Private property rights are a fundamental component of any successful economy. If you want a nation to prosper – property must be safe in its owners’ hands.
Intellectual Property (IP) shouldn’t be treated any differently than physical property. In fact, in most instances – in many ways – IP is far more important.
The spark of creation that is, for instance, the Microsoft Windows operations program – the Intellectual Property – is exponentially more valuable than each and every one of the millions of physical copies burned to disc for sale in stores.
But IP is bizarrely viewed by many as somehow different – less than. People who would never have stolen a compact disc from Tower Records have no compunction downloading-without-paying that same album.
And as music theft site Napster first broadly demonstrated – continuing technological advances make IP theft ever-easier. Despite what Hillary Clinton recently asserted – Secret Service agents standing guard on a server isn’t an effective way to protect its contents.
And all of this is just individuals stealing individual items. Some companies have industrialized IP theft on a global scale.
Systematic theft may be the most anti-competitive and monopolistic practice in which a company can engage. Systematic theft generates an unbeatable cost advantage by avoiding the standard cost of propertied goods for which law-abiding competitors must pay.
It creates an unfair, jump-the-gun, time-to-market advantage, by ignoring the rule of law standard of securing permission from property owners before use in the marketplace, a business practice that law-abiding competitors must respect.
It spawns and maintains a matchless online index/inventory advantage that no honest competitor could hope to assemble.
It anti-competitively undermines property-based business models which compete with Google’s free content model.
Lastly, systematic theft is the ultimate predatory practice in that it unlawfully destroys the value of any innovation or creative advantage a competitor may have….
Top Patterns of Google Theft
- Admitted Pattern of Promoting Online Piracy
- Anti-Competitive Pattern of Book Theft
- Willful Pattern of Promoting YouTube Video Theft
- Willful Pattern of Android Property Infringement
- Anti-Competitive Pattern of Stealing Competitors’ Signature Patented-Innovations
- Extensive Pattern of Content Theft
- Extensive Pattern of Trademark Theft
- Pattern of Stealing Contact Lists
Our government should absolutely be virulently in the property protection business. That’s certainly what our Founding Fathers had in mind. For instance – in reference to Google Theft Pattern #5 – from a little thing we call the Constitution (Article I, Section 8, Clause 8):
To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;
So why are Republicans working with Democrats to undermine this crucial Constitutional protection? On yet another woefully misnamed DC un-“solution” – like the Affordable Care Act, Network Neutrality, the Fairness Doctrine or immigration “reform?”
The bipartisan Innovation Act (H.R. 9)…address(es) the ever increasing problem of abusive patent litigation.
Translation: The government is – in diametric opposition to its Constitutional charter – seeking to undermine the ability of patent holders to protect their property.
These property-protecting litigants are the much-maligned “patent trolls.” Of course:
We know why Democrats are doing it. Partly because they have never really liked private property. And partly because for a LONG time Google has generously greased their skids.
98% of Google Political Contributions Went to Democrats – February 14, 2005
Google: The Halliburton of the Obama Administration – February 21, 2013
But why the Republicans?
WHOA: Even Google Has Gone Republican – October 22, 2010
Google’s Political Action Committee (PAC) donated 55% of its money to Republican candidates between July and October, The Hill reports. (Democrats got the rest.)
This is a big change: In the previous filing on Google’s donations, Democrats got 58% of the money.
Over the course of the last decade, Google has repeatedly upped their Elephant ante – all they way to Donkey parity. And now we have this miraculously bipartisan bill.
And what has the Obama Administration done to assist Google and this anti-patent process? Amongst many other things…:
She formerly served as deputy general counsel and head of patents and patent strategy at Google before taking on the job of deputy director of the USPTO on an interim basis, a position she took in December 2013. Then, in October 2014, the White House nominated Lee to be the next head of the office.
There’s a hearing today for this anti-patent bill. Ms. Lee is the lead-off, star witness.
I wonder how it will go…?
Editor’s Note: This first appeared in Red State.