What is the difference between a patent and a copyright?
A copyright is reasonable. It means that whatever I create, physically, be it a writing, a tune, or a piece of original art, I can have protection against fraud in a lawful way.
A patent on the other hand is completely different. If I receive a patent on an idea, I am able to control every variation on that idea so that others must have my permission to do anything involving a part of my idea. In other words, I can receive a patent on something that I never actually create, or even on something that has been around since the dawn of time. Life, rocks, genes, plants, animals, humans, water, land, and other things.
To put this into perspective, lets imagine that I wrote a ghost story. Ghosts are of course a very popular theme in stories and media. I can copyright my own writing so that others may not profit off of my works.
But if I were allowed to patent the concept of a ghost, then no one would be able to create a story about a ghost without my permission, and thousands of literary works would have never existed.
When we consider the recent patents put on such things as breast cancer, and understand that now researchers who are interested in curing breast cancer must get permission from the owner of that cancer; and stand to profit greatly from that cancer not ever being cured… we can see that a patent – especially on living organisms – is patently ludicrous.
Why do we not have alternative fuels?
The oil and energy companies buy up all the patents, of course. Then they shelf them so no one else can use the idea, ensuring continued production of oil and AC/DC power.
You see, the concept of a patent on an “idea” and all variations thereof is killing not only our economy by limiting competition, but is literally killing us through purposeful sabotage of all the good things in life.
A copyright promotes competition. I can write a better ghost story. I can build upon the concept of ghosts and make them even more ghostly. And I can share the idea of a ghost so that someone else may develop a better ghost.
But a patent destroys competition. It accounts for ideas that have nothing to do with the original ghost, and makes the concept of a ghost the property of one person. Therefore, selling the ghost is now concentrated into the hands of one person.
A patent is in its essence government permission for a limited monopoly, taking away the rights of others (all others) to benefit from some thing or idea. Cures, alternative energies, and countless other things and ideas all kept away from the people of the earth by government permission.
Isn’t it time to do away with the concept of a patent?
Isn’t it time to realize that patents are keeping life-saving and environmentally positive original creations that could be copyrighted with expanded copyright laws from the billions that could benefit from them?
Isn’t it time to put greed aside?
–Clint Richardson (realitybloger.wordpress.com)
August 27, 2011