Originally Posted by Popo
C.V. ...Maybe he's rich and famous... But that doesn't mean that he isn't a dangerous opportunist, too... He took the fruits of science and then transformed them into something from which benefits might only be enjoyed by the very privileged and wealthy. His company sought to copyright / patent things that ought to be shared at minimal cost -- so that all people might benefit in the future! How many of you understand that this man's company, Celera, commercialized the fruits of pure science in a way that makes the manufacture of universal medicines nigh impossible? He is not a hero. He is a danger to the commonwealth of humanity. God forbid the day when science is totally controlled by corporations...
The human genome and studies of genetic manipulation may be the only way we can "cure" disastrous ills like cancer... Scientists should work for every man and woman in this effort -- not merely for a means of monopolizing the technologies for the purposes of wealth generation.
But I'm not much surprised that the typical sailor blindly accepts that this individual is a "good guy" just because
he is sailing around the world, hmmm... But how many of you really know what is going on here? He is out to monopolize scientific technologies and their applications,
both of which should belong to the public domain -- forever...
Humm... I don't know who you are or your background in science. However, what I do know is that you've made a couple statements that many mis-guided scientists who don't understand effective technology transfer make...
My own background...by degree I am an engineer and MBA...I am the owner of a biotechnology-related company. I am an inventor and I also license the patents of others for the success of my company. I am a former US Government employee who was responsible for performing technology transfer work (work to get government innovations out into industry as quickly and effectively as possible by publishing results as well as making sure that government innovations (in my agency) were patented so they could be licensed by companies in industry.)
If a new way of doing things (i.e. new science or new engineering work) is going to be widely used, history has shown that the most effective way of quickly making this happen is to REWARD the inventor by allowing the innovation to be patented/protected for some period of time. This is why we have patents at all. Note, they are "limited" in time and scope.
When (self-interested, I will admit) individuals/companies are allowed to "profit" from their inventions/innovations, they actually...da...well...INNOVATE! And, when they're told that they have to "give away" their knowledge for free...they actually start hiding knowledge and playing the most interesting academic games. If they cannot have money--they go for power in some other way. Bottom line is that people are going to find a way so that they WILL benefit from their talents. For the good of all people, and the good of our economies, getting innovations "protected" so that self-interested people will actually SHARE their knowledge is, IMHO, a good thing. Else, we just have a bunch of crotchety old scientists with all the knowledge bottled up inside playing their own little power games with each other. Silly.
We can either do things to help the world a large to benefit from the innovations/inventions of bright people (and products of enterprising companies)--this means allowing patent rights (which only have a limited life, remember used to be 17 years from issue and now I guess its 20 from patent application in the USA), etc....OR we can do things to SLOW DOWN mass dissemination of knowledge by not giving innovators any self-interested reasons to "share"....
The "win-win" is to allow them to profit from their knowledge, and to allow ourselves to benefit as well. When they "share" and build companies on their knowlege, we all DO gain.
No sour grapes from me when I see someone profiting from innovations. They're improving my world--and yours too.