Subject: RE: The term "intellectual property" considered useful
From: "Anderson, Kelly" <>
Date: Tue, 2 May 2006 16:12:07 -0600

 Tue, 2 May 2006 16:12:07 -0600
>     The term "intellectual property" is not the problem. 
> There clearly exists,
>     after all, property that is the result of intellectual activities.
> There clearly exist copyrights, patents, trademarks, etc.  
> Are those what you are talking about?  I've explained already 
> why it is harmful to to refer to them as "property".
> Or do you mean something else?
> 								       A
>     collective name for that type of property is useful in 
> general discussions
>     and even in legal documents.
> If it SEEMS useful in general discussions, it is because 
> you're in the habit of generalizing about these laws.  I've 
> observed that that is usually the result of the influence of 
> the term "intellectual property" itself.  It suggests trying 
> to make statements about these various laws together.  Once 
> you think you should do that, you think you need a term to 
> describe them all.
> When I decided to reject the term, I decided to reject the 
> idea of generalizing about these various laws.  So I no 
> longer find myself looking for a term for all of them at once.
> It is also possible to avoid it in legal documents, but these 
> issues of political rhetoric are less important in legal 
> documents than in political discussions.

Richard, I understand your rejection of the IP term and have read and
agree with everything you've said on the subject.

Still, I wonder what's wrong with the term as used in this sentence:
"The venture capitalists are concerned that we are protecting our
intellectual property."

This usage applies equally well whether discussing copyright, patent,
trade mark, trade secrets or any other government controlled temporal
monopolistic policy.

How would you rephrase the sentence above?


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