The founder of the Swedish Pirate Party, Rick Falkvinge, has spoken out about copyright monopolies, saying that all they do is prevent creativity, and constrict innovation.
To prove his point, Mr Falkvinge took to history, using the lessons of our forefathers to make a dire prediction for the future should current trends of copyright laws continue. He cites the example of Germany's engineering excellence overtaking that of the UK's during the 16th century, which many historians believe is largely due to how expensive it was to gather knowledge and use it to innovate - because it was overly protected by copyright law and therefore difficult to access. By contrast in Germany, the cost of acquiring knowledge was very low, meaning more people became skilled and therefore more people developed the skillset.
He then linked to an in-depth report on how even pharmaceutical patents, something that many would consider necessary for new drugs to be developed in the first place, simply aren't necessary, because governments could fund all the research - and already do in many cases.
His final example is poetic in its ridiculousness. The movie industry itself, is founded on copyright infringement. To avoid a copyright held by Thomas Edison - who wanted a percentage of every dollar made through moving pictures - the entire industry packed up and left New York, travelling as far away as possible: an LA Suburb.
The entire point of the piece is to highlight how the big companies that want monopolies and copyright protection now, only do so because they're on top. Most of them used infringement of some type to get where they are today. It's the sharing of ideas that encourages growth and innovation, not the hoarding of them.
Look at the current smartphone patent wars. Is that helping anyone develop better handsets?
Source: Torrent Freak