Subject: RE: The term "intellectual property" considered useful
From: Santiago Gala <>
Date: Sat, 06 May 2006 21:58:54 +0200
Sat, 06 May 2006 21:58:54 +0200
El sáb, 06-05-2006 a las 09:49 -0700, Lawrence Rosen escribió:
> Intellectual property *is* personal property. It can be possessed,
> transferred, inherited, etc. Every particular form of property has
> unique
> characteristics. The use of your car is more restricted than the use
> of your
> television, both of which are less restricted than the use of your
> gun. So
> should that mean we ought not to use the term "personal property"
> either
> because it causes people to over-generalize? 

Not sure if it is standard English law term, but in Spain (I'd say in
most places in Europe inheriting from Roman/Napoleonic laws), I'd say
"intellectual concession" or grant rather than property. Property has
not the connotation of a temporary concession from public domain.
Concession has it:

   2. A thing yielded; an acknowledgment or admission; a boon; a
      grant; esp. a grant by government of a privilege or right
      to do something; as, a concession to build a canal.

For instance, it used to be common to get a temporary concession to
build or exploit (mine, etc.) public properties. For instance, I knew
some people that had a house by the sea, invading the 200 meters that
Spanish laws take as public property by the sea. They had a concession
for like 100 years, and the property was demolished in due time, when it
expired. People protested, they have been living there for a lot of
years. So what? the boundary between sea and land is public domain in
Spain. No government can "sell" it without changing the laws first.

Was this real state their property? I would not use this word. Rather,
it was a concession, they had a title, etc. They could inherit it, etc.,
but nobody would call it "Property" (propiedad) in Spanish. Maybe
English is different.

I agree with RMS that the use of property is bad propaganda, aimed to
convince us to give them *our* (as in we the public) domain.

Santiago Gala <>
High Sierra Technology, SLU

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