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2002: Adam Smith and *Intellectual monopoly*

Posted by: David Mohring on October 28, 2004 03:24 AM
I vote for the term Intellectual monopoly.

From two years ago in <A HREF="http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?cid=4467943&sid=42546" title="slashdot.org">Adam Smith and *Intellectual monopoly*</a slashdot.org>
The next section is very IMPORTANT.

Monopolists can preserve their favorable position only if
the government prevents potential competitors from entering the
monopolized activity:





The exclusive privileges of corporations, statutes of apprenticeship,
and all those laws which restrain, in particular employments, the
competition to a smaller number than might otherwise go into them, have
the same tendency...They...may frequently, for ages together, and in
whole classes of employments, keep up the market price of particular
commodities above the natural price, and maintain both the wages of the
labour and the profits of the stock employed about them somewhat above
their natural rate.



Such enhancements of the market price may last as long as the regulations of police which give occasion to them.
(pp. 61-2)



In fact, the term "intellectual property" is a misnomer, a more correct term would be intellectual monopoly.
Patents, Copyrights and even Trademarks are a government granted
monopoly, they do not occur naturally. That does not mean that they are
a bad thing per-say, but their use should be dictated by the benefit to
socitety in general, with approprate limits so their use cannot be
abused.
These statutes give the power that the ol' Mercantile laws
gave to those monopolies. There is no true effective choice in the
market. Companies like Microsoft are sustaining their dominate position
in the markerplace by using a state-constructed and granted monopoly,
which gives Microsoft the <A HREF="http://www.microsoft.com/legal/protocols/" title="microsoft.com">monopoly over its protocols</a microsoft.com>, effectively just as restrictive as the East India Trading Company trading zone monopoly of the Orient,

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