----- Original Message ----- 
From: "RA Friedman" <[log in to unmask]>
> Ideas, being abstract concepts, are always public domain.  The problem is the
cultural artifact embodies an elixir of idea and form that are inseparable;
interpretation changes and often can be discussed, but not completely grasped
unless the original, or reasonable facsimile thereof, is presented.
OTOH, a PRESENTATION of an idea can be granted protection...either via the grant
of a
Patent or the granting of copyright on the published version of that idea. The
idea therein
is that the first individual to not only conceive that idea but to put it to use
in a saleable
form (How many people, one wonders, may have had the applicable idea but decided
"It won't be worth the effort of making it work...?!) should thereby have the
right of
exploiting his/her/its "physical manifestation of an idea" for a given, finite
of time!
> In effect, every artist is, in part, a cultural historian.  But, how do you
distinguish transcription for educational use from reproduction purely for
profit? I don't think there is any good acid test. This argument will continue
until there is consensus as to what is more important in a society: culture and
education or rights of personal and corporate inheritance and making money.
As near as I can see, that consensus (assuming it could ever be obtained?!)
isn't an
absolute necessity. It would/should be relatively simple to write legislation
between "rights of limited reproduction intended for 'not for profit'
educational use" and
"rights of unlimited reproduction intended for the purpose of gaining monetary

If I am an "educator" (the definition of that term would be a necessity!),
whether I am a
third-grade teacher at Gravity Falls Elementary, a Junior Lecturer at
"University of
East Dakota Auxilliary Campus #9.3" or simply am creating an educational (and
thus not for profit and no payment required!) web site to forward the interest
some concept about which I am enthusiastic...I should be exempt from the payment
of royalties should that be applicable.

OTOH, if my approach is "Hey, I think I can rake in some coins by making this
available (1) on the Internet (2) in an inexpensive mimeographed edition (3)
in a signed and numbered, gutta-percha-bound, custom-hand-created form
(4) photocopied and handed out by the "Coalition To Eliminate the Exploitation
Of the <whomever> by the <whomever>, donations requested..."

Well, #4 might deserve some sort of fee exemption. The other three are clearly
attempts to profit personally from the use of a protected entity...and, thereby,
should contribute a portion of their profits to the party who created and
protected the idea in question!

However, this mad rush toward patentation (is that a word...?!) has left us with
new and unanswered questions! IF some experimenter manages to establish
the molecular details of human DNA...and obtains a patent on the discovery
(similar things have already taken place...!) is he/she/it then legally able to
charge a fee to any and all human beings whose molecular content "exploits
the discovery?!"

One indeed wonders...

Steven C. Barr