Thursday, April 20, 2006

New Term.

Someone reports Apple Computers latest product before Steve Jobs gets to: theft. Stolen property. That is what Apple says. I think the effort to equate knowledge with chattel is assisted by the term intellectual property. Its not property. You can't hold it; you cannot stop the owner from using it; you cannot destroy it. We should use another term. For now I suggest: creative rights. Its a better description: society gives certain rights to creators. One cannot own rights; one cannot steal rights. But you can sue someone who infringes such rights. (Now you might argue that property itself is simply a set of enforceable rights. That may be true as far as legal philosophy, but its not how most people think about it.)

"Creative rights" would also reinforce the legal concept that the more creative an invention, writing, or trademark is, the more protection it receives. Nonfiction information gathered by a skilled researcher is certainly intellectual, but such information is not protected as intellectual property (however, a particular organization or expression of the information may be protected - the part the researcher creates, rather than discovers).

I would like a term that emphasizes the purpose of creative rights are to encourage creation and they are temporary, rather than reflect some natural right to control the manufacture and distribution of creative work, but I haven't thought of one. Err... transintelmonopoly? Creative rights is is.

Now, I just have to get the world to use it.

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