Sunday, November 04, 2007

MEANS ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE END

(Summary: This paper provides legal implications of formats and explains why it is better to adopt format based on open standards. Guidelines for implementing open formats are also provided.)

Mahatma Gandhi - from Wikipedia

The beginning of the last century witnessed the emergence of a semi-clad Indian, referred to as 'half naked Fakir' by Winston Churchill. His philosophy was, 'means are more important than the end: it is only with the right means that the desired end will follow' (see Endnote-1). To the charge that 'means are after all means', he would say, ‘means are, after all, everything’. His name, Mohandas Karamchandra Gandhi – known to the World as Mahatma Gandhi, father of the Indian nation.

Gandhi's philosophy is still relevant, in all walks of life. In the context of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT), the end is - dissemination and communication of information: the means are - how to achieve it; how to implement it; what kinds standards to employ; what kinds of formats to adopt; what kind of software to use?

Monday, October 08, 2007

HISTORY AND FUTURE OF THE INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

{Text of speech delivered by Justice Yatindra Singh on 8.10.2007 at the inauguration of the website of the Debt Recovery Appellate Tribunal (DRAT) Allahabad.
Summary: It talks about history and future of the Internet.}
Routes of Internet - from Wikipedia

The website of Debt Recovery Appellate Tribunal (DRAT) Allahabad is a small step in the journey that was started by Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn in the 1970's.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

TRADE SECRET, CONTRACT AND REVERSE ENGINEERING

(Adopted from the speech 'Intellectual Property Rights in Computer Software' delivered by Justice Yatindra Singh Judge Allahabad High Court on 31st July 2005 at Judges' Round Table Conference on IPR held at Kolkata)

1890 advertisement of Coca cola - the best kept secret  - from Wikipedia

TRADE SECRET AND COMPUTER SOFTWARE
TRADE SECRET/ UNDISCLOSED INFORMATION
Trade secret or undisclosed information is an area of intellectual property required to be protected under TRIPS. Trade Secret, as its name suggests, is a secret.

Monday, July 23, 2007

THE ANXIETY – TO DO RIGHT – REMAINS

(Summary: This paper discusses how a judge may communicate and a judgement may be written.
A pdf format of the article can be downloaded by clicking here.
It was read by Justice Yatindra Singh, Judge, Allahabad High Court at National Judicial Academy, Bhopal in the National Judicial Seminar of the judges of the higher judicial service on Judicial Method on 21.7.2007.)

Themis - from Wikipedia
Themis is goddess of justice; she is generally—though not always―shown blindfolded; she has a pair of scales in one hand and a double edged sword in the other. The blindfold indicates that justice is impartial and is administered without fear or favour. The pair of scales explains that justice is done after weighing the strength of the competing claims. The sword symbolises the power to enforce it.

Our task is to find out the side, where justice lies. In this process, we '
must not spin a coin or consult an astrologer' {Lord Diplock in R.V. Deputy Industrial Injuries Commissioner ex parte Moore (1965) 1QB 450, 488}.
We must do it openly, under public scrutiny and provide reasons. Ours is a difficult job: we take decisions - others procrastinate.

How should our performance be judged? What qualities should we have?

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

A NEW CHAPTER IN JUDICIARY AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

(Text of speech delivered by justice Yatindra Singh on 9.7.2007 on the occasion of inauguration of the Allahabad High Court Website and launching of E-court project)

Monday, April 23, 2007

MAKE LOVE, NOT WAR: Except on a Slightly More Abstract Level

{Text of speech delivered in the Consilience 2006 - a two day event focussing Free/Open Source Software - at NLSUI, Bangalore on 26.7.2006 and in the International symposium 'Owning the Future: Ideas and Their Role in the Digital Age' jointly hosted by the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi (IITD) and Red Hat, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA at New Delhi on 24.08,2006.
Summary: It talks about how software is protected.}

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

OPEN DOCUMENT FORMAT

The world over, a debate is brewing over open document format (ODF) (see Endnote-1). In order to understand it, we have to consider,
  • What is the proprietary format?
  • How is the proprietary format protected?
  • What is the open standard?
  • Why open standards are being advocated over proprietary format?
  • What is open document format?

Saturday, April 07, 2007

GUIDELINES FOR A WORKSHOP ON GENDER JUSTICE

There may be the following modules or sessions in a workshop/seminar for advancing equal justice for women. These suggestions were made on 16.4.2006 in a conference on the same subject at the NJA Bhopal.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

PROTECTION OF SEMICONDUCTOR TOPOGRAPHY

(Speech delivered at the IPR conference held on 4th February 2006 at the National Judicial Academy Bhopal.
Summary: It talks about how designs on semiconductors are protected.)

Saturday, March 24, 2007

LEVERAGING OPEN SOURCE SOFTWARE

(Text of talk delivered at the 9th e-Governance conference on 3rd February 2006 at Kochi, Kerala)

FUD is an abbreviation of fear, uncertainty and doubt; it is often a salesman's strategy: spreading false rumours regarding others' products. Open source software (OSS) is its victim. In our country FUD for OSS arises out of ignorance. I am glad that, we are discussing OSS as it has crucial role to play in the IT world.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

INDIA - GLOBAL TORCH-BEARERS


(Speech delivered at the valedictory function of Manfest 2006 on 22.1.2006 at IIM Lucknow)

In early 1980's Tom Peters and Robert Waterman wrote a book titled ‘In Search of Excellence'. It went on to become international best seller. It is a book that should not only be read by business managers but by everyone. The book talks about lessons from America's best run companies: the companies that had made America the global torch bearer. The authors pose a question as to how these companies got the way that they are and then say that:
‘A strong leader ... have had a lot to do with making the company excellent in the first place. ...
The excellent companies seem to have developed cultures that have incorporated the values and practices of the great leaders. ... the real role of the chief executive is to manage the values of the organization.'
But what makes a person a strong leader, a torch-bearer? What are the qualities of a person, who crosses barriers; leaves footprints; scales new heights? Let me talk about some of them.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY: THE ROAD TO SPEEDIER JUSTICE

(Text of talk delivered by Justice Yatindra Singh, Judge Allahabad High Court, Allahabad on 20.11.2005 in judicial workshop on 'Cyber Laws, Cyber Forensics and E-Governance in Judiciary' at National Judicial Academy Bhopal. It has been partly modified since then)

Fair, inexpensive and quick dispensation of justice is the ultimate aim of every legal system. However, usually it fails to do so. In the novel 'Bleak House' by Charles Dickens, it is said,
'This is court of chancery – which so exhausts finances, patience, hope'.
In recent times, it has been repeated by Lord Denning in his own way {Allen Vs. Alfred McAlpine 1968 (1) All ER 543},
'Law's delays have been intolerable ... They have lasted so long as to turn justice sour'
So true of our legal system. Is information technology the panacea for soured justice? What role can computers have in the justice delivery system?

Monday, January 08, 2007

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS ON THE INTERNET

(Text of Speech delivered by Justice Yatindra Singh, Judge Allahabad High Court Allahabad on 31st July, 2005 at Judges' Round Table Conference on IPR held at Kolkata)

In the 1970's, Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn figured out a way of splitting information into small "packets" and sending it from one computer to another in such a way that the packets could be put back together when it reached its destination. This method of splitting information into packets and putting them back together again is called Transmission Control Protocol (TCP). This process can be carried out even if there is a network of computers because every computer has an address called an Internet Protocol (IP) Address, which is made up of numbers separated by dots, and a packet is like a postcard with the address of the sender as well as of the person to whom it is being sent. A computer in the network would figure out whether it has been sent to it or not and if it is not sent to it then it will pass it on in the direction of the computer to which it is being sent. This way of getting a packet to its destination is called Internet Protocol (IP).

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

PATENTS: THE TASK AHEAD

Agreement on the Trade related aspect of intellectual property rights (TRIPS) is one of the agreements of the World Trade organisation (WTO) document. We being members of the WTO have to accept it. It talks about following seven kinds of Intellectual Property Rights:
  1. Copyright and Related Rights
  2. Trademarks
  3. Geographical Indications
  4. Industrial designs
  5. Patents
  6. Layout - designs (Topographies) of Integrated Circuits
  7. Protection of Undisclosed Information

The Monkey Trial

It was illegal to teach theory of evolution in most of states in US.  John T Scopes, a biology teacher, was prosecuted to teach it. He was ...