back to article Court allows EFF to keep donor list secret from patent troll

The Electronic Frontiers Foundation in America has won a smackdown against a patent troll that was demanding names of donors to a campaign against its patents. The battle began last year, when the EFF began a campaign against patents that Personal Audio has been using to try and take ownership of podcasting. Personal Audio has …

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They have no right to the info in question.

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Trolls

An inflated sense of entitlement is a common disease.

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Re: Trolls

A patent troll is, by definition, a rent seeker with an inflated sense of entitlement.

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@cyke1

True. This is decided case-law in the US at the supreme-court level since 1958.

If you want to know the case: National Association for the Advancement of Colored People v. Alabama

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Re: oninoshiko

I don't see it. Civil rights law is separate from commercial law. The KKK won a similar case years later using an attorney who was a member of the NAACP.

The EFF in this case is being used a front to attack a company with legitimate claims. I say legitimate because they have already won a case against Apple.

I hope the EFF loses the appeal.

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Re: Re: oninoshiko

This is not civil rights law, this is constitutional law. To quote the unanimous opinion (which you obviously did not bother to look up (seriously, it isn't that long of a read)):

"We hold that the immunity from state scrutiny of membership lists which the Association claims on behalf of its members is here so related to the right of the members to pursue their lawful private interests privately and to associate freely with others in so doing as to come within the protection of the Fourteenth Amendment. And we conclude that Alabama has fallen short of showing a controlling justification for the deterrent effect on the free enjoyment of the right to associate which disclosure of membership lists is likely to have. Accordingly, the judgment of civil contempt and the $100,000 fine which resulted from petitioner's refusal to comply with the production order in this respect must fall."

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Anonymous Coward

Irony much?

We are entitled to know who is backing any pressure group, as Big Tobacco or the Fossil Fuel Industries fund lots of sock puppets. Demanding transparency from everyone except yourself just makes you look ridiculous and untrustworthy.

If you cheer this ruling, you need to take a good look in the mirror.

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Re: Irony much?

Posted by someone who never sees reason hide behind the AC mask.

Yup, just searched your real non-ac name and you appear to be a little blue person that lives in a mushroom house, within an enchanted forest.

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Re: Irony much?

Ah "Smurfette" appears to have realised what a stupid statement they posted.

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Re: Irony much?

"Yup, just searched your real non-ac name and you appear to be a little blue person that lives in a mushroom house, within an enchanted forest."

You assume too much, obviously purely for the purposes of your post.

My point was that I view AC posting as unnecessary. I have no issue with anyone seeing my full post history under my moniker - but then I am sure that you have the intelligence to have discerned that for yourself. But then maybe I am mistaken?

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Re: Irony much?

If you cheer this ruling, you need to take a good look in the mirror.

I didn't see anything untoward.

Hold on.. did you take a good look in the mirror? Are you, maybe a patent troll sockpuppet??

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Irony much?

A predictable response. Three replies, but not one contained a justification for why everyone should be fully transparent *except* the EFF.

Google's list of sockpuppets makes for interesting reading:

http://musictechpolicy.files.wordpress.com/2010/09/google-shill-list-2.pdf

Transparency for everyone, please. Or you have no credibility in the patent wars.

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Re: Irony much?

The only organizations that need to be truly transparent are governments and anything funded by the government.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Irony much?

I don't agree with that. There are large corporations that have financial power that exceeds that of the Government departments who are supposed to regulate them.

As a result of growing inequality, there are now individuals with this kind of financial power.

A requirement for disclosure of support from corporations or people with large amounts of money will simply result in funding sock puppets.

This is very bad news for democracy but it is hard to address and I don't pretend to have a solution. At least, not one that the Supreme Court as currently constituted would consider. For the rest of the world, the only real solution would be to resist the extension of US law into a world jurisdiction. The easiest way to achieve that on a personal level - emigration to Russia or Iran - has its own downsides.

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FTFY

"At least, not one that the Supreme Court as currently constituted would ever consider."

You seem to think this batch of 9 high priced lawyers are different from any other 9 high priced lawyers.

Then again folks such as the Koch brothers and George Soros usually don't care who knows they are tossing about their monetary muscle.

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Having done just that - taking a good look in the mirror - what I see is someone who firmly believes that a child patent (application submitted 2009) for a "System for disseminating media content representing episodes in a serialized sequence" is nothing other than an the work of a patent troll passed by a rather confused USPTO.

I think I can live with that.

[Posted by someone who never sees reason hide behind the AC mask]

There ya go 'Lost all faith'... I have no problem with what I said (whether correct or incorrect in your opinion. If i have misread the AC post then sobeit)

Have a nice day

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Anonymous Coward

"Having done just that - taking a good look in the mirror - what I see is someone who firmly believes that a child patent (application submitted 2009) for a "System for disseminating media content representing episodes in a serialized sequence" is nothing other than an the work of a patent troll passed by a rather confused USPTO."

Yes, I see a patent troll too. Using a patent that should have been rejected.

I also see the EFF using the law to hide its corporate puppetmasters. While calling for transparency for everybody else.

You didn't really look in the mirror, smurfette, did you? I don't blame you, hypocrisy is not pretty.

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Anonymous Coward

i am sure spotify has done this before the application was even made

Or is there some nuance in the patent that escapes me?

The BBC also started podcasting in 2007

There must be a detail for (crap)pple to lose a case although how someone can patent something as basic as a navigable list thats basically the same as the EPG on my TV is beyond me...

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Re: i am sure spotify has done this before the application was even made

In the current climate, holding a single coherent thought is worthy of Intellectual Property protection.

I don't know why that is.

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Re: i am sure spotify has done this before the application was even made

"I don't know why that is."

Interest rates are low, banks are unable to make money by lending it to people, the housing market is high risk.

As a result absurd valuations are being put onto anything with potential for growth - such as social media. Those absurd valuations are trickling down to the component parts, such as quite basic and obvious technology. It's exactly like passageways in Westminster being sold off as million pound flats to people who buy them as an investment and will never actually visit. The bubble must float so that the people who bought Zuckerberg's shares can continue to pay themselves bonuses.

What is needed is a better way of isolating the destructive, rent seeking behaviour of financial people and lawyers from the real economy. But in order to do this, the financial imbalance which gives them their power in the first place needs to be addressed.

Unfortunately, socialism has its downsides too.

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Re: i am sure spotify has done this before the application was even made

"Unfortunately, socialism has its downsides too"

Like tens of millions dead.

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Re: i am sure spotify has done this before the application was even made

What The Register needs is an option to read comments with all ACs removed.

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