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Against Monopoly

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Monopoly corrupts. Absolute monopoly corrupts absolutely.





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Spinning The Utter Stupidity Of Our Patent System

After reading this article, I have a newfound respect for the art of the guys who hold advertising signs on street corners.

White is part of the competitive world of "human directionals," an industry term for people who twirl signs outside restaurants, barbershops and new real estate subdivisions.

Street corner advertising on human billboards has existed for centuries, but Southern California where the weather allows sign spinners to work year-round has endowed the job with style.

Local spinners have cooked up hundreds of moves. There's the Helicopter, in which a spinner does a backbend on one hand while spinning a sign above his head. In the Blender, a spinner twirls the sign behind his back. Spanking the Horse gets the most attention. The spinner puts the sign between his legs, slaps his own behind and giddy-ups.

Thanks to growing demand, the business has turned cutthroat. There's a frenzy of talent poaching. Spinners battle one another for plum assignments and the promise of wage hikes. Some of the more prominent compete for bragging rights by posting videos on YouTube and Google Video, complete with trash talking. One YouTube comment reads, "i don't know if you stole my tricks or i just do them better."

But the limits of my respect ended when I got to this section in the article -

Aarrow keeps dozens of moves in a "trick-tionary," which only a handful of people have seen, said co-founder Mike Kenny. The company records spinners' movements and sends them in batches to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. "We have to take our intellectual property pretty seriously," he said.

Got that folks? Even after the latest Supreme Court patent smackdown, the IP legal culture still fosters the idea that you can monopolize the way you twirl a piece of cardboard around your body. If try to do that yourself, you will be sued by the patent holder of this stunning new invention that pushes the boundaries of human progress.

Ah yes, we certainly need to "take our intellectual property seriously" don't we? Things like this will certainly help the public to do just that.


Comments

I certainly think we do need to "take our intellectual property seriously".

  1. Your private IP is exclusively yours.
  2. If you give a copy of your IP to another, it's theirs - as well as yours.
  3. When you publish your IP, it belongs to the public - as well as you and me, when it becomes our intellectual property - and something to be taken very seriously.

I seem to recall that even patents are rendered invalid by prior publication - well, that was the idea...


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