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Is That Legal?

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posted on Jan, 18 2010 @ 08:54 AM

Originally posted by debunky
Because the idea of "intellectual property" itself is ludicrous. It was invented by publishers in the 19th century to achieve monopolies. (why do you think copyrights on books live a lot longer than their authors?)

And yes, you are right: there would be less health code violations if we didn't have a health code. Also if we didn't have "intellectual property" there would be less piracy.
But do you think our food would be cleaner without regulations?

Patents and copyrights are contracts created to protect property, and your propaganda attempting to frame them as inventions by evil capitalists ignores the fact that they protect the property of the individuals who invented something of value or wrote something of value.

As to your question: I think our food from restaurants would be no more nor less safer without regulation as the marketplace itself serves as the only proper form of regulation. Those restaurants that develop a reputation for serving tainted food will not last long with such a reputation and it is in the best interest of the proprietor's to carefully prepare food that shows regard and concern for the well being of their customers.

posted on Jan, 18 2010 @ 02:54 PM
Who do you contract with if you file for a patent?
Copyright is a contract between whom and whom?
Why is it that you can be rejected when you file for a patent?
And last:
Do you think patents on software are a good idea?

[edit on 18-1-2010 by debunky]

posted on Jan, 18 2010 @ 04:17 PM
reply to post by debunky

Governments exist to protect peoples rights including property. Not to grant permission to do what is a right to do. What aha do you think you've stumbled upon? Governments serve the people not the other way around. If property has been created, whether it be an invention, a script, or software, that person who put their blood sweat and tears into that effort has every right to claim at as his or her property and to protect it. What is so hard to understand about that?

posted on Jan, 19 2010 @ 08:22 AM
Details like:
Why are the contents of a book (not the book itself) your property for 100 years, no matter if you are dead or not? How exactly do you posess something if you are dead?
Why does this particular type of property come with
a) an expiration date (Other properties pass on to another owner upon death, this one doesn't)
b) a fee (some others have a tax, but this is the only one where your claim to ownership continually costs you money)

And another question: Since you seem to assume that the market can take care of everything, why do you think it can't handle rewarding innovators?

posted on Jan, 19 2010 @ 09:06 AM

Originally posted by debunky
Details like:
Why are the contents of a book (not the book itself) your property for 100 years, no matter if you are dead or not? How exactly do you posess something if you are dead?
Why does this particular type of property come with
a) an expiration date (Other properties pass on to another owner upon death, this one doesn't)
b) a fee (some others have a tax, but this is the only one where your claim to ownership continually costs you money)

And another question: Since you seem to assume that the market can take care of everything, why do you think it can't handle rewarding innovators?

Thank you for clarifying what you meant. It is now much easier to answer your question. The Preamble to the Constitution for the United States of America actually answers your question about how my property can be protected long after I am dead. When the Preamble makes clear that the government established was done so to perform certain tasks, it was also made clear that this was to "secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity..."

Now, perhaps you believe that inheritance is unacceptable, but this is not a belief held by free market advocates, or people who advocate freedom. It is the right of all people to pursue property and to will that property to their families after their dead. It is, by the way, also the right of all people to will that property to others outside of families, if they so choose.

Your next question is a most excellent question, (at least a.) of that question I'll speak to b.) in a moment), that being why does this particular property come with an expiration date when other forms of property does not. I, quite honestly, don't have an answer for that, but I like the way you are thinking on that for sure.

What I do know is that authors, artists and inventors need some form of protection from theft, and that what has been in place for a number of years has been the patent and copyright laws. Of course, it seemed to me that you began by insisting that these laws are some form of licensing scheme, and to be sure, that they do come with expiration dates does show a similarity to licensing schemes, but the difference is that license by definition is the granting of privilege otherwise deemed illegal, where patents and copyrights are not any grant of privilege but are forms of protection, and offer proof of authorship or invention verified by an impartial third party.

As to the sub question b.), in your sub question a.) I thought you made the most excellent point of separating other forms of property such as real estate and other items that can be passed on to heirs without any expiration date to ownership, but your question b.) then ignores the fact that these other forms of property that don't come with expiration dates, most certainly come with fees in the form of taxation. So, if you are trying to argue that through taxation, i.e. fees or "other forms of taxation" in order to qualify patents and copyrights as a licensing scheme, I am not quite following your logic. It may be my problem in following your communication but property taxes seem to function on a continual basis, does that make sense? Please elaborate because I think I am beginning to come closer to understanding where you are coming from but not quite buying your analogies.

Unfortunately, your final question makes no sense to me. Why is it you presume that I think a free market can't handle rewarding innovators? I have no memory of ever stating this. I certainly don't believe it, so why have you assumed this is my belief? Without understanding what you are getting at, I can only assume, and I am leery of doing so, but also want to understand what you are trying to communicate.

For that reason, I am going to leap to a conclusion and for the sake of argument assume that you are implying that since I believe that copyright and patent laws have a purpose that I don't believe the free market is functioning in rewarding these innovators who have sought out copyrights and patents? Is that a correct assumption of what you are getting at?

posted on Jan, 22 2010 @ 08:39 AM
copyright & patents are similiar to licencing schemes because they come with an expiration date, as you so correctly stated and ... with a *LICENSE FEE* They grant a *monopoly* or a *Right to Licence your Invention* for a time for a fee. It's very far from any free market ideal. In a true free market your best bet would be to keep an innovation secret. You'd force your competitors to reverse engineer, instead of just looking up the patent and see how close they can get to the invention without actually having to pay you something.

From a free market perspective, what is wrong with producing an IC-Pod, and making heaps of money, by reducing development costs a little? (i.e. copying an I-pod)

Of course, if we are willing to confess that free market isnt the best way to deal with everything we can also see that Patents and Copyright do lead to an extent to the publishing of new ideas. On the other hand further development based on that idea (being the only real reason we ant to have it published in the first place) is extremely hampered. (Because you need to pay for a license if you want to do that)

Do I have a better way to deal with these issues? No. Are they doing a good job at what they were intended for? No.

Also a little confusion on your side: "Dibs for the relatives" as a inheritance concept was propably around since prehistoric times, but the guys who codified it weren't the founding fathers, it was the Romans. (Serfs in the middle ages couldn't inherit because they never owned it in the first place, not because someone thought those rights were bollocks) But even inhertiance doesnt allow you to own something after death. The person who ineherited it is the new owner with all rights and obligations. Copyright on the other hand stays with the author. If he is dead someone else has to enact it, but it is still held by the author, showing that it really isn't about protecting the author at all.

posted on Jan, 22 2010 @ 01:54 PM
reply to post by Jean Paul Zodeaux

We? What's all this we stuff, do you have a mouse in your pocket? The licensing you are referring to is not at all the government granting a person permission to do business or use a product, but is a license granted by the owner of the product. Your willingness to confuse the issue seems to be more out of dis-ingenuousness than actual confusion. You claim that a person who owns a product and licenses that product for use is very far from a free market ideal, but your own reasoning to support this claim is deeply flawed.

Your first problem in logic is attempting to link innovation with ownership. You claim that by patenting an invention that this either forces competitors to reverse engineer in order to create a competitive product or be allowed to look at the patent for free, in order to compete. However, how are you able to consider such an act competition with a straight face? Would you prefer that Micheal Jordon or Kobe Bryant make baskets for both their team and the opposing team and call that competitive?

Why should competitors be granted free access to the mechanics of an invention in order to create their own product and how is it you think that this would create a comparable product? While reverse engineering is one method of understanding the mechanics of some innovation, it is not the only possible method of innovation. Indeed, when the Wright Brothers built their plane and first flew it at Kitty Hawk they were not alone in this innovation and there were others who came before them, and peers who had been working on the same innovation without the need to have access to Orville and Wilbur Wrights designs.

You use the I-Pod as your example, asking what's wrong with producing an IC-Pod and profiting from this by reducing costs. Your entire premise is based on the belief that "competitors" should be able to access the designs of another in order to "innovate". However this is not innovation it is plunder and plunder is not a free market concept it is plunder. Pirates and thieves are not considered to be innovators and for good reason, they bring nothing to the marketplace in terms of innovation and can only offer the buyer a reduced cost of a product, many times for an inferior product, because their investment was considerably less than the actual innovator who invested their own money, or other investors money in developing that product.

You are also flawed in your reasoning that creating patents and copyrights creates "monopolies" in the market. Being a writer, I will focus on writing instead of new technologies to illustrate my point. In literature there are only seven basic plots for a writer to work with. There are no copyrights on these plots and a writer can use one or any variation of all seven in any particular story. The seven basic plots are:

1.) Man or Woman vs. Nature
2) Man or Woman vs. Man or Woman
3) Man or Woman vs. The Environment
4) Man or Woman vs. Innovation or Technology
5) Man or Woman vs. Supernatural
6) Man or Woman vs. Self
7) Man or Woman vs Religion or Law

Beyond these seven basic plots any given plot can be expanded to a list of 20 or 36 various plots that include; the quest, rescue, escape, revenge, love, forbidden love, maturation, familial obligations, societal obligations, discovery, ascension and descension, to name just a few. What a writer does with these very basic story ideas is what makes his work distinctly his or hers and not others.

An example of this is illustrated by a simple story of familial obligations and the ambitions of youth. Take a well known film story where a young man has dreams and aspirations to boldly go out into the world and make his own mark without relying upon his family or being bound by their demands. However, some event happens that forces that young man to make a decision to either follow his own ambitions or to let go of them and instead act in a way the supports the needs and demands of the family.

Some might recognize this story structure as The Godfather, and they would be correct to identify that film as one such story that relies upon this structure to tell its tale. However, It's a Wonderful Life also relies heavily upon this structure to tell its tale and it is an entirely different story than the Godfather, not just in plot structure, but thematically, tone and genre as well. There is no comparison between the two other than both have a central character who has ambitions to make his mark free from his family and then finds himself obligated to help his family instead.

Both stories have shown their universal appeal and both have made an indelible mark in film. Mario Puzo and Francis Ford Coppola did not have to pay any fee to the holders of the copyright for It's a Wonderful Life in order to tell their tale. They were not shut out of the market because of copyright laws, they were not sued by anyone for using a basic plot point to tell their tale and they told that tale well and with great craft.

As to the confusion you claim I have in regards to inheritance, it seems to me that you are confused. You seem to believe that I believe that inheritance laws were codified by the Founders of the United States, however it is unclear to me why you think such a thing. I have made no such claim, certainly not in this thread, and indeed, in other threads I have spoken directly to the Founders heavy reliance upon common law principles.

The difference between inheritance of property and the need to negotiate new contract to extend copyright or patent laws is one I have been willing to discuss and am intrigued by, but it is folly on your part to presume that my willingness to discuss it and elaborate on it is some admission to a failure of free market principles. Further, both patents and copyright laws predate the founding of the U.S. as well, so I am unclear on what your point is with that.

The bottom line in regards to this thread is that all laws should exist to protect the rights of an individual which would include the right to property. If licensing schemes are created in this regard, it is not some scheme where the government grants permission to act in a certain way, it is a contract between the owner of property and those he or she would be leasing this property to. There is a clear difference in this, which is why I tend to believe you are being disingenuous more than confused.

That said, I made it clear from the get go in this thread that the government certainly does have a right to regulate those actions which are not a right. No one has the right to cause injury to another and there are many acts in business, such as the creation, use and transportation of toxins that are so volatile in their nature, so potentially harmful to others that a government can and indeed should step in and regulate such actions. In doing so, their licensing schemes are justified if not naive and too bureaucratic.

It is the government presuming jurisdiction to license rights that is the focus of this thread, as well as creating laws that intend prohibit or regulate in some way the natural rights of people. It is also this threads focus to bring into question the proliferation of legislative bills, too many that are written on thousands of pages, that create a confusion in law that only serves to undermine the law rather than uphold it.

posted on Jan, 23 2010 @ 09:38 AM
What? Of course patents are public! If they were not you could never know if you were infringing on one!
And of course a patent grants the holder a monopoly! If you have a patent on X, you are the only person who may use X. Yes, you can grant other people the right to use X, but you can set any condition you like, and you don't have to if you dont want to. That is a monopoly.
You are of course right that the IC Pod is no innovation (afaik this thing really exists, and even uses the exact same components as the I-pod. There is no difference in quality)
Why do you (propably) have a mp3 decoder on your computer, but not an encoder? Because Fraunhofer Institute in germany has a patent on mp3. Nobody can even try to improve on mp3 withaut paying fraunhofer a hefty sum. Now imagine Bresenham would have done the same with his intelectual property. ( - a bit short, He invented a way to draw lines using only adding operations, the only thing computers could do at a reasonable speed up to the 80ies)
You propably wouldn't be sitting in front of a computer right now.

posted on Jan, 23 2010 @ 05:05 PM
reply to post by debunky

What are talking about? The very Wikepedia article you supplied states that Bresenham has five patents. Those five patents protect his intellectual property. What are you going on about? There is nothing preventing innovators from developing technologies that will compete with I-Pods, computers, automobiles, air-conditioners, or any other form of technology out on the market.

Monopoly by definition is when there are multiple buyers and only one seller. The I-Pod you continually rely upon to hold up as an example is simply defined as a pocket sized device used to play music files. Apple Inc. doesn't hold any patent that would prevent competitors from developing their own product that would function as a pocket sized device used to play music files, that patent prevents competitors from stealing Apple Inc.'s design to protect the considerable investment that went into developing the I-Pod.

Why are you advocating plunder? Do you hold so little regard for the efforts and investments made by those who developed new technologies? There is no patent on water, or rain or any other numerous elements of nature that belong to the public. There has been, however, in recent years a problem with certain corporations or individuals asserting their "right" to patent seeds or even genes, which are fundamental building blocks of nature.

Instead of railing against a successful innovator who developed a quality product that filled an apparent demand why not challenge the dubious patents granted corporations such as Monsanto who have endeavored through patent laws to steal nature from the public? Their dubious patent schemes on product such as seeds is questionable indeed, which is in part, why I have been so willing to engage in this discussion with you, but if you are simply going to rely upon Marxist dogma to rant and rave against patents in general rather than allow this discussion to be a productive analysis of what should be patented and what should not, then there is no point in discussing the matter.

From the beginning, I have argued that governments certainly do have the right to protect the public from harm and in doing so have the right to create certain licensing schemes to specific activities that demonstrably do harm to the public. A corporation that wishes to design seeds and alter the course of nature is undeniably a dangerous prospect, and as such, a government would be very prudent indeed to step in and monitor such activity, in order to protect the public.

Your reliance on I-Pod's however, is pointless, unless you can show how I-Pods are dangerous to the public. If you want to plunder others this is a moral and ethical choice that you must make. If you deem plunder, whether it has been legislated into "legal plunder" or not, to be a viable method of innovation and somehow achieves a greater good, then make the argument for this instead of running around in circles and ranting and raving about patents that exist on innovations developed that have benefited the public and not harmed them.

[edit on 23-1-2010 by Jean Paul Zodeaux]

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