Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 17th Sep 2012 18:12 UTC
Legal "Nothing is original, says Kirby Ferguson, creator of Everything is a Remix. From Bob Dylan to Steve Jobs, he says our most celebrated creators borrow, steal and transform. Kirby Ferguson explores creativity in a world where 'everything is a remix'." In 9 minutes and 42 seconds, Ferguson explains in plain English why patent and copyright law is fundamentally broken.
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by Neolander on Tue 18th Sep 2012 07:25 UTC
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I was just thinking... If speech obeyed the same laws as industrial products, could TED talks still exist ?

After all, what TED speakers do is to take good ideas that have been flowing around in the R&D world for a while, think about them a bit, and put them in a very well-designed package : a talk that's concise, clean, and easy to understand for everyone. When they do so, they generally don't owe people who've been working on these ideas a dime, yet they will take credit for that work : people will often mention their name when they pass the talk's video around, they will have a higher chance to be hired on a job concerning the matter that was discussed, and so on.

Isn't it exactly what current IP law has been designed to prevent ? If the legal system had some coherence, shouldn't ownership of concepts also mean ownership of free speech about these concepts ? Or, on the other side of the fence, should we ditch the whole "intellectual property" thing altogether and work on another legal system that protects creation without being fundamentally based on the ownership of specific ideas and language constructs ?

Edited 2012-09-18 07:32 UTC

Reply Score: 2

by Alfman on Tue 18th Sep 2012 15:18 in reply to "TED"
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I've often mentioned that granting legal ownership of ideas in the software field is akin to granting ownership of ideas in arts & humanities. Most people can agree that patenting literary works is bad because they can understand what it is authors do. They'd want to be able to write about whatever they please regardless of who's done it before. As long as the author does his own work and doesn't copy anything outright, all ideas are fair game. The public cannot generally relate to software developers, be we really do feel the same way about our profession - I feel entitled to work on whatever I please regardless of who's been there before me.

It's a great observation that the people at TED do a good job of echoing ideas that have been put forward by others in their fields. Arguably you are right, they "stole" the ideas, and arguably the "owner" might be entitled to legal compensation for it. It's pathetic, and though some extreme IP advocates (aka patent laywers) might love the concept of patenting presentations, I doubt it could actually happen because for most people this would hit too close to home. At the extreme - every school child could be liable for infringement when they copied the ideas of others in their reports, etc. We should instead recognise that copying is natural (*). It's not copying for the sake of copying, but rather copying and then adding our own personal touches. Anyone who believes they have a truly original idea is probably living in a very small world.

How much do I owe you for that one Kirby Ferguson?

Reply Parent Score: 2