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Intellectual property laws prevent things from falling into the public domain; that is, they offer private ownership of what would otherwise be a public good. Chaucer had never heard of such a concept and probably would have found it risible if he had, but centuries later it became a common notion that providing the creator of some intellectual good with an exclusive right to reproduce his work for a limited period would probably increase his monetary profit and thereby give him an incentive to produce more artistic work. Prior to this notion, of course, some of history’s greatest literature was somehow produced without any restrictions on copying whatsoever, but that was the original idea: give people an incentive to produce more. As is expressed in the American Constitution of 1787, Congress has the power
To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.
The whole point, though, was simply to ensure that science would see more advancements and arts would see more creation. In other words, it was to protect the public domain. The exclusive right to copying was for a limited time precisely because those works which that right encouraged would then fall into the public domain and be available for the enrichment and use of everyone thereafter. The first American copyright and patent act, for example, granted such rights for fourteen years, with an optional additional period of fourteen years. After that, the works would become common goods, available for everyone.
Now, of course, that justification and arrangement is nothing but a cruel joke; intellectual property law doesn’t exist for the enrichment of the public domain, but for the enrichment of content owners and publishers. Not for content producers, who typically sell their rights to a rich corporation in order to secure its wide distribution (for which they often have little other choice), and who typically see only a fraction of the income generated by their work. Since the Mickey Mouse Protection Act of 1998, copyright now extends for the entire life of the author plus seventy years; for all practical purposes, works published during our lifetimes will never enter the public domain, and our grandchildren will likely be the first to see it do so, even assuming that Congress does not, under pressure from the plutocracy, extend the term of protection yet again.
Originally posted by neo96
reply to post by FortAnthem
im not seeing a problem with this for the simple fact no one handed them their idea or abiilty to come up with it.
why should someone do all the work and then people just ridie the coattails of his success.
i think the moral of all this is the to keep people from stealing and passing stuff as their own.
and on those levels nope i dont find anything wrong with it.
if you really want to get down to it you people owe the lives you lead and 99% of the advancements in technology to the us military industrial complex almost every convenience that you are now using is because of them.
flame me if you want,
edit on 22-9-2010 by neo96 because: (no reason given)