Wayne Busby

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Are patents and copyrights killing any possibility of us surviving ourselves?

"...never does nature say one thing and logic another..."
The creative process: copy, transform and combine. No we did not think of this first. Even those most primordial inventions like rope, stairs or the wheel are concepts we have devised through inspiration in nature.
Think for a moment about how a vine allows a plant to climb, how a simple stone shelf allows a goat purchase so as to graze on a steep cliff, or perhaps how a tumble weed travels almost effortlessly for miles and miles.
Using the above mention creative process what have we wrought? Rope + cogwheel with 'teeth' or steps = gears...

I believe it is illogical, counter intuitive and to our detriment, that we enabled laws that cripple our capacity to continue emulating this process.
What do you think?

  • May 4 2012: Here's the thing (in my opinion.) Yes, I agree with ideas like those of Barak- that there are some areas where patents should not extend (individual genes, for example). However, that being said, I think to make a blanket statement like "patents are bad" is incorrect. If your hypothesis, that patent law is destroying creativity in the world, was true, I'd ask for the evidence. However, as patent law has increased in scope and strength across the globe, so too has scientific understanding and technological advancement.
    • May 25 2012: I generally agree with your statement, but I don't think your ultimate implication is founded. Yes, human understanding has increased along with an increased number of filings of patents. Clearly these two things are correlated, however, I'm not aware of proof to show that the relation is causal.

      I had started another thread talking about some of the problems with the patent system and asking for input... There wasn't much interest in the topic though. http://www.ted.com/conversations/11089/how_would_you_reform_the_us_pa.html
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    Apr 27 2012: i agree with you.. i don't understand how can a pharmaceutical company get a patent on someone else DNAGenes.. i mean it's that person body! it's like trading slaves.. Something needs to be done!
  • Apr 30 2012: The incentives are helping people to share their ideas though they are copied from nature. Otherwise every person has to reinvent rope and wheel.