[clug] Re: A most interesting read, most interesting

David Howe david at qednet.biz
Sat Dec 30 01:06:40 GMT 2006

Sam Couter wrote:
>> In the case of a corporation (public or private), it spends 
>> a great deal of its shareholders funds on developing 
>> ideas/products/etc.; surely the corporation has the ownership of these 
>> ideas and products.
> In the current legal climate, they do own those ideas in some ways. But
> that ownership is a concept created by society. It's not an inherent
> right in the same way that rights over tangible property like houses and
> cars are considered inherent rights.
> You've given the exact reason why the copyright bargain has been made,
> too: it creates an incentive for people and corporations to invest in
> creating stuff.
> The downside is that it also gives corporations an incentive to lobby to
> extend copyrights indefinitely, rogering the society that gave them the
> copyright bargain in the first place. Big problem.
Owning ideas is a difficult concept, ideas are not tangible things. 
Creative people struggle with this notion constantly, they have to sell 
their ideas to survive. But what do they sell? As Sam has alluded to, 
you may sell a particular house colour, you might sell a shape or a way 
of doing something.

Ideas are an alternative to what is known. I suspect that big business 
understands that ideas are their future lifeblood, devising methods to 
lock up those ideas is like taking out insurance. I believe society 
cannot afford to allow big business to be a caretaker of ideas, a point 
of view that not shared by all. The rhetoric of business is free markets 
and competition, in reality it behaves like a spoilt brat demanding more 
and more privileges in order to survive.

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