Posts Tagged with “law”

Copyright law and technical advancement

August 24th, 2010

In a funny coincidence, two separate articles evaluating the effect of copyright law came through my reading stream this week:

The first is the Ars Technica discussion of the theory that weak copyright laws in the 1700s and 1800s helped Germany catch up technologically.

The second is a book review in this week’s New York Times. The book review is written by Lewis Hyde and called “A Republic of Letters” and the book is “Common as Air: Revolution, Art and Ownership.” Apparently Thomas Jefferson wondered whether copyright should exist at all when writing the US Constitution, but was persuaded by Madison that a very limited law would be the best balance.

Of course, there’s nothing new about the topic of how much intellectual property protection encourages creativity and innovation, and when IP protection backfires and stifles intellectual development. Even so, it’s a relief to see new works articulate the importance of evaluating our intellectual property laws in light of the things they are preventing, not just how much protection they can give. Now it’s time to read the actual book instead of the review 🙂

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