defending the right to innovate
Monopoly corrupts. Absolute monopoly corrupts absolutely.
Copyright Notice: We don't think much of copyright, so you can do what you want with the content on this blog. Of course we are hungry for publicity, so we would be pleased if you avoided plagiarism and gave us credit for what we have written. We encourage you not to impose copyright restrictions on your "derivative" works, but we won't try to stop you. For the legally or statist minded, you can consider yourself subject to a Creative Commons Attribution License.
There is a nice interview with the president of Ultimate Fighting Championships (Dana White) in the Minneapolis Star and Tribune, on June 7th, in the Sports section. This sport now seems to be bigger (in terms of revenue) than both boxing and WWF. Who came up with the idea? According to White: "this thing started in 1993 when a bunch of TV guys wanted to answer the question, "What fighting style is best?" Would a boxer beat a wrestler? And so on .... These guys never knew they were creating a sport at all. They just sort of fell into it." Innovation here proceeded as it often does -- through good luck.
Yesterday's New York Times had an obituary for Calvert DeForest aka "Larry (Bud) Melman" of "Late Night With David Letterman" fame. It reported, as some of you may remember, that NBC claimed ownership of the Larry (Bud) name when Letterman moved to CBS ---- and Calvert was barred from using the name again. Another example, perhaps small, of the evils of intellectual monopoly. link here
A NYT article (May 9th, p A4), "Vinters with personal flair can't brag on wine labels", discusses how a new trade agreement between the EU and United States puts sharp limits on labeling of wine bottles. It seems small European growers may not be able to indicate they use oak barrels and other methods that would distinguish themselves from the larger, more "industrial" U.S. wine makers.
Without patents, innovations will be imitated, and hence not developed. So goes the logic underlying most economic models of innovation. The case of the development of containerized shipping (a major transportation innovation) offers valuable lessons regarding this logic. If an innovation was to be easily imitated, the innovation of putting cargo in a box would seem to be a good candidate. Someone would load the first box on a ship, and then everyone would start doing it. Yet as Marc Levinson discusses in the 25 April, 2006 edition of the Financial Times, "Unforeseen consequence: how a box transformed the world," it took the industry a long time to understand how important the box would be, and how to use it. In fact, "the most remarkable aspect of its [the box] history is that no one foresaw how the box would change everything it touched, from ships and ports to patterns of global trade."
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that city plumbers are blocking new waterless urinals since they require less pipe and hence less work. In the story the reporter, Inga Saffron, contacted mayoral candidates to find out where they stood on the issue. Typical answer: no comment.
Most Recent Comments
Do we need a law? The issue is whether the crime is punished not who punishes it. If somebody robs our house we do
at 11/17/2014 04:48 AM by David K. Levine
Do we need a law? 1. Plagiarism most certainly is illegal, it is called "copyright infringement". One very famous
at 10/29/2014 10:49 AM by Alexander Baker
IIPA thinks open source equals piracy Good post. Thanks for this information. By the way, if students want to get rid of their
at 10/28/2014 04:24 AM by sopha
Yet another proof of the inutility of copyright. The 9/11 Commission report cost $15,000,000 to produce, not counting the salaries of the authors.
at 09/20/2014 03:19 PM by Alexander Baker
WKRP In Cincinnati - Requiem For A Masterpiece P.S. The link to Amazon's WKRP product page:
at 06/28/2014 10:03 AM by Doris
WKRP In Cincinnati - Requiem For A Masterpiece Hopefully some very good news. Shout! Factory is releasing the entire series of WKRP in Cincinnati,
at 06/28/2014 10:00 AM by Doris
What's copywritable? Go fish in court. @ Anonymous: You misunderstood my intent. I was actually trying to point out a huge but basic
at 05/05/2014 01:03 PM by Sheogorath
Rights Violations Aren't the Only Bads I hear that nonsense from pro-IP people all the
at 04/07/2014 04:47 AM by Dan McCracken
Intellectual Property Fosters Corporate Concentration Yeah, I see the discouragement of working on a patented device all the time. Great examples
at 01/13/2014 06:13 AM by Anonymous
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at 11/28/2013 05:03 PM by Stephanie Smith
at 11/28/2013 09:23 AM by Anonymous
at 11/28/2013 09:22 AM by Anonymous
Patent Lawyers Who Don't Toe the Line Should Be Punished! Moreover "the single most destructive force to innovation is patents". We'd like to unite with you
at 11/24/2013 10:48 AM by SpaceCorp Technologies
at 11/20/2013 03:18 PM by Anonymous
Does the decline in total factor productivity explain the drop in innovation? So, if our patent system was "broken," TFP of durable goods should have dropped. Conversely, since
at 11/02/2013 08:09 PM by Anonymous
Does the decline in total factor productivity explain the drop in innovation? I wondered about TFP, because I had heard that TFP was increasing. Apparently, it depends on who
at 11/02/2013 08:08 PM by Anonymous
Music without copyright I do agree with all the ideas you have presented in your post. They are very convincing and will
at 09/23/2013 07:46 AM by audience response software
Music without copyright It's strange, that sometimes the most simple suggestions are often the most useful! I will take the
at 09/20/2013 06:44 AM by audience response software
Patents on 3D Printing Challenged by Prior Art To Loup Vaillant: "So, you think we wouldn't have had those 9 technologies without patents? I can
at 09/13/2013 04:22 PM by Anonymous
Patents on 3D Printing Challenged by Prior Art @anonymous: So, you think we wouldn't have had those 9 technologies without patents? I can accept
at 09/10/2013 03:56 PM by Loup Vaillant