March 23, 2005

Indian Parliament Passes Horrible Patent Law

Parliament in India has tightened up their country's patent law, which previously allowed cheap generic versions of AIDS drugs to be produced so that the poor could afford to be treated.

"Under the new legislation we will see new medicines only available for the rich, while old treatments will be for the poor," said Ellen't Hoen, the director of policy advocacy and research at the relief agency Medecins sans Frontieres.

Significantly, India's membership in the WTO required this modification of their laws.

Posted by steev at 01:51 PM | Comments (0)

March 19, 2005

The Ransom Model

Two designers of dice-driven roleplaying games are experimenting with a distribution/licensing/payment scheme they call the Ransom Model. Their new tactical wargame, Meatbot Massacre, will not be available for download until they've collected the $600 "ransom." If this target is not reached (they've already collected about $440) by September 1, the game will never be available and the money collected will be given to a homeless shelter. But if they do collect the $600, the game will go into the public domain, available to all for free.

The authors write "Is it a gamble? Sure, but people who don't like a little random risk have no business playing games with dice. It's an experiment. If it works, you can expect more, and longer Stolze designs released in this fashion."

As wargames go, Meatbot Massacre looks like a pretty great one, and worth donating to just for the interesting 'ransom' concept.

Posted by steev at 04:48 PM | Comments (0)

March 10, 2005

Surprising Link from Toy Page

A Toy Information Site has linked to Detrivore Tom Forsythe's site (that features "Food Chain Barbie") from its Barbie page. They seem to actually know what they're linking to, also, judging from the detailed synopsis that goes with the link. So the site appears to be more than just a portal for mindless consumerism. Good news.

Posted by steev at 02:46 PM | Comments (1)

March 08, 2005

Who Owns Little Cheburashka?

The fascinating story of a cute little cartoon character from Russia who has become very popular in Japan, only to meet with some legal objections from the creator about who has the right to distribute and merchandise. A sort of Mickey Mouse of Russia, undergoing Disney-like IP struggles.

Posted by steev at 02:24 AM | Comments (2)

March 03, 2005

Lessig vs. 'the long tail'

The Long Tail is concept introduced by the editor of Wired Magazine about the markets of products and services and how there are "hits" and "niches." He keeps a blog about it, and the latest entry is about how this idea relates to Larry Lessig's ideas about free culture and copyright.

Posted by steev at 01:46 PM | Comments (0)