Why Copyright and Patent Laws Go Against How We Create

The Apple versus Samsung lawsuit is totally wrong – Apple did not invent the smart phone on its own

Woody Guthrie on stealing songs

Kirby Ferguson has just posted a 10 minute TED talk debunking the claim by Apple that it created and has the patent on the smart phone.

Ferguson is the filmmaker behind the Everything Is A Remix series of videos.

His TED lecture shows how “the nature of both creativity and innovation revolves around building on the works of others, but that both copyright and patent laws are based on the exact opposite belief — that creativity and innovation springs new from one’s head, and thus deserves some form of property rights.” 

Ferguson repeats what most people know – Bob Dylan stole tunes and lyrics to create songs that he claimed copyrights for. Since the 1990s Dylan has recorded two albums of old folk songs and copyrighted them as his own. Most of the tunes and lyrics on the last three albums have been direct copies of other songs. God help anyone who records or performs those “Dylan” tunes without paying Dylan his royalties. Dylan has hired “Web Sheriff” to track down anyone who tries to re-steal his material.

Ferguson also reminds us that Steve Jobs was a hypocrite about stealing. He stole and patented multi touch and most of the fundamentals of the Apple graphical operating system.

Steve Jobs joked about stealing until he decided Android has stolen the operating system from the iPhone, which he stole from others without credit and compensation.

“And it’s not just copyright that he talks about, but patents, highlighting Steve Jobs’ hypocrisy,” says TechDirt “talking at one time about how it’s best to take the best ideas of others, but then also going ballistic about Google copying aspects of iOS in Android. He also points out how Jobs lied about claiming to have invented multi-touch, by showing Jeff Han’s famous TED demo of multi-touch technology a year before the iPhone launched. And in that video, Han admits that multi-touch has been around for decades.”

“The key point he makes in the end is that the system is broken because of the combination of a few factors that conflict with the fact that everything is a remix. When you mix laws that fundamentally treat creative works as property, with the massive rewards and huge legal fees associated with court cases, combined with the cognitive bias people have against others copying themselves (with a complete blindness for the fact that they are always copying others), you have a system that fundamentally does not work and cannot work.”

Story suggested and stolen from TechDirt.

By Stephen Pate, NJN Network

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