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#1 2012-04-27 17:11:44

sboysel
Member
Registered: 2011-12-30
Posts: 63

Check this book out: "Against Intellectual Monopoly"

I just wanted to share with everyone a really cool book I came across a year or so back.  I'm not sure if this has been discussed in the Arch forums yet but, basically, Boldrin and Levine argue that copyright laws are not necessary for innovation and often do more harm than good.  In particular, they use the OSS and Linux community as an example of successful collaborative development and innovation in the absence of restrictive patents.  Regardless of your own views of intellectual property rights in general, I found this to be very relevant to our community so I wanted to share it.

Oh yeah, and the full text is available free online and in pdf format
http://levine.sscnet.ucla.edu/general/i … tfinal.htm

And if you'd like to support Boldrin and Levine, a print copy is also available
http://www.amazon.com/Against-Intellect … 0521879280

Note: I hope this doesn't come across as a shameless plug.  I'm not affiliated with the authors in anyway.

Edit: updated link to latest version of the book

Last edited by sboysel (2012-04-27 22:12:16)

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#2 2012-04-27 19:09:06

drcouzelis
Member
From: Connecticut, USA
Registered: 2009-11-09
Posts: 3,424
Website

Re: Check this book out: "Against Intellectual Monopoly"

Thanks for sharing the link, I hadn't heard of that site before but it is relavant to my interests.

I enjoy studying these issues and do so quite a bit. I just read most of the first chapter of that book and it reminded me: This topic is horribly confusing to me. The more I study it, the more I learn about things that I don't know. And, as Richard Stallman points out, the term "intellectual property" just makes the situation more confusing by lumping things together that are fundamentally different. I feel that this author did a good job at distinguishing and explaining the differences between patents, copyright, and trademarks.

As an example of how confusing this topic can be, your quote:

In particular, they use the OSS and Linux community as an example of successful collaborative development and innovation in the absence of copyright.

confused me because Linux is very much copyrighted, mostly by the GPL. Even so, I'm not saying you're wrong, I'm just saying I'm confused. tongue

I do know that I'm completely against software patents. Let people copyright the code they write, but for goodness sake, the idea of patenting an idea in software sounds so ridiculous to me. Code is like writing a novel using math. You don't patent math and you don't patent a novel. (I'm embarassed to admit that I accidentally got a software patent, and I realize now just how silly it is)

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#3 2012-04-27 20:43:52

sboysel
Member
Registered: 2011-12-30
Posts: 63

Re: Check this book out: "Against Intellectual Monopoly"

drcouzelis wrote:

Thanks for sharing the link, I hadn't heard of that site before but it is relavant to my interests.

I enjoy studying these issues and do so quite a bit. I just read most of the first chapter of that book and it reminded me: This topic is horribly confusing to me. The more I study it, the more I learn about things that I don't know. And, as Richard Stallman points out, the term "intellectual property" just makes the situation more confusing by lumping things together that are fundamentally different. I feel that this author did a good job at distinguishing and explaining the differences between patents, copyright, and trademarks.

As an example of how confusing this topic can be, your quote:

In particular, they use the OSS and Linux community as an example of successful collaborative development and innovation in the absence of copyright.

confused me because Linux is very much copyrighted, mostly by the GPL. Even so, I'm not saying you're wrong, I'm just saying I'm confused. tongue

I do know that I'm completely against software patents. Let people copyright the code they write, but for goodness sake, the idea of patenting an idea in software sounds so ridiculous to me. Code is like writing a novel using math. You don't patent math and you don't patent a novel. (I'm embarassed to admit that I accidentally got a software patent, and I realize now just how silly it is)

I guess by the absence of copyright I mean't more along the lines of the absence of an Apple or Microsoft copyright, or any proprietary or closed source software.  Chapter 2 p17-24 specifically addresses software:

Free software is not only open source, but is released under a license such as the GNU General Public License (GPL) which allows modifications and distribution only when the source code to those modifications is made available under the same license. It should be understood here that the word “free” here means (according to the motto) “free as in freedom, not free as in beer.” Although free software is often distributed without charge, it is the freedom of the user to make use of the software that distinguishes free software, not the price at which it is sold. The free software license serves as a commitment for those who wish that their contribution will also be freely available, and as a guarantee to users that they will have access to the source code in the future, if they so wish.

Perhaps I'm misusing the word copyright and instead mean software that is "free as in freedom"

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#4 2012-04-27 21:32:58

Yurlungur
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2012-01-06
Posts: 116

Re: Check this book out: "Against Intellectual Monopoly"

Thanks for sharing. Definitely gonna work my way through this.


Lenovo Thinkpad T420; Intel sandy bridge i7 2.7GHz; integrated graphics card; 4GB RAM; wifi; Arch; Xmonad WM

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#5 2012-04-27 22:14:02

jasonwryan
Forum & Wiki Admin
From: .nz
Registered: 2009-05-09
Posts: 18,330
Website

Re: Check this book out: "Against Intellectual Monopoly"

Both William Patry's books on copyright are well worth reading.

Moral Panics and the Copyright Wars deconstructs the efforts of content industries to demonize sharing in an attempt to shore up their failing business models.

How To Fix Copyright proposes a sensible approach to respecting the rights of creators in the age of frictionless distribution.


Arch + dwm   •   Mercurial repos  •   Github

Registered Linux User #482438

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#6 2012-04-27 22:46:43

sboysel
Member
Registered: 2011-12-30
Posts: 63

Re: Check this book out: "Against Intellectual Monopoly"

jasonwryan wrote:

Both William Patry's books on copyright are well worth reading.

Moral Panics and the Copyright Wars deconstructs the efforts of content industries to demonize sharing in an attempt to shore up their failing business models.

How To Fix Copyright proposes a sensible approach to respecting the rights of creators in the age of frictionless distribution.

Thanks for sharing those 2 books.  It will be interesting to how the authors approach the issues given their different backgrounds (Boldrin & Levine trained as economists, Patry trained as an actual IP lawyer)

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#7 2012-05-02 19:53:28

Jrgen
Member
Registered: 2011-11-29
Posts: 9

Re: Check this book out: "Against Intellectual Monopoly"

Here's another short book on the topic: http://mises.org/document/3582

Author Stephan Kinsella is also an IP lawyer.

Last edited by Jrgen (2012-05-02 19:54:38)

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