from The Daily Bell:
Indeed, maintaining the policies that enforce intellectual property rights is one of the few issues today that we can say truly has bipartisan support–politicians, legislators and pundits on both sides of the political aisle recognize that in order to keep our industries competitive, encourage innovation and make potentially life-saving advancements in the field of health care, we must protect the incentives that drive researchers–and the companies and capital that back them–to continue to reinvest in the pursuit of new medicines and new solutions. – Forbes
We’re not pundits but we don’t agree with the above statement from Forbes in an article written back in late 2013 and entitled, “Intellectual Property Rights Matter.”
They matter, all right, like a punch in the nose or a smack in the head. We’ll explain in a moment, using what just happened to the (two) Fine brothers of YouTube fame as an example …
But first some serious if rarely asked questions.
Why should governments pursue people who “steal” your work? Who defines the term “steal”? Is it really stealing to lift a sentence or two from something you’ve written, especially since you’ve probably done the same thing from time to time?
And why should government use taxpayer dollars to pursue your nemesis? After all, you’re the one who is benefiting, so isn’t that YOUR responsibility? Maybe this logic sounds strange, but that’s only because we live in a time when every authority is granted to the state.
For tens of thousands of years, people likely solved civil and criminal difficulties by themselves or perhaps with the help of a private third party. In Ireland, for instance, English common law existed side-by-side with older, tribal laws that utilized custom to decide quarrels and criminality.
Irish law relied on custom. English common law, which won out, relied increasingly on judicial centralization dominated by authority emanating from kingship.
Additionally, common law involved setting precedents that other judges would observe in the future. So eventually a “supreme court” ended up making law that was binding on the rest of the system.
Today, of course, the judicial system that has evolved from English common law is celebrated as a mighty achievement of modern civilization. Certainly, in the US, the six million individuals suffering from varying degrees of incarceration – the most anywhere in the world – might differ.
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