Winnowing XXMMI

by reestheskin on 12/02/2021

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More evidence in the case against Luxembourg | Financial Times

Luxembourg sometimes resembles a criminal enterprise with a country attached.

Via The Tax Justice Network and Cory Doctorow

666 trademarks and all that

Mark of the Devil: The University as Brand Bully by James Boyle, Jennifer Jenkins :: SSRN

James Boyle is a Scottish law professor at Duke. He is one of the leading academics in the field of IPR. His book Shamans, Software and Spleens: Law and Construction of the Information Society opened my eyes to a world that I literally did not know existed. It is hard to live a game when you fail to understand not just the nature of the rules, but the idea that there are rules. I would also plug his graphic book on IPR and music Theft: A History of Music.

He has now obviously been studying things closer to his own academic home.

In recent years, universities have been accused in news stories of becoming “trademark bullies,” entities that use their trademarks to harass and intimidate beyond what the law can reasonably be interpreted to allow. Universities have also intensified efforts to gain expansive new marks. The Ohio State University’s attempt to trademark the word “the” is probably the most notorious.

I don’t have a reference, but one of the delivery companies (DHL, Fed Express etc.) tried to get IPR — wait for it — not for their package design but over the dimensions of air that the package encompassed.

On being human

Academic jailed in Iran pulls off daring escape back to Britain | Iran | The Guardian

“They started on me in a very, very small room, it’s almost like a grave. You have three army blankets, one as a cover, one to sleep on and one as a pillow. For 24 hours there is a bright shining light on top of your head, a Qur’an, a mohr on which Shias pray, and a phone to contact the guards to take you to the toilet. There is no natural light, and a window in the prison door opens through which they put your food. That is your only communication with the outside world. It is incredibly quiet, and you just become crazy. You don’t know what time it is, and you don’t know what will happen next.

“When you are taken out to go to the toilet, or half an hour’s fresh air or to be interrogated you are blindfolded. And then your interrogation becomes your lifeline, it’s so sad that you want to be interrogated more because that is the only way you can communicate with a fellow human being. [emphasis added]

The Irish pol is a revenant from a dead era.

Can Joe Biden make America great again? | Books | The Guardian

Probably not…but some nice words (again from Fintan O’Toole)

In normal times, this rhetoric would seem ludicrously over the top, all the more so coming from a garrulous, glad-handing old Irish pol, who spent 36 years in the Senate and eight as vice-president. Biden is not obvious casting for the role of apocalyptic warrior.

The impulse comes with the territory of Biden’s Irish Catholicism, its fatalistic view of this earthly existence as, in the words of the rosary, a “valley of tears”. This is, as Biden sees it, “the Irishness of life”.

Biden the Irish pol is a revenant from a dead era. His skills as an operator, a fixer, a problem-solver, are finely honed — but they are redundant. He is a horse whisperer who has to deal with mad dogs. He is a nifty tango dancer with no possible partners. There is no reasonable, civilised Republican opposition with which he can compromise. There can be no such thing as a unilateral declaration of amity and concord.

The great problem of American political discourse has always been — strangely for such a Biblical culture — a refusal to accept the idea of original sin.

Surprise, surprise

No confidence vote in Leicester v-c as 145 at risk of redundancy | Times Higher Education (THE)

Union members at the University of Leicester have voted in favour of a motion of no confidence in the vice-chancellor in response to the threat of redundancies across the university.

A Leicester spokeswoman said the university was “naturally disappointed to learn about [the] vote of no confidence”.