Blogs > Cliopatria > Perpetual Intellectual and Mental Property Licensing Extensions

Apr 1, 2004 7:31 pm

Perpetual Intellectual and Mental Property Licensing Extensions

Regarding Ralph's link to the funniest April Fools Webpage of the Year (so far), Duke University's purchase of the Public Domain, a semi-serious musing:

I've often wondered to what extent education is the property of the student, the teacher or the institution? It's traditionally considered the student's property, but I think proper and rigorous application of intellectual property law could render students licensees of skills and content, much the same way that proprietary computer languages and software packages remain licensed rather than owned.

I read a story in Fantasy and Science Fiction a few years back in which singing was illegal, because it was impossible to sing without violating someone's intellectual property rights.

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Jonathan Dresner - 4/2/2004

Nicely put, thank you. You did forget the "corporation as legal person" principle, though, which makes distinguishing between me and Disney difficult. People make that mistake all the time.....

Oscar Chamberlain - 4/2/2004

There is a tradition of renewing copyrights for the living.

The corporation can live forever.

Thus, so should the rights.

Isn't logic wonderful?

Jonathan Dresner - 4/2/2004

I'm pretty sure that current law wouldn't support P.I.M.P.L.E. but look at what Congress has done for Disney, and by extension to the rest of us, every time "Steamboat Willy" approaches the public domain. Look at the fights about trademark going on in the area of internet domain name rights. Try reading the licensing agreement on a piece of software next time you install it (Dilbert did a piece a few years back in which the licensing agreement obligated Dilbert to be Gates' "towel boy" for a time), and try to figure out if you actually own anything. Look at what Gates has done by buying up thousands of pieces of art, images that you'd think should be in the public domain, but aren't.

Sure, I'm wrong now.....

Ralph E. Luker - 4/2/2004

You've got to be wrong about this. I don't know why, but you've got to be wrong about this.