2/12/2007

Intellectual Property, should it have a value?


Apple and the Beatles have come to some resolution about the intellectual property of the apple and iTunes. So the apple value has been decided while many other intellectual property values are still unresolved.

In the archives of the magazine Rock & Ice , the September 2004 issue Ron Olecsky presents the question, what is the value of intellectual property for rock climbing routes? Olevsky claims that climbing routes are intellectual property of the people that created them and that guidebook authors need to share the rewards with those who put up the routes.

Rock Climbing, a common sport in Southern Utah brings many enthusiasts from around the world. Some are individuals that take part in first ascents, and others come to follow the path of others. For both, guide books and internet web sites are a necessity for many reasons, not the least being safety. Each climber that makes a first ascent has knowledge that no other person has. The author of a guide book takes this information and makes a profit. Should they not share the profit with the individuals they recieved information from? Rock climbing is mostly done on public lands, which leads to the another question if the author of a guidebook has to pay the climber that made the first ascent of a climb, should they also have to pay the government for writing a book that includes a climb on public land?

How far can intellectual property reach, should we be able to put an apple value on everything we do or think?

5 comments:

Alex said...

IPR is the modern way of 'Capital Accumulation'. It very easily and legally creates wide inequalities.

Madeline said...

I think intellectual property should be protected. I would guess that fewer and fewer innovations are physical inventions and more are intangible developments. If we fail to protect these rights, I think we are failing to encourage innovation. However, I am not completely convinced that rock climbing routes fall into the intellectual property category. If I hike a trail for the first time, am I then entitled to proceeds from anyone else who then follows that same route? What if I don't even own the land? The level of expertise is certainly different, but I need to be convinced that climbing routes really should be protected and compensated.

TR said...

I don’t think that the person that first climbs a specific route should receive any benefit from it, unless that person specifically specifies they would like a portion of the profit. The author then has a choice to make between splitting the profits and not doing the project at all. If the climber fails to mention a desire to split the profit that is his/her fault. So I do think that intellectual property should have a value. I also think that rock climbing can be classified as intellectual property.

Jacob said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dr. Tufte said...

-2 on Kate for multiple spelling errors.

What an interesting topic. I'd never thought about this. I agree with Madeline that this seems plausible, but I'd like to hear more justification.

Beyond that, I'm confused. I have a great deal of difficulty with the intellectual property concept. If I see a horror movie and then have nightmares, the IP argument seems to end at the theatre door. But that seems arbitrary, so I wonder why I shouldn't be refunded a bit to compensate me.