Saturday, November 29, 2008

The internet is for gay porn...

... or so it seems for British lawyer firm Davenport Lyons, which has been sending letters on behalf of German gay porn makers to obtain payment from people who download their films through P2P and Torrent sites. But not only are individuals being accused of copyright infringement, stock photography sites are also pursuing small and medium enterprises for disproportionate amounts.

Some firms are fighting the charges, as they are often going to the wrong people. However, one has to wonder at the brilliant tactic used by obscure porn producers, who obtain much better dividends by making their film available on torrent sites, and then sue those who download it (or seem to download it).

Here is to hoping that someone will stand up to the bullies and they will get a black-eye in court.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Bio in 6 words

Mathias Klang at Wrote tagged me with the six word memoir meme, so I will try to rise to the challenge.

I've always liked the line in Half a Person by The Smiths that says "16, clumsy and shy, I went to London and I", but it exceeds the limit. So I will go for this one:

Milk, juice, beer, rum, whiskey, water.

I'll tag panGloss, Aurelio and Daithí.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Jury decides on cyberbullying case

A Federal jury in Los Angeles has convicted Lori Drew of three misdemeanour counts of computer fraud, specifically accessing a computer without authorisation. This is not unusual in itself, but the novelty of the decision is that Ms Drew's conduct was to create a fictional MySpace account to bully neighbour teenager Megan Meier, who committed suicide as a result of the emotional distress caused by Ms Drew.

I have commented already on the strange tactic by Federal prosecutors of using anti-hacking law against cyberbullying. While the jury did not believe that the action was a felony, and therefore only convicted the action as misdemeanour, I still find that the legislation does not really fit the offence. Lori Drew's conviction should be taken as the potential criminalisation of breaching Terms of Service, something that I am not sure the law was designed to accomplish to begin with.

It is possible that this case is a one-off, but a worrying precedent has been set.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Cybercriminals making a killing on magic swords

(via Pangloss) The European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA) has published a report about the prevalence of cybercrime against virtual world inhabitants. The report states that:

"2007 was the year of online gaming fraud – with malicious programs that specifically target online games and virtual worlds increasing by 145% and the emergence of over 30,000 new programs aimed at stealing online game passwords. Such malware is invariably aimed at the theft of virtual property accumulated in a user’s account and its sale for real money."
Pretty interesting, considering that the real-world value of virtual goods is growing in value, with some experts placing the total GDP of virtual worlds in the trillion of dollars. As these virtual goods become more likely to be exchanged for real money, they will continue to be the target for hackers and cyber-criminals with the intention of removing online gold and other valuables in order to sell them on the virtual markets in exchange for real currency.

The likeliest scenario of a virtual robber is that of a gamer who has his/her password stolen, and then the criminal enters into their account, removing all gold and tradeable valuables, which are then sent to a third party, and probably removed once more to remove traces of the goods. The gold then is sold to third-party gold sellers in China, where it is exchanged to real money when some gamer buys it.

The report also has a likely scenario for attacking guild banks.
"In games such as World of Warcraft, in-game guilds have banks where they store their most valuable items. Full access to such guild banks is limited to players high in the guild hierarchy. However guilds often have web sites open to guests where information such as email addresses, instant messaging usernames and social networking details, are available. Members of the guilds are also active in forums. This leads to the following attack scenario:
• Attacker visits guild sites or forums and checks in the MMO/VW to gather a list of high-ranking officers in the guild and their contact information.
• This is used to gain account information that can be used for social engineering, phishing, hacking, etc.
• Attacker logs in as a player, accesses guild bank, and sells all items.
• Attacker changes account details so a player cannot login. "
I have heard from WoW players and guilds who have been victims of such attacks, but I had no idea of the scale of the problem. As the report rightly points out, this type of cybercrime usually goes unreported, and it is not hard to imagine that law enforcement bodies around the world will be highly sceptical about crime that amounts to someone stealing a magic sword, or currency that is not seen as any different from Monopoly money. However, these crimes have real value, and they are a worrying trend.

Hmmm... I wonder if my online characters still have their gold intact.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Smells like teen suicide

(via ORG-Discussion list and various other sources) A teenager in Florida has committed suicide while webcasting the event on video website Reportedly, as many as 1,500 people were witnesing the event at one time, and some even encouraged the teenager with messages like this one: "Do it, do the world a favour and stop wasting our time with your mindless self-pity."

I have been following the strange obsession that the British media has with the Internet and suicide. I am usually puzzled by the over-the-top technophobic tone with which these news are often portrayed. For example, The Times informs us that:

"According to one charity that works to prevent suicide, there have been at least 17 deaths in Britain since 2001 involving chatrooms or sites that give advice on suicide methods."
Sounds like an epidemic! However, one has to place these figures in context. Young-male suicide is at a 30-year low, while in 2006 5,554 people committed suicide in the UK. In the grand scheme of things, internet-related suicide is negligible. As someone mentioned in an online mailing list, it would be interesting to try to determine if online communities are acting also as a deterrent by offering suicidal people an environment where they can find support.

Perhaps one day there will be measured coverage of sad events such as this one.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Always look on the bright side of YouTube

Monty Python releases its own YouTube channel to get back at all the people who have been ripping them off for three years.

If you cannot beat them, join them... 'tis but a flesh wound.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Obama and Creative Commons

I have been looking at the amazing pictures on Flickr taken at the Obama household on the night of the U.S. election, and I have to say that I am utterly surprised by the fact that the photographs are all shared under a Creative Commons licence (Attribution, Non-Commercial, Share Alike).

Is this a good sign of things to come?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Patenting patent trolling

(via Patently-O) Halliburton (yes, THAT Halliburton) has made a patent application for patent trolling. Enjoy USPTO application 20080270152, which protects a method for "Patent Acquisition and Assertion by a (Non-Inventor) First Party Against a Second Party".

The abstract reads:

"Methods for a first party to acquire and assert a patent property against a second party are disclosed. The methods include obtaining an equity interest in the patent property. The methods further include writing a claim within the scope of the patent property. The claim is written to cover a product of the second party where the product includes a secret aspect. The methods further include filing the claim with a patent office. The methods sometimes include offering a license of the patent property to the second party after the patent property issues as a patent with the claim. The methods sometimes include asserting infringement of the claim by the second party after the patent property issues as a patent with the claim. The methods sometimes include negotiating a cross-license with the second party based on the assertion of infringement of the claim, where under the cross-license the first party obtains a license to an intellectual property right from the second party. The methods sometime include attempting to obtain a monetary settlement from the second party based on the assertion of infringement of the claim."
Even more delightful is the flowchart describing the claims:

Looks like someone is tired of paying out to patent trolls, Halliburton was famously involved in the software patent case of Halliburton v Smith.

I don't know, I would like an examiner with a good sense of humour to get this one and grant the claim. It would be delightfully ironic to have patent trolls sued for patent infringement :)

The Matrix runs on Windows

Everybody knows that The Matrix runs on UNIX, but what if it ran on Windows XP?

"Looks like you are trying to bend a spoon with your mind. Have you tried realising the truth that there is no spoon?"

Friday, November 14, 2008

The evils of virtual worlds

Yesterday was the official "bash virtual worlds" day in the UK press. With the launch of the latest World of Warcraft expansion (Wrath of the Lich King), news sources went overboard in the coverage of thousands of costumed geeks queuing outside Oxford Street's HMV; at some point the game's launch was the top story in both the BBC and the Guardian, with legions of Tauren and Night Elves adorning the streets of London attracting similarly large numbers of journos and papparazzi. The tone of the coverage has been mixed, but the overarching theme has been set by the Today program, the BBC 4 flagship radio news and current events show which usually sets the agenda for the days news throughout the British media. The technophobes in chief at Radio 4 decided to run not with celebratory coverage, but with a report about the dangers of online game addiction kicking the day's news. Then we were treated to similar coverage, with one doctor being interviewed about the many teenagers falling prey to the evils of game addiction. Further reports stressed on the addiction element. Other news outlets continued the trend, the Telegraph reported on one gamer who collapsed after queuing for 40 hours without food or water, the Times lamented about WoW Widows, while the Daily Mail was uncommonly subdued. At the other end of the spectrum, the tech-friendly Guardian adopted a more balanced reporting. The main story did contain some talk about the addiction controversy, but there were several comments against the seemingly unstoppable tide of negative articles: Alex Sassoon Coby wondered why the game is so popular, Rowenna Davis wrote an astute comment about the virtual versus physical reality, Naomi Alderman made a rather preposterous post about how gaming helped her go through post-9/11 trauma, while the always enjoyable Jack Schofield wondered if WoW can save people from TV addiction. Jack says:

"Millions of British people are addicted to something they call "the boob tube". Every night they slump for hours in front of a flickering box, having their brains rotted by a continuous diet of mindless pap. They could be doing something interesting with their lives, but they need a continuous stream of stuff, and it's available right round the clock. They can't go out, they don't have time for proper meals, they can't even take a bathroom break when they need one. If they miss a dose due to holidays or illness, they start trying to "borrow tapes" or even going online to hunt down that missing episode of EastEnders, Coronation Street, Strictly Come Dancing or whatever."

Granted, while the addiction angle was down-played by some outlets, the day was capped by another virtual world story. By the afternoon, Warcraft geeks had been pushed from the headlines by the sad story of Amy Taylor and David Pollard, a married couple (both on and offline) who had an extensive presence in Second Life. Ms Taylor filed for divorce from Mr Pollard because she allegedly caught him chatting intimately with another SL character. Ms Taylor told the Daily Mail that "It may have started online but it existed entirely in the real world and it hurts just as much now it is over." The news coverage that ensued had a tinge of sensationalism mixed with the very clear implication that there is something clearly wrong with these people. Perhaps I am being slightly unfair to journalists and commentators. The SL divorce story is indeed farcical, but the world is filled with all sorts of sad people who end their relationships for less of an excuse. Where are the stories covering the thousands of divorces due to email, SMS, chat rooms, and Facebook?

While I have low expectations of the British media, it seems to me that there is a deep Luddite vein that is exploited repeatedly whenever games and virtual worlds are concerned. For most people, gaming simply replaces other entertainment activities, such as reading, watching TV, or listening to the radio. When you boil it down to basics, gaming is a way of removing oneself from reality and experiencing other points of view. But is that not the same of reading? When reading I have spent countless hours lost in Middle Earth, visited Macondo, explored the Galaxy in Culture ships, and metamorphosed into a giant insect. On TV I have followed the perilous journey of the Battlestar Galactica in its brave escape from the Cylons. In cinema I have witnessed the triumph of the Rebel Alliance, followed the romantic adventures of a French waitress, and seen seven brave samurai rescue a village from bandits. Those are hours of my life "wasted" in other realities instead of "being outside" doing "real things" and interacting with "real people". Are there people who abuse gaming? Sure! But so do lots of people who abuse alcohol, knitting and sport. To me this is the most fallacious of dichotomies, people who are inclined to spend 12 hours in front of a computer screen playing a game are not likely to suddenly go out and become involved in "real life" if you switch the computer off.

What really worries me is that the talk of "addiction" is usually followed by concerned calls of people asking the government to "do something about it". I am just waiting for the first call by someone to think about the children. I will then run out of the room screaming. Thankfully, the gamer stereotype will be shifted by demographic changes, as more and more people will have grown up with computer games (hey, even celebrities are doing it!)

For the record, I'm not buying Wrath of the Lich King, I'm bored of Warcraft.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Not The New York Times

An expensive and complicated spoof of the New York Times has hit the streets of Manhattan (with accompanying website). The headlines offer something akin to a liberal wish-list, from the end of the PATRIOT Act, to the passing of a new law called the Safeguards for a New Economy (S.A.N.E.) bill. There are also clever adverts throughout the site. In one, De Beers Diamonds offers to donate an artificial limb to a person who lost theirs in one of Africa's diamond conflicts with the purchase of any diamond.

I love complicated pranks, particularly mischievous yet harmless ones, so I am in awe of the scale of this one. I w0nder if the authors have crossed a line. I am not familiar with parody legislation, but it seems to be much stronger in the U.S. than it is here in the UK. I am however wondering at the domain name (, which seems to be too close to the real thing. Given the fact that there is no provision for parody in domain name registration procedures, it seems likely that if challenged the website could disappear (which would be a real pity). My guess however is that the New York Times will sit this one out, it does not really dilute the brand, and it is somehow flattering to be singled out for such a monumental spoof.

QR Code

I've been playing with QR codes. If you have a mobile phone with a QR Reader, use your mobile phone camera on this picture.


The word convergence keeps popping up in my head.

Adding: You can also generate text:


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Bilski: an end to stupid patents?

I finally got around to reading In Re Bilski (via Groklaw), the latest landmark case in the United States with regards to patentability issues. While abstract ideas are not patentable, ever since the case State Street, the U.S. has allowed mere abstractions as patentable subject matter if they produce a "useful, concrete and tangible result". This means that one did not need to have anything tangible, technical or even plausible, in order to get a patent, but that the result would be tangible; which confirms my firm belief that patent law is 90% sophistry and 10% mumbo-jumbo. It is no coincidence that software patents and business method patent applications exploded after State Street was decided. The impact of allowing abstract "inventions" can be seen when one compares the patent landscape in Europe and the United States, as mere abstractions or business methods are not patentable subject matter in Europe. The result of such practice is a more reasonable and rational patent policy, with better quality patents and less worry for innovators.

First some background. In 2002 Mr Bernard Bilski filed and application (08/833,892) to protect a "Capped Bill System". The abstract reads:

"A method of providing one of a good or a service to at least one entity at one of a payment, rate, or price that is capped at a pre-determined amount. The method includes producing an offer for the entity, wherein the offer represents at least one of a capped maximum payment, a capped maximum rate, a capped maximum usage, a capped maximum consumption, or a capped maximum price amount. The method also includes providing the good or service to the entity at one of a payment, rate, or price that may fluctuate, wherein the payment, rate, or price cannot exceed the capped maximum payment, capped maximum rate, capped maximum usage, capped maximum consumption, or capped maximum price amount."
At first reading, one realises that this does not describe anything specific, it is purely the abstract description of a capped payment method. Where is the novelty? Where is the tangible result? The examiner agreed and rejected the application. The Board of Patent Appeals agreed with the examiner. Mr Bilski then appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC), which affirmed the rejection of the Bilski application. The question at the heart of the majority decision is whether the method described in the Bilski application is patentable subject matter. One of the ways in which business method patents were allowed in the past was by the application of what is known as the machine-or-transformation test, namely, that if the abstract process described could be carried out by a machine, or allowed some physical transformation, then it would be patentable. The CAFC majority disagreed that the Bilski application met such test. They say:
"Even if it is true that Applicant's claim "can only be practiced by a series of physical acts" as they argue, see id. at 9, its clear failure to satisfy the machine-or-transformation test is fatal. Thus, while we agree with Applicants that the only limit to patent-eligibility imposed by Congress is that the invention fall within one of the four categories enumerated in § 101, we must apply the Supreme Court's test to determine whether a claim to a process is drawn to a statutory "process" within the meaning of § 101."
To me the most interesting part of the ruling is the dissenting opinion by Judge Mayer, which goes even further, and makes the point that the question is one of allowing abstract thoughts to be patented. He says clearly and astutely:
"The patent system is intended to protect and promote advances in science and technology, not ideas about how to structure commercial transactions. Claim 1 of the application of Bernard L. Bilski and Rand A. Warsaw (“Bilski”) is not eligible for patent protection because it is directed to a method of conducting business. Affording patent protection to business methods lacks constitutional and statutory support, serves to hinder rather than promote innovation and usurps that which rightfully belongs in the public domain. State Street and AT&T should be overruled."
Judge Rader seems more favourable to business and software method patents, but even he agrees that the majority decision is unnecessarily complex. He says that:
"In sum, this court today invents several circuitous and unnecessary tests. It should have merely noted that Bilski attempts to patent an abstract idea. Nothing more was needed."
It would be easy to miss the importance of Bilski amongst the patent law technicalities, but make no mistake about it, it is a massive shift in U.S. patent policy, something that draws USPTO practice closer to Europe. It seems clear that the United States patent system is finally waking up after a patent binge, and is realising that it has a very bad hangover. Business method patents are an aberration for several reasons, chiefly amongst them is the fact that they disproportionately reward applicants who have incurred in little or no investment to come up with their "innovations". They reward trolls and punish legitimate businesses, making the mere business competitive environment a more hazardous place to conduct private endeavours. One has to hope that Bilski will be the beginning of the end to the most outlandish patents out there, and may inject some rationality back to patent law.

So far, the only people I have heard complaining are patent attorneys. That says it all really.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Googleverse: Utopia or Dystopia?

It is a bit tired to say that Google's stranglehold on the search engine market seems unshakeable. To offer a couple of ironic factoids, I found the accompanying image using Google Image Search, and this blog is published in Blogger, a Google-owned service.

Many people have been warning us about Google's dominance for a while, yet we continue to use it for a variety of reasons, from convenience to the fact that it works well. Spiegel Online has published a very interesting article on the growing backlash against some of Google's more controversial services, such as StreetView, but also building a disturbing picture of the amount of data mining going on at the Mountain View company. Gmail users have become accustomed (and immune) to warnings about the practice of Google searching for keywords in their messages to target contextual advertising. iPhone users can also be tracked when using Google Maps in their mobile devices, which tell Google exactly where you are.

The practices at Google cut right to the heart of the modern debate about Internet privacy that is usually the topic of discussion in various conferences I attend. Those who do not see privacy breaches as a problem, tend to offer three arguments. One is whether there is safety in numbers. With the amount of data that Google gathers, is it possible for any person to actually misuse it? Your personal information is lost in petabytes of meaningless noise available online, so it is unlikely that someone will actually access it. The other argument is, so what? If the user gets a free and useful service, who cares if the company makes a buck by providing context advertising to the consumer? The third is of course the issue of privacy itself. If you have nothing to hide, then why bother about what information is held by Google or any other company?

These are legitimate answers to the issue of privacy, but I cannot help being slightly worried by the far-reaching power of Google. I am also concerned about the environment of unaccountability in which Google is allowed to operate. In Europe we have data protection law for a reason, and perhaps it is time for regulators to look at Google's practices and start asking questions about lines crossed.

It is clear that privacy is a growing concern in the media due to the widely advertised privacy blunders by government officials. We also have a public debate prompted by the Daily Mail editor riling about growing privacy protection due to human rights legislation. If privacy is back on the menu, then the largest online perpetrator should certainly come under regulatory scrutiny, regardless of whether one believes that its practices are not such a big threat to our rights.

Friday, November 07, 2008

A progressive IP and IT policy in the US?

One of the defining characteristics of U.S. IP policy in the last 16 years has been an inevitable move towards stronger protection, while in IT the move has been towards laissez-faire deregulation of media. Many people politically classed as either liberal or progressive have come to expect nothing but bad news coming from the United States government. From the forceful push towards maximalist IP protection pursued by the USTR, to idiotic misunderstanding of the Internet, every time the U.S. passes new legislation in these topics, we brace ourselves for another round of corporatist encroachment.

IP Watch is reporting on some names as the potential advisors to the Obama administration. I have to say that I like the list so far. Arti Rai, Beth Noveck, and Larry Lessig are amongst those mentioned, which seems to fare really well for the next American administration. The top items on the agenda would be network neutrality, bilateral trade agreements, WTO's negotiations, patent reform, and copyright enforcement. It is possible that placing the right people at the top of imporant public policy insitutions would help to steer the United States into a more progressive IP and IT policy. A more liberal administration could also be more friendly to open source initiatives, much like some parts of the European Union are.

Having said that, I have to be a realist and accept that the copyright and telecomms industries have a lot of power regardless of who's in charge, and that it is likely that things won't change that much.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

SCRIPTed Conference CFP

“Governance Of New Technologies: The Transformation Of Medicine, Information Technology And Intellectual Property”
An International Interdisciplinary Conference

March 29-31, 2009
University of Edinburgh


Those interested in presenting a paper at the “Governance of New Technologies” conference should email Authors should identify the conference title in the subject line of the email.

Abstracts should be attached to the email as a Word document. Abstracts should:
  • identify the author’s name, institutional affiliation, and the stream within which
  • the author believes the paper most appropriately falls;
  • specify their audio-visual requirements; and
  • contain a 300 word outline/summary of the paper.
We are accepting abstracts until 1st December 2008. Early submission is recommended as places are limited.


As part of its celebration of 5 years of success, SCRIPTed is pleased to host an international and interdisciplinary conference focusing on the governance of new and evolving technologies, and the consequences of these technologies for the law and for society more generally. Examples of such new technologies and practices – which are revolutionising the way we live, learn and interact, the way we deliver healthcare and other public services, the way we conduct business, and so on – include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • genomics and stem cell applications;
  • xeno-transplantation;
  • synthetic life;
  • nanotechnology;
  • artificial intelligence;
  • internet and digital information technologies;
  • e-commerce and m-commerce;
  • Web 2.0 applications and virtual worlds.
The conference will consider developments in, and governance and social implications of, these and other new technologies and practices within the context of three primary and overlapping streams, namely (1) medicine and healthcare, (2) information and communication technology, (3) and intellectual property.


Prof. Bartha Knoppers: University of Montreal, Canada
Prof. Dan Hunter: University of Melbourne, Australia
Dr Francis Gurry: Director General World Intellectual Property Organization,

Please visit our conference website for information on the program and registration:

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

User Generated Election

Congratulations are in order to American readers for bringing to a close the long and arduous election process, a truly remarkable result has been achieved.

You will be hearing a lot about this in the next few days, but it is clear that the U.S. election has been one of the best showcases for the User Generated Content web. While the 2004 election was all about blogging, this one has consolidated the power of the participatory web, and will probably come to be known as the YouTube election. From Tina Fey's Palin impersonations, to recounting every single gaffe on the campaign trail, YouTube has been an important part of the election process. Instead of being used to convince people, it has served as an excellent tool to galvanise supporters and reinforce voting patterns.

The copyright implications have also been surprisingly overlooked. YouTube is filled with clips from news sources all around the United States, and there has been little or no grumblings from the networks. Perhaps the fact is that traditional news sources are starting to mature about their online presence, and they finally realise that extensive YouTube exposure is a good thing. What seems clear is that this election has been a success for the UGC tool set. Blogs have once more proved to be astoundingly accurate sources of information that often outmatch mainstream sources (for example, the excellent Podcasts, Wikipedia, Flickr and YouTube have also demonstrated the power of peer production.

However, the important question in everyone's mind is, how did Azeroth vote?

Dwarves voted for McCain, while the Horde are overwhelmingly for Obama. It figures.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Open source invention

This is a very good article in the New York Times about publicising inventions via Web 2.0 tools like YouTube. The piece concentrates on Dr Johnny Chung Lee, a 28-year-old inventor who became a YouTube celebrity by posting Wii hacks, including how to make a muilti-touch whiteboard, and the mind-boggling video on generating real 3D gaming experiences. The videos went viral, and attracted 2 million and 6 million views respectively. Dr Lee got so much coverage that when he finished his PhD he got snatched up by Microsoft, and is now working for their technology innovation division. The New York Times makes a good point about how most innovators communicate their inventions to the public:

Contrast this with what might have followed from other options Mr. Lee considered for communicating his ideas. He might have published a paper that only a few dozen specialists would have read. A talk at a conference would have brought a slightly larger audience. In either case, it would have taken months for his ideas to reach others.

Dr Lee has started a trend, and now one can find thousands of do-it-yourself guides on YouTube for anything, from how to use the Wiimote to control Google Earth, to how to beat bosses in World of Warcraft. The idea according to Dr Lee is to use what he calls the “work-to-wow ratio”, which means getting the biggest wow for the least amount of work. Dr Lee shares his inventions in the best open source spirit, and his website has software for the 3D display and the whiteboard.

Something not mentioned in the NYT piece however is the patent implication of Dr Lee's practices. Patenting requires novelty, therefore by making his inventions public before filing for a patent would invalidate any later request. However, by placing his inventions on YouTube, it also precludes anyone else from trying to patent the invention. This is, for lack of a better word, open source invention.

The results are clear. More than 700,000 have downloaded the open source software necessary to make an interactive whiteboard, and it is a cheap option that allows anyone with a Wiimote to make their own version (the cheapest whiteboards in the market go for $1,000 USD). But more importantly, Dr Lee's success point the way towards a new model of invention. Share your ideas and findings on YouTube, and if they are good they will have an impact immediately. Imagine if Mr Lee had tried to patent instead of sharing, he may be sitting on a useless patent with no way to bring it to market. Sharing then becomes a good strategy for the struggling inventor.

On a related note, I hope we had known about the Wiimote whiteboard it at the School of Law, as we spent a lot of money on ours (pictured here).