logo

Against Monopoly

defending the right to innovate

IP in the News

Monopoly corrupts. Absolute monopoly corrupts absolutely.





Copyright Notice: We don't think much of copyright, so you can do what you want with the content on this blog. Of course we are hungry for publicity, so we would be pleased if you avoided plagiarism and gave us credit for what we have written. We encourage you not to impose copyright restrictions on your "derivative" works, but we won't try to stop you. For the legally or statist minded, you can consider yourself subject to a Creative Commons Attribution License.


back

NYTimes finds more IP news but doesn't report its consumer cost

The New York Times now carries a lot of stories that are of interest to anyone concerned about the high cost of intellectual property protection. The first story today is a debate over who is right AARP or the industry. AARP says the cost of branded drugs rose 8.3% in 2009 link here. Last year the industry complained that the figure was based on wholesale prices, not the retail prices consumers actually paid. Responding to that criticism, AARP switched to retail and still got a big increase. The industry countered that they should use the consumer price index figure which includes generic drug prices--which showed a much lower price increase and argues that the US has the lowest prices for generics in the world.

Of course, all of this back and forth is irrelevant; the high prices for the branded drugs reflect the monopoly that drug patents give the companies a fact never mentioned in the Times story. That monopoly power allows the companies to raise prices at a time when the economy is in recession and other prices are barely rising. It is also a time when many are unemployed and have a harder time making ends meet; particularly if they are ill and require those drugs.

The other story relates to e-books and a quarrel between Random House, the publisher and the Wylie literary agency link here. The quarrel began because Wylie started publishing e-book versions of 13 classics, previously published in hard copy by Random House. Because e-books are newer than the publisher's contracts with the authors and not always covered by its terms, Wylie felt free to enter the e-book business in them. Random countered by refusing to deal with Wylie in future. The two sides have now agreed, with Wylie ceasing to distribute the 13 e-books. No other terms were published.

Send not to know who pays. Clearly it is we consumers and copyright once again loses its reason for being as an inducement to innovate. These books have long been in existence and can have little to do with the incentive to write more for aging, moribund, or dead authors, given that copyright extends for the life of the author plus 70 years.


Comments

If I may ask a very simple question.

What would you do to encourage the "invention" of new and efficacious drugs that does not rely upon the current system associated with patent law?

To start with, shift the cost burden of later-stage clinical trials to the FDA and taxpayers.
A couple of things can be done to encourage phamaceutical development without creating a monopoly. 1. Set up a contest and award prizes for success. 2. Secrecy works as it takes a developer a long time to develop a new drug and still more time to get government approval to market it.
Enabling people to set up contests or awards of prizes is what I hope my Contingency Market can do.

The important thing to note is that these contests can be organised and funded by the people interested in the winners. Neither government nor corporations need to get involved.

If you have a million people interested in a cure for a disease (instead of a cartel of corporations interested in selling patented palliatives and repressing cures), then there's no reason why they can't each contribute a share of a prize - awarded contingent upon delivery to the public of a cure.

Hey there, thank you for the heads up, will spread the word. Maplin onsale now


Submit Comment

Blog Post

Name:

Email (optional):

Your Humanity:

Prove you are human by retyping the anti-spam code.
For example if the code is unodosthreefour,
type 1234 in the textbox below.

Anti-spam Code
CincoSixCincoQuatro:


Post



   

Most Recent Comments

The right to rub smooth using a hardened steel tool with ridges Finally got around to looking at the comments, sorry for delay... Replying to Stephan: I'm sorry

Let's See: Pallas, Pan, Patents, Persephone, Perses, Poseidon, Prometheus... Seems like a kinda bizarre proposal to me. We just need to abolish the patent system, not replace

The right to rub smooth using a hardened steel tool with ridges I'm a bit confused by this--even if "hired to invent" went away, that would just change the default

Do we need a law? @ Alexander Baker: So basically, if I copy parts of 'Titus Andronicus' to a webpage without

Do we need a law? The issue is whether the crime is punished not who punishes it. If somebody robs our house we do

Do we need a law? 1. Plagiarism most certainly is illegal, it is called "copyright infringement". One very famous

Yet another proof of the inutility of copyright. The 9/11 Commission report cost $15,000,000 to produce, not counting the salaries of the authors.

WKRP In Cincinnati - Requiem For A Masterpiece P.S. The link to Amazon's WKRP product page:

WKRP In Cincinnati - Requiem For A Masterpiece Hopefully some very good news. Shout! Factory is releasing the entire series of WKRP in Cincinnati,

What's copywritable? Go fish in court. @ Anonymous: You misunderstood my intent. I was actually trying to point out a huge but basic

Rights Violations Aren't the Only Bads I hear that nonsense from pro-IP people all the

Intellectual Property Fosters Corporate Concentration Yeah, I see the discouragement of working on a patented device all the time. Great examples

Music without copyright Hundreds of businessmen are looking for premium quality article distribution services that can be

Les patent trolls ne sont pas toujours des officines

Les patent trolls ne sont pas toujours des officines

Patent Lawyers Who Don't Toe the Line Should Be Punished! Moreover "the single most destructive force to innovation is patents". We'd like to unite with you

Bonfire of the Missalettes!

Does the decline in total factor productivity explain the drop in innovation? So, if our patent system was "broken," TFP of durable goods should have dropped. Conversely, since

Does the decline in total factor productivity explain the drop in innovation? I wondered about TFP, because I had heard that TFP was increasing. Apparently, it depends on who

Music without copyright I do agree with all the ideas you have presented in your post. They are very convincing and will