....This is the "intellectual property" thread. I've been meaning to do it for a while, but never found the time for a semi-coherent OP.
A story hit /. a couple of days ago, and as it got many comments, in the usual throw around format, I thought a more coherent discussion may do us good and get some volume.
Intellectual property refers to creations of the mind: inventions, literary and artistic works, and symbols, names, images, and designs used in commerce.
Intellectual property is divided into two categories: Industrial property, which includes inventions (patents), trademarks, industrial designs, and geographic indications of source; and Copyright, which includes literary and artistic works such as novels, poems and plays, films, musical works, artistic works such as drawings, paintings, photographs and sculptures, and architectural designs. Rights related to copyright include those of performing artists in their performances, producers of phonograms in their recordings, and those of broadcasters in their radio and television programs.
Intellectual property (IP) is a legal field that refers to creations of the mind such as musical, literary, and artistic works; inventions; and symbols, names, images, and designs used in commerce, including copyrights, trademarks, patents, and related rights. Under intellectual property law, the holder of one of these abstract "properties" has certain exclusive rights to the creative work, commercial symbol, or invention by which it is covered.
I like what they say, I do believe some of their examples have flows, but even then the ideas still hold for me.
(Chapter 7 would probably help the discussion a lot)
(focuses on the US)
Stallman: (guess what he says)
Pro software patents:
There are several points we could discuss:.
1. Does IP actually exist or is it a false abstraction?
2. Do you support the current definition & economic consequences of "IP" legislations?
3. Do you actually know what your country's current law & stance on "IP" is? (we're like, multicultural, right.....right?)
4. (tongue in cheek) Do you believe there should be international
laws on the matter?
....everything else you have on your mind.
I'm starting by saying that I'm in opposition of current IP laws and probably slightly blinded, so take everything I say with a grain of salt. Odds are I'll eat some stick here.
I'm against copyright(pro-copyleft) & patents, and am strangely indifferent of trademarks. I do not believe that patents directly encourage creativity or invention. Yes, removing them, will reduce profits from single inventions for corporations & individuals both, but it will not hurt the process of discovery or perfection as the allocation of resources may be fragmented, but will not diminish. The economical stimulation to invent is present even without a "protection for profit" by the law(some good examples in the above papers). I'm however open to a sound argument for a very short period of exclusivity for implemented patents and an even shorter period for copyright creations.
I think that anything that can be copied/recreated/modified with a cost approaching 0 for non-commercial purpose should be allowed. Reform is needed.
At the same time, my country being part of the great EU empire, IP laws aren't really open to any kind of national debate. We just do whatever Brussels says is necessary to "update" our laws. Smiling.
Finally, what if we had a world where countries could refuse the existence of IP property without fear of international commerce retributions because they have like...their own camp or are behind an iron curtain or something. Oh wait, we already had that and it ended badly;o( Yeah, scratch that last one.
Edit: Software patents are retarded.