TaN: In almost all instances, IPRs (intellectual property rights), patents, copyrights, and other such restrictive and monopolistics devices are counterproductive. It is counterproductive in the sense that it does neither really encourage innovation or productivity and, instead, becomes a dis-incentive for intelligent and for diligent people to nejoy the benefits of a particular invention or idea.
First, in the case of a product, an IPR or a patent means that, should there be any problems or flaws with it, the company can only rely on its own employees or engage the services of another business (with its own limited number of manpower) to solve the problem. In contrast, if there is no restiction (by IPR, by copyright, by patent) and offer the product to the world at learge, there will be – literally – billions of minds engaged in finding the best solution and, probably, faster.
Moreover, as in the case of (buggy or badly written) software where there are vulnerabilities, restricting access to the code means that, once someone cracks the code and takes advantage of the vulnerability, all versions of the software will have the same vulnerability so attacking it will be easy. But, by opening the code to everyone, each user will have the opportunity to improve the code and resolve the vulnerability, in effect making it resistant to attacks because not all versions will possess the same weakness.
Furthermore, to be fair and ethical, business should profit only from two kinds of people: the lazy and the stupid. On the one hand, the lazy must pay for the laziness; they have to pay other people to do things for them. On the other, stupid (as compared to ignorant) people must be “penalized” for their stupidity. Whenever applicable, everything should be made freely available to all. The only thing innovators, inventors, creators, and developers of products and of content are entitled to is credit – or bragging rights.
Finally, to quote from Matthew 10:8 [KJV], “…Freely ye have received, freely give” although the verse appears to explicitly attached or referring to healing, raising the dead, cleansing, and casting out of demons. Still, I would argue that since this world was given to us by the Creator without cost, it must have been intended to be shared and enjoyed by all. Only labor (or added value) may justifiably be charged – for all materials are free to all everywhere.
TaN: As a solution to the (apparent) increasing and alarming cases of CCL (children in conflict with the law), lowering the age of accountability is wrong. The problem lies not in the children but with the parents – and, aside from the law that forbids children below the age of accountability to be penalized, is, possibly, the law on anti-corporal punishment of children.
It is not right to go after children when the fault lies with the parents. To bring the age of accountability (for their actions) of children down will not solve the problem because the root cause of (problem) children’s behavior is incorrect or irresponsible upbringing by parents/guardians. A better solution – but not necessarily the best – is repealing the anti-corporal punishment law and instituting a policy of the state to sequester the (proven) recalcitrant child and make him a ward of the state.
Moreover, to avoid being a burden to the coffers of the state because “sequestered” children will have to be housed, clothed, fed, and taught, the state can compel the parents to “fund” the child’s stay with the state. In addition, should the parents prove incapable or unwilling to provide financial obligations, the state can remand or enroll the child into an adoption or a foster care program.
In the meantime, for parents who would want to have their children back in their custody, the state can mandate that they undergo a parenting program and return the child but only on the condition that the parents have sufficiently proven that they have adequately imbibed the skills and behavior to be responsible parents. However, this shall only be applicable to parents who are not repeat “offenders” – i.e., they have “learned their lesson” and do not backslide into their “old ways” of “improper child rearing”.