The Pot Calling the Kettle Grey

Universal is suing a porn company:

The copyright owner of the mega-selling book, Fifty Shades of Grey, and Universal Studios, which owns movie rights, aren’t happy with a porn film titled Fifty Shades of Grey: A XXX Adaptation.

In the new lawsuit, Fifty Shades Ltd. and Universal point to that quote as proof of . . . → Read More: The Pot Calling the Kettle Grey

The Music Industry is Dying

A California district court has ruled that it’s definitely still not okay to steal from people in the music industry, even if they’re just lowly music publishers. Judge George H. Wu served LiveUniverse.com and its owner, MySpace co-founder Brad Greenspan, with a $6.6 million default judgment on Tuesday for posting the lyrics to 528 . . . → Read More: The Music Industry is Dying

Does Piracy Harm Sales?

That’s the question asked by Michael Smith.  He doesn’t do a very good job answering:

My colleague, Rahul Telang, and I recently finished a paper reviewing the academic research on the impact of piracy on sales. Our review finds that, when viewed as a whole, the academic literature strongly suggests that piracy harms media . . . → Read More: Does Piracy Harm Sales?

A Patently Good Idea

From Gigaom:

A U.S. judge yesterday threw aside a much-anticipated trial between Apple and Google-owned Motorola Mobility over smartphone patents. The decision and a blog comment by the same judge could prove to be a watershed moment for a U.S. patent system that has spiraled out of control.

In his remarkable ruling, U.S. Circuit . . . → Read More: A Patently Good Idea

The Great Stagnation by Tyler Cowen

The central thesis of Cowen’s book is that the recent economic downturn is mostly due to the law of diminishing marginal returns.  The metaphor he uses to explain this is that of an orchard.  In any orchard, some of the hanging fruit is closer to the ground than other fruit.  The natural tendency is . . . → Read More: The Great Stagnation by Tyler Cowen

Could This Patent Actually Be Beneficial?

For most of my life, I ignored/accepted it, but since I’ve become interested, every argument — moral or practical — that I’ve seen for “intellectual property” has collapsed under even nominal scrutiny. IP doesn’t protect anything resembling justifiable claims to property rights, nor does it, as its supporters love to claim, “spur innovation.”

At . . . → Read More: Could This Patent Actually Be Beneficial?

Women and Patents

Consider this abstract:

We investigate women’s underrepresentation among holders of commercialized patents: only 5.5% of holders of such patents are female. Using the National Survey of College Graduates 2003, we find only 7% of the gap is accounted for by women’s lower probability of holding any science or engineering degree, because women with such . . . → Read More: Women and Patents

Greg Mankiw: Ignoramus or Liar?

How else to explain this nonsense:

The anti-SOPA crowd argues that this is a matter of basic liberty. But it’s not. In a free society, you don’t have the freedom to steal your neighbor’s property. And that should include intellectual property. Moreover, it is the function of the state to enforce those rights. We . . . → Read More: Greg Mankiw: Ignoramus or Liar?

Not Much

Chris Sprigman asks how much piracy hurts the economy:

Supporters of stronger intellectual property enforcement — such as those behind the proposed new Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA) bills in Congress — argue that online piracy is a huge problem, one which costs the U.S. economy between $200 and . . . → Read More: Not Much

Betting on the Wrong Side of the Market

Here’s some bad advice:

You don’t have to shell out hundreds of dollars every year to watch your favorite shows. This year, consider canceling your cable and taking advantage of several free and low-cost entertainment services. The website Hulu, for instance, lets you watch a variety of hit shows for free such as Glee, . . . → Read More: Betting on the Wrong Side of the Market