Subject: Re: Examples needed against Soft Patents
From: Ben Tilly <btilly@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 14 Jan 2005 08:23:47 -0500

On Thu, 13 Jan 2005 20:46:22 +0100, Laurent GUERBY <laurent@guerby.net> wrote:
> On Wed, 2005-01-12 at 22:54 -0500, Seth Johnson wrote:
> > Actually, the following paper explains that in the vernacular of
> > the time, "progress" meant "spread," not "quantitative
> > improvement" in an economic sense:
> 
> Thanks for the reference, quite surprising :). Even if I would
> like to believe the paper point,
> 
> <<
> Clause 8: To promote the "Progress" of Science and useful Arts, by
> securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right
> to their respective Writings and Discoveries;
> >>
> 
> becomes
> 
> <<
> Clause 8: To promote the "Spread" of Science and useful Arts, by
> securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right
> to their respective Writings and Discoveries;
> >>
> 
> This doesn't parse, how giving the power to forbid
> copies of a work or use of an invention for everyone but who the
> author/inventor authorizes will help in "spreading" the work/invention
> compared to no restriction for everyone?

It is impossible to spread a work/invention that was not made or
invented because nobody found it worthwhile to do so.

IP law in the USA was originally intended to provide incentives to
avoid the non-production of useful ideas.  Of course now copyright
law is intended to maintain Disney's control of Mickey Mouse,
while patent law is a negotiating tactic for IBM.

Cheers,
Ben