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Author Topic: Read this before having an opinion on economics  (Read 23873 times)
NghtRppr
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April 19, 2011, 12:49:50 AM
 #101

You are against copyright laws because of a misuse of copyright laws? Huh

No, I'm against it on principle. I'm just also calling the bluff on the utilitarian argument.

Even if there was a net gain for society, I'd be opposed to it on principle alone.
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April 19, 2011, 12:50:59 AM
 #102

Those guys gave up because they didn't have to resources to defend themselves, but had they, they would have won.

That's irrelevant. The point is, copyright laws have a chilling effect on the creation of derivative works. That's a loss for society any way you care to slice it. The only question that remains, which outweighs which, the losses or gains?

Sure it is. Had this guy known his rights, he would have kept on going with his project, and nothing legal Square could have thrown at him could have stopped him. Hell, he would have even gotten money out of them.

And anyways, who cares about society? You are so prone to look down upon laws yet your referential is the very frame for laws.

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NghtRppr
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April 19, 2011, 01:00:29 AM
 #103

Sure it is. Had this guy known his rights, he would have kept on going with his project, and nothing legal Square could have thrown at him could have stopped him. Hell, he would have even gotten money out of them.

Right, after wasting years of his life in a legal battle, spending all his money on lawyer fees, fighting a company with comparatively bottomless legal funds and of course, we all know that juries never make mistakes, especially when dealing with highly technical issues. He's a fool for giving up so easily!
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April 19, 2011, 01:10:35 AM
 #104

Sure it is. Had this guy known his rights, he would have kept on going with his project, and nothing legal Square could have thrown at him could have stopped him. Hell, he would have even gotten money out of them.

Right, after wasting years of his life in a legal battle, spending all his money on lawyer fees, fighting a company with comparatively bottomless legal funds and of course, we all know that juries never make mistakes, especially when dealing with highly technical issues. He's a fool for giving up so easily!

Assuming a company however wealthy they are would bother prosecuting a case they know they can't win, literally burning money over a project they haven't made a dime off in the last 10 years and won't be for another 20... Assuming he couldn't get legal support from open source developers groups... Knowing Square can't use any measure of force to stop his project without a court order...

It is not as one sided as you like to present it. Moreover, what you are pointing at is an abuse of judiciary institutions, not an abusive law as you pretend it to be.

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NghtRppr
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April 19, 2011, 01:16:59 AM
 #105

The point is, it's still a gamble, one that not everyone is willing to take. Therefore, it has a chilling effect, as evidenced by my example, of which there are numerous others in other industries. There's a loss for society, plain and simple. The only question that remains is whether the net is a gain or loss.

I'm not interested in clubbing you over the head with anymore examples. Either demonstrate it's a net gain, net loss or admit you don't know which it is.
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April 19, 2011, 01:17:48 AM
 #106

The "right to copy" is not a right, but a privilage, and as such cannot be seperated from the current government/corporate collusion.

Perhaps not, but it could be derived from the right to property, depending on what defines property.

So define property without exclusivity of use and without exclusivity of resource, and you might be able to define it such that the term is can both refer to historical examples of property and IP.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
estevo
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April 19, 2011, 01:38:03 AM
 #107

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Yet that property is very real. So very real that you want to take it to use it for yourself, and are making a point at not caring what I have to say about it.
Information is real and useful, it's just not property.

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Do mathematicians "create" theorems? [...]
If I rediscover it, it is mine to use.
You know that is not how IP works, right?

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Laws of nature are for anyone to use if they can so manage. I am a painter and I come up with a piece. Now I choose to charge people to come and see it. I am not pretending dominion over paint, canvas or the technique I used to produce my painting.
Yet the equivalent of those could conceivably be patentable in other disciplines.

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I am pretending property over the original alignment of colors that is the picture I have come up with.
And while I will support your work if I like it, I am not recognizing any such claim, much less accepting its enforcement.

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Then you come along, take a picture under the pretense that I cannot restrict access to that piece, that it somehow belongs to everyone, and god knows what else.
The physical object is yours.  You can restrict access to it, and, for example, forbid anyone to enter your house with a camera.  But once you expose it in a museum with no such restrictions, for example, you have no business forbidding anyone from circulating pictures of it.  I don't think art history books are paying royalties to the artists in illustrations, or their families.

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You take the stance that originality does not exist, that voluntary alignment of objects hold no meaning nor value, that a thousand monkeys with a typewriter and infinite time can come up the whole of Shakespear's work,
Nope, nope and nope.  Originality exists.  Voluntary alignment of objects may be meaningful and valuable.  It's just not property.  It's not something that can be taken from the author by the act of reproducing it.

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and then pretend that I am calling dibs on words and semantics.
I think you're mixing me up with someone else here?

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When was the last time that anybody got rich by patenting a programming language?  Aren't these useful inventions?  Don't they get invented all the time?
Programming languages were invented for the very purpose of being spread. You are oblivious to the intention of the creator, thinking that intangible creation were made for masses benefit, at the cost of its creator's time, effort and resources.
My point here was that useful stuff gets created even without the financial incentive of IP laws.

In general, I'll be respectful with the intention of the creator.  That doesn't mean I recognize he has a right to dictate how his creations will be used (or not) once they have entered public circulation.

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That is their very right, ideas aren't properties, their expression is. A movie maker isn't demanding rights over the concept of romance, only his take on it. A mathematician knows there is no rights to be held on a theory, but the software he builds after it, that is his property. If you can understand his process and give it your own shot, you are in your right and the more power to you. But to copy his software to spread it at your profit and at his detriment, this is not only aggression against the creator but also pocketing his wealth for yourself.
That is an arbitrary line to draw, and one that isn't that clear in IP laws.  Software patents do try and make properties out of ideas.  Luckily, their very absurdness is what keeps them from doing much damage.  Most companies keep patent portfolios defensively, knowing full well that practically nothing of value can be built without stepping on top of someone's IP.

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If you could reliably heal yourself by checking a website and following simple instructions, doctors would have no business, and that wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing.
Specialists fill for your inability to specialize in said domain, in the expectation of returns for services rendered. The very existence of specialists implies that they were able to profit from their specialty more than from being common laborers, which is the reason we don't live in caves anymore. But we are headed straight towards cave land if they can't make a profit of holding and applying knowledge that you don't have.
So, coming back to the example to which you're apparently replying, you mean that if a website could reliably diagnose every disease that would be a step backwards?

I understand the value of specialization and intellectual work.  I contend the point that it needs rely on the ability to artificially restrict the dissemination of information.

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If intellectual rights are moot, then a doctor has no right to charge you for a diagnosis.
We are still talking about intelectual property laws, right?

If so, this is patently false.  The doctor can charge me because paying him is immensely more practical and safe for me than educating myself in medicine in order to cure myself, not because such scientific and medical information is proprietary.  There is a natural opportunity cost here.  IP laws try and enforce artificial barriers to the dissemination of information to create scarcity.

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In sum, mathematics, science, and medicine have progressed alright for centuries without anybody really needing to artificially restrict anybody else's use of information.

Yeah let's forget the existence of sponsors under the form of kings, feudal lords and later governments and corporates, all that have greatly benefited from said research that they financed.
Exactly: they greatly benefited from said research without the need to restrict anyone else's access to, or use of, the results.  That proves IP laws unnecessary.

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My business plan seems to be sound enough that you want to take over, don't you?
Absolutely not.  I don't recognize your right to dictate what I do with the bits you discovered.  I certainly don't intend to try and tell others what they can not do with information.

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And somehow what isn't property turns into "desirable property" out of a sudden. Well shit, son.
Desirability doesn't make property.  Exclusion is needed too.  The very concept of property comes from the fact that some things are finite and so we both can't enjoy them at the same time.  So we must either fight for them or somehow agree on how to distribute them.  Information is not finite.

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You pay to be taught but you don't pay for the book that holds that knowledge? That is nonsensical.
I pay for both, if I can afford it.  The first because it's a service; if I can't afford it, I do without it.  The second because I want to support the author and encourage him to produce more good stuff.  I will sometimes pay for books that are legally downloadable for free.  But if I can't afford the book, I'll download a copy with no remorse.  I'll buy one when I can.  Nobody is any better for me waiting to read the book until I got employed again, especially if the book helps make me more employable.

This is admittedly a contrived example.  I don't intend it to represent the general case of piracy.  I just mean it's in the domain of morals, not law.

More to the point, I don't recognize the author's, or anyone else's, "ownership" on the end product.  And I don't support laws that try to criminalize something like lending a book to a friend.  In the IP model, that's as much "stealing" as downloading it from a warez site, right?
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April 19, 2011, 01:42:59 AM
 #108

Tell me before you abandon IP-law so that I can withdraw all money from medical research. Copying a drug is dead simple but finding a drug that is actually effective takes years of research by highly skilled professionals, not to mention expensive testing and clinical trials.

Now there is a good one.  So why is a drug 'recipe' copyright but a food recipe not copyright?

Both the fashion industry and the food industry are areas of very little copy-right and both seem to flourish without those artificial controls. 






estevo
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April 19, 2011, 02:05:07 AM
 #109

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Now there is a good one.  So why is a drug 'recipe' copyright but a food recipe not copyright?
I have invented a neat new yoga posture.  I'll tell you for 50 bucks.  That is, 50 bucks each time you do it.  I'll send the police to your home if I catch you doing it without paying me.  Tongue
JA37
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April 19, 2011, 07:12:56 AM
 #110

So, in your world, void o IP-law explain this to me:

I have an idea on how to cure Parkinsons disease. I convince a few of my friends who happen to be very rich to invest in my company, naturally they expect some return from this investment. I then build a lab, hire the right people, and eventually succeed in finding the cure. I then test it to make sure it's safe and get it approved for the market. All in all it's been quite cheap to find this cure and only 900 million dollars have been spent so far. I then spend another 100 million to build a factory that can manufacture the drug.
Then we start selling the drug.
Generica company buys a few pills, reverse engineer them, builds a similar factory for 100 million, and goes to market with the same product, at 1/10th the price, 6 months later. In that time I've managed to make a 100 million dollar profit then I must slash my prices to sell anything at all, my investors won't get their money back for a very long time, if ever.

How can I convince my investors to invest in my new idea to cure Alzheimers? Why should they not wait and invest in Generica company instead.


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April 19, 2011, 07:59:42 AM
 #111

Most drug development costs are spent on advertising.  Pharmaceuticals are the biggest flim-flam scheme on earth.

It is literally all profit and advertising.  There is a tiny cost involved in adding a few new atoms to cocaine or whatever, running some trials and getting a patent.  But it's peanuts.

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JA37
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April 19, 2011, 08:54:06 AM
 #112

Most drug development costs are spent on advertising.  Pharmaceuticals are the biggest flim-flam scheme on earth.

It is literally all profit and advertising.  There is a tiny cost involved in adding a few new atoms to cocaine or whatever, running some trials and getting a patent.  But it's peanuts.

Yes they advertise. Quite a lot. Free markets suck, right? Having to convince your customers that your product is the one to buy is a pain.

But what about the example? What would you say to the investors to make them want to fund your alzheimers research?

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April 19, 2011, 12:03:12 PM
 #113

I wonder if it exists a Keynesian counterversion of "Economics in One Lesson" so to say?

I'm trying to learn as much as possible about economics and so far I have read mostly things from the Austrian school, and yeah I think it makes a lot of sense and it suites my values and opinions and it seems to describe the reality fairly well but I would also like to read stuff from the other side as well. If I didn't I would feel ignorant.

So, it there anybody who know a lot about economics that would care to recommend me a book on this subject?

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April 19, 2011, 03:47:53 PM
 #114

So, in your world, void o IP-law explain this to me:

I have an idea on how to cure Parkinsons disease. I convince a few of my friends who happen to be very rich to invest in my company, naturally they expect some return from this investment. I then build a lab, hire the right people, and eventually succeed in finding the cure. I then test it to make sure it's safe and get it approved for the market. All in all it's been quite cheap to find this cure and only 900 million dollars have been spent so far. I then spend another 100 million to build a factory that can manufacture the drug.
Then we start selling the drug.
Generica company buys a few pills, reverse engineer them, builds a similar factory for 100 million, and goes to market with the same product, at 1/10th the price, 6 months later. In that time I've managed to make a 100 million dollar profit then I must slash my prices to sell anything at all, my investors won't get their money back for a very long time, if ever.

How can I convince my investors to invest in my new idea to cure Alzheimers? Why should they not wait and invest in Generica company instead.

Luckily, you're a smart venture capitalist, and you knew in advance there is no IP law. To that end, you had a meeting with Generica and the other pharmaceutical firms that could match your output. In return for access to all your research, you received additional funding, and a voluntarily entered into contractual agreement for 1 year monopoly rights (in return for doing the brunt of the research). Everybody wins.

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April 19, 2011, 04:45:41 PM
 #115

Two more things about IP:

 - By defending it is property, you're not just justifying the temporary monopoly that would be "needed" to derive a profit from research.  You can hold onto your property forever, pass it to your heirs indefinitely, and prevent anyone from ever using it.  Recognizing IP implies recognizing your right to prevent your new cure for Alzheimer from being rediscovered and/or used by anyone, ever.  Of course this is a pathological use, but if you deny its legitimacy, you are saying IP is something else than property.

 - The world where scientific and technological progress can only happen with the expectation of a monopoly, or even of direct profit from the discovery itself, is not the world we have lived in for centuries, and would indeed be a very sad world.  A medicine or treatment that cures a disease altogether is less profitable that one that makes it chronically treatable.  Medicines or treatments that are not patentable or otherwise less profitable get lobbied against so public authorities fail to promote them or regulate against them.

Besides private deals such as proposed by BitterTea, and besides philanthropy (a big one to ignore), I can think of another obvious driver for medical research in an IP-less world: rich people, and their relatives and loved ones, get sick too.  Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen invested in cancer research when he was diagnosed himself.

You can contend that only diseases common in the rich will be funded this way.   That is also true, to some extent, for the IP-driven big pharma research.  If it's not profitable to cure some disease that is killing millions in Africa, no research to that end will be funded by IP-driven ventures.
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April 19, 2011, 05:39:58 PM
 #116

Quote: "I'm really torn on this. I'm more on the libertarian side but I just don't see the motivation to write a book / make a movie / program if I know that everyone is going to bittorent my file and I'll actually lose money writing it. Not saying that should stop me from making it or the end result would justify IP laws or not. I'm just saying I wouldn't want to go in to a project knowing I'll lose money due to copying."

It is maybe a pity actually that most likely this would *not* prevent profit-motivated works of literature and art, leaving the field to those who do the art for the art's sake.

Advertisers would probably still produce movies glorifying their products, military-fancying regimes still produce movies glorifying war and combat, and so on.

It is maybe bad enough that some things get glorified, that propaganda is so rife and pervasive, without making its production worse than cost free but actually directly profitable!

(One might have to weave the product or "philosophy" more tightly into the plot instead of simply placing one's products as non-essential props in non-essential scenes, which might inspire one to employ imaginative script or screenplay writers...)

-MarkM- (Just a quick try at a counterexample off the top of my head, maybe full of holes...)

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April 19, 2011, 05:52:38 PM
 #117

Here's a couple paragraphs I liked from Against Intellectual Property.

Quote from: Tom Palmer
“Intellectual property rights are rights in ideal objects,
which are distinguished from the material substrata in
which they are instantiated.”

Quote from: Stephen Kinsella
One reason for the undue stress placed on creation as the source of property rights may be the focus by some on labor as the means to homestead unowned resources. This is manifest in the argument that one homesteads unowned property with which one mixes one’s labor because one “owns” one’s labor. However, as Palmer correctly points out, “occupancy, not labor, is the act by which external things become property.” By focusing on first occupancy, rather than on labor, as the key to homesteading, there is no need to place creation as the fount of property rights, as Objectivists and others do. Instead, property rights must be recognized in first-comers (or their contractual transferees) in order to avoid the omnipresent problem of conflict over scarce resources. Creation itself is neither necessary nor sufficient to gain rights in unowned resources. Further, there is no need to maintain the strange view that one “owns” one’s labor in order to own things one first occupies. Labor is a type of action, and action is not ownable; rather, it is the way that some tangible things (e.g., bodies) act in the world.

The problem with the natural rights defense of IP, then, lies in the argument that because an author-inventor “creates” some “thing,” he is “thus” entitled to own it. The argument begs the question by assuming that the ideal object is ownable in the first place; once this is granted, it seems natural that the “creator” of this piece of property is the natural and proper owner of it. However, ideal objects are not ownable.

Under the libertarian approach, when there is a scarce (ownable) resource, we identify its owner by determining who its first occupier is. In the case of “created” goods (i.e., sculptures, farms, etc.), it can sometimes be assumed that the creator is also the first occupier by virtue of the gathering of raw materials and the very act of creation (imposing a pattern on the matter, fashioning it into an artifact, and the like). But it is not creation per se that gives rise to ownership, as pointed out above. For similar reasons, the Lockean idea of “mixing labor” with a scarce resource is relevant only because it indicates that the user has possessed the property (for property must be possessed in order to be labored upon). It is not because the labor must be rewarded, nor because we “own” labor and “therefore” its fruits. In other words, creation and labor-mixing indicate when one has occupied—and, thus, homesteaded—unowned scarce resources.
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April 19, 2011, 08:02:50 PM
 #118


Generica company buys a few pills, reverse engineer them, builds a similar factory for 100 million, and goes to market with the same product, at 1/10th the price, 6 months later. In that time I've managed to make a 100 million dollar profit then I must slash my prices to sell anything at all, my investors won't get their money back for a very long time, if ever.

How can I convince my investors to invest in my new idea to cure Alzheimers? Why should they not wait and invest in Generica company instead.

So companies are not smart enough to differentiate themselves from the generic and still make a lot of money?  After all clorox sells bleach at 2x the cost of others and people buy it. 

First to market is worth a lot, and you can build an advertising campaign around it.  You can also have contracts with generic manufacturers to have them make the product under a contract where they get the REAL recipe and pay a fee. 

I am not sure things would be much better with ZERO IP laws, but right now they are pretty screwed up.  IP laws allow big pharma to charge US citizens 5x or more what others pay for the same thing.  Something needs to be fixed.  Certainly copyright and patent should not be longer then 3 years, that would fix many problems. 

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April 19, 2011, 08:35:34 PM
 #119

Quote: "I'm really torn on this. I'm more on the libertarian side but I just don't see the motivation to write a book / make a movie / program if I know that everyone is going to bittorent my file and I'll actually lose money writing it. Not saying that should stop me from making it or the end result would justify IP laws or not. I'm just saying I wouldn't want to go in to a project knowing I'll lose money due to copying."

It is maybe a pity actually that most likely this would *not* prevent profit-motivated works of literature and art, leaving the field to those who do the art for the art's sake.

Advertisers would probably still produce movies glorifying their products, military-fancying regimes still produce movies glorifying war and combat, and so on.

It is maybe bad enough that some things get glorified, that propaganda is so rife and pervasive, without making its production worse than cost free but actually directly profitable!

(One might have to weave the product or "philosophy" more tightly into the plot instead of simply placing one's products as non-essential props in non-essential scenes, which might inspire one to employ imaginative script or screenplay writers...)

-MarkM- (Just a quick try at a counterexample off the top of my head, maybe full of holes...)


Honestly you're right about the first part in my opinion. If they did it for the love of the art and not money I'm guessing we'd have less Britney Spears etc.
I agree with you on that. I mean it more like "I wouldn't do it for profit" I'd still do it because I wanted to for me or I enjoyed it etc.

I'd love to see what happens without the IP laws. We can look at countries that don't respect them but that's a bad reference because they still wouldn't produce as much if they had the laws.

The big problem is when you have half the people supporting and the other half against. Which is basically what we have now.
Also when IP laws are used to stop a new technology that's about as bad as it could possibly get.
If someone invents the Mr. Garrison car and someone buys the rights to it and hides it so that we keep driving gas powered vehicles then I'm pissed.

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JA37
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April 19, 2011, 08:37:22 PM
 #120

Luckily, you're a smart venture capitalist, and you knew in advance there is no IP law. To that end, you had a meeting with Generica and the other pharmaceutical firms that could match your output. In return for access to all your research, you received additional funding, and a voluntarily entered into contractual agreement for 1 year monopoly rights (in return for doing the brunt of the research). Everybody wins.

Why should a smart venture capitalist pay for something he can get for free? As an even smarter venture capitalist I wait, pick up a few chemists with the proper education, build my factory and can still undercut the lot of them. After all, they all have costs that I don't.  Copying is easy. Reseach is hard.

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