Intellectual Property on Seasteads


I think the distinction is the difference between a private copy, as I’m planning to follow the Ramform patents for my own use, vs redistribution, depriving a business of its’ right to sell and redistribute their product.


I would not call confidential information through contract law intellectual property. Intellectual Property is a monopoly on the expression of certain ideas.


One sticking point that often confuses non-lawyers is the question of what is protected by copyright and what isn’t. According to Section 102(b) of the Copyright Act of 1976, no “idea, procedure, process, system, method of operation, concept, principle, or discovery” is eligible for copyright protection. Copyright law generally protects the fixation of an idea in a “tangible medium of expression,” not the idea itself, or any processes or principles associated with it. The nuances of this distinction are sometimes difficult to grasp, and the reality of the situation is that the facts of each case have to be looked at individually. The concept works as more of a continuum than a dichotomy.

Basically, the MEANS of expressing that idea, by the applicant, is what the copyright protects, not the idea itself.

Thus, a list of the seven secret herbs and spices for Kentucky Fried Chicken is probably attainable, the specific recipe itself, however, is protected from commercial production, w/o consent of the copyright holder.


You can use all the legalese arguments you want, but at the end of the day, Intellectual Property functions like a monopoly because it is one. It prevents artists and inventors from improving upon other people’s inventions and works. Collaboration and the sharing of ideas has been the backbone of all art and inventions. Intellectual Property is the antithesis of creativity and innovation. It inevitably leads to executives suing startups for competing with them, and the entertainment industry, which I aspire to work in, is even worse off with copyright. It’s extremely easy to find daily stories of how a popular video game or film franchise has been stripped of what made it great and replaced with low quality content and anticonsumer policies by the companies. Such behavior is reminiscent of a business that has a monopoly. It’s only natural for them to cut costs, engage in anticonsumerism and be uninterested in providing value to their customers. Why should they care? They’re the only ones people can buy from. You may say the entertainment companies don’t have monopolies as no one company has a monopoly on movies but the fact that the large ones are the sole sellers of works based on popular ideas is enough for the mentality of having a monopoly to take hold.


So, get off your duff, and build your own stuff from scratch, and don’t even try to use proven designs… YOUR choice…

Me? I have more concerns for reliability and safety, especially considering I plan to build, float-out, then moor mine in a hurricane zone. I want communications I can trust, a storm-worthy structure and so on.

YOU make a false argument, as you sit there, using all your commercially manufactured products. Even if you put your entire computer together, one piece at a time, you used patented and protected parts.

There is NO prevention of making improvements, and applying for your own patents.

There are even ‘New Use’ Patents…

(Larry G) #26

This is not even close to the definition of intellectual property. Copyright, patent, and proprietary information are ALL intellectual property. For an EASY example of the latter: customer lists. Try taking a customer list from an employer specializing in specialized sales or services, and see how quick they sue you.

Another explicitly wrong assumption. Fair use applies to copyright. you can refer to it, quote it, and derive from it, as long as what you sell is sufficiently unique to not infringe upon the originator’s ability to profit. If you improve upon an invention, you can patent the improvement. You can’t use a character created by another author, because you are not inventing a unique story. However, you could refer to that character as an environmental element.

Both copyright and patent have expiration dates, designed to put them into the public realm after a reasonable time for the creator to realize profit from the creation.

(Jordan) #27

But does it really deprive businesses of their right to sell redistribute?

(Larry G) #28

Look at the intent. The intent is to encourage the creator to share new and unique creations, by enabling an exclusive period where he can realize profit. The right to distribute his material is not inhibited by others distributing it, but his ability to profit is. Without the ability to profit, the incentive to create new product and to share it is depressed.

You have to understand what the mechanism is intended to accomplish to make any kind of improvement.


[quote=“JL_Frusha, post:25, topic:2216, full:true”]
So, get off your duff, and build your own stuff from scratch, and don’t even try to use proven designs… YOUR choice…

Me? I have more concerns for reliability and safety, especially considering I plan to build, float-out, then moor mine in a hurricane zone. I want communications I can trust, a storm-worthy structure and so on.

YOU make a false argument, as you sit there, using all your commercially manufactured products. Even if you put your entire computer together, one piece at a time, you used patented and protected parts.

There is NO prevention of making improvements, and applying for your own patents.

What is this? I’m 100% against patents, copyright and the idea of intellectual property. I also said that collaboration is the backbone of innovation and art. If your concern is there’ll be no safety in a free market, than you’re still thinking in the context of a regulated market. Both have different variables. In a free market, if your products are trash, no one will buy from you, and so you’re incentivised to produce the best goods and services you can or go bankrupt. You absolutely can have innovation without patents. In fact, patents have been the biggest killers of innovation. Apple and Microsoft are sitting on patents that’ll never be used and are only kept so they can sue startups trying to compete with them. And more infamously, the Wright Brothers filled for a patent that could’ve done away with air travel.

And you want to tell me that patents are necessary for innovation when they’ve been used countless times to disincentivise businesses from providing value?

  1. That’s not intellectual property, that’s confidential information that the person breeched without the consent of the employer. That’s a violation of privacy.

  2. What does it matter if my work is unique enough? Why can’t I make whatever I want and profit off of it? You can’t own ideas no matter what politician writes down that says you can. No victim, no crime. And losing your market share to someone who can improve upon your ideas better than you can is not a crime. Imagine if the first baker of apple pies decides to open a bakery selling them, and a few weeks later, someone down the street sells his own apple pies at his bakery, and he manages to get most of the original bakers customers to buy from him. Would it be justified for the original baker to threaten the new baker with violence if he doesn’t close down his operations? And yet, restaurants are a thriving industry. There’s no intellectual property for specialized dishes, and we have a plethora of different kinds of restaurants doing their own unique thing to compete with one another. It seems like we don’t need a creative arbiter if we are to be consistent with our principles.


And the result is widespread consumer dissatisfaction, anti-consumerism, abuse of creators, executive creative control, false advertisement campaigns and thuggery against people for making fan-made works under fair use. Does it seem like IP leads to joy and happiness and increased creativity and innovation for creative industries? So no, don’t use the state to interfere with any market, that has never worked. We don’t need a law to force people to be creative. People can do so by improving upon others peoples’ works, and they should be allowed to be compensated. If I made something, I should be allowed to sell it regardless of whether or not it’s original. For a third party to extort me for selling something that happened to be mostly thought of by someone else is a violation of property rights.


But that’s just it, if YOU have an idea, and keep it to yourself, it is YOURS, and yours ALONE. Doesn’t mean someone else hasn’t thought of it, even down to the method of implementation, BUT, the Copyright/Patent protects YOUR stuff, from becoming someone else’ commercial product, that YOU have no control of, and no benefit of it BEING a commercial product.

IF you want to open-source it, and let everyone copy it, at will, and even sell it commercially, where you get no recognition and no percentage for YOUR idea and YOUR invention, then that is on you.

Hell, DO IT… Give away all your ideas. THAT is on you…, just don’t complain when someone with a facility turns it into a commercial product, turns a profit and you don’t get jack for your efforts.

I’ve been bitched at, in THIS forum, and the archived forum as well, for my ideas, which, when researched, are only unique in my combinations…, but I posted the documentation that verifies each step… Why? Because I AM trying to move the cause into commercial viability, even for individual families. Do I REALLY care, if someone actually makes it work? YES, or I wouldn’t have bothered saying HOW I think ‘this’ would work best.

I’ve researched, designed, posted examples and been ridiculed, despite the documentation to PROVE it can work, for many different ideas, even having corroboration of parts, by other members.

IF I had Millions of Dollars, to BUILD, I would have already BEEN floating projects out. I am THAT confident in MY work… Confident enough that I am trying to find a suitable property to build and launch from.


The mythology that copyright and patents protect the profits of creators is completely false. If you look at the history of copyright, you will see that it was the major publishers and not the artists who lobbied the British Crown to give themselves monopolies on the publishing works. Therefore, copyright is a result of corporatism.

Your argument is equivalent to: “Without culinary property, restaurants will be allowed to steal the recipes of the poor chefs while they don’t get anything.” And does the restaurant industry need some form of intellectual property? I think not.

You obviously haven’t researched enough, otherwise you’d realize that patents have been the major killers of innovation and that the entertainment industry is plagued with near infinite examples of widespread consumer dissatisfaction, anti-consumerism, abuse of creators, executive creative control, false advertisement campaigns and thuggery against people for making fan-made works under fair use all because of monopolistic behaviour by major publishers, networks and studios as a result of the monopolies given to them by Intellectual Property.

We don’t need the government to interfere in the market. And we don’t need to threaten people for remixing and improving upon ideas and inventions and wanting to be compensated.


By your argument, a burger is a burger. Don’t know what burgers you are likely to eat, but the differences between, say, McDonalds, Burger King, Wendy’s, and Whataburger are nil. However, when you get to the details, the differences are what makes each a unique product line. Their recipes ARE closely-guarded secrets, but, you know what? With enough determination, and effort, you could probably make a copy that looks, smells, tastes exactly the same, and has the same texture. By default, since you are NOT using their EXACT recipe, except possibly by chance, you STILL have a unique product. Don’t copy their name, logo, etc., w/o permission, is all I can say.

Without patent protection and copyright protection, you would NOT have the commercial products you are arguing against being patented, copyrighted, and produced. It MAY work, w/o those protections, but then it’s a generic with limited credibility.

It’s NOT the government threatening over products, it’s the corporations that do that. How often do you hear of new technology that works, then disappears? Why? Often, the rights are purchased from the originator, who takes $X for their effort, and that’s the end of it. Why? Because, rather than have competition, the company bought out the challenging patents and copyrights.

IMHO, you’re barking up the wrong tree, pissing on it’s roots, all the while saying trees shouldn’t exist.


That’s what the MPAA, Hollywood, Disney and all the other lobbyists in bed with the government want you to think. They’re paid off to serve their interests, and their interests alone. You don’t think they would lie to serve that end? I became an advocate for seasteading because I’ve seen the widespread anti-consumerism and stagnation in the entertainment industry as a result of the dogma called copyright, the notion that people can own unlimited intangible abstract concepts. And to see you championing corporatism is disheartening if most seasteaders think that way. You are arguing to use government to force people to be creative by interfering with the market, which has never worked in history. Just look up what caused the Great Recession of 2008, the government-sponsored Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae or when subsides are given to the fossil fuel industry instead of the cleaner alternatives.

Most of those patents then get sat on and forgotten indefinitely. Their only use is to sue competing startups. And most copyrights are used by executives to get away with being greedy uncaring philistinic parasites. And if you don’t believe me look up any story about Konami, Nintendo, Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, Activision, The Walt Disney Company, or any other major publisher studio and network, and you will see extremely high levels of consumer dissatisfaction across the board. In a free market, they wouldn’t be allowed to get away with anti-consumerism if there was a competing firm who can do a better job of what they do than they can. If your concern is that the market would be crappy without copyright, we’re already at the point where most of the things we get from the entertainment industry is garbage. And that’s rooted in their monopolistic behaviour. I’ve shown you the history of copyright, given you numerous examples you can look into, and still you champion corporatism. A lot of us became seasteaders to escape the constricting bureaucratic regulations that paralyse markets, and copyright is no exception. The only law I recognize is the non-aggression against one’s life, liberty, and property. And Intellectual Property is not, has never been, and will never be property.

(Kim Cowdroy) #36

While I appreciate that Patents would have value in providing incentives to invent or innovate in certain cases, I have felt a much better outcome could be possible without it in general.

The fashion industry has been raised before.

There are some talks on the subject as follows:

IMO, the main talks in here would be

  1. Johanna Blakley: Lessons from fashion’s free culture
    While many creative industries are shackled by patents and copyrights, there is one that remains the Wild West — fashion. In this talk from TEDxUSC, Johanna Blakley shares how, counterintuitively, this is a good thing

  2. Kirby Ferguson: Embrace the remix
    Creativity is not about coming up with something that the world has never seen before — it’s about copying, transforming and combining what’s already out there. This, however, complicates the idea of intellectual property. As Ferguson shares at TEDGlobal 2012, “American copyright and patent laws run counter to this notion that we build on the work of others. Instead, these laws and laws around the world use the rather awkward analogy of property. Creative works may indeed be kind of like property — but it’s property that we’re all building on.”

  3. Charles Leadbeater: The era of open innovation
    Our patent system is based on an outdated idea, says Charles Leadbeater in this talk from TEDGlobal 2005. “All of our patents, our entire approach to patents and invention, is based on the idea that the inventor knows what the invention is for.” With rapidly expanding technology, however, Leadbeater says that innovations are cumulative, with new users adding on to previous uses on a near constant basis.

(Larry G) #37

Fashion uses trademark in the same manner to copyright. Try copying a purse by Burberry or Coach and see what happens. And there are also patents on fasteners and closers, fabric types, etc.

Nope, not even close. Patents have an expiration date. So does copyright.

Even so, one can derive works from currently copyrighted or patented works, if the derivative device or process substantively improves upon the original patent, although one may still owe licensing fees for portions of the technology. For copyrighted works, fair use doctrine applies, i.e. quoting enough to address, expand, or refute a point, or using a concept published in a copyrighted work in a new and unique manner. Copyright protects against direct word for word plagiarism, and against using original characters which are unique creations of the author. But I could refer to unique characters in my work, I can address concepts made popular by others, and I can analyze, dissect, refute, or complain about their work in my own.

(Jordan) #38

Patents can actually discourage what you’re saying they foster.

(Aga W) #39

There can be a balance. At the moment, many pharmaceutical companies patent various molecules. Some are shelved as the research does not go anywhere intended. Another scientist, however, could find a different use or different potential for that molecule yet they are unable to use it. I agree with your earlier statement, that in this world IP/knowledge is money - this only highlights that we need a new economical system where knowledge is a commodity available to everyone and seasteads could provide us with the opportunity to do so. Imagine thousands of intellectual people who can work together, people with various ideas from various professions. It would create an accelerated technological growth. My stance is that the IP laws on these cities should not apply internally, that everything should be open source , however, their inventions should be protected from the rest of the world with IP laws untill such time the technology makes capitalism obsolete (StarTrek TNG)

(Kim Cowdroy) #40

Jordan, The game you quoted was of interest but comments afterwards detailed flaws.

To summarise the comments I have picked three small extracts.

For Patents:

  1. take the light bulb… took edison how many years and how many samples? but crack open the final product and you now know he settled on tungsten…

20,000 experiments later he gets tungsten. he had to do the work, buy all these different materials, perhaps pay someone else to help. and make a living to pay bills and everything else.

Against the current Patent System:

  1. Patents might make more sense in a field where there’s an infinite array of ways to do anything, such as in “physical” inventions. But at my former employer (a major software company), we found it impossible to develop even a small piece of software without unintentionally violating dozens of patents. We had to spend ridiculous amounts of money hiring lawyers to look through our software code for patent violations (and lawyers aren’t good at reading code, so we engineers had to help.) And there are literally millions of patents to consider, so it takes an army of lawyers. It’s like there’s a thick minefield throughout our industry, and you step on a mine after every tenth step! It really slowed us down and made us paranoid about inventing anything new.

  2. As an Inventor I can categorically state that in my opinion as an Inventor, that the patent system, both the USPTO and WIPO are severely flawed and act as nothing more than simple whorehouses that will take money from anyone for anything! The biggest myth is that Inventors seem to think they have protection with a patent. Yeah right, only if you have a 100k plus to litigate an infringement. The money I and thousands of fellow Inventors have been forced to waste on patents leaves most of us little or nothing left to move forward. Hence I believe that this antiquated system has stifled industry development and kept both Canada and the U.S. in the dark ages. I don’t need a video game to prove this!! I have had 17 inventions developed at a major University and have recorded over 600 original concepts, yet thanks mainly in part to the extortionists calling themselves, the patent office, I remain broke and invisible! Until a major change sweeps through this 3 Ring circus tent, I remain JLC “The Invisible and Undaunted Inventor” Look for me on Twitter - Solar_Inventor Cheers!