Subject: Re: Examples needed against Soft Patents
From: jean_camp <jean_camp@harvard.edu>
Date: Tue, 18 Jan 2005 21:11:14 -0500
Tue, 18 Jan 2005 21:11:14 -0500
It does make sense to me if you think about the Statute of Anne. When 
was this written? 1789? So there were three basic approaches to 
copyright at that time
1. licensing : the king owns everything, and grants 'patents" (they 
called them that don't ask me why) to printers to make copies. making 
something not approved by the King is hazardous to your health
2. moral rights: each author has a right to control his own words, as 
the essence of the author is in his work. For example, the self-parody 
that occurs at the beginning of Lo's Diary is a result of that level of 
control
3. copy rights: this meant that anyone who wrote could have a 
copyright, and those rights could be sold or traded freely. The author 
did not retain rights forever based on moral grounds
4. free information: under the licensing system most information was 
free. most information was beneath the ownership of the King. So if you 
ever hear that Shakespeare's  plays were 'pirate' copies that is not 
quite true. His material was not subject to patents and licensure being 
fiction.

So I could see that the founders could have been rejecting 1 & 2, and 
implicitly rejecting 4. Or maybe just ignoring 4, because they were 
concerned with quality work (kind of funny given the quality of most 
work....) and did not see that as a viable model, but rather as a 
failure of the first model. If that were the case they  did choose the 
most open functional model of the time.

I had never read that about "progress". So it meant availability and 
distribution? How interesting.

-Jean

On Jan 13, 2005, at 2:46 PM, Laurent GUERBY 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?
>
> Laurent
>


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