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Re: Open Invention Network

Hi Steve,

thanks for bringing this up on -project.

On Thursday 03 July 2008 00:59, Steve McIntyre wrote:
> I've been approached by the Open Invention Network[1]. They're asking
> if Debian would like to join as an organisation to "protect our work
> and support open access to intellectual property". I'm not sure either
> way myself, so I thought I'd ask for comments here. Any thoughts?

Well, for one, "intellectual property" is a myth, that needs to die. IMNSHO 
anyway. You cannot own an idea.

Secondly, they also seem to think patents are something positive 
(http://www.openinventionnetwork.com/patents.php), the usual "patents promote 
innovation" bullshit. Nowadays, patents block innovation, a statement which 
for example was shared by Ciscos main patent lawyer (!) in an 2006 (?) 
interview with C'T magazine from heise. He (who makes his living on this) 
stated that Cisco had more costs than benefits from dealing with patents. And 
Cisco is a multi-billion dollar company, which can afford patents. Many small 
businesses cant... I guess you know the topic and I cant stop here.

Third, whois openinventionnetwork.com reveals that the domain was registered 
by Ketchum Inc. A quick search brought me to this suppossed to be neutral (so 
not even explicitly critical) article about the company, see 

Let me quote the important bits here: 

--begin quote--
Department of Education scandal

The U.S. Department of Education has been accused of breaking Federal Law by 
paying commentators to publish articles and appear on talk shows promoting 
the agenda of the Bush Administration. The use of taxpayers money for this 
purpose is in violation of U.S. law and has been the subject of several 
Congressional investigations which reached their peak during the 2004 
election battle. Some government reports have exonerated Ketchum and others 
strongly criticized the actions of the department and Ketchum. Further, 
Ketchum was strongly criticized by the public relations industry for its 
inept handling of this crises. 

Propaganda scandal

In 2004, Ketchum produced a controversial series of prepackaged news stories 
for HHS that featured actors posing as journalists and touted drug benefits. 
The ads aired on at least 40 television stations and violated a federal 
propaganda ban because they did not inform viewers that they came from the 
government, the Government Accountability Office stated.

--end quote--

So in summary, I think I'm not interested. If we want a partnership with an 
organisation that deals with the patent nightmare system, I'd probably 
suggest the Open Invention Network, which seems much more credible to me.


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