Let’s just look at it for a minute.
It’s property that you can’t lock up in a safe and hide from people. Well, you sort of can, but it’s a lot easier to steal–or to claim it was yours to begin with. How do we really determine who came up with an idea or an invention first? It’s almost impossible. So to deal with this we came up with copyright and intellectual property laws and just generally ways to make your life more difficult than it really needs to be.
Because seriously, allowing your school/institution to copyright your work is totally not exploitation or anything.
The point is, intellectual property is such a weird concept if you really think about it. We’re trying to put locks on things we can’t hold; to take a piece of our brain and shove it in a safe where no one else can access it. Why? Why are we such a paranoid people that our ideas are something that we feel need to be protected with the law equivalent of an iron wall. What happened to sharing our ideas for the overall betterment of society?
I find this sad for a few reasons. First, that we believe that our ideas need to bring us money in order for us to be happy–we’re not content with our ideas improving the lives of others. Secondly, that we’re afraid of people stealing our ideas and claiming it as their own. Thirdly, that people justify this fear.
Why, I hear you ask, should we be afraid of people stealing our idea if we just want the betterment of society? On a totally different principle, even if we didn’t get money for really good ideas and inventions, it’s unfair for people to claim our ideas as their own. In the end, we want the money, but we also want the recognition–the glory.
At the end of the day, intellectual property and its laws shows us how we’re selfish, reward obsessed creatures who only create out of desire to advance our own lives. Have a nice day.