The Living Thing / Notebooks :

Intellectual property

Notes upon Shoulders-of-giants, communities-of-scholars, market design, scarcity, collaboration, patent trolls, patent minefields, piracy. Bioforge, open source, DRM.

See also remix, innovation and transcoding.

See this Stallman-citing screed by Samir Chopra for a disambiguation of the different types of intellectual property rights and an argument that even calling them “property rights” as opposed to “temporary leases to extract monopoly rents”, is playing into the hands of Big Trademark. Which might not be wrong, but I think one should pick one's battles.

Nothing but chaos here for now.

Bunnie Huang says

Chinese vs Western IP models

This fuzzy, gray relationship between companies and entrepreneurs is just one manifestation of a much broader cultural gap between the East and the West. The West has a “broadcast” view of IP and ownership: good ideas and innovation are credited to a clearly specified set of authors or inventors, and society pays them a royalty for their initiative and good works. China has a “network” view of IP and ownership: the far-sight necessary to create good ideas and innovations is attained by standing on the shoulders of others, and as such there is a network of people who trade these ideas as favors among each other. In a system with such a loose attitude toward IP, sharing with the network is necessary as tomorrow it could be your friend standing on your shoulders, and you’ll be looking to them for favors. This is unlike the West, where rule of law enables IP to be amassed over a long period of time, creating impenetrable monopoly positions. It’s good for the guys on top, but tough for the upstarts.

Behind her were stacked cardboard boxes labeled “Kaiser Baas,” the same boxes that had been at Gaoke. Perhaps Kaiser Baas buys boards from both factories. Perhaps one factory sells boards to another. Perhaps one factory sells parts to another. Perhaps both factories buy parts — or just boxes — from a third factory. […] Many such permutations exist among all the factories floating in this strange, extraordinary bubble, which people halfway around the world have the power to pop at any time.

Some wonderfully explained models of this stuff via Kevin Bryan: “HOW DO PATENTS AFFECT FOLLOW-ON INNOVATION? *

Brian Cantrill, Open source confronts its mid-life crisis dives into tsome of the optimal licensing questions.