I didn't want to hijack the other thread, so... One thing people lose sight of with respect to Intellectual Property generally is that the systems we have are supposed to have a public benefit. That is, in fact, a core principle underlying the systems we have. The U.S. Constitution makes this clear in the clause that gives Congress the power to establish the copyright and patent systems: "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries." Trademarks aren't mentioned there, and the system is a bit different (although we have a federal registration system, trademark protection also still comes into being under common law and state law regimes). The public benefit is an overriding consideration of the trademark system as well. The idea is that the consumer can see a trademark and know that any goods bearing that mark come from the same source. The consumer can then associate any impressions they have, good or bad, with that mark and have a reasonable expectation that it is consistent and you don't have ten companies using the same mark on the same goods. If you try to register a mark too similar to someone else's, the test the Trademark Office will use in deciding whether to allow it is whether the public is likely to be confused into thinking that your goods originated from, or are somehow associated with the other entity's products. If you want to license a trademark, you have to have provisions ensuring quality standards and policing of the mark by the licensor, so that the public's ability to rely on the mark as an indicator of source and/or quality isn't compromised. Copyright terms were initially fourteen years, with a fourteen year extension allowable. After that, the public received the benefit of the work in an unlimited fashion. I think that's too short, and it was expanded over the years. Now, it is too long, and we're more interested in protecting corporate interests instead of balancing the interests of content creators against those of the public at large. My personal preference is still for a fairly long term - life of the author plus maybe 25 years. You can still come up with some seemingly unfair fact scenarios under that term, but you can do that for any of them. The fact that we have so many works written in 1923 that are potentially still under copyright, or whose status is almost impossible for the average person to determine, strikes me as wrong. The vast majority of those works all ought to be in the public domain by now. Patent system - same rationale. People are encouraged to innovate, and you're going to get a 17 year or so monopoly in exchange from doing so. After that, the public gets unlimited benefit of what you patented. It also encouraged people to bring inventions out into the open (thus, "patent"), which was particularly important during a large part of our history when industrial entities would keep innovations secret and behind closed doors (innovations in manufacturing processes, etc). Part of the goal of a patent system is to encourage such entities to describe their innovation to the world in exchange for a limited-time monopoly granted by the government. Owners of intellectual property - patent, trademark, copyright, trade secret - tend to view the system as one purely of protection for them. They see that as a moral purpose behind the system. That's just not an accurate viewpoint in terms of the historical public policy, nor is it the correct one intellectually, in my view. We're all writers here - content creators - but we're also all consumers. We should be aware of, and advocates for, the balancing of the rights of creators versus the public benefit. That's what the whole system is meant to be about, but big money tied up in IP has increasingly pushed the public benefit out of the picture.