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How The Government Can Improve Tech: Stop Reinventing Intellectual Property

Publication Date: 
May 13, 2014
Source: 
Yahoo Tech
Author: 
Rob Pegoraro

Julie Ahrens, director of Copyright and Fair Use at the Center for Internet and Society, comments on the problems raised by a recent intellectual property ruling for Yahoo Tech. 

A court ruling Friday redefined who owns a technical part of Android that no user ever sees. But it could have a chilling effect on the technology we do.

Friday’s unanimous ruling by a three-judge panel on the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit about Google’s recycling parts of Oracle’s Java software could make a wide variety of innovation expensive or illegal. The ruling fits into a long and unhelpful history of the government creating “intellectual property” where such property didn’t previously exist — and where it’s not needed.

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You need this for different programs to work together, said Julie Ahrens, director of Copyright and Fair Use at Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society: “It’s almost like the alphabet or vocabulary.”