Re: Legal questions
- From: Brett Paul Dunbar <brett@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Sun, 18 Dec 2005 00:28:58 +0000
In message <9h09q1dbppt09vquep7k2f28rph0s32ih1@xxxxxxx>, Wildepad <noreplies@?.?.invalid> writes
On Sat, 17 Dec 2005 18:47:45 +0000, Brett Paul Dunbar <brett@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
In message <1134823649.656415.208930@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, brdavis@xxxxxxxx writesWildepad wrote:
Would you even be allowed to keep the portal or would the government confiscate it for study and classify any details because it could pose a threat to national security
If you can develop this technology, then so can others, so banning it isn't possible.
Not all technology is nuts and bolts -- to get through the muck to find the basic concepts _and_ have the insights to express the concepts in material form would require a genius with a particular mindset, and the likelihood that there are two such people is exceptionally remote.
No it isn't. Having the insight is a stroke of genius, however as the state of knowledge in that field is at a point where the insight is now possible, there are likely to be several people capable of making the deductive leap by that point, who has it first is mostly a matter of chance. There have been many examples of a major discovery being made by several people at the same time, e.g. calculus was independently discovered by Gottfried Leibniz, Sir Isaac Newton and Kowa Seki at almost the same time.
While a 100% ban would, indeed, be impossible, taking it out of the hands of the current inventor would provide a reasonable measure of breathing space.
What you should do, if you were to discover how to do this, is patent it, once you have a proof of concept and then go looking for investors to fund further research.
1) You wouldn't be able to patent it. They still require working models for anything that is too unconventional, and once you demonstrate it, the government would, quite properly, claim that it is a threat to national security, and they have a legitimate reason for keeping such things out of the hands of both the public and foreign powers.
You have a working model in this scenario, so demonstrating that it works isn't a problem. You might be well advised to make a lab scale model first, quite sufficient to demonstrate that your invention does what it claims to do. Actually as the US patent office has an apparent policy of pretty much granting any application except for perpetual motion devices (they assume that if the patent is really invalid it will either be challenged or is for something impossible and therefore is irrelevant), the mess in software patents is a result of this.
2) Patents only provide protection when/where the value is not great, when it is cheaper to licence the product rather than fight the legal battles to pirate it. Since patent infringement is civil rather than criminal, the patent holder must bring suit, meaning it would cost mega-millions rather than earning them.
One of the reasons for looking for investors, if you have exclusively licensed ICI your technology then ICI have a huge financial stake in defending your patent, they get a monopoly. The pharmaceutical industry has a lot of experience with legally defending extremely high value patents, so looking at that might be good research.
3) Many countries don't recognize US patents, and many that do would see a vested interest in not honoring that one, so if you did somehow acquire get a patent and maintain it, you'd only be keeping it out of the hands of a fraction of the world.
Keeping it out of peoples hands isn't the objective, ensuring you make huge amounts of money from licensing fees is. The licensing fee income from the first world would be vast.
4) Getting investors would be equivalent to handing over your invention to others for no purpose. It would take only a few years to work your way up to being able to properly explore a parallel world, and a year or two more to be able to exploit the resources. Why would anyone in their right mind give away full ownership of uncountable worlds, especially when acquiring financing and catering to the whims of investors would probably eat up that much time anyway?
The investors would take care of financing further development legal costs in any patent litigation and finding people to do the dangerous exploration and prospecting. Leaving you free to do the physics research without having to worry at all about money or resources, you already have a commercially extremely useful product. You should be able to find investors willing to play Hudson Bay Company.
I can see bail being deniedThe government can correctly make the argument that you are both irresponsible and grossly negligent.
Even the government acknowledges that accidents can happen without gross negligence, especially in times of emergencies.
In this case your scenario involves an inventor who has failed to take steps to avoid several reasonable foreseeable hazards I would consider the actions described to display negligence.
And that there is a potential threat from the other side. Quite apart from the wildlife, which you failed to appropriately fence your facility to contain,
Since the portal would undoubtedly be operated within a building (at least that's how I would do it for both convenience and secrecy), a reasonable person would consider that sufficient (the legal requirement).
That an unknown herd of mastodons might break through a wall is by no means a usual or expected occurrence which anyone could have required the inventor to foresee and plan for.
That in a world resembling our own there might be potentially dangerous megafauna, is reasonably foreseeable to anyone with an ordinary knowledge of palaeontology. So it would be reasonable to expect the experiments to be conducted in a solidly built bunker of some sort. This is quite apart from the lack of any attempt to establish a quarantine, in case there is some endemic disease on the other side that is as infectious as Influenza and as deadly as HIV.
there is a potential military threat if there is a civilisation on the other side and the potential threat of disease. They would be likely to take control on security grounds, given that you (in this scenario) have demonstrated that you are a dangerously irresponsible idiot.
They would undoubtedly take control, but obviously not for that reason.
The state is going to want to keep an eye on what you are up to whatever happens, in this scenario as you are a dangerously irresponsible idiot they are going to want to be a lot more involved.
Incidentally the legal concept of Terra Nullius would seem to apply to the land through the portal, so the state would want to formally claim the territory, if the world is uninhabited, or establish diplomatic relations if it is inhabited.
Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search http://www.mersenne.org/prime.htm
Brett Paul Dunbar
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