The Evils of Intellectual Property

I highly recommend listening to this lecture.

He makes some interesting points. I thought the point about Fashion was especially interesting, it’s a whole industry that exists without patents or copyrights, yet is extremely vibrant and successful. To my mind, cooking would also be an example of an industry where copyright is pretty much non-existent, and yet the cooking industry flourishes quite nicely.

I didn’t know the Wright Brothers were patent trolls who severely retarded the US aircraft industry to the point where the US had to buy planes from other countries for years.

This makes me think of the story Melancholy Elephants by Spider Robinson, which is also about the dangers of copyrights and patents to society. You can read it here on his website.

(thanks Rick for the link!)

(this is an audio track, there is no real video with it)

Edit: here’s a video recommended below by Brushmen which expands on the Fashion and Copyright issue:

4 thoughts on “The Evils of Intellectual Property

  1. Have I already linked you this one? http://blog.ninapaley.com/2010/01/15/the-revolution-will-be-animated/

    It’s not an easy topic. Recently I’ve followed a thread (unfortunately behind a pay-wall, but you’ll probably find similar threads all over the net) that brought up just that (see referenced TED video: http://www.ted.com/talks/johanna_blakley_lessons_from_fashion_s_free_culture.html). Artists do suffer (or at least make less money than thieves who have better business skills) without any kind of copyright protection, but on the other hand they’re also hurt by copyright laws when used against them (photographer getting sued over a photo that someone stole from him, etc.).

    • No Brushmen, you didn’t send me those before! 🙂 I like them.

      I’m not a total anarchist, I do believe in some copyright protections, but very very limited ones that expire in a matter of years, not decades.

  2. >the point about Fashion was especially interesting, it’s a whole industry that exists without patents or copyrights, yet is extremely vibrant and successful.

    It’s also a complete crock. You’ve got a very limited palette of variables to draw from; and they make the rounds every year, in predictable patterns. In fashion, you’re not selling the clothes; you’re selling the designer. Kinda how comics have worked for a while…. and look how much THEY suck.

    >cooking would also be an example of an industry where copyright is pretty much non-existent

    Ask Hostess how they feel about that.

    Don C.

  3. the point about Fashion was especially interesting, it’s a whole industry that exists without patents or copyrights, yet is extremely vibrant and successful.

    It’s also a complete crock. You’ve got a very limited palette of variables to draw from; and they make the rounds every year, in predictable patterns.

    No more or less than the palette that a musician has- 8 notes, and less than a dozen standard instruments. Whereas Fashion people have literally thousands of colours to work with, and far more than 8 materials to use. Yet music is copyrightable, and fashion isn’t? Something very wrong with that.

    In fashion, you’re not selling the clothes; you’re selling the designer. Kinda how comics have worked for a while…. and look how much THEY suck.

    Actually, I’d say comics suck more because of the industry than the artists. It was a medium that was hard to get out to the people in North America, and it’s died in part because of too much gatekeeping. Now that almost anyone can get into comics, the market is being flooded, and it’s the skill and the creator that gets books noticed and successful. Even if people copy them, they still won’t have the skill or talents of that creator.

    cooking would also be an example of an industry where copyright is pretty much non-existent

    Ask Hostess how they feel about that.

    They’re still in business making hundreds of millions of dollars a year, aren’t they? Wow, it’s hurting them soooo much! Or would you rather they make another couple billion because they had the insight to toss a couple ingredients together and call it a unique recipe?

Comments are closed.