Jefferson on Inventions

He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me. That ideas should freely spread from one to another over the globe, for the moral and mutual instruction of man, and improvement of his condition, seems to have been peculiarly and benevolently designed by nature, when she made them, like fire, expansible over all space, without lessening their density in any point, and like the air in which we breathe, move, and have our physical being, incapable of confinement or exclusive appropriation. Inventions then cannot, in nature, be a subject of property. Society may give an exclusive right to the profits arising from them, as an encouragement to men to pursue ideas which may produce utility, but this may or may not be done, according to the will and convenience of the society, without claim or complaint from any body.
�Thomas Jefferson, letter to Isaac McPherson, 1813

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by fozbaca published on December 6, 2003 11:31 AM.

Simple CMS was the previous entry in this blog.

User Interface Hierarchies Rant is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Monthly Archives

Pages

Powered by Movable Type 5.2.2