Today, innovation and creativity are locked away. Prepare to be shocked by the image of the damage done to our society’s creativity by Intellectual Property Rights. We need to release humanity’s creativity and innovation, and abandon the outdated practices of locking up our ideas.
It is important to do more than just criticize. Two solutions are offered: one radical and simple, the second a bit more complex, bringing market efficiency into a world where at present monopolies rule. Artists and inventors will be especially interested here; this would really benefit them.
The core argument of this book is that IPRs are hurting society’s ability to innovate. This chapter explains where in the economic process IPRs have their most devastating effect. It makes it clear why book publishers don’t want a book like this to be published.
“Illegal” copying carries serious jail sentences, and IPR defenders use moral arguments, calling people who copy “thieves” or worse. Is that justified? Or is the criminalization of copying itself an immoral practice? This chapter identifies the real Free Riders in today’s society. (And it contains the only mention of sex in this book).
The test of the pudding is in the eating, of course. Let’s do a reality check. While we can’t build a parallel universe without IPRs, we can look at the empirical evidence that is available. And what we see may surprise you. It is evidence that is systematically ignored and omitted by the deep-pocket lobbyists who proclaim the benefits of IPR monopoly.
A simple theory can work very well. Or it can be dangerously wrong. IPR theory, at first glance, may feel intuitively correct. But, as this chapter shows, it is distorted; it is based on propaganda and fictitious constructs, it denies economic reality, and it ignores some basic important facts, such as the effects of technological progress and the nature of innovation. IPR theory is built on quicksand – once under scrutiny, it falls apart quickly.
Intellectual Property repeats the same economic mistakes as classic mercantilism. This chapter explains.
This chapter presents the basic information on IPRs, in plain language that avoids the jargon. IPRs are an area that most IPR lobbyists (and the big monopolistic industries they represent) portray as “very complex” – so complex that, they say, it is left better to the professionals, far away from the transparency of a real public debate on innovation. This is something they don’t like – but it empowers you, reader, and will help to demistify the debate around IPRs.
Discover why copies have value and are part of our freedom. This chapter explains why the continuous propaganda against copying is in reality an attack on our freedoms: the freedom to learn, the freedom to innovate, the freedom to operate, the freedom to improve, the freedom of enterprise.