Subject: Re: Examples needed against Soft Patents
From: Ben Tilly <btilly@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 14 Jan 2005 16:33:36 -0500

On Sat, 15 Jan 2005 04:55:59 +0900, Stephen J. Turnbull
<stephen@xemacs.org> wrote:
> >>>>> "Ben" == Ben Tilly <btilly@gmail.com> writes:
> 
>     Ben> It is impossible to spread a work/invention that was not made
>     Ben> or invented because nobody found it worthwhile to do so.
> 
> This is not the problem.  Everything will get invented for the fun of
> it, and probably sooner rather than later.  I'm sure that Thomas
> Jefferson knew that, because he enjoyed thinking and creating just as
> much as any of us do, and was sufficiently democratic as to anticipate
> our enjoyment.  Encouraging _creation_ is _not_ what IP is all about,
> as many brilliant inventors (including the poor guy who wrote MS-DOS
> if I've heard that story correctly) have learned to their sorrow.
[...]

I'm not at all sure that Jefferson knew that, and would
appreciate any references suggesting that he did.  To
the contrary quotes from him like, "Society may give an
exclusive right to the profits arising from them (ideas), as
an encouragement to men to pursue ideas which may
produce utility..." suggests that he thought as I
suggested.

For the full quote, in context, see
http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/a1_8_8s12.html

Cheers,
Ben