Intellectual Property on Seasteads


I think it’s safe to say that there are many differences of opinion on this topic, and picking arguments accomplishes nothing.

Opinions are like a**holes. Everyone has one, and someone always thinks it stinks.


Do you know what’s worse than socialism, corruption and criminality, jwliberstead? Believing in a ruling class of thugs and thieves and perceiving them with the moral right to threaten and extort people, especially when it interferes with markets. Intellectual Property is destructive and immoral notion that you can have a monopoly over an idea and are entitled to steal the profit from people using that idea financially, even though you had no partaking or say in their endeavours. Intellectual Property is corporatism.


So basically, you’re saying that the brains of the outfit doesn’t deserve to benefit the utilization of his/her intellect, when everyone else is too dumb to come up with and idea, but they can build it and profit from it, even if the person that is intelligent cannot.


Nice strawman.

Actually, the US system for trademarks, patents and IP appears to work pretty well. It has resulted in the commercialization of the internet, apple, solar power, and a million things that make our lives different than 40 years ago.

I once was more supportive of open source and shareware, and actually sold shareware (try before you buy) software for a number of years. This was in the era of pkzip, perhaps the most successful shareware program ever. Phil Katz died of alcoholism, so the money didn’t help him a lot. The problem with shareware is during economic downturns people don’t buy. Also people are willing to pay for products that work.

In my career, I probably have worked more with IP than most people. My company got in a lawsuit once with a big name. It had to do with whether code published on the internet without a copyright notice was open source or not. It got settled and cost me about $400k, even though I was only a secondary party to the suit (we didn’t actually handle the code involved, but the original filer thought we did).

I once joked that someone will patent breathing and then charge everyone. I felt as you did, that the system was too generous to IP holders and not enough to innocent parties.

But at this time in my life, I think many parties are innocent merely because of ignorance. It’s not a valid claim to say “I didn’t know it was copyright because I never looked up what copyright meant.” Ignorance is not a valid excuse in a court… My reflection on the lawsuit was that a young Chinese person did indeed notice that the code online was published without a copyright, but the lack of copyright was an oversight and the code should have been treated as if there was, and not used in a project. The use in the project tainted all subsequent uses. The US company that used the Chinese company that subcontracted to the manufacturer which outsourced programming to this young person paid a hefty price for basing a project on someone else’s code.

So I see IP as a balance. You can’t patent a donut. But you can patent a technique for frying donuts, trademark a brandname using donuts, and own the copyright to a picture that shows the image of Mary Magdalene on a donut. We’ve lived with this balance for 200 years and it pretty much works out ok.

Let’s say you make a great App that saves everyone time and money, and they start calling you up for help so you hire staff, and you have to buy a phone system and get an office lease. Then let’s say that ABC Corporation walks by and says they really like your app and they will promote it. And then, let’s say ABC Corporation just steals it, hacks their paypal address into your working code, and takes all the money that people think they are paying to you. Then you go bankrupt paying the staff and office lease with no income. Is that what you want?

(Larry G) #65

Money is not considered to be a good way to store value, because the value of money always diminishes over time. Money is more of a means of accounting for the exchange of value, rather than a value in itself.

“Always be closing”. There is no such thing as making money automatically. Some people think asking for payment is gauche. Well, it’s pretty much the only way to get paid. Accounting, collecting, and paying has to be done, if you’re going to be in business, get used to it.

  1. Provide citations to the claims of your first paragraph.

  2. Copyright “protects” art and writing, not technology.

  3. The problem with intellectual property is that it gives people who eventually sign them away to businesses monopolies over the expression of ideas. And when someone has a monopoly, he’s unlikely to keep providing value in his goods and services. So he cuts cost to maximize profits and enact anti-consumer policies that screw over the consumer. Why would he care? He’s the only one to buy a certain good or service from. And as someone who has worked in the entertainment industry, I’ve witnessed the detrimental effects it has as a result of the legal fiction called intellectual property. Or should I say, intellectual monopoly? Here are the videos that support my position.

I oppose IP not only because it’s antithetical to creativity and innovation, and has brought stagnation and anti-consumerist policies, but because it, like every other law, is based on the notion that the initiation of force against peaceful individuals is justified if it serves the “greater good.” And when you base your beliefs on such an immoral notion, there’s something wrong with your position.


Yet you justify people taking IP from others, and profiting from their IP, without any repayment for that IP.

Take your problem and open source it. Take YOUR ideas and make them open source. Just because YOU don’t give a rats’ patootie about turning a profit on your ideas, doesn’t mean everyone should do the same. That’s the thing about the modern world… There are choices, and often consequences of those decisions. Attempt to Patent a thing, but it’s already a patented and protected thing, sure, you’re likely to get sued. Means you didn’t look very hard, or worse, copied another person’s work.

Me? I freely admit there is nothing new under the sun, but, just perhaps I have a WAY to combine those pieces of the puzzle differently, to have a different result.

(Larry G) #68

Wasting your bits. You’ve got a single-issue devout crusader here. With no consistent philosophy to hang rights upon, he insists upon his right to your work. He’s not all that concerned about sharing his own.

It’s true there are problems with patents and copyright. The mechanism is imperfect. To try to deny intellectual property rights existence based upon a flawed implementation of the protections is idiocy.


I as a matter a fact do have a consistent philosophy. It’s called anarchism and it’s miles more consistent than any version of politics you people happen to subscribe to. Because all politics goes like this, " I have an agenda and I’m gonna force it onto you, whether you like it or not, and if you resist, I’m gonna punish you." There’s actually no fundamental differences between schools of political thought, they all advocate wealth redistribution, war-mongering, centralized control of commerce, and numerous coercive restrictions upon the behavior of their subjects.

Do you know what is idiocy? Believing that writing on pieces of paper can give certain people the moral right to threaten and hurt others. And that is the basis of all “laws” including intellectual property. That’s what I oppose. The economic argument as to why all regulations and government economic policies are inherently destructive is this. You are assigning one entity to account for all the individual interests of all parties in an economy to make decisions based on those factors. It never works.


In other words, you got burned, so everyone else has to suffer.

Sorry, not buying it. Go ahead, open source your stuff. Your problem, not mine.


How about we just let the proof show itself? You can live offshore with your wife, and I and many other creators, inventors and entrepreneurs can take part in dethroning Hollywood, triple A gaming, and the tech and medical oligopolies, and usher in a new era for entertainment, medicine and technology to a degree never before seen in human history. Whichever seasteading idea is successful will attract the most people, and if either of us fail, that’s the reality of the situation. As long as we have respect for each others property rights, there won’t be any conflicts. After all, one of the main tenants of seasteading is competition.


I thoroughly plan to. I don’t really care if it works for everyone, just for those dedicated few, willing to work for their dreams and test their own limits. That would include my wife and I.

CAN you open-source medical technology? Clearly certain types can and are done, even routinely. I have a friend that 3D prints prosthetics for people, as part of her classroom teaching, for a public school.

There are kits for dedicated bio-hackers, to ;earn to manipulate genetics.

My current goal is to find and buy land suitable to build on, and launch from, with a long-term goal of offshore resupply for my Gulfstead, for the Gulf of Mexico.

I don’t even care if anyone else finds financial success, etc. I’m not looking to get rich, or famous, just live my live, to be an example for my kids and grandchildren to follow. If I, even as a poor disabled person, can do ‘X’… What are THEY capable of?


Put it in perspective, too… There are NO seasteads, not seastead communities, etc., except our interaction in the digital world, at this time.

Making broad, sweeping statements about what WILL be, is rather absurd.

(.) #74

Some might receive the transmission as the historical documents.
(Galaxy Quest)


I will say this, on the crapification of the entertainment industry I used to love the video games made by Westwood studios and especially Red Alert till Electronic Arts bought them out and it went to unbelievable absolute crap. Ditto for Maxis and the Sim City series. And the problem is for example a “construction yard” is copyrighted even tho they obviously didn’t invent it as well as a lot of concepts yet they hold everyone back on making improved video games.


I can understand repaying an inventor for their efforts if they spent money to invent something and government can do that since they collect sales and income tax but there should be limits below the absurd and ridiculous that we have today.


Would we be better off if some oil company patented solar panels and made sure no body could even buy them or invent them in a university or government research and release the technology free for use by anyone?


THAT is WHAT Patents DO. The ensure the person who went to the effort gets paid for his/her effort. Sure, companies buy and bury patents all the time, it keeps their product marketable.

Take my geopolymer for instance. When I’m finished, I will have a specific formula that I KNOW can undercut the cost of concrete, by as much as 2/3s, AND the materials are generally available around the planet… BUT, I am the one with MY formula. Say I patent it, and some ready-mix company licenses and buries my patent… I can still use MY formula, for MY company, even expand my company, but they’ve insured I cannot compete with their ready-mix market. HOWEVER, there IS a drawback to geopolymer… It’s DURABLE… My stuff will outlive their ready-mix. Quality over quantity. Now, my DURABLE stuff doesn’t need replacing for generations, AND it CAN be EASILY patched, unlike ready-mix concrete. THAT is PRECISELY why I am working on geopolymer for my ‘ferrocement’ hull, using alternative materials. In addition, w/o calcium, mine can be X-ray inspected on the cheap, with standard field X-ray equipment, unlike ordinary ferrocement hull construction.

Now, say I have “Jeff’s Geopolymer Ramform Hull Company”. My hulls outlast any hull on the market, and outperform most in low energy demands for propulsion, as well as rough weather capability. Granted, they are shaped on another patent series, and I need a license to use that design commercially, but, hey, it’s business. I pay PGS to lease their hull design patents, they pay Roar Ramde for his design work, I pay me for my geopolymer work… BUT, like Colonel Sanders KFC secret herbs and spices, I know MY recipe. THAT is MY trade secret, even if I patent the use of it in making hulls, and someone buys all external licensing, basically paying me not to compete with ready-mix…

THAT is how patents CAN work FOR you.


So … the anarchist wants to create an anarchist society on a floating city.

Hmmm. Interesting proposition, @XanderMaxim.

Let us know how that works out.


You have the right idea there. The problem with copyright is that it functions like a monopoly even if its purpose isn’t explicitly stated in the documents. The principle is that one party has the exclusive right to create something based on ideas they’ve acquired. By giving the financial companies (publishers, major studios, networks) of the entertainment industries monopolies on popular ideas, you remove all incentive for them to produce anything of quality.

Why is Hollywood and the Triple A gaming industry so hated by most consumers? Because they take advantage of their legal monopolies to produce low quality content that only sells just because of name recognition. There are legions of loyal fans who will buy the latest trash simply because it has the name of the franchise they love. And that devotion to an idea is what fuels the destructive cycle of consumer dissatisfaction and executive creative control, leading to a complete disregard for the creative process. It’s why I can never stomach American films, video games, television and especially animation. Aside from the fact that politics, especially identity politics is grossly combined with entertainment, the creative industries are too centralized and complacent for unique original content to be created, and it will continue to be that way no matter how many bad reviews and negative press the executives get.

A lot of people like to blame executives for all the repugnant things they’ve done both to creators and consumers. They can’t think within the mindset of an executive and see the game from his perspective. He’s just taking advantage of the critical regulations of the market to maximize profits, even if it means treating fans and creators with contempt. The true problem is that the interests of all parties are misaligned. In a free market, executives would need creators just as much as creators need executives, only this time, the arrangement will be a matter of trust and mutual benefit, lest either party terminates their end of said arrangement. Executives would not be incentivised to impose their will onto creators and consumers, because they could take their business elsewhere and the company will go out of business as a result of other companies selling better works. This is what we need to restore and even exceed the quality of entertainment. There are plenty of unique creators out there with engaging and fantastic ideas for stories. All we need is for the executives to cooperate with them without engaging in executive meddling, and we can only do so by dismantling the shackles of copyright.