Peter Andreas Quotes

The United States, in its early years engaged in massive illegal smuggling of intellectual properties from other counties…. The United states was a hotbed of intellectual piracy in the 19th century…. It was a way of jump-starting our industrial democracy…. Today we tell emerging nations, “do as we say, not as we did.”

In the early years of our nation, there was not much intellectual property being developed in America. We were an underdeveloped nation, and we took whatever we could get regardless of laws. Alexander Hamilton for example urged obtaining industrial trade secrets and even machines by whatever means was necessary. However in the latter part of the 19th century, Nathaniel Hawthorns, Mark Twain and other creative Americans persuaded the government to join copyright conventions; we had become the victim of intellectual piracy rather than the pirates. Then we became the leading nation in advocating and enforcing intellectual property rights. This coincided with our becomng the leading producer of intellectual property. Intellectual property rights has always been an issue of “whose ox was gored.” The US position is somewhat hypocritical given our early history. However, respect for intellectual property rights, we now argue, in our modern global economy will encourage businesses to not only invest in developing countries but allow their technology and trade secrets to be used in the developing nation.

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