applying rules of property to non-property (intangibles) is illogical and obviously produces irrational, malevolent, and unintended resultsReally? What do you think money is? There are tangible pieces of paper around, but the bulk of it (more than 90% in any civilized country) is just numbers on some computer -- previously scribbles on pieces of paper. Do you think intangible money should be abolished too? Then why should the special marks in government-printed money be so special? So should we abolish all currencies? Exchanging physical goods was not a good system, I tell you. Rights of way, land and everything else would not last much, leaving us with just those physical goods we can carry around in our hands.
When there is a problem, the easy way out is always to blame government, society, or any other humongous institution and yearn for life in the woods when we were happy. Guess what? We were not that happy. Countries without effective government are usually run by armed militias; civilized countries have strong governments that provide lots of services to their citizens. Yes, there are stupid and ridiculous laws too, but as a whole they tend to last less than good laws.
The hard way out is to think about how to improve the situation, not losing the benefits of government, currency and society in general in the process. Richard is a great thinker in our time, and he has probably thought long about the patent problem. He has considered all possible quick ways out, and disregarded them.
In the end his solution applies its weight right where it is needed: when distributing software. Let hardware makers fight their way out of the thickets they have built; but software distributors should be free to do their jobs without any possible retribution. This is more or less the situation now, but having an official declaration to this effect. would be great for our industry. I say, let us go for it!
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