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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Intellectual Property Rights Irritate Me!

The idea of intellectual property rights irritates me. And while I think certain situations warrant it I think its highly overused. Take blogs for example, there all copyrighted. I'm guilty too, but mainly because everyone else was doing it, an intellectual property violation in itself, really. The reason it bothers me is because ideas aren't all that new, aside from maybe technology, I'm sure someone has thought it before, thought it at the same time in a different location or may think of it in the future, without coming in contact with anything related. Lets take pattern and clothing design for example. I have an image in my head, maybe I've seen it before or maybe not. I get out my pencil and paper, draw it, make some notes, and set to work making the garment. Then I post it for sale on my blog or etsy  or ebay or wherever. (Disclaimer: Hypothetical Scenario) Then someone comes to me and says that I need to pay them some kind of license fee for using their pattern, but I'm not. So now my choices are to discontinue selling my product or hire a lawyer and try to prove that I'm not using anyone's pattern than my own. Seems like it would be rather hard to prove as anyone could just get rid of a pattern. It seems like it's too open ended to really be able to be regulated. What about the person who has an idea, starts looking for more information and then finds someone's already doing it, and then makes the item, are they potentially guilty of using someone else's design? I think it's going to make for big trouble down the line. Check out these two quotes:

"Imagine the time when men lived in caves. One bright guy—let's call him Galt-Magnon—decides to build a log cabin on an open field, near his crops. To be sure, this is a good idea, and others notice it. They naturally imitate Galt-Magnon, and they start building their own cabins. But the first man to invent a house, according to IP advocates, would have a right to prevent others from building houses on their own land, with their own logs, or to charge them a fee if they do build houses. It is plain that the innovator in these examples becomes a partial owner of the tangible property (e.g., land and logs) of others, due not to first occupation and use of that property (for it is already owned), but due to his coming up with an idea. Clearly, this rule flies in the face of the first-user homesteading rule, arbitrarily and groundlessly overriding the very homesteading rule that is at the foundation of all property rights." ~Stephan Kinsella

"If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea, which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to himself; but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the possession of every one, and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it. Its peculiar character, too, is that no one possesses the less, because every other possesses the whole of it. He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me." ~Thomas Jefferson  

Hoping I never really have to deal with this situation as it seems like it will be awfully difficult to prove what came first the chicken or the egg.

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