Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Rabbit Out of a Hat

This Westinghouse story is about how patents are used to crush innovation.  Edison was keen to subvert alternating current as a power delivery system of choice and sought to prevent a public showcasing of its efficacy.

Fortunately for the world, Westinghouse had a backup light bulb design, happy in an AC circuit, and not belonging to Edison.

Without engaging in criminal malfeasance, Westinghouse was able to light up the exhibit of Tesla's preferred future, the one we're enjoying today, though lets remember about HVDC lines.

The time has come to open source tables, lamps, chairs, (tractors... lab equipment) as the EU is moving to allow copyrights (copyleft is also copyright) on patterns, such as clothing.

Such an extension of the practice goes way beyond trademarking or service-marking (branding).

The lawyers are eager to create conditions of scarcity where they're in danger of yielding to an economy of affluence, thanks in some degree to the advent of the 3D printer.

Let the stylists pay big bucks for their Oochi Goochi whatever, their copyrighted Throne.

The rest of us will make do with what's freely contributed to humanity more in the spirit intended, hearkening back to when "good ideas" were meant to be shared.

Intrinsic to the idea of an "idea" is its copiability.  Getting philosophy (i.e. reason) out of the picture has been important to schools of irrationalist anti-pragmatists who consider themselves entitled to make the rules the rest of us must follow.