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Ideas can't be owned

Doc Searls has published a well written article on what is an extremely important issue today, the issue of ownership of ideas, contrasting the lock down of innovative ideas with the value of opening them up towards further cooperative development. He has named the article as Ten ideas about Ideas presenting ten points about the nature of ideas and the best way to release their potential.

The realm of information is an immaterial one. The only "thing" that has the power to affect, transform and evolve this realm are ideas, but they can only do so if we do not attempt to capture these ideas into isolation in fear that they would somehow be stolen from us leaving us poorer. If we instead let it flow, let the participatory system of cooperation which powers the digital realm amplify the idea to its full potential, we will benefit with the rest of the world, even more so than we would have if we locked it up.

In the longest term, restrictive copyrights on information and its flow, software patents and even DRM will fail simply because they are unnatural to this realm. They are merely artificial attempts to essentially change what may be seen as the laws of physics for the information realm. You can't bend reality like that without expecting your attempts to backfire. It is safer to bet your business on the real and true nature of information and the digital space it is living in today, than try to wrap yourself within this artificial bubble of idea ownership. It is a new world. Adapt or die.




I agree with what that article was saying, but it felt pretty cheesey. I think Thomas Jefferson is who you should look to if you want to read about this stuff.

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