Mother Jones has a short article listing some of the stranger side effects of today’s intellectual property laws in the United States.
NEARLY 20% of the 23,688 known human genes are patented in the United States. Private companies hold 63% of those patents.
RENTAMARK.COM makes money by claiming ownership of 10,000 phrases, including “chutzpah,” “casual Fridays,” “.com,” “fraud investigation,” and “big breasts.”
MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.’s estate charges academic authors $50 for each sentence of the “I Have a Dream” speech that they reprint.
Although I must say, they’re wrong about the Bettman Archive: it isn’t buried underground to deny the world its treasures, but to preserve it. But the other examples are sadly true – yes, most people have never heard “I Have a Dream”, unless their school downloaded it (illegally, according to copyright laws).