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Talmudic Precedents for Intellectual Property

Symposium on Intellectual Property Law

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Talmudic Precedents for Intellectual Property : Symposium on Intellectual Property Law

Rabbi Bell asks the question, "Does the concept of intellectual property have a source in Talmudic law?" He then cites various real cases throughout history where rabbis have attempted to settle disputes by answering this question.
Talmud, Law; Jurisprudence, Intellectual Property

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Anonymous Bournemouth, UK February 4, 2015

Intellectual Property is ALWAYS tangible property, at the end I am giving classes on Intellectual property, patents, and copyrights and I wanted to get a Jewish historical basis of IP law. And you have given me that. Thank you.

Two things -
(i) ALL intellectual property, that is worth protecting and that should be protected, IS ALWAYS TANGIBLE at the end. The means of production is the intangible part, and so protecting the means of production makes sense. But if there are NO books, no computers, no cars, no machines, and just inventions, there is NOTHING to protect. Hence, there always something for a suction cup to hold on to- for example, in the case of books, there is the book itself. It is TANGIBLE. For software, there is the tangible computer. For music, there is the media the recording is on.
I do comedy. There is nothing tangible in telling a joke from another comedian. Hence, it is not protectable.
ii) IDEAS by themselves are not and should not be protectable. Personal expressions of ideas or developed designs that become tangible are. Reply

Roger Marx Desenberg Tel Aviv April 8, 2014

Intellectual Property is ALWAYS tangible property, at the end I am giving classes on Intellectual property, patents, and copyrights and I wanted to get a Jewish historical basis of IP law. And you have given me that. Thank you.

Two things -
(i) ALL intellectual property, that is worth protecting and that should be protected, IS ALWAYS TANGIBLE at the end. The means of production is the intangible part, and so protecting the means of production makes sense. But if there are NO books, no computers, no cars, no machines, and just inventions, there is NOTHING to protect. Hence, there always something for a suction cup to hold on to- for example, in the case of books, there is the book itself. It is TANGIBLE. For software, there is the tangible computer. For music, there is the media the recording is on.
I do comedy. There is nothing tangible in telling a joke from another comedian. Hence, it is not protectable.
ii) IDEAS by themselves are not and should not be protectable. Personal expressions of ideas or developed designs that become tangible are. Reply