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Groklaw: Reflections on Intellectual Property Rights



http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20040805065337222

Reflections on Intellectual Property Rights

John H Terpstra, CTO, PrimaStasys Inc.

There is much preoccupation with so-called intellectual property laws. There
are businesses that are eager to pursue litigation almost as soon as new
laws are passed. Safeguards in the form of patent laws, copyright
agreements, service mark and trademark laws are being used to achieve
special-interest goals that were perhaps not considered by those who passed
these laws into being, but may well have been considered by those who
crafted them. Intellectual property laws are designed to limit the use of
concepts and are potentially injurious to creativity and innovation.

This article reflects on vital aspects of the intellectual property debate.
We have a responsibility towards future generations to resist the abuse of
power or privilege. The use of intellectual property constraints as weapons
of business can rapidly degenerate to little more than the selfish
initiative of a special interest group in an activity that is hostile
towards society as a whole. The application of such force against another
business or against consumers effectively equates to protectionism and
interventionist activity. Insofar that intellectual property laws can be
used to constrain competition, the final effect is to force consumers to
pay a higher price than if free market competition had triumphed. In
effect, the intellectual property debate significantly challenges the
freedom of a nation's citizens. There is a better way; we must follow it.

-- 
  Mvh. Carsten Svaneborg
http://www.softwarepatenter.dk


 
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