Transforming Intellectual Property

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Really interesting idea from Scott Santens:

“I propose we charge an annually increasing fee to those wanting IP protection, where the revenue goes immediately to every individual as their share of what’s being withheld from the public domain. Call it an IP fee and dividend (or IP fee and rebate).”


  1. This is a surprisingly excellent idea…

  2. Gideon Rosenblatt a fascinating idea, but Disney’s lobbying has been very successful in amending legislation to date, and they’ll redouble their efforts to prevent any such reform in future.

  3. Chris Sutton, I’m sure that’s true. The valuation of their company depends upon it. Huge, huge stakes.

  4. Gideon Rosenblatt I was surprised to learn that Disney had been instrumental in the legislative changes, I’d always thought it was the drug companies that had profited the most.

  5. Appropriate, clever, and appealing, but after a thought, it seems more a weak parry than a lethal thrust.

    I think proposing an progressive fee structure might rally support against the ridiculous and blatantly-bought perpetual copyright laws, even if it would have the fate of a snowflake in hell.

    But even if successful, it still accepts the basic injustice. I think the only real victory is to repeal the unjust laws and restore the original and correct intent of the copyright laws. It would probably take an unprecedented grass-roots movement, but do the masses even care?

  6. I like the idea of having to pay to retain the IP. However, I’d rather have the fees paid into the national budget, particularly if it were earmarked for paying down the national debt or providing some essential service.

  7. Nearly everything the author wrote is inaccurate, from the definition and purpose of IP law to what such law protects and how it acts in that protection.

    Their bottom-line assertion, that forcing creators to pay to profit by their creations will somehow encourage more creation is unsupportable and unsupported in the piece, and amounts in simplest terms to demanding that I pay you to let me eat the sandwich I made for lunch, and to pay you even more if I elect instead to save it until tomorrow.

    The one tiny, possibly accidental, nugget of truth in the entirety of the writing is that corporate collection of patents is economically unhealthy for everyone except the corporation and is made possible by excess corporate wealth and lobbying. Nothing in the article offers a meaningful solution to those characteristics.

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