History allows us to recognize and prevent the repetition of mistakes of the past. The way we are told to look at innovation and copying today is a repeat of a historic mistake in economic policy, i.e. mercantilism. Mercantilism was an economic policy, commonly supported by governments and economic theory at the time. But it lead to colonialism, slave trade, genocide and immense suffering; it was not only morally wrong, it was also wrong in both theory and practice. A similar analysis, along similar lines, needs to be made for IPRs.
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