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Climate Change Bill Includes IP Protections 236

Posted by kdawson
from the quick-let's-patent-carbon-sequestration dept.
moogsynth writes "Buried in section 329 of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act (H.R. 2410), voted in recently, are measures to oppose any global climate change treaty that weakens the IP rights in the green tech of American companies. Peter Zura's patent blog notes that 'the vote comes in anticipation of the upcoming negotiations in December as part of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change. ... Previously, there was sufficient chatter in international circles on compulsory licenses, IP seizures, and the outright abolition of patents on low-carbon technology, that Congress felt it necessary to clarify the US's IP position up front.'"
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Climate Change Bill Includes IP Protections

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 15, 2009 @10:07PM (#28343421)

    Why can't a bill about something be only about something?

    "We will bone you hard but we will give you a reach-around..."

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Snaller (147050)

      As banana republic there are certain things which must be done. This is one of them.

    • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Monday June 15, 2009 @10:39PM (#28343647) Journal
      Unfortunately, that is a messy one. It is easy to suggest(and very likely desireable) that bills not include bundling to sneak things through. However, since it is strategically desirable to do so in many cases, you would actually have to prohibit the practice to keep it from happening. Trying to draft a workable definition of "about something, and only about something" that excludes abuses without excluding legitimate conduct, and doesn't rely on "good faith"(a commodity known to be in short supply near most legislative chambers) is virtually impossible.

      In a case like this, it would be trivial to argue that, since technology is almost certainly a component of any viable response to climate change, and since IP is arguably connected with technological development, IP protection is arguably related. If you are subtle enough, you could easily slip in broad enough wording that your climate change bill has ramifications for all kinds of IP, while ostensibly remaining "on topic".

      It might be possible, and would certainly be desirable, to curb the worst abuses; but there is essentially no way to attack the (large) grey area.
      • by Darkness404 (1287218) on Monday June 15, 2009 @11:08PM (#28343801)
        What really needs to happen is a line-item veto type thing for congress. Where they can choose to support only part of legislation, if that part passes, the bill passes, if that part fails, that part of the bill fails.
        • by icebike (68054) on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @01:27AM (#28344613)

          Except that line item vetoes, as we know them, apply only to appropriations bills, allowing the executive to strike specific expenditures.

          No one has proposed a line item veto allowing the editing out of specific words or phrases other than appropriations. ,

          The kind of line item you imagine might allow the executive branch to change the meaning of a law which disallowed a specific act/event into one that specifically required that same act/event.

          So, be careful what you wish for.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by steelfood (895457)

            GP isn't so much proposing a line item veto, as a line item vote. Veto powers apply to the executive, but GP is talking about the legislative process.

            GP wants legislators to be able to vote on specific parts of a bill, and only the parts that pass would continue to the next step in the process.

      • by realmolo (574068) on Monday June 15, 2009 @11:24PM (#28343927)

        The problem with line-item veto, or any kind of system that tries to minimize the practice of "sneaking things into" a bill, is that the party in power (majority party) can simply choose to remove any part of the bill they don't like, or ADD whatever they want to any bill, confident that they will be able to pass it.

        Basically, you have to be careful about any kind of legislative system that does to much to increase the power of the majority. The current system makes sure that EVERY bill is a compromise on multiple issues. Yeah, that means that most bills have all kinds of ridiculous things attached that we could probably live without, but it some of those attachments are GOOD, but would never manage to get passed if they weren't part of some larger bill with wide support.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by sumdumass (711423)

          You also have the problem of congress critters actually reading the bills they vote on.

          • I dislike the term congress critter, if only because "critter" in my mind conjures up images from Bambi. I think congressional cretins is more appropriate.

        • by kdemetter (965669)

          Basically, you have to be careful about any kind of legislative system that does to much to increase the power of the majority

          Wait , isn't the point of a democracy to give power to the majority ?

          The only reason they add these things in attachment is because they hope no one will notice until it's too late . And that's because they know the majority of people won't approve ( otherwise they would do it openly ) .

          • Wait , isn't the point of a democracy to give power to the majority ?

            No. Not in a liberal democracy. The purpose of a liberal democracy (every democracy based on either the US or British model) is to protect the rights of citizens from transgression by the government. Constrained power to the majority is the means, not the end. And most importantly, that power is constrained.

            • by icebike (68054)

              "Liberal Democracy" is code for something, but I know now what.

              We have in the US, a republican (lower case R) form of government, best described as a representitive democracy.

          • Wait , isn't the point of a democracy to give power to the majority ?

            IANAPS (I'm not a political scientist). However, I think the pure answer to your question is yes. However, as I understand, the U.S. is not a democracy; it's a republic which uses multiple forms of representation, i.e. House and Senate, who themselves are democratically elected, but that composite doesn't imply pure democracy, nor does their decision-making process imply democracy.

        • by icebike (68054)

          The problem with line-item veto, or any kind of system that tries to minimize the practice of "sneaking things into" a bill, is that the party in power (majority party) can simply choose to remove any part of the bill they don't like, or ADD whatever they want to any bill, confident that they will be able to pass it.

          Line item Veto does not ADD items to bills, nor does it make it easier for the majority to ADD items to bills.

          All it does is to make it possible for the Executive branch to kill entire projects. Not add them, not change them.

          Line item veto is used in several US states, quite successfully. It does not lead to abuse.

          Minority projects still make it in. Often these are negotiated in advance with the Governor's office to assure no line item veto, often in exchange for allowing majority projects thru.

          Governors

    • Why can't a bill about something be only about something?

      Because, without the behind-the-scenes horse trading that results in these kinds of provisions, nothing would ever get passed.

      Wait...

    • by FiloEleven (602040) on Monday June 15, 2009 @11:22PM (#28343915)

      A topical anonymous first post is a rare occurrence.

      The American Congress looks out for the political class (i.e. themselves) and for whoever lines their pockets. This is very hard to change.

      Congress's preferred method for doing so is to attach unrelated unpopular measures to popular multi-hundred page bills. I don't believe that this clause is such a case, but it happens often enough and there are probably other unsavory tidbits hidden within this bill.

      The only way Congress will stop such a practice is if we force them to. To that end, DownsizeDC has drawn up the One Subject at a Time Act [downsizedc.org]. This bill would force Congress to bring every measure to a vote instead of burying them inside some behemoth legislation named "Rekindle The American Dream Act of 2009."

      Public pressure works: see for example the 224 co-sponsors (over half the House) of The Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2009, which you may not have even heard of yet. But the Campaign for Liberty organized a call-in campaign that has been running for a month, maybe a little longer. C4L has around 100,000 members, easily less than a thousandth of the population, and they've already got half the house behind their bill. The phone call is the most effective means of public pressure. OSTA will law by this time next year or sooner if you call your congressmen and get four friends to do the same.

      OSTA is a bitter pill for Congress to swallow, yet you'll be hard pressed to find 10 average Americans against its principles. If just a hundredth of those who say "it sounds like a good idea" were to actually call and ask their congressmen to support it, the congressmen would have no choice.

      Seriously. Call. Slashdot 'em.

      • by demachina (71715) on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @01:40AM (#28344701)

        "see for example the 224 co-sponsors (over half the House) of The Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2009"

        That is a pretty easy bill to garner widespread support. After the last year of shenanigans out of the Fed and Treasury I think just about everyone is realizing fiat currencies are bad, as is letting a hand full of people who don't really answer to anyone control it.

        A week or so ago a couple Japanese nationals were caught in Italy trying to smuggle what appear to be $135 billion in U.S. Treasury bearer bonds in to Switzerland, in $500 million and $1 billion denominations. Either Japan was trying to quietly dump their vast T-bill holdings in Switzerland because they don't trust the U.S any more and didn't want to be too conspicuous about it, or there are some other shenanigans going on. If they are genuine Italy may have erased a big bunch of their deficit thanks to a customs checkpoint who found the false bottom in a suitcase.

        There are strong suspicions Bernanke and Paulson intentionally froze up the credit markets to coerce $700 billion out of Congress and transfer to Wall Street. The hundred plus billion that went to AIG went in one door and out the other to a number of large firms who desperately needed payoffs on their credit default swaps that AIG couldn't pay. Paulson's old firm Goldman Sachs got billions of dollars with no strings attached from U.S. tax payers through AIG, and chances of AIG paying it back are slim. The firms who had credit default swaps through AIG on their toxic mortgages came out smelling like a rose thanks to the U.S. tax payers and Paulson pulling strings to protect his old firm.

        There are also rumors the Fed has been using their printing press to intervene in the stock market at the end of the day to manufacture the unusual rally of recent months. One sure way to break the psychology of a depression is to make the stock market always go up. Unfortunately doing it by printing funny money makes the entire U.S. economy a sham.

        Its not even a rumor, its a fact Bernanke has been using the Fed to print money to buy U.S. treasury bills to prop up the massive U.S. government debt and to try to keep treasury and mortgage rates down. That stinks no matter how you look at it, the U.S. fed printing money to bankroll U.S. government debt, and since T-bill rates are spiking lately it doesn't seem to have even worked.

        Everyone thinks its a wacko's rant but fiat currencies really are inherently dangerous. They are fine when responsibly managed and there is no stress, but as soon as a crisis develops and irresponsible managers start printing money to get out of it, they can wipe out people's life savings in no time through hyperinflation.

    • Because they are only marionettes?

      That's the "nice" thing about this system. You can have a dictatory government, and nobody knows it. You just play the lobby, and regularly let the people choose, which group of your strawmen they like the most.

      People, become lobbyists! I recommend destroying Monsanto from the inside. Feed them their own toxines. ;)

  • It's a token law. (Score:5, Informative)

    by tjstork (137384) <todd.bandrowsky@ ... Dl.com minus bsd> on Monday June 15, 2009 @10:41PM (#28343655) Homepage Journal

    Pretty much the Congress is covering its rear over what will likely be a huge fight over the economic cost of global warming compliance. Let's be real, it's going to be expensive and its going to mean a dramatic reduction in our standard of living, and so everyone is looking to say they were against it, right up until they vote for it.

    Bottom line is, a Treaty is the Law of the Land and it trumps other law. In the pantheon of things, a Treaty ranks just below the Constitution and below that is other law. Shrewd critics, on both sides of the aisle, have long noted that the Treaty is a pretty good way to subvert the Constitution, because it only needs the Senate to approve, not the house, and a treaty carries so much force.

    • Re:It's a token law. (Score:4, Informative)

      by MobyDisk (75490) on Monday June 15, 2009 @11:06PM (#28343797) Homepage

      You should read this month's Scientific American cover story "The Top 10 myths about Sustainability", which discusses why the sustainable approaches do not lower the standard of living.

      This is a point that always seemed obvious to me: investing in technology never lowers anyone's standard of living. The only reason it seems otherwise is because the proponents of such arguments ignore things like choking on car exhaust in their standard of living calculations, but make sure to point out that they will have to downgrade to a 43" TV from a 52" to save power. Nevermind the fact that it pays off the long term.

      • Re:It's a token law. (Score:5, Interesting)

        by tjstork (137384) <todd.bandrowsky@ ... Dl.com minus bsd> on Monday June 15, 2009 @11:23PM (#28343925) Homepage Journal

        You should read this month's Scientific American cover story "The Top 10 myths about Sustainability", which discusses why the sustainable approaches do not lower the standard of living.

        Scientific American is wrong and by the end of this summer I'll have an open source computer model that explains why. The problem is increased efficiency demands increased complexity. This complexity implies that that the cost increase of a more efficient system is actually exponential, not linear, such that, going from 10% efficient to 50% efficient is pretty cheap, but it gets way more expensive after that.

        This raises the price of the good, which in turn, causes some people to stop buying that product. Because there are less purchasers, while the complexity driven capital cost remains the same, the unit cost goes up. So, more people drop off, and the cost goes further up. Eventually, the good cannot be produced at all.

        Right now, you see this in Health Care in the USA. Everyone can blame it on the lawyers or the capitalists but really a lot of it is just sheer complexity of care. Complexity drives the cost up, and a ton of people drop out of the system, driving costs up more for everyone else. For health care, the only way out is rationing of some sort, coupled with mandates to keep everyone in the system, but that doesn't really control costs as much as it does stave off the doom of complexity for a bit longer.

        We'll see the same, though, as we exhaust our resources of any kind. You might have more complex systems that can use them more efficiently, but they will get so expensive that what will happen is that the resource will not get used at all. A drop in the standard of living is inevitable.

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          The problem with health care in the US is the doctors make sure more people cannot become doctors, allowing them to charge as they please.

          Specialists especially.

          the US has too few doctors per capita, yet good candidates are turned down by schools, as the school has reached its AMA quota

        • You make propose an interesting theory, although I think our standard of living will be maintainable via increased efficiency. So much energy is wasted by us in inefficient processes (internal combustion engines), energy transmission (being fixed with HVDC transmission lines), etc. There's still a lot to squeeze out of the power we already have access to. And worse comes to worse, the Sun spits out enough sunlight in fifteen minutes for us to power the world for a year. We just have to make sure we can make
        • Re:It's a token law. (Score:4, Interesting)

          by drago177 (150148) on Monday June 15, 2009 @11:59PM (#28344147)
          So I may be missing something, but it sounds like you're saying that if all the systems only got 50% more efficient, and everyone was forced to join, sustainability is actually possible without destroying demand?

          I am a numbers guy, and I haven't seen them, so you may be right - we might have a lower standard of living here in the US. But if we don't curb global warming, I see huge refugee camps forming, where people starve to death and start wars (and the defense dept agrees). So be sure to include those factors in your program: the # of dead parents and starving children. And come to think of it, if New Orleans refugees in Texas were any indication, the US will not be a happy place either, although they'll probably be alive and fed well.

          I'm not trying to troll, but its how I feel and can't figure out a less inflammatory way of sayin it. Please try to extract the logic part w/out the emotion :)
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by khallow (566160)

            I am a numbers guy, and I haven't seen them, so you may be right - we might have a lower standard of living here in the US. But if we don't curb global warming, I see huge refugee camps forming, where people starve to death and start wars (and the defense dept agrees). So be sure to include those factors in your program: the # of dead parents and starving children. And come to think of it, if New Orleans refugees in Texas were any indication, the US will not be a happy place either, although they'll probably be alive and fed well.

            Why include these factors? Human life doesn't have equivalent value everywhere. As I see it, even in the absence of any global warming, there's a strong likelihood for massive human die-offs. Further the burden of these problems is concentrated on the people who are most causing the problem. Namely, high population growth regions coupled with weak food and legal infrastructure.

            Also, Bush is gone. We don't need to exaggerate the effects of hurricane Katrina any more.

        • Re:It's a token law. (Score:5, Informative)

          by Max Littlemore (1001285) on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @12:03AM (#28344167)

          From my personal experience, a low emissions lifestyle can make for a much higher standard of living than a high emissions one. Good housing design is a good start, using passive solar desing techniques to make comfortable living spaces which don't require as much fuel.

          When I was in my teens I lived on the verge of a rainforest with a small generator powered by the creek which fed us and about 10 other houses. We had stereo, TV, lighting and a computer (Amstrad CPC 464 it was), all of those cons, and a beautiful setting to boot. My standard of living was much higher than any I have experienced since.

          Often higher efficiency can be achieved with lower complexity and a subtle shift of focus.

          Scientific American is wrong and by the end of this summer I'll have an open source computer model that explains why.

          Making statements like that silly. Your computer program modelling something within your narrow paradigm will be able prove absolutely that an article in a magazine is wrong? Give me a break.

          You can make a model to explain just about any point you are trying to make but unless it takes into account the flies buzzing around the bullshit ~150 kms from where I am sitting, it will never be an accurate representation of reality and to assert that it is is pure arrogance.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by tjstork (137384)

            My standard of living was much higher than any I have experienced since.

            Then, why don't you live there now? Are you sure you are not confusing a fond memory of youth in an exotic and beautiful setting with the grief of being older in a more "civilized" world?

            You can make a model to explain just about any point

            You are absolutely right, but what I'm looking for.

            On my web site I have a simple climate calculator in Javascript for calculating the cost of CO2 reductions. It has an exponential term that users ca

        • by khallow (566160) on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @12:17AM (#28344247)

          The problem is increased efficiency demands increased complexity. This complexity implies that that the cost increase of a more efficient system is actually exponential, not linear, such that, going from 10% efficient to 50% efficient is pretty cheap, but it gets way more expensive after that.

          Let me save you a summer. Your model utterly fails when you apply it to integrated circuits.

          • by sumdumass (711423)

            SO IC are all we are talking about? or is it other things like home heating and transportation in which IC may be part of, but aren't considered the big power ticket.

            Two years ago I was replacing my water heater. About the best I could find at a reasonable price was around a .60-.70 efficiency rating. that's supposed to be good. However, I could have went with a .85-.90 efficient water heater but it costs more than twice as much. The savings from the increased efficiency would have been a little less then $

        • "The problem is increased efficiency demands increased complexity."

          I have a jet engine that says you are wrong.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          what a crock of shit... you're blaming US health care costs on complexity? Take a look at :

          http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/hea_spe_per_per-health-spending-per-person

          The US spends more on health care than anyone, yet universal access to health care is pathetic. Complexity has nothing to do with it, but having middle-men (insurers etc) whose primary goal is to make billion dollar profits is the cause. In other countries, certain things (eg healthcare) are regarded as a right everyone has (akin to freedom of

        • I think your statements are contradicted by the history of technology in markets, which shows a consistent march toward lower costs and greater efficiencies. This makes sense since from a business standpoint anything less than 100% efficiency shows up as waste, which contributes directly to expense. Even a slight gain in efficiency can confer a competitive advantage which can drive increased business. Natural resources may be zero-sum but economic growth is not!

          Graph out the watts per megaflop since 1950. A

        • by jonwil (467024)

          The number one problem with health care in the USA is the lack of competition.
          Too many people are stuck with a company health plan or otherwise locked into their health insurance for whatever reason.

          If there was more competition (including removing any barriers to entry for new health insurers who want to enter the market, stopping/banning any anti-competitive activity or collusion currently taking place and changing the tax rules so people can get exactly the same tax benefit by choosing their own health f

          • by TheSync (5291)

            If there was more competition...

            Indeed, here is a report which describes the regulation of HMOs [hcfo.org] and another which describes the the cost of state regulations [heritage.org] on health insurance premiums.

            I'm not totally against funding for the poor to get medical service, but I suggest we first de-regulate the existing private system before we expand the 50% of medical costs paid by the US public sector.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by ibbey (27873)

            Economics 101 assumes that the two sides of the bargain are on relatively equal footing. If one side of the bargain has an unfair advantage, then economics 101 no longer applies. That is why there are laws against insider trading in the US.

            That's also why econ 101 doesn't apply to health insurance. Even if you get rid of things like pre-existing condition limits, the consumer will never be able to adequately judge which health insurance provider is best for them any more than they were able to judge the rel

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by toQDuj (806112)

          Health care: see Denmark, or even Cuba!
          Efficiency: Households in Denmark use 1/2 the amount of energy as those in the US. And we're even much further north than f.ex. NY.:
          Denmark: 160.98 GJ/year
          US: 327.38 GJ/year
          source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_energy_consumption_per_capita [wikipedia.org]

          Don't tell me you _really_ need all that energy. A few cheap slabs of isolation in your houses will reduce the energy use dramatically, without much increased complexity. The Danes did it with houses dating (mostl

        • by Bongo (13261)

          The problem is increased efficiency demands increased complexity.

          Kudos to you Sir, for mentioning "complexity". Complexity is a word that is just not heard enough when anybody talks about the environment, the economy, society, and any sort of change. Your model may or may not be worthless.... but at least you talk about complexity, about those weird counterintuitive effects in complex systems, and that is what anyone serious about human society and other species' survival should be talking about.

      • This is a point that always seemed obvious to me: investing in technology never lowers anyone's standard of living.

        What? Where do you think the money invested in technology comes from? Ultimately, it comes from people's savings, which is money not spent on current consumption. Investing more means saving more, which means a reduction in our current standard of living.

        Moreover, there's no guarantee that investing in any specific technology will raise people's standard of living, even in the future. No matter how much we invest in, say, perpetual motion machines, our standard of living will never increase by much as a r

      • It looks like Scientific American never heard of Jevons paradox [wikipedia.org] which states "technological progress that increases the efficiency with which a resource is used, tends to increase (rather than decrease) the rate of consumption of that resource".

        In short, technology cannot save us.

    • But the US doesn't even bother with treaties for such things nowadays, does it? We just call it an "agreement," and then we all act like it's a treaty without all that pesky two-thirds consent by the Senate. Hell, one of my former senators from Virginia didn't even *know* that you need a Senate supermajority to ratify a treaty.

    • by Jartan (219704)

      Let's be real, it's going to be expensive and its going to mean a dramatic reduction in our standard of living, and so everyone is looking to say they were against it, right up until they vote for it.

      Let's be real. Any benefit a "dramatic reduction in our standard of living" would have on the bottom line would be completely swamped by 3rd world countries upgrading their own standard of living. Thankfully nothing of the sort will be required. Despite what you might want to believe science really can give

    • by toppavak (943659)
      And where in the constitution is the topic of intellectual property covered? In what way does legally obliging the federal government to not sign any treaty that may "weaken the stance of American intellectual property" then subvert the constitution?
      • by sumdumass (711423)

        IP is in article one section eight but I don't think that is what he was getting at.

        The IP isn't the issue with him, it's the global warming treaties and what this government has claimed they were wanting to do.

      • by Rycross (836649)
        United States Constitution, Article 1, Section 8 [usconstitution.net]

        To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

  • I'm generally against IP, but if this helps make green power technology more profitable it's really not that bad is it?
    • by SanguineV (1197225) on Monday June 15, 2009 @10:53PM (#28343727) Homepage
      Imagine your (parents') house has a small electrical fire threatening to burn it down. The fire brigade will licence you a fire extinguisher for twice the cost of the house. Your options are:
      - a house with a small scorched area and be bankrupted
      - live in a burnt out foundation with your savings

      Sounds like a great solution to making "green power technology more profitable it's really not that bad is it?"

      (Yes I am ignoring insurance etc.)
    • by znerk (1162519) on Monday June 15, 2009 @11:36PM (#28344015)

      I'm generally against IP, but if this helps make green power technology more profitable it's really not that bad is it?

      I'm generally against giving up my personal freedoms, but if getting implanted with a chip that allows me to be tracked accurately to within 3 meters will help stop the terrorists it's really not that bad, is it?

      Uhm. Yeah. It is. Pork in your bill is always bad, and the IP laws are screwy enough, kthxbai.

      Oh, and another thing... start substituting the word "expensive" when you read "profitable". It makes no sense to me to vote ourselves an automatic 400% increase in price for "green power" technologies, especially if we're excluding any ideas on making "green power" more affordable (read "more available") simply because they come from another country, and/or might step on copyright/patent toes in this country. (Do you really think China gives a rat's ass about violating American laws? Ask NEC about the counterfeit factories (yes, plural; 18, to be precise) they found because someone RMA'd a DVD player that NEC didn't even make. The workers thought it was a legitimate operation, they had NEC's name and logo all over the building and the uniforms, not just the products. Here, have a link [newscientist.com].)

      (Off-topic rant) My take on IP: 7 years (with a one-time extension of the same duration) was reasonable; 150 years is not. Let the mouse go already, I want my public domain works.

      --
      Please read and think before you respond or moderate. Thank you.

    • One problem is this means either corporations and individuals will be forced to pay licensing fees of some sort if any of the technology covered by various other corporations IP is needed to meet any form of emissions or "green" requirements. It's either that, or there will be a limit on how much "green" can be required, and it would be stopped at the point where there is any licensing fee for the technology.

      It means more profit for companies at the cost of the environment or the individual. So it's pretty

  • This shows how the USA are 'into' it, even if the CO2 myth would be real: They'd rather suffer from a bad climate *AND* *WORSE* than give up their IP. How sad is that?
  • A win for big Oil? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MrKaos (858439) on Monday June 15, 2009 @11:15PM (#28343867) Journal

    Considering that the oil companies own a lot of energy technology patents it's quite possible that this is a bad thing because they still control when that technology will be released and use those patents offensively for any one re-inventing a technology that is actually effective.

    Unintentionally, this bill could be consolidating the oil companies control of the energy market because viable technologies are not being allowed to make it to market.

    • Why do you think it is unintentional? You don't want to imagine the democrats in bed with big evil corporations?

      • by MrKaos (858439)

        Why do you think it is unintentional? You don't want to imagine the democrats in bed with big evil corporations?

        Not at all, it's a very good point you have made. It's hard to believe anything that pertains to maintaining the power structures of the world is not deliberate anymore.

  • Congress is all in favor of green tech, just not the same green as the environmentalists mean.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @12:06AM (#28344185)

    ...as long as their big corporate donors are protected.

    And then somebody will tell you the Democrats really are different than the Republicans. It would be funny if it wasn't so pathetic.

  • by Hurricane78 (562437) <deleted @ s l a s h d ot.org> on Tuesday June 16, 2009 @04:27AM (#28345413)

    And it was totally obvious that this happened. Monsanto hat huge revolving doors with the government.
    Seriously. Microsoft, the oil industry, the pharma industry, the media industry... in terms of the chance to fuck us all up, they are all complete jokes, compared to that company.

    There was a very well-made reportage on the French-German TV channel arte, looking behind it in a serious manner:
    English: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_OJcPKEYDE [youtube.com]
    German: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7781121501979693623 [google.com]
    French: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8723985684378254371 [google.com]
    Also available via BitTorrent.

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