2011-01-20

The Beginnings of Anti-IP Spotted at The Reference Frame

Love him or hate him (I like him), Lubos Motl has tentatively broached the topic of how restricting rights to intellectual property might improve market outcomes:
It seems to me that lots of the slowdown is due to the patents and copyrights which lead the fast companies to continue with their slower products and which prevent the slower companies from following the footsteps of their faster competitors.
Of course, the patents are very important for keeping research profitable. On the other hand, I can imagine that under some controllable and logical rules, the governments could buy these patents and release them to the public domain, at least in individual countries such as the U.S.
Puzzlingly, Motl implies that this is a "subsidy." I'm not sure why he thinks of it that way, but if he dares to look this far, I wonder how long it will be until he considers what would happen to a market without any IP protection at all.