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Corporate Ownership.

 
 
Reply Fri 7 Nov, 2008 06:42 pm
I am usually one who thinks of really ridiculously sutpid questions (well as my friends put it anyway).
I have been thinking about a certain unnamed company which claims they own the rights to a colour. So my question posed to you all is, can someone or something own the rights to something which is seemingly communal? as in, can a company own the rights to a colour?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 834 • Replies: 16
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zombus
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Nov, 2008 05:55 am
@AdrocK48,
I would say that they could own a particular color. I am not fully aware of the situation but a color can be made using specific amounts of dyes and chemicals, making a "shade" of whatever color. Like Pepsi to Coca-Cola, they are both categorized as Cola's, but taste different and therefore, being chemically different. In short, if you had your own formula for making a certain shade, I don't see why you couldn't own that particular shade of color.

My father has worked in the printing business for years. He has told me that it is nearly impossible to recreate a shade of whatever color from a previous made batch of chemicals physically. Although, that being down to the point of what the eye cannot see.

zombus
0 Replies
 
Theaetetus
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Nov, 2008 03:34 pm
@AdrocK48,
Well, some companies own patents to the genetic makeup of plants (genetically modified organisms) so it probably is safe to assume they could own a certain color they created. Color may be a bad example to use in this argument because colors can be created using many differing tints and shades of color.
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Nov, 2008 03:57 pm
@Theaetetus,
Sure, they can. These are corporations; as Theaetetus points out, corporations have recently been allowed to patent life. What's even more terrifying is that, at least in the US, corporations can now even own the rights to human life. That's right, they can patent human genes as they discover them.

The real question is whether or not this should be allowed. Welcome to corporate fascism.
Joe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Nov, 2008 06:29 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Corporations are groups of people who make money the same way and that is the goal. Money is in my opinion the controlling factor in society. Whether thats the case for one person and not the other is irrelevant. people make decisions that are debated when its for moral, logical, religious, and countless other reasons. Money is just another one.
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Nov, 2008 11:46 pm
@Joe,
Corporations are more than groups of people with the same interests - corporations are groups of people which have the rights of a person without making any of the actual people involved responsible for the corporation. Corporations are also sometimes massive entities which, historically, have been able to buy and sell interest in the government. Corporations dominate everything you consume - from the news and books you read, to the food you eat and clothes you wear. Everything. Besides, it's not as if you have much of a choice. Imagine trying to live a year without consuming some good or service from a corporation. I do not think you would have the internet access to tell your story.
Joe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Nov, 2008 02:40 am
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
Corporations are more than groups of people with the same interests - corporations are groups of people which have the rights of a person without making any of the actual people involved responsible for the corporation. Corporations are also sometimes massive entities which, historically, have been able to buy and sell interest in the government. Corporations dominate everything you consume - from the news and books you read, to the food you eat and clothes you wear. Everything. Besides, it's not as if you have much of a choice. Imagine trying to live a year without consuming some good or service from a corporation. I do not think you would have the internet access to tell your story.



Thats why i support mom and pop type establishments when possible. Many people live without supporting large industry.
0 Replies
 
Mr Fight the Power
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Nov, 2008 08:58 am
@AdrocK48,
I don't know where I stand on intangible property rights. I might start a new thread solely dedicated to that.

As for corporations, they do receive a bad name, and these criticisms are valid. I do not feel they apply to corporations in general, rather just the current government insured and subsidized version (can anyone doubt that corporate wealth and power is insured by the government anymore?).

Please remember that abstract personhood is not the defining quality of a corporation. The true nature of a corporation is a group of individuals pooling their capital and creating a private entity with more financial capabilities of their own.

Remember that all financial activity incurs risk, and that all risk carries a cost. Individual owners often times cannot bear the cost of this risk, and incorporation provides an entrance to markets that may not have existed without it.

The principle problem for markets to overcome is deals with transaction costs. Competition and ideas are consistently bottlenecked because one man may come up with a billion dollar idea, but the costs of bringing this idea to light may prohibit it, and the wealth creating mechanisms of the market turn against itself.

To truly see the value of the corporate model, imagine corporations as methods for communities to avoid the costs of financial transactions in creating credit unions. Imagine a group of workers who find self-management and freedom from wage labor by incorporating themselves through a stakeholder form of corporate ownership.

Cooperation is as necessary under a market as competition, and the corporation and other cooperative models of ownership can help provide this.
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Tue 11 Nov, 2008 09:56 pm
@Mr Fight the Power,
Mr. Fight the Power wrote:
As for corporations, they do receive a bad name, and these criticisms are valid. I do not feel they apply to corporations in general, rather just the current government insured and subsidized version (can anyone doubt that corporate wealth and power is insured by the government anymore?).


How could that be denied - it's a fact.

Mr. Fight the Power wrote:
Please remember that abstract personhood is not the defining quality of a corporation. The true nature of a corporation is a group of individuals pooling their capital and creating a private entity with more financial capabilities of their own.


You're right... sort of. Personhood is not the defining quality, but a defining quality of modern corporations. There was a time, however, when corporations had no personhood at all, and when the notion of such a quality would have seemed insane.

Mr. Fight the Power wrote:
Remember that all financial activity incurs risk, and that all risk carries a cost. Individual owners often times cannot bear the cost of this risk, and incorporation provides an entrance to markets that may not have existed without it.

The principle problem for markets to overcome is deals with transaction costs. Competition and ideas are consistently bottlenecked because one man may come up with a billion dollar idea, but the costs of bringing this idea to light may prohibit it, and the wealth creating mechanisms of the market turn against itself.

To truly see the value of the corporate model, imagine corporations as methods for communities to avoid the costs of financial transactions in creating credit unions. Imagine a group of workers who find self-management and freedom from wage labor by incorporating themselves through a stakeholder form of corporate ownership.

Cooperation is as necessary under a market as competition, and the corporation and other cooperative models of ownership can help provide this.


You are very right. My problem with this system is that by allowing such entities to exist, entities which are bound by law to place money making ahead of morality, you invent entities which profit from abusing people and which are very difficult to combat.

I have no problem with corporations, only the modern incarnation of the corporation. We need to seriously reevaluate many Supreme Court decisions and bring the corporation back to a responsible entity, an entity which is healthier for the consumer and the economy. It cannot be healthy for an economy when certain corporations are too large to fail.
Mr Fight the Power
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Nov, 2008 07:23 am
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
How could that be denied - it's a fact.


It is denied implicitly quite often. Every time someone brings up the current corporatist system as an example of a failed market it is denied.

People are piling on the market right now, when it is quite clear that government has long subsidized the companies that are creating the problems.

It wouldn't be so frustrating if the most accepted solution to this situation was more subsidies offered to bad and corrupt businesses, when it is quite plain to anyone that these are bad businesses that wouldn't be where they are at without government intervention.

Quote:
You're right... sort of. Personhood is not the defining quality, but a defining quality of modern corporations. There was a time, however, when corporations had no personhood at all, and when the notion of such a quality would have seemed insane.

You are very right. My problem with this system is that by allowing such entities to exist, entities which are bound by law to place money making ahead of morality, you invent entities which profit from abusing people and which are very difficult to combat.

I have no problem with corporations, only the modern incarnation of the corporation. We need to seriously reevaluate many Supreme Court decisions and bring the corporation back to a responsible entity, an entity which is healthier for the consumer and the economy. It cannot be healthy for an economy when certain corporations are too large to fail.


We are in agreement here.
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Nov, 2008 12:04 pm
@Mr Fight the Power,
Mr. Fight the Power wrote:
It is denied implicitly quite often. Every time someone brings up the current corporatist system as an example of a failed market it is denied.


I disagree. The current system surrounding corporations is a failed market. Or at least a market that has failed for 99.9% of the people involved.

Mr. Fight the Power wrote:
People are piling on the market right now, when it is quite clear that government has long subsidized the companies that are creating the problems.


Subsidization isn't even half the problem. Take away the subsidies and the current system surrounding corporations is still a mess.

Mr. Fight the Power wrote:
It wouldn't be so frustrating if the most accepted solution to this situation was more subsidies offered to bad and corrupt businesses, when it is quite plain to anyone that these are bad businesses that wouldn't be where they are at without government intervention.


I agree that more subsidies is not the solution. But taking away the subsidies will not solve all of the problems. Subsidies do not give corporations legal personhood.
Mr Fight the Power
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Nov, 2008 12:58 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
I disagree. The current system surrounding corporations is a failed market. Or at least a market that has failed for 99.9% of the people involved.

Subsidization isn't even half the problem. Take away the subsidies and the current system surrounding corporations is still a mess.


The "market" is a dynamic system that is resistant to explanation, let alone prediction.

If we were to look at the US alone, we are examining a economic system that includes the values, actions, and knowledge of 300 million people, which is constantly intervened upon by a government that accounts for over 40% of the GDP and has liabilities summing a full 60% of the GDP.

Are you going to tell me that you can reformulate the aggregate values of all these economic actors and remodel the market as if that ~5.5 trillion dollars had not been appropriated and spent by government?

Quote:
I agree that more subsidies is not the solution. But taking away the subsidies will not solve all of the problems. Subsidies do not give corporations legal personhood.
I count any government action that gives a business some sort of revenue as a subsidy. I agree with you about legal personhood, but hardly see that as a knock on the market.
0 Replies
 
Pangloss
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Nov, 2008 01:58 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas;32967 wrote:

I agree that more subsidies is not the solution. But taking away the subsidies will not solve all of the problems. Subsidies do not give corporations legal personhood.



We shouldn't be extending human legal protections to an entity which inherently has no real conscience or set of morals. A business is, and should be (if they know what is good for them) interested in making a profit. Of course they have to follow laws (though large corporations break them frequently and are punished with fines that amount to being less than a slap on the wrist), but simply obeying laws is not what gives a legal status to a human. Treating corporations in this way, with constitutional protection akin to that afforded to humans, can make it easy for the corrupt actions of executives and major shareholders to be hidden away. Corporations have so many rights, and so much monetary and political influence, that it is very difficult to prosecute them when they go wrong, or to regulate them from going wrong to begin with.

It is realistic to say that a business exists for the purpose of making a profit, and its responsibility lies in making profits for the shareholders. But with this realization, it is irresponsible to afford this entity similar legal protection as a human. People should be encouraged to form businesses and turn profits, but there has to be a certain protection from neighborhood effects like pollution, the marketing of dangerous products, political influence/corruption, etc. You cannot reasonably expect a corporation to regulate itself in regards to these issues, and so govt. regulation of the actions of corporations is required. Corporate personhood just makes it more difficult for this to happen, and invites corruption.

Of course, Stigler's "capture theory" is quite apparent to anyone who has kept up at all with current events. (See: capture theory ) Maybe it's not possible to know if capture mainly begins from the side of corporations, or if it starts from the side of bureaucrats- probably, it works both ways. Politicians and corporate executives are all in bed together, just as it has always been in this country, and will always be when we, the people, continue to err on the side of big business and big government in order to feel protected.

We have never seen a real free market in our country where policies are enacted (or thrown out) in order to work towards perfect competition. It has always been pro-corporation, pro-government power, pro- lobbyist/interest group. This is what happens when political power is based on wealth.
William
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Nov, 2008 02:41 pm
@AdrocK48,
Harley Davidson tried to copyright the "sound" of their motorcycles and actually went to court because another company's motorcycle "sounded" to much like a Harley. Ha.:poke-eye:

William
0 Replies
 
Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Nov, 2008 02:48 pm
@Pangloss,
Mr. Fight the Power wrote:
The "market" is a dynamic system that is resistant to explanation, let alone prediction.


Yet economists manage to find work. As corporations are part of the market, failings of the corporation are failings of the market as is.

Mr. Fight the Power wrote:
If we were to look at the US alone, we are examining a economic system that includes the values, actions, and knowledge of 300 million people, which is constantly intervened upon by a government that accounts for over 40% of the GDP and has liabilities summing a full 60% of the GDP.

Are you going to tell me that you can reformulate the aggregate values of all these economic actors and remodel the market as if that ~5.5 trillion dollars had not been appropriated and spent by government?


No. I'm saying that corporations and the nature of the corporation today bear some responsibility for various economic, environmental and moral problems. As you said, corporate wealth and power is insured by the government - subsidies are one form of insurance, but the government has granted corporations other forms as well.

Mr. Fight the Power wrote:
I count any government action that gives a business some sort of revenue as a subsidy. I agree with you about legal personhood, but hardly see that as a knock on the market.


If you agree with me about legal personhood you agree with me about a particular problem in the market as corporations are involved in the market.
William
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Nov, 2008 02:56 pm
@AdrocK48,
One of these days someone is going to crack cold fusion and the ocean's of the world will up for sale.
William
0 Replies
 
Pangloss
 
  1  
Reply Wed 12 Nov, 2008 05:26 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas;33022 wrote:

If you agree with me about legal personhood you agree with me about a particular problem in the market as corporations are involved in the market.


I don't think anyone would dispute that our market has problems, as does any market. If there is corporate failure due to market failure, then the market failure comes from a failure of economic and political policies. Which policies would help?

Trusting that the wealthy elite (executives and politicians) will safeguard the market for all is like trusting the wolf to guard the henhouse. Everyone knows it's a bad system. Yet what do we do about it?
0 Replies
 
 

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