no third solution

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Soon, no one will be able to use any words without paying royalties

December 21st, 2011

If someone can “own” a word, or a particular series of words, and if they are able to slap lawsuits and cease-and-desist letters from high-priced attorneys on anyone who even approximates their protected verbiage, then in the long run we are all screwed. A friend of mine comments, “Soon, no one will be able to use any words without paying royalties…” in response to this.

the atlanta braves have a problem with the name of pixar's latest film

Mickey Mouse & Bobby Cox (AP)

The Atlanta Braves are spending lots of money “policing” their trademark (even though they do not have any trademark on the singular “Brave”) and Disney will be forced to spend lots of money countering what is by any reasonable interpretation, a frivolous assertion on behalf of the Atlanta Braves, who are spending lots of money objecting to the title of a forthcoming Disney movie called “Brave”.

Stitch Kingdom notes that “companies must actively police and enforce their trademarks and take all reasonable action to protect them otherwise the trademark may be considered abandoned and thrown into the public domain.” So perhaps this is just a case of due diligence and the Braves’ legal guys aiming to bill a few more hours. (more info…)

All of this money is 100% wasteful, and these costs, among others more-or-less frivolous and ridiculous, are ultimately built in to the prices you pay as a consumer. And this is just a silly Disney movie and a silly bunch of overpaid, politically privileged monopolists in the MLB duking it out over something inconsequential.

Multiply by infinity and you’ll have some idea of the true costs of “intellectual property” in aggregate.

Ultimately, my friend’s comment sounds perhaps a bit hyperbolic, but if you follow the intellectual property argument to its logical conclusion (to say nothing of the the practical issues about so-called “intellectual property”, the completely batshit insane arbitrary nature thereof, etc.), his concern is warranted.

Comments

2 Comments

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  • KipEsquire says on: December 21, 2011 at 3:20 pm

     

    Congress gave the word “Olympics” to the USOC, and the courts upheld that property right when the USOC sued to prevent the use of the term “Gay Olympics.”

    • David Z says on: December 21, 2011 at 9:57 pm

       

      It would be funny, if it were satire.

no third solution

Blogging about liberty, anarchy, economics and politics