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What Social Animals Owe to Each Other

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Ben Franklin on Patents

Governor Thomas was so pleased with the construction of this stove . . . that he offered to give me a patent for the sole vending of them for a term of years; but I declined it from a principle which has ever weighed with me on such occasions, viz.: That, as we enjoy great advantages from the inventions of others, we should be glad of an opportunity to serve others by any invention of ours; and this we should do freely and generously.
--Benjamin Franklin, Autobiography
HT: James Boyle, The Public Domain: Enclosing the Commons of the Mind

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