This one of those this thing leads to another. I was reading one of the computer newsletters I subscribe to where at the end they have some fun links to other articles. One such caught my attention, because, well honestly, because it mentioned peanut butter in the descriptor. Had it been ham and cheese, I could have passed it by. Peanut butter is like a five alarm fire drill. It needs my immediate attention.
The gist of the article is that someone “invented” a peanut butter pocket sandwich, patented, sold the patent, and now the corporation which owns it is going after anyone who dares to offer anything closely similar. If you want to read the full article, go here.
The two questions that come to mind, at least my mind are:
1. What are the limitations on corporate greed?
2. What happened to creativity? If we have to patent and copyright was is already in existence, have we lost our ability to be original?
Alternatively, if you did not know this, the rules for what is a corporation were created in England. The US in its toddler stages, adopted them. Corporations are in essence human beings in that they they as an entity can do anything a human being can do regarding any mode of commerce. The legal charge for any corporation is to produce and then increase profits for their stockholders. There are no ethical guidelines for how this is done. That is not to say that some corporations do not have ethical standards; however, legally it is not mandated for a corporation to have them in place.
On a similar note, did you know that the “Happy Birthday” song is copyrighted? If you use it in film, television, or even some restaurants, you have to pay royalties for singing it. When we lived in California, one popular restaurant chain would bring out a cake and all of the staff would sing if it were your birthday. What they sang was not the traditional song, but rather one that sounded like a cowboy song used to herd horse while on meth. For the underlying reasons, read this.
What happened to community? What happened to sharing?