Can You Copyright Viagra?

by on January 12, 2006 · 45 comments

James DeLong analogizes pharmaceutical and software patents:

The general principle is that if governments remove the incentives for invention and innovation, then (surprise!) it does not happen. This applies to software and other creative products as well as pharma.

This is a plausible point until you realize that software is already protected by copyright law. And for a variety of reasons I’ve argued before, software patents have a lot more flaws than software copyright. I have yet to see anyone explain why software patents are necessary, given that copyright law appears to give plenty of protection for precisely the same investments.

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