Very interesting read on copyright and plagarism in The New Yorker by Malcolm Gladwell, one of my favorite authors. It demonstrates the importance of understanding the subtleties involved in these areas. As a society we have to be careful not to kill creativity and innovation in the name of.... A fear I've had for a while now.
"Or suppose that you invented a cure for breast cancer in your basement lab. Any patent you received would protect your intellectual property for twenty years, but after that anyone could take your invention. You get an initial monopoly on your creation because we want to provide economic incentives for people to invent things like cancer drugs. But everyone gets to steal your breast-cancer cure—after a decent interval—because it is also in society’s interest to let as many people as possible copy your invention; only then can others learn from it, and build on it, and come up with better and cheaper alternatives."