Dr. Martin Hash Podcast

Politics & Philosophy by Dr. Martin D. Hash, Esq.

148 Patents & Copyright


Thomas Jefferson himself was the main proponent of the whole idea of patents, even becoming head of the first U.S. Patent Office. He fancied himself an inventor, which were the Rock Stars of the age, and of course everybody wants to be a Rock Star. The trade off is: you explain in detail how do something technical, and for a limited time government will give you exclusive right to the rewards of that design. Patents require extreme scrutiny, disclosure, and involve something new & unique. Works pretty good: intellectual pursuits are encouraged & the nation benefits with progress. However, nothing exemplifies how government's regulatory capacity has been captured like copyright.

Us humans are entertained by performance & the exhibition of unique skills, and we become enamored to people who seem to create currents of notoriety around themselves. People in Congress are just as susceptible to being starstruck, probably more so since fame attracts them to become candidates in the first place. There is no reason Mickey Mouse should still be under copyright, trademark covers him, and there is certainly no reason for copyright to be longer than patents, over 120 years, applies to any mundane thing, and is totally subjective, plus the penalties for violating a copyright are draconian. If a rapper samples five notes off of a '70s Pop song, he owes royalties on the copyright, but the guy who designed broadcast TV gets diddlysquat from his patent now. And copyright has put an absolute blanket on the Internet, causing untold noise, confusion & expense to prevent something that obviously benefits society. Time for copyright to go, and for patents to be reexamined too, so that pharmaceutical companies can't monopolize life-saving drugs.

Categories | PRay TeLL, Dr. Hash


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