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!
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 linked at the bottom of this
Basically, all you have to do is send the nomination with a name, brief
description, and URL or text of a resume to PPACnomination@uspto.gov. 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:
Marti, king of Burn All Gifs and
patent agitator extraordinaire. His resume is here.
Pamela Samuelson is director of the Berkeley Center for Law and
Technology and a specialist in intellectual property law. Her bio is here, and her resume is here.
Lawrence Lessig is Professor of Law at Stanford University. His book
Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace covers (very nicely) issues of
intellectual property in a digital world. His bio is here, and his CV
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