, lightweight alternative to Real Fiction in the form of The Novel, and thereby part suckered and part pushed into accepting bad deals. What do you do when all the publishing houses evince the same attitude, that comics aren't worth much?
The creators still getting a raw deal from copyright are scientific researchers. It's standard for researchers to have to turn over all rights to whichever journal is willing to publish a scientific work. The reason for that is that copyright has always been an impediment, and by demanding such extreme control, journals seek to be free of any obligation that might hinder the dissemination of the scientific findings. A typical journal contains the works of hundreds of researchers. Everyone realizes it would be totally impractical for a journal to have to routinely seek the permissions of several hundred people every time they want to do anything. Or, at least, that was the rationale. Scientists were rarely compensated through copyright. It's Publish or Perish, and that is really a system of patronage. The productive scientists get to keep their high paying jobs in academia or whichever government and private labs still exist. Those working in industry often have some sort of Work For Hire arrangement, in which anything they invent is the property of their employer.
And the rest of the public? Totally shafted, of course. Kept docile by the dangling of the promise that one day, you too could write the next big thing and go from being a nobody to a Big Name Author, just like J. K. Rowling. The odds of winning the lottery are better than that chance, but it still works, helped by the appeal to the ego, that if you do manage to make it big that way, it will be because you merited it, and weren't just lucky.
Anyone that puts their own interests before the public interest with respect to what they publish, what they don't publish, and how they spin what they do publish is not a true journalist.
To be clear, the mainstream media is not journalism. It's propaganda.
What "neonazi" groups would that be? As far as I know the actual neonazis never get invited to anything. The one that lefttards call "neonazi" represents 20ish percent of the voting population so it would be somewhat hard to ignore them.
There are rules for whom gets invited to the national debates on TV. PP never reached those numbers or representation in parliament to get invited, their success was almost entirely on the EU-level. But they never managed to turn those numbers into anything useful nationally. They really have none to blame but themselves for their demise.
That would be the Swedish Democrats party. They got representation in debates, despite having no seats in European parliament at a time when the Pirate Party of Sweden had both Christian and Amelia. It was a while back, obviously. Treatment by the media went downhill from there.
"you get paralyzed as every party is supposed to get their taste of the action or trying to get a multitude of parties to agree on things is quite hard."
Maybe this is a good thing.
If no one agrees on something then why should we have a two party system that forces legislature through that no one really agrees on?
Yeah, my thoughts go along those lines as well. If congress does nothing then it's unlikely that they have cost me anything. In general, the less congress does, the better for everyone.
"No man's life, liberty, or property are safewhile the congress is in session." attributed to Mark Twain,
If Congress does nothing, then you don't get appropriations bills passed, and the government shuts down. You can't run a government that way: if the government isn't even running, or spending money to actually run the country, then before long things really fall apart. If you're going to run a government that way, you might as well give up and disband the union and break it up into smaller pieces where people *do* agree on how to do things.
Basically, the prior AC post I think highlights an important question: should we have a two-party system that forces through legislation that no one agrees on, or a multiparty system that's paralyzed because no one can agree on anything? In the first scenario, at least you have an effective government, even if it's doing a lot of stuff no one really wants except some elite group in power. In the second scenario, the government is going to break down, and either get replaced with the first kind of government, an authoritarian system, or the country will break up.
Perhaps the answer is that large, diverse nations simply are not viable under a democratic system, unless that system is really a sham designed to keep a cadre of elites in power. Look at the countries that seem to do pretty well under democratic systems, such as Norway or Japan or South Korea: these are usually small (but not always, Japan is #11 in the world), and very homogenous. Now look at a country that seems to have very effective governance, despite being extremely large and diverse: China. Sucks to be a Uighur there, but given their economic success over the past 40 years and their handling of Covid, you can't argue that their governance is ineffective. It does seem that being able to brutally squash internal dissent actually works to make your country economically successful when that's what the leadership wants. However, there's a downside: soft power. China has none. How many people outside South Korea and Japan like to watch anime or listen to K-pop, even when they can't understand the language? Lots. How many people listen to or watch Chinese movies/music outside of China? None. America has shown how important this is, with the export of its cultural capital worldwide.
I don't think that a multiparty system will result in nothing getting passed because no one agrees on anything. I think there are things that most people do agree on and those things will get passed. Just the issues that few people agree on will struggle more to find an appropriate compromise that most people can get on board with. There is no reason to rush legislation through like there is no tomorrow. We can give everyone time to process the proposed legislature to give their input and find an appropriate compromise before allowing it to pass.
"It does seem that being able to brutally squash internal dissent actually works to make your country economically successful when that's what the leadership wants."
I don't think we should be willing to have our right to dissent crushed in the name of 'economic success'. I also think economic success is possible without having our right to dissent crushed just like it's possible for us to have our right to dissent crushed and still be economically unsuccessful.
We should also avoid the assumption that every law constantly needs changing. Perhaps this is a useful assumption for politicians and legislatures to make because it justifies their continued existence and gives them something to grandstand over but it's not one that should automatically be made.
For instance there are some laws that should be tweaked. Copy protection lengths should be reduced for one thing and there should be other similar tweaks to IP laws in general. Other laws, like the first amendment and section 230 of the CDA, should probably be left alone for the most part.
It does seem that being able to brutally squash internal dissent actually works to make your country economically successful when that's what the leadership wants.
Do you want to tell us the Soviet leadership did not want to make their country economically successful?
They wanted to enrich themselves at the cost of the proletariat.
Hunter Biden might already be collecting that 50% cut of foreign bribes for his dad Joe Biden, but technically the "current administration" is still Trump. Despite gaslighting and projection that would claim otherwise, we currently have an unusually non-corrupt administration. It hasn't been this good in over half a century. We're about to have that change, but not until 2021.
Uh, BTW... do you also believe Obama was "scandal free" like they said?
About Obama, remember who the other guy was
As I marked my vote, I was praying to God to forgive me for what I was doing. Even though I have been a lifelong Republican, I could not vote for that man who I perceived to be about the most heartless, arrogant, man-of-the-wealthy I had ever seen.
How's that kool-aid tasting? Least corrupt? Most peaceful? You've really detached from reality bub!
And the previous, and the one before that, turtles all the way down...
That brutal squashing has worked short term for many regimes down through history. Not so well long term for most of them. The Chinese are unique though. I suppose it will continue to be effective, until it stops being effective. Maybe it will take another Cultural Revolution before things change for them. Not that I wish another upheaval on them, but that seems to be the way change happens in China.
There is a breaking point when you go below the two party system. In a one party system everyone in the country is a member of the same party and all politics are decided by members of the party. Assuming of course that the are no corruption and everyone has equal voting rights within the party, it's no different than a direct demoracy. I'd postulate that a two party system is the worst democratic system and an infinite party (first party) is utopia. I think the most stable is somewhere in between, where spontaneous irrational laws are stifled by agreed upon policies of the representative parties. In any case the ideal democratic governing body should be representative of the population.
You say that as if shutdowns due to lack of an appropriations bill is unheard of in the U.S.
They aren't *that* frequent, but also they've never lasted more than a month. When they have happened, the economic effects have been disastrous. On top of that, they aren't really shutdowns: parts of the government keep operating. Personally, I think that when they have a government shutdown, EVERYTHING should be shut down federally, and that includes the military: soldiers should not get paid, and the military should stand down from anything it's doing. If your country is too stupid to keep itself running continuously, it doesn't deserve to have a defense force.
There have been 4 in the last 20 years, that's 20%. That's a lot for something that has well defined deadlines that can be foreseen years out.
That puts the U.S. solidly in the lead for shutdowns with many governments that have multiparty systems having had no shutdowns.
The big difference seems to be holding legislators feet to the fire. In many countries if the legislature can't even manage to come up with a budget, they're all fired.
4 in 20 years is a lot compared to better-run countries, yes, but it's not like they're having one every 6 months or every year.
But yes, shutdowns are mostly unique to the US and its completely broken system of government. There should not be cases where the executive and legislative branches are at odds with each other so much they can't even pass a budget. In parliamentary democracies, this doesn't happen because the executive is chosen by the legislative branch, instead of by popular vote; in the very rare case that the two can't agree, a vote of no-confidence is called and new elections are held for parliament, which then creates a new administration.
The best thing the US could do at this point is to hold a new Constitutional Convention and write a new Constitution. The old one sucks. It's weird how it's treated as some kind of holy document by so many Americans, when in reality it creates a horribly flawed system. I'll admit it was a good try back in 1789, since they didn't exactly have a lot of examples to go off of at the time, and I guess they were trying not to emulate the British too much since they had just fought a war of independence with them, but it's been well over 2 centuries now, and other nations have now shown us how to set up better forms of government. It's time to trash it and start over. Sticking with the current Constitution is like sticking with Windows 98 or IE6.0.
What I can't understand is why we let the bureaucrats make us do all their paperwork for them. The tax department for example, they can either send us a check or send us a bill. One way or another, they will get our signature. If we have any questions, we can go to them. *Don't call us, we'll call you*.
The Tax Preparation industry, that's why. H&R Block, Turbo Tax, and others of that ilk lobby to keep income tax complicated and scary. The IRS has a lot of your numbers, but actually isn't allowed to fill in those blanks for you. Instead, those numbers are used against you, as a gotcha if there is any discrepancy between their numbers and what you report. The industry wants you, the taxpayer, to believe that you could go to jail for getting your taxes wrong, even if it was an innocent mistake. This fear is helped by the IRS's reputation for hard a$$, guilty-until-proven-innocent enforcement. They don't believe in innocent mistakes. They believe everyone cheats. But if you buy and use tax prep products, the industry guarantees they'll shield you from that. I really wonder how they have any power to do that, and suspect the protection they offer is greatly exaggerated.
I really wonder how they have any power to do that...
Because we give it to them, by reelecting their puppets for over 40 years. Ask yourself, why do we do that?
Because we're stupid, that's why. In other countries, it isn't like this: the tax authority sends you a pre-filled form at the end of the year showing what they think your income and deductions are, and what you owe or what they owe you. You can either sign it and send it back in (with payment if necessary), or you can amend it if you have information they missed. It isn't like this in the US because of tax-prep lobbyists as stated earlier, but in other (typically European) countries, they don't seem to have this problem or corruption.
How many people listen to or watch Chinese movies/music outside of China? None.
I think you're off here. There are many Chinese movies with production values and attractivity, especially those originating in HK. Similar with music, though again strongly linked with HK, but not as dominant with respect to Korea and Japan.
Anything east of Burma is going to be prime market for China.
The most recent Chinese movies I saw was the sci-fi movies The Wandering Earth (流浪地球) [wikipedia.org] and Shanghai Fortress (上海堡垒) [wikipedia.org] both from 2019.
You keep mentioning HK. HK was under a democratic system until very recently; the new security law has really kinda killed much of what make HK special. Many HKers have now left the country, and after Covid, many more will probably follow, perhaps to UK where they've been given special status.
The grass is somehow always greener on the other side. Having a proportional system isn't some cure all, it comes with its own set of issues and problems. So having lots of small parties is not exactly good either, you get paralyzed as every party is supposed to get their taste of the action or trying to get a multitude of parties to agree on things is quite hard.
At least it's not easy for extremists to take over. And please, look at America, it's fucked for a generation since Republicans have blocked everything under McConnell and enabled a dictatorial state through inaction. People always bring out this drivel about "inaction" from multiparty systems, yet it is always the one where majority rules for many years that tends to be the one that decays the fastest.