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Against Monopoly

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Monopoly corrupts. Absolute monopoly corrupts absolutely.





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The Economist on Patents and Online

The Economist was a leading voice in the anti patent movement of the 19th century. Here is what it wrote in 1851, quoted in the Oct. 20th 2005 edition.

A market for ideas Oct 20th 2005 From The Economist print edition

The granting [of] patents ‘inflames cupidity', excites fraud, stimulates men to run after schemes that may enable them to levy a tax on the public, begets disputes and quarrels betwixt inventors, provokes endless lawsuits...The principle of the law from which such consequences flow cannot be just.

The Economist may have put it rather strongly in 1851, but its disapproval of patents represented conventional wisdom at the time. A century earlier, Adam Smith had described them as necessary evils, to be handed out sparingly, and many other economists have since echoed his reservations. Patents amount to temporary monopolies on useful new inventions. …

Now you can read through those great anti patent editorials without even going to an archive or library. The entire run of The Economist is now online and searchable here .

Thanks to Mark Brady for the pointer.


Comments

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Links to local filenames on the computer where you compose blog postings (e.g. C:\Whatever) don't work for anyone else on the 'net, Bill. It doesn't matter how many times you repeat them either. The link has to be to a site on the 'net -- http://hostname/path/file rather than c:\path\file. If the file isn't on the 'net it needs to be uploaded and hosted somewhere, the same as the blog post linking to it needs to be published before anyone else can reach it.

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