Cut It Off

Episode 3 · January 10th, 2014 · 1 hr 3 mins

About this Episode

Should we just get rid of intellectual property law altogether? IP scholar Paul Heald, joining us from his home in Illinois, doesn’t think so. But what should we do about patent trolls? Is it even feasible to create virtual fences around ideas? Paul suggests that patent should work a bit more like copyright (which we all think is broken) and should be used to encourage exchange. The conversation ranges from trade secrets, to programmers, to the invention of the airplane. Turning to the runaway train that is copyright law, Paul tells us his spouse was a plaintiff in the disastrously decided Eldred v. Ashcroft. We talk about Paul’s studies of bad audiobooks, the public domain, the copyrighting of the bible, and a long-forgotten playwright named Shakespeare. Could the public domain, if copyright were sensibly limited, compete substantially with new works? Christian says “more and more” a lot. Paul previews his new study, which involves adult films.

This show’s links: