Occupy Wall Street Meets Fahrenheit 451 – Whose Property Rights?

I’m not the most regular blogger.  I really do strive to post daily, it often doesn’t work out. Sometimes my schedule pinched.  Other times, health issues get in the way (ever try to write with a toothache?).  But then there are times when the news makes me so angry I can’t find civil words that … Continue reading Occupy Wall Street Meets Fahrenheit 451 – Whose Property Rights?

What’s Open? Are OER Necessary?

Like most great conflagrations, it began as a small exchange that touched on a vital point.  At OER17 a couple of weeks ago a suggestion appeared via Twitter that DS106 (the pioneering online course, not the NETGEAR router) wasn’t/isn’t really “open” since it wasn’t based on true OER (Open Educational Resources.  Exception was taken. The ensuing discussion has … Continue reading What’s Open? Are OER Necessary?

“Piracy” Is the Result of Market Failures

Publishers of digital media, be it music, movies, or software, have long argued that it’s a legal and moral problem.  The reasons, they claim, that unauthorized copies (I refuse to call them illegal or pirate) exist is because either organized criminals are stealing their “intellectual property”, or people are too stupid or immoral to respect … Continue reading “Piracy” Is the Result of Market Failures

Do Copyrights Slow Growth?

Institutions and laws matter for economic development.  It is very clear from economic history that protection for property rights is necessary for industrialization and growth.  But that was always about property rights in land and physical stuff.  In the 1960’s the phrase “intellectual property rights” was created, and many people have just assumed that protecting … Continue reading Do Copyrights Slow Growth?

Some Other Interesting Perspectives on OccupyWallStreet

I’ve already mentioned my initial thoughts on the Occupy Wall Street movement (#OWS).  Here’s some snippets from a couple of others with some interesting insights.  First, historian William Hogeland writes at his blog Hysteriography.  He notes how the #OWS movement is a deeply American movement.  It has roots in the American revolutionary period as much … Continue reading Some Other Interesting Perspectives on OccupyWallStreet

Bankers vs. Democratic Finance at The Constitutional Convention

I’m cross-posting the following with permission from New Deal 2.0.  This should be of particular interest to students of American history. Our current struggles and political battles over the relative power and influence of banks and the monied class vs. ordinary citizens, workers, and small businesses, most of whom are dependent on sources of financial … Continue reading Bankers vs. Democratic Finance at The Constitutional Convention

More evidence against patents

Yes, patents, copyrights, etc., the intellectual so-called property protections are really profits-protection for existing large corporations.  The stronger patents and copyrights are, the weaker is innovation and growth. …weaker IP protections might actually correlate with economic growth,… via Scholarly Communications @ Duke » The joy of statistics.

Save the Whales! Abolish Patents!

Well, actually it likely wouldn’t save the whales. But, abolishing patents would likely re-invigorate the economy, revive competition, lower costs (particularly healthcare costs), and speed up innovation. Levine and Boldrin help lay out the case against patents in this piece.  An excerpt ( I recommend following the link): Abolishing so-called intellectual “property” (IP) won’t solve … Continue reading Save the Whales! Abolish Patents!