Natural Resources, Gadgets and Artificial Life

Environmental Values 8 (1):27 - 54 (1999)
I classify different sorts of natural resources and suggest how these resources may be acquired. I also argue that inventions, whether gadgets or artificial life forms, should not be privately owned. Gadgets and life-forms are not created (although the term 'invention' suggests otherwise); they are discovered, and hence have much in common with more familiar natural resources such as sunlight that ought not to be privately owned. Nonetheless, inventors of gadgets, like discoverers of certain more familiar resources, sometimes should be granted exclusive but temporary control over their inventions as an incentive for making unknown items widely accessible
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DOI 10.3197/096327199129341707
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