you cant patent a new style of music. you cant patent the concept of a murder mystery. This is exactly why we have copyright. Somehow we had the brilliant idea to grant a patent for concept of online shopping (I know because I worked on the case personally).
Think of how terribly deprived we would be if someone had been allowed to patent 3/4 time before Tchaikovsky.
Intellectual Property (or Imaginary Property as I prefer to call it) has no place in a free society. A company cannot own the gravity holding me to this earth or any other piece of nature, including the art I create when I build software. They certainly can't own it before I've even created it right? Unfortunately, today you cannot write a simple program, no matter how unique, without violating someone's intellectual property.
A program is like a work of art or a novel. Copyright yes. But if others are inspired by my work and write a murder mystery, I have no right to stop them. This is precisely what Apple does better than anyone.
- Grow Mushrooms at Home
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