I think that this is a case where some kind of intellectual property protection may be needed ... because after all it is true that “a lot of hard creative work” goes into the initial design of a thing, whereas subsequently duplicating the established design is trivial. (All I need to duplicate a roadway is a paving machine, so to speak, and I didn’t have to select and survey the route or clear the underbrush, as you did, in order to now freeload upon your entire effort. That’s not fair.) But I don’t rightly know whether Copyright law, much less Patent law, is “it.” I am not sure that the appropriate body of law has been designed yet.
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