The Myth That Without Gov't Monopolies Or Subsidies, Discoveries Will Be Hidden By Secrets

from the look-at-the-data dept

Stephan Kinsella sends over a fascinating talk by Dr. Terence Kealey, a UK biochemist and professor, discussing why -- contrary to what most people think, "science" is not a public good, and that government-funded science actually tends to do more damage than good for global economies:
Many of the points raised actually apply to issues related to patents as well. For example, he starts out by quoting Francis Bacon, who defended the idea of governments funding science by claiming (as we often hear about patents), that if an individual invests in research, it will cost a great deal to do so, but any competitor can then copy the results for free. And thus, Bacon concluded, science was a form of a public good which the government should fund. Sound familiar?

The problem, it turns out, is that as with patents there is no actual data to back this up. Kealey points out that there is no historical or econometric data anywhere that supports this claim. For example, he points to the OECD's sources of economic growth report (pdf), where it found very high correlation between economic growth and countries that had high levels of private R&D. When it came to publicly supported R&D, the report found no impact on economic growth... but, more worrying, it found evidence that public funding of science tended to crowd out private funding of R&D, which (again) correlated highly with economic growth. Now, of course, correlation is not causation, and there may be many other factors at play here. However, it is interesting that there doesn't appear to be any direct evidence that public expenditure in science leads to economic growth.

Dr. Kealey points out that many people believe in the importance of public funding of science based on the same thinking as Bacon above: the idea that science is a public good. That is, that once it's out there, anyone can use it -- and thus, it either needs to be enclosed and limited in some manner, or funded by the government. In the last couple decades, however, more and more economists have begun to realize that this thinking on public goods is not only overly simplified, but it's often wrong. It appears to be the case here again. Kealey points out that science is not, in fact, a public good.

Why? Because of a combination of social mores and the need to do your own research to understand what others are doing:
The standard story... was that science was a public good, in the sense that anybody can go to the journals -- or the internet today -- and pick up the Journal of Molecular Biology and read the papers for free... We can get it for nothing. Or we can go to the Patent Office, which very kindly publishes all this stuff... and read all the patents... and get ideas, blah blah blah.... We all know that "science is publicly available," and therefore is easy to copy and all the rest of that.

But hold on a second.

How many people in this room can read the Journal of Molecular Biology. How many people in this room can read contemporary journals in physics? Or math? Physiology? Very, very few. Now the interesting thing -- and we can show this very clearly -- is that the only people who can read the papers, the only people who can talk to the scientists who generate the data, are fellow specialists in the same field. And what are they doing? They are publishing their own papers.

And if they try not to publish their own papers... If they say, 'we're not going to get engaged in the exchange of information; we're going to keep out of it and just try to read other people's papers, but not do any research of our own, not make any advances of our own, not have any conversations with anyone,' within two or three years they are obsolescent and redundant, and they can no longer read the papers, because they're not doing the science themselves, which gives them the tacit knowledge -- all the subtle stuff that's never actually published -- that enables them actually to access the information of their competitors.
This is a huge point that fits with similar points that we've made in the past when it comes to intellectual property and the idea that others can just come along and "copy" the idea. So many people believe it's easy for anyone to just copy, but it's that tacit knowledge that is so hard to get. It's why so many attempts at just copying what other successful operations do turn into cargo cult copies, where you may get the outward aspects copied, but you miss all that important implicit and tacit information if you're not out there in the market yourself.

He then goes on to discuss the Royal Society of London, which encouraged scientists to publish their own research, and points out that while initially, people might think that it was better to not be a member, not publish your information and just scoop up what others had done, in practice that wasn't the case. Why? Because the members of the society beyond publishing themselves, also had much greater access to all the other members as well, allowing them to continually further their own knowledge. In other words, the argument that researchers or competitors will prefer to keep their inventions secret via trade secrets goes out the window when companies realize that by sharing more freely their own inventions, they also get greater access to the inventions of others.

What's interesting here is that this story of the Royal Society and the benefits of membership actually fit -- almost exactly -- the research on why Silicon Valley became such a huge success when compared to other, similar arenas. What that research showed was that due to a lack of noncompete agreements in Silicon Valley (where they are outlawed), the rate of job shifting was much higher. And, partly because of that, information flowed much more quickly between competitors. While one might normally think this is a bad thing, what actually happened was it allowed all the companies in that space to grow much faster, because the knowledge sharing led to faster and faster advancements for all. Rather than being limited to just what one group could figure out, they could all effectively build on each other's knowledge as well -- and the end result was much greater growth for all.

But, still, as with the situation that Dr. Kealey describes, there had to be a level of expertise from everyone involved. It wasn't as if some other party, with no knowledge of the space at all could just copy it. So too, it appears to be, with scientists:
You can't access the science of others unless you're part of the game. It is only the molecular biologist who is publishing his own papers, getting invited to the conferences, having the discrete conversations with other fellow molecular biologists, who can capture the work of others. And so you don't get the information for free. You pay a very high price to access the information of your fellows. Science is not a public good.... It costs as much to access information as it does to make it. It's just that the cost of accessing is the subtle parallel cost of the work you have to do before you're ready to read it. And, as a part of that, you're contributing to the common pool of knowledge.
From there, he discusses the famous story of how the Wright Brothers and their patents effectively killed the aviation industry in the US until the government stepped in to force them to open up. And from there, he makes the point that I was discussing above about the research on Silicon Valley:
What is really interesting about the exchange of knowledge, is the work of von Hippel and others at MIT Sloan Management School: industrial scientists collude -- or I don't know what word you want to use -- exchange information all of the time. Even competitors. It's a straight quid pro quo. Just like academic scientists. von Hippel showed, for example, the 12 leading steel makers in America... 11 of them routinely met discretely, and exchanged information as quid pro quos. It's a very nice model, economically. There is actually shared knowledge amongst scientists. One of the leading economists of science -- I'm not going to name all the names because it's boring -- but he's showed that there are no industrial secrets in America or in Britain or in the West. Scientists at the level of research, in companies, exchange so much information, that no secrets exist more than about a year, a year and a half....

...

Scientists discovered a very long time ago that their own self-interest is assured if they share knowledge with competitors. Because the ones that don't share knowledge, whether they're academic scientists looking for their Nobels or business scientists looking for money, that if they don't share, they will absolutely get left behind.
It's great to see that there's even more research on this particular subject than I had been aware of before, but which confirms many of the points that I've been making for years.


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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 2nd, 2010 @ 7:55pm

    "the Wright Brothers and their patents effectively killed the aviation"

    In the U.S. and not in other countries, which did advance.

     

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    Karl (profile), Jul 2nd, 2010 @ 8:13pm

    The question is whether, in this climate, private or public research will result in more advancement (i.e. more research).

    Right now, it appears that public research is leading the pack. Why? Because if it was private research, it would be covered by copyright and patent laws. There is an economic motivation to keep discoveries out of the public sphere.

    If this motivation was removed, we might see real progress (as we do in public institutional knowledge, e.g. university studies).

    It would be a good thing to read Popper's "The Open Society and Its Enemies" right now. Pretty much every chapter is apropos to this situation.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 2nd, 2010 @ 8:56pm

      Re:

      You may want to consider your comment in light of the Bayh-Dole Act pertaining to funding by the USG.

       

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        Richard (profile), Jul 3rd, 2010 @ 12:30pm

        Re: Re:

        The Bayh-Dole Act was a really bad idea - however because of the long time lags in basic research - and the inertia of practitioners in the field it hasn't yet had much effect on the general direction of research - however sooner or later it will.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 2nd, 2010 @ 8:32pm

    I think basic research is very much a public good and that public funding of basic research contributes a great deal in the long term to economic growth. Basic research is typically only a fairly small portion of government research funding though (most government research funding has very specific fairly short-term goals, e.g. improving treatments for a particular form of cancer), so it seems rather unlikely that any of the studies in question are really dealing with it.

     

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      Bubba Gump (profile), Jul 3rd, 2010 @ 8:47am

      Re:

      Do you want to define "basic research" for us? Exactly what kind of basic research is going on that contradicts anything Mike mentioned in his article? Hence, it is NOT a public good and you are wrong.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jul 3rd, 2010 @ 9:20am

        Re: Re:

        Probably the easiest definition is simply that "basic research" is research without any foreseeable benefits or applications (at least in the short to medium term). Such research is almost never done by private for-profit companies.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jul 3rd, 2010 @ 9:26am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Non profit organizations can do some of it though.

          But I do agree, some government funding of research is a good thing (but I'm against patents).

           

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 3rd, 2010 @ 10:33am

      Re:

      Incorrect. Basic research in any form is just that- Basic. What is needed is extensive economic research on the lines of a Manhattan Project. To some extent that's what's happening with information enablement. The information revolution to us is the same as industrial revolution brought new ways of pursuing business. A new revolution is afoot, and harmonizing copyright with the previous ages business models won't last forever.

      Just as slavery was once widely accepted norm, in time, patents and copyright will probably suffer the same fate if they are not revisited and are re-align with the technology reality of today.

      Those who only proceed into the information age and only perceive it as a threat, and fail to harness technology for it's productive capabilities will ultimately fall like the plantation owners and buggy whip manufacturers before it.

      Sorry, but the research needed is much bigger than being simply "Basic".

       

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        Richard (profile), Jul 3rd, 2010 @ 12:35pm

        Re: Re:

        By basic - we don't mean simple we mean fundamental - in fact we mean exactly the thing you are asking for. Research that seeks the truth for its own sake rather than for direct economic gain (or worse still as an excuse to shore up a crumbling system.)

         

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    out_of_the_blue, Jul 2nd, 2010 @ 8:55pm

    Bah. Publishing is at best for incrementalists.

    We are far from the days of Edison, Lee De Forest, and the Wright brothers when much fundamental remained to be discovered -- though was much more difficult than it appears from today's perspective. To great degree, all that's left is incremental advance -- or at least that's all that can be expected based on what *is* now known, and decidedly all that weenies keeping up with narrow specialties are going to be *able* to discover. What was the last "revolutionary" product that actually turned out to be so? Segway? Ha. Potentially fatal flaw if one or both wheels is on ice, and silly compared to sitting and wheels in line. -- Computers? No, been only incremental since the 60's. -- It's actually surprising how *little* is new in the last 50 years.

    Corporatized mass "research", whether gov't or private, actually gets little result, and only if it *is* an incremental problem. Only field that has consistent results is for more murderous weaponry, and that's really not difficult, besides that funding for it is completely disconnected from costs and societal benefits.

    There's no doubt going to be those who say we're on the verge of great advances -- but can't name *any* actual. We got Teflon out of the billions spent on NASA, really all that can can be counted since obviously the "backwards" Soviets already had the idea for satellites and were first in pracice. Another: solar cells and fuel cells have been around since the 1950's, and *still* aren't practical, despite "advances" mentioned in the press every few months. -- It's more in line with results to hold that "scientists" discovered how to milk the system for research grants so that they can amuse themselves with expensive toys.

     

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      Adam, Jul 3rd, 2010 @ 2:50am

      Re: Bah. Publishing is at best for incrementalists.

      Considering that the Cray Jaguar is one-and-a-half *billion* times faster than the EDVAC of 1960, obviously those increments add up.

       

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      masquisieras, Jul 3rd, 2010 @ 4:08am

      Re: Bah. Publishing is at best for incrementalists.

      Let see:
      Most of human DNA is garbage, that means that at actual level of knowledge it is not known why is there or how it operate.

      How the disordered materials work as they do is unknown and remember the whole microelectronic industry is based in knowing how the crystalline material works something that is 19 century science.

      There is huge amount of fundamental science to be done and been done. All of what you are talking about is Development/Technology not science and 99.9% of Development is incremental.

      The problem is that for fundamental science to became a visible jump ( computers, genetic medicine, cheap solar cell...) you need that SEVERAL fundamental science to get to a critical point that means that some of that science would be hundred of year old and is impossible to know what of the thousands of fundamental Science problems is going to became useful in the future and which of the thousands of research line for each one of them would give you the solution of the problem at the end.

      The last revolutionary product?
      in microelectronic for example

      high precision ultraviolet optic, is what allow for actual cheap high density chip fabrication.

       

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      Drew (profile), Jul 3rd, 2010 @ 8:59am

      Re: Bah. Publishing is at best for incrementalists.

      Just in computers alone there is a massive change in the past 10 years, each step may be "incremental" but when the phone in my pocket is more powerful than the desktop computer I had in the 90s is pretty impressive.

      Aside from that science is a building upon work done previously, the theory of relativity was based on previous work and current working theories for space time are built upon this theory and others.

      Let alone 100 years ago it was a known fact that the smallest particles were what made up atoms (protons, electrons, neutrons), now we know of particles which make up these particles and have numerous theories about even more particles. For instance the graviton particle is still only a hypothetical or theorized particle, and yet there is significant work to try and actually "see" this particle (as well as many others). Why would this be groundbreaking you ask? Because to observe this particle would be to truly see and understand it's function which could lead to manipulating this particle, but until we can observe and understand this we are stumbling around in the dark hoping that what we believe is actually true.

      Anyway I'm sure that what I just said went in one ear and out the other, but hey high-level specialized science isn't easy to understand with out at least several years of research.

       

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      TtfnJohn (profile), Jul 3rd, 2010 @ 9:48am

      Re: All Knowledge Is Incremental

      Nice screed but you ignore the uncomfortable, for you it seems, fact that all knowledge is incremental. That doesn't mean that major discoveries and understandings don't remain to be found.

      Edison, bless him, is as well known for filching others work as he is for his original work (he just marketed it better), the Wright Brothers build on what came before (incremental) and so on. I'm not taking away from either of them saying that just pointing out that their work was hardly totally original as you seem to think but it was incremental.

      When I first began studying geography in the early 1960s the idea of continental drift was still being debated rather than universally accepted.

      Thirty years ago we still thought dinosaurs were lumbering, stupid lizards which we now know is very wrong nor did we know they were, in many ways, still with us though we call them birds now.

      Twenty-five years ago the heart valve operation I had 4 years ago was considered highly risky rather than routine as it is now.

      All of this built on what came before and, therefore, incremental.

      In fact is you read, you did read it didn't you?, the post you'll see what's being talked about is the incremental growth of knowledge and discovery whether in pure science or any other discipline.

      That's why secrets are so fleeting, trade and military ones even more so because there's a high motivation to find out what people are hiding.

      As for your closing crack at scientists, is it that you think they've done nothing useful or am I seeing the green eyed monster at work?

       

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      out_of_the_blue, Jul 5th, 2010 @ 7:14am

      Point was: people who are *publishing* aren't doing anything else.

      Edison didn't *publish* his detailed interim results on the *hundreds* of materials he tried before finding carbonized bamboo. Nor did he stop there. And yet his work changed the world more than Einstein did. Edison also practically created modern industrial research field. I suppose it's a Utilitarian view. But I don't say that incrementalism doesn't work; I believe it's not going to *continue* to work.

      Most of what now passes for "scientific research" never has *any* useful results. "Publish or perish" has become a goal in itself, just what a species of drones do to gain an income. Many sit around and *imagine* instead of studying the real world, just as priests used to do.

      Because this is web site comments, not a book, I left out *why* I think this observation important. Take space flight: it *may* be barely possible to get a manned mission to Mars, but I *highly* doubt that they'd get *back*. There is no propulsion system which will do so even on the horizon except for massive relayed staging of fuel and supplies. It's not a problem that's susceptible to incrementalism no matter how much resources are thrown at it, nor do I see any building body of work that *might* solve that problem. And even *if* possible -- once -- it doesn't do anything except squander resources, in no degree solves the problem of *interstellar* travel. -- In short, it's likely that we really *are* approaching the limits of what is possible, and there's no way *off* the planet. I leave implications as an exercise for the reader.

       

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      jab, Jul 6th, 2010 @ 8:00am

      Re: Bah. Publishing is at best for incrementalists.

      Then again you're only considering advancements in technology - specifically, electronics. What about the advances in polymer and materials chemistry that allow machines to work beyond what they previously could? In harsher conditions that allow for robots to operate in the extreme cold and heat fluctuations of space? Of course everything is going to seem incremental, that's how science and progress works. To climb the rungs of ladder is more productive that trying to jump over the 10' wall. The light bulb is just an advancement in electricity after all and the computer itself is just an incremental advancement using electricity of past calculating devices. Past "landmark" inventions seem to have come out of the blue because we rarely hear about what else had been developed right before it. To do so makes them seem "incremental". Instead of comparing the years, compare the decades. You'll see how far science has brought us over the last century. Just because trust-less hover crafts aren't around today doesn't mean there hasn't been great advancements in the last 50 years.

       

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      painter, Jul 31st, 2010 @ 4:23pm

      Re: Bah. Publishing is at best for incrementalists.

      Could it be that the increasing regulation and public/private corporatisation of research that has happened over the past 60 years might be the cause of the decline in innovation?

       

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jul 2nd, 2010 @ 9:52pm

    Is nationality an artificial construct?

    From there, he discusses the famous story of how the Wright Brothers and their patents effectively killed the aviation industry in the US until the government stepped in to force them to open up.

    In the greater scheme of things, does it matter if the aviation industry didn't advance in the US if it did advance elsewhere? If you believe in pure competition, is there any reason to want to have innovation in one country over another?

    In a pure global economy does it matter who develops what and which countries do well and which ones don't?

    Just curious.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 2nd, 2010 @ 10:29pm

      Re: Is nationality an artificial construct?

      In the greater scheme of things, does it matter if the aviation industry didn't advance in the US if it did advance elsewhere?

      Like in Germany, prior to WWI?

       

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        Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jul 2nd, 2010 @ 11:21pm

        Re: Re: Is nationality an artificial construct?

        Like in Germany, prior to WWI?

        That's the point of this: that inventions/science want to be free. So Germany was doing it right and therefore they deserved their aviation advancements. And of course, they would have shared their technology with us if we would have asked them for it.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jul 2nd, 2010 @ 11:29pm

          Re: Re: Re: Is nationality an artificial construct?

          Much of our technology came from Germany.

           

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            Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jul 2nd, 2010 @ 11:34pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Is nationality an artificial construct?

            Much of our technology came from Germany.

            So the ultimate result was the same. If we have a global intelligence base, it doesn't matter if it gets invented here. In the greater scheme of things, whether the invention comes from the US, Germany, or China doesn't really matter. That seems to be the end result: let competition decide who comes out on top.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Jul 2nd, 2010 @ 11:56pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is nationality an artificial construct?

              The reason I ignored your silly post is because I didn't think it was meant to be serious.

              It has a few problems.

              So you want America to waste resources fighting over who has permission to do what (resources that could better go into innovation) and monopolizing everything and have this hinder innovation such that we are known as the technology lagers who have to "steal" or "leech" our technology from others because we are too selfish or incompetent to innovate ourselves? Is this the kinda reputation you want us to have?

              Secondly: the end result won't be the same. Instead of wasting money on litigation and fighting over IP we can use that money to innovate in ways that others benefit from. and if others benefit from it we also benefit from it. There maybe some things that we might invent that others won't and both us and the rest of the world could benefit. Even if the rest of the world would eventually invent these same things, we might invent certain things first (and they might invent certain other things first) and we can benefit from our own inventions and the inventions of others and build off of each others inventions and collectively progress faster by benefiting and building off of each others inventions than if it were just the rest of the world inventing.

              By inventing things we can be in a better position to trade inventions and ideas being that we have something to trade.

              and lastly, even if having the rest of the world do all the inventing has no net impact on innovation, that's no excuse to allow IP to exist. Monopolies cause a known harm to society, they result in less aggregate output and less consumer surplus which is bad for society, our economy, and our country. No one should be granted a govt monopoly privilege at the expense of the rest of the economy and at the expense of competitors that want to enter the market. If you want a govt granted monopoly it's not the burden of others to show that you shouldn't have one, it's the burden of you to show that the government should grant you one.

               

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                Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jul 3rd, 2010 @ 12:57am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is nationality an artificial construct?

                It seems to me that a country that facilitates invention has every right to succeed at it. And if the ultimate goal is the production of goods and services, without regard to location or national boundaries, then it doesn't really matter, does it, if America isn't the center of invention and another country is?

                I was wondering why we were using an example of America falling behind in technology as a negative if another country wasn't falling behind.

                If you have two companies and one is more technologically advanced than the other, does it matter than they are not equally successful?

                I'm just trying to follow the argument to a logical endpoint. If competition is good, and one country creates a product before another country, does it matter?

                If IP protection holds some countries back, I am asking, "So what?" Maybe instead of trying to create the same environment in every location, you just move to the country that has what you want.

                 

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                  Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jul 3rd, 2010 @ 1:32am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is nationality an artificial construct?

                  Here's a more concise way to explain it:

                  A rule in one location creates an opportunity in another. So how is that bad?

                  Las Vegas took advantage of the limited gambling opportunities in other places to create its niche.

                  Now, if you want to talk about national security, etc., then we get into discussions about government involvement.

                  But if you are just talking about whether or not one country has advanced technology and another does not, so what? You may want to offer a spot that operates exactly as it did 200 years ago.

                   

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                    Richard (profile), Jul 3rd, 2010 @ 5:27am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is nationality an artificial construct?

                    Your argumetn works fine - except that (see ACTA etc) the US is trying to make its regime global - so that there is no place to go to avoid it.

                     

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                      Anonymous Coward, Jul 3rd, 2010 @ 6:13am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is nationality an artificial construct?

                      "Your argumetn works"

                      No, her argument doesn't work. It ignores the fact that by denying me and everyone else that land, or unfairly controlling what I can do on that land, they are denying me and everyone else an inherit right to benefit from the space and resources that such land offers.

                       

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                        Richard (profile), Jul 3rd, 2010 @ 7:39am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is nationality an artificial construct?

                        No, her argument doesn't work. It ignores the fact that by denying me and everyone else that land, or unfairly controlling what I can do on that land, they are denying me and everyone else an inherit right to benefit from the space and resources that such land offers.

                        No, her argument DOES work in its own terms (up to the problem I identified) . However, as you point out, it does have some very unpleasant side effects. (Sorry to be such a pedant - I do broadly agree with you!)

                         

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                          Anonymous Coward, Jul 3rd, 2010 @ 8:35am

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is nationality an artificial construct?

                          "No, her argument DOES work in its own terms"

                          Her argument assumes a lack of scarcities. Such terms do not exist. Even if unjust laws in one nation do not facilitate unjust laws in surrounding nations that doesn't justify having unjust laws anywhere.

                           

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                      Anonymous Coward, Jul 3rd, 2010 @ 6:18am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is nationality an artificial construct?

                      "Your argumetn works fine"

                      Her argument only works fine if scarcity doesn't exist. but inhabitable land is a scarcity, so one person controlling it necessarily affects others.

                       

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                    Anonymous Coward, Jul 3rd, 2010 @ 5:56am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is nationality an artificial construct?

                    Yes it does, but then again the U.S. government goes out of its way to say "hey, we patented this first pay us or else" so that negates the "creation of opportunity elsewhere".

                    Intellectual property is a cancer that attaches itself to ideas and its hard to let go, I can see people going to war because of it in the future as some countries will be left behind because they destroyed their innovation environment trying to protect some big business that didn't merit saving.

                     

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                    Anonymous Coward, Jul 3rd, 2010 @ 6:10am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is nationality an artificial construct?

                    "A rule in one location creates an opportunity in another."

                    Because it takes away everyone's right to use that one location to their advantage, which ruins the economy for everyone.

                    Have you ever heard of the concept of comparative advantage?

                    No, I have a right to use that land and sell what I want on that land and no one has an inherit right to stop me. This isn't a game of who can claim the most land and everyone else has to find other, non existing land, to land. Having someone take away that land for their own personal gain limits what the rest of humanity can do to prosper. It limits the space and resources that others have access to. No one has any inherit right to own any land, the purpose of having government is to apportion the land in the best interest of everyone. and if our government wants to be inequitable we need to resist.

                     

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                      Anonymous Coward, Jul 3rd, 2010 @ 6:11am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is nationality an artificial construct?

                      This isn't a game of who can claim the most land and everyone else has to find other, non existing, land. *

                      Land doesn't become yours just because you can claim it.

                       

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                    Anonymous Coward, Jul 3rd, 2010 @ 6:21am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is nationality an artificial construct?

                     

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                  Anonymous Coward, Jul 3rd, 2010 @ 6:05am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is nationality an artificial construct?

                  "I'm just trying to follow the argument to a logical endpoint."

                  and doing a terrible job of it.

                  "Maybe instead of trying to create the same environment in every location, you just move to the country that has what you want."

                  An injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. Also, I don't want to have to learn other languages. That's time taken away from innovation.

                  So if our government promotes racism we should just move? If our government becomes a murdering regime we should just move? Stop being silly. Moving isn't a solution to bad laws, it only encourages other places to adopt bad laws.

                  What, should everyone in America simply move to other countries denying the population the right to benefit from the land that America provides? This land doesn't belong to the monopolists alone, they have no inherit exclusive right to it, and we shouldn't just give it to them by moving simply because they want to create laws that unfairly benefit them.

                   

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                    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jul 3rd, 2010 @ 8:08am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is nationality an artificial construct?

                    I live in a town that doesn't allow buildings beyond a certain height. (This is true.) If you want to build a high rise, you have to go elsewhere.

                    So my town has low buildings and another town allows high buildings.

                    Two different approaches.

                    Seems to me that if we treat countries like companies and each chooses to offer something different, that's just a form of competition.

                    Stripping out all the human rights, moral, political ramifications, etc., what is wrong with two locations operating differently?

                     

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                      Anonymous Coward, Jul 3rd, 2010 @ 8:33am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is nationality an artificial construct?

                      "Stripping out all the human rights, moral, political ramifications, etc., what is wrong with two locations operating differently?"

                      No one is arguing that there is something wrong with two locations operating differently. If there is a valid reason for some location to operate differently then it should. Building codes, for instance, are different in different areas due to geological factors (ie: some places are more prone to earth quakes than others, the soil in some areas facilitate taller buildings than others, etc...).

                      but that's not to say that citizens of any location should tolerate injustices, like a government granting monopoly power to a specific entity. and moving every time one encounters unjust laws is not a solution either, for reasons mentioned above.

                       

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                        Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jul 3rd, 2010 @ 8:50am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is nationality an artificial construct?

                        but that's not to say that citizens of any location should tolerate injustices, like a government granting monopoly power to a specific entity. and moving every time one encounters unjust laws is not a solution either, for reasons mentioned above.

                        What I have found that is when people want less government, often they mean "less government in areas where I want to do what I want to do," but they still want quite a bit of government involvement, just in other areas.

                        Many people who don't want government still want border patrol, for example. Or they are against gay marriage, etc.

                        So I'm saying, if you believe in competition and you haven't eliminated countries yet, shouldn't countries have some leeway in what they do? Why is it "bad" that one country has laws on haircuts or that the country isn't producing the most technologically sophisticated airplanes?

                        I personally I think if we advocate free flow of capital and ideas, we should probably also allow free flow of people. Then hopefully people can more easily relocate to places that suit them.

                        I live in a place that has fairly stringent building restrictions. That has made it a wonderful place to live, but limits on building have also driven up the prices a bit. But given the choice between allowing more building to give more housing options and thus lower the prices, and maintaining the restrictions, the voting has tended to go toward maintaining the restrictions to maintain the high quality of life.

                         

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                          Anonymous Coward, Jul 3rd, 2010 @ 9:15am

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is nationality an artificial construct?

                          "shouldn't countries have some leeway in what they do?"

                          I do agree that countries should have some leeway in what they do, and no one is arguing otherwise. Governments should act in the best interest of their citizens and it is the job of every citizen to ensure theirs governments do just that. Otherwise what's the point of having governments if they're not acting in the best interest of their citizens?

                           

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                          Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jul 3rd, 2010 @ 12:07pm

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is nationality an artificial construct?

                          This might be of interest.

                          Global Migration - A World Ever More on the Move - NYTimes.com: "Theorists sometimes call the movement of people the third wave of globalization, after the movement of goods (trade) and the movement of money (finance) that began in the previous century. But trade and finance follow global norms and are governed by global institutions: the World Trade Organization, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund. There is no parallel group with 'migration' in its name. The most personal and perilous form of movement is the most unregulated. States make (and often ignore) their own rules, deciding who can come, how long they stay, and what rights they enjoy."

                           

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                          nasch (profile), Jul 5th, 2010 @ 11:38am

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is nationality an artificial construct?

                          So I'm saying, if you believe in competition and you haven't eliminated countries yet, shouldn't countries have some leeway in what they do? Why is it "bad" that one country... isn't producing the most technologically sophisticated airplanes?

                          If that is being done for a tradeoff to get some other public good, it's fine. That's just a choice being made. If it's enriching one group at the expense of the public, with no public benefit, then it's a bad law.

                           

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                          Mike Masnick (profile), Jul 6th, 2010 @ 12:22am

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is nationality an artificial construct?

                          So I'm saying, if you believe in competition and you haven't eliminated countries yet, shouldn't countries have some leeway in what they do? Why is it "bad" that one country has laws on haircuts or that the country isn't producing the most technologically sophisticated airplanes?

                          Yes, countries can have leeway in what they do. But it is also okay to point out why they are operating in an economically inefficient way... and how that inefficiency may spill over elsewhere.

                          That you ignore this is stunning.

                           

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                            Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jul 6th, 2010 @ 6:31am

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is nationality an artificial construct?

                            That you ignore this is stunning.

                            No, what I am trying to do is get a discussion going.

                            What usually happens here is if someone disagrees, the response is: "You're lying. You're stupid. You're a troll. You don't know economics. Etc."

                            My feeling is that if the discussion isn't refined and made stronger, relatively few people are going to get behind the anti-IP stance. Sometimes some of the arguments here don't seem fully backed up with convincing data so when I find it less than convincing, I put out an idea to see what the response is. My ideas are likely to be similar to those held by others thinking, "Why should we change anything when there are more pressing problems in the world to address?"

                            The fact that you can get people to agree with you here doesn't mean it will find a lot of support elsewhere. I think everyone will be better served with a livelier discussion.

                             

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                              Mike Masnick (profile), Jul 6th, 2010 @ 6:17pm

                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is nationality an artificial construct?

                              What usually happens here is if someone disagrees, the response is: "You're lying. You're stupid. You're a troll. You don't know economics. Etc."

                              If those responses are accurate, then what is the problem?

                              And, let's face facts, the number of times that people have made any of those statements to you on this site, compared to the number of times many of us have tried to engage with you show that we are more than willing to engage with you in substantive discussion.

                              What makes it frustrating is when you run those discussions off the rails by making positively ridiculous statements. I'm sorry you don't like being called on it when you state something ridiculous, but in my world it gets us past a big waste of time.

                              The fact that you can get people to agree with you here doesn't mean it will find a lot of support elsewhere. I think everyone will be better served with a livelier discussion.

                              Wait, the fact that I can get thousands and thousands of people to agree with me -- including multiple elected officials, tons of content creators, multi-billionaire business folks and others is meaningless if I can't convince you? Yeah, I don't find that convincing.

                              To date I have tried to engage with you. I am finding it to be nearly impossible, because your view of the world is so different than mine that I simply don't recognize where you come from.

                              In having these debates for many, many years I have never come across anyone whose ideas are "similar" to yours.

                               

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                                Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jul 6th, 2010 @ 7:14pm

                                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is nationality an artificial construct?

                                Wait, the fact that I can get thousands and thousands of people to agree with me -- including multiple elected officials, tons of content creators, multi-billionaire business folks and others is meaningless if I can't convince you? Yeah, I don't find that convincing.

                                I'm sure you've looked at A VC.

                                The conversations there are intelligent, respectful, and people sign their names.

                                The fact that I sometimes challenge the reasoning of some of the arguments in your forum should be an opportunity for great discussion. No need to try to shut down differing points of view. What seems to happen here is that if people don't accept the discussion, the assumption is made that there is something wrong with them. But given that the politics in this country is rarely one-sided, it's politically a mistake to dismiss so many people who aren't in total agreement with a cause.

                                I'm a lot more neutral than you seem to think. But sometimes I read something here and think, "You know, that doesn't really support the argument." So I point that out. Now, how is that bad?

                                 

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                                  Anonymous Coward, Jul 6th, 2010 @ 10:43pm

                                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is nationality an artificial construct?

                                  But sometimes I read something here and think, "You know, that doesn't really support the argument." So I point that out. Now, how is that bad?

                                  Maybe you should try explaining *why* something doesn't support an argument instead of just proclaiming that it doesn't and refusing to answer questions as to why. One way contributes to a conversation, the other is just drum beating.

                                   

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                                Technopolitical (profile), Jul 7th, 2010 @ 11:28am

                                MIKE :Including multiple elected officials,

                                MIKE :"including multiple elected officials"


                                ME : NAME THEM. There are no members of Congress who agree w/ you Mike on Copyrights.

                                 

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                  Mike Masnick (profile), Jul 6th, 2010 @ 12:20am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is nationality an artificial construct?

                  It seems to me that a country that facilitates invention has every right to succeed at it. And if the ultimate goal is the production of goods and services, without regard to location or national boundaries, then it doesn't really matter, does it, if America isn't the center of invention and another country is?

                  It does if you want the American economy to thrive.

                  Apparently you don't. Noted.

                  If IP protection holds some countries back, I am asking, "So what?" Maybe instead of trying to create the same environment in every location, you just move to the country that has what you want.

                  I see. You're just joking.

                   

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                    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jul 6th, 2010 @ 7:25am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is nationality an artificial construct?

                    It does if you want the American economy to thrive.

                    Keep in mind that the country expected to dominate in the future is China. It's kind of a mixed bag in terms of their economic and political system.

                    I'm saying that if you are gathering evidence of what mixture of resources, laws, economic, etc. work best, then you have more examples to draw upon if you have a wider discrepancy between countries. If one country makes more advanced planes than another country, but the world still gets planes, it may all work out fine.

                    If my community doesn't want certain industries, but your community does, that gives us a choice in terms of where we want to live and work. That's why I was asking if this isn't a competition issue where countries get to make whatever laws they want to create whatever economic environment they want.

                     

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          Karl (profile), Jul 3rd, 2010 @ 5:43am

          Re: Re: Re: Is nationality an artificial construct?

          For one thing: if someone else innovates and you don't, your economy is going to go down the tubes.

          For another thing: if you're living in a country with strict IP laws, it's much harder to "borrow" inventions from other countries. The foreign entity holds the patent in your country, in which case nobody in your country can use it or build on it.

          But here's a bigger problem. Suppose an entity in your strict-IP country invents something. Now nobody else in the world can use it or build upon it. In a global economy, with global trade agreements (TRIPS, etc), this is a much greater threat.

          As an example, see Monsanto v. Schmeiser.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Jul 4th, 2010 @ 8:45am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Is nationality an artificial construct?

            I can't help thinking IP has a more 'flexible' existence at the geo-political level. Basically, there are lots of strict laws because most of the stuff is owned by the rich countries, particularly the USA. If the 'owner' of some really important 'IP' was a small south-american nation, for example, the USA would make a way around the rules to take it.

             

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              Karl (profile), Jul 4th, 2010 @ 9:08am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is nationality an artificial construct?

              If the 'owner' of some really important 'IP' was a small south-american nation, for example, the USA would make a way around the rules to take it.

              Yeah, in many ways, international patent laws are just colonialism by treaty.

              But do you have any specific examples of this happening? I've certainly heard of the U.S. seeking to shut down more loosely-regulated countries (e.g. India and its generic drugs). But I haven't heard of the U.S. "stealing" other countries' IP.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Jul 4th, 2010 @ 9:34am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is nationality an artificial construct?

                Biopiracy is one place to look for ridiculous patents being made on resources of other countries.

                "D1 Oils, UK
                For “acquiring” 18 varieties of high-oil content and drought-resistant jatropha, which were being grown at Indira Ghandi Agriculture University, Raipur, India. It appears that an employee of the university took the varieties, then quit his post and, days later, was named technical director of D1 Oils’ Indian operations. D1 is involved in a $160 million joint venture with BP to produce jatropha oil for agrofuels. "

                http://www.twnside.org.sg/title/pat-ch.htm
                http://www.captainhookawards.org/winners/captain_ho ok_awards_for_biopiracy_2008

                 

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                  Karl (profile), Jul 4th, 2010 @ 10:56am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is nationality an artificial construct?

                  Yep, that's an example, all right.

                  It sucks that companies are allowed to do this. Hopefully the individual countries can fight this. Assuming they're allowed to, under ACTA or TRIPS.

                   

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                Anonymous Coward, Jul 4th, 2010 @ 12:08pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is nationality an artificial construct?

                Sacking germanys IP after WW2?

                 

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      btrussell (profile), Jul 3rd, 2010 @ 4:33am

      Re: Is nationality an artificial construct?

      So you don't believe two heads are better than one?

       

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      Richard (profile), Jul 3rd, 2010 @ 7:58am

      Re: Is nationality an artificial construct?

      In a pure global economy does it matter who develops what and which countries do well and which ones don't?

      Just curious.


      Yes it does - because if a country has bad laws then the people of that country are prevented from competing effectively - and if they would otherwise have been the best - then the whole world has lost out.

      Plus the country with bad laws will try to export those laws to limit competition from outside.

       

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        Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jul 3rd, 2010 @ 9:01am

        Re: Re: Is nationality an artificial construct?

        Plus the country with bad laws will try to export those laws to limit competition from outside.

        I'd really like to see more discussions about how world cooperation will happen rather than just "this is bad" or "that is bad."

        Techdirt publishes a lot of examples of what is wrong with legislation, IP protection, etc. But there is very little discussion of how to bring about change.

        The political realities of most of these discussions are far more complex than people here acknowledge. So periodically I interject, "So what if one country has rules you don't like?" Or "What are you going to do about it?" Or "The laws aren't going to change unless someone mounts a serious lobbying effort."

        If you all can find a way to eliminate money in politics, that would be great. So what do you plan to do about it?

        Of course, you realize that a true democracy may produce results you don't like. Giving power to the people doesn't necessarily mean they will vote the way you would vote.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jul 3rd, 2010 @ 9:21am

          Re: Re: Re: Is nationality an artificial construct?

          "Techdirt publishes a lot of examples of what is wrong with legislation, IP protection, etc."

          So then you agree that there is something wrong with these laws. So shouldn't we seek to correct them?

          "But there is very little discussion of how to bring about change."

          Informing others about the issues and discussing the issues to help everyone have a better understanding is a good first step. and there are groups like the pirate party, the EFF, public knowledge, and even the ACLU participating in the process. Change doesn't happen over night. If you have any better suggestions please do tell. Do you suggest we do nothing and ignore the issue?

          "Of course, you realize that a true democracy may produce results you don't like."

          Sure, but that's no excuse for me not to participate in the process to try and change the results.

          "Giving power to the people doesn't necessarily mean they will vote the way you would vote."

          No one said otherwise, but perhaps part of the purpose for these discussions is to affect how people vote so that our government can act in the best interests of its citizens.

           

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            Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jul 3rd, 2010 @ 10:00am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Is nationality an artificial construct?

            So then you agree that there is something wrong with these laws. So shouldn't we seek to correct them?

            Yes, I agree that there's too much paperwork and too many lawsuits in the world.

            I don't think business processes should be patentable. I think ASCAP is way too heavy-handed and small venues should be free to play live music without paying the fees.

            Etc.

            That's why I jump in sometimes with a different perspective. I think some of what is being done in the world is inefficient, so I am open to considering the alternatives. But when I read the discussions here, I think to myself, "You guys aren't really making a good case for yourselves."

            There are too many snarky comments and not enough practical discussions about what actually would need to be done.

            The "we're right and you're wrong" approach is not going to get Congress to work with you.

            I also think some of the results of change aren't necessarily going to come out as predicted. For example, I've been a strong advocate of giving everyone the tools for creativity and art. I think that will mean we will have an explosion of people making their own art, and fewer people doing it full-time. As a society that is good. But if you are an artist hoping to offer scarce goods, I think you'll find a declining market. I don't think you can have it both ways: everyone making art plus everyone spending money on art. If you make your own, you can hang that in your living room. What used to go for consumption can now go towards creation.

            Similarly there's a movement towards home gardens. If everyone starts growing their own tomatoes, they don't need to buy tomatoes. You don't have everyone making their own stuff without some drop in what they used to purchase.

            I'm also far more concerned with the overall well-being of people than who's doing the paying. I've seen some lousy results from privatization and am just as wary of that approach as some of you are with government involvement. If we have an adequate way to provide for everyone's basic needs, then in theory at least we're all free to do what we want. Patents, copyrights, etc. don't matter so much if no one is worried about making a living. How do we get to that utopia?

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Jul 3rd, 2010 @ 11:23am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is nationality an artificial construct?

              The "we're right and you're wrong" approach is not going to get Congress to work with you.

              Yes because the only approach that will work is the "here's money, we're right" approach.

               

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                Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jul 3rd, 2010 @ 11:33am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is nationality an artificial construct?

                Yes because the only approach that will work is the "here's money, we're right" approach.

                Yes. I'm all for political finance reform. And many of the lobbyists in Washington don't represent my viewpoints.

                 

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              Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jul 4th, 2010 @ 11:25am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is nationality an artificial construct?

              Here's something I posted last week. I decided to write this because I am open to the discussions, but some of the discussions haven't been persuasive to me. I figure that if I am not impressed, legislators sure as hell won't be. Why tackle something when many of the complaints are coming from a relatively small group of people who haven't organized into a lobbying organization.

              If You Want to Change Intellectual Property Laws

              I also posted some comments here. I know Brad. I haven't seen him in a few years, but I used to write about his companies for an online business publication, eMileMile.

              Bummed Out About Bilski

              I also made a comment here.

              A VC: Bilski and Patent Reform

              Out of curiosity I did a Google search last night on patent reform. The proposals are nowhere as radical as dropping patents. So even with Congressional support, people aren't going for that.

              And then I went looking for "patent backlog." The system is so overwhelmed that I think we'll probably end up not bothering with patents before we actually change the laws in a major way. And I noticed that is already starting to be the case with software/internet companies.

              BroadbandBreakfast.com: Study: Patents Not A Top Priority At Software and Internet Start-Ups: "The survey found that executives at the internet and software start-ups valued first-mover advantage much more than patents. Medical device and biotech firms valued patents much more highly and are a top priority for those firms.

              'Biotech and medical device start-up companies regard patents as key for attaining competitive advantage from their innovations,' said report co-author and Berkeley Law Professor Pamela Samuelson. 'Software entrepreneurs, on the other hand, find it's much more critical to move fast in the marketplace and to use copyright and trademark protections. Patents take a back seat.'"

              ___

              If you notice Feld's response to a poster, he recommends that the guy use his real name. I think more Techdirt commenters should go this route. If you honestly believe in this campaign, take some ownership of it. If you don't have the nerve to sign your name to your comment, you probably aren't going to stick your neck out to get the laws changed.

              You have to understand that making snappy retorts to the person you call TAM doesn't mean you've moved the needle in your favor in the greater scheme of things.

               

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                Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jul 4th, 2010 @ 1:33pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is nationality an artificial construct?

                I also posted some comments here. I know Brad. I haven't seen him in a few years, but I used to write about his companies for an online business publication, eMileMile.

                Oops. That should have been emilehigh.

                That was a Colorado-based online business publication that covered the VC, tech, and startup communities in the state. One of the investors behind it was Jared Polis, who made a ton of money from the sale of bluemountain.com and who is now the US Congressman from the district that includes Boulder.

                 

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                Karl (profile), Jul 4th, 2010 @ 4:54pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is nationality an artificial construct?

                Here's something I posted last week.

                I would comment on your site, but the comment system on your site appears to be broken (I get a "service unavailable" error).

                If you think those ten things adequately sum up the objections to copyright, then you haven't been listening closely enough. The two main points made, on this site at least, are these:

                1. Copyright and patent enforcement is hurting the economy, and doing so to support industries that won't be helped by that enforcement in any case.

                2. Copyright and patent enforcement is doing away with due process, civil liberties, and privacy rights.

                You didn't address either of these points, at least not directly.

                But I think you also have the wrong viewpoint on the whole thing. The question is not "I want to use it, because..." The question is: "I want to prevent others from using it, because..." Once you turn it around, you start to see how unjustifiable copyright can be.

                As far as each of your points:

                1. I want it for free, and they won't give it to me.
                Nobody thinks this justifies anything.

                2. I want to use it, and they won't let me.
                A better phrase: "I want to do something, but they think it's too close to what they're doing, so they won't let me." See e.g. the patent nonsense around the LAME MP3 codec - it doesn't use anyone else's code, but because their code does the same thing as other (patented) code, it's illegal in some countries (though not the U.S.). Or: see the Bright Tunes Music v. Harrisongs Music lawsuit.

                3. Culture was built by taking other people's ideas.
                If you don't disagree, then you're saying that laws to prevent cultural progress are justified. Also, your rebuttal is plain wrong - society hasn't functioned very well within copyright restrictions. It's functioned very well when it's ignored them, as most artists have throughout history. And remember, copyright was fundamentally different prior to 1972.

                4. I have already used it and now they want to sue me.
                See #2 above. Also, you seem to see this as a function of bad enforcement rather than bad laws, but I don't get why.

                5. I want to use it because I have a business, but my plan will only work if I can get some or all IP for free or minimal cost.
                Strawman alert. Can you name one business that actually said this? What businesses usually say is they don't want to get sued when their users infringe on copyrights. Or, as with radio, that they don't want to suddenly pay for "IP" that they never had to pay for before. Or, as with coffee shops hosting music, that they don't want to pay for "IP" that they're not actually using.

                6. I want to use all or parts of it, but I don't want to go to the trouble of getting permission.
                Nobody thinks this justifies removing copyright. But it does justify the removal of copyright in cases where getting permission is impossible - e.g. for orphaned works.

                7. I want to use parts of it to include in a critique or to pay homage.
                Yes, fair use covers this. But don't be so quick to dismiss "self-censorship." And fair use is rapidly disappearing under law. How should we react to that?

                8. I want to use it because I know how to make more money from it than they do.
                That's not exactly what people say. They say, "the reason you, Mr. Industry, are losing money, is because you don't know how to make money from it." It's not a desire to use IP, it's an explanation of why IP industries are losing money. That means it's their own fault, and we shouldn't create more enforcement to support their bad decisions.

                9. I want to use parts or all of it to improve it.
                You seem to think this is a valid point. So do I, so I won't argue. But of the three solutions you suggested, the first (changing the laws) you seem to think is a pipe dream; the second (voluntary lack of enforcement) is going in the opposite direction; and the third (better sharing methods) is constantly being outlawed.

                10. I want to use it because society as a whole will benefit.
                You seem to agree with this one as well, and good for you. However, the court did recently rule that some works which were in the public domain are not anymore, so that's an issue. And there is plenty of evidence that lack of IP leads to a better economic situation than strict IP enforcement; it's just that IP industries have convinced Washington that the evidence doesn't exist.

                Yes, it would be nice if we could voluntarily do away with IP for "interem experiments." Unfortunately, that's often illegal. It's a catch-22 situation: we can't change the laws unless we have a working alternate model, but the laws don't allow an alternate model. And if we do somehow make a legal alternative to IP, traditional IP-heavy industries will try to shut it down. As an example, look at the legal history of free software.

                But your main point is sound: we all should deliberately try to be creative without IP protection, so that eventually IP laws will be useless. In the long run, it just might work. Too bad peoples' lives will be ruined in the meantime.

                ...Okay, end of rant, sorry.

                 

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                  Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jul 4th, 2010 @ 5:24pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is nationality an artificial construct?

                  I would comment on your site, but the comment system on your site appears to be broken (I get a "service unavailable" error).

                  I just checked and the comments function works fine for me. Try again, or maybe with a different browser.

                  If you can't post, I can always copy and paste for you.

                  I'm happy to have more discussion on this. I may have missed a few points, but the net result, I think, is that the laws aren't likely to change unless the arguments are very compelling, provable, and trump some of the other problems we are facing.

                  It comes down to this: either anti-IP folks find a way to work the political system to initiate change, they live within the system, or they break the law.

                  You need a public face that citizens and the politicians can identify with. The equivalent of "The Grapes of Wrath" or baby seals. Mostly I see complaints by people who get in trouble with piracy or companies that run into trouble. These are not heart-touching images. In fact, you're more likely to get sympathy for an inventor who spent years developing an idea, patented it, and then watched as someone else took it. Maybe it's a distortion of what really happens, but it's a populist image.

                   

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          Karl (profile), Jul 4th, 2010 @ 9:31am

          Re: Re: Re: Is nationality an artificial construct?

          Techdirt publishes a lot of examples of what is wrong with legislation, IP protection, etc. But there is very little discussion of how to bring about change.

          Comment on blog posts until the problem goes away, obviously.

          But seriously, do you have any suggestions yourself?

          I personally wrote a letter to Victoria Espinel, and am (somewhat) active with the FSF and open source projects. I've released much of my music (anything not still in print through someone else's label) under a CC license.

          Still, I'm just some douchebag with an opinion and a bunch of gear. It's not like labels and politicians will care about this. If you have any suggestions on what else I could possibly do, I'm all ears.

           

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            Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jul 4th, 2010 @ 10:40am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Is nationality an artificial construct?

            But seriously, do you have any suggestions yourself?

            If you are talking about music, here are my suggestions:

            1. Don't join ASCAP/BMI/SESAC unless you anticipate getting significant radio or TV play. Once you join, you have given them permission to collect money on your behalf. So it is hard to argue that small venues shouldn't have to pay licensing fees when you play them if you are a member of one of those organizations.

            2. If you don't believe in music copyright, let people know they can use your music without licensing it from you. Using something like a CC license is good.

            3. Accept the fact that, right or wrong, the perceived value of recorded music has gone down, in many cases to zero, so move on.

            4. Don't bitch about the evils of the system. Major labels aren't the problem. Life has already moved on. Don't spend energy on what has already become unimportant.

            5. If you truly believe ASCAP/BMI/SESAC are evil, how about some non-violent civil disobedience? Organize some play ins. Be prepared to go to jail if you honestly think this is a major cause.

            6. Do some community work. Provide free music and lessons to schools. Organize places for people to play. Work with a home concert organization. Publicize the rules and help your fellow musicians develop a circuit.

            7. Look into non-traditional venues and organize opportunities there. If you need to campaign in communities to change the local rules, start doing that. If you have success in one community, publish a guidebook to help musicians organize in other communities.

            I'm sure I can come up with more ideas. Those are just a few that I have been thinking about or that have come off the top of my head.

             

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              Karl (profile), Jul 4th, 2010 @ 3:34pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is nationality an artificial construct?

              As far as those suggestions are concerned:

              1. Done.

              2. Done.

              3. I think you mean "price," not "value." The value of recorded music is as high as ever - it's the price that's dropping to zero (or near enough).

              4. When that system stops preventing me (and others) from making independent music, and when legislatures stop passing laws (that I have to follow) solely to protect a system that never benefited music, then I'll stop bitching.

              5. I don't know if this would do any good whatsoever. It's not like the PRO's listen to anyone except the top players, even within their own organizations.

              6. Other than lessons for schools, done.

              7. I've helped with some of that. There are a ton of problems with non-traditional venues, though, that have nothing to do with copyright (fire codes, gentrification, "disturbing the peace" laws, etc).

              So, yeah, I've done all those that I can, or think would be useful.

              Yet thousands of people are still being sued by the Hurt Locker producers, the FBI and Homeland Security are still arresting people who camcord movies, the Pirate Bay is still under fire, etc. Any ideas on how to stop that stuff from happening?

               

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                Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jul 4th, 2010 @ 4:20pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is nationality an artificial construct?

                Yet thousands of people are still being sued by the Hurt Locker producers, the FBI and Homeland Security are still arresting people who camcord movies, the Pirate Bay is still under fire, etc. Any ideas on how to stop that stuff from happening?

                My primary advice would be not to pirate movies/music etc.

                You can also form arts groups that provide content for free. Why patronize that which isn't being made to you for free? Support those who share your values. If the value of P2P is exposure, then ignore the artists/groups/companies that don't want you to have their material for free. If pirating music/movies/books HELPS content creators, then by the same logic, NOT pirating them hurts them, yes? Punish them by not downloading their stuff for free.

                Beyond that, if people feel passionately enough about it, do what people did during the Civil Rights and Anti-Vietnam movements. Organize protests and be prepared to go to jail. I knew people who went to jail for years or relocated to Canada or Sweden not to serve in the military.

                People can also form artistic groups that

                 

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                  Karl (profile), Jul 4th, 2010 @ 5:25pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is nationality an artificial construct?

                  My primary advice would be not to pirate movies/music etc.

                  In general, that's good advice. There are a couple of caveats, however.

                  - Out of print recordings. I've found a bunch of great stuff on a blog called No Longer Forgotten, which only makes available stuff that is long out of print. Ditto with The Avant-Garde Project. The term for this is "orphan works."

                  - Chilling effects. If people in general believe that sharing movies and music is a crime, they'll be less likely to do it even when it's perfectly legal to do so. That means one less way for me to get my art out there.

                  - Leaving aside the many ethical issues, the victims of lawsuits are potentially my customers too, and I'd like to stick up for them if I can. Scolding them doesn't seem like the right move.

                  It's like that old joke: "Doc, it hurts when I do this." "Well, don't do that." If that's the only advice a doctor ever gives you, he's not a very good doctor.

                   

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                    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jul 4th, 2010 @ 5:47pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is nationality an artificial construct?

                    Chilling effects. If people in general believe that sharing movies and music is a crime, they'll be less likely to do it even when it's perfectly legal to do so. That means one less way for me to get my art out there.

                    Do a big educational campaign. And probably make your music available on your website rather than hoping for P2P sharing, if that is what you have been using. YouTube, too, in terms of getting your music out there and letting people know it is free to download. Use as many channels as possible to let people know your music is free.

                    Big List of Sites for Musicians to Upload Music to - Uploading My Music

                    Leaving aside the many ethical issues, the victims of lawsuits are potentially my customers too, and I'd like to stick up for them if I can. Scolding them doesn't seem like the right move.

                    Probably doing fundraising to help them pay any legal fees they might have would help.

                    And if it gets to this and it is really important, go on a hunger strike. Yes, I know people don't want to do this, but this is the sort of thing that has been done to generate publicity for a cause. If you want to change the world, sometimes you have to make great personal sacrifices.

                     

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                      Anonymous Coward, Jul 4th, 2010 @ 6:24pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is nationality an artificial construct?

                      Or people just keep doing what they being doing not buying and sharing.

                      People on the other side can get blue in the face it won't matter.

                       

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                      Karl (profile), Jul 4th, 2010 @ 11:04pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is nationality an artificial construct?

                      Do a big educational campaign. And probably make your music available on your website rather than hoping for P2P sharing, if that is what you have been using.

                      Well, I wrote about all this on my website, which is about as "educational" as I can get (preaching just turns people off). I do support groups like the EFF and the FSF when I can.

                      I do also make my music available directly through the website.

                      And thanks for the link to a list of music upload sites. I didn't know about half of them.

                      Probably doing fundraising to help them pay any legal fees they might have would help.

                      A good idea, but one that someone more popular would be better at pulling off. That's why it's good when I see things like Springsteen removing his name from an ASCAP lawsuit. I wish other popular artists would do that.

                      And if it gets to this and it is really important, go on a hunger strike.

                      Ha, trust me, I wouldn't last a day.

                      Also, r.e. No Longer Forgotten and the AGP:
                      How are you prevented from getting what you want?

                      At the moment, I'm not. But orphan works are still copyrighted, so technically those sites are still infringing. They could still get sued, shut down, or worse.

                      Plus, even if they don't get sued themselves, they could still get shut down if lawsuits result in "blanket bans" on sharing music (e.g. Google taking down Blogger music sites).

                      So far, "don't worry about getting sued" has not been a particularly successful strategy. And copyright holders are getting more and more litigious by the day, so I expect the situation will get worse before it gets better.

                      The marijuana laws provide an interesting comparison. Pot was originally made illegal, in part, because hemp was in competition with textile manufacturers. That hasn't been true for, what, sixty years? Yet it's just now starting to become legal again. Are we going to have to wait sixty years after the labels fail, before copyright laws become sane again? I hope not.

                       

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                        Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jul 4th, 2010 @ 11:43pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is nationality an artificial construct?

                        The marijuana laws provide an interesting comparison. Pot was originally made illegal, in part, because hemp was in competition with textile manufacturers. That hasn't been true for, what, sixty years? Yet it's just now starting to become legal again. Are we going to have to wait sixty years after the labels fail, before copyright laws become sane again? I hope not.

                        That's a legitimate question.

                        What's happening right now is that the music industry folks still have the money to sue. But as the major labels shrink and have less money to spend, I think the lawsuits will go down.

                        Most unsigned artists without publishing deals aren't going to sue, even if they wanted to, because they don't have the money.

                        I think in the fairly near future we'll see fewer copyright suits because the economics of creative industries will have changed. If you don't have the money to sue and if your target doesn't have any money to pay you if you win, what's the point? Sure, I know that it has been done for symbolic reasons, but I think it will become more like the marijuana laws. It may be illegal, but people will spend their resources going after other crimes.

                        I also think countries like China will be harder to rein in if the balance of economic power shifts to them. The developed world may want to dictate global laws, but we know countries don't always enforce them within their borders.

                        The entire entertainment and content industries are rapidly changing. I think before long the idea that everything will be copied will be build into everyone's plans. YouTube is an interesting example of a legitimate business that gives copyright holders the choice of whether to allow unauthorized content to remain and even to advertise on it, or whether to have it taken down.

                        I accepted years ago that the amount paid to freelance writers was going down. Nothing really to do about it. And a few years ago I accepted that artists who used to sell lots of CDs were probably going to see sales decline. I'm just not one to dwell on it. Accept the reality and either make it work for you or at least move on.

                        So most of my advice is to find some practical solutions rather than to get tremendously upset one way or the other.

                        I know there are people here who are very upset with IP protection. And I also know there are people in creative industries who are very upset with piracy. My personal response to either scenario is mainly just to shrug. There are issues I care about, and they often determine who I vote for, but what a politician might say about IP laws one way or another just wouldn't factor into my decision.

                         

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                          Richard (profile), Jul 5th, 2010 @ 1:49am

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is nationality an artificial construct?

                          But as the major labels shrink and have less money to spend, I think the lawsuits will go down.

                          No - sadly I think that they will go on suing even when their net worth is negative. Look at SCO. That shell of a company has huge debts and barely exists at all - but it is still able to sue.

                          Sadly, taking legal action seems to be the number one priority of dying organisations.

                           

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                    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jul 4th, 2010 @ 6:23pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is nationality an artificial construct?

                    I went to look at the No Longer Forgotten blog. It looks like he has some items for sale and some for download.

                    How are you prevented from getting what you want?

                    And I looked at the Avant Garde Project. He's making the stuff available. He's not waiting for the laws to change. It looks like he is trying to be as accommodating to copyright holders as possible. He's very transparent about what he is doing.

                    Avant Garde Project Copyright Policy

                    Many of us go a little above the speed limit. Sometimes we're caught and get tickets. Sometimes not. Sometimes the speed limit is adjusted upward to match reality.

                    With copyright, I've personally found it easy to live within the law. I've also seen some people bend it a bit and no problem. Usually the ones who run into legal trouble have crossed over the line a bit too much.

                    But again, for those who feel IP laws must be changed, they may have to begin a major crusade that involves going to jail to make the case. People have done that for causes they believe in. And others have raised millions of dollars in support of causes they believe in. Activism.

                    It's funny to have watched the legalization of marijuana over the years. People have been organizing and petitioning for at least 50 years. And bit by bit possession has become less criminal. But what has really put it over the top here in Colorado was the passage of medical marijuana legislation. Yes, you are still not supposed to get it if you don't have a medical need. But there are marijuana clinics/storefronts everywhere. And ads in all the free newspapers (even with weekly specials). Westword (a sister publication of the Village Voice) has run special ad inserts devoted to marijuana clinics and hired a reviewer to check them out). Companies are even making marijuana ice cream. Kids in high school are legally obtaining marijuana for certain disorders.

                     

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                      Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jul 4th, 2010 @ 10:50pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is nationality an artificial construct?

                      High art: Weed-themed entertainment is popping up all over the Mile High City - The Denver Post: "That's a big deal for folks in the marijuana world -- formerly forced to hide in the shadows and now legitimized through the exploding number of medical marijuana dispensaries (about 250 in Denver and over 400 in the state, according to WeedMaps.com) as well as voter-approved tolerance for recreational use. ...

                      TV news reports like to trot out the fact that we have more medical marijuana dispensaries than Starbucks in Denver these days (reportedly a 2-1 ratio earlier this year), but pot has long been a part of many people's laid-back lifestyles."

                       

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            Anonymous Coward, Jul 4th, 2010 @ 11:09am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Is nationality an artificial construct?

            8. Punch an intellectual property lawyer in the junk. Punch them so hard that their junk, hopefully, falls off. Steal their junk and when Christmas time rolls around just hang it on a Christmas tree. God bless us, everyone.

             

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          Mike Masnick (profile), Jul 6th, 2010 @ 12:25am

          Re: Re: Re: Is nationality an artificial construct?

          Techdirt publishes a lot of examples of what is wrong with legislation, IP protection, etc. But there is very little discussion of how to bring about change.

          This is not true. It's blatantly false and it's getting silly that you keep insinuating such a false statement.

          First off, we are regularly educating people on the problems with IP laws, which is how change happens. It may not happen immediately, but it does happen. Second, when there are opportunities to create real change, we do point them out.

          But to say that educating people is not "doing something" is so wrong as to be laughable, and why I have so much trouble discussing stuff with you on this site.

          So what do you plan to do about it?

          What amazes me is that you tell us to shut up about these things, but then you complain that we're not doing anything.

          Getting the word out *is* doing something.

           

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    JNomics (profile), Jul 2nd, 2010 @ 10:32pm

    University of Chicago science historian, Adrian Johns, contributes significantly to this debate in his book, Piracy. It is a must read for anyone who wants to be an informed contributor to this particular debate.

    JNOMICS

     

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    Jay (profile), Jul 3rd, 2010 @ 12:08am

    Against public funding

    There's quite a few problems with public funding.

    Namely, the research takes MUCH longer to get anywhere. Has anyone here ever considered Grant writing? I know my economics teacher had his salary rejected because it wasn't high enough...

    The other problems are the fact that you want to milk it for all it's worth. You pick a hypothesis or a question that is really difficult to find an answer to (Global warming, degrees of temperature on the sun's cooler side, life on mars...) then hold off on research until you come to the end of the grant.

    So as I feel with the Public funding, it gives a perverse incentive to hold off on research for as long as the money lasts. It's like the funding of AMTRAK. AMTRAK isn't getting any better, it isn't innovating, all it's doing is standing still until it's time for more money.

    I'm fairly sure the US doesn't need anymore government handouts.

     

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    Andrew F (profile), Jul 3rd, 2010 @ 12:15am

    Slight correction

    In other words, the argument that researchers or competitors will prefer to keep their inventions secret via trade secrets goes out the window when companies realize that by sharing more freely their own inventions, they also get greater access to the inventions of others.

    I think the better way to phrase this is greater access to other inventors. Once you buy the invention (or a copy of it), you have just as much access to it as anyone else. The inventor, on the other hand, is much harder to access -- unless you have something interesting to share.

     

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    dleit (profile), Jul 3rd, 2010 @ 4:37am

    I wonder what Terence Kealey would say about the trend analysis of top tier marginal and capital gain tax rates vs. economic growth? According to a number of economists these trends are presented as evidence that current top tier tax rates are lower than they should be to encourage economic growth. They point to the growth periods of the 40's-70's tied to top tax rates.

    The trend and thought process from this analysis might indicate that higher tax rates on wealthy parties tend to encourage private investment. Simplistically, private investment is presumably a tax shelter lowering the tax rate of the wealthy. And, it follows that some portion of private investment goes into scientific research and development of new products.

    I recognize that economics is often controversial, but this idea is interesting and relevant to Kealey's analysis.

     

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      Richard (profile), Jul 3rd, 2010 @ 12:56pm

      Re:


      I wonder what Terence Kealey would say about the trend analysis of top tier marginal and capital gain tax rates vs. economic growth? According to a number of economists these trends are presented as evidence that current top tier tax rates are lower than they should be to encourage economic growth. They point to the growth periods of the 40's-70's tied to top tax rates.


      I'm fairly sure that he would try to find some flaw in this analysis.

      The University of Buckingham (his employer) is a maverick institution. An academic stalking horse for some fairly old fashioned right wing views. It was set up at a time of great scarcity in the academic job market in the UK and was thus able to recruit staff more easily than would have been the case at other times.

      His views on public funding of science reflect his employer's prejudices very well.

      Their agenda is to more or less shut down publicly funded higher education and University research and replace them with a privatised system.

      However I suspect his views on patent/copyright may be a slight embarrassment to them.

       

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    Richard (profile), Jul 3rd, 2010 @ 6:05am

    Public Funding

    "science" is not a public good, and that government-funded science actually tends to do more damage than good for global economies:
    Many of the points raised actually apply to issues related to patents as well. For example, he starts out by quoting Francis Bacon, who defended the idea of governments funding science by claiming (as we often hear about patents), that if an individual invests in research, it will cost a great deal to do so, but any competitor can then copy the results for free. And thus, Bacon concluded, science was a form of a public good which the government should fund. Sound familiar?

    The problem, it turns out, is that as with patents there is no actual data to back this up. Kealey points out that there is no historical or econometric data anywhere that supports this claim.


    I think one has to be careful here not to toss the baby out with the bathwater.

    I agree that there is an awful lot of inappropriate public funded research out there - usually it is work that the private sector would "sort of like to have done" - but really doesn't want to fund itself - a sort of backdoor subsidy to private industry driven by lobbying.

    However there are some things that are worth doing for their own sake - not for any economic reason and some of these are beyond what amateur funding can organise. The director of Fermilab was once asked "What good does Fermilab do to the defence of the United States?" to which he replied "It makes the United States worth defending." Substitute "economy" for "defence" and I think you still have a good argument. Humans are curious creatures - and attempts to answer the fundamental questions or existence and life should be funded independently of economic arguments.

    In short I believe there is a place for substantial government funded research - the mistake is to link it to short - or even medium term economic goals. The economic returns (if there are any) will only materialise 30-50 or even 100 years later.

    I am also surprised at the conclusions of the studies mentioned - since the substantial government backing for research during WW2 and the cold war has surely resulted in significant economic gains. Our whole life now revolves around technologies that originated then. There is no evidence of comparable advances happening through purely private research in peacetime.

     

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    Nina Paley (profile), Jul 3rd, 2010 @ 7:04am

    True of other culture, too

    It costs as much to access information as it does to make it.

    Same with the rest of culture. I am continually baffled that people fail to acknowledge the work that goes into "consuming" art. In fact it's not "consuming," it's attending.

    Attention is scarce. Information is not. Do the math.

     

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    Jim, Jul 3rd, 2010 @ 9:17am

    History doesn't support patent's effectiveness for creativity

    If you look at the history of Fulton's patient of the steam engine, development was stagnant until the patient expired. Then, there was an explosion of creativity.

    The same thing is happening today. Patent's are hindering creativity. Get rid of them, or cut back the time.

    Same thing with copyright. Put it back to an opt-in system for 12 years, renewable for an additional 12 years. Extending copyright retroactively hasn't made George Gershwin more creative.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 3rd, 2010 @ 9:24am

    evoking cargo cults is probably the most blatant strawman i have seen here is a while. much of what is narrow focus science is not easily reproduced, but it is also not easily converted into actual products, goods, or even functional ideas beyond the discovery itself.

    at the start of the age of microchips, actually producing micro chips was so specialized that few could do it. over time however, the production of microchips have become much easier, and at the same time much more sophisticated. at the start of the age of dna and such, much is too difficult for most people to understand. however, over time it will become more common place and more people will understand the concept.

    will there ever be a cargo cult style replication? perhaps one day. but to evoke it in fields of pure research is a strawman and very, very misleading.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 3rd, 2010 @ 9:31am

    rubbish

    "However, it is interesting that there doesn't appear to be any direct evidence that public expenditure in science leads to economic growth."

    Because there is no positive outcome other than economic growth. There could not possibly be benefits that do not include economic growth. We have dollar signs in our eyes and that is all we see. Adding to our collective knowledge means nothing unless it involves more dollars in the end.

    This blog only benefits Mike economically, it does not benefit society. We should eliminate this blog as there is no evidence that is creates economic growth.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 3rd, 2010 @ 9:34am

    What I think is that the government should give tax incentives to any company that makes their research publicly available via some peer review journal or something.

    Conducting research in and of itself, and keeping it secret, should not be enough to justify a tax incentive. Conducting research and making it publicly available should result in tax incentives.

    We also need some mechanism to prevent companies from publishing redundant research or only the least useful research just for the sake of getting tax incentives. Perhaps the tax incentives could be based on how much others reference the material and there could be other factors involved to determine how much to give a private entity in tax benefits? We already have mechanisms to measure the significance of a published piece of work (ie: number of citations). Perhaps those can be used here. Or are they also subject to abuse?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 3rd, 2010 @ 9:55am

      Re:

      (and abuses that this can lead to is that organizations/corporations can agree to cite each others work just for the sake of citing each others work. How can this be avoided or what measure can we use that's resistant to such abuse. We really have to think hard about the incentive structure that we create).

       

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jul 3rd, 2010 @ 1:30pm

    How about this scenario?

    Let's eliminate all copyrights and patents.

    The economy as a whole improves and everyone shares in the wealth. Everyone gets a stipend for housing, food, health care, education, etc. Broadband is available for free to everyone. Basic needs are met. People create and invent because they want to, not for material rewards. Whatever is discovered will be available for all.

    Seems like this would go along with some of the Techdirt philosophy, though perhaps going further than what has been proposed.

    It's already been put forth here that monetary rewards don't necessarily result in more creativity, so the argument that if you give people what they need they won't work any more is perhaps inaccurate. And if getting rid of patents and copyrights will improve the economics, then there should be less scarcity.

    By providing for everyone's basic needs, we free up everyone to focus on what makes them happiest and presumably most productive.

     

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      Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jul 3rd, 2010 @ 1:41pm

      Re: How about this scenario?

      Of course there would have to be some sort of collection/distribution agency. You'd have to find a way to get resources to each citizen: either in the form of a check, or free goods and services, etc.

      It doesn't have to be a governmental agency, but you'd need some mechanism to distribute to each citizen what he/she needs to function in society at a basic level.

      Am I proposing a welfare state? Why, yes. Then ideas can flow freely and don't need to be tied to who creates and who produces.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 3rd, 2010 @ 3:39pm

      Re: How about this scenario?

      "Let's eliminate all copyrights and patents."

      The is a great idea.

      "The economy as a whole improves and everyone shares in the wealth. Everyone gets a stipend for housing, food, health care, education, etc. Broadband is available for free to everyone. Basic needs are met. People create and invent because they want to, not for material rewards. Whatever is discovered will be available for all."

      Don't think it is possible, people will still need to work hard but will not be encumbered or hampered by ridiculous imaginary property, that exist only in the realm of fantasy and cannot be stoked, fenced or repossessed.

       

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      Mike Masnick (profile), Jul 6th, 2010 @ 12:30am

      Re: How about this scenario?

      Let's eliminate all copyrights and patents.

      Ok.

      The economy as a whole improves and everyone shares in the wealth. Everyone gets a stipend for housing, food, health care, education, etc. Broadband is available for free to everyone. Basic needs are met. People create and invent because they want to, not for material rewards. Whatever is discovered will be available for all.

      You don't know much about basic economics (or human behavior) if you think that, by itself, is a good idea.

      It's already been put forth here that monetary rewards don't necessarily result in more creativity

      No, you misread the research. What it said was that monetary rewards *alone* don't lead to greater creativity. That doesn't mean that monetary incentives aren't important. Just that you need to understand where and how to apply them.

      And if getting rid of patents and copyrights will improve the economics, then there should be less scarcity.

      There is no such thing as "less scarcity." There are always scarcities. It's just a question of where. What we want to do is get rid of *artificial scarcities* because those are economically damaging.

      By providing for everyone's basic needs, we free up everyone to focus on what makes them happiest and presumably most productive.

      Yeah, how has that worked in the past? You seem to be confusing the idea of individual autonomy with communism.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 3rd, 2010 @ 3:03pm

    I know one vote that every country in the planet will agree with.

    Cut the salary of politicians!

    I doubt there will be any country where the people will be voting against it.

     

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    Bubba Nicholson, Jul 3rd, 2010 @ 3:04pm

    Public vs private good

    Those who receive public funds take interest in frivolous things like research.
    Those who receive private funds are generally interested in profit and are doing useful things like development.
    Scientists do research. Engineers do development.
    Engineering development is associated with progress. Research may never bear any fruit directly.
    I have elucidated the cause and cure for crime, for drug addiction, and for sexual perversion, yet I receive no state subsidy. Such subsidies rob us of our creativity, turning us into colorless salarymen. It is far better to toil in squalor, striving against impossible odds. To win fame and fortune in science tolls the death knell for your creativity. That is why I have refused millions proffered for my helpful suggestions: Star Wars, Avatar, Forrest Gump, Good Will Hunting, Juno, Passion of the Christ, Titanic, Mystic River, 300, Pirates of the Caribbean, National Treasure, The Simpsons, and many more. They come to me for fresh thinking. When they rely on themselves, they get formulaic sequels.

    I cannot count the number of times some imbecile has done some fine research and been baffled (but never dumbfounded). Generally the very first explanation that pops into their little skulls is what they latch onto, since their only real interest is in publishing 'something' instead of understanding anything. When Newton famously suggested his work would not have been possible had he not 'stood on the shoulders of giants', he was able to climb up there so easily because those giants had their heads up there chocolate kazoos.

    Meanwhile why don't you all read my new book: Nicholson, Bubba (2009). Of Love KISSES PASS EPIGENETIC PHEROMONES IN THE PATHOGENESIS OF SOCIOPATHY, ‘MENTAL ILLNESS’ AND DISEASE The Cure for Crime. The Cure for Drug Addiction. Amazon Kindle edition B0030MIG24

    Those interested in my movie exploits should read my Hillary's Angel B002TSB0ZU.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 3rd, 2010 @ 3:29pm

    "The economy as a whole improves and everyone shares in the wealth. Everyone gets a stipend for housing, food, health care, education, etc. Broadband is available for free to everyone. Basic needs are met. People create and invent because they want to, not for material rewards. Whatever is discovered will be available for all."

    People don't want a stipend, they want the freedom to use ideas freely as they see fit to advance themselves, people don't care about others secrets they care about what they can do and when that is being hampered by stupid laws that take away their freedoms and the capability to make a living out of things then you get people angry.

     

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jul 3rd, 2010 @ 4:14pm

    Re:

    People don't want a stipend, they want the freedom to use ideas freely as they see fit to advance themselves, people don't care about others secrets they care about what they can do and when that is being hampered by stupid laws that take away their freedoms and the capability to make a living out of things then you get people angry.

    I can assure you that many musicians would happily trade copyrights for a stipend. If they could make music all the time (and not worry about how to sell it), they would be in heaven.

    My father was a career military officer. The government provided free housing, free medical care, free government-run schools when we were overseas, free moving from job to job, etc. It was a totally government-run life. Most military kids have very fond memories of growing up that way.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 3rd, 2010 @ 6:42pm

    "I can assure you that many musicians would happily trade copyrights for a stipend. If they could make music all the time (and not worry about how to sell it), they would be in heaven."

    Why those musicians don't go do live gigs instead?

    Find some good old work. Oh they can't can they, because people are not spending and they are not spending because they can't work either, because of stupid laws that limit what they can do and put fear in anything they try to do.

    That is IP f"#$% the little guy.

     

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      Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jul 3rd, 2010 @ 6:56pm

      Re:

      If you want to share ideas, copyrights, patents, etc., why not share the wealth too?

      If reducing the laws and the licensing will increase the wealth, just find ways to spread it around. It seems like one of the most fair ways is to give everyone a minimum payment or provide some basic necessities. And then if people want to make more money, they can earn it.

      I'm totally fine with getting rid of patents and copyrights, but in return, I'd like to make sure everyone is provided for. Everyone, from the richest to the poorest, would get the same payment, so it isn't as if some people would get something others would not. It would at least guarantee that there's money to pay for housing, food, medical care, etc.

      And by setting up some sort of universal health care system, for example, you'd get rid of all the paperwork that goes with multiple insurance companies. I'm just trying to accelerate these ideas so that we have even fewer reasons for laws and regulations.

      Again, if we accept that people will create and invent even if they aren't getting paid to do so, then we don't need to worry about the economy stopping if people have their basic needs met. In fact, it would free up a lot of talent this way. It would be kind of like a free box in a ski area. Put in what you have; take what you need.

      That's what you guys are talking about anyway, right? What's yours is mine.

      I'll put my best ideas on the table. We'll all benefit. The system will pay us all. The check is in the mail. :-)

       

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        Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jul 3rd, 2010 @ 7:11pm

        Re: Re:

        If it is true that the more we share, the more we all benefit (and I fully accept this idea), think of how much better a society we could be if we all had free health care, free food, free education, free transportation, free broadband, free housing, and so on.

        Then we would be able to build upon what everyone else has done to the benefit of all of us.

        We just need to work out the best ways to share all of this stuff (whether to provide a stipend or actually give out the food, health care, etc.).

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jul 3rd, 2010 @ 8:46pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "If it is true that the more we share, the more we all benefit (and I fully accept this idea), think of how much better a society we could be if we all had free health care, free food, free education, free transportation, free broadband, free housing, and so on."

          We can have universal health care, instead of paying insurance how about paying an hospital directly, everybody on that community would pay the hospital directly and would have medical care for free, because is that what insurance companies do they collect from a lot of people and use it just for a few, communities can build their own hospitals and have cheap health for everyone, but people are just too dumb to realize they could do it without a big corporation that will cheat and rob them blind.

          Housing, that can be done also collectively with hard work, energy also can be done that way we wouldn't even need to be worried about the grid health because if every community build their own system it would be robust.

          The government is not doing their job is time to the people to step up to the plate and do something.

          The one thing holding people back is IP law.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Jul 3rd, 2010 @ 9:01pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          People should go and do the open source government thing, it is better than your socialistic view and it would create knowledge that everyone can use to create something for themselves instead of waiting for a government change of heart or waiting big companies to do something for them.

          Broadband in the U.S. is a mess and companies try to pass laws forbidding citizens to do for themselves. Why can't communities build their own networks and make them open to whomever wants to play in it?

          If people want to sing in a bar today they are prohibit by extreme laws, people lost the right to sing in public because of big record labels and that is not ok.

          People lost the ability to take pictures and film things so they can't store those moments anymore and that is not ok.

          People lost the ability to get extra money because some people don't like competition like in the case of hotels in New York is that ok?

          People can't save money doing car pooling is that ok?

          They told us that we are free to do what we want and that we have right to pursue happiness that pursuit is being threatened by IP law.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Jul 3rd, 2010 @ 9:05pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          BTW when you get tired to try linking what people are trying to say to communism or socialism maybe then we can have some serious dialogue.

          It is tiresome to have you argue that point, when that is not what people are trying to say.

           

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          Mike Masnick (profile), Jul 6th, 2010 @ 12:55am

          Re: Re: Re:

          If it is true that the more we share, the more we all benefit (and I fully accept this idea), think of how much better a society we could be if we all had free health care, free food, free education, free transportation, free broadband, free housing, and so on.

          But those are scarcities. You do that and it leads to trouble.

          This is why I have so much difficulty discussing these ideas with you. You make claims that have no basis in reality.

           

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            Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jul 6th, 2010 @ 7:12am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            You make claims that have no basis in reality.

            But the claims that eliminating IP will produce better results for all has no basis in reality, either, because we don't have any good examples. The very fact that people keep citing society hundreds of years ago as an example of life without copyright means you don't really have a current working example to point to.

            I think the best way to generate examples is to start with the open-source and crowdsourced experiments, and also CC, collect data from that, and then if the results are good, you can use that to show the system works better without IP or at least with reforms.

            And I suppose that's why I think the system will evolve on its own anyway. Once small experiments prove their worth, then the change in legislation may follow.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Jul 6th, 2010 @ 5:27pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              The very fact that people keep citing society hundreds of years ago as an example of life without copyright means you don't really have a current working example to point to.

              And why would you say that those examples are invalid today?

               

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                Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jul 6th, 2010 @ 6:56pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                And why would you say that those examples are invalid today?

                What I am saying is that if you can only cite what happened hundreds of years ago, you don't have a strong case. So much has happened in the world since then, much of it good. If IP protection is inherently bad, we wouldn't have gotten this far. In fact, the reason the pro-IP forces can argue their point is that the world HAS progressed with IP protection. You're trying to say we've been held back because of it, but you don't really have proof because IP protection has been such a fixture in economic development.

                Look, what I am trying to point out is that legislators aren't looking to change the laws. Either you come to them with money and lobbying and voter support, or you come up with some irrefutable data, or you're not got to get very far.

                What comes across by citing examples 200 years ago is that you've made up your mind and trying to find something to justify it.

                I think a much stronger case can, and probably will, be made when you have a large enough society that operates IP-free and has overwhelmingly successful results.

                What I am saying is that I'm keeping an open mind, but when you guys start talking about Shakespeare as an example of why your theories will work, you look like you don't have the goods.

                When the US has become one of the strongest countries in the world with IP protection, and you are going back to Elizabethan England to show me a society without copyright protection, I'm not so persuaded. I've lost track of the patent arguments and when patents became the downfall of modern civilization. All that stands out is a lot of talk about Edison. God, that is so not relevant to most Americans today.

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Jul 6th, 2010 @ 9:37pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  What I am saying is that if you can only cite what happened hundreds of years ago, you don't have a strong case.

                  First, that's not all that has been cited.

                  Second, that's not what you said.

                  Third, if you can't provide any valid reason for what you *did* say, then I'm inclined to think you were just making stuff up.

                  In fact, the reason the pro-IP forces can argue their point is that the world HAS progressed with IP protection.

                  Not as much as it would have without, in my opinion. The world HAS progressed with pestilence, famines, earthquakes, pollution, genocide and so on, but that doesn't make those things good (even for progress). I happen to believe that the world would be better off without them, along with copyrights and patents.

                  Look, what I am trying to point out is that legislators aren't looking to change the laws. Either you come to them with money and lobbying and voter support, or you come up with some irrefutable data, or you're not got to get very far.

                  There is no such thing as "irrefutable data" to someone being paid to think a certain way. The only way to get these legislators to change their mind is to make it so that it benefits them to do so, and that's where educating the voting public comes in.

                  What comes across by citing examples 200 years ago is that you've made up your mind and trying to find something to justify it.

                  What it tells me is that there is a long history of progress without copyrights and patents.

                  What I am saying is that I'm keeping an open mind, but when you guys start talking about Shakespeare as an example of why your theories will work, you look like you don't have the goods.

                  There you go again. I would ask you why Shakespeare isn't a valid example, but my experience with you tells me that you wouldn't answer the question (again).

                  When the US has become one of the strongest countries in the world with IP protection, and you are going back to Elizabethan England to show me a society without copyright protection,...

                  Well, that's not exactly the only evidence given. In fact, it is but a tiny bit. So, why do you pretend otherwise?

                  ...I'm not so persuaded.

                  And when asked why, you're less than forthcoming. I'm not so persuaded that you can be persuaded... by anything.

                   

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              Mike Masnick (profile), Jul 6th, 2010 @ 6:31pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              But the claims that eliminating IP will produce better results for all has no basis in reality, either, because we don't have any good examples. The very fact that people keep citing society hundreds of years ago as an example of life without copyright means you don't really have a current working example to point to.

              Um. That's blatantly untrue. Yes, we point to historical societies without copyright, but we also point to comparisons between different *levels* of copyright law (where lower copyright enforcement leads to greater output) and we point to similar *industries* where copyright law does not apply (such as fashion and cooking) and have shown much greater output and competition there.

              For you to claim that there's no basis in reality is simply wrong. That's why I find it so frustrating to talk to you. You say stuff like what you say here that has, in fact, no basis in reality, and then we call you on it and you change subjects.

              I think the best way to generate examples is to start with the open-source and crowdsourced experiments, and also CC, collect data from that, and then if the results are good, you can use that to show the system works better without IP or at least with reforms.

              And we've done that as well.


              And I suppose that's why I think the system will evolve on its own anyway. Once small experiments prove their worth, then the change in legislation may follow.


              You have a lot of faith in politicians to go with what makes the most sense as opposed to going with who paid the most to get protection for their old business model.

               

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                Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jul 6th, 2010 @ 7:33pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Um. That's blatantly untrue. Yes, we point to historical societies without copyright, but we also point to comparisons between different *levels* of copyright law (where lower copyright enforcement leads to greater output) and we point to similar *industries* where copyright law does not apply (such as fashion and cooking) and have shown much greater output and competition there.

                If you are making your case, then why aren't the IP reforms happening like you want?

                If you guys are winning, then everything is cool? Right?

                I'm asking some questions about the logic, but my questions don't really matter if you've got the world seeing it your way.

                You guys just need to chill, then, if you've got it all under control. Why get so worked up if you and the world know you are right?

                In fact, that's kind of my position. It will all work out for the best. When you guys tell me how awful things are, I go, "Really? Are you sure? I'll bet things will take care of themselves."

                In fact, I think that's why drives you crazy. I say it will work out. You tell me the world is going to hell because of IP protection. So I respond by saying, "If that's true, you know, if you'd tighten this argument, you might have better luck getting the laws changed." And then you get upset at me.

                Either you are right and everyone knows it, or maybe you are right but the arguments aren't working or the politics aren't working, or you're wrong.

                If you are right and everyone knows it, then chill.
                If you are right and the arguments or the politics aren't working, then let's talk about it.
                If you're wrong, I won't say so. It will all just play out the way it's meant to play out.

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Jul 6th, 2010 @ 11:03pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  If you are making your case, then why aren't the IP reforms happening like you want?

                  Are you really that naive and ignorant of politics or are you just being duplicitous? Do you really believe that political decisions are always based on truth and logic? Well the answer to your question is that in the real world world, politics often diverge from truth and logic.

                  If you guys are winning, then everything is cool? Right?

                  We aren't? You don't think public opinion is turning?

                  I'm asking some questions about the logic,

                  Strange, though, how you seem unwilling to answer questions about your own proclamations.

                  Either you are right and everyone knows it, or maybe you are right but the arguments aren't working or the politics aren't working, or you're wrong.

                  Or we're right and educating people is part of the process of effecting change. Of course, some people don't particularly like that, do they?

                   

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                    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jul 7th, 2010 @ 6:20am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    If the tide is turning on IP protection, then there isn't a problem, is there?

                    The message I keep getting here is that the laws are tightening rather than that the tide has turned.

                    Maybe that's not what you mean, but that's what seems to be coming across.

                    What I think happens: Mike needs to have a constant stream of content on Techdirt. So he writes a lot of material every day. He's carved out his niche, so there is a position on all the topics. But in order to keep the pipeline full, he's got to generate a lot of words. Some of the posts are stronger than others. If you actually say, "Hey, I'm not sure this particular post illustrates your point very well," then he takes it as a personal attack rather than to accept that maybe the quality of every argument isn't equally strong.

                    If you follow the fan discussions for some TV shows, you'll see that some people think some episodes are stronger than others.

                    So, yeah, there are some times I think, "You know, I don't agree with this," and then the arsenals come up to show how Techdirt can't possibly be infallible and to question the logic here shows how stupid you are. I think it weakens the overall points being made. Every argument coming from Techdirt is positioned as always right.

                    But in the end, it doesn't matter. I'm offering a different perspective, if not to you guys, at least to your readers.

                     

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                      Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jul 7th, 2010 @ 6:30am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      I meant to say "how Techdirt can't possibly be fallible."

                       

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                      Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2010 @ 9:47am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      If you actually say, "Hey, I'm not sure this particular post illustrates your point very well," then he takes it as a personal attack rather than to accept that maybe the quality of every argument isn't equally strong.

                      Except, that's not what you generally say. You tend to come along and just proclaim Mike's arguments, evidence, etc. to be invalid without providing any counter evidence whatsoever. And when questioned on it, you then try to pretend that you said something else. Basically, you just stand on the sideline and throw rocks. I've got to tell you, it's all getting pretty old and predictable.

                      But in the end, it doesn't matter. I'm offering a different perspective, if not to you guys, at least to your readers.

                      Yeah, never mind that you apparently have nothing to support your positions, huh?

                       

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                        Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jul 7th, 2010 @ 1:39pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        Except, that's not what you generally say. You tend to come along and just proclaim Mike's arguments, evidence, etc. to be invalid without providing any counter evidence whatsoever.

                        In a number of threads, particularly related to music, I post a number of links to highlight what I'm referring. I tend to post far more reference material than most here. Go back and look at my posts and you'll see lots of hyperlinks.

                         

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                        Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jul 7th, 2010 @ 2:05pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        Here's one article I'll toss out.

                        Patent reform bill meets opposition during hearing

                        Out of curiosity, I'll do a bit more research to see what's being supported in Congress at the moment. I did that last week and saw that the proposed reforms weren't really in line with what I have seen advocated in Techdirt, but if you all want to see what I'm finding, I'll post it here.

                         

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                          Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jul 7th, 2010 @ 2:29pm

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                          It's going to take me awhile find the discussions involving Congress and IP reform, but I'll add them as I can.

                          IPBiz: Senator Leahy at politico on patent reform

                           

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                              Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jul 7th, 2010 @ 5:19pm

                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                              I'm sure many of you have seen this. But I will put it up because I'm going through the list of articles about where Congress stands on patent/copyright reform and this is one of the references I've come across.

                              Patent Reform Act of 2010: An Overview : LoTempio Law Blog

                               

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                                Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jul 7th, 2010 @ 5:27pm

                                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                 

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                                  Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jul 7th, 2010 @ 8:12pm

                                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                  Silicon Valley: D.C. doesn't get tech - POLITICO.com: "'The Constitution didn't envision laws being made at the pace of technological change,' said Lofgren, whose district includes part of the valley. 'And oftentimes that's not a bad thing.'

                                  Some in Washington say it is, in fact, Silicon Valley that should learn to live with the realities of policymaking. 'I've never really heard a member of Congress say technology is not important; I've heard a lot of tech leaders say, 'I don't need politics, I don't need Washington, policy is going to hurt us,' Dempsey said long after that perplexing May hearing at which he testified."

                                   

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                                Jay (profile), Jul 11th, 2010 @ 11:14am

                                LoTempio

                                I can say that looking at LoTempio's website, I'm convinced he's misguided.

                                He wants to teach children to "respect IP", he's outright wrong in his opinion about BK making their own sausage mcmuffin and overall, he's all about stronger enforcement of copyrights, patents, and trademarks without noticing the benefits of LESS enforcement. Teaching children to respect IP goes against the childhood motto of "share and share alike", now that BK can have their own mcmuffin, more people can enjoy the mcmuffin or even make their own recipe.

                                Also, I looked into the Patent Reform Act that he wants passed.

                                First Inventor-To-File - Rewards a first come, first served. Detriment to society especially for innovating a work.

                                False Marking - Destroys competition through the clause of "competitive injury" To which I must ask... What the heck is a competitive injury?

                                Damages - A joke. What jury, filled with people that probably aren't experts in patent law, is going to reward anything but at or near the maximum allowed? We've seen that happen in file sharing. I'm sure this will be another place of contention in the years to come.

                                Trial - I'm skeptical. It's not a right to a speedy trial and more than likely, it's far easier to be guilty of all three separately than all three together.

                                Willful Infringement - We've gone on about this with the RIAA. Doesn't matter about willful infringement. Sadly, that is going to chill creation rather than promote more. Why should I create in a field if someone is there, waiting to take my work and destroy it for short term monetary gain?

                                Pre-Issuance Submissions of Prior Art by Third Parties - Confused on how this helps people.

                                Litigation Venue - Not relevant

                                Federal Circuit Judicial Residency - Great, now we have roaming judges. XD

                                Micro-Entity - Fixes a symptom of patent abuse but not the main thing, namely that someone can still usurp the small time inventor if their patent is from a larger corporation.

                                Best Mode Requirement - I mean really? Do we want to make patents harder to invalidate? How is this not abusable?

                                Inequitable Conduct - No way for the Patent Office to catch up, but make it harder for them to find inequitable Conduct. Bravo.

                                 

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            Anonymous Coward, Jul 6th, 2010 @ 7:39am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            mike, eliminating the need to search for housing and to have to work to pay for it would free much more time for creativity, no? being assured of 3 meals every day and maybe a good beer every night would stop people from worrying about this sort of thing, and be able to focus on being creative and advancing mankind.

            these things are only scarcities because you decide so. housing is scarce only because the best minds who could come up with ways to build houses for nothing are too busy actually having to work to pay for their dinner, to pay their rent, and to be able to afford a bus pass to get to work. free them from those artificial constraints, and mankind will move ahead like lightning!

            if this all sounds dumb to you, just think of how your opinions of ip sound to the rest of us.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Jul 6th, 2010 @ 3:48pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              ...just think of how your opinions of ip sound to the rest of us.

              Speak for yourself, stinky IP troll. You don't speak for "the rest of us".

               

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        Anonymous Coward, Jul 3rd, 2010 @ 8:39pm

        Re: Re:

        "If you want to share ideas, copyrights, patents, etc., why not share the wealth too?"

        Will you work for that wealth too?
        Because ideas, copyright and patents without work are worthless but you already new that didn't you.

        You are trying to make people think that ideas is like work done and akin to real material property which ideas are not.

        "I'm totally fine with getting rid of patents and copyrights, but in return, I'd like to make sure everyone is provided for. Everyone, from the richest to the poorest, would get the same payment, so it isn't as if some people would get something others would not. It would at least guarantee that there's money to pay for housing, food, medical care, etc."

        No you are not, you don't really care about others, what you do care is about you way of life that is threaten by a new way of thinking, you want things to stay as they are so you can continue to stop other from working.

        "And by setting up some sort of universal health care system, for example, you'd get rid of all the paperwork that goes with multiple insurance companies. I'm just trying to accelerate these ideas so that we have even fewer reasons for laws and regulations."

        Actually that can be done by communities, today people pay insurance which is like building a hospital and maintaining it through contributions, so why not take out the middle man(insurance companies) and start financing the hospitals directly? that way everybody can contribute directly to the hospital and when they get sick they go there and have to pay nothing because they already paid when they were healthy, see how it is possible to do things differently without a big company?

        "Again, if we accept that people will create and invent even if they aren't getting paid to do so, then we don't need to worry about the economy stopping if people have their basic needs met. In fact, it would free up a lot of talent this way. It would be kind of like a free box in a ski area. Put in what you have; take what you need."

        You don't need to believe it, but take open source for example, it is done without the legal crutches that inhibit commerce and it is flourishing, you think people don't get paid? or don't derive value from it just because they are doing it for free as in freedom way? They can make money out of it they just can't stop others from making money also, so what is your point, that without the legal crutches nobody will be able to get paid? maybe not as much in one place but there will be money.

        Ideas are not property, are not meant to be walled, are not physical goods, cannot be measured, touched and this IP idea is being used to keep others from working but you know that you just want to paint things in a different color to make it look bad so you can advance your own point of view and that is fine, but I disagree and won't help you on that front because I don't believe in your cause or words.

        "That's what you guys are talking about anyway, right? What's yours is mine."

        You want to be dishonest fine, keep saying that, what people are saying is that ideas are not property and should never be, hard work and execution doesn't mean you have the right to stop other from doing it, it hurts innovation, it hurts commerce, it hurts society. What you think to yourself is yours, what you tell others is everybody and they should be able to use as they see fit and if they do all the work why is that someone else get to charge others?

        He didn't do the work, he didn't executed, he didn't nurtured the market to health, but you are saying that if someone think about something and patent it he should get all in spite of not being the most capable to make the thing work is that it? We should reward the weak the incapable and be proud of them to lead us to nowhere?

        What you are saying is that if someone makes a song nobody else should be able to use that song ever nor pieces of it to create anything because some schmuck isn't capable of making money out of it?

         

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          Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jul 3rd, 2010 @ 9:17pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          No you are not, you don't really care about others, what you do care is about you way of life that is threaten by a new way of thinking, you want things to stay as they are so you can continue to stop other from working.

          No. I am proposing a radically new way of doing things. I'm saying take those reasons being offered to justify getting rid of IP protection and apply them to all aspects of life:

          1. Sharing.
          2. Allowing people to be creative without having to tie it to income generation.

          Let's take the economic revolution out to the point where we find ways to eliminate scarcities and to ensure that everyone is provided for.

          Someone else was suggesting more self-reliant ways of doing things, and that's certainly a good option. More home generated power, so we can go off grid.

          Community-funded medical care to eliminate insurance companies.

          Urban gardens to grow more locally based healthy foods.

          I used to love the old Whole Earth Catalog and read all about growing your own fruits and vegetables. Building your own home. Solar power. Etc.

          Where music is concerned, I'm advocating that people make their own. The same with art. Become your own creative person. Create rather than consume.

          I haven't said that governments have to do this. If people want to do it at a community level and function as a private entity or as a non-profit, that's something I can get behind. Less consumerism. More self-reliance. Absolutely.

          Rather than contemplate how to create more Teslas, maybe we just need to focus on more human-powered transportation, like bicycles. A lot of what we can be doing doesn't even involve patents or copyrights, so let's get to work right now even if the IP laws haven't changed. Grow a garden folks. :-) And no chemical fertilizers. Go buy some Rodale books and do it the natural way. You can totally avoid the corporate agro industry if you want.

          Rather than lumping me in with record labels, you'd be more accurate to portray me as a hippie. I live in one of the granola capitals of the world: Boulder. Peace. :-)

           

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        Mike Masnick (profile), Jul 6th, 2010 @ 12:54am

        Re: Re:

        If you want to share ideas, copyrights, patents, etc., why not share the wealth too?


        Because ideas are infinitely reproduceable at no cost. Wealth is not. That's the point.

        Wealth is a scarcity. Ideas are not.

        That's what you guys are talking about anyway, right? What's yours is mine.

        No. That's where you are confused. We're talking about what's mine is mine. And that means if I have an idea, I can do what I want with it. Including share it. No one is ever forced to share their ideas, but they need to recognize that once ideas are out there, others might share them.

        That is not the same as "what's mine is yours." It's the opposite.

         

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          Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jul 6th, 2010 @ 7:02am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Wealth is a scarcity. Ideas are not.

          If eliminating IP will result in a wealthier society, why don't we find ways to distribute that wealth so it will benefit all?

          In a post-IP society, maybe we should also tweak our overall economic system.

           

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            Mike Masnick (profile), Jul 6th, 2010 @ 6:27pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            If eliminating IP will result in a wealthier society, why don't we find ways to distribute that wealth so it will benefit all?


            Because that's inefficient and ineffective. That is basic economics, you do realize. I'm not trying to insult you here. I just can't believe that this question even needs answering.

             

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    Comboman, Jul 3rd, 2010 @ 6:47pm

    Collusion!

    von Hippel showed, for example, the 12 leading steel makers in America... 11 of them routinely met discretely, and exchanged information as quid pro quos. It's a very nice model, economically.

    Nice for the steel makers. It's called collusion. Members of an Oligopoly meet (in secret of course) to share information (with each other only) to increase their efficiency and increase the barriers of entry to industry newcomers. This is NOT a good thing.

     

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    Andrew D. Todd, Jul 4th, 2010 @ 3:26am

    We Are Really Talking About Patent Fraud

    I think this discussion is a bit off-target. It assumes that the patentees have something to withhold, that they are the actual inventors. I don't think this is the case.

    Experience shows that economically significant computer/software patents are more or less fraudulent. The patentees try to deceive the patent examiner about the actual state of the art, in order to present themselves as the inventors of things which were actually invented decades earlier. They copy matter from the public press into patent applications, secure in the knowledge that patent examiners are not capable of detecting such plagiarism. Another, related, type of patent tries to present random choices as inventions, for example things like patents on machine instruction opcodes, or the specific arrangement of fields in various kinds of data file formats, and this kind of patent is usually obtained by a large company seeking to lock in a monopoly by taking its customers' data hostage.

    http://www.techdirt.com/article.php?sid=20100406/1628178904#c231

    Original patents tend not to be economically significant. Recently, Angry Dude was asked to name a legitimate software patent, and he opted for RSA Public-Key Cryptography (U.S. Patent 4,405,829). I would certainly agree with his choice, whose official inventors won the Turing Prize in 2002. However, Public Key Cryptography was invented in a British government department, the Government Communication Headquarters, their equivalent of the NSA, in 1973, and kept secret; and it was subsequently re-invented publicly in 1978 by Rivest, Shamir, and Adleman. The patent expired in the year 2000, when the internet, though technically complete, was still getting off the ground as an economic and social institution. Under current patenting standards, designed to restrict "submarine patents," the patent should have expired in 1998. The Turing Prize was awarded after the patent had expired. I don't know what would have happened if the GCHQ had asserted its claim, say in about 1983. Patent offices tend to be deferential to secret government agencies, and presumably the GCHQ would have asked the American NSA to take care of the matter for them (the old-boy-network in operation).

    At the date the RSA patent expired, most of the people who needed cryptography enough to actually put it into use were quite content with private-key ciphers, a notable example being the banking industry which relied on triple-DES. At the time the RSA patent expired, I was using the internet to buy used books, but I was prudentially using a search engine to obtain the name and contact information of a bookseller, exchanging e-mails, and then telephoning the bookseller to arrange payment by credit card, or else, sending him a check by snailmail. The limiting factor was not technology as such-- it was my disinclination to give my credit card number to someone I didn't know much about, and couldn't talk to. The search engines were still ropey little outfits which could not safely be treated like banks. Amazon didn't do used books at this time. What makes RSA economically feasible is the fact that Jeff Bezos is not going to abscond with a mere thousand dollars. If he should be dishonest, it will be with much, much, larger sums.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RSA
    http://www.museumstuff.com/learn/topics/Turing_Prize::sub ::Turing_Award_Recipients

    Much the same applies for every other significant software technology and every other significant digital logic technology which eventually went into computers and the internet. They spent twenty years or more in waiting, so that the patents granted to the original inventors became largely moot. People who think everything is new are people who have only been exposed to consumer-goods-level products.

     

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      Richard (profile), Jul 4th, 2010 @ 9:16am

      Re: We Are Really Talking About Patent Fraud

      The problem here is that most ideas require a significant amount of infrastructure to become profitable. They also tend to require a lot of smaller (more obscure - but nonetheless vital) ideas to make them work. As a result most things get "invented" long before they are practical - let alone economically viable.

       

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    Rev J Shaffer, Jul 4th, 2010 @ 9:52am

    Tacit Information

    "It's why so many attempts at just copying what other successful operations do turn into cargo cult copies, where you may get the outward aspects copied, but you miss all that important implicit and tacit information if you're not out there in the market yourself."

    This brings to mind the various blueprints created by Leonardo DaVinci. . . if one merely copied them, and tried to build what was depicted, they'd end up with an unusable item - it was that tacit knowledge of the sciences involved that was needed to ferret out the "fatal flaw" he put into every blueprint.

     

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    Curtis (profile), Jul 4th, 2010 @ 6:16pm

    copy-right v science v patent

    The moral right to be attributed to an original writing or image has been missing intentionally in the USA for two hundred and twenty years although it was alleged to be covered by various other US laws during debate and passage of the Berne Convention Implementation Act of 1988. What hogwash. Knowledge can't be copy-righted but uses of knowledge can be. The entire purpose for the Unconstitutional US Title 17 was to encourage science by allowing the author to EXCLUSIVELY control publication.
    When my Federal lawsuit resolves copy-right will finally properly lose the hyphen and recognize moral rights enjoyed in many less morally backward countries like Canada and china.

     

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    darryl, Jul 5th, 2010 @ 2:03am

    What the OECD report actually does say, part 1.


    The problem, it turns out, is that as with patents there is no actual data to back this up. Kealey points out that there is no historical or econometric data anywhere that supports this claim. For example, he points to the OECD's sources of economic growth report (pdf), where it found very high correlation between economic growth and countries that had high levels of private R&D.


    There is a huge body of data, and I will post them at the end, sure if you dont look there is no data.

    OECD's sources for economic growth report found higer correlations between employment patterns, and ICT than patents.

    This is due to HUMAN CAPITAL

    "Decomposition of GDP per capita growth shows that both labour productivity and imployment rates are key in explaining these divergent growth patterns."

    MFP (Multi-factor producivity), that means there are multiple factors that relate or promote producivity).
    (ie, not just ONE factor, like patents or IP).

    "Pick-ups in producivity gorwth have been mainly driven by greater use of highly productive ICT e1quipment in many industries and fast technological progress in the ICT industry inself in those countries where this industry has a relevant size.

    This OECD repor, uses data from the 1980's and 1990's before the DOT.COM bust, before 9/11 and before the financial sub-prime loan crisis.

    "Not suprisingly, it is found that the pace of accumulation of physical and HUMAN CAPITAL plays a major role in the growth process. Most notably, the estimated impact of increases in human capital (as measured by average years in education) on output suggest high returns to investment in education.

    And where do these people get their education ? may be it is from public instutions like schools, colleges, and universities. So HUMAN CAPITAL plays a MAJOR ROLE in the growth process.

    Did you read this report Mike ?

    "Policy and institutions are also found to play an important role in sshaping long-term economic growth.


    Mike Said
    "When it came to publicly supported R&D, the report found no impact on economic growth...

    You must not have read this OECD report Mike, that is all I can say, because it does not say that at all, in fact is says the opposite.

    You might like this part especially Mike:



    *****************************************

    Examination of what drives productivity growth inindividual industries (Chap 3) generally suggests that PRO-COMPETITIVE REGULATIONS improve industry-level productivity performance by enabling a faster catch-up to best practice in countries that are far from the technological frontier.


    Please read that statement 10 times before commenting on it, it says that REGULATIONS that promote competition improve industry-level productivity.

    That means patents, being a PRO-COMPETITIVE regulation IMPROVE industry-level productivity performance.

    Mike, you are making the claim (based on the same OECD paper that the opposite is true), how can that be ?

    "One reason why pro-competitive regulations help growth is because they promote INNOVATION

    WHAT,, did you read that,, PRO-COMPETITIVE regulations help growth by promoting INNOVATION !!!.. wow..

    Product market regulation is good for INNOVATION IF it provides INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS that INDUCE INNOVATION

    "US entrant firms (startups) appear to e relatively smaller and less productive than their EU counterparts, but they grow faster when successful.....
    {this report} "indicates that strict regulations on entrepreneurial activity and hogh costs of adjusting the workforce do not necessarily affect overall entry conditions but rather contribute to shape the characteristics of entrants, most notably their relative size.


    So IP and strict regulations on entrepreneurial activity does not affect the market, it only ensures that the better players enter the market, sorting the wheat from the chaff before they start,,, which is a good thing..

    "with respect to human capital, most OECD countries have recorded significant improvements in the level of skills and education of the workforce in the past decades, not least because of government intervention... Even if there may be diminishing social returns to any given increase in education levels, these developments have had (and WILL CONTINUE TO HAVE) a POSITIVE impact on LONG-TERM growth

    This article is all about growth ? I thought....

     

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      Mike Masnick (profile), Jul 6th, 2010 @ 1:04am

      Re: What the OECD report actually does say, part 1.

      This is due to HUMAN CAPITAL

      Did anyone say otherwise? You make it sound like this is some giant surprise. We agree. The problem is that human capital is not the same as IP laws.

      And where do these people get their education ? may be it is from public instutions like schools, colleges, and universities. So HUMAN CAPITAL plays a MAJOR ROLE in the growth process.

      Again, you'll get no disagreement here.

      "Policy and institutions are also found to play an important role in sshaping long-term economic growth.


      Again, on this we agree. I mean, if you know your basic economics, this is no surprise. As I'm a fan of the Joel Mokyr/Douglass North school of economics, it should come as no surprise that I agree on the above point. I'm not sure why you think this disagrees with what I'm saying.

      Please read that statement 10 times before commenting on it, it says that REGULATIONS that promote competition improve industry-level productivity.

      Indeed. And I've always supported pro-competitive regulations. You do realize that patents are anti-competitive regulations, don't you?

      You seem confused. This whole post talked about gov't funded science. I didn't say that all regulations are bad. I wasn't taking the anarchist position. Not sure why you think I was. I'm all for regulations that lead to greater competition. Of course, most of those do so by taking away barriers, not by putting up new rules.

      Mike, you are making the claim (based on the same OECD paper that the opposite is true), how can that be ?


      Because it agrees with my position.

      WHAT,, did you read that,, PRO-COMPETITIVE regulations help growth by promoting INNOVATION !!!.. wow..


      Right. That's been my point all along. Why do you think otherwise?

      Darryl, we've been through this probably half a dozen times now, where you say something you think is amazing and proves me wrong, but nearly every time you actually agree with me as you claim you disagree. It's troubling that you keep doing that.

      So IP and strict regulations on entrepreneurial activity does not affect the market, it only ensures that the better players enter the market, sorting the wheat from the chaff before they start,,, which is a good thing..

      That's not what the quoted sentences say, but ok.

       

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    darryl, Jul 5th, 2010 @ 2:49am

    pt2.

    "For example, he starts out by quoting Francis Bacon, who defended the idea of governments funding science by claiming (as we often hear about patents), that if an individual invests in research, it will cost a great deal to do so, but any competitor can then copy the results for free"

    Ecept that was in the 16th century, and today we have the information age, good IP and patent laws, and protections for the individual who invests in research.
    So that point is out of date and pointless now in 2010.

    "And thus, Bacon concluded, science was a form of a public good which the government should fund. Sound familiar?"

    He is exactly right here, science is a public good, are you trying to argue that science does not help mankind, are you saying we as humans could progress without science ?

    Ofcourse science is all important, but there is science and R&D, or Fundamental Science and Applied Science

    See they are two seperate area's of scientific endevour, applied science is what it says, applying scientific knowledge to specific applications.

    Applied science cannot exist without fundamental science, but fundamental science can exist without applied science.

    You cannot do applied science without the fundamentals worked out, you cannot make a digital computer without the fundamental science of semi-conductors, conductors, insulators, electricity, magnitism, electro-magnitism, metalurgy, materials science, optics, maths, language.

    You cannot do anything without the fundamental knowledge allready being established.

    Fundamental science brings us Quantum physics, and Quantum mechanics, government funded with no real short term financial gains.

    But without the fundamental science of quantum mechanics being worked out in government labs and universities, there could be no applied science on quantum computing!

    Quantum computing is said to possibly make all else look old and very very slow, but quantum computing would not be possible, just as digital computers would not be possible without the massive amount of PUBLIC R&D, to give us a knowledge base to perform applied science.

    Innovation is finding ways of using what you know to achieve the desired result, but if you dont know anything in the first place. (ie have no idea what quantum mechanics is) there is no way you can innovate with that technology, as you cannot even conceive of its existance in the first place.

    Its takes huge amounts of effort and work to find out the building blocks of the universe, and how things can go together, but once you know the fundamentals, then (and only then) can you do applied science and R&D to innovate upon the fundamental science principles.

    Almost all of the advancements we enjoy, including the cure for most conditions and illnesses are due to Public research, on all the things that are not directly applied science.

    We know so much about the world, we can do so many things with what we have got available to us, most of which would not be possible if government sponsored education and science was not performed.

    And by the OECD report, clearly states that the countries with stronger IP laws and regulations do better than those that do not.

    SPILLOVERS

    The term used when fundamental science provides fodder for applied science, in other words fundamental science finds out something that can be applied to immediate or short term applications.

    That is how science works, you do the fundamentals first, not quite knowing what you will find, once you find out things, you look to what you can do with that new knowledge (applied science).

    Therefore applied science is not possible without fundamental science, but fundamental science is possible without applied science.

    So you can have a field of fundamental science called quantum mechanics, but without that fundamental knowledge it is not possible to apply any science or R&D to quantum computing, if you are not aware of quantum mechanics.

    So there is no way that public R&D damages private R&D, the premise of Mikes claims are wrong, and it is not what the OECD paper states.


    "The problem, it turns out, is that as with patents there is no actual data to back this up. Kealey points out that there is no historical or econometric data anywhere that supports this claim."


    References
    Branstetter, L. “Looking for international knowledge spillovers: A review of the
    literature with suggestions for new approaches”, Annales d’Economie et de
    Statistique, 49/50, pp. 517-540
    Brockhoff, K., Internationalization of Research Development, Berlin: Springer,
    1998
    Coe, D. T. and E. Helpman, “International R&D spillovers”, European Economic
    Review, 39, 1995, pp. 859-87
    Coe, D. T., E. Helpman and A. Hoffmaister, “North-South R&D spillovers”,
    Economic Journal, 107, 1997, pp. 134-149
    Crepon, B., E. Duguet, and J. Mairesse, “Research, Innovation and Productivity:
    An Econometric Analysis at the Firm Level”, Economics of Innovation and New
    Technologies, 7(2), 1998, pp. 115-158
    Florida, A., “Foreign Direct R&D Investment in the United States”, Research
    Policy, 26 (1), 1997, pp. 85-103
    Gaussens, O., “Internationalisation de la recherche et du dĂ©veloppement et acces
    aux marchĂ©s”, unpublished manuscript, University of Caen, July 2001
    Grandstrand O., “Internationalization of Corporate R&D: A Study of Japanese
    and Swedish Corporations”, Rsearch Policy, 28 (2-3), 1999, pp. 275-302
    Griliches, Z., “The Search for R&D Spillovers”, The Scandinavian Journal of
    Economics, 94, 1992, pp. 29-47
    Griliches, Z. and J. Mairesse, “R&D and Productivity Growth: Comparing
    Japanese and US Manufacturing Firms”, in Charles R. Hulten (ed.), Productivity
    Growth in Japan and the United States, NBER Studies in Income and Wealth,
    Volume 53, Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 1990
    Kuemmerle, W. “Building Effective R&D Capabilities Abroad”, Harvard
    Buesiness Review, March-April 1997
    Lefebvre G. and B. Madeuf, “Firmes, territoires et rĂ©seaux: la globalisation de la
    recherche industrielle face aux Systùmes Nationaux d’Innovation”, Sciences de la
    Société, 48, October 1999
    28
    Lefebvre G. and B. Madeuf, “Les liens paradoxaux entre stratĂ©gie technologique
    globale et intĂ©gration locale: Le cas des groupes français”, Sciences de la SociĂ©tĂ©,
    54, October 2001
    Mairesse, J., “R&D and Productivity: A Survey of Econometric Studies at the
    Firm Level”, NBER Working Paper 3666, March 1991
    Mansfield, E., “R&D and Innovation: Some Empirical Findings”, in Z. Griliches
    (ed.), R&D, Patents and Productivity, NBER Conference Report, Chicago and
    London: University of Chicago Press, 1984
    Mohnen, P., “International R&D Spillovers and Economic Growth”, Unpublished
    manuscript, University of Quebec at Montreal and MERIT, University of
    Maastricht, February 1999
    Mohnen, P., “R&D externalities and productivity growth”, STI Review, OECD,
    Paris, 18, 1996, pp. 39-66
    Nadiri, M. I., “Innovations and technological spillovers, NBER Working Paper No.
    4423, 1993
    Noisi, J., “The Internationalization of Industrial R&D from Technology Transfer
    to the Learning Organization”, Research Policy, 28 (2-3), 1999, pp. 107-117
    Owen, R. F. and D. Ulph, “Sunk Costs, Market Access, Economic Integration, and
    Welfare”, Review of International Economics, forthcoming
    Patel, P. “Localised Production of Technology for Global Markets”, in D.
    Archibugi and J. Michie (eds.), Globalization and Economic Performance,
    Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1997
    Serapio, M. G. and D. H. Dalton, “Globalization of Industrial R&D: An
    Examination of Foreign Direct Investment in R&D in the United States”, Research
    Policy, 28 (2-3), 1999, pp. 303-316
    Spencer, B. J. and J. A. Brander, “International R&D Rivalry and Industrial
    Strategy”, Review of Economics Studies, 1983, pp. 707-722


    ____________________________


    Fundamental R&D Spillovers and the Internationalization of a Firm’s
    Research Activities

    "Each firm’s technological
    efficiency depends not only on its investment in applied R&D, but also on its
    absorption of domestic and foreign fundamental R&D. In a first stage, the latter
    can be impacted by a decision to localize R&D activities abroad. The interrelation,
    between the decision to localize R&D activities abroad, associated sunk costs, the
    degree of international market segmentation, and initial production costs, is
    explored."

    "It has long been recognized that research and development, at the level of
    both countries and firms, can play a critical role in explaining their economic
    performance as reflected, for example, by trade and investment shares, as well as endogenous economic growth. Increasing attention has also been given to the potential for R&D spillovers impacting on diverse dimensions of national and international economic performance. Branstetter (1998) and Mohnen (2001) have offered recent surveys of the latter literature, while Griliches (1992), Nadiri (1993),
    and Mohnen (1996) have considered the more general role of R&D externalities.

     

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      Mike Masnick (profile), Jul 6th, 2010 @ 1:10am

      Re: pt2.

      He is exactly right here, science is a public good, are you trying to argue that science does not help mankind, are you saying we as humans could progress without science ?

      Darryl, we're talking about "public goods" as a term of economics. It has nothing to do with whether or not it "helps mankind." Please understand the subject you are discussing before making a fool of yourself.

      And by the OECD report, clearly states that the countries with stronger IP laws and regulations do better than those that do not.

      That's not what it says at all. You are very confused. You have misread the report, as you have misread the phrase "public good" and it's making you look silly.

      The OECD report does say that more competition leads to greater innovation and economic growth (something that's been known for years). From that it points out that institutions and regulations that encourage competition help lead to growth. Again, not new and not surprising.

      Your mistake is to assume that by "institutions" and "regulations that are pro-competition" they mean greater regulatory control and things like IP laws. That is not so. IP laws are anti-competitive laws, not pro-competitive laws.

      So there is no way that public R&D damages private R&D, the premise of Mikes claims are wrong, and it is not what the OECD paper states.

      Again, I am afraid you have misread the report. It notes that public funding on R&D can *crowd out* private funding on R&D. This is not a surprise or something new.

      As for your list of research on spillovers, this is not a new field. I could list out dozens more economic research on spillovers. But just listing out titles of reports about spillovers does not respond to what Kealey is actually saying in his presentation.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jul 6th, 2010 @ 5:20pm

        Re: Re: pt2.

        Please understand the subject you are discussing before making a fool of yourself.

        Too late. One cannot make one's self what one already is. However, one can confirm it, which seems to be what "darryl" is attempting to do.

         

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    darryl, Jul 5th, 2010 @ 3:09am

    part 3

    "Notably, it is potentially important to distinguish
    between fundamental and applied R&D, as well as between product and process innovation.
    Government sponsored R&D, which can entail universities, public research institutes, and joint ventures between public institutions and industry, is undoubtedly a principal source of fundamental R&D. There are marked international disparities in both the levels and nature of government sponsored R&D. To the extent that these distinctive characteristics generate a diffusion of
    knowledge which assumes geographical dimensions, they can be viewed as giving rise to national stocks of fundamental R&D.
    Fundamental R&D can be considered as constituting a form of international semi-public good, whereby certain foreign firms may be excluded from fully benefiting from technological spillover effects generated from other countries’ stocks."

    "Alternatively, fundamental R&D, arising in a given country, can be considered to generate positive knowledge externalities, which spillover to the private sector both nationally and internationally. It is a reasonable presumption that such spillover effects are heightened by firms localizing R&D activities (labs) in a given source country.3"

    "Indeed, the acquisition of fundamental R&D can be
    regarded as a necessary condition defining the capacity of firms to create new products, processes and services".


    "Thus, applied R&D may be understood to entail
    the conversion at the firm level of basic knowledge into process and product improvement. In sum, at an initial level of simplification, firms can be viewed as
    principally undertaking two distinct R&D tasks: absorbing fundamental R&D and investment in applied R&D for their commercial use.4 5"

     

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      Richard (profile), Jul 5th, 2010 @ 6:23am

      Re: part 3

      I'm with you on this one - however I do think that a problem has developed in recent years in that government funding has become to closely linked to "outcomes". (Which in practice means short term outcomes.)
      We now have a whole load of "impact factors" that we are supposed to work to. This is really bad for fundamental research - and tends to favour the funding of research that could (and therefore should) be done by the private sector (and some which maybe shouldn't be done at all.)

      The mistake government is making right now is to fund research that private industry says it wants - but doesn't want to pay for itself. To my mind that is practically the definition of bad research.

      Government funding should be confined to curiousity driven research and, apart from a few major projects like LHC, should be funded "bottom up" by allocating each working research his own pot of money to spend as he chooses.

       

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    NullOp, Jul 5th, 2010 @ 6:45am

    Govt

    Seems to me the first question government always asks is "Can it weaponized?" If not, then interest decreases by an order-of-magnitude.

     

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    identicon
    NAMELESS.ONE, Jul 5th, 2010 @ 7:26am

    THe VERY existance and nature of hacking is proof govt is wrong

    y aknow kid messes round finds exploit that the uber eleite rich pazty corporation dont , goes leaves a message how to fix OR whats wrong. THEY then treat him one step less then a terrorist.....
    AND you wonder why there are more exploits that go unreported now.

     

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    Daniel Boehnen, Jul 5th, 2010 @ 3:40pm

    Patents Drive Innovation

    The article's statement that there is no historical or other data showing that patents drive innovation is unbelievably stupid. The first patent law was passed in Venice, 1390 A.D., at the height of the Dark Ages. The Italian renaissance ensued as patent laws quickly followed around Italy, and thereafter the rest of Europe. Since that time, no industrialized county has been without patent laws. As Mark Twain wrote, "A country without a patent office and good patent laws was just a crab, and couldn't travel any way but sideways or backwards." Even today, look around the world and compare the economies of those countries that have had established patent systems for the past 100 years versus those that have not. Do you really think the results are just coincidence. Don't be naive.

     

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jul 5th, 2010 @ 4:51pm

      Re: Patents Drive Innovation

      Actually, the first known "patent" was granted to one Odysseus Bilski about 550 BC in Sybaris, Greece for his culinary skills anent a new recipe entitled "'Hedge' Salad". It is still in vogue and appears as #4 on the salad menu at the Olive Garden.

      Odysseus' currently living descendant was not so fortunate.

       

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      Mike Masnick (profile), Jul 6th, 2010 @ 1:16am

      Re: Patents Drive Innovation

      The article's statement that there is no historical or other data showing that patents drive innovation is unbelievably stupid.

      No. It's backed up by a rather large amount of empirical research.

      The first patent law was passed in Venice, 1390 A.D., at the height of the Dark Ages. The Italian renaissance ensued as patent laws quickly followed around Italy, and thereafter the rest of Europe.

      Correleation =/= causation.

      What you'll find, actually, if you look closely is that the correlation was *backwards*. Patent laws slightly *lag* innovation. In other words, it was never about encouraging innovation, but about protecting one's innovation from competition afterwards.

      That is, patent laws are not about encouraging innovation but hindering it.

      Since that time, no industrialized county has been without patent laws.

      Not quite true, and very, very misleading. There have been numerous countries with very different levels of paten laws. And the folks in Switzerland and the Netherlands at the time they industrialized would take issue with that statement, since neither had patent laws -- very much by choice -- at those times.

      And, you should look at Lerner's research comparing the rates of innovation in similar countries depending on the strength of their patent laws.

      Do you really think the results are just coincidence. Don't be naive.

      I've looked at nearly 3 dozen economic studies on the impact of patents on innovation, and none of them have shown a causal impact. Do you think that's just a coincidence? I'm not naive. I'm also not ignorant. I've read the research. I've looked at the data.

      The evidence is lacking. If you have any actual evidence, rather than backwards correlations and a meaningless quote from Mark Twain, I'm all ears. Until then, I've got 3 dozen studies vs.... a quote from Mark Twain?

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jul 6th, 2010 @ 10:13am

        Re: Re: Patents Drive Innovation

        "...I've got 3 dozen studies..."

        None of which likewise show causation.

         

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          nasch (profile), Jul 6th, 2010 @ 10:25am

          Re: Re: Re: Patents Drive Innovation

          Are you trying to argue with Mike, or agree with him? Because you just quoted him almost directly. These studies do not show a causal link between patents and innovation.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Jul 6th, 2010 @ 5:09pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Patents Drive Innovation

            Not trying to "argue", but merely raise a point of disagreement. If he chides someone for suggesting that correlation shows causation, then it is fair to note that none of the studies upon which he relies demonstrate causation.

             

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              nasch (profile), Jul 6th, 2010 @ 6:42pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Patents Drive Innovation

              You sound like you're disagreeing with Mike, but you're saying the same thing as him.

              Mike: "I've looked at nearly 3 dozen economic studies on the impact of patents on innovation, and none of them have shown a causal impact."

              You: "it is fair to note that none of the studies upon which he relies demonstrate causation."

              So I'm not sure why you think this is a point of disagreement, unless you mean it's a point where you disagree with Daniel Boehnen. If I'm missing something here, please clue me in.

               

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    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jul 5th, 2010 @ 8:25pm

    Re: un...

    Not being a patent expert, but following along with the discussions, I find myself hearing "individual rights" coming from both sides.

    The anti-IP people want to claim that they have the right to use whatever invention/content that has been created/published. This view of individual rights assumes everything is in the public domain and up for grabs. But generally this public domain concept doesn't extend to property or what people do in their lives (as in "Yes, I can use your idea, but no, you can't tell me what to do what that piece of land or whether or not I need a license for my business.")

    The IP people believe they are protecting individual rights by allowing people to claim concepts they have registered, thereby giving them control over their use. Their concept of individual rights would seem to go along with the idea that "My face is my own and you don't have permission to take a picture of it unless you ask me."

    So that's where it all seems to get cloudy in terms of political action. Both sides are claiming they are defenders of individual rights, but they don't interpret that in the same ways.

    In any given discussion people proclaim some mixture of a right to ideas, a right to physical property, a right to behaviors, a right to privacy, etc.

    When I was suggesting a utopian hippie vision of sharing everything, it was to make a point that if we share ideas, let's also share the fruits of those ideas by at least providing for everyone's basic needs.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 5th, 2010 @ 11:04pm

      Re: Re: un...

      Does physical stuff have the same physic properties of ideas now?

      People won't share something that is scarce but they will share and use and infinite good and an infinite good can be used by more then one person without the other being affected.

      Ideas knows no boundaries, has no form or shape and are only useful when someone brings them to reality, trying to constrain the free flow of ideas because someone claim ownership is preposterous and ripe for abuse.

      Now somehow you want to equate imaginary with real and say their one and the same.

      They are not and your hippie world vision falls apart when confronted with the reality that imaginary goods can be produced infinitely without harm to anyone, when people use ideas from others they don't take away the ability of nobody to make use of them, but if you take away a car for someone he will be without it how that equates to your hippie vision? Are you dumb?

      On another topic, lets put the fear on the bio industry by financing the open source bio research.
      http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1040581998/biocurious-a-hackerspace-for-biotech-the-c ommunity

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 5th, 2010 @ 11:16pm

      Re: Re: un...

      "The anti-IP people want to claim that they have the right to use whatever invention/content that has been created/published. This view of individual rights assumes everything is in the public domain and up for grabs. But generally this public domain concept doesn't extend to property or what people do in their lives (as in "Yes, I can use your idea, but no, you can't tell me what to do what that piece of land or whether or not I need a license for my business.""

      Why should extend to physical things? Can a car be multiplied and used by millions of people at the same time?

      Can matter occupy the same space?

      Imaginary goods on the other hand, can be produced by anyone who wants, don't affect the ability of one to exploit it and it is infinite until all intelligent life ceases to exist.

      "The IP people believe they are protecting individual rights by allowing people to claim concepts they have registered, thereby giving them control over their use. Their concept of individual rights would seem to go along with the idea that "My face is my own and you don't have permission to take a picture of it unless you ask me.""

      IP people are protecting vanity, is a shame that people think that giving monopoly rights to an individual is wise. Individuals generally speaking are just downright crazy, that is why people are scared of dictators because people are vain and will enforce that vanity when they have no opposition, and that is what happens with the music industry, they are not happy they are getting billions in revenue no they want it all, and are abusing a privilege not a right.

      "When I was suggesting a utopian hippie vision of sharing everything, it was to make a point that if we share ideas, let's also share the fruits of those ideas by at least providing for everyone's basic needs."

      And nobody answered, because you are BS talker.

       

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 6th, 2010 @ 12:55am

    Privacy

    How much people care about privacy?

    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/196017994/diaspora-the-personally-controlled-do-it-a ll-distr

    They asked for 10 thousand dollars.

    What they got was 6 digits in donations.
    That is how much people care about privacy.

    Another example.
    http://osiris.kodeware.net/

    This was founded in Italy, the solutions come from the most unfriendly internet places apparently, they make ridiculous laws and people create new ways to bypass those laws.

    Next generation robust anonymous network overlay.

    http://www.cs.cornell.edu/People/egs/herbivore/

    That is why I don't see IP maximalists winning this fight any time soon.

     

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    identicon
    darryl, Jul 6th, 2010 @ 3:25am

    Pro-Competition INCLUDES IP regulation, patents are pro-competition, according to OECD

    "Indeed. And I've always supported pro-competitive regulations. You do realize that patents are anti-competitive regulations, don't you?"

    I guessed you would make that claim, the claim that patents are anti-competitive, this is the root of your argument.

    Except, the OECD report you are working from, specifically states that PRO-competitive regulations INCLUDE IP regulations.

    IP regulations as you well know means copyright, trademark and patent regulations.

    So the OECD report you are working from as your source specifically states that IP regulations are good competition, they are the PRO-competative regualtions they are refering too.

    Right there in the OECD report on Page 19, under the heading of

    "PRO-COMPETITIVE REGULATIONSIMPROVE PRODUCTIVITY PERFORMANCE".

    I understand your argument, but I feel it is wrong, your believe or argument is that patents and IP regulations REDUCE competition, or are anti-competative, but in fact the opposite is true, and its that opposite which is also stated in the OECD report.

    Patents do not restrict competition, they promote it.

    Why, because you cannot just use someone elses idea for your own gains, such as an invention. What you have to do is COMPETE, ie you invent or design something better.

    Just because someone else has come up with something lots of people like does not give you the right to just copy his idea for yourself, you do not increase competition by copying just what someone else has done.

    You restrict competition, it means as a comsumer I can buy the original thing, or I can buy your copy of it, I do not have a choice of something else that does a similar thing but in a different way.

    For example, if someone invented a petrol engine, and everyone else just copyied it, all you would have available to the comsumer is different versions of petrol engines, mabey enhanced or modified. But still the same basic thing.

    Patent laws and IP does not stop someone else from building a better petrol engine, and it does not stop someone from inventing an engine that runs of hydrogen.

    But because the petrol engine is patented, the knowledge of its design is in the public domain, but protected for a period of time.

    So the technology is there for you to look at, you can study it, and based on the knowledge you gain, you can design your own alternative system. Building upon what has come before.

    Sure you cannot just copy the exact design, and whats the point, you want to develop a new product, not a copy of someone elses product.

    Therefore, patents and IP laws, promote competition because they make people design and invent NEW things, not the same things over and over again.

    With new things invented, that provides competition between those "things". That is why it is possible for me to buy a petrol engine, or a diesel engine, or an electric engine.

    That is competition, the different kinds of engines compete, and creates new opportunities.

    If everyone just copied what was successful at the time, then progress would stall.

    There is no incentive to invent anything, its just going to be used by someone else, someone better placed to profit from your idea, so why bother.

    With patents, you can invent something, patent it and have some assurance that your idea will profit you not just some big company that can take advantage of your idea.

    _______________

    But lets quote directly from the report, if you dont believe my wordy words....

    ________


    "Examination of what drives productivity growth in individual industries (Chapter 3) generally suggests that pro-competitive regulations improve industry-level productivity performance by enabling a faster catch-up to best practice in countries that are far from the technological frontier."

    What that says is this, by being able to look at patents companies are better able to catch-up to best practice. **Enabling to catch-up, then advancing from that point**

    This is not the same as just copying what has allready been done, it is about getting up to speed on the state of the art, and then developing on those idea.

    You dont have to re-invent the wheel everytime, but patents allow you to know about wheels, and technology so you can build upon that, from that level not from some behind level.

    Patents provide a more level playing field. and promotes competition.

    ____________________________


    Page 19 OECD Report

    "One reason why pro-competitive regulations help growth is because they promote innovation.
    Product market regulation is good for innovation if it
    provides intellectual property rights that induce innovation, and while also restricting the scope for potentially anti-competitive strategic use of
    innovation spending or patenting.



    Mike, that is the bottom line, and you wont agree with it, even though the OECD report clearly states this.

    PRO-competative regulations help gorwth is because they promote innovation.
    Product maket regulation is good for innovation if it provides INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS that INDUCE INNOVATION.

    That is INNOVATION not immatation. You can look at a patent, and innovate on that idea, you cannot just take that patent and copy it for your own gains. That is not innovation and it is anti-competative. You are not providing innovation, you are providing more of the same as before, that is not competition.

    Competition is comsumer choice, if you create something that someone else has allready done, you are not providing competition for the comsumer, they dont have a choice, they can buy that ONE technology from a number of sources, but they cannot choose between competiting technologies.

    Sure, for you the manufacture of this copy you have competition with the original inventor or manufacturer, but you do not provide product competition, consumers do not have that choice or competition to be able to choose your technology or someone eles. They are all the same,

    Patents allow innovation, they allow people to look at what IS and work on what could be. Without patents, the "what is" would not be freely available, so in theory you would have to invent everything from scratch.

    Patents allow us to use existing technology and build and innovate upon it. And the only price you pay, is that you are not allowed to use EXACTLY what the person invented, at lease for awile...

    OECD report page 19:

    "Product market regulation is good for innovation if it
    provides intellectual property rights that induce innovation, and while also restricting the scope for potentially anti-competitive strategic use of innovation spending or patenting.


    Thats the report speaking, IP rights induce innovation !
    while also restricting the scope for potentially ANTI-COMPETITIVE strategic use of innovation spending or patenting.

    That means Mike, that "strategic use of innovation spending or patenting" means this:

    Just taking someone elses innovation or patent and strategically using it is ANTI-COMPETITIVE.

    And clearly it is, you deny comsumers competiting products by the use of {others} innovation or patents.

    That is true, Do you not see how that could or does work Mike. ?

    And that your claim that patents are 'anti-competitive' is not borne out from what the OECD is saying. and what common sense seems to indicate..

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 6th, 2010 @ 6:03am

    "Patents do not restrict competition, they promote it."

    Patents are designed to restrict competition, they don't promote it, how do you call a monopoly "promoting competition" is beyond comprehention.

    "Why, because you cannot just use someone elses idea for your own gains, such as an invention. What you have to do is COMPETE, ie you invent or design something better."

    America was build on others ideas, you are saying this is not true anymore?
    And no, fair competition means everybody should have the same footing, giving someone leverage over others is just wrong. What happens when anyone invents something new that gives an advantage in any sport to someone?

    "Just because someone else has come up with something lots of people like does not give you the right to just copy his idea for yourself, you do not increase competition by copying just what someone else has done."

    You are assuming that others couldn't come up with the same idea on their own, or they can't use slight variations of the idea and worst you think an idea is "property" which no idea is.
    Also an inventor that can't produce or market his invention does not deserve a monopoly and the few that really are original and have all the means to produce and market, probably don't need any "advantage" to make it work.

    "For example, if someone invented a petrol engine, and everyone else just copyied it, all you would have available to the comsumer is different versions of petrol engines, mabey enhanced or modified. But still the same basic thing."

    I think you are ignorant of patents, so I will clear things for you, patents don't have derivative rights and are not awarded to the idea but to the implementation, the physical implementation, if someone else comes up with a different way to use the same idea he can do it and will get a patent, DEVap and Coolerado are the perfect example of that. They both use the exact same ideas to do the exact same thing but they differ in form factors.

    http://www.greenoptimistic.com/2010/06/22/devap-air-conditioner/
    http://www.coolerado.c om/

    "You restrict competition, it means as a comsumer I can buy the original thing, or I can buy your copy of it, I do not have a choice of something else that does a similar thing but in a different way."

    I does not such thing, if anything else it gives people a reason to keep inovating to not get left behind, Ford was against patents, Bill Gates didn't like them either and a lot of other leader's in their fields don't like those things why? Are they nuts? The only people that like those things are the weak and incompetent, should we reward those people now?

    "Patent laws and IP does not stop someone else from building a better petrol engine, and it does not stop someone from inventing an engine that runs of hydrogen."

    Yes it does, if a core element that cannot be done in any other way is patented everyone else will be left out, that is why a lot of companies just wait for the patents to expire to use it, unless the inventor have the means to market his invention otherwise people just wait, that is not innovation, that is not advancement is just plain stupidity.

    "So the technology is there for you to look at, you can study it, and based on the knowledge you gain, you can design your own alternative system. Building upon what has come before."

    Have you saw any patent lately?

    There are no designs in there, someone trying to replicate anything from the patent office since the 90's will be hard pressed to find anything useful in there, you doubt? here, please construct a SAR(Synthetic aperture radar) from the filing.
    http://www.faqs.org/patents/app/20090102705

    Wikipedia have more information than that.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synthetic_aperture_radar

    And here is DIY version for $250 bucks.
    http://www.popsci.com/diy/article/2010-06/diy-synthetic-aperture-radar-system-250

    "Theref ore, patents and IP laws, promote competition because they make people design and invent NEW things, not the same things over and over again."

    You are right that they force people to come with alternatives, which some times are just not good like the petrol engine that didn't change that much in more then a 100 years, can you imagine how it would be difficult to make something different?

    Or the airplanes that use the same basic system to manouver airplanes since the Wright Brothers.

    How about patents on drugs, how many drugs achieve some kind of reaction without side effects?
    MonSanto patents being used to threaten farmers?

    But they don't make people invent new things, new things are rare and with patents being granted to very broad statements passing as a invention things get worst, it is even a burden because for one to secure a patent he needs to file hundreds of patents on the same things and that can easily go to 100's of thousands of dollars or millions not counting the maintanances fee's, anyone starting up is better off not patenting anything because it will cost him dearly risking financial ruin in the process. That doesn't seem like something that works.

    "If everyone just copied what was successful at the time, then progress would stall."

    Really? how long the combustion engine is on the face of the earth? Anybody invent something new to displace it?

    "There is no incentive to invent anything, its just going to be used by someone else, someone better placed to profit from your idea, so why bother.

    With patents, you can invent something, patent it and have some assurance that your idea will profit you not just some big company that can take advantage of your idea."

    Then don't someone else will, what patents do is give weak/incompetent people an upper hand.

    Google and Microsoft had no patent protection when they started and still they got to the top, those are big names of course but it happens all the time, when patents are not being used to drive competitors from the market.

    Funny you use the petrol engine as an example since patents and protectionism was what killed the auto industry in the U.S., have they competed with Japan the history could have been different.

    ""Examination of what drives productivity growth in individual industries (Chapter 3) generally suggests that pro-competitive regulations improve industry-level productivity performance by enabling a faster catch-up to best practice in countries that are far from the technological frontier.""

    Lets see, China have no way of enforcing IP laws and they are growing at break-neck speeds, now that some are rebelling over there people are eyeing vietnam to be a producing house do you think they can enforce patents over there?

    Now look at latin america, those countries enforce patents mostly they use it to bar other from producing anything and keep a few choosen in the top, the U.S. is starting to look the same as those third world countries.

    "and while also restricting the scope for potentially anti-competitive strategic use of
    innovation spending or patenting."

    That part says that patenting is anti-competitive have you problems reading things?

    "Product maket regulation is good for innovation if it provides INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS that INDUCE INNOVATION."

    That induce innovation, but since the current patents laws does not promote innovation I don't see your point there.

     

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    Gabe Mc (profile), Jul 6th, 2010 @ 2:33pm

    Value of Science

    Let's not forget the goal of science is not science itself. The value of science lies not in what it is, per se, but what value it provides to us. So, while science may itself not be the public good, the product of science -- its technology, its shared insights, its advancement -- is a public good, for it provides happiness and value to others.

    More than anything else, this talk should call into question the necessity of proprietary information. If the goal of science is, in essence, the advancement of the good and the general betterment, why are secrets necessary? We must recognize that the "cost" of research and knowledge represent a direct investment in the act of science, and that the long term goal must be to minimize the overall cost of that investment, to further the greater good. So, if it is for the general betterment that companies and intellectually invested scientists share information for their mutual benefit, all the better, but let us not use that as a gloss over private versus public accessibility, as if to excuse the poor behavior of those who seek to monopolize value -- seek to monopolize the means of social betterment.

     

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    darryl, Jul 7th, 2010 @ 3:21pm

    Product market regulation is good for innovation if it provides intellectual property rights that induce

    All very nice but still misguided...

    For the bottom line, please refer to page 19 of the OECD report..

    READ IT... and even try to understand it..

    It says it all, clearly, in plain text, for all to see and understand... its even easy to understand, you dont really have to think too much about it, you just have to know how to read..

    And I assume most people here are capable of reading,,, so dont believe me, after all im not the OECD, and Mike started by quoting the OECD report.

    So read it yourself, and see if Mike is right..

    I dont think so, it appears Mike is wrong on this and the OECD clearly states that IP regulations are good for innovation..

    THEY SAY IT,, in black and white,, what more do you need ????

    Spin it however you want, its there in black and white, for you to read and comprehend...

    So dont let me stop you,,,, GO FOR IT,, learn something new, improve your reading and understanding skills.. have a go, its not hard... anyone (who can read) can join in..

    You want proof Mike that IP regulations promote innovation, I have it for you, YOU gave it to me !!! thanks..

    You might want to have a read of it yourself Mike, and you can comment on its contents, as opposed to spinning it..

    So what you read this on page 19

    OECD report page 19:

    "Product market regulation is good for innovation if it
    provides intellectual property rights that induce innovation, and while also restricting the scope for potentially anti-competitive strategic use of innovation spending or patenting.


    How do you propose to spin that statement to show that Intellectual property rights (DO NOT) induce innovation.

    When the OECD say IT DOES !!!!.. and go on to prove it !

    So apart from being blindingly obvious that is the case, OECD says its the case, most other reports show its the case, common sense shows its the case.

    And even you Mike are willing to quote from the OECD report that clearly states the IP regulations are good for innovations..

    OECD report page 19:

    "Product market regulation is good for innovation if it
    provides intellectual property rights that induce innovation, and while also restricting the scope for potentially anti-competitive strategic use of innovation spending or patenting.


    Please try to keep up, if you cant understand that statement, as clear as it is, I will try to break it down for you.. but I hope you will have a go at it yourself,,, its not that hard,, its only words..

     

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      nasch (profile), Jul 7th, 2010 @ 5:51pm

      Re: Product market regulation is good for innovation if it provides intellectual property rights that induce

      OK, just so you don't declare victory via lack of response... emphasis mine:

      "OECD report page 19:

      Product market regulation is good for innovation *** IF *** it
      provides intellectual property rights that induce innovation, and while also restricting the scope for potentially anti-competitive strategic use of innovation spending or patenting."

      I capitalized and bolded the important word and surrounded it with asterisks to make sure you could find it. Please try to keep up. If you can't understand that statement, as clear as it is, I will try to break it down for you, but I hope you will have a go at it yourself. It's not that hard, its only words.

       

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    darryl, Jul 7th, 2010 @ 3:49pm

    "It does if you want the American economy to thrive" !!!

    It seems to me that a country that facilitates invention has every right to succeed at it. And if the ultimate goal is the production of goods and services, without regard to location or national boundaries, then it doesn't really matter, does it, if America isn't the center of invention and another country is?

    It does if you want the American economy to thrive.

    Apparently you don't. Noted.


    WOW,, Mike,, I mean WOW... really that is your attitude, ok, as long as we know..

    Let me guess, your an American ??

    So as long as America is OK, screw the rest ?. If someone or country apart from America invents somethings its your American right to take it for yourself..

    As long as its good for America,,, great.. at least we now know your motives..

    The only reason "America thrives" is because it BORROWS huge sums of money from all those other countries that you think you are so much more superior too..

    Where do you think the money comes from to feed your massive national debt ? peasent farmers from china growing rice ?

    Or large international manufacturing firms, tech industries, inventions and innovations, making those countries heaps of money, that they then LEND to the US who cant balance their own books...

    The statement you made, is isolationist at best, and racist at worst.. next you will be saying "if you are not with us you are the enemy"..

    Why dont you just call all non-Americans infadels and be done with it ?

     

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    Technopolitical (profile), Jul 7th, 2010 @ 5:26pm

    By Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) - 04/13/10 02:31 PM ET :

    By Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) - 04/13/10 02:31 PM ET :

    The copyright laws offer creators incentive to produce new and unique works. These may come in various forms, including movies, music, and books, all of which are important components of American culture.

    These works create jobs, from their production and manufacture to the advertising and sales that support them.

    To cultivate these new jobs, intellectual property enforcement must keep pace with an ever changing digital world.

    As an avid photographer I am intrigued by the debate at the turn of the 20th Century about whether photographs were copyrightable creations, or merely technical representations.

    Public discussion then helped shape copyright laws to accommodate the new medium, just as it does now as times and technologies continue to change.

    Today people watch television on handheld devices, skim books on digital readers and enjoy music on laptops, benefiting both content owner and the user.

    But along with these new opportunities for distributing creative content, the World Wide Web has also brought new challenges.

    "A rampant increase in online piracy threatens the financial viability of those same copyright owners who benefit from our new technology.

    This risks harming not only those creators, but the hundreds of thousands of jobs that result from their products.

    It also instills the user with a fundamental mistrust of the technology. Effective intellectual property enforcement is necessary to counter this attack. "

    http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/technology/91929-celebrating-the-birth-of-copyright-sen- patrick-leahy

     

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      Jay (profile), Jul 10th, 2010 @ 5:01pm

      Re: By Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) - 04/13/10 02:31 PM ET :

      From the comments on that same page.

      Kudos Mr. Chairman! On behalf of creators and copyright owners in Vermont, thank you for relying on economic statistics and policy perspectives the G.A.O. has dismissed as Junk Science: http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-10-423
      And thank you very much for labeling the voters of Vermont as "
those who pose the greatest threat to our copyright system
" for using the out-of-the-box technology and tools of the computers we've purchased as they are designed to be used.
      BY ROBIN on 04/28/2010 at 09:26

       

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 7th, 2010 @ 10:05pm

    Bogus

    Well, Suzanne, not one of those links prove what you claimed, namely that historical examples of progress without IP laws are irrelevant today. By failing to provide such evidence, I'm concluding that you don't have it. By trying to bluff your way out of being called on it by throwing out a bunch of bogus references, I'm also concluding that *you know* you don't have such evidence and are being deliberately deceptive. That being the case, why should anyone care what you have to say about anything? I know I'm certainly tired of wasting time on you when it's always just more of the same.

     

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      Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jul 7th, 2010 @ 10:34pm

      Re: Bogus

      Well, Suzanne, not one of those links prove what you claimed, namely that historical examples of progress without IP laws are irrelevant today.

      I didn't realize I was supposed to. The links I was providing were in relation to whether or not Techdirt's philosophy is being adopted by Congress.

      This was what I was responding to:

      ... the fact that I can get thousands and thousands of people to agree with me -- including multiple elected officials, tons of content creators, multi-billionaire business folks and others is meaningless if I can't convince you?

      And this:

      The only way to get these legislators to change their mind is to make it so that it benefits them to do so, and that's where educating the voting public comes in.

      I got the impression you felt Techdirt was educating Congress and that they agreed with you.

      I decided to see what the legislators were saying themselves.

      Well, Suzanne, not one of those links prove what you claimed, namely that historical examples of progress without IP laws are irrelevant today.

      If the historical examples are relevant today and are persuasive, then I should be able to find support for your positions in Washington. That's what I am looking for now: support for your positions among legislators.

      But if you want me to find evidence that history perspectives are being discounted, then yes, I can look for that, too.

       

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2010 @ 5:37am

        Re: Re: Bogus

        If the historical examples are relevant today and are persuasive, then I should be able to find support for your positions in Washington. That's what I am looking for now: support for your positions among legislators.

        You can't, and that's your supposed evidence that historical examples are irrelevant today? What a joke. With "evidence" like that, you've lost all credibility in my book.

         

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          Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jul 8th, 2010 @ 9:15am

          Re: Re: Re: Bogus

          You can't, and that's your supposed evidence that historical examples are irrelevant today? What a joke. With "evidence" like that, you've lost all credibility in my book.

          I've started to do some research and there is some very interesting stuff out there. I'll be posting it soon. The subject has been discussed in quite a bit of detail elsewhere. There's a lot that I haven't seen mentioned here that has been written about by others. It's turning out to be a good education for me.

           

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            Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jul 8th, 2010 @ 11:21am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Bogus

            There's a lot of stuff out there, and it may take me awhile to post it. But as it turns out, patent discussions have been going on for a long time and nothing so far has led to the end of IP protection. So it's likely that citing old arguments won't produce new results.

            Here's a good place to start

            Patent Abolitionism
            http://www.dklevine.com/archive/janis.pdf

            I wasn't able to copy and paste any of the material, but the topics most relevant to the Techdirt position begin on page 66.

            Here's the concluding sentence of the document:

            "The history of the British abolitionism movement should give pause to current U.S. patent law reform through legislation, and encourage healthy skepticism about proposals that, when viewed in historical context, merely repackage century-old debates."

             

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              Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jul 8th, 2010 @ 5:17pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Bogus

              Here's another I will toss into the mix.

              Intellectual Property and Economic Development: Lessons from American and European History
              http://www.iprcommission.org/papers/word/study_papers/sp1a_khan_study.doc

              "The relationship between intellectual property rights and economic development has attracted a great deal of attention from economists, but their conclusions have been ambivalent and offer little definitive guidance for policy makers."

              "This analysis of the evolution of intellectual property regimes in Europe and the United States raises questions about the desirability of applying the same system to all places at all times. Indeed, the major lesson that one derives from this aspect of the economic history of Europe and America is that intellectual property rights best promoted the progress of science and arts when they evolved in tandem with other institutions and in accordance with the needs and interests of social and economic development in each nation. In short, the historical record suggests that appropriate policies towards intellectual property are not independent of the level of development nor of the overall institutional environment."

               

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                Suzanne Lainson (profile), Jul 8th, 2010 @ 6:08pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Bogus

                The Patent Controversy in the XIXth Century
                http://www.usc.es/epip/documentos/Christine%20Macleod's%20paper2.doc

                "Abolitionist lobby faded away mid-1870s ...
                Despite temporary concessions to abolitionist lobbies, they had no long-term effect. On the contrary, in the wake of the patent controversy, national and international patent protection was strengthened:
                * UK patent law 1852 had simplified and cheapened the obtaining of patent protection; 1883 Act reduced further the initial cost of a patent and in 1890s renewal payments were rescheduled to make them more affordable; 1902 Act introduced official examination for novelty.
                * German empire enacted a uniform patent law applicable to the entire Reich, 1877.
                * Switzerland passed its first patent law,1888 (it covered only inventions which could be represented by mechanical models, i.e. chemical industries were still exempt); patent law was extended to all industries, 1907.
                * Netherlands re-introduced a (reformed) patent law, 1912."

                 

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              Mike Masnick (profile), Jul 8th, 2010 @ 5:36pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Bogus

              There's a lot of stuff out there, and it may take me awhile to post it. But as it turns out, patent discussions have been going on for a long time and nothing so far has led to the end of IP protection. So it's likely that citing old arguments won't produce new results.


              That's kind of like sitting around in 1850 and saying "you know, slaver's been around for a long time, and people have argued against it, but it hasn't led to the end of slavery, so it's likely that arguing against it won't work."

               

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Jul 8th, 2010 @ 10:43am

        Re: Re: Bogus

        But if you want me to find evidence that history perspectives are being discounted, then yes, I can look for that, too.

        Except that still isn't quite what you claimed, now is it? You can always find someone somewhere that will "discount" just about anything, with or without any evidence for doing so.

        How about some evidence proving your claim that historical data isn't applicable today? Still waiting for that and you still haven't provided it, although you sure are trying hard to dance around it.

         

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    identicon
    darryl, Jul 7th, 2010 @ 11:53pm

    "Market regulations that provide Intellectual property rights induces innovation".

    "OECD report page 19:

    Product market regulation is good for innovation *** IF *** it
    provides intellectual property rights that induce innovation, and while also restricting the scope for potentially anti-competitive strategic use of innovation spending or patenting."

    I capitalized and bolded the important word and surrounded it with asterisks to make sure you could find it. Please try to keep up. If you can't understand that statement, as clear as it is, I will try to break it down for you, but I hope you will have a go at it yourself. It's not that hard, its only words.


    **** IF ****

    Thats right IF..

    *** IF *** ***it
    provides intellectual property rights that induce innovation


    Yes, its always nice to get the full story, and to make it simple, once again.

    PRODUCT MARKET REGULATION IS GOOD FOR INNOVATION

    **IF**

    IT PROVIDES INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS THAT INDUCE INNOVATION.



    You might be aware from being on this site that 'intellectual property rights' means patents, copyright and trademarks. And the enforcement of those rights..

    Market REGULATION is the enforcement of those rights (IP Rights).

    So lets try to re-word it for you shall we..

    "Market regulations that provide Intellectual property rights induces innovation".

    You can try to spin it all you like, but it is clear what is says, and its meaning and logic are equally clear.

     

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      nasch (profile), Jul 8th, 2010 @ 8:11am

      Re: "Market regulations that provide Intellectual property rights induces innovation".

      So lets try to re-word it for you shall we..

      "Market regulations that provide Intellectual property rights induces innovation".


      Well if you're going to reword it, we could make it say anything:

      "Market regulations may or may not aid innovation, depending on how they're constructed, and darryl is a dipshit."

      See? Rewording it is a stupid and pointless exercize. Look at what it says, what you quoted, without taking out any words. The "if" is extremely important. I guess you don't get it, so I'll spell it out. Market regulation is good for innovation if the following conditions are met:

      1) it includes intellectual property which have the effect of inducing innovation. Not just ANY IP rights, only those that actually induce innovation.
      and
      2) it restricts the opportunities for anti-competitive activities based on those IP rights

      So, if EITHER of those conditions is not met, the regulation is NOT good for innovation. Or, at best, the report does NOT claim that it IS good for innovation.

      This statement is completely consistent with Techdirt's position: IP rights are good if and only if they promote progress. Now, continue with your trolling.

       

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    identicon
    darryl, Jul 8th, 2010 @ 9:53am

    Reading comprehension 101..

    "Market regulations may or may not aid innovation, depending on how they're constructed, and darryl is a dipshit."

    Perhaps you need to go back to schools Mr Nash.

    your reading and understanding skills are badly lacking..

    I re-worded it, to make it more clear what they were trying to say..

    the IF you speak of means that Regulations are good IF they include IP rights.

    What you said not not what the original statement says, or what I said in rewording it..

    But dont bother rewording it, thats probably beyond you, just read it for what it says.

    I says, IP regualations are good for innovation, plus I sited MANY report that confirm that statement.

    Why dont you question them ? why cant you understand what they are trying and are accurately saying.


    May by **IF** you had more education you would be able to better understand what people are saying.

    but thats a big **IF**

     

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      nasch (profile), Jul 8th, 2010 @ 3:36pm

      Re: Reading comprehension 101..

      I knew I shouldn't have bothered.

       

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      Mike Masnick (profile), Jul 8th, 2010 @ 5:31pm

      Re: Reading comprehension 101..

      the IF you speak of means that Regulations are good IF they include IP rights.


      That's not what it says at all. Darryl, please try reading.

      It says IP regulations are good *IF* they promote progress. That statement clearly notes that IP *can* harm progress.

       

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 11th, 2010 @ 6:23pm

    The point of publicly funded research is, I think, to provide funding for areas that are not immediatly profitable; certainly the research arms of various corporation DO make great technical strides and innovative science, but if one looks at the trends in this, one sees that it is only after some new market or sub market is opened up that corporations truly put their backs into innovative research. What of the place of blue sky research? I see no companies investing in something that will rarely turn out anything profitable in under 20 years? FREX it was only after the russo-american space race proved the technologies and provided a market for orbital vehicles that commercial interests took direct interest, and the first telstar was launched as a product of that. Do you really think that would have happened without public funding? Corporations have a much stricter bottom line to watch. Likewise, I cannot see for-profit ventures engaging in truly humanitarian research, that is the purview of universities, charities and 'corporate' fronts for activists. FREX biocasava, or vaccines for 'third world' diseases. There is also an element of 'knowledge-for-knowledges-sake', and also an element to do with the distrust of the interests behind the research; corporate interests are rarely 'self-less', and though they may have beneficial effects and improve our collective knowledge base, that is not the purpose behind corporate research. Furthermore, criticisms relating to public research funding not being a 'public good' on the grounds that most non-experts do not understand the technicalities and subtlties of research papers is groundless; A) it does not have to be understood to constitute a public good, B) experts can condence and 'normalise' the information in such papers for the general public, so that a basic understanding can be approximated, and C) what the hell is your definition of public good?! The economy!!? fuck money, that is a means to an ends, not the ends in its own right! a functioning economy is valuable for the benefits it may provide, it is not valuable in its own right. See comparison with the biological 'economy' of recourses, say in the blood; we do not consider a person as good just because they have a pulse, we see them as good (or bad) because of what they do whilst they have a pulse, public funding for non-corporate research is such a doing

     

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    Stephen Samuel (profile), Aug 2nd, 2010 @ 11:21pm

    Public research spreads VERY widely

    I think that the reason why public research doesn't seem to (directly) hit the bottom line of a given country is that the benefits of public research go to other countries as well ... Everybody (in whatever country) can do work with the results of public research.


    Where public research benefits a country directly is that people who do their public research in a university in a given country are more likely to stay there to do more private research in that same country if there are private research spots available. That private research and development is what, ultimately, results in 'local jobs'. Thus, private and public research go hand in hand.


    Public research (in universities) trains young scientists to do research that they can then transfer to local private companies, but the public companies then have to be available to suck up those same young scientist and put them to work making real products.


    Where you have private companies that do both basic research and full-blown development (e.g. Bell Labs and Xerox Parc), you find that companies can produce a lot of good results out of internal research -- but the problem is that it's hard to find companies that have the kind of spare cash that it takes to fund large research parks on their own.

     

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