I declare that I own "0010 010101 010100010". Don't copy/paste/steal!
Ok, I would like to raise the question... What does it mean to 'own' software or digital files? If you think about it, it's rather an abstract concept. I understand 'owning' a creation, but when there is _no_ effort going into duplicating it, is this construct we have created of 'owning' really fair?
With furniture, for example, to duplicate a table cost money (raw materials). The "IP" involved cannot be copied (or stolen?) without a physical cost.
In addition, the laws we have created protecting "IP" (copyright and patent laws) tend to expire after a length of time, to make things "more fair" to competitors, as I understand it. Why not make things fair to begin with?
I understand all these constructs have been created to protect the "profit motive" in a capitalist society... However, the growth of the open-source movement provides a challenging alternative to the 'lone mad scientist' who comes up with new ideas that he can profit from (i.e. Thomas Edison, or many inventors from history). I tend to think the new clustering of minds that happens with open source is much more productive than the 'lone mad scientist' approach.
In fact, open-source innovation is moving beyond software. Check out these sites:
So the question: should society agree to laws that protect the ideas of one person from everyone else, at least for a while so they can profit from it, then later 'make it fair' by expiring patents, etc.? Maybe it's time for a copyright/patent law upgrade...