Saturday, August 31, 2019

Intellectual Property

The Bible legitimises physical property, but it does not legitimise intellectual property.
Ideas are from God. Intellectual Property is a creation of the state.

Intellectual property is difficult to protect beyond the borders of the state that authorised it. Accordingly, intellectual property has been taken always been taken over by others, who develop it further. This has mostly been good for the world.

  1. Following the industrial revolution, British businesses complained that their technology was being stolen by upstart companies in the United States. This theft was one of the causes of the rapid growth of the American economy, but most Americans have forgotten that.

  2. South Korean businesses took US technology and began manufacturing microwaves and other small appliances when their economic growth was getting underway.

  3. Large technology companies have always stolen technology from small technology companies. They pay royalties to their large competitors but they don’t bother paying royalties to small companies that cannot afford legal battles against them. Microsoft got established as the dominant player in the computing industry by stealing the technology of small competitors.

When US companies deliberately moved their manufacturing to China, they were naive if they thought the Chinese would not take and use their technology. No US businesses were forced to move to China, so they have no basis for complaint. They understood when they entered China that the legal system was different. If they really cared about their intellectual property, they should have kept it in-house where it could be kept safe.

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