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Showing posts from 2008

SCIENCE FICTION: THE PIED PIPER OF SCIENCE

(Summary: The paper explains, science fiction, historical background, and its importance in the field of science.
This paper was to be read by Justice Yatindra Singh at Varanasi on 13.112008 in the first ever national discussion on 'Science Fiction: Past, present, Future' organised by National Council of Science and Technology Communication (NCSTC) New Delhi. However due to unavoidable circumstances it could not be read but was circulated.)
In the thirteenth century, 130 children disappeared in Hamlin, Germany.  It is not clear,
If this was in 1212 or 1260, or 1284 or any other year; If they died or were killed or just went away to another place; What was the reason for their disappearance. However, Hamlin town  records this incident. The 'Donat', the Hamlin book of statutes, contains  references to it. The tragic incident was also recorded in the stained window of the market church. It was destroyed in 1660 but on the basis of surviving descriptions, it has been reconst…

BE THE CHANGE – YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD

(Summary: This paper not only provides legal implications of open format but also explains its advantages, problems and how to make them more popular. Text of Talk delivered by Justice Yatindra Singh on 09.10.2008 in the Second International Open Document Format User Workshop organised by the E-Documentation committee chaired by South Africa's Department of Home Affairs in collaboration with ODF Alliance at Pretoria.)
It is honour and priviledge, to participate in the 2nd ODF workshop, and to be in South Africa – a country that Indians owe a lot.

One hundred and fifteen years ago (1893), a young 23 years old Indian barrister, took his maiden but fateful South African train journey from Durban. He was coming to Pretoria to defend a legal case. He could not complete the journey that night: he was thrown out of his first class compartment at Peter Maritzburg, despite the fact he had first class compartment ticket. His only fault was that he was coloured. He spent that cold winter ni…

WHERE CAN PENGUINS FLY?

(Summary: This paper explains what is open source and open format; why they should be used; and talks about some good open source programmes that run on Windows.
Text of Talk delivered by Justice Yatindra Singh on 20.09.2008 on the Software Freedom Day at the University of Allahabad, Allahabad.)
Two of my finest years have been spent roaming around the corridors of the science faculty of the Allahabad University. Thank you for giving me this opportunity to renew those memories. I am happy to be here to talk about open source,  open formats, and some popular open source programmes  on windows.

Mahatma Gandhi's   philosophy was, 'Means are more important than the end:  it is only with the right means that the desired end will follow.' To the charge that  'means are after all means', he would say, ‘Means, after all, are everything’.

CHARMS AND DANGERS OF HARRY POTTER'S WORLD

(Summary: This post is about problems relating to intellectual property rights on the Internet.
This talk was delivered by Justice Yatindra Singh, Judge Allahabad High Court on 4.5.2008 in National Judicial Seminar on 'Cyber Law: Current developments and Key Issues for the District Judiciary' at National Judicial Academy Bhopal)
Harry Potter's world is the world of fantasy; he takes Hogwart's express to reach the Hogwart's castle where the school of Witchcraft and Wizardry is situate—some where in Dufftown near Scotland. It is impossible for any muggle (i.e. non-magical person like us) to locate the castle as it has charms, spells and dangers around it; we can see only the ruins and danger warnings.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - Courtsey: Warner Brother Studios
We, the muggles, can reach our own fantasy world, riding our Hogwart's express—the Internet. It has its own charms, spells, and dangers. One of them is, the Intellectual Property Rights (…

SANJEEVANI BOOTI: PROTECTION, PROBLEM AND SOLUTION

(Summary: This post is about traditional knowledge, how it is being legally protected and the problems relating to its protection.
This talk was delivered by Justice Yatindra Singh, Judge Allahabad High Court, Allahabad on 4.5.2008 National Judicial Seminar on 'IPRs: Current developments and Key Issues for the District Judiciary' at National Judicial Academy Bhopal)


Sanjevani Booti! ... Am I supposed to talk about traditional knowledge or Sanjevani Booti?

Hanumaan and Sanjevani Booti: Photograph courtesy Ramanand Sagar's TV serial Ramayan

Who does not know the Laxman-Meghnath episode in Ramayan. Lakshman was wounded by Meghnath and Hanumaan was send to Himalayas to fetch Sanjevani Booti, a plant having medicinal properties. In botanical terms the plant is known as Selaginella bryopteris and this episode is nothing but traditional knowledge.

COMPUTER SOFTWARE AND INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS

(Summary: This paper discusses, how intellectual property rights operate in the field of computer software.
It was read by Justice Yatindra Singh Judge Allahabad High Court on 15th March 2008 at National Conference on Advancements in Information Communication Technology Allahabad)
Justice Michael Kirby is a puisne judge in the High Court of Australia, the highest court there. On 21st February 2008, Justice Kirby was the chief guest in the annual dinner meeting of Internet Industry Association Sydney, Australia. The audience here, reminds me of his speech on that occassion,
'The people who built the Internet ... have ... extra dimension. I asked tonight when I came in here and saw you all: why is this such a male dominated audience? Why are there so few women?
If I were to go to a Law function tonight, about half the audience would be women – and the same in most professions. But here, this is overwhelmingly a male domain.
My conversationalist said, it all goes back to the f…