Timothy Lee writes "A Patent Lie" attacking software patents link here
. The article makes several good points, ending up by arguing that copyright provides better and less expensive protection, inducing greater competition and lower costs to the consumer.
But why have any protection, other than the basic secrecy which allows the software writer to avoid publishing the code. If the idea behind the software, like Amazon's one-click ordering software, is so obvious, why protect it and prevent anyone else from producing software which serves the same purpose?
Why not reduce the wages of monopoly to an absolute minimum?
There are two types of libertarian:
- Those championing the freedom to suck the consumer dry without meddlesome state interference or regulation, execept as necessary to protect commercial interests (copyright/patent).
- Those championing individual liberty constitutionally protected by the state - and no suspension (however briefly) as a commercial incentive to publishers (copyright/patent).
Which type do you think the Cato institute is?
Even large corporations have begun to realise that software patents stink. But, they're not absolutely certain just yet - if in doubt as to a monopoly's utility, keep it.