Copyrights, trademarks and patents are the enemy of creativity and progress

I've ranted about this millions of times and I'll rant about it again. Copyrights and patents are basically put in place to protect someones designs and ideas. However, the one thing that doesn't go through anyone's mind is the fact that its killing creativity and slowing the progress of new technology.



Allow me to start with patents. Patents protect the design of an invention. In example, you might look at the bladeless fan from Dyson. What everyone doesn't know is that since the creation of patents, innovative progress has slowed down greatly. Believe it or not, if these laws were never invented, we all could of had flying cars and UHDTV's by the 1990's due to the fact that everyones designs could be worked on and improved. I think that is just wrong on unimaginable levels.



Now let's turn our heads to copyrights. These laws came into play approximately during the 1400's when the right to knowledge was first becoming infringed upon. People had easy access to information which made books cheaper. Then, the press decided to throw this right out the windows and copyrights followed in later years. Now, of course, copyrights don't only protect literature, but every form of media including music, movies, games, photos, etc.


One of the recent articles I've found on the website Ars Technica states that a researcher said the optimal copyright term is 14. This individual couldn't be more spot on, because the current one is around 70 years, 95 if your a corporation. 95 is the most ridiculous length I've ever heard for copyrights. The N64 went out of style within 6 years and nobody develops games for it anymore, so it would be sensible to put it into the public domain after 14 years. Instead, Nintendo keeps it behind a legal wall and bars anyone from using it freely.


Disney is one of the notorious copyright users. During the 1990s, Mickey Mouse was set to enter the public domain, which for a lot of people was amazing. All of the sudden, in 1998, the entire United States was struck with a terrible new law known as the Sonny Bono Copyright Extension Act. It's descriptions is as follows from the Wikipedia page:


The Copyright Term Extension Act (CTEA) of 1998 extended copyright terms in the United States. It is one of several acts extending the terms of copyrights.[1]

Following the Copyright Act of 1976, copyright would last for the life of the author plus 50 years, or 75 years for a work of corporate authorship. The 1976 Act also increased the extension term for works copyrighted before 1978 that had not already entered the public domain from 28 years to 47 years, giving a total term of 75 years.[2]

The 1998 Act extended these terms to life of the author plus 70 years and for works of corporate authorship to 120 years after creation or 95 years after publication, whichever end is earlier.[3] Copyright protection for works published before January 1, 1978, was increased by 20 years to a total of 95 years from their publication date.

This law, also known as the¬†Sonny Bono¬†Copyright Term Extension Act,¬†Sonny Bono Act, or (derisively) the¬†Mickey Mouse¬†Protection Act,[4]¬†effectively "froze" the advancement date of the¬†public domain in the United States¬†for works covered by the older fixed term copyright rules. Under this Act, works made in 1923 or afterwards that were still protected by copyright in 1998 would not enter the public domain until January 1, 2019 or later. Mickey Mouse specifically, having first appeared in 1928, will be in a public domain work in 2024[5]¬†or afterward (depending on the date of the product). Unlike¬†copyright extension legislation in the European Union, the Sonny Bono Act did not revive copyrights that had already expired. The Act did extend the terms of protection set for works that were already copyrighted, and is retroactive in that sense. However, works created before January 1, 1978, but not published or registered for copyright until recently, are addressed in a special section (17 U.S.C.¬†¬ß¬†303) and may remain protected until the end of 2047. The Act became¬†Pub.L.¬†105‚Äď298¬†on October 27, 1998.


This, of course, pushed Mickey's arrival into the public domain back until 2024. Now his original design from Steamboat Willie is set to be public domain. However, I for one am watching over this like a hawk, for I do not trust them to not introduce a extension a second time.


The sad thing is most people will defend copyrights. "Copyrights protect a creators works and right to earn money." "Do you know what Battletanx Global Assault is?" "What?" "Exactly. 70-95 years is way too long. By then, everything we know now will be gone from our knowledge, then it will be too late to save these works." "Well, how would you like it if someone used your works and made money off of them without your permission." "That line no longer works on me since I've developed an overall hatred of copyright laws. Besides, I wouldn't care in the least considering the fact that... I publish Creative Commons works."


The truth is, though, these laws weren't supposed to come into existence. Intellectual property is nothing more than a free-roaming thought, which can spread from person to person with no price tag. All these things that are projected from the idea are but mere objects. They're made to look like the thought, but they are never the thought itself. Why claim ownership of something you cannot physically touch? My opinion is that if something can travel to everyone with no cost, you can't claim ownership of it. However, you can claim authorship in which you will be covered by plagiarism laws.


In conclusion, don't put a price on something you can't control. Because all they're doing is paying for a plastic figure, CD, digital photo, or book. But they are never paying for the thought itself.





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AtomicFirefly ūüß©
AtomicFirefly ūüß©

I am an avid content creator with a lot of creativity and a passion for creative commons. I have a variety of accounts.

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