August 26th, 2020 IRC Meeting

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Endorse the Free the Moderna Vaccine protest

This Friday 2-5pm is a protest to Free the Moderna Vaccine. Suggest we endorse this protest since patents are likely to allow Moderna to make billions of dollars from a vaccine that was discovered with NIH scientists and paid for by US taxpayers.


Goals for Q3 2020:

  • Organize meetups
  • Revise platform
  • Organize Fundraiser
  • Organize candidate trainings



  • EARN IT Act
  • PATRIOT Act renewal


  • Legislature extended session
  • Push to get Right to Repair bill to a vote.
  • Some of facial recognition moratorium is in the police reform bill

Video Newsletter/Podcast

Leader: Joseph

  • Next pirate news recording scheduled for Sunday, 7pm unless changed

Democracy and Dogfood (Tech)

Set for 8/29, 11am-1pm

Regional Meetings/Events

Leader: jokeefe

  • Surveillance Mapping Event
    • Come up with a how to video
      • Paper
      • iPhone
      • Android
    • Boston (jokeefe) - Sept 12th
    • Worcester (Malt) - Oct 17th
  • Party Conference - Fall
  • 2021 Boston Pride Festival
    • table booked
    • setup signup sheet
    • Announce
    • Need to purchase insurance
    • Need volunteer sign up form
    • Tie to an activity, mapping the CCTV cameras in Boston or along the Pride parade route?

Computer donations

Platform Discussion

Moved to 2020 Platform Discussion

Other To Do

Tabled Projects

National Party

FOSS Tutorials

Worcester farm group is interested in having some FOSS tutorials. Perhaps:

  • how to do basic labels in GIMP,
  • work through a few sample spreadsheets related to seed cost and
  • similarly applicable real-world situations, depending on the needs of the group

Basically how to do graph design & product management with open source tools. Malt will put together a one paragraph description of what we need and we can mail it out to ask pirates to help.

Upcoming Events

  • Every Tuesday, 7-9pm, Mass MeshNet Tech Meeting, on-line
  • 8/29, 11am-1pm, Democracy and Dogfood (Tech) Meeting, on-line
  • 9/12, Boston Surveillance Mapping Outing
  • 10/17, Worcester Surveillance Mapping Outing
  • Fall, Party Conference


  • jokeefe (James O’Keefe, Somerville)
  • Joe (Joseph Onoroski, Lowell)
  • jj (Jack Garbus, Waltham)
  • srevilak (Steve Revilak, Arlington)


  • davidd
  • ChanServ
  • hvxgr
  • Deffy
  • mikey


Moderna Vaccine protest

Pirate news recording

  • Sunday 7pm (but may be shifted to 8pm)


21:03 <@jokeefe> Agenda:,_2020_IRC_Meeting
21:03 <@jokeefe> ids
21:04 < srevilak> Steve Revilak, Arlington
21:04 <@jokeefe> James O’Keefe, Somerville
21:04 < Joe> Joseph Onoroski, Lowell
21:04 < jj> Jack Garbus, Waltham
21:04 <@jokeefe> anything to add to the agenda?
21:05 <@jokeefe> Decisions/Endorsements
21:05 <@jokeefe> Endorse the Free the Moderna Vaccine protest?
21:06 <@jokeefe> Details at
21:06 <@jokeefe> thoughts?
21:07 < srevilak> What kind of disease was the vaccine for?
21:07 <@jokeefe> COVID-19
21:07 < jj> Do we know how much they plan to charge
21:08 <@jokeefe> It hasn’t gone through trials yet, but patents are
       involved so much more than cost
21:08 < Joe> thing is, it takes years for safe testing. there is no way
       for us to know if this work or when the side affects will be....
21:08 < srevilak> ok, thx
21:08 < Joe> *what
21:09 < jj> I think more information would be needed
21:09 <@jokeefe> Research funding tends to be by the US government
21:10 < jj> But conducted by private companies looking to make money
21:10 <@jokeefe>
21:11 < jj> looks like the money is to accelerate the manufacturing of
       the vaccine
21:11 <@jokeefe> If we pay for it, why should they profit from it?
21:11 < jj> My guess is that they wouldn't have accepted the money if
       they would not get any profit
21:11 < jj> the US government benefits heavily from the vaccine should
       it be developed
21:12 <@jokeefe>
21:12 < jj> It is funded with taxpayer money, but in a different sense
       than traditional funding
21:12 < jj> in that we are just trying to speed up the development
21:12 <@jokeefe> “the company received an award of up to $1.53
       billion from the U.S. government for supplying 100 million doses of its
       mRNA-based coronavirus vaccine candidate, mRNA-1273. The funding is for
       the manufacturing and delivery of initial 100 million doses of mRNA-1273
       including incentive payments for timely delivery of the product.”
21:13 < jj> so the government is trying to get dibs on the vaccine
21:13 < srevilak> so $15.30/dose paid to Moderna
21:14 < jj> How are the vaccines getting delivered to consumers
21:14 < jj> I feel like if consumers still need to pay out of pocket
       for the vaccine then there is a problem
21:14 <@jokeefe> they will if they don’t have insurance
21:15 < Joe> prob just another corporate cash grab then....
21:15 <@jokeefe> thanks for doing the math srevilak
21:15 < jj> it looks like the government is purchasing 100 million doses
21:15 < jj> from that second link
21:15 < jj> would this vaccination not be supported by the state?
21:16 <@jokeefe> Price of HPV vaccine is $227.931
21:16 <@jokeefe>
21:18 < jj> I'd say it's too soon to protest the privatized vaccine
21:18 < jj> But that's just me
21:19 < jj> More info is needed, especially on where those 100 million
       doses are going
21:19 < srevilak> Hopefully distribution of vaccines will be better than
       distribution of PPE early on
21:21 <@jokeefe> Another product that has too much economic concentration
21:23 <@jokeefe> I plan to go to the protest and I expect there will
       be another.
21:23 <@jokeefe> Can talk with them and coordinate
21:24 <@jokeefe> the organizers that is
21:24 < Joe> sounds good, could you bring a camera?
21:24 <@jokeefe> I plan to
21:24 < Joe> do a Pirate interview?!?!?!?
21:25 <@jokeefe> Good idea
21:27 <@jokeefe> Endorse?
21:28 < srevilak> Is the focus on costs or on patents?
21:28 <@jokeefe> The protest is on cost, though we could focus on patents
21:29 < srevilak> To me "free the vaccine" means that everyone should
       have unrestricted right to the patent
21:29 <@jokeefe> Technical difficulties Joe?
21:30 < Joe__> loading Mickey for the baby so I can "focus"
21:30 < srevilak> Joe is now on ipv6.  Go Joe :)
21:30 <@jokeefe> cool
21:30 < Malt> Sam capradae Worcester
21:30 <@jokeefe> ahoy Malt
21:30 < jj> I'm a new participant, but I would say to endorse efforts
       when people are losing out, right now no one is losing anything
21:30 < Malt> Sorry I'm late
21:30 < Joe__> yes, makes my mobile lifestyle much easier!
21:30 < Joe__> no worries Malt!
21:31 < srevilak> I don't have issue with them making money to cover
       research, manufacturing, or distribution costs
21:31 <@jokeefe> Discussing endorsing the Free the Moderna Vaccine protest
21:31 < srevilak> But if there's patent exclusivity involved, then I do
       have an issue
21:32 < jj> If they wanted to be the sole global provider of the vaccine,
       they could block certain orgs from accessing it
21:32 < srevilak> jj: yes, that's what a patent would allow them to do
21:32 < Malt> If they took public money the medicine is public
21:32 < jj> There's a million and one other people working on this
       vaccine though
21:32 < jj> And there could feasibly be multiple vaccines
21:32 < jj> They took public money to speed up manufacturing
21:33 <@jokeefe> Seems like we are spending $1.5-2 billion to create
       the vaccine, but structuring it as “paying to make 100 million doses”
21:33 < jj> But paid a decent amount in R&D I'd reckon
21:33 < jj> If the public gets 100 million doses free due to the funding,
       it would make sense to let them have the patent, at least for the
       short term
21:34 < jj> with "free" in quotes
21:34 <@jokeefe> Vaccine manufacturing costs tend to be less than $15/dose
21:34 < Malt> This has to be beyond greed or it can't be trusted
21:34 < srevilak> Patents are for 20 years
21:34 < Malt> No one should get rich off this
21:35 < jj> But they should get some reward for their efforts
21:35 < jj> Not billions of dollars
21:35 < Malt> Fuck that
21:35 < Malt> Their reward is we don't riot
21:35 < jj> But we need incentives to promote vaccine development in
       the future
21:35 < srevilak> Sorry 14 years, not 20.  My bad
21:35 < Malt> Like public funds?
21:36 < jj> No one's going to want to develop a vaccine if we force them
       to give up theirs
21:36 < Malt> Private enterprises do not spur vaccine Development
21:36 < Malt> Martin shkreli
21:37 < jj> A publicly funded vaccine would probably lag months behind
       a privatized one I'd argue
21:37 < Malt> You'd be wrong
21:38 < Malt> The vaccine needs to be distributed to workers, not the
       rich fucks who buy themselves a spot at the front of the line
21:38 <@jokeefe> Federal spending on COVID-19 vaccine
       candidates tops $9 billion, spread among 7 companies
21:39 <@jokeefe> We are paying their R&D
21:39 < Malt> This is too Important to trust to greed
21:39 < jj> And we are getting 100 million doses for the public it seems
21:39 < Malt> We deserve them all
21:39 <@jokeefe> If we are paying them to create it, we should get the
       patent, not a private company
21:40 < Malt> Another example of rentier mentality
21:40 < Malt> The rich feel entitled to skim off public funds for
       public effort
21:40 < jj> A decent amount of that money is actually going straight to
       manufacturing though
21:41 < Malt> This is a useless point to argue
21:41 < jj> We get that you hate the rich, but greed chasing is what
       gets us the vaccine in the first place
21:42 < jj> If they didn't get to keep the patent, would they still
       devote all their resources to vaccine development?
21:42 < jj> just for some short-term funding?
21:43 < Joe__> Hence why this system needs adjusting.
21:43 < srevilak> I would expect them to devote at least $1.53B
21:43 < jj> Not if they could spend an extra year conducting other,
       potentially more profitable research
21:43 <@jokeefe> If they are getting paid by the government, they
       would. Generics are created once patents expire after all
21:44 <@jokeefe>
21:45 < jj> This is a good link
21:46 < jj> I'm not against un-patented vaccines obviously
21:46 < jj> And I think it would be amazing if Moderna didn't patent it
21:46 <@jokeefe>
21:47 <@jokeefe> If we paid for it, why should they get the patent?
21:47 < jj> But if they patented it, but kept it affordable, I wouldn't
       have a problem with that
21:47 < jj> Because they most likely would not have accepted the payment
       if they couldn't
21:48 <@jokeefe> They would make a profit from the manufacture just like
       generics do. Just not super profits they would get now
21:49 < srevilak> If you consider the fed govt as employer and Moderna
       as a contractor developing a work for hire,
21:49 < srevilak> then there's plenty of precedent for fed govt keeping
       the patent
21:49 < jj> Not if the contract states otherwise
21:50 < srevilak> Of course, it depends on what the contract says
21:50 < jj> If I hire a contractor and tell them to create music for a
       show, but they own the rights to the music, I can't go back and remove
       those rights
21:50 < jj> Just because I paid them for it
21:50 < srevilak> But saying moderna wouldn't do the work if they couldn't
       get the patent seems equivalent saying modernas scientists would do the
       work if they couldn't get the patent
21:50 <@jokeefe> Disney would disagree
21:51 < Joe__> But if you hire a contractor to build your house, do they
       get to keep your house?
21:51 <@jokeefe> They get the copyright for works for hire
21:51 < jj> This is just a theoretical example to describe how you can't
       go back on an agreement
21:51 < srevilak> That's where the contract comes in.  In private
       industry, most will stipulate that the hiring compnay (not the sub)
       gets to retain the IP produced by the subs work
21:52 < jj> There are certainly cases like that
21:52 < jj> This contract would not appear to be one of them
21:52 < jj> What SHOULD have happened is the government should have
       given them the funding in exchange for the patent
21:53 < jj> And I'm sure it was at least discussed
21:53 <@jokeefe> We are using a contract to say we shouldn’t protest
       the privatization of what is a public good?
21:54 < jj> I'd argue that moderna isn't the one at fault
21:54 < jj> If anything, we should be protesting the government
21:54 < jj> for spending money without getting the rights to the patent
21:54 < Joe__> I agree, more protests!
21:54 < srevilak> At any rate, back to the protest.  I feel like I don't
       have enough information
21:55 < jj> Neither do I
21:55 < jj> I'd at least want to see how much they charge and how
       accessible the vaccine is
21:55 < jj> Information we don't have yet
21:55 <@jokeefe> Joe?
21:55 < srevilak> I see
21:55 < Joe__> motion to send Jokeefe to the protest to investigate!
21:56 < srevilak> They're asking for global access and an affordable price
21:56 < srevilak> I could support that
21:56 <@jokeefe> Is there a 2nd?
21:57 < srevilak> Apparently moderna wants to ask for $32--37 dose
21:57 < jj>
21:57 < jj> I'd support this
21:57 <@jokeefe> srevilak, does that mean you support the protest?
21:57 < srevilak> Pfizer has a similar agreement with the govt but is
       planning on $20 dose
21:58 < jj> These seem crazy affordable and accessible
21:58 < srevilak> jokeefe: yes
21:59 <@jokeefe> Motion to support the protest. Is there a 2nd?
21:59 < srevilak> Moderna is getting a patent, but fed has right to the
       patent if moderna decides to stop manufacturing
21:59 < srevilak> second
21:59 <@jokeefe> all in favor?
21:59 < srevilak> aye
21:59 < Joe__> aye
21:59 <@jokeefe> aye
22:00 <@jokeefe> any opposed?
22:00 < srevilak> nays/abstentions?
22:00 < jj> nay
22:01 <@jokeefe> Malt?
22:01 < srevilak> I guess Malt abstains ...
22:01 < jj> lol
22:01 <@jokeefe> yes
22:01 <@jokeefe> motion passes.
22:02 < Joe__> Motion to adjourn
22:02 <@jokeefe> I will contact them and find out what future plans are
22:02 <@jokeefe> Are we still on for Sunday recording?
22:02 < srevilak> Yes, 7pm
22:03 < Joe__> aye
22:03 < srevilak> second to adjourn
22:03 <@jokeefe> Would 8pm be ok? I might be late
22:03 < srevilak> 8pm ok too
22:03 < Joe__> sounds good to me.
22:03 < srevilak> will post transcript
22:03 <@jokeefe> great. thanks