Intellectual Property

Interview with David Bollier about “Viral Spiral”

Strange Coincidences: Tainted Toothpaste and the Intellectual Property Cops

It seemed a little fishy earlier this year when news first broke of tainted toothpaste from China. Was it totally coincidental that those disclosures came just as Congress was about […]

Property and Freedom: Those Who Saw What Was Coming

In my last post I reflected on how an excessive assertion of property rights can turn this supposed bulwark of freedom into a threat to it.  Intellectual property is an especially […]

The Property Police State: Alberto Gonzalez Seeks More Power to Tap Our Phones

There was a time, long ago, when the concept of “property” was a bulwark against an oppressive and arbitrary state. But the supposed bulwark has turned into a means of […]

GMO Seeds, the Green Revolution, and the Corporate Enclosure of Agriculture

The Straus Dairy near my town has gained a national reputation for innovation.  It was the nation’s first organic dairy West of the Mississippi.  It converts methane gas from bovine […]

The Seed Gestapo and Third World Farmers

In my wife’s dialect of kari-ya, which is spoken on the island of Panay, in the Philippines, there is a word binhi, which refers to the grains of rice that are […]

Inkjet Printers, Patents and Business Plan Protection

It seems almost a law of human nature that we become replicas of that which we rebel against.   Children turn into revised versions of the parent they hate.  The karmic […]

When Patents Become “Financial Assets”: Megabuck Patent Trolls and the Conflict Between Production and Finance

A little over a century ago, in the wake of the crash of 1895, Brooks Adams, brother of the more famous Henry, set out to understand the role of money […]

Who Owns the Batting Average of David Ortiz?

Let’s suppose that the Diebold Corporation gained a monopoly on vote counting in the U.S., and then tried to charge a royalty for the use of vote counts in news […]

Bamboo for Who?

Once again the question: who would bother to develop a technology for which they didn’t hold a patent monopoly? And once again the answer: lots of people. Today’s case in […]