The Wealth of Ideas – download
Innovation and creativity are essential aspects of human society, at individual level, but also at the level of society. Public policy will aim to promote innovation and creativity, and allow their proceeds to benefit as many as possible. The most efficient way would be to increase the freedom to innovate and be creative. This book looks with a very critical eye at one of the cornerstones of public policy on innovation and creativity: intellectual property rights (“IPRs”), which proclaim to promote innovation and creativity. It provides answers to the three fundamental questions: 1. Is the theory sound and consistent? 2. Does it work in practice? 3. Is it fair?
It looks at the parallels between IPRs and mercantilism, and proposes radical and practical solutions on how to achieve free trade in ideas.These will interest all those who want to achieve higher levels of innovation and creativity; especially artists, inventors and creators.
Written for a large audience, in accessible language, using real-world examples and facts available to all, it purposely avoids using the jargon of IPR-professionals, in order to demystify the debate and empower its readers. This book will allow the public, but also opinion and decision makers to look at innovation policy from a different perspective.
The book was refused by publishers, because they disagreed with the content and the main premise. Downloads for each chapter are made available below. Given the content of the book, it goes without saying that it will be provided on a creative commons basis, and without any DRM protection. Feel free to copy it – but if you like it, do encourage others to come to this page and download it too. There’s also a hard copy available through Amazon – the link is here. Amazon charges money, of course, so those hard copies are not for free. Please note that my royalty rate is very limited, I receive between 2 and 3 euro per copy.
I hope you enjoy the read, and please participate in the debate at the bottom of this page.
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.
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.
Intellectual Property repeats the same economic mistakes as classic mercantilism. This chapter explains.
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.
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.
“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 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.
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.
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.