Resource Allocation Systems : Intellectual property – possible solution?

TL;DR=Treating intellectual property as a resource that has a maximum ROI in real world dollars could prevent some of the IP-related failures our current system has

One possible solution for solving the very real issue that intellectual property presents when working in a money system that has money as a finite resource is to change the way we pay the creators of intellectual property.

It is necessary to pay the creators of intellectual property in some way, because we want to continue discovering it – it’s very high value for all of us makes the continued discovery of it a very desirable thing.

The problem is, wildly popular creations of intellectual property result in large amounts of capital getting stuck in a few bank accounts, and unless the people who get that capital are wise enough to spend all the incoming, you end up with the problem described in this article.

One possible solution is to cap the amount of money that one can generate with intellectual property. I can see several variations on this – one that I like is that once intellectual property has generated more than a set amount of money, it begins to accrue unspendable dollars instead of spendable ones, and the people “purchasing” it are not charged except for the cost of actually moving the content. (Let’s say perhaps a penny per movie, or a tenth of a penny per mp3)

Those unspendable dollars are “keeping score money”, which enables artists to still understand how big of a win for humanity they’ve achieved, but because the customers did not have to pay for the content, they remove the problem of a finite resource (dollars) chasing a infinite one (IP content)

Note that I would set a fairly high cap on this. We do not want to discourage innovation, we just want to prevent having certain innovations break the system. We also would need some system in place to prevent “bogus innovation” to game the system – i.e. the creation of a “new drug” which is actually just two pre-existing drugs in the same pill.

I should mention that intellectual property is not always just content. The surcharge for Apple products, beyond the actual increased cost of production, is a example of intellectual property, as well.

It is possible the idea of “unspendable dollars” – “Keeping score money” will arise again, as we talk about interest.

2 Responses to “Resource Allocation Systems : Intellectual property – possible solution?”

  1. Alderin Says:

    “unspendable dollars” interesting idea, but needs a better name, before it gets called “brownie points” or “karma score”.

  2. sheer_panic Says:

    I still like ‘keeping score money’ myself. 😉 Or just, ‘score’.

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