Subject: Free markets
From: (L. Peter Deutsch)
Date: Sat, 27 Aug 94 20:51:17 PDT

Both your statement and Sean Shapira's assume that all human activities
can, and should, be thought of within a market framework, and that the
only issue is whether or how the market is controlled.  The debate about
software patents makes it clear that part of the question is whether
certain creative human activities should be kept outside the market
framework.  Specifically, I view patents as a mechanism for bringing
within the property/ownership/market framework activities which could
equally well be kept outside.  In fact, several objective studies of the
patent mechanism have concluded that its net benefit to society (as
measured, I assume, by the rate of innovative development and the cost of
products based on such development) is either negative or at best
unproven.  If you believe these studies, then claiming that patents are
still a good thing is a position that I would have to classify as a
religious or moral one, not a reasoned one.

L. Peter Deutsch :: Aladdin Enterprises :: P.O. box 60264, Palo Alto, CA 94306, ...decwrl!aladdin!ghost ; voice 415-322-0103 ; fax 322-1734
	    "Implementation is the sincerest form of flattery."