Was Germany\’s phenomenal growth partly caused by an absence of copyrights and patents?

Der Spiegel thinks so.

I\’d paste it here, but it\’s copyrighted!

1 thought on “Snigger”

  1. The real difference that helped German publishing and technical-knowledge dissemination is hidden in the Spiegel story there, unnoticed.

    When Germany was composed of lots of separate princedoms you had an ideal situation for the dissemination of knowledge, known to ecologists as a species pump. Local protection in one German-speaking territory would help to protect writers and publishers from loss, while differences between territories enabled plagiarism and reprinting, spreading knowledge.

    So the _correct_ answer is that neither a universally-applied copyright regime, _nor_ a state of complete laissez faire where no content producers are safe from copying, disseminates knowledge best. It is a patchwork situation which both protects content producers and optimises spreaders of existing knowledge. The German scholar quoted here overlooks the role of English-speaking colonies worldwide outside England in providing that other environment for recopying and disseminating.

    If there are both legally secure bases within which content producers can recover costs and make profits, and also copiers and disseminators, then a trade-off emerges between publishing new knowledge and spreading it widely, stopping either producer or consumer from enjoying too much power over knowledge.

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