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View Diary: Hollywood bought its politicians, and it expects them to stay bought (284 comments)

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  •  tlo is right (17+ / 0-)

    "Isn't the entire purpose of patents to protect intellectual property?  Of course it is."

    No, of course it is not. The purpose of patents is to promote progress for the public. That is its entire purpose. The means by which it attempts to do this is by providing an added financial incentive for people to invent new useful things.  Its purpose is to benefit the public. It just happens to do this by encouraging more inventions with the lure of a patent (in other words, more money for the inventor).

    "Intellectual property" is a corporate propaganda term whose effect is to confuse people and invert the intent of things like patent law. The issues of these laws have virtually nothing to do with the issues involving regular property and their intent and purpose are entirely different.

    But then SOPA and PIPA have nothing to do with patents anyway. They are about copyrights, which are entirely different from patents. The purpose of copyright law is similar to that of patents however, to promote progress by providing an added financial incentive for people to write or publish more books, music, etc. Its "entire purpose" too is to benefit the public. Its purpose is not to "protect property". Rather it invents a set of exclusive rights to encourage behavior deemed beneficial to the public (writing and publishing more). To the extent that this "protects" the newly invented "property", that is but its Means, not its Ends, not its purpose.

    "The sole interest of the United States and the primary object in conferring the monopoly lie in the general benefits derived by the public from the labors of authors. "

    See also:

    The gist being that, unlike the owner of an actual piece of property, inventors have no inherent or natural right to "protection" from anything with regard to their inventions. Rather, "Society may give an exclusive right to the profits arising from them, as an encouragement to men to pursue ideas which may produce utility, but this may or may not be done, according to the will and convenience of the society, without claim or complaint from anybody."

    So, you have the purpose of patent law (and copyright law) backwards. It does create "an exclusive right" and then the government "protects" that right, but not for its own sake. That is only the means to an entirely different end (purpose), which is the "utility" or "general benefits derived by the public".

    But you're not alone. Those companies that benefit from copyright law have been working hard for decades to confuse people into inverting the purpose of these laws, including by promoting the term "intellectual property" starting around the 1960's.

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