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Patents United Kingdom

Patents That Kill 240

wabrandsma (2551008) writes From The Economist: "The patent system, which was developed independently in 15th century Venice and then in 17th century England, gave entrepreneurs a monopoly to sell their inventions for a number of years. Yet by the 1860s the patent system came under attack, including from The Economist. Patents, critics argued, stifled future creativity by allowing inventors to rest on their laurels. Recent economic research backs this up."
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Patents That Kill

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  • And this is the same for copyrights.
  • Absolutely (Score:5, Insightful)

    by s.petry ( 762400 ) on Monday August 11, 2014 @11:58PM (#47652663)

    I wish I could find the link, but no luck so far. There was a speech given to the house of lords in England in the 1700s where an attorney argues that copyrights are only beneficial to the copyright owner, which tends to not be the artist where the copyright is intended. Print shops would demand copyright to print a book, but of course they would pay the artist a few pennies for their troubles. The speech covers a well known English auhor's family woes after his death. Even though he was a well known author and sold enough books that he should have been wealthy, after he died his family was left destitute. The reason was because a publisher owned all of his copyrights and his family never received a penny in royalties.

    Of course the copyright holder (publisher) was suing the house to extend copyrights, because it's so beneficial to the economy.

    A bit off topic I realize, since TFA is about patents. The thing is though, the arguments stay the same. It is not like John the inventor gets to hold his patent and benefit, it's more like John the inventor's patent was 90% owned by the company he worked for because they sued him for the rights.

    Some things never change. This has a lot to do with why they try and make backroom laws like TPP, CISPA/SOPA type laws, etc.. Rational people would point out the flaws, so in the US we just make the discussions a matter of national security so people don't know. Thank goodness a few companies got on the bandwagon with CISPA/SOPA, but the next versions are not being discussed publicly and are works in progress in the Senate and House.

  • by roman_mir ( 125474 ) on Tuesday August 12, 2014 @12:08AM (#47652683) Homepage Journal

    Patents [slashdot.org] and copyrights [slashdot.org] must [slashdot.org] be abolished [slashdot.org].

    Let the people compete in the market based on the trade secrets.
    Of-course government institutions like FDA need to be abolished as well.

  • Alternatives? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by penguinoid ( 724646 ) on Tuesday August 12, 2014 @12:29AM (#47652731) Homepage Journal

    The main problem is, what do we replace the patent system with? Can we rely on only government-funded research (which may become a crony system or refuse to fund politically incorrect things)? Can we rely on people inventing things as a hobby?

    I'm not against patents per se, but the approval rate of illegitimate patents is astronomical and the period is too long (would have to be different lengths based on different things).

  • by meerling ( 1487879 ) on Tuesday August 12, 2014 @12:32AM (#47652741)
    Since a stated reason of the copyright and patent systems are to encourage creation, how does letting someone collecting money off of one thing their entire life, much less after they are dead, encourage them to continue to do more work to keep getting their paycheck?
  • by ATMAvatar ( 648864 ) on Tuesday August 12, 2014 @12:57AM (#47652787) Journal
    Why should a copyright ever extend past the life of the author? For those 10 years you propose after the author dies, what additional works will that author create as a result of the additional copyright protection? And will zombie works be good enough to be worthy of copyright protection?
  • by silfen ( 3720385 ) on Tuesday August 12, 2014 @01:03AM (#47652799)

    Overall, I agree that patents don't help much with innovation. However, I think pharmaceutical patents, unlike most other patents, do, in fact, encourage innovation. The fact that they encourage the wrong kind of innovation (minor variations on existing drugs) is not a problem with patents per se, it's a problem with the costs and risks of FDA approval: it's much safer to develop a small variant of an existing drug than to develop a completely novel drug for untreatable diseases.

    Sorry, guys, you can't have it all: lots of innovation, safety, and low cost. Pick any two.

  • by GoodNewsJimDotCom ( 2244874 ) on Tuesday August 12, 2014 @01:14AM (#47652821)
    Well for great feats of man, more investment is required. Could Pixar have been kickstarted for ToyStory 1? I think they went to great lengths because there was more money to be made.

    I agree there should be a limit on copyrights, but it shouldn't be much more than 10 years. At this time, people can use your characters and such, but guess what, after 10 years of the public enjoying something, it is a part of their life too.

    Finally, everyone remember radio? Radio was invented way before it was it actually became reality. Why? Because everyone had patents on different parts of the radio and they didn't want to collaborate. I hear it wasn't until around WWI that the government stepped in to be able to use it for the military.

    Anyone who thinks patents help the little guy haven't seen troll lawsuits smack little guys senseless. Anyone who thinks patents help the little guy haven't seen big corporations crush their competitors they perceive as a threat.
  • by rebelwarlock ( 1319465 ) on Tuesday August 12, 2014 @01:17AM (#47652827)
    Not a single death was reported. Hey, here's an idea: don't make your headlines misleading. Patents might not be my favorite thing in the world, but unless they are literally killing people, then this headline is horseshit. The Economist just got added to my blacklist for that. Good job, jackasses!
  • by Sarius64 ( 880298 ) on Tuesday August 12, 2014 @02:00AM (#47652963)
    OMG What will Capital Records and Disney do if they could only own their IPs for 10 years? Billionaires would starve and their kids would only have 15 lifetimes worth of money to inherit! Perish the thought!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 12, 2014 @06:59AM (#47653647)

    Revoking the copyright at the death of the author would create a reason to have the author killed.
    In fact it is retarded to have it connected to the authors death at all. It should be from the creation of the work or when it was made available to the public only.

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