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.
As you know no way she could do this without copyright...
(Strictly speaking this should have been Stephan's post, but he seems to have handed it off to me.) Disagree with my view below that copyright is absurd? Wondering what would happen to the movie industry without copyright? Luckily the marvelous Mike Masnick manage to answer both questions in a single post. If you still don't believe, go take a look at Star Wreck.
Mario Stargard submits the following observations about whether copyright leads to innovation:
Sure it does. Seems that every time a P2P protocol is shutdown, new ones emerge to circumvent the previous problems.
Robert Friedel's new book "The Culture of Improvement" is reviewed in the Wall Street Journal today by Adam Keiper.
The contributions of famous entrepreneurs, including James Watt and Robert Fulton, are surveyed. Are Watt's legal strategems part of the story? What about patents as innovation blocking mechanisms?
The reviewer quotes a passage stating that patents can divert attention away from the cumulative history of creativity.
Technology "proceeds by fits and starts;" R&D, best practices, and, yes, patents are part of the story. A visit to Amazon could be in order.
Publishers are creating speakers' bureaus to publicize authors and their books. It gives them a lucrative second platform.
The rise of the superstore, which created a marketplace where none existed, helped spur the demand for authors' lectures, as did the network effect of the internet.
(hattip slashdot). Some of you may be familiar with a science fiction television show "firefly," cancelled despite a small cult following, later made into a movie, entitled "serenity." Universal studios in an effort to promote the movie encouraged fans to market the movie by
[creating] a community [the browncoats] around the release of Serenity that harnessed the power of a large member base that exceeded the most optimistic of expectations. Members were encouraged to form regional groups to promote the film and perform activities that would help generate word of mouth, like creating bumper stickers and gift cards to accompany the DVD release. (beaffinitive)
Can you predict what happened next?
With the shutting down of Blue Sun Shirts at the behest of FOX, cease and desist letters going out to owners of Browncoat shops on CafePress, at least one fan-favorite promoter receiving a demand from Universal Studios Licensing LLC for nearly $9,000 in retroactive licensing fees, and the resulting chilling effect leading to other fans shutting down preemptively many Browncoats got to thinking about just how many hours they spent on helping to market and promote Serenity, in essence with the tacit agreement of Universal Pictures, if not their outright official encouragement. (browncoatinvoice.com)
File under "imitating the RIAA - how to win the heart and minds of your fans - sue them"
This example is not open source, but it suggests the potential of opening processes up.
Musgrove, Mike. 2006. "Lego's Robot Redux: Hackers, Longtime Fans Help Revamp Kits To Build Better Gizmos." Washington Post (29 July): p. D 1.
My own blog has begun at
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The right to rub smooth using a hardened steel tool with ridges Finally got around to looking at the comments, sorry for delay... Replying to Stephan: I'm sorry
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