EU Worried About IP Harming Innovation... But Gets It Backwards

from the sigh dept

Rob H alerts us to an article that starts out sounding reasonable... pointing out that politicians in the EU are meeting because they're worried about intellectual property laws holding back innovation in Europe... but then it goes off the rails. You see, they're not worried that the laws are holding back innovation because they're too strict, but because they're too weak. As you look, though, you realize that these politicians have basically been lobbied by businesses that want protectionist policies. The "report" they discuss talks not about how to better incentivize innovation, but how to "better favour business." What that means is they went and spoke with a bunch of incumbent businesses, not innovative startups, and those businesses said they want more patents. Someone should send them a copy of Boldrin and Levine's book...
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Filed Under: eu, harm, innovation, intellectual property


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  1. icon
    another mike (profile), 29 Sep 2009 @ 10:57am

    experiments with chimps

    The chimpanzee investigates a wire connected to a treat. When the chimp pulls on the wire, the treat moves further away. The chimp doesn't pull on the wire too many times before realizing the action taken isn't matching up with the intended result. Noticing that the observed result is the exact opposite of the intended result, the chimp performs the opposite action and pushes the wire and receives the treat.

    The politician sees a failing market; the treat is already moving away. The politician passes strong IP protection laws to improve the economy. The market accelerates its decline; the treat moves away even faster. So the politician passes stronger IP protection laws and the market goes down more. This cycle repeats indefinitely. The politician may realize that the observed result is the opposite of the intended result, but never makes the connection to perform the opposite action and weaken IP protection.

    Therefore, a chimpanzee is obviously smarter than a politician.

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