Patents Stifle ProgressSubmitted by hawkiye on Thu, 02/05/2009 - 18:21
Very good article on why patents are really just a tool of government intervention to protect markets for the politically connected, and why they have hindered our progress rather then helped it. Some excerpts posted below. Go to the link to read the whole article. Well worth the read:
The Hoax of Invention History
"What they further find is that the main contribution of patents is to increase the production of patents. But that is not the same as increasing invention, for the main use of the patent is to put a stop to any similar innovation that builds upon and improves the patented thing. The patent holder rides high for a time but history is actually frozen in place. The process of imitation and sharing that led to the innovation becomes formalized, centralized, fixed, and stagnant."
"Thus does chapter eight of Against Intellectual Monopoly discuss all the existing literature that makes the case – on purpose or inadvertently – against patents. It is packed with empirical detail, but in particular I'm intrigued at their review of the history of musical composition in England and Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries."
"They find that the countries with no copyright legislation (German territories in particular) had more composers per capita than countries like England. And in England in particular, the 1750 law had the effect of bringing the entire composition industry to a grinding halt. And later, when copyright was imposed on Italy and France, it led to a diminution of composer effort. "