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The value of putting things in the public domain

by Michael Nielsen on June 15, 2004

Brad DeLong makes a very good point: if Tim Berners-Lee hadn’t put the basic ideas behind the web into the public domain, the evolution of the web very well might have been a lot slower, with concomitant economic costs. Something for University researchers to think about, perhaps: we are supported in the public interest, and putting ideas into the public domain is often the best way of supporting that interest.

From → General

One Comment
  1. In fact from the very beginning the whole point of intellectual property laws like patent law and copyright laws was to ultimately enrich the public domain not to enrich the inventor or publisher. The temporary monopoly granted by a patent or a copyright is meant only to give an incentive to disclose or publish. But if people are willing to forgo their ip rights put their knowledge directly into the public domain that’s an even better deal for society. Why make the public wait 20 years for the benefit if you don’t have to?

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