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UK Report Proposes Changes To IP Laws 146

Posted by Zonk
from the shaking-things-up dept.
NKJV writes "A new report from the Institute for Public Policy Research, a UK think tank, has some concrete suggestions on how to reform the UK's dated intellectual property laws. The starting point for its deliberations is the notion that knowledge is both a commodity and a public good, and it recommends that the UK move from a model where knowledge is 'an asset first and a public resource second' to one where knowledge is primarily a public resource and secondarily an asset. Is that an anti-business attitude? The report's authors don't think so."
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UK Report Proposes Changes To IP Laws

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  • Otherwise you can't borrow a library book or get taught at school without paying a license to somebody who owns the knowledge originally !!
    • Don't you realize that without the promise of profit, no one is going to invent anything anymore?

      Without the ability to sue thousands of people and hold everyone hostage for 20 years to your IP, there won't be any progress!

      Imagine if there wasn't capitalism at the time of the discovery of fire, the invention of the wheel, and the creation of Linux.. er, wait a minute......
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by tizan (925212)
        good point... Yes like say Einstein learnt from previous knowledge ...from Galileo, Mach etc etc these were investments in his developing relativity and assume he blocked it with a licensing scheme...imagine how backwards physics would have been today ! investors shmestors... there is a middle point between stifling innovation and promoting it !
  • Well, as long as you don't believe that thinking is the act of an individual, you should probably be in favor of the change.

    If you believe that ideas are generated from individuals and that thinking and ideas are hard work, you should probably be opposed to the change.

    If you believe that you'll have another beer, you're undoubtedly in the majority.
    • by ThosLives (686517)

      Here's an interesting concept that I've been tossing around in relation to your rebuttals: What is valuable is not the created idea, but the ability to create ideas. That is, you can still be economically valuable as an idea producer because you can develop ideas, not because some idea has already been disseminated.

      That's my take, anyway, and I think if "idea producers" - or anyone in the creative arts for that matter - took that stance, then you wouldn't have any issues with any intellectual property law,

      • While it's an interesting idea - if ideas don't have any economic value, then why would the ability to produce them? Who cares if you have Einstein himself, even if you don't you still get free access to anything he produces. The only way that the ability would be prized is if there is some restriction on the supply of the ideas. This sounds like the old system of patronage, although in that case the ideas / craft / art was also restricted, giving the patron some incentive to fund their development.
        • by Mr2001 (90979)

          While it's an interesting idea - if ideas don't have any economic value, then why would the ability to produce them?

          Because the ability to produce them is scarce, even though the ideas themselves aren't scarce once they've been produced initially.

          Think of it this way: the speed of light is a useful value to know, but although it has utility value (you want to know it because you can do stuff with it), it has zero economic value (because it has no marginal cost of distribution; a rational buyer wouldn't be w

          • by dash2 (155223)


            Nope. All you need is a restriction on the supply of the ability.

            (Also, it's important to distinguish between the supply of all ideas that ever will be produced, and the supply of one idea that already has been produced. The former is restricted inherently, due to the fact that not everyone can or will come up with every possible idea. The latter is not restricted, except by copyright and patent laws, because sharing an idea costs nothing and doesn't deplete any resources.)

            That's missing the point. We know
            • by dwandy (907337)

              The question is, will it be correctly valued in a world without IP? Answer: no

              1. I guess the simple answer is "You don't know that". You have absolutely no way to back that statement. I'd suggest that quite probably the valuations will be no worse than they are today. And note there's nothing in the current system that leads me to believe that (for example) musicians are valued "correctly" ... you're pretty much a serf to the Big Four as a musician.
              2. Assuming you are correct, F/OSS developers don't get paid
              • by dash2 (155223)
                I guess the simple answer is "You don't know that". You have absolutely no way to back that statement.

                I can back it by reference to standard economic theory: public goods are underprovided, because there is an incentive to freeride on others' contributions.


                Why won't IBM pay for it? If it gives them a competative advantage they *will* do it, even if it means that their competitors follow (months or years later...) giving IBM a first-mover advantage. Let's also remember that making CPUs has a natural barrier
            • by Mr2001 (90979)

              The question is, will [the ability to produce artistic works] be correctly valued in a world without IP? Answer: no, because nobody will be able to capture that value, hence it becomes a public good, hence there is underinvestment in it.

              Er.. it's just a service. You can capture its value the same way a barber captures the value of his labor: by finding someone willing to pay him for doing it.

              Yes, if (say) IBM needs knowledge of how to optimize its business process, then it will pay for that knowledge - and

              • First off, you've got it backwards. I wouldn't develop a new chip and then try to find a buyer, I'd shop my chip-designing talent around and find someone who'd pay me to design a new chip. And who'd be willing to pay for it? Anyone who stands to benefit from advancing the state of computers: computer manufacturers, chip fabricators, and consumers.

                Lets look at this as a simple piece of Game Theory. Let say there are some fab owners who all make money from chips. New chips would increase consumer demand and

                • by Mr2001 (90979)

                  Let say there are some fab owners who all make money from chips. New chips would increase consumer demand and so would be could for their business, but who foots the cost? If all the owners club together to pay some designers for a new chip design then nobody wins. Everyone pays the bill, everyone gets the increase in sales. What if everyone but one owner decided to club together to pay the designers? Now one company has an advantage because they don't pay the development costs but can make the chips anyway

                  • Indeed. Everyone who might contribute has to weigh the cost of their contribution against the possibility that the innovation will happen anyway without their help. If I need to pay the chip designer $1000 to produce a technology that'll eventually be worth $1 million to me, then as long as there's a greater than 1:1000 chance that the technology will be produced anyway, I should wait for it to happen. However, the more fab owners who also decide to wait, the lower the chances are that the chip will be desi

              • by dash2 (155223)

                Er.. it's just a service. You can capture its value the same way a barber captures the value of his labor: by finding someone willing to pay him for doing it.


                Nobody can copy a barber's haircuts, whereas I can copy someone's chip designs. I am not claiming that nobody would get paid at all in the absence of IP, just that they would get underpaid compared to a reasonable system of IP.

                And who'd be willing to pay for it? Anyone who stands to benefit from advancing the state of computers: computer manufacturers,
                • by Mr2001 (90979)
                  I am not claiming that nobody would get paid at all in the absence of IP, just that they would get underpaid compared to a reasonable system of IP.

                  Such a system is only "reasonable" if you consider funding these industries more important than preserving the rights to speak freely and share experiences, which are necessarily restricted by copyright. One might say just as well that they're currently overpaid compared to a free market.
                  • by dash2 (155223)
                    Sure. You have to balance free speech rights against protecting the rights of producers. Of course, that's not because producers deserve special status but simply because otherwise, certain things will not be produced.

                    I don't consider the right to copy other people's work, against those people's will, an important free speech right. But you may differ.
            • by Mr2001 (90979)
              We actually have a perfectly viable form of IP socialism right now. It's called the patent system.

              BTW, the system I've been advocating is quite the opposite of "socialism" - it's more like "IP libertarianism". Copyright is government intervention; abandoning copyright would simply mean the government stops handing out and enforcing monopolies on information.
      • That's like saying a lottery ticket is more valuable than the actual prize.
      • by Gospodin (547743)

        A sibling post of mine has a good reply to this (what's the value of an idea-producer if the ideas have no value?), but another reply is that the value of an idea has a strong component of luck. That is, while Beethoven and Einstein produced a consistent sequence of good ideas, there are many thousands more people who had one great idea. A butterfly flaps its wings in Malaysia and maybe he doesn't have that great idea - or the idea doesn't become recognized as great.

        You might say we don't want to reward l

      • by maxume (22995)
        Think about it this way -- how separable are they?

        If you can't have Einstein's works without Einstein, you probably want to start with Einstein.
    • "If you believe that ideas are generated from individuals in isolation and that thinking and ideas are hard work, you should probably be opposed to the change."

      If, however, you believe that most of the progression of ideas is incremental advance upon previous ideas, you should probably support the change.

      • by dash2 (155223)
        To this and other posters making the same point: that's great. Of course we depend for our ideas on other people's ideas. Does that mean that the individual doesn't contribute anything? Of course not. An industry takes inputs and turns them into outputs. We still think it's reasonable to pay for that. Similarly, people take ideas and build on other people's ideas, and they should be rewarded for that. Either because they deserve it, or, if you don't like that notion, because if they aren't, people will not
        • Your dichotomy is false. Nobody says the individual creates nothing. The question -- when it comes to treating ideas as property -- is whether the cost to the public is greater than the benefit. Make no mistake: the cost to the public is germaine; it is the public that sets up the state, which in turn is the thing that forbids from from freely copying & distributing other people's ideas.
    • by kfg (145172)
      Inventor, scientist and lawyer Thomas Jefferson believed that lighting one candle from another does not diminish the orginal candle, but augments it. Nor can the second candle be lit without an original flame.

      Composer Beethoven believed that artists should deposit their works in a large warehouse; from which he could withdraw those that he needed to create his own art.

      Thoreau believed that a poet should live on his poetry as a steam planer is fired from its shavings.

      I believe that thinking and ideas are har
    • by vertinox (846076)
      Well, as long as you don't believe that thinking is the act of an individual, you should probably be in favor of the change.

      That's not too hard to grasp considering our thoughts are simply the by products of 10,000 years of civilization.

      You didn't come up with your language on your own did you? Did you come up with math either? How about problem solving?

      Did you think your personality and thought process came about over night or perhaps it was the evolution of our language, past thinks, philosophers, and var
    • by Chris Burke (6130)
      If you believe that ideas are generated from individuals and that thinking and ideas are hard work, you should probably be opposed to the change.

      Anyone who has ever had a truly original, individual thought uninspired by having learned of the thoughts of others, raise your hand.

      Put your hand down, you liar.

      Thinking is hard work, but the nature of human beings, our power, is that our thoughts are built up from the thoughts of others, and our thoughts will further inspire others to have new, but necessarily de
  • Just an FYI, it would be better to spell out 'Intellectual Property' and not use the IP acronym since "IP" more commonly means a much different thing to the /. community.

    :)
  • Irony (Score:4, Funny)

    by jfengel (409917) on Friday November 03, 2006 @06:51PM (#16710227) Homepage Journal
    Does anybody else find it vaguely ironic that the report itself, with its "public first-private second" model costs £9.95?
    • by foobsr (693224)
      This is British understatement. They did not want to occupy the first rank.

      CC.
    • Does anybody else find it vaguely ironic that the report itself, with its "public first-private second" model costs £9.95?

      It would if the purchaser had to agree not to talk about it to anybody who had not also bought the report. As it stands the £9.95 is first sale.

    • Do you know the concept of "sarcasm." Sometimes that's what reports are doing.
  • How about telling WIPO to go shove it and reducing copyright terms so that people might see the elements of their culture enter the public domain during their lifetimes?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by stubear (130454)
      Doesn't matter. Even if Copyright went back to the 14 years plus a 14 year extension people will still flagrantly violate copyright. Why? because they want to distribute the latest music and movies via P2P, not stuff from 1992 or 1978 if they want to play it safe. Not only that but they would have to determine is something is still protected between the 1978-1992 time period and that requires effort. When you realize this is simply about getting shit for free you'll finally understand the anti-copyrigh
      • by Mr2001 (90979)

        When you realize this is simply about getting shit for free you'll finally understand the anti-copyright movement.

        I'm sure for some people, it really is only about getting shit for free, but that's a stupid generalization. You might as well say "when you realize this is simply about creating one good thing and milking it for the rest of your life you'll finally understand the pro-copyright movement" - also arguably true of some copyright supporters, but not the majority.

        There are plenty of people, including

        • by stubear (130454)
          HOW MANY FUCKING TIMES MUST I REPEAT THIS ON SLASHDOT BEFORE IT FINALYL SINKS IN?!?!?!?!?!?! YOU CANNOT LOCK IDEAS UP WITH COPYIRGHT!!!! If you want to write a book about a little boy who goes to wizarding school, goright ahead. Just don't name your little boy Harry Potter and call the School Hogwart's. Our society benefits far greater from the breadth of ideas being expressed then the same idea being expressed by different people over and over ad nauseum. Come up with your own ideas and write a book a
          • He didn't even say 'ideas.' He said 'speech,' and he's right. There's nothing wrong with repeating verbatim what someone else has said, and it's just as valuable to preserve and disseminate existing expressions as it is to create new ones. Copyright as a restriction on speech is acceptable if it provides a greater benefit than the harm it causes, but not otherwise.

            I know all about the idea/expression dichotomy, but you forget about the rent-seeking behavior of copyright holders. They frequently try to expan
          • by shaitand (626655)
            "YOU CANNOT LOCK IDEAS UP WITH COPYIRGHT!!!!"

            By definition you can not copyright anything other than idea.
          • by Mr2001 (90979)

            If you want to write a book about a little boy who goes to wizarding school, goright ahead. Just don't name your little boy Harry Potter and call the School Hogwart's.

            Another poster has already pointed out that I was referring to speech--expression--not simply ideas.

            But let me address this. First, (as a different poster pointed out) you're likely to get sued anyway if your book is similar enough to Harry Potter. Second, the character of a young wizard called Harry Potter is an idea which is expressed throug

      • by Simon80 (874052)

        You miss the point of reducing copyright's lifespan, which is to allow people to freely enjoy stuff once it has been <subjective>fairly</subjective> exploited by its creator. Once they've made their cut selling something, they should lose the copyright so that the information can provide a greater good than it does if it is locked away. Anyone that argues that reduced copyright will harm the economy is merely asking for us to ignore the overvalued, bubble-like falseness of our current informat

        • by dwandy (907337)

          You miss the point of reducing copyright's lifespan, which is to allow people to freely enjoy stuff ...

          The point of copyright having any end whatsoever is so that works get added to the public domain to be remixed/reimagined by the next artist.
          The public "freely enjoying" is only a distant second to ensuring that the next generation of artists has something to work with.

          Is there any reason why the free software model cannot succeed with ideas, music, movies, and other copyrighted content?

          That is entirely

          • by Simon80 (874052)

            The point of copyright having any end whatsoever is so that works get added to the public domain to be remixed/reimagined by the next artist. The public "freely enjoying" is only a distant second to ensuring that the next generation of artists has something to work with.

            I don't see how this remixing/reworking/whatever is not included in the broad definition of the public freely enjoying previous works. Artists, businesses, they are all members of the public, and public domain includes all of them. In an

            • by dwandy (907337)

              I don't see how this remixing/reworking/whatever is not included in the broad definition of the public freely enjoying previous works.

              Yeah, I don't think our opinions differ in any great way. But I guess for me the distinction is important to make: afterall, if a CD is available on the store shelf for $20 then I buy it and I can enjoy it.
              But as long as the copyright exists on that CD I can't remix and re-interpret that art without negotiation with the rights-holder.

              So what is (to me) important is that cr

              • by Simon80 (874052)
                Yep, I didn't mean to imply that I disagreed with you, it's really all about the ability to use the material for everything that isn't just spinning a CD. The same applies to free software. People may try to argue that your average person doesn't want or need to be able to modify code that they run, but that's not the point, the point is that with that freedom, someone can port quake 3 to your PDA and you can benefit, geek or not. Sad how much further we need to go before such things are widely recognize
      • Well, there's nothing whatsoever wrong with wanting to get things for free. That's simple greed, and greed is the same motive that we appeal to authors with when we offer them a copyright. The copyright itself isn't an incentive, it's the money that can be had by exploiting the copyright that is. Furthermore, copyright is meant to satiate the public greed, rather than to aid artists at public expense. It just takes a long view of things, is all, and is meant to provide a much greater public benefit after a
      • When you realize this is simply about getting shit for free you'll finally understand the anti-copyright movement.

        How did this garbage get modded up as insightful?

      • 1978 was approximately the moment music imploded into a singularity, then exploded back outwards into the shower of shit it is today. :p
  • Meaning what? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jfengel (409917) on Friday November 03, 2006 @07:03PM (#16710375) Homepage Journal
    What does it mean for something to be public first, and "only secondarily as an asset"? The executive summary [ippr.org.uk] calls for "Assisting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and individual creators to better utilise the IP system, by creating cheaper routes to enforcing IP rights" and also "Providing better legal protection to ensure that consumers ... can pursue non-commercial objectives without fear of recrimination."

    Those sound at odds to me. The record labels/movie studios don't care that you're not making a profit by distributing their music/movies P2P. They care that a whole bunch of people have it but didn't buy it, and that they're not making a profit. Do they get to enforce their IP rights or don't they?

    If you tell them that it's now completely legal to distribute their content as long as it's "non-commercial", that dramatically changes their entire business. Fine with me, but don't try to tell me that it's not anti-business. New businesses will spring up, and we may well all be better off for it, but you're legally killing off the old ones or forcing them to completely alter their models.

    You can't have your cake and eat it too on this one. Either I own the distribution rights, or I don't; telling me that my distribution rights come second is as good as saying I don't have them. Feel free to tell the RIAA/MPAA where to stuff themselves, but don't piss on their heads and tell yourself it's raining on them.
    • by foobsr (693224)
      but you're legally killing off the old ones or forcing them to completely alter their models

      There is a thing called "change management [wikipedia.org]". Let them do their homework.

      CC.
    • "Those sound at odds to me. The record labels/movie studios don't care that you're not making a profit by distributing their music/movies P2P. They care that a whole bunch of people have it but didn't buy it, and that they're not making a profit. Do they get to enforce their IP rights or don't they?"

      I'm glad you posted this. This is an entitlement, and it's precisely the problem. Owning a patent or copyright currently entitles you to sit on your butt while other people do work and you get to collect mone
      • by dash2 (155223)
        Wikipedia:Public good [wikipedia.org]
      • by jfengel (409917)
        I'm not sure how to value costs of creation in a world without the artificial scarcity that distribution used to provide. A record that goes gold is presumably "worth" millions of dollars, in that under the old scheme people were willing to pay $10-$10 for a million copies to own a physical printing of it. No matter how the means of distribution change, that was the fair market value for that song since that's what people were willing to pay. It may actually have been worth more; perhaps they'd have sold
        • You build a reputation for doing good work and then charge a lot on the expectation that it will be a success. It just shifts the risk to the record labels, that's all.
    • If you believe that copyrights, patents, and so forth encourage the creation of new works, then you must also believe they serve the public good. So placing the public good first and business second doesn't mean IP will go away. It means designing those laws so that the optimize the public good, rather than maximizing profits.

      This is not necessarily bad for business. Maximizing the public good aspect of information benefits everyone. Reducing the costs of information benefits businesses who rely on it

      • If you believe that copyrights, patents, and so forth encourage the creation of new works, then you must also believe they serve the public good.

        No. There's more to the public good than encouraging the creation of original works. There's also encouraging the creation of derivative works, and having the most freedom with regard to works, soonest. It's entirely possible, when you consider all the different kinds of public good, that merely encouraging more works to be created still harms the public more than
  • How can a public resource not be an asset?

    What's the difference? Really?
    • by foobsr (693224)
      How can a public resource not be an asset?

      This is obvious, as there is no shareholders value. The public is not authorized to gain from resources. </cynical>

      CC.
  • Good idea, that's why it'll never fly. There are too much money tied to 'intellectual property.' Too much money and power at stake, groups with vested interest will see to it that it meets an undeserving end.
    • Well, lots of important people with too much money have been beheaded in Europe in years gone by. It can happen again. Never say never...
    • by kasparov (105041) *
      Not only that, but it IP seems to be the only thing the U.S. is really good at exporting. It's such a good idea to have a significant portion of your countries earning potential be based on charging for things for which duplication costs are essentially non-existent and protection of said business is done solely by the laws of the countries you are exporting to--which you can only influence through intimidation.
  • by Chris Burke (6130) on Friday November 03, 2006 @07:07PM (#16710409) Homepage
    I think the idea that knowledge should be locked up, that you should not be allowed to know something and to then share that knowledge, to be an anti-human attitude. The ability to communicate complex ideas, sharing knowledge, and then expanding on it, is the foundation for human existence.

    So is treating information as a public resource first anti-business? Um, maybe, if they can only conceive of information as commodity, but I don't care. More importantly, treating information as a public resource is pro-human, accepting that the natural status of information is that it can be shared freely without it being lost to the sharer. If, after acknowledging this, we wish to add on what are necessarily artifical regulations which prevent information from being shared freely, then so be it. But it should always be seen as what it is: an artificial restriction, given for a specific purpose, on top of the natural unrestricted state.

    It is not copyright or other IP law that is the problem. Not inherently, at least. The base problem, the cause that results in the laws becoming a problem, is the mentality that information is something to be owned first, and only if nobody wants to own it should it then be public. The right mentality is to view information as an infinitely shareable resource that we allow, in some select circumstances and for limited times, to be "owned" as long as it benefits society at large.
    • by maxume (22995)
      Nah, fucking the most hot chicks is the foundation of human existence. That we have gotten to the point of arguing about how to handle sharing of abstract ideas is nothing short of astounding.
      • by Chris Burke (6130)
        Nah, fucking the most hot chicks is the foundation of human existence. That we have gotten to the point of arguing about how to handle sharing of abstract ideas is nothing short of astounding.

        That's the foundation of every animal's existence (details of mating behaviors of every animal intentionally glossed over). It's the sharing of ideas that makes us different.

        By the way, arguing about how to handle sharing of abstract ideas necessarily involves the sharing of abstract ideas, thus as part of the process
        • by mochan_s (536939)
          It's the sharing of ideas that makes us different.

          No, it's language that makes us different. Sharing of ideas is a consequence of language.

          • by Chris Burke (6130)
            Well on the one hand I agree with you, but on the other hand language is a shared idea, so causality is not so easily stated.
            • by mochan_s (536939)
              Well on the one hand I agree with you, but on the other hand language is a shared idea, so causality is not so easily stated.

              Actually the ability for language is genetic. The ability to form a sentence is genetic. You don't have to teach kids language, they learn it even if no-one teaches them. A group of deaf and dumb kids who were never exposed to any form of language created their own form of language. So, language is more genetic than an idea.

        • by maxume (22995)
          OK, but the sharing ideas is more or less the foundation of culture, not the species. I'm pretty sure that humans could exist without culture, until they developed it anyway.

          Natural is a pretty loaded word to be using. Natural in what context, etc. At the moment, if I have a momentous idea, given that we have a patent system, the most natural thing for me to do is patent it and try to profit from it. Perhaps it isn't the ideal thing to do, but I am pretty sure it is the most natural.
          • by Chris Burke (6130)
            OK, but the sharing ideas is more or less the foundation of culture, not the species. I'm pretty sure that humans could exist without culture, until they developed it anyway.

            Without culture and accumulated knowledge, we'd be just another species of primate.

            Natural is a pretty loaded word to be using. Natural in what context, etc. At the moment, if I have a momentous idea, given that we have a patent system, the most natural thing for me to do is patent it and try to profit from it. Perhaps it isn't the ide
      • by mochan_s (536939)

        Complex to us, humans maybe but probably not that complex.

        • by maxume (22995)
          I think you might need to explain a little more, as I have no idea what you are getting at. Or did you post to the wrong thread?
    • by stubear (130454)
      Copyright laws do NOT lock up knowledge, they grant the creator specific rights to the expression of an idea in a fixed medium for a limited time, not brief, limited. Quit spreading FUD that knowledge is being locked up forever. It's bullshit and you know it (or you do now).
      • by Chris Burke (6130)
        Copyright laws do NOT lock up knowledge, they grant the creator specific rights to the expression of an idea in a fixed medium for a limited time, not brief, limited. Quit spreading FUD that knowledge is being locked up forever. It's bullshit and you know it (or you do now).

        So, you don't think that there is knowledge contained in expression, beyond the idea expressed? I'd say there's a lot of knowledge locked up in the expression, otherwise the exercise of creating a specific expression of knowledge would
        • by stubear (130454)
          I have MFA in graphic design, arguably one of the most expressive degrees one can pursue (and still make money) and I never learned one "specific expression", I learned how to express ideas in new and unique ways. I learned by observing other works that are protected by copyright but I'v enever found any value in using their expressions to formulate my own expression. Sure, I might was a type technique or illustration style (brightly colored icons like Windows XP or Firefox for instance) but in a wholly u
          • Meh. I'm not only a copyright lawyer, but I also used to make my living as a graphic designer. I think that you don't ascribe enough value to expressions, as apart from ideas. The plot of Romeo and Juliet predates Shakespeare, but I think the world would be poorer if his particular expression had been lost. A monopoly on a given expression of an idea is better than if it were for the idea itself, but it's still not a good thing in itself, and we should avoid having monopolies on specific expressions unless
  • by Life700MB (930032)

    There have to be a lot of these so-called "think tanks" there in UK, is was just about two days that... another... think tank proposed something very similar. More info, on slashdot [slashdot.org].

    Exactly twice the info!

    --
    Superb hosting [tinyurl.com] 200GB Storage, 2TB bandwidth, php, mysql, ssh, $7.95
  • Let us tag a dupe a dupe and link to the orig. [slashdot.org]
  • This is at the root of humanity...
  • It's a public good first, that to, as the Americans say "promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts", is made into a commodity for a limited time.

    To suggest it is a commodity or private good by nature is to fall into the same trap as to say a Crown or Constitutional grant of privilege is "intellectual property".
    --dave

  • it recommends that the UK move from a model where knowledge is 'an asset first and a public resource second' to one where knowledge is primarily a public resource and secondarily an asset.

    There are far too many well-financed players that want things to at least stay the same, if not move towards a model where knowledge is treated even more like an asset than it already is, for a move in the opposite direction to ever get off the ground pretty much anywhere in the world. The entities in question are mu

  • there is no, and there has never been such a thing as "intellectual property". There is a deal between the society at large, and some of its members, by virtue of which deal some are granted _temporary_ and _limited_ monopoly on some of their ideas, because the society views such monopoly as beneficial to its development. The keywords here, by which the concept should be judged are temporary, limited, and beneficial to the society.

    What is happening (and has been happening for a while) is a concerted, well-f
  • I'm not surprised, the culture in the UK is pretty superior to what you find in the US. Less religious, more rational, etc, more immune to capitalist propaganda that you find in the states and their easy manipulation of their people.
    • by jez9999 (618189)
      I'm guessing you don't live in the UK.
      • by D-Cypell (446534)
        I do, and have spent some time in the US also. After having a gun pointed at me by a police officer because I didn't stand during the US national athem (the first half anyways) then I would argue that the GP is right. Although, could equaly have qualified his point with... "But not by much!".
  • IPPR is wrong yet again, and in a very predictable way. The left in the UK is always conducting debates on the basis of false dichotomies. In this case the alleged dichotomy is between private rights and public resources. This is not the problem. It has nothing to do with 'public resources' whatever the hell they are. The problem with current IP law is not that it underestimates the value of public resources.

    The problem is that it underestimates the rights of buyers as opposed to those of sellers, and
    • Thank you. It's so nice to see a well-argued, coherent post from someone who understands where the real problems come from and attacks the right target.

  • The coining of the term "Intellectual Property" to cover three distinct areas of law - Trademarks, Copyrights, and Patents - is an attempt to get us all to mentally associate these historically recent unnatural restrictions on our rights and freedoms with an ancient and natural concept that we all know and agree with: Property.

    I'm not suggesting that Trademarks, Copyrights, and Patents are fundamentally bad. Relatively minor restrictions on our freedoms in order to reduce confusion and deception in marketin

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