Re: Intellectual property

Lee Daniel Crocker (
Mon, 24 Mar 1997 14:57:23 -0800 (PST)

> Subsidy, what subsidy? I've never gotten one red cent from the
> government. Where oh where wise master may I find these riches????

I explained that quite clearly many times: if you sell me a product,
then I use the ideas to create a similar one and sell that, then the
government will step in and prevent me from doing so /at my expense/.
Protecting a market at public expense is no less a subsidy than just
writing checks from the public coffers or regulating prices.

> Another falsehood. By granting the creator a monopoly on use of that
> particular invention, a technological leapfrog effect is encouraged,
> where other companies and individuals, in order to compete, must invent
> the next greater refinement. Not having this system would stultify
> technological advancement as everyone would produce the same technology,
> and competition would be quashed, productivity would stagnate, and the
> economy would be swamped by overpopulation operating on restricted
> resources.

If you're just going to parrot tired old justifications, show me some
evidence to back it up. I refuse to accept your naked assertions, and
I have attempted to give some evidence that industry and publishing
flourished in the absence of what you claim is necessary. James Watt
became a very wealthy and creative man, as he deserved, and asked no
one to grant him any monopoly on his creations. The great works of
Shakespeare, Handel's Messiah, and the Mona Lisa were created without
benefit of copyrights. "IP" is a recent invention, justified by the
same blind assumption you continue to make here, but not supported by
the facts.

> If research is cheap, research labor costs would be very low, meaning
> researcher pay would be low. Thus you would create a disincentive to
> pursue careers in research, and only the incompetent morons would enter
> the field, much like primary education today.

So, making research cheap and easy is /bad/, now? Amazing. Do you
even believe in the free market at all? That products will increase
in quality as the market demands? And when information is cheap, the
value of /selection/ and /evaluation/ of information goes up, leading
to a market for people with enough brains to find and sort through all
the information. Again, this I outlined in my earlier posts.

> > The occurence of a truly new and spectacular idea from nothing is a rare
> > and wonderful event--Newton's gravity, Darwin's evolution, and Einstein's
> > general relativity are the only ones I can think of,
> none are inventions. They were scientific discoveries.

What's the /objectively definable/ difference between discovering the
inverse-square law of gravity and the LZW compression algorithm, or
natural order spreadsheet recalculation, or a process for making soap,
all of which are patented?

> They are so now only because there is an IP system in place which
> encourages and has encouraged their proliferation. Its interesting that
> you had no comment on my analysis showing that the average "dime a
> dozen" invention was worth 4.55 million man hours in terms of relative
> scarcity. if that is your opinion of the value of invention, I hesistate
> to ask what your opinion is of the work of the common man. (Nuff cotton
> deah, boss?)

I don't remember any such analysis, but I'll look for it--but once again,
you beg the very question by defining "invention" as "issued patent",
further misvalued by the existing anti-market system. Such an analysis
is as invalid for justifying itself as saying that drugs cause prison
costs, therefore we need more drug laws. Can't you see that circularity?

The labor of any man--in any field--is worth precisely what he can sell
it for in a free market. When Joe Montana makes a pass, his labor is
worth thousands of dollars, because that's what people will pay to see it.
When the cameraman gets paid to film it, his labor is worth whatever the
network is paying him. When the network broadcasts it, they charge for
commercial time whatever advertisers will pay. 49 years from now,
when Joe has stopped making passes and the cameraman retires, the network
can still collect royalties from someone who taped the game on his home
VCR and plays it for his friends, not because they would pay voluntarily,
but because the government say so. Where's the "labor" there?

> its interesting that a man who dislikes ad hominem attacks against
> himself takes such glee in inciting them against others. Additionally,
> that you still haven't paid enough attention or havent the intelligence
> to figure out that my drive system does not violate conservation of
> momentum shows that you are only interested in what you have to say and
> not anyone else. I suggest you check your ego at the door.

Sorry, but I couldn't resist. You're right, I don't know anything
about your drive, just the very limited information about it on your
site, which /seems/ to violate conservation of momentum. Perhaps the
thing does something useful but not exactly what the page seems to say
it does, or that there is something vital not said there. In any case,
I do apologize for the thinly-veiled ad hominem. It was an attempt at
humor, not a serious diparagement (not that I would shirk from serious
disparagement for other reasons!)

> That software cannot be patented you seem to have conveniently
> forgotten.

That over 100,000 algorithms /are/ patented you seem to not realize.

Lee Daniel Crocker <>  <>
"All inventions or works of authorship original to me, herein and past,
are placed irrevocably in the public domain, and may be used or modified
for any purpose, without permission, attribution, or notification."--LDC