Floating City and Communal IP

I read this story this morning and found it interesting for the prominence given to IP issues. Apparently there are designs in the works for a floating city off the coast of San Francisco. The Seasteading Institute has created a plan based roughly on oil-drilling platforms. One of the goals of the project is to experiment with new forms of government.

The only specifics mentioned concerning new forms of government is that this new floating city may propose legalizing marijuana and allowing communal intellectual property rights. In essence, any artwork or invention created in the city would be owned by the entire city/country/island.

I thought it fascinating that communal IP would have such prominence in such an experiment. My opinion is that this reflects the dissatisfaction many people feel with the current state of intellectual property rights and the perception that IP laws favor entrenched media interests. It would certainly be an interesting experiment to see how vibrant the intellectual property in such a country would be. If such a model were successful it would obviously shake the foundations of the U.S. system which grants limited monopolies to authors "to promote the progress of science and the useful arts." If this model proves successful I may need to find another line of work.

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