The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
11 Points

Intellectual Property should not be monopolized

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/30/2011 Category: Technology
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,166 times Debate No: 18125
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (1)
Votes (2)




Intellectual Property such as patents and copyrights should not have a monopoly over their potential competitors. Just because someone made the discovery first, or has the money to buy the rights of the technology, they should not be given an unfair advantage of the market.

Companies such as Macintosh have patents on the "tablet", which makes it harder for other developers to create similar products without being sued for "stealing" the idea of that type of product. Just because Apple was the first to sell a widely popular tablet computer doesn't mean other companies cannot use similar technologies to create their own versions. Laws that protect intellectual property sounds good on the surface, but in reality it just slows down innovation of new products and technology, and hurts the economy because of a monopoly created due to ownership of patents and copyrights. Knowledge and information is power and laws that restrict free use of knowledge ultimately hurts everyone.


I would first like to thank my opponent for instigating this debate. I sincerely hope it turns out to be a fruitful one. Since my opponent failed to post definitions, I will go on ahead and take that liberty.

Definitions: Intellectual property: property (as an idea, invention, or process) that derives from the work of the mind or intellect; also : an application, right, or registration relating to this.

Since the resolution states: “Intellectual Property should not be monopolized” and my opponent is the author of this resolution I find it odd that he did not seem to look up the definition of “intellectual property”, or he probably would not have started this debate.

R1: My opponent’s only discernable “contention” is that copyrights on intellectual property make producing similar goods more difficult.

I’m having a hard time discerning what my opponent’s problem with copyrighting is. He says that’s “ companies such as Macintosh have patents on the "tablet", which makes it harder for other developers to create similar products without being sued for "stealing" the idea of that type of product.”

My response to this argument is simple; he has not shown any reasonable harm. Sure copyrights and patents prevent others, from reaping the benefits of another’s blood sweat and tears. What is the harm in this? In a capitalist society people ought to be rewarded for ingenuity and entrepreneurship. My opponent’s resolution would strip this country of it’s most valuable asset: a populace that has proper incentive to innovate.

Other tablets exist, so Macintosh/Apple does not have a monopoly on the product, which makes his example irrelevant to the resolution. [1]

As my opponent does not make any other assertions, and as the burden of proof rests on his shoulders, I shall now move on to my case.

C1: Eliminating patents and/or copyrights would be detrimental to those working in “creative industries”

This is why it is important to define key terms in any debate. My opponent likely foresaw an argument based solely on technical innovation (which I will address later) however, he failed to specify in his opening argument that he wanted technical arguments only. I will therefore prove that eliminating patents and/or copyrights has negative implications on not only the lives of individual American citizens, but also, by extension undermines the economic prosperity of the United States as a whole.

SC1. Authors- my definition of intellectual property clearly states that ideas (especially profitable ones) fall under its jurisdiction. This can be considered reasonable for several reasons, I will provide just two very specific instances that clearly demonstrate why copyrights are a necessary precaution. J.K. Rowling is well-known for her best-selling series Harry Potter. She s also known for her amicable, even endearing relationship with her mega fan base. She allows fans to write “fanfiction” as long as they do not intend on profiting from her “brainchild.” [2]. Rowling did however sue Harry Potter Lexicon because [Harry Potter Lexicon] planned on releasing an all-inclusive encyclopedia of “all things Potter” (so to speak), when Rowling herself planned on dong the exact same thing, (publishing an encyclopedia) while donating on subsequent proceeds to charity. [3] [4]

Stephanie Meyer, also well known for her best-selling fantasy series “The Twilight Saga” describes herself as “extremely sad” and “unable to go on” as well as stressing that “[the copyright infringement] was a huge violation of [her] rights as an author” [5]

SC2: Ridding the world of copyrights would do away with much of American entertainment.

If there were no consequences for pirating movies, for example there would be no incentive for movie companies to produce high quality or big budget movies, simply because they would not make money. To rid the U.S. of it’s copyright laws the same as making pirating anything legal. In the free-for-all paradigm my opponent’s resolution seeks to create, we would see the degradation of brands that become synonymous with quality. A bag branded with “Gucci” could be made by someone down in his basement.

I could go on for pages and pages on harms, but I feel that any further argumentation on my part would be an extrapolation. Nearly every company in The United States is protected by some copyright or patent. To take those away would severely affect desire for innovation. Remember that the burden of proof is on Aff, and yet he has not proven anything. He’s just made unfounded statements. Vote Neg.

Sources: (lust one example of many)

Debate Round No. 1


I understand that copyrights and patents are needed, but what I am mainly arguing is at the extent the law should go to enforce it. The way I look at it is whoever gets there first and receives the first patent; by nature has a monopoly for the product. With the example of the tablets, I understand that there are other products of the same nature. Look at it this way, the iPad was the first modern tablet, as soon as it was patent, doors for innovation of tablets started to close. Now if you make a tablet you can't do this, this, or that because it would be stealing the ideas of other existing products, therefore now that there are a few different models of tablets, for me to go and make my own, I would have to be careful and could not use every idea I came up with, because it might be infringing copyright laws, that is proof that patents slow innovation of new products in a pre-existing field.

The law had to change for patents on cars. If the patent said that it was someone's idea to have a motor spinning four wheels, then there would only be one type of car. Now to build a car, the only innovation that occurs is the shape of the car, all the parts that is uses, like the motor, have patents on them, so in order to make a new car, the car company has to make a deal with all of the individual companies that hold the patents for their parts, so they (the patent owners) get a split of the money each time a new car is designed. Because there are certain regulation that a car must have to drive on public roads, car companies cannot get around buying the parts.

There is a difference between coming up with a similar idea and piracy/plagiarism. If I were a researcher and I go out, do some research, come back and wright about it, it's not plagiarism to say that my result where the same as some other researcher who did a similar study. As for music and books, it's obvious that I shouldn't be able to go and take the same exact lyrics and same exact beat of a song and wright it off as my own. When I talk about copyright, I'm talking about how it is wrong that if someone wanted to open their own restaurant, that they shouldn't be able to call it "Burger King", just because said a large company said, no that's their name.

If someone where a programmer, just like a writer, they can wright complex sentences or simple sentences. When facebook was being sued even if they used the same code as another site, sometimes there just is no other way to code/wright it. Weather someone uses copied code or not, they use it in a specific way to make it work with the way their program runs.

In conclusion, I am saying that copyright and patent laws are needed, but they should not be as binding and limiting as they are, in their current state they, by their own nature, give a monopoly to the holder of the patent or copyright.

Fun fact: Mac OS is based off of Unix which is an open source program, but they used it and patented their creation, So does that mean anyone who decides to use Unix to make their own operating system is infringing Apple's patent on Mac OS?


I would like to first like to begin by thanking my opponent for starting this debate. I would like to thank him for his exceedingly quick responses, and apologize for my own delayed ones. It has been all I could do to post my arguments on time, as college has just begun and hence has kept me very busy. My closing argument(s) will be brief, because I do not think it will require much character usage to show that I as “the negation” should win this debate.

R1: My opponent has certain responsibilities (as the affirmative) that he has not fulfilled.

My opponent started this debate. He is the one who wants to enact a policy that would change the status quo. As such, it is his responsibility to show tangible harms that cannot or should not be tolerated (hence the need for change). He has not done that. My job, as the negation, is to show the harms of enacting his policy, which I have done in the previous round. I showed that authors could potentially be harmed by enacting his ambiguous policy. We do not even know what the purpose of his policy is. He says: “…if someone wanted to open their own restaurant, that they shouldn't be able to call it "Burger King", just because said a large company said, no that's their name.”

My opponent doesn’t seem to understand the purpose of trademarks or copyrights, or patents on inventions. They are preventative measures meant to ensure that inventors and/or entrepreneurs still have an incentive to innovate. If Burger King’s owner or culinary development team didn’t have exclusive rights to “the Whopper” what would stop somebody from visiting a Burger King franchise, ordering a whopper and deciding that they wanted to capitalize on the “Whopper name”? The harm in that instance is clear and it applies to every single argument my opponent presented. If a creator of any kind does not feel that their product is protected, where is the incentive to innovate if someone could just swipe the proverbial rug from under their feet within a matter of moments?

R2: Under the “status quo” we have protections for creators, which is all I have to defend.

Last round, I showed with just a limited group of creative professionals (authors) how important it is to protect the rights of creative minds, and how harmful and disparaging it can be when those creative protections are infringed upon. What reason is there to take the risk in affirming my opponent’s resolution, in which he gives us no clear idea of what he actually wants to enact? I am still not sure of the complete ramifications of his bill, because he’s failed to show what he actually wants. It is not the fault of the negation that my opponent had to spend half of his second constructive attempting to explicate his personal opinions. He has no case examples of when or how the current copyright laws have harmed any actual businesses or creators. I, on the other hand have shown you (using just authors, because the same harms can basically be extrapolated to other creative professions) concrete examples of the positive impacts of the current legislation.

The lesson of today’s debate is do not bother to affirm a bill when its creators don’t give you ample reasons to do so. Since we have no idea the ramifications of the bill my opponent is proposing the logical mind, must stand with me in negating this shoddy bill. Thank you.

Debate Round No. 2
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by poorenglishspeaker 5 years ago
Thank you for nice debates.
It is natural that companies apply for patents on the new products,
but they sometimes apply for patents more than they need to make money by using patents,I am really concerned about it.

This passage is taken from Wikipedia.

CriticismMain article: Criticism of patents
As state-granted monopolies, patents have been criticized as inconsistent with free trade. On that basis, in 1869 the Netherlands abolished patents, and did not reintroduce them until 1912.[32]

Patents have also been criticized for being granted on already-known inventions, with many complaining in the United States that the USPTO fails "to do a serious job of examining patents, thus allowing bad patents to slip through the system."[16]

Patent trolls are one of common criticisms against patents [33], though some commentators suggest that patent trolls are not bad for the patent system at all but instead realign market participant incentives, make patents more liquid, and clear the patent market.[34]

Pharmaceutical patents prevent generic alternatives to enter the market until the patents expire, and thus maintains high prices for medication.[35] This can have significant effects in the developing world, as those who are most in need of basic essential medicines are unable to afford such high priced pharmaceuticals.[36] Critics also question the rationale that exclusive patent rights and the resulting high prices are required for pharmaceutical companies to recoup the large investments needed for research and development.[35] One study concluded that marketing expenditures for new drugs often doubled the amount that was allocated for research and development.[37] Other articles shed light on the problems of today's medical research. It sets wrong priorities in research and pricing, and pushes the state-run healthcare systems even of rich nations to their limits.[38]
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Double_R 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro spends his entire debate clarifying what he is arguing for without providing any facts or logical justification for why we should accept his resolution. Why should intellectual property not be monopolized? His only explanation is that these restrictions hurt everyone, but does not explain how. Meanwhile Cons case was clear, failure to allow monopolization would de-incentivize innovation. Sources to Con for using them while Pro provides facts with no support.
Vote Placed by CD-Host 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: This is only a two round debate and pro argued a different case in each route as Con noted. Con made solid use of sources in R1. SnG is for layout.