Blackboard patent – The sky, my friends, is falling.

I read two not so cheery blog posts this morning that indicate that things are now actually starting to get seriously bad. Michael Feldstein is telling us about another patent pending for blackboard and i got this blog post dropped into a comment from my second post on blackboard.

So, it seems that blackboard is also trying to patent ““Content and portal systems and associated methods.” This would pretty much mean anything on the internet that’s associated with anything. Anyone who believes that their system is going to escape and all they have to do is wait around for the LMS industry to implode should really go over to michael’s blog and read his post.

How? This can’t happen. I’ll call my… well. It seems that that option isn’t looking so good either. A quick look at the shareholders of blackboard includes some rediculously heavy hitters, including the Carlyle Group. It would seem that blackboard has shareholders at THE highest level (check out political affiliations for the Carlyle group on that wikipedia page). I firmly stated during our rundown on this on Sunday night that i did not believe that there was any kind of conspiracy between DOPA, Net Neutrality and the Blackboard filing… I am here to say i’m no longer convinced.

If the next blackboard patent gives them rights over “content and portal systems and associated products” and DOPA cancels the personal voice and expression were talking about kids having in our classrooms and the ‘series of tubes’ (net neutrality thingy) makes it so that we have to pay for using bandwidth, essentially allowing the tube owners to turn on and off the taps according to how much big money you have… what, I ask you, is left?

Do we take our ball and go home? start a new net?

Michael was saying $1 to 2$ million dollars to fight the court case. Is that real money to the Carlyle Group? (not to mention the other shareholders in Blackboard).

If I wanted to control everything that was happening on the internet this is exactly what i’d do.
That’s not to say there is a conspiracy, just that if i was going to get a group of pals over to have a conspiracy and my conspiracy wanted to shut down free expression and voice on the internet… I’d probably do it this way.

  • I’d say “let’s stop the online predators”.
  • I’d say “lets lock down the websites that are violating legal patents”.
  • I’d say “people are essentially stealing bandwidth right now, lets put a tap on that hose”.

Author: dave

I run this site... among other things.

One thought on “Blackboard patent – The sky, my friends, is falling.”

  1. Thanks for the reference and the link. Carlyle’s been onboard since 1999. They must have known about the patents. It would have been simple due diligence. They placed their bet 7 years ago: nearly $10M was about 5% of their money at that time. Pretty big bet.

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