by Mike Masnick
Fri, Mar 28th 2008 3:31am
Whenever we get deep into a discussion about patents, it doesn't take long before someone tosses up the example of Thomas Edison as someone who proves that patents were necessary for innovation. The problem is that isn't true at all. As we've pointed out a few different times, it's tough to find anything that Edison actually invented. Instead, it's quite easy to find things that others invented that Edison took credit for, patented and then prevented anyone else from competing against him. The latest of his great inventions to fall? Recorded sound. Kevin Donovan points us to a NY Times article highlighting the discovery of a 10-second recording of a song that was made 17 years before Edison got a patent on such a system. While there's no reason to believe Edison copied the idea from this inventor, that doesn't matter to patent system defenders who insist that any infringement is "stealing." So will those patent system defenders now admit that their hero was a thief? If not, they've got some inconsistencies to explain.
If you liked this post, you may also be interested in...
- India Moving Forward With Dangerous Approach On Expanding Patents
- Google Goes On The Offensive Against Troll Armed With Old Mp3 Player Patent
- IBM Wants To Patent A Printer That Won't Let You Output Unauthorized Copies
- If Open Sharing Of Data Is A Great Idea For Combatting A Dangerous Plant Disease, Why Not For All Human Diseases?
- Australian Gov't Commission Also Wants To Fix Patent Laws Down Under