Thank you internet. Without your vast storehouse of information my medical outcomes over the years would have been far worse — and you never even sent me a bill!
In contrast, the entire concept and current legal implementation of IP is trying to shorten not just my life but the lives of untold others. More than at any other point in human history the ethereal world of information, knowledge and ideas is the prime driver of human progress. Unfortunately the current efforts by the RIAA, MPAA and governments of all stripes to push through SOPA, PIPA, ACTA, DMCA and the rest of the anti-internet agenda threatens to strangle human progress with a razor wire.
Recently a bunch of online gamers solved a protein question in a few days that had stymied science for more than a decade. That’s a roughly 1000-fold improvement in problem solving efficiency. Not because everyone was cloistered in Apple-like isolation, but because of sharing what was known in the widest way possible. IP is inherently at odds with that approach because at the core it asserts that someone else owns the contents of my mind simply because I [paid for and] read their work. How would human history have changed if the first man to make a rudimentary spear thrower (a killer app if there ever was one) had been able to patent it and sue everyone who tried to make one for themselves and improve upon it?
The destructive ramifications of these crap heaps of legislation are incalculable. The broken window fallacy is too often overlooked for no matter how horrifying the direct losses to life and property from governments, the greatest tragedy is the loss of What Could Have Been.