Comment 33167

By alrathbone (registered) | Posted September 02, 2009 at 01:11:08

While I certainly support defending the "fair use" rights of users, I find it hard to suggest that copyrights and patents should either not exist, or quickly expire.

There would no longer be professional artists, if anyone could use their work for profit after only five years. That said, copyright should die with the maker, or perhaps the surving spouse, and not linger on like it does now.

Patents are a whole other issue entirely. Drug companies only make money, because they can charge huge amounts on drugs, because of the huge cost (and risk) in drug development. Essentially, why invest in new drugs, if other companies could just free ride on your development.

Now I wouldn't be opposed to a trade off: Government subsidies for promising and necessary drugs, in return for a proportional reduction of the length of a patent funded by a tax on generic drugs.

As for other industrial patents where the matter is not so much life and death, I do not see the point in stepping in, because the only true problem seems to be in prescription medication.

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