The expanding reach of intellectual property has introduced more and more possibilities for opportunistic litigation: suing to make a buck.
Sample trolls and patent trolls are business models who have developed as a result of this.
We live in an age with daunting problems.
We need the best ideas; we need them now; we need them to spread fast.
The common good is a meme that was overwhelmed by intellectual property.
Loss Aversion: we hate losing what we’ve got.
When we copy, we justify it. When others copy, we villify it.
Most of us have no problem with copying – as long as we’re the ones doing it.
62% of all patent lawsuits are now over software.
Estimated wealth lost is half a trillion dollars: $500,000,000,000.
Social Evolution: Copy, transform, and combine.
It’s who we are, it’s how we live, and of course, it’s how we create. Our new ideas evolve from the old ones.
But our system of law doesn’t acknowledge the derivative nature of creativity, instead ideas are regarded as property: as unique and original lots with distinct boundaries.
Ideas aren’t tidy.
They’re layered, interwoven, & tangled.
For almost our entire history ideas were free – the works of Shakespeare, Gutenburg and Rembrambt could be openly copied and built upon.
But the growing dominance of the market economy where the products of our intellectual labors are bought and sold produced an unfortunate side effect.