Another case where Kirn misses a point because he’s not inside the tech world.
I believe deeply in creativity, innovation, imagination & in the idea that they must be protected because they benefit all of us. The framers of the Constitution believed this too. It is why they gave special attention to patent law.
We can’t read the minds of the founders, but we do know that they were NYC capitalists. Patents and copyrights had been around for quite a while in London, and the founders knew how the system worked.
Copyrights and patents protect the largest publishers and corporations with the largest budgets and the largest lawyer armies. That’s all. Patents and copyrights make life easy for the largest corporations. The purpose of IP is to halt competition and corner the market, not to support innovation.
Sometimes, by chance, this protection advances real and useful innovation. Usually it hurts.
Patents and copyrights ALSO make it easy for thieves and extortionists to gain money with false claims, which unquestionably hurts small inventors and artists. In the digital graphics realm, many of the best artists gave up after seeing their work pirated and monetized. I’m not one of the best artists by any means, but I did join the fuckitall parade.
Kirn lives in the part of the creative world that uses copyright as a weapon. He’s a best-selling author with an agent, selling to top-level publishers. He has also worked for Time magazine and Hollywood. He hasn’t been poked by the sharp end of the weapon.
As contrast, here’s a more realistic view from a tech insider. In short: Patents are worse than useless for a startup. The best way to make money is to make a good product, serve customers, and advertise. If your product is good enough, and you advertise enough, you will make enough money.