Glib talk of ‘intellectual property rights’ ... concedes polemical ground to the monopoly rent-extractor by granting a certain perceived virtue to those who hold licences and rights. The rest of us are merely greedy and grasping grubbers for someone else’s property. But in so conceiving the domain of ‘intellectual property rights’, the notions of borrowing, reuse, reworking, remixing and constructive enhancement – all of which are needed for culture and science and art to grow – are lost in the semantic mire created by ‘property’. Things that are owned in the exclusionary way that the indiscriminate use of ‘intellectual property’ suggests cannot sustain art and science and culture.
The US constitution gives Congress the power "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries."
I see this as a trade-off, the gov't will give you a limited time monopoly on the use of your new ___ , because we think that will produce some sort of economic "progress". But, making such laws means weighing the benefit to the public of the monopoly vs. the benefit to putting a cap on that monopoly.
The author makes the excellent point that trademark protection is fundamentally different from copyrights. We should be careful about lumping them together.
"Intellectual Property" sounds like some inalienable right which precedes any law. That doesn't seem right to me.
This is interesting today because I've noticed a few articles on "Mickey Mouse's 90th birthday", which reminds me of the Mickey Mouse Protection Act of 1998
or the Disney shareholder enrichment act, if you prefer.