Posted on 18-11-2009
Filed Under (Technology) by Rashtrakut

The United States Supreme Court is hearing a case that could limit the granting of patents for business methods and practices.  It is a debate worth having.  The purpose of patents is to grant an incentive for the creator to derive benefit for their products.  But by creating monopolies they skew the marketplace and can stunt innovation.  The problem is possibly worse in copyright laws as vast sections of creative works appear to have been walled off from the public domain forever, with no real debate by legislators whether such extensions are needed to protect innovation (which was the original motivation  for granting copyrights to begin with) and whether other creative activity is being stunted while granting corporate welfare to behemoths like Disney.  Then there is the constitutional question the Supreme Court dodged when it upheld the Copyright Term Extension Act (aka the Disney Protection Act).  The Constitution grants Congress the power to grant copyrights for a limited time.  But if the time limit keeps getting extended every 20 years at what point is it a de facto unlimited grant of a copyright.

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