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IP-Watch Summer Interns

IP-Watch interns talk about their Geneva experience in summer 2013. 2:42.

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5. IP Watch will not be liable for any loss including but not limited to the following (whether such losses are foreseen, known or otherwise): loss of data, loss of revenue or anticipated profit, loss of business, loss of opportunity, loss of goodwill or injury to reputation, losses suffered by third parties, any indirect, consequential or exemplary damages.

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9. These terms and your posts and contributions shall be governed and interpreted in accordance with the laws of Switzerland (without giving effect to conflict of laws principles thereof) and any dispute exclusively settled by the Courts of the Canton of Geneva.

The Politicization Of The US Patent System

The Washington Post story, How patent reform’s fraught politics have left USPTO still without a boss (July 30), is a vivid account of how patent reform has divided the US economy, preempting a possible replacement for David Kappos who stepped down 18 months ago. The division is even bigger than portrayed. Universities have lined up en masse to oppose reform, while main street businesses that merely use technology argue for reform. Reminiscent of the partisan divide that has paralyzed US politics, this struggle crosses party lines and extends well beyond the usual inter-industry debates. Framed in terms of combating patent trolls through technical legal fixes, there lurks a broader economic concern – to what extent ordinary retailers, bank, restaurants, local banks, motels, realtors, and travel agents should bear the burden of defending against patents as a cost of doing business.


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    A Wikipedia Architect Plans A “Better” Open Source Online Encyclopedia

    Published on 19 September 2006 @ 10:32 am

    Intellectual Property Watch

    By William New
    BERLIN – Wikipedia, the popular community-driven online encyclopedia, is doomed to “amateurism” and should be complemented by a more serious effort, says one of the project’s creators who announced plans to launch an alternative.

    Larry Sanger, chief organiser of Wikipedia in its first year, unveiled his plan at last week’s fourth annual Wizards of OS conference in Berlin. Sanger is director of collaborative projects for the Digital Universe Foundation (which would be separate from the new project). He has had a hand in several similar ideas in recent years, including a failed online traditional encyclopedia called New Media, and a project on the Earth.

    The new project will be known as the Citizendium, www.citizendium.org. It would closely resemble Wikipedia, but would involve a system of authors writing in their areas of expertise, being edited by experienced editors who would be their equals, not superiors. (There would be a mechanism for resolving disputes between them).

    A key difference from Wikipedia would be the absence of anonymous editing, creating instead a “culture of real-world personal responsibility,” Sanger said. There would be a relatively immutable and binding charter, with “constables” enforcing adherence to the charter. The Citizendium also would avoid the “feature-creep” plaguing Wikipedia, where pieces are growing ever longer, he said.

    The Citizendium would use the same free software licence as Wikipedia, GNU Free Documentation License, and would employ a “progressive fork” from Wikipedia, beginning with a mirror of all of Wikipedia’s articles, and then allowing people to make changes to them. Updates made on Wikipedia would automatically be made in the Citizendium too, unless someone had separately changed it on the Citizendium, which would then break the tie between the two encyclopedias.

    “I want to help launch something better, if that is possible,” Sanger said. He still supports Wikipedia, but said it was intended to be fun and light-hearted, not a serious resource.

    Addressing Amateurism or Personal Vendetta?

    “One might say Wikipedia is committed to its amateurism,” he said. “In an encyclopedia, I think that is a problem.” His new “experimental workspace” would be a wiki that “aspires to be as good as a real encyclopedia,” he said.

    Sanger listed some problems with Wikipedia that his new project hopes to address. For instance, Wikipedia’s “community” does not enforce its rules systematically, which “begets abuse.” In addition, widespread anonymity leads to trouble. But perhaps the real reason for Sanger’s plan stems from his view that the leaders of the Wikipedia community have become “insular,” leaving new qualified people without access.

    Sanger acknowledged that Wikipedia has identified problems and is moving to address them, but said the failure to take them seriously “is a reflection of the political nature of problems.”

    Martin Haase, a board member of Wikipedia Deutschland and linguistics professor at the University of Bamberg, challenged Sanger’s motives for the proposal, saying the best approach would be to make Wikipedia better. “The only reason you want to fork is because you, Larry, think there is a dysfunctional community behind Wikipedia,” Haase said.

    Sanger confirmed this, replying, “I left the community because it was dysfunctional and I don’t think it has changed.” As he helped start Wikipedia, he said, his view is “based on intense personal experience.”

    Haase raised questions about the Citizendium proposal such as how it would address copyrights. In addition, Haase said that as a German, Sanger’s proposal for policing in order to bring “discipline” to the wiki made him “uncomfortable” as it “sounds very German-like from another time.”

    Wikipedia Says it Wants to Improve Quality

    Wikipedia already is working to address criticisms, according to Haase. Criticisms of Wikipedia include that anyone can enter anything and that there is poor quality management, Haase said. Solutions under consideration at Wikipedia include to create attributions for articles and changes (currently it allows anonymity or nicknames, he said), plus reviews of articles (where readers can score an article as “excellent” or “worth reading.” Other possibilities are to create “validation” with a stable version of an article, and permalinks to link to specific articles, he said.

    “I think it will change the approach and criticism of Wikipedia a bit,” Haase said. Wikipedia has millions of articles now in more than 100 languages.

    Haase said he could not disprove the perception that there are more “trolls” (people who change others’ work) than experts on Wikipedia, but said a survey showed that Wikipedia contributors have a high education level. He also warned against “expertism,” where technical experts: cannot write in understandable terms, represent certain schools of thought, want credit for what they do, may vary in qualifications, or may not be available.

    Meanwhile, researchers are busily using Wikipedia, Haase said. The German government is funding some research on it, for instance. “There is more ongoing research on Wikipedia than there has been on all other modern encyclopedias for the last 20 years,” Haase said.

    Calling All Future Editors and Writers

    Sanger is enthusiastic about the prospects for a new model, which he insisted afterward would not be competing. “There are tens of millions of intellectuals online today,” creating great possibilities, he said. “The thought makes me literally quiver with excitement.”

    He said he hoped the project, which has only a webpage now, would be launched on 30 September, and that it would attract so much traffic as to clog whatever server is used.

    Future editors and authors should join mailing lists, either those set up for the project or any others, contribute their ideas to the discussion and wait for the launch announcement, he said. Sanger said he made the announcement in Germany to show how international it is.

    He sought to dispel the notion that he or the new initiative are “expertist,” instead of publicly accessible. “This is not ‘expert-pedia,” he said.

    “There are a lot of people out there who love Wikipedia but want to see a more prominent place for community government,” Sanger said. “I think if we get enough people like that we will get a place that is different, a more responsible Wikipedia that still retains the Wikipedia ‘magic.’”

    William New may be reached at wnew@ip-watch.ch.

     


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    We welcome your participation in article and blog comment threads, and other discussion forums, where we encourage you to analyse and react to the content available on the Intellectual Property Watch website. By participating in discussions or reader forums, or by submitting opinion pieces or comments to articles, blogs, reviews or multimedia features, you are consenting to these rules.

    We welcome your participation in article and blog comment threads, and other discussion forums, where we encourage you to analyse and react to the content available on the Intellectual Property Watch website.

    By participating in discussions or reader forums, or by submitting opinion pieces or comments to articles, blogs, reviews or multimedia features, you are consenting to these rules.

    1. You agree that you are fully responsible for the content that you post. You will not knowingly post content that violates the copyright, trademark, patent or other intellectual property right of any third party or which you know is under a confidentiality obligation preventing its publication and that you will request removal of the same should you discover that you have violated this provision. Likewise, you may not post content that is libelous, defamatory, obscene, abusive, that violates a third party's right to privacy, that otherwise violates any applicable local, state, national or international law, that amounts to spamming or that is otherwise inappropriate. You may not post content that degrades others on the basis of gender, race, class, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual preference, disability or other classification. Epithets and other language intended to intimidate or to incite violence are also prohibited. Furthermore, you may not impersonate others.

    2. You understand and agree that Intellectual Property Watch is not responsible for any content posted by you or third parties. You further understand that IP Watch does not monitor the content posted. Nevertheless, IP Watch may monitor the any user-generated content as it chooses and reserves the right to remove, edit or otherwise alter content that it deems inappropriate for any reason whatever without consent nor notice. We further reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to remove a user's privilege to post content on our site. IP Watch is not in any manner endorsing the content of the discussion forums and cannot and will not vouch for its reliability or otherwise accept liability for it.

    3. By submitting any contribution to IP Watch, you warrant that your contribution is your own original work and that you have the right to make it available to IP Watch for all purposes and you agree to indemnify IP Watch, its directors, employees and agents against all damages, legal fees and others expenses that may be incurred by IP Watch as a result of your breach of warranty or of these terms.

    4. You further agree not to publish any personal information about yourself or anyone else (for example telephone number or home address). If you add a comment to a blog, be aware that your email address will be apparent.

    5. IP Watch will not be liable for any loss including but not limited to the following (whether such losses are foreseen, known or otherwise): loss of data, loss of revenue or anticipated profit, loss of business, loss of opportunity, loss of goodwill or injury to reputation, losses suffered by third parties, any indirect, consequential or exemplary damages.

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    7. You acknowledge and agree that you use and/or rely on any information obtained through the discussion forums at your own risk.

    8. For any content that you post, you hereby grant to IP Watch the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual, exclusive and fully sub-licensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part, world-wide and to incorporate it in other works, in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

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