- Feb 2014
On one hand, there are infinite ideas, and so the taking of one idea as private property clearly leaves “enough,” and debatably “as good” for others (Locke, INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY: POLICY FOR INNOVATION 8 1690, Chap. V, Sect. 27).
This statement seems to me a stretch-- a very far stretch.
What does it mean to have "infinite ideas"? And how do you arrive at the judgments "enough" and "as good" here?
Ideas don't exist in isolation; they are not individual fruits to be plucked from the world of thought. Ideas are built upon other ideas. They are embedded within each other, juxtaposed one next to the other, stacked, remixed; varied one from the other, sometimes as a derivation, sometimes an inspiration.
And in the face of this, what is the notion of "creation"? Given a certain base of knowledge, there are some natural next steps that can be built from those basic building blocks.
Here we have to disentangle the notion of discovery from creation. I think maybe that, in part, is the notion of patents vs copyright, but in the land of software we seem to have a tangled mess.