Justin du Coeur (jducoeur) wrote,
Justin du Coeur
jducoeur

A good day for good law

Two interesting articles in Ars today, both on the subject of fixing some of the current problems at the junction of law and technology:

First, a significant defeat for gene patents. Basically, a judge has ruled that a major patent on breast-cancer genes is invalid. The decision will be appealed, of course, but if upheld it's really big: as I understand it, it pretty much nullifies the idea of patenting a human gene. It doesn't touch on patents for drugs to cure genetic diseases (nor should it), but shooting down the notion that a company can essentially patent breast cancer is a fine win for common sense, and likely to improve competition and innovation.

Second, the Digital Due Process initiative brings together quite a remarkable collection of heavy hitters: when you can get the EFF and ACLU to team up with Microsoft and Google, you've really got something. The purpose of the campaign is to take the current privacy laws and make them make sense for modern technology. The laws are currently not just antiquated but rather arbitrary, and have the effect that any data you have in the cloud (for example, your Gmail inbox) has little-to-no legal protection. It's obvious why the personal-rights groups want this; what makes this movement impressive is that they've pulled a bunch of major corporations on-board, on the grounds that they want clearer rules to work with. It's going to take some time to get anywhere, but smells like the kind of group that will eventually get results.
Tags: law, technology
Subscribe

  • Did Media Literacy Backfire?

    Here's a fascinating exploration from Danah Boyd (one of the better thinkers about the Internet and society), about the ways in which the current…

  • Trend lines

    On the plus side, I noticed while writing the last post that LinkedIn has a cute new feature: you can hover over any of your skills, and get a quick…

  • I am officially getting cynical about LinkedIn Endorsements

    The hot new feature on LinkedIn is "Endorsements". Basically, they show you a list of randomly selected people in your network, and random skills…

  • Post a new comment

    Error

    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

  • 3 comments