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Linux Journal: Talking Patents

Mar 12, 2000, 23:08 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Doc Searls)

"As we enjoy great advantages from the inventions of others, we should be glad of an opportunity to serve others by any invention of ours; and this we should do freely and generously." -- Benjamin Franklin

"That ideas should freely spread from one to another over the globe seems to have been peculiarly and benevolently designed by nature, when she made them, like fire, expansible over all space, without lessening their density at any point, and like the air in which we breathe, move, and have our physical being, incapable of confinement or exclusive appropriation. Inventions then cannot, in nature, be a subject of property." -- Thomas Jefferson

"Two centuries after Jefferson left his patent office, we have this whole new world - the Net - made by our own thinking power, expressed in the idea we call code. In Code and other Laws of Cyberspace, Lawrence Lessig points out "The Internet was built for research, not commerce. (Indeed, until 1991, the national Science Foundation forbade its use for commerce.) Its protocols were open and unsecured; it was not designed to hide."

"So the Net was a marketplace for ideas before it became a marketplace for things."

"Two centuries after Jefferson left his patent office, we have this whole new world - the Net..."

"That world was endowed by its creators with three qualities that would please both Franklin and Jefferson:

  • "Nobody owns it
  • Everybody can use it
  • Anybody can improve it"

"We can thank our founding hackers for all three. Jeff can also thank them for helping put Amazon in business."

"Now we need to finish talking him over to the right side of the fence - the side where we're all talking this thing through."

Complete story.

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