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Big IP isn't quite as important as it would like to believe
Very good article in Ars Technica today, on the subject of the new government report on Intellectual Property. It makes fine reading if you're interested in the subject.

The short of it is that the government produced a report that the Big Content groups like the MPAA are trumpeting as proof that the economy hinges on strong intellectual-property protections. But the Ars article deconstructs the details, and demonstrates that it says nothing of the sort -- indeed, that it shows that the Big Content industries aren't anywhere near as economically critical as they'd like to believe.

Some of the exaggerations turn out to be almost comical. For example, in its attempts to define as much of the economy as possible as "IP-intensive", it winds up including the industries that depend on *trademark*, but don't give a damn about patents or copyright. So the grocery industry winds up getting defined as "IP-intensive".

Anyway, the article winds up questioning the value of the report, once it has torn to shreds a lot of the trumpted assertions. It makes a fine antidote to the MPAA's paranoia machine...

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Interesting. I've actually been considering copyrighting my most recent theory regarding celiac. I need to share it with people to get the co-authors requeired in a project of this size, but it's so earth shaking I'm concerned they're going to steal it.

on the flip side, I'm the opposite (shocker, me... opposite from the crowd, never!) with the idea of trademarks, etc. In all of my businesses, I never had trademarked anything or even branded it really. In my lines of work, it was never an issue. Heck, in all 5 of them so far, I have yet to make... what's that word... begins with a p... oh, profit.

Not surprising -- trademark tends to be less interesting to small businesses, and is rarely relevant to individuals. But it matters hugely to big corporations.

By contrast, individuals often care about copyright, and too much of the corporate use of it is just plain abusive. (Eg, the Mickey Mouse laws.)

Not all IP is created equal

Why, when we get into the discussion about IP protection, do we find pharmaceutical patents lumped into the same bin as handbag designs? Although I'm sure there's an appropriate degree of protection that ought to be afforded to the luxury goods makers, I think we agree that these are two different sorts of things and require a different level of urgency in the way they are addressed.

Re: Not all IP is created equal

Yep. Indeed, the most comical thing about the report is that it lumps together copyright, patent *and* trademark, which is even more extreme than usual. They're three separate concepts (and three distinct legal doctrines) for very good reason -- trying to cover them all in the same breath is rarely helpful...

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