The only people who claim Intellectual Property isn't real or shouldn't be respected also tend to be the same people who cant support themselves off of intellectual pursuits.

Why is it always the second someone doesnt personally benefit from a right, any right, is the moment they think that right should be abolished?

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IP is artificial scarcity, which IMO is not beneficial to society at large and actually hinders progress instead of promoting it.

I acknowledge that there are lots of shades of gray in this, but it's generally how I consider IP.

BTW, as a software developer I absolutely could embrace IP in order to make money. I choose not to.

@jcbrand @freemo I personally see it as a threat to culture, knowledge and art. If something is not seen as profitable enough, if it's more useful and/or inspiring than initially perceived, we lose public or any access to the wonders of the world. It'd be like tearing up the cure for cancer or blowing up historical sites.

I would, at the very least, prefer a wider implementation of copycentre or copyleft licensing if eradicating copyright isn't immediately possible.


One of the requirements for a patent is that the idea being patent can not be obviously or trivially derived from other patents or known ideas. This implies that in order to patent something, and have that patent hold up in court, you have either put significant work into the creation of the idea or be superiorly gifted and capable of significant intellectual output for your efforts. The other requirement is the patent must be "useful" in some way.

Now of course in practice whether this law is actually upheld is another matter, I do find some trivial patents are sometimes upheld through the shear might of a team of lawyers, and that is a problem that needs fixing.

But the point here is that if a person is going to invest significant effort or talent into creating something useful and new they should and do have the right to decide if they want to be compensated for their effort or not.

The original intent of patents were to empower the people, not necessarily companies. This should be apparent if you consider the situation in some detail. Without patents any novel ideas would need to be held secret and applied to some process in a way that enhances the process in order to make money off of it. There would be no way to make money off the idea directly.

Imagine an idea someone had whereby they could create soda cans that were capable of holding the same pressure but use half the metal content to do so. Without patents a person with such an idea would have no way to profit off of it. Their choices would be to either forget the idea, or to offer it to the public whereby soda manufacturers would be able to steal and exploit his idea to make profit without giving anything to the individual. Similarly without his idea being patented he could not approach a soda-manufacturer in private to sell the idea because by simply describing the idea the company could steal the idea and not need to pay the person a penny.

The inventor has no way to profit as an individual and by eliminating patents only large companies benefit since they have the means to keep their own ideas private and profit off them directly while simultaneously being able to steal any ideas that generous investors offer to the public.

Patents make sense because now it gives the inventor a choice, they can either putt heir idea to the public domain, or they can patent it and control who can use their idea, and how, and under what conditions. In fact it is quite common to patent ideas when you have the intention of open-sourcing them because a patent lets you control the conditions under which an invention can be shared or modified freely as well. I can dictate that anyone who improves on my invention and releases their improvement under the same conditions are welcome to utilize my patent royalty free, while any commercial uses of my idea are forbidden entirely.

So in a sense allowing for patents is exactly the way you can enable people to create copyleft-like licenses on inventions (which do not work in the case of copyrights).

On the flip side in a world with patents a independent inventor can make money and be self sufficient inventing ideas, patenting and selling it. In a world without patents such a person has no recourse from income and the only option for an inventor is to be an employee and a "slave" for a company that can force the person to give up million dollar ideas for a low pittance of an hourly wage.

Most people have patents backwards, they empower the people first and foremost, at least when the original laws and intents of patents are honored.


That's rhetoric @freemo, not intent.

The sole goal of patents is to reinforce the existing power structure of society so that no innovation can suddenly challenge it.

Think about numbers: who is going to fill more patents claim? Who is going to defend them in courts?

Inventors (and authors, for copyright law) are just excuses to justify laws that slow down progress and culture just to maximise the profit and the power of the riches.

@freeloader2020 @jcbrand


Bull, the Patent Act was passed one year after the constitution was rattified. It was as much a part of the founding fathers intentions as the constitution itself. If one thing is clear the founding fathers intentions was always a structure that focused on individual rights first and foremost.

As such it is quite clear the original intention of patent law and patents was to enable individual rights, not diminish them.

While you're most welcome to argue that the intention of patents aren't being realized under current laws, and in some ways I would agree with you, to argue the intention of patents were not to enable individual liberties is clearly not the case for anyone who has studied the intentions of the founding fathers that enacted it.

@freeloader2020 @jcbrand


Are we talking about the founding fathers of the most powerful military nation of the world?

The one with the most unequal distribution of wealth?

The one still torn by structural racism?

Yes, I think we can agree: those founding fathers were very intentional with such laws, as they were with the American vision of freedom.

A freedom without equality whose goal is to let the powerfuls strive and the weaks... work or die.

@freeloader2020 @jcbrand


We are talking about the founding fathers of a nation that didnt beleive in a standing army or powerful military. The ones that intended all men to be created equal, and the same founding fathers who actively petitioned to abolish slavery (well most of them) long before it was even a thought in most people's minds.

You seem to be horribly confused about the difference between original intent and eventual outcome. They are not they are not remotely the same thing.

@freeloader2020 @jcbrand


Don't know...
It's either me that is confused about intent and outcome...
Or it's you that are confused between intent and propaganda.


@freeloader2020 @jcbrand


It is very obviously you who are the one who is confused. That is obvious by the counter-arguments you gave which all only became true long after the founding fathers deaths, all of which were strongly opposed by the founding fathers during their life.

Not only are you confusing intent and outcome, but you are also confusing words spoken sincerely when they were first spoken by the founding fathers with the fact that modern day corrupt individuals may wield those words as propaganda to use to their own advantage. Something can be true, and therefore not propaganda, when it was first spoken, and then later become untrue long after the persons death and used as propaganda.. You seem to be confusing this as well.

In short, it is clear the intent of patents were to protect individual rights, it is also clear that intent as vocalized by the founding fathers was not propaganda. That is not contrary to the fact that the system of laws in the present day have been changed in ways that no longer sufficiently protect individual rights, and are contrary to the intent of patents. At the same time the words of the founding fathers may be used as propaganda to hide the fact that the current system around patents no longer reflects its intent.

@freeloader2020 @jcbrand


In other words, I argue that patents and copyrights were designed to work exactly as they work in practice.

All you described is just their propaganda, the way they sold them to people through the illusion of the American dream.

The history of Meucci and Bell shows well how that's just rhetoric.

@freeloader2020 @jcbrand


Implying the founding fathers long held beleifs and statements with almost no counter evidence to suggest they werent sincere is just "propaganda" seems quite absurd to me. It is clear to anyone who has studied their writings and life in any detail, including their personal letters, that the intentions they held were absolutely sincere.

A prime example is when you claimed the USA had the strongest army in the world. Yet the founding fathers put explicit laws in place that made standing armies against the constitution, and in fact throughout most of their life they fought to uphold that rule and the nation in fact did not have a standing army during that time. It wasn't until long after their death that standing armies became the norm.

It is apparent and quite obvious the founding fathers were not just making these statements as propaganda but in fact did everything in their power to ensure they were the reality for america. The fact that america no longer reflects that ideal, which didn't come about till long after their death, in no way is suggestive that their words were propaganda or lacked any sincerity.

@freeloader2020 @jcbrand


Let's put this way: if you are right (and the document you've read were authentic) and their ideals didn't last among their people after their death, they were blind to their people.

Even so, it was their people who created the world we know without violating their laws.

I think they should be held accountable for this.

But at the end of the day, does it metter what they belived?

They proved beyond any reasonable doubt that such kind of laws are going to be abused to justify, normalize and freeze inequities by the people of USA.

Thus why should we try again if they failed so bad too?

You can easily change the laws, but not the people.

Better to abolish a law that is doomed to be abused most of times.

@freeloader2020 @jcbrand


No, founding fathers should not be held responsible for what a free and democratic society does after their death, and yes it does matter.

Any system of laws, so long as those laws are part of a democratic system, can be corrupted to something evil if the population does not vote in a way that upholds the original intention.

You can have the perfect set of laws codified for an ideal society and if everyone is too misguided to see that and vote to abolish those laws and replaced them with something ineffective, then the result will be a corrupt system. There is literally nothing the original creators of the law could do that would prevent that.

Any democratic system of government will only ever be as good as the people that make up that system. The best we can hope for is to ensure the populace continues to hold the correct ideals, and when they dont and the system becomes corrupt, strive to reassert the original ideals that were superior and put it on the right track again.

@freeloader2020 @jcbrand

@freemo Good question. What is the difference between fairness and cheating if there are no explicit rules? Something that is constantly being negotiated and therefore being complained about I would assume.

@snow clips, specifically with regards to commentary is actually legal and falls under fair-use.

@freemo Not really? Free software, and in particular copyleft, is a way to subvert copyright by people writing software.
Also, in academia (surely an "intellectual pursuit"), copyright for papers is hardly a boon to the authors.

@freemo Also, I think it might be useful to revert the statement: why is it always people that can benefit from restricted access/monopoly that want sharing to be illegal?

Frankly, I think that public libraries are hugely beneficial even if they reduce potential sales (emphasis on "potential")... and the same logic applies to sharing books (and other media) online.

@eldaking Public libraries that use tax money in order to buy the rights to books from authors and then share it for free with the public **is** hugely beneficial. It also doesnt violate intellectual property rights in any way.

@freemo Yes, the law allows it, because it recognizes that it is important and fair to allow a book bought once to be passed to different readers, as many times as possible. The fact that this might reduce sales is not important.

Can they just receive the donation of an e-book that was read once and offer it freely to one user at once? Can I have an online book club where I just share my (legally bought) e-books with people from around the world?

The law should not prevent this either.

@freemo I just wished that more things were released to the public domain after a shorter period. 70 years after the death of the author is so incredibly long, and it's so easy for mega corps to hoard culture.

@conatus I am a huge supporter of open-source. But by choice not force. As for public domain. I'd be fine with decreasing it to something like "up to the authors death" but that has issues since the author could be a corperation that doesnt die.

@freemo A suggestion I once read was to have a fixed duration after which you can extend it, getting progressively more expensive with each extension, so that things that are actually valuable/in use can be kept under copyright but things that are under copyright but forgotten / unused / hoarded will be released to the public domain.

I haven't 'game-theoried' this through so there are probably some holes

IRL I try to support small creators, while pirating without remorse from the mega-corps

@conatus Not a horrible idea actually, though the details of how that is implemented is important

@freemo ummm... who are you talking about and how do you conclude they can't support themselves through intellectual pursuits? (unless by "off of" you mean "by exploiting the uneducated masses")

I'm only familiar with the topic through free software movement, and that's mostly bunch of nerds who can only ever hope to support themselves through intellectual pursuits and nothing else (meaning since they are alive they quite clearly can).

@namark I am talking about a general class of people I have met. No one you are likely to know by name.

@freemo "The only people" "tend to be" people you know by name?

Alrighty, valid perspective I guess... let me introduce you to
to bring them into existence.

@freemo I've read a post on Tumblr and on a personal chat about how publishers tend to be racist, denying works by persons of color. A lot of published works are overwhelmingly from white people.

Otherwise, I still perceive IP as a threat to inspiration and life-saving knowledge by itself - if it can't profit, no matter how useful the IP is, it will cease to exist. It's akin to tearing up the cure for cancer or blowing up historical monuments.

@freemo I have my own reasons for disliking copyright and IP, but this example I provided shows another reason why people will lose respect for IP law, publishers, rightsholders and those who benefit from restrictive copyright law.

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