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O’Reilly Network: Doc Searls: Abolish Intellectual Property Laws

[ Thanks to S.Ramaswamy for this link.
]

“Doc on Industrial Revolution vs. Virtual Revolution
In the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, the material world
mattered a lot. Even Marx, who was a great opponent of capitalism,
framed his arguments in material terms. But the world we have now
is one that values immaterial things, and interestingly, it values
their abundance and their ability to become abundant. And so on the
one hand, we’re framing a lot of these arguments about patents in
what amounts to material terms that are embedded in the language of
patents and the language of the patent office and the language that
people use to talk about these things. And it’s a box that we tend
to stay in when we talk about this stuff. And I think what the
hackers did by building the Net was build something that is not a
box at all. It is infinite in all directions. On the one hand, if
you build a fence across it, it’s an extreme inconvenience, and on
the other hand, it’s something you can also route around. I think
companies that patent aggressively in the long run are going to be
routed around by the customer, and I think they’re going to be
routed around by the companies that implement the technologies and
business practices that are close to whatever those patents
are.”

“Doc on rethinking the whole notion of intellectual property
I happen to think that if we got rid of all intellectual
property law, and all copyright law for that matter, and just
simply said, “Anybody can do whatever they want, we all inform each
other,” that’s the virtue of being human, you know?
If I
inform you, you’re different. And if you inform me, I’m different
than I used to be. This is something that came out in a
conversation with Tim O’Reilly and I love it, and it’s that we are
authors of each other. And the Net creates a space where that can
happen, and again I just don’t think that’s a context where the
material notions that are really fairly in peak at this point
around patents have a whole lot of relevance except as a kind of
sport that people can get into and litigate against each other and
the rest of it.”

“Doc on business process patents
We need to at least begin to agree that business processes — these
things that are called business processes — and software itself is
something that it is really stupid to patent because it works
better if we all own some of this stuff than if only one of us owns
some of it. The Internet would never be here if it was up to
companies working alone to do it. It never would have been here.
And that’s the context we need to look back at it and say, “Well,
we get these benefits from nobody owning this stuff. Can we apply
that in this case?”


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