Comment: Also, I meant to add to the

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Also, I meant to add to the

Also, I meant to add to the discussion that IP laws to rely on the wronged party to prosecute. There's not government department of copyright or patent infringement police. A person who thinks they've been infringed has to bring legal action; the government simply provides the court system and the enforcement of judgements. People who lift a patent idea for backyard use, or perform an AC/DC number, or lift a few graph of any book don't get hauled to jail. They have to be selling the work of someone else, not just using it. I can re-copy version of any poem, novel, song I want with absolutely no danger. It is only when I attempt to profit from or subvert the creator's profit that I get in trouble.

And, there are fair-use doctrines in place. You can quote at length from a book-length work as long as you cite me and as long as your use of my work does not serve as a replacement in the marketplace for my work. If you quote from a shorter work, your quote, obviously, has to be shorter to meet the fair-use doctrines.

I'm confused about how anyone gets the idea that if I search the patent database and see, for example, a great idea for a mobile chicken coop, I can't use that for my own backyard. There's no prohibition for me using the idea; only for me selling the idea. As I understand it, patents and copyrights don't protect a unique idea or expression; they protect profiting from it, outside personal benefit, without dealing with the patent/copyright-holder -- at least for a time.

So much of the anti-IP stuff I've read, seems to be confused about this. They seem to think that no one can use an idea if it's been patented or copyrighted. That's obviously untrue practically, and, I think, also untrue legally. Patents are published for a reason. We get to play with them, use them for ourselves and our own research. No one is stopping anyone from building that better patented mouse trap, just from selling it -- for a time. And it's not government doing the preventing; it's a civil suit brought by the patent owner or proxies. Government just supplies the courts and the legal scaffolding folks can go to if they think they've been wronged.