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Defining “Intellectual Property”
Old 11-13-2018, 12:31 PM   #1
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Defining “Intellectual Property”

I found this article interesting. There are many industries and perspectives represented here in the ER community (and some really smart people) so thought I’d bring this up for discussion.

“He has argued that the term ‘intellectual property’ be discarded in favour of the precise and directed use of ‘copyright’, ‘patents’, ‘trademarks’ or ‘trade secrets’ instead – and he’s right. This is not merely semantic quibbling. The language in which a political and cultural debate is conducted very often determines its outcome.”

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Old 11-13-2018, 03:51 PM   #2
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Interesting article, although to be honest I don't care enough about the topic to have read it thoroughly. I do think that laws related to all of these areas need major overhaul, such as was recently accomplished with music rights in the USA as outlined in this article:

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Old 11-18-2018, 04:24 PM   #3
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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.
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Old 11-18-2018, 04:34 PM   #4
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IP is a collective term encompassing patents, copyrights, et al.

An idea submitted to an megacorp IP lawyer still gets sorted into a patent, a copyright, or whatever is appropriate based on the situation. There is no such thing as an "intellectual property license".

Its the same as the cliche "you'll be hearing from my lawyer"... people know what it means. People don't say "you'll be hearing from my estate lawyer" vs. "you'll be hearing from my DUI lawyer"
Or "I'm going to the store to buy milk" vs. "I'm going to the store to by 2% milk". The differences do matter, but not in the everyday use of the term.
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Old 11-18-2018, 08:26 PM   #5
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Intellectual Property is what Elvis Presley Enterprises took to higher levels. Using Elvis' likeness, music or interviews came at a healthy price, and those that Priscilla chose to run Elvis' estate were very good at collecting on IP. His likeness ended up bringing in far more money than Elvis ever made as an entertainer. And he wasn't around to spend all his income.

The same could be said for Martin Luther King Jr.'s estate. Use one of his speeches in public, post his picture or a speech, and you had to pay big money. His wife and children really lived the high life.
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Old 11-21-2018, 12:55 PM   #6
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There are many good arguments that the patent system is doing the exact opposite of its stated intention of promoting invention; ie that creating rights around a centralized documentation and release process is counterproductive. The Wright brothers are an early bad example of how patent litigation suppressed innovation in aircraft design in the US.
I prefer reducing the protected term for inventions, and especially for copyright, to limit the famous Disney and Elvis profiteering.

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