Patents and Copyright

Today, anything can be patented. Apple has protected the hand swipe for the iPad, Monsanto slapped its label on a type of potato, even genes are now protected under patent law. But what happens when patent rights prevent innovation or increase the chance of epidemics? A reform of the legal framework might be in order.

Monopoly on Idiocy...

Our current patent system cannot be fixed; it must be abolished if we want to safeguard innovation and human development.

Soft War...

Software patents hinder innovation and foster litigation. If patent trolls continue to use them to their benefit, innovative companies like Facebook won’t stand a chance.

A Toll on Innovation...

Patent trolls have broken the patent system. Six proposals for a reboot:


The basic flaw of our patent system is that no one is measuring patent quality. Large businesses take advantage of this and thereby destroy small businesses and innovation

Two-Front Battle...

Google has come under enormous pressure over antitrust claims and violations of the German ancillary copyright for press publishers. The EU Commission finally sides with the publishers but it seems likely that Google will keep the upper hand.

Jeopardizing Diversity...

An increasing number of patents on genetically modified seeds is jeopardizing biodiversity. Companies like Monsanto have enough money to build a monopoly in the agricultural field. The lack of alternatives increases the chance of famine and makes small-scale farmers dependent on agricultural conglom

Monopolies in Disguise...

Copyright and patent law are nothing but monopolies in disguise. Their only justification is the promotion of creativity and innovation. Yet in practice, the obstruct the very tendencies they are supposed to cultivate. It is time to rethink patent law.

Re-Imagining the Publi...

Some goods and resources are better kept away from the free market. Air and water are communal goods, the well-being of society depends on their availability. If we allow them to be usurped by the market, the wealth of a few will be paid for by many.


Most People Are Rationally Ignorant

What decisions would we make if we deliberated carefully about public policy? Alexander Görlach sat down with Stanford's James Fishkin to discuss deliberative democracy, parliamentary discontent, and the future of the two-party system.

A Violent Tea Party?

For many Europeans the massacre in Arizona is another evidence that political violence is spreading in the United States but this unfortunate event was the deed of a mentally ill person, not a political activist. There is no evidence of an increasing political extremism tearing America apart. Using

Passage to India

The US and Russia don't agree on much - but they are both keen to develop a good relationship with India. How do we know? Look at the arms trade.

"Cities are making us more human"

More than 50 percent of the world's population now live in cities – and there is no end of urbanization in sight. Harvard economist Edward Glaeser believes urbanization to be a solution to many unanswered problems: pollution, depression and a lack of creativity. He spoke with Lars Mensel about the

No Glove, No Love

Contrary to the mantras repeated by the press, HIV infections are not increasing. We need to move away from activist scare tactics and towards complex risk management strategies.

Perfection Is Not A Useful Concept

Nick Bostrom directs the Future of Humanity Institute at Oxford University. He talked with Martin Eiermann about existential risks, genetic enhancements and the importance of ethical discourses about technological progress.

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