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Protection of Intellectual Property

Excerpt from Protection of Intellectual Property The mass of unthinking people, as well as those whose views are predominantly guided by precedent, have little or no conception of the natural rights of intellectual property. It is difficult to teach such people that adequate protection of intellectual property is abundantly more beneficial to the community at large than to the temporary individual possessors of these rights. Yet these same people consider as sacred and inviolable any other property rights as soon as the latter relate to chattels or real estate, whether such rights were obtained by purchase, by inheritance, by gift, by privilege, by labor, or in any other way. Furthermore, the laws of all nations are very strict in protecting such property rights, but do not concern themselves, beyond certain limits, whether the possessor of the property is morally entitled to it or not. Neither do our laws concern themselves whether the owner uses his property for good or for wrong, for the benefit of the community at large, or for the gratification of his own selfish purposes. From the standpoint of the law (with very few exceptions, such as, for instance, Board of Health or police-ordinances, or cases of so-called eminent domain), it matters little whether the private ownership of some property is a burden to the community or whether it is an impediment to the happiness or the free development of its citizens. Neither is there any dispute as to the time the ownership of such property should last. Except for restrictions put on ownership by taxes, property rights are practically perpetual, and can be transferred only by accepted methods as, for instance, sale, barter, inheritance, or donation. In some rare instances, there may be expropriation for public purposes (or eminent domain), but even then, some suitable compensation is usually made. All this is readily accepted as an axiom, as an underlying article of faith by all laws relating to property. Only the socialist dares dispute these rights, while even the single taxer admits them to such a decided extent that he desires to abolish taxes on all property created by labor or enterprise, so as to shift the burden of all taxation on unearned land values. When, however, it comes to recognizing the claims of ownership to intellectual property, the result of the truly creative effort of the citizen, right away we butt against some stubborn conceptions, which have petrified into the code of our long established laws. About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.
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