Here is a question for all of you. If you have read any significant amount of my posts you may have already realized what I am about to say. I am very troubled by the concept of intellectual property. Two definitions that come from dictionary.com
intangible property that is the result of creativity (such as patents or trademarks or copyrights)
(IP) The ownership of ideas and control over the
tangible or virtual representation of those ideas. Use of
another person’s intellectual property may or may not involve
royalty payments or permission, but should always include
proper credit to the source.
The ownership of ideas is the part that bothers me the most. The whole concept is troubling. In a speech I heard by Lawrence Lessig he articulated a concept that resonates with me. If some has a tangible object like a camera, and another person takes it, the original possessor no longer has it and can no longer benefit from it. If one person has an idea and another person uses it, the first person still has the idea and can do what they want with it. The first person has not lost the benefit of that idea. They can still use the idea.
I’m not totally opposed to the idea of patents, because I think if someone comes up with a truly creative and original idea they should be able to make some money off that idea. But that should be based on a specific implementation of the idea. if someone comes up with a different or better way of doing the same thing they should be allowed to do that and compete. The basic idea should be open. That is what creates progress. People taking ideas and improving on them or coming up with better implementations. If someone cannot implement an idea they should not be given blanket monopoly control over a general concept. Even more importantly given the pace of technological development over the last few decades the length of any patent protection needs to be reduced not increased. I’m obviously rambling a bit here, but I’d like to know what other people think. Please comment on this post.