Quote Originally Posted by lowrib View Post
I hadn't considered copyright and intellectualy property much at all until doing the research for this. I didn't realise, for example, that the whole point of creating patenting laws was meant to be about encouraging innovation. They were rights that were to be given sparingly. The laws have been extended many times, and it could be argued that their original purpose is being lost along the way somewhat - becoming more about protecting ownership rather than innovation for the good of society.
The whole point of IP is that it is a conflation of three different things which were originally instituted for three different purposes:

1) Patents are to encourage innovation, on the basis that people invent things to make money, not for the fun of it. If they have to spend money to develop an invention and then somebody rips it off, they'll stop inventing or keep their inventions secret.

2) Copyright was originally a way to protect essential middlemen like publishers and recording studios. Creative people will create whether they make money out of it or not but the distributors need to make a profit to survive. Now that creators can put their creations straight onto the Internet, this is less important.

3) Trade marks are to protect the public from deceptive and fake goods.

None of these things has anything to do with "property". Property is what I can deprive you of by owning it myself. If you give me a loaf of bread, then I have a loaf and you have none. If you give me an idea, we both have it. Hence "intellectual property" is an oxymoron.