Human Intellectual Property and the Human Private Sector

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SacremPyrobolum
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Human Intellectual Property and the Human Private Sector

Post by SacremPyrobolum » Fri Feb 15, 2013 8:34 pm

I read an interesting tidbit on how the humans, after losing so much of their culture to wars and the Hiver attack, no longer have a concept of Copyright.

"The one development which most sharply distinguishes Human art, literature and music in the future from that of today is that there is virtually no conception of "intellectual property" or "copyright". The notion that some part of the birthright of all Humanity could belong to one Human being and be jealously guarded for pursuit of a profit motive would be met with extreme violence."
- Excerpt from "Art and Literature, Human" the SOTS wikipedia

Does this meant that a human entrepreneur can no longer come along, invent something, purchase the rights to it and then sell it for a profit, or that a musician who creates a hit album is expected to release it for free consumption?

Or does this only apply to "original" human IP lost in the wars which could be considered relics.

*shiver* Imagine seeing Nikki Manaji's "Yo A Stupid Hoe" put on display and held up as some form of high art from the past in a human music museum. I'm pretty sure that it translates into a declaration of war in more than a few alien dialects.

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Erinys
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Re: Human Intellectual Property and the Human Private Sector

Post by Erinys » Sat Feb 16, 2013 3:10 am

SacremPyrobolum wrote:Does this meant that a human entrepreneur can no longer come along, invent something, purchase the rights to it and then sell it for a profit, or that a musician who creates a hit album is expected to release it for free consumption?

Or does this only apply to "original" human IP lost in the wars which could be considered relics.


It applies to both. Human artists and scholars are supported by their peers, patrons and audience voluntarily. They can become rich, but their wealth is given to them by others; it is no longer an entitlement which they have to defend by legal action, nor are they subject to having their work stolen by larger and more powerful entities who can afford more and better lawyers.

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SacremPyrobolum
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Re: Human Intellectual Property and the Human Private Sector

Post by SacremPyrobolum » Sat Feb 16, 2013 10:28 am

So are there no private companies in Sol Force?

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DarkCecilo
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Re: Human Intellectual Property and the Human Private Sector

Post by DarkCecilo » Sat Feb 16, 2013 10:38 am

Can't say I would shed a tear over the loss of giant corporations. Though there are probably private companies, given that you can privatize trade in game. (Granted you have to give them start up money for it).

SacremPyrobolum
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Re: Human Intellectual Property and the Human Private Sector

Post by SacremPyrobolum » Sat Feb 16, 2013 11:08 am

But giant private space companies doing shady deals and less than ethical research is absolutely vital for any good space opera!

How are we supposed to have a Xombie outbreak or a potentially catastrophic diplomatic situation in which the Liir find out that humans think their delicious?!

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Sevain
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Re: Human Intellectual Property and the Human Private Sector

Post by Sevain » Sat Feb 16, 2013 2:49 pm

SacremPyrobolum wrote:So are there no private companies in Sol Force?
In SolForce? Hell no. Paying taxes to SolForce and operating in SolForce space? Almost certainly.

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Re: Human Intellectual Property and the Human Private Sector

Post by Azrael Ultima » Sat Feb 16, 2013 4:27 pm

That's kind of like asking if there are private companies in the US government. ("Microsoft elected as new president of the US of A!")

But operating in SolForce space most certainly. Who do you think those "private buisness interests" building freighters and mining stations are?
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lwarmonger
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Re: Human Intellectual Property and the Human Private Sector

Post by lwarmonger » Sat Feb 23, 2013 2:57 am

I would assume that with a rapidly expanding population and the unifying shield that is solforce (at least at the interplanetary level), that large corporations still exist to create the economies of scale that make it all possible. I am curious what development model most technology is created under though. Currently (the last 70 years) government sponsored R&D (mostly military or military oriented) tends to spearhead the basic paradigm shifting technology (internet, satellites, ect) with corporations of various sizes finding new civilian applications for it and then refining it. Without copyright priviledges I wonder if all R&D focuses on military or government related applications ? Or do large corporations have large reverse engineering sections to disect new technologies (whatever the source) and then repurpose them into something that can be sold to the average consumer?

On a related topic, what would exports to other starfaring empires consist of? Cheese is mentioned in the novel, as is Tarkasian Steel and Hiver life support systems if I recall correctly. How extensive are government controls on trade? And do a lot of the formerly "unique" products of the various species begin to blend together (meaning the Hivers import cows/goats and learn how to make cheese causing that export market to disappear or solforce discovers the secrets behind tarkasian metalworking and begins widespread manufacturing) by the time the LOA come along, or does everyone manage to retain a certain amount of industrial uniqueness?

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Re: Human Intellectual Property and the Human Private Sector

Post by Azrael Ultima » Sat Feb 23, 2013 2:09 pm

The world was capable of innovation before copyrights and patents came along. Nowadays, they are at least equally as likely to stifle development as to encourage it.

On the same note, knowing how to do something doesn't mean that importing might not still be the better solution. Sure, the hivers could import human milk animals and learn how to make cheese, but it might require much more extensive(and, therefore, expensive) facilities than it does for humans, which would most likely limit it to a novelty, while the brunt of hiver consumed cheese would still be imported.

Or living steel. Even if the humans find out how to do it, they might simply lack the capabilities. Loa are even physically incapable of doing it.
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Re: Human Intellectual Property and the Human Private Sector

Post by fibio » Sat Feb 23, 2013 2:57 pm

I think the implication with living steel is most species do lack the required abilities, the mecha-empathy skills needed to forge living steel are prodigious and have been honed by the Tarka by hundreds of years of practice and selective breeding. Just 'replicating' those would be near on impossible, though does raise the question as to whether humans have dairy-empathy ;p
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lwarmonger
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Re: Human Intellectual Property and the Human Private Sector

Post by lwarmonger » Sat Feb 23, 2013 3:28 pm

Azrael Ultima wrote:The world was capable of innovation before copyrights and patents came along. Nowadays, they are at least equally as likely to stifle development as to encourage it.

On the same note, knowing how to do something doesn't mean that importing might not still be the better solution. Sure, the hivers could import human milk animals and learn how to make cheese, but it might require much more extensive(and, therefore, expensive) facilities than it does for humans, which would most likely limit it to a novelty, while the brunt of hiver consumed cheese would still be imported.

Or living steel. Even if the humans find out how to do it, they might simply lack the capabilities. Loa are even physically incapable of doing it.


Capable, yes, but rapid innovation started occuring hand in hand with the introduction of copyrights and patents. And if you look at where most technological innovation is occuring today... it is in nations that respect, for the most part, intellectual property (at least in the sense that once someone with enough lawyers owns an idea they can market it profitably). Now that being said, I never said that innovation and technological advancement would stop... but I have a hard time imagining a rapidly developing consumer economy without intellectual property. The money simply wouldn't be in it. That means that most technological advancement would switch to government funded initiatives like military R@D and universities, and away from corporate R&D oriented around the consumer.

With regards to efficiencies... there would have to be an enormous difficulty to making something to make importing it via interstellar travel worthwhile (with step 1 simply being getting it out of the atmosphere). I would assume that industrial production would be more efficient and modular than it is today, enabling production lines to rapidly shift to produce new things, and the novel's description of earth would lead me to believe that energy is at a premium. So you would only expend energy exporting things off world that could command a price commensurate with the cost of getting it there.

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Re: Human Intellectual Property and the Human Private Sector

Post by Azrael Ultima » Sat Feb 23, 2013 8:28 pm

So innovation mostly happens in advanced and rich countries? Well, what a surprise. I doubt that has anything to do with copyright and patent law, though.

As for the production problems... you suggested that the Hivers import creatures that live in entirely different biomes than they themselves do. Not to mention that there's quite a few microorganisms involved that might not play nice with what the Hivers have. The problems involved can be a tad more annoying than what we have to deal with on earth, like for example just keeping the damn things alive.

Also, i doubt that they still use chemical rockets to get stuff into space. There are more efficient methods than that.
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marshb
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Re: Human Intellectual Property and the Human Private Sector

Post by marshb » Sat Feb 23, 2013 11:39 pm

lwarmonger wrote:... but I have a hard time imagining a rapidly developing consumer economy without intellectual property. The money simply wouldn't be in it. That means that most technological advancement would switch to government funded initiatives like military R@D and universities, and away from corporate R&D oriented around the consumer.

This would be wrong. Almost all R&D of the last century, that moved or advanced the sciences or technology be it Telecommunications, Aerospace, Computers, The Internet, etc, came from the public sector. Then, when the technology is perfected, we get the privilege of paying for it again as consumer products. Why fund research with your own money when you can get the taxpayers to front it under the stick/guise of "National Security". ;)
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lwarmonger
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Re: Human Intellectual Property and the Human Private Sector

Post by lwarmonger » Sun Feb 24, 2013 9:14 pm

marshb wrote:
lwarmonger wrote:... but I have a hard time imagining a rapidly developing consumer economy without intellectual property. The money simply wouldn't be in it. That means that most technological advancement would switch to government funded initiatives like military R@D and universities, and away from corporate R&D oriented around the consumer.

This would be wrong. Almost all R&D of the last century, that moved or advanced the sciences or technology be it Telecommunications, Aerospace, Computers, The Internet, etc, came from the public sector. Then, when the technology is perfected, we get the privilege of paying for it again as consumer products. Why fund research with your own money when you can get the taxpayers to front it under the stick/guise of "National Security". ;)


If you will notice, the text that you quote talks about a consumer economy (vs technological advancements made through government funding). The sentence almost immediately after it states "That means that most technological advancement would switch to government funded initiatives like military R@D and universities, and away from corporate R&D oriented around the consumer." If you also read some of the rest of my posts, you will also notice that I specifically acknowledge that most major advancements have come from the public sector; "Currently (the last 70 years) government sponsored R&D (mostly military or military oriented) tends to spearhead the basic paradigm shifting technology (internet, satellites, ect) with corporations of various sizes finding new civilian applications for it and then refining it."

However, the economy currently focuses a great deal of money on designing products for consumer use (the internet in its original form was not capable of doing what the private sector has repurposed it to do... the underlying technology was government funded, but the repurposing towards the internet consumer has been something that the private sector has driven... and most likely wouldn't have happened, at least nowhere near as quickly or as well, without it. The only reason that private companies do that is that they can hope to realize some profit out of it. If someone else can just rip it off and market it to the same consumers.... well the incentive for innovation at the corporate level drops accordingly.

Azrael Ultima wrote: So innovation mostly happens in advanced and rich countries? Well, what a surprise. I doubt that has anything to do with copyright and patent law, though.

Also, i doubt that they still use chemical rockets to get stuff into space. There are more efficient methods than that.


I challenge you to name a single nation that doesn't in some way respect intellectual property that is a driving force in consumer innovation. Countries like China and Russia are very capable of pouring large amounts of money into large state projects and can copy or buy consumer technology produced elsewhere (in fact large state run and state connected corporations in both companies focus on acquiring technology through joint projects with other countries and a certain amount of reverse engineering) but they have a very hard time making that transition to large scale research and development oriented around the consumer. What's the point if others will just rip off whatever you make? Now with the increase in litigation has come a corresponding increase in the scale of the research done (the days of small time inventors creating and marketing products on their own has passed into large scale corporate research and development... the corporations can hire the armies of lawyers needed to defend their patents), and because of the over litigation that exists in the United States you see frequent examples of copyright and patent laws taken to extremes. However, at the end of the day the incentive that exists to develop new things for the consumer is almost entirely profit driven (vs university and government R&D that tend to either focus on science for the sake of science or military related research). If you can't make any profits because numerous others in your industry will simply reverse engineer whatever you did and sell it as their own... where is the incentive for profit driven organizations to conduct research on their own?

As for transporting things into space, power generation would seem to be a considerable constraint on Earth (as per the novel) and getting things out of the atmosphere is quite power intensive... whether that power comes from chemical rockets or antimatter reactors is kind of immaterial if one of the constraints on your economy is power.

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Erinys
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Re: Human Intellectual Property and the Human Private Sector

Post by Erinys » Sun Feb 24, 2013 11:25 pm

Warmonger: the current arrangement of the world's resources, economically and politically, is a state of affairs achieved by very aggression campaigns which have continued for over 400 years. Do not assume that recent history is the result of some sort of "state of nature" or "manifest destiny", and that current laws are the only ones which can produce creativity or innovation. What is, is not all that can be.

Many civilizations have risen and fallen before this one: people innovate when they have population density, population diversity, and active trade networks. Intellectual property laws did not exist or need to exist to produce rapid technological progress and great art in the past, and they will not need to exist to allow the same in the future. So long as the density, diversity and the movement of goods is present, innovation will happen.

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