We need patent reform. This self-evident proposition is only radical if you happen to be Disney or Microsoft, much the same way only royalty and monarchists believe some men are created more equal than others.
This is said in light of a jury’s decision that 2013’s biggest hit, “Blurred Lines,” was an unauthorized copy of Marvin Gaye’s 1977 hit “Got To Give It Up.” Did Pharrell and Robin Thicke create their crappy song by pirating Gaye’s earlier work? That ancillary question truly misses the real injustice here, which is the perversion of copyright to punish innovation.
Ask yourself, instead, why the children of Marvin Gaye would deserve to profit in any way from music they didn’t create.
Then ask yourself how this passage from the United States Constitution,
“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” (Article I, Section 8, Clause 8)
could be deemed in any way at all to confer perpetual rights on the heirs of a singer/songwriter, even a really great one.
“Right now, I feel free,” Nona Gaye is quoted by USA Today as having said after the verdict. Yeah, I bet it would be freeing to be given $7 million I didn’t have to do a single thing to earn.