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On Wed, 26 Jul 2006, Rick Marshall wrote:
Rick, i do not want to anger you, but I think this needs to be hashed. So
here goes, but it is done with an eye to resolve the reason and the
logic, see comments:
> Hi Sterling
> I'm afraid my not so HO can't agree here. And it is very relevant to the
> XML thing.
I agree its relevant to software in general and to the entire of the
KIT Knowledge, information and Technology domains.
> The first problem is that you can't have wealth creation without
> ownership (wealth by definition being a measure of things owned -
> physical or otherwise).
[your statement is an assumption: and it mixes two issues into one)
There is a big, big difference between ownership and monopoly power.
Its the monopoly power ( the ability to exclude all others)
that is anti societal.
Monopoly power infringes human rights,
Monopoly power eliminates even fair competition,
Monopoly power bestows manors on the feudal lords.
Monopoly power should be the exclusive domain of the state.
I would be interested to see how you prove that wealth cannot be
created without property ownership?
What I think you meant is that differentiated private wealth cannot be
concentrated in the few without a grant of the monopoly power by the
state to the few or without private ownership accruing to particular
persons. Again I have no problem with just ownership.
As to ownership, that has been just my point, you may own whatever you
develop. That is OK with me, what you may not do, if you accept that
certain rights are inalienable to humanity (John Locke) is to prevent
others from developing, using, or selling the same thing.
Ownership is not monopoly power.
Ownership is exclusive use to yourself.
No one can cross onto your land without your permission.
that is called trespass, not monopoly.
But ownership does not prevent me from owning a property
exactly like yours right next door if I want.
ownership does not prevent me from offering my property
for sale to whomever I wish to sell it to, even if it is
exactly like yours and even if I bought mine, or dredged
mine from the sea after you did yours.
The open source has made a lot of people money, but none owned the
monopoly power to prevent others from doing the same thing.
Proponents of monopoly power have tried to fuse the two, because either
alone does little for their argument. The feudal lords held monopoly
power, could even create and make laws and hold court on their estates.
Very little other productive land or resources were available for the
humanity of the times, so all of humanity had to find employment on or
about the feudal estates ( there were its Dependants).
It was the kings grant of monopoly to their trusted few friends that
created the feudal estates. Its the politicians power to create wealth
in the selected few that allows the property rights earned by "technology
discoveries" to be endowed in their friends. This is don by attachment
to the private property of state enforced private monopoly powers.
> And constant wealth creation leads to improving living standards, better
> health, etc and of course global warming.
It would be interesting to hear the Swedes or Danish to speak on that?
AGAIN, the it is important to separate private wealth from public wealth.
Public wealth is distributed over all of humanity, while private wealth
tends to discriminate between the haves and the have knots.
Also, private wealth that passes by genetics or private directives down
regulates human to human competition. Since in private ownership the
amount of capital one is privately endowed with, speaks to ones
ability to compete outside of, or with, the monopoly endowed estates.
But KIT Knowledge, Information and technology holds a special place among
humans denied access to KIT are thereby prevented from a
particular quality of life enjoyment (the right to compete with
tools of our society or to lounge in air conditioned comfort),
to which they as a part of our society of humans, are entitled
(i. e. John Locke, the Glorious Revolution, 1688, England).
Denials such as this are forever, since when humans die, the
opportunity is foregone.
There is no reason to leave one human miserable so that
another can bath in wealth generated, not by private ownership,
but by state enforced, privatized, monopoly power.
The patent and copyright laws don't grant ownership to discoveries,
they attach portions of the exclusive powers of the state, monopoly
power, to selected discoveries, which the discover already owns, and
serve to record the private ownership of that property as vested in
this or that person, a service which seeks to provide assurance that
one's ownership is demonstrable.
> The issue is where should a society allow wealth creation to take place.
> In a capitalistic society, one of the basic mechanisms for wealth
> creation is to pass laws defining property that can be owned and
> therefore created and traded. It started with food, clothes, weapons,
> crafts, etc and moved on to land, labour, etc and recently (last couple
> of hundred years) to recordable expressions of our beings - music,
> literature, art, and ideas.
> I don't have a problem. More things patented means more opportunity for
I have a big, big problem with this statement. What it means to me is,
that one more opportunity for the rest of humanity to compete has been
> Where the problem seems to be is that many of us are starting to realise
> that others may be laying claim to our ideas and effectively stealing
> our wealth. And that's expensive to defend because the item now has
> value and it has become worth fighting over...
I think the theft of your wealth is different from using the ideas our
society has been fortunate enough to generate to compete with you.
Ideas are not wealth and in my opinion, few ideas, if any, ever would
have been, or could have been discovered, had it not been for the
discovers participation in the discovers own society. In other words,
we are all in this together. Just because the fish bit your hook,
does not entitle you to be the only one to eat.
Its akin to you earning your money by digging ditches, and the guy
next door, while working for you, discovers a mechanical way to
dig ditches. In fact his machine is so good that he put you out of
business and now you work for him. Without the monopoly you could
find a new employee and develop a machine similar to his and compete,
but with the monopoly he can never use his own invention to compete
against you. That is because initially you had the capital and he did
The monopoly laws ( patents and copyrights ) would call this work for
hire and donate his discovery to your private ownership the employer.
Follow the monopoly power, not the inventor or the ownership.
> What we need (and this group is possibly a good place to start, at least
> for the XML world) is to do what physicists did years ago. When the
> patent offices were being swamped with patents for perpetual motion
> machines they took advice from the physicists that it was impossible
> (mostly because of friction losses) and banned applications for such
I agree we do need to ban patents for software and just about everything
else, especially discoveries in biotechnology and medicine.
> We really need a way to say - look these patents are nonsense because of
> software "friction" (?). Otherwise go ahead and design and register
> things and if you can trade or licence it, then congratulations you are
> now wealthier. If you don't want to get wealthier, that's a separate
You have that already! But only for the largo bigo guys, sue to have the
patent rescinded can take advantage of it. Good Luck!
> A good start might be to say that vocabularies can't be patented because
> the XML standards are the "friction" of vocabularies. But tools... And
> somehow I think that's where most of us are comfortable today.
The patent law says it must be a new (novel) invention, every rephrasing
I can think of fits that definition. So patent the trivia because trivia is
by that definition probably patentable! Patent-ability is a result of the
patent laws and the enabling clause in the constitution.
> Just my opinion, but I think it's a start to balancing the common good
> (a term I'm not sure I really understand) with individual opportunity.
Patent and copyright laws capture, encapsulate, and transport every
tangible echo of the human mind to the exclusive, monopoly protected,
state enforced, private benefit of a few feudal lords.
> sterling wrote:
> >IMHO, your link does not provide a justification for extending the
> >copyright or patent law for a lifetime of humanity (100+ years or so).
> >In fact, no justification I can find exists to deny, save but one, all of
> >humanity, access to all of the developments that represent the evolution
> >and advancement of humanity.
> >People only live once, and patents particularly, deny living humanity
> >the benefit of the inventions of their own society. Further, patents
> >inhibit continued competitive advancement of the society for the length of
> >time that the "monopoly granted" within the issue of a patent persist.
> >I believe humanity not the nation state (or its insider benefactors) is
> >entitled to the fruits of the labor of all past and contemporary humanity.
> >I believe that invention is a thing of society. Most inventions are
> >discoveries of the circumstances of the task, not the genius of the
> >inventor. Most other similarly educated persons in like place and
> >circumstance, faced with the same need and motivation as the inventor,
> >would have solved the problem the invention claims.
> >The ditch digger does ditches, the inventor does inventions. Why should
> >one be paid millions of times and the other but once? Does the
> >monopoly answer suggest economic and social discrimination?
> >Further, education is not an invention of society, but rather, it is a
> >reflector of the cumulative associations that make up our society. The
> >educated inventor is a product of his society. Society is a product
> >of its humanity. Inventions are not properties of the inventors, or the "for
> >hire" proprietor, but public property to which all of humanity has an
> >immediate entitlement to claim and to use.
> >The aristocrats who write the law have seen fit to capture "invented
> >public property" by the method of encapsulation. They have made the
> >encapsulated product a private property and donated by rule of law, a
> >public property to private use. Patents are a modernized mechanism of the
> >feudal system.
> >This very list suggest that it takes many more than one, to create that
> >which serves our society. Which word, which sentence, which concept,
> >which thought, developed on this list, on any other societal
> >endeaver, belongs to the exclusive use of a private party?
> >On Thu, 20 Jul 2006, Richard Salz wrote:
> >>>Patents are monopolies. They monopolize all of the knowledge,
> >>>and technology in the same way that the feudal estates monopolized all
> >>>the factors of production. Patents recreate the feudal system.
> >>The fundamental difference is that patents have limited lifetime, and have
> >>generally (perhaps even universally?) been designed as a trade-off. For
> >>example, as one legal document puts it, the goal is "[t]o promote the
> >>Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to
> >>Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and
> >>You might find this link useful, although it's US-centric:
> >> http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data/constitution/article01/39.html#1
> >>Followups to /dev/null, as we used to say.
> >> /r$
> >>SOA Appliances
> >>Application Integration Middleware
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