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Minimization of intellectual monopoly (a.k.a. intellectual property)

The purpose of this text is two-fold. First we will establish that what is commonly known as “intellectual property” is more appropriately referred to as “intellectual monopoly”. Second, we will demonstrate that over-reliance on intellectual monopoly is actually one of the greatest problems facing our society, and, along the way, we will navigate this problem toward an optimal solution.

1) Ideas are not a form of property, but it is possible to legally grant “intellectual monopoly” over their use
2) We should completely eliminate copyrights
3) We should completely eliminate patents
4) Trademarks are the only unequivocally useful form of intellectual monopoly
5) We should have an international office only for registering and dating original ideas, without requiring proof of uniqueness from any other ideas to keep the costs to a minimum.

Ideas are not property

The first thing that must be recognized is that over-reliance on intellectual monopoly has permeated our worldview so thoroughly that the vast majority of people (at the time of writing) do not even recognize it as a problem – most people take it for granted and as a natural part of life. The main cause of this misunderstanding is the very clever name that has been given to intellectual monopoly by its proponents, which is “intellectual property”.
     The reason that this name has been given to intellectual monopoly is to relate it to forms of property that are already thoroughly accepted as property, which are forms of property that are physically real, such as land, buildings, tools, instruments, and vehicles. By establishing this connection in the minds of the public, the proponents of intellectual monopoly try to win the debate by assuming its conclusion: if ideas are property then they should be protected by law like [physical] property. And so far their propaganda has been tremendously effective.
     However, ideas are categorically different from all of physical objects because an idea can be utilized without affecting anyone else’s utilization of that same idea, whereas a physical object cannot be utilized without affecting someone else’s utilization of that same physical object. To illustrate this point, let us imagine that person A has a unique painting adorning their home, and person B wants that painting to adorn their own home. In this situation it is impossible for person B to utilize that particular painting for their own home without depriving person A of being able to do the same. It is important to note that person B could possibly make a copy of the painting for their own home, but this copy would not deprive person A of their own painting because the copy would be a different physical object from the original object. There is only one [original] painting; person A controls how the painting is utilized; and person B will never be able to control how the painting is utilized unless a transfer of the painting occurs from person A to person B. This is how all physical objects work, and this is why we have developed the justice system of laws and law enforcement––including the the concept of property––to help people maintain control of their [legal] property.
     On the other hand, let us imagine that person A discovers/dreams/imagines/develops an idea for a painting, and then they describe this idea to person B – in other words, they share the idea with person B. Subsequently, person A creates a painting based on that idea to adorn their own home. Having done so, person A is thoroughly enjoying the product of their work. Shortly thereafter, person B creates their own painting based on that very same idea to adorn their own home. Thus, here we arrive at the critical point of how ideas function differently from physical objects: how did person A’s enjoyment of their own painting change from the time right before person B started painting their own version of it to when person B hung up their version on their own wall? The answer is simple and obvious: it did not change at all in any way. Of course, person B could inform person A about having created their own painting of that particular idea, where person A might consequently feel that they are not exceptional anymore because they are not the only person with a painting based on that particular idea, but if person A was never informed of this fact, they would not perceive any change in their control or utilization of the idea. Taking this example one step further, let us imagine that person C, completely disconnected from persons A and B, imagines that very same idea and also paints their own painting of it. How would this occurrence affect person A’s enjoyment of their painting? Again, this would have absolutely no effect on person A because they would not perceive any change in their control or utilization of the idea.
     Therefore, we can clearly see that ideas have very different operating principles from physical objects, and consequently they deserve to be considered as categorically different from physical objects. To emphasize this point, we can see from the last scenario with person C that even if person A would attempt to exercise complete control over the idea by never telling person B about it, they would have absolutely no control over whether person C would imagine that very same idea and paint a picture based on it. As such, how can someone reasonably consider as their property something over which they have no exclusive control? (The only control person A has over the idea is how they utilize it and whether they share it with others.) The answer here again is simple and obvious: one cannot do so, at least not reasonably. Thus, ideas are not the same as physical objects, and we should not confuse one with the other by using the terminology of the latter for the former… unless, of course, we intentionally wish to confuse the two subjects.
     Having said all of this, we must clarify that just because ideas are not property, this does not mean that we cannot institute legal measures to favor the financial interests of the [first documented] originator of an idea in being allowed to be the only one to bring to market a product based on that particular idea. (Conversely, we could even institute legal measures to disfavor the originator of an idea, although scenarios where this would be preferable are hard to imagine). However, the ultimate point of this section is that the most suitable term for such an arrangement is “intellectual monopoly”, where the term “intellectual” signifies the intellectual aspect of the matter––as does the concept of “intellectual property”––and where the term “monopoly” accurately and honestly describes what the arrangement truly is: a government sanctioned monopoly on products based on a particular idea.
     Now, it is important to recognize that some people might not like this choice of words due to the negative connotations of the term “monopoly” – it is already well established that monopoly on products by private enterprise is generally not the best arrangement for the overall economy. But this is precisely the point of calling intellectual monopoly by its real name – this term has the additional benefit of making us extremely cautious about utilizing the arrangement of intellectual monopoly and thereby applying the arrangement only when it can be decisively demonstrated to benefit the overall economy. Furthermore, this caution is especially necessary if intellectual monopoly is upheld in any way at the expense of the public.

When to utilize intellectual monopoly

It is our position that, in the current state of affairs of our society, intellectual monopoly is being greatly overused, and the abuse of this legal arrangement is causing great trouble for our society through waste of resources, hindrance of innovation, and distraction from productivity. Proving all of these points empirically is not within the scope of this brief position statement, but we are able to offer decisive indicators and begin drafting a plan for the solution.
     That said, we must first recognize that intellectual monopoly has three different types: copyright, patent, trademarks. Because these are significantly different, each one of them requires its own analysis, and we will address them in the given order.

Copyright should be eliminated in its entirety. Copyright pertains to creative works, such as books, essays, poems, performances, plays, music, art, board games, videography, software, designs, and architecture. The reason for the elimination of intellectual monopoly in this category is that it is completely unnecessary to maintain each of these domains thriving. Furthermore, government regulation of these domains creates every one of the three problems given above, which are waste of resources, hindrance of innovation, and distraction from productivity. But to make our case, let us consider the mechanisms by which copyright has negative effects.
     Regarding waste of resources, here we are referring to the massive amounts of labor that is lost to the legal system for adjudicating copyright disputes, as opposed to the people involved (judges, lawyers, jurors, and the disputing parties) doing some other activity that is productive. Additionally, another source of waste are vanity projects, such as a popular person publishing a book of their biography simply due to the fact that they know that a certain number of copies will be sold regardless of how worthless it is. Now, to be clear, what may be a cash-hungry vanity project to some readers may be a valuable piece of self-expression to others, but if a fan of a work truly wants to reward the author then they can do so by making a donation to the author or by buying a copy of that work from an authorized vendor instead of involving their society’s legal system.
     Regarding hindrance of innovation, it is obvious that copyright inhibits innovation by preventing other creators from further developing the ideas in copyrighted works and offering new products based on the developed ideas. However, this point is typically countered with the claim that not having a copyright inhibits innovation even more by not reinforcing the financial incentive to create. To address this point, let us consider five factors that shape the dynamics of creation, distribution, and consumption of creative works.
     First, it is frequently claimed that if creative works are not protected by legal copyright then creators will not have an incentive to create. However, this position is absolute nonsense that fails to appreciate why and how creative people create. Creative people do not create for the prospect of a monetary payoff at the end; rather, creative people create because we do not have a choice. Creation is a necessary psychological function for us as much as excretion of waste is a necessary biological function. If we did not create, we would be absolutely miserable and driven to madness. We create because we love our creations, and we must give them an opportunity to be loved by others. (This idea is a case in point.)
     Second, any creative work that is made purely for the financial motive is not sufficiently beneficial to society that the society should involve itself in helping the creator benefit from it, especially at the cost of restricting other creators who may be inspired to create superior derivative works. Very simply, legal protection for uninspired creative works is a bad business for society. But again, it is important to note that one person’s trash might be another person’s treasure, so if someone is inspired by an uninspired creative work, they can always donate to the creator or purchase their product from an authorized vendor to show their appreciation.
     One category of important exceptions to this general rule is written works like textbooks and other educational materials. To be clear, we are not saying that textbooks and educational materials are uninspired, because we recognize that these are created by people dedicated to passing on their knowledge to the next generations, but these types of projects are so large that they require teams of people to realize, some of whom only work for profit. But even in this case intellectual monopoly is unnecessary because we have other mechanisms of ensuring that the creators and contributors are rewarded. For example, through the system of public education we are able to control the large scale purchase and use of required educational materials, ensuring that only authorized copies are acquired.
     Third, if a society is actually concerned about benefitting its creators, copyright is not the best mechanism for a society to show its appreciation to them. Financial success of creative works and of creators is a very fickle matter. Some creative works can be a singular stroke of fortune for someone who otherwise creates nothing else; in other cases, one prolific creator can create an entire collection of brilliant and lucrative works; in other cases, one prolific creator can create something of significant value only once in their entire life; in other cases, a prolific creator dies or stops creating due to financial failure before they ever get to create their profitable creation; and in other cases still, a very prolific creator with many valuable works may not have the business acumen or may not live long enough to ever reap the financial benefits of their creations. Therefore, considering how unpredictable the financial success of creativity can be, a much more effective way for a society to appreciate its creators is to create a good society where everyone can thrive and can create freely (more or less, partially depending on their results), not just those who are lucky to “strike gold” in their creative pursuits. (We recommend for the reader to explore other Egora ideas to see how such a good society might function.)
     Fourth, even though it is quite easy to duplicate original works by other parties, it is commonly the case that fans of those works––and of their creators––appreciate those works so much that they will not settle for a 3rd party unauthorized reproduction; only the original/authorized version will be acceptable to the fans. Fashion here provides a very interesting example because people go as far as to shame one another for buying “knock-off” versions of clothing instead of the original brand. In fact, some see it as less fashionable to wear knock-offs than to not be fashionable at all. In case of popular music, one can go see a cover-band playing songs of the original artist, but as entertaining as that may be, if one is a fan of the original musician(s), a cover-band is never an adequate substitute for seeing the original musician(s). In case of art, as beautiful and masterful as a copy of a painting or sculpture may be, to own a copy of the original art is nowhere near to owning one created by the original artist. Basically, the point is that people value original works, and we are willing to pay a lot of money for them (if we can afford it). Perhaps one example that is more complicated is the case of books because here it can be very easy to take advantage of a writer’s work without compensating them. In fact, public libraries seem to even normalize the exploitation of written works by not providing any additional compensation to the authors for the mass distribution of the works (besides providing greater exposure). But here too we find that if a reader is a fan of a book, they will want to own a copy of it, not just borrow it. And while it may be possible to print one’s own shabby version of a book or to buy an unauthorized copy, a fan will be satisfied with neither; a true fan, one who values the message, will want a copy that has been authorized by the author.
     Fifth, even if copyright does not to exist, creators nevertheless have contractual law at their disposal in order to ensure they are paid for the projects that they deliver. After all, there will always be an enormous demand for books, music, art, videography, software, designs, architecture, etc., so if a community or a business requires creative work to be done by someone, the parties involved can nevertheless ensure their terms with a contract.
     The only significant complication with depending on contracts as a substitute for copyright is pertaining to large software programs with huge development costs, especially when there is a large number of other potential users who will benefit from the program without contributing anything to the development. One example of this is the computer operating system (OS) itself, such as Windows or MacOS; however, there is so much public good associated with every person having a good OS that there is sufficient public will to create a free OS, such as Linux. Probably a better example is a program used for only business purposes, such as an accounting program, which requires the financial resources of a large business to develop but then can be used by other large and small businesses. But even this complication can be solved through market dynamics. One such solution is through cooperation. If a large business finds that it needs software developed that is so expensive that it is put at a competitive disadvantage, it can enlist a number of other large businesses to share in the development costs. Another solution is through subscriptions to hosted services. This solution is especially applicable in the age of the internet when computers are almost always connected to the network. The third solution is software that is integrated with hardware. This solution initially pertains only to fundamental programs such as the OS, but if software developers establish partnerships with the makers of the core computer products, a large-scale enforcement mechanism becomes possible based on warranty and service programs of the core products. The fourth solution is related to the third, which is an integrated “application store”, such as with Apple products. In this model, if a user wishes to install a new program on their device, they can do so through a store controlled by the maker of the device, which can enforce the financial requirements of the creators of the program.
     Surely, there are other market mechanisms that can enable the producers of a quality, highly demanded product to recover their costs and make a profit, which the authors of this idea cannot imagine at this time. However, two more important points need to be made regarding why we should eliminate copyright even for large software programs. The first is that we should see the greater availability of expensive software products as an anti-monopoly measure against the big businesses who can commission big software projects. Contemporarily, we hear a lot of criticism about how big businesses are getting bigger, pushing out smaller competitors out of the market, and that the government should do something to regulate them. But instead of being reactive, with large and expensive government action, it is better to act proactively, with minimal and free government inaction. Very simply, we should allow the big business actors to bear the costs of large software development projects and allow everyone else to benefit from the spillover to remain more competitive. In other words, we should not be fighting monopolies by creating more monopolies (intellectual monopolies) but rather by letting large businesses bear the natural costs of pioneering innovation. Second, perhaps there was a point in time in the past when it truly was necessary for the maturation of the software industry to be subsidized by means of the mechanism of intellectual monopoly. Sometimes government subsidies are necessary, and intellectual monopoly for software developers may have been the perfect type of subsidy to protect and benefit the creators who generated the most value by venturing to chart a new domain. However, even if that was once true, now that the software industry is mature and we are in the age of the internet, the time for subsidizing this industry has passed. The interconnectivity of all computers enables unprecedented, creation, distribution, and enforcement models, and these are now completely sufficient to sustain innovation.
     Regarding distraction from productivity, this problem is potentially the most significant of the three problems pertaining to copyright, and it is one that has been most neglected. However, it is important to note that this problem pertains exclusively to the domains of videography and software, primarily the mediums of cinema, television, and video-games. But this localization of the problem is what has enabled it to go unaddressed for so long because it was being shielded by the relative benignness of copyright pertaining to all the other creative works.
     Very simply, the centralization of control over creative works that is made possible through copyright incentivizes the production of evermore captivating entertainment products––which can subsequently be mass-distributed at a relatively low cost to recover the initial investment––and therefore, these entertainment products are becoming evermore effective at distracting the public from productive activities, such as relationships, work, learning, and public engagement. To put it bluntly, while entertainment is a natural, necessary, and healthy party of life (like poppy seeds), highly refined entertainment functions very much like a recreational drug (like heroin), and by means of copyright, we are essentially using public resources to support the production of recreational drugs, some of which are even addictive (such as video-games).
     Now to be clear, here we are not taking a position against recreational drugs. In fact, some supporters of this idea are strong proponents of the legalization of all recreational drugs. But we simply do not think that the production of recreational drugs should be protected and incentivized at the public expense.
     Seeing copyright in this very different way may be a hard pill to swallow for some, so let us consider how much better society would be without copyright. First of all, we must understand that eliminating copyright protection for all creative works is not the same as outlawing cinema, television, and video-games. All of these mediums would still exist because people want to consume them, people want to pay for them, and people want to produce them, even without any compensation (out of pure passion). However, because the revenue streams would not be legally protected, the capital investment in the business projects would be lower, and consequently there would be more community projects because it would be easier for them to compete against business projects. This means that more people would be inclined to develop the skills to participate because it would be easier to reach some level of success. People would also become more cooperative because to create various works people would have to work with others on a partnership basis instead of just hiring them as employees. Yes, it is true that for many of the business projects the production-quality would be reduced, but with the market being more competitive, the community projects would be encouraged to deliver higher quality and appeal to more diverse niche interests.
     However, it is important to recognize that it is quite impossible to predict precisely what cinema, television, and video-game entertainment media would look like in a society without copyright because all of these mediums have been developed more recently than copyright, and consequently, they have been fundamentally shaped by it since their beginnings. The one essential pattern of which we can be certain is that without copyright protecting large production investments, the producers of such media would have to develop much stronger relationships with their consumers to be intentionally rewarded by them. But this is a domain in which live entertainment has a much greater advantage due to its direct engagement with the participant/viewer. Therefore, without copyright we would be sure to see a resurgence in theatre, concerts, dance, local sports, poetry, games, and public lectures, all of which are more effective at engaging us in developing relationships, making business connections, learning from one another, and building community.
     Lastly, there is one other potentially significant way in which public engagement would be benefitted by the elimination of copyright. The centralization of control over creative works does not just maximize profits; it also maximizes the attention that a few individuals receive from the general public, such as “movie stars” or “music stars”. As a result, these few people become public figures, having a vastly disproportionate amount of political influence relative to their actual credentials or legitimacy. Nevertheless, the public refers (“looks up”) to them because they are unavoidable components of the public consciousness. As such, they become more important than ordinary citizens, and ordinary citizens become devalued in one another’s eyes. However, if this dynamic were to be at least somewhat diminished by the elimination of copyright, we would see a more self-respecting public with greater confidence to speak out about our demands for a better society. Of course, without copyright we would still have entertainment “stars”, but our stars would be more connected with their fans and more representative of the public. Again, it is very difficult to estimate how significant of a factor copyright is on public engagement in this manner, but even a slightly more connected and more self-respecting public is worth more to society than all of the big-budget movies and video-games ever made.
     To summarize this segment, it is vastly easier to turn on the “idiot box” and escape your problems than to build relationships, work more hours, learn a new skill, or try to solve your disagreements with others. No matter what, the former will always be easier than the latter, and if some people prefer to do nothing but the former because they can afford to do so, then we are happy for them. But we should not be making the former easier than it naturally already is by subsidizing it at the public expense through copyright law.
     To summarize this section, copyright should be completely eliminated because it is absolutely unnecessary to keep all of the creative domains thriving. If we think of copyright protection as a business deal that our society makes with our producers of creative works (because that’s exactly what it is), this is a bad business deal that is impoverishing our society instead of enriching it. This impoverishment comes to us by three mechanisms: waste of resources on legal disputes, hindrance of innovation by legally complicating the process and by not appreciating our creators in better ways, and distraction from productivity by incentivizing people to be a mass of consumers rather than a community of co-creators.


Patent law is a more difficult issue for taking a position because even though many of the same arguments apply to patent law as do to copyright—in addition to some new ones—much more is dependent on us being right. To clarify, the issue of patents is similar to copyright because here too a great amount of resources is wasted on adjudicating patent infringements, in addition to gaining a patent in the first place (as opposed to copyright, which is simply claimed). Furthermore, just like copyright, patent law hinders innovation by legally complicating the process and by not appreciating our inventors in better ways. However, we can easily afford to be wrong on the issue of copyright because a creative work typically only affects the quality of life for a relatively small number of people and only in a fleeting manner, whereas patentable inventions often raise the quality of life to a new standard for everyone forever (as considered earlier, software programs are the most significant exception to this point because they function more like patentable inventions). For example, the combine harvester, if considered as a single invention, can do the work of some 100 people, forever freeing 99 of them to do all kinds of other productive tasks; however, while a new book, movie, song, or video-game may bring some unique excitement to some people’s lives, those people can be equally or nearly as happy by reading, hearing, or playing one of the classics. To put it bluntly, we all prioritize technological innovation over cultural innovation because this is what keeps us alive, and that is why we are inclined to take a more cautious approach to patent law than to copyright.
     Nevertheless, here we take the position to completely eliminate patents, just like with copyright, because the case is equally strong for patents being a detriment to society. A very thorough and compelling argument for this position can be found in “The Case Against Patents”, by professors Michele Boldrin and David K. Levine, in the Winter 2013 issue of the Journal of Economic Perspectives, to which we primarily defer; however, in the remainder of this section we will consider a few other points which were not addressed in the article. Please read the article at before continuing (it may be necessary to copy and paste the web address).
     People who are in favor of patents seem to have the romanticized idea that patents intend to and do primarily serve financially struggling individual inventors, the “underdogs”, who scrap together some revolutionary gadget, which they then sell to a big business, and with which they bring their family out of poverty, get rich, and spite all of their non-believers and detractors. This is a great rags-to-riches story, but this is not how patents typically work and have their effect. Of course, we’re not saying that this story never plays out, and it even may have been the norm many years ago when the state of technology was much more primitive, but now things are very different, starting with the fact that obtaining a patent costs in the neighborhood of $15,000, which already excludes those whom the patent is imagined to benefit the most. Furthermore, new inventions and technological advancements do not typically come from some rogue hacks but rather from teams of professionals working closely together for a business, and their progress would have been impossible without the access, opportunities, and direction that were provided to them by their employer. This is why a large number of patents is held by long established businesses who have the resources to obtain the patents and defend them in court.
     This brings us to two other very important and interconnected points, which are that a reputable business structure is more important to our society than technological innovation and that a reputable business structure is the best mechanism for innovation. Regarding the first point, what good is an idea for an invention if it never becomes realized? After all, if an invention is so good that everyone should have it, then what is absolutely necessary (especially in the sophisticated state of our technology) is a business mechanism that enables everyone who wants it to have it. And if so many people and other businesses are to depend on such an important invention, then they must be able to trust the manufacturer of it to produce a dependable product. Subsequently, as business norms become elevated, reputation of a business becomes a critical factor for talented and innovative people seeking out their next employer. And this brings us to the second point, which is that the businesses that have a solid reputation for rewarding and making the most of the inventiveness of their employees will attract the best talent, they will provide the best creative environment, they will offer the most effective products, and as a result they will do much better against their competitors in the market. Taking these two points together, the consequence is that the competition of businesses for a great reputation is much more important to innovation, and subsequently much more beneficial to our society, than a costly and divisive system of patent law (and this is all in addition to market competition incentivizing innovation, per “The Case Against Patents”). Now, to be clear, we are not claiming that all businesses will strive to have the best reputation, and we recognize that some businesses will do nothing more than try to provide the cheapest possible imitation of a product, but if we develop a culture that emphasizes reputation (instead of patent legality) the consumers and employees will be much better informed about what they are getting and what they are supporting, resulting in a more efficient allocation of resources.
     The last point that we must address here is regarding mega-projects, in that there are two types of mega-projects and that we should treat them appropriately. The first type of a mega-project is one where research and development costs that are too big for any businesses actor to undertake without government guarantee that they will recover the costs through market monopoly. The second type of mega-project is one in which one or more business actors must work directly with the government to accomplish it. One example of the first type of mega-project are pharmaceutical products. However, as explained in “The Case Against Patents”, pharmaceutical projects are only as expensive as they are because of the constraints placed upon them by the government (i.e. testing trials); therefore, there are other and more effective methods of addressing the costs of such mega-projects than the mechanism of intellectual monopoly (i.e. not creating mega-projects out of what would otherwise simply be large projects). Regarding the second type of mega-projects, for these there is really no substitute for quickly identifying the public good goals that cannot be achieved through private enterprise alone and then efficiently utilizing the public sector to achieve those goals. Basically, the point here is that we, as a society, must be more willing to accept that there are some goals that can be achieved only if we all work on them together, and we must be more willing to accept those challenges instead of leaving the burden for the private sector. This is especially true as the aspirations of our civilization grow to planetary and interplanetary levels.
     To summarize this section, we defer our main argument against patents to the article “The Case Against Patents”. In addition, we point out that patents are not the mechanism of poor inventors to take on big business but rather a tool of big business to maintain their dominance. Also, we point out that reputable business is more important to our society than innovation and that reputable business is a better mechanism for innovation than the legal antagonism. Lastly, we must be careful to not use the law to turn large innovation projects into even bigger projects that need even more legal intervention to become profitable, but the few innovation projects that are too big for the private sector to handle should be readily handled by the public sector.


We support maintaining the trademark system largely as it is because this form of intellectual monopoly actually increases good business practices. By helping businesses maintain the trademark associated with their reputation, we are incentivizing businesses to become invested in building a good reputation. However, the one change we seek is that trademarks be restricted to only symbols, designs, and combinations of these, excluding words and phrases (other than the business name). The reason for this change is that words and phrases are not essential to a good trademark, and due to language being highly invasive to the mind––especially through constant repetition––we do not want to use public resources to equip marketers with mechanisms that are annoying and nauseating to the public.

Innovation Registry

One last point we want to make before concluding this idea is that we should establish an international innovation registry (IR) to facilitate the acknowledgement of who developed what concept and when. Perhaps this would be a successor of the Patent and Trademark Office, but due to the less contentious nature of the IR, it would probably function better as a separate entity (the Patent and Trademark Office would simply become the Trademark Office).
     Very simply, the IR would function by “time-stamping” any proposal that is submitted to it and maintaining a database of all of them without any investigation as to whether an identical or very similar innovation was ever submitted to it before. The only method of cross-referencing all ideas would be according to key terms assigned to the innovation by the submitter. The IR would be funded entirely by the fees required for each submission and information requests, with the exception of each country where such an office is located providing a secure office building and subsidizing the office in an amount equal to the salary of one administrative officer and one clerk.
     The IR would be used by innovators, businesses, and any member of the public to help settle some disputes about the origination of various ideas; however, due to the non-rigorous and inconclusive nature of it, it would more significantly facilitate the different actors in building their reputations as innovators. But potentially the greatest benefit of such a database would be to increase the amount of cooperation and cross-industry learning among all of the different innovators and business actors. This would be a vast improvement over the patent system because, as was argued in “The Case Against Patents”, the patent system actually decreases cross-industry learning among the competitors due to the risk of unintentional patent infringement.


To conclude, we will not restate the arguments that have been made above but simply remind the reader the two most essential points. First, “intellectual property” is a propaganda term, and the proper name for this mechanism is “intellectual monopoly”. Second, it is to our greatest benefit as a society to minimize monopolies in our economy, not to use public resources to support them. Thus, we should minimize intellectual monopoly, as argued above.
Egora, “The Worldwide Stock-Market of Ideas”, enables everyone to
– develop their own political philosophy out of various ideas,
– determine which ideas are most strongly supported by the people, and
– find the true representatives of the public will, to elect them into public office.