A Fundament of Tools, Materials, and Processes

In a blog post about copyrighting knitting patterns (which is also saved in our del.icio.us library), author Sunni lays our a very simple and eloquent treatise on a fundamental problem with the ownership of creative processes. Though I am not comfortable with the site’s overall approach to issues of “individualism and freedom,” I do think her thoughts on this particular subject are worth repeating here:

When a pattern is so straightforward that it contains only basic concepts such as “hat–ness” and the two fundamental knitting stitches, how can it be anyone’s property? If any newish knitter can devise the same pattern for creating an object, how can any designer prove that “her” idea has been stolen? It’s the same problem as arises sometimes in cooking: a fundament of tools, materials, and processes exist, and have been used for millennia to create items people enjoy. Trying to stuff those things into the current context of ideas as property simply does not work.

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2 Comments on “A Fundament of Tools, Materials, and Processes”

  1. pizzapelsa Says:

    Precisely! If I’m going to make a table, do I have to pay royalties on the idea of a flat, elevated surface standing on several legs? Where do these property protectors want to draw the line?


  2. […] Enclosure of the Commons The Privatization of Cultural, Technological and Natural Resources « A Fundament of Tools, Materials, and Processes […]


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