Thursday, March 3, 2011

I really don't like "intellectual property"

I see I have been neglecting my blog recently, although you may have seen my frequent comment postings at the Washington Post and occasional comment postings elsewhere.

On this occasion, I would like to re-iterate a point I have stressed in the past by repeating here a comment I just posted to a Raw Story item titled "US report urges action against BitTorrent sites":
Many people seem unaware that the concept of "intellectual property" is historically quite new, basically nonexistent before the 18th century. Somehow, art and science managed to progress quite well for centuries without it. In fact, copyrights and patents are a special interest benefit, a grant of legal monopoly, richly rewarding many individuals and corporations beyond what a free market would allow. To whatever extent such arrangements support innovation beyond that which would normally occur in their absence we can be sure that some resources from the finite supply of resources are being diverted from uses that free markets would deem to be of greater value.
I really don't like "intellectual property".

Incidentally, I have used a BitTorrent site myself on one occasion. After replacing my old PC I tried to load the game "Baldur's Gate" from my legally owned disks to the new machine without success, apparently due to a scratch in one of the disks. I downloaded a "pirate" copy as a replacement. As it happens, that didn't work either, apparently due to the new machine using a newer version of the Windows operating system. I do miss that old game, but I have moved on to the MMORPG play in World of Warcraft.

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