If you're an artist, designer or an engineer and you believe that patents and copyrights are good for you. Think again ! They do more bad to you then they do good. In this article we explore why patents and copyrights are evil not just for society but also for the very same artists and engineers whom they seem to protect.
Patents and Copyrights appear fair, legitimate and helpful on the surface because they seem to protect the livelihood of artists and engineers who work hard to build music, software and other intellectual products. But most of us are not aware of the evil effects they trigger in the economy and society. They do more harm than they do good and they are destructive to the health and well being of the economy.
They in fact harm the interests of very same artists, engineers for whom they are created by making them jobless and transferring the control to very few organizations which control the economy. It's hard to understand that reasoning at this time but you may be able to understand and appreciate that after you go through the following discussion.
let us discuss the various reasons why patents and copyrights are evil
They help the big organizations monopolize the market
Having a patent over some technology is a business technique used to create monopoly in the market and monopoly is bad for economy, people and our whole society.
Monopoly kills healthy competition and freedom.
A healthy competition is something that keeps the economy in good shape because it ensures fair pricing and democratic control in the economy. While monopoly does the opposite. Having a monopoly means few people and few organizations gets to control the economy and run it according to their whims.
It transfer the power in the hands of few people who use it to manipulate and exploit the rest of us.
For example : Having a monopoly enables organizations pay their employees unreasonably low salary because essentially they have the monopoly in the job market because they are the only ones who have the ability to give jobs to the workers.
They deter open-collaboration and freedom
Patents and copyrights create a culture of fear and stress where people are living in fear of lawsuits and getting sued which results into they becoming afraid of collaborating with each other.
I am not supporting plagiarism here which i think is plain unethical and wrong but what i am trying to say is sometimes things tend to get over-blown. And people tend to overreact which ends up killing even the legitimate efforts done with the intent of helping the people and society.
Culture based in fear kills free thinking and free thinking is what fosters new ideas and innovation in the economy.
They are bad for entrepreneurs and small business
They make entrepreneurs dependent on VC money. Open-Source can help people build business without investing lot of money. And the opposite is also true. Lack of good open-source products can make entrepreneurs dependent on VC money because it gets really difficult for people to start business without a huge financial backing.
This is bad for women entrepreneurs also because female entrepreneurs generally face discrimination and they face unreasonable demands of sexual favors when offered the funding for their venture.
So if you're a female entrepreneur and you want to build your business without being dependent on vc funding. You should support open-source and open-culture free of patents and copyrights.
The discussion we have had until now has helped us understand how patents are evil but there are some legitimate concerns that we need to address here.
Plagiarism is unethical but doesn't have to be illegal
Plagiarism is surely unethical and wrong but it doesn't need need to be illegal. Because people have the ability to differentiate between original creators and copycats.
Even if your work is copied by someone else people have the cognitive ability to figure out the difference between original and copied. And people generally favor originality over copied work.
The truth is not hidden and people can see the truth. We as creators and artists need to have faith that people can understand you and see the truth.
How are we going to make the money ?
You can't survive without food and shelter and we may not like money but we still need to make money in order to pay our bills.
Lack of financial sustainability is one of the biggest reasons why open-source and creative commons is still not have completely flourished. I mean they have flourished but not to an extent that they potentially can and they should have.
Concept like creative commons would become viable alternative to patents and copyrights when they become financially viable.
The key to create a world free from patents and copyrights lie in the business models which enable us to earn money from open-source works. And fortunately lot of work has already been done in that regard.
The road ahead ...
To imagine a society free from patents and copyrights we need to reach a level of maturity where we as people are able to understand why IP protection is bad and we as people are able to support artists and engineers without the need of patents and IP protection.
After doing all my research about what kind of business model can help artists, creators earn money despite having no patents and copyrights i realized that obtaining donations are one of the best business model to earn money and keep your freedom !
Donations is one of the best examples of how people can directly support artists and engineers who make open-source contributions. When people understand and realize the importance of donations the need of patents and copyrights will automatically go away.
We also need our governments to have maturity and level of understanding to realize how patents and copyrights are detrimental for economy and that they should stop favoring it.
Governments need to stop giving legal protections on the name of patents and if that is not possible in every area we should do that at least in some areas where it is evident that patents are doing more harm than they are doing good.