December 2009

An Early Open Source License

by Lee Gesmer on December 29, 2009

One of the first open source copyright licenses:

This song is Copyrighted in U.S., under Seal of Copyright # 154085, for a period of 28 years, and anybody caught singin it without our permission, will be mighty good friends of ourn, cause we don’t give a dern. Publish it. Write it. Sing it. Swing to it. Yodel it. We wrote it, that’s all we wanted to do.

Said to be Woody Guthrie’s copyright notice.

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I considered tagging this under “humor,” but that wouldn’t be right.  Several more of these at the author’s Youtube site

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File Under: Strange Communications I Have Received

by Lee Gesmer on December 28, 2009

Email Received December 28, 2009:

Good day

May I use the spirit of this season to introduce myself to you and at the same time introduce my intentions to you? I am Mr. Robert Duke one of the portfolio funds managers of The Scottish Investment Trust Plc. The largest and oldest Independent self managed funds Management Company in the United Kingdom with over £450 billion Capital Investment Funds. Nevertheless, as a Scottish Investment Funds Manager, I handle all our Investor’s Direct Capital Funds and extracted 1.3% Excess Maximum Return Capital Profit (EMRCP) per annum on each of the Investor’s Magellan Capital Funds. As an expert, I have made over £45.500,000.00 million from the Investor’s EMRCP and hereby looking for someone to trust who will stand as an Investor to receive the funds as Annual Investment Proceeds from Scottish Magellan Capital Funds.

All confirmable documents to back up the claims will be made available to you accordingly.

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Listen to Oral Argument in Bilski v. Kappos

by Lee Gesmer on December 10, 2009

Well, sort of.

You can wait until the end of the term to hear oral argument in Bilski v. Kappos, or you can listen to Professor Doug Lichtman’s students’ impassioned reading of the transcript, on the superb Intellectual Property Colloquium.  I found this reading to be very accessible – a new twist on audiobooks.

IP Colloquium is by far my favorite legal podcast.  Professor Lichtman has great guests and provides thoughtful commentary.  This Shakespearean treatment of an appeal hearing is inspired.

(Nice summary of the background of Bilski, and what’s at issue, on Bill Trout’s blog).

And, some nice quotes from the justices, trying to figure out the limits of patent protection.  Could a patent protect –

“somebody who writes a book on how to win friends and influence people?””horse whisperers?””a method for speed dating?”

“a great wonderful, really original method of teaching antitrust law?”

“actuarial tables and risk formulas?”

In the meantime the CAFC is applying its “machine or transformation” test from its en banc ruling in In re Bilski. … Read the full article