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Is the Library of Congress For The People or Just the Rich?

Have you ever had an idea?  An idea that you thought could change the world or make life easier?  Many people have ideas and these ideas often become the things you see around you or personally own.  The doorbell, the car, the computer, and even kool aid, all started as someones idea. It isn't limited to that however, the movies you watch on TV, books you have read and even your favorite TV show, all are someones idea and these ideas are called Intellectual Property (IPO). In America, if you have an idea, you can have it protected, either by trademark, copyright or patent. 

Intellectual Property is the currency of the is also constitutional RIGHT. The United States Constitution section 8 says:

"Congress shall promote the progress of science and useful art by SECURING for limited times for authors or inventors the exclusive rights to their respective writings and discovery".

Lets think about that for a minute. The securing of Intellectual Property is the only constitutional right for individuals mentioned in the body of the constitution (the amendments aren't part of the constitution) The founders thought very highly of our right to protect our ideas. But because of 17 usc 409 & 708 if i don't have hundreds, thousands or tens of thousands i cant secure a patent or a trade mark because i cant afford the fees...neither can the average American. The only ones who can afford the fees are the big corporations and the rich. So essentially the us government is standing in the way in my pursuit of happiness.

That is unconstitutional.

The 14th amendment promises every united states citizen equal protection under the law. The patent and trade mark office should be no exception. We hear about the widening digital divide between rich and poor. We decry the poors' lack of access to basic technological infrastructure. We also stress the need for STEM programs for girls, minorities and the at risk...but what is the use of creating ideas if we can't afford to protect them? All we are doing is creating worker bees for the corporate machine and not promoting intellectual freedom and economic opportunity for the masses.

There needs to be reform regarding 17 usc 409 & 708, so that everyone will have equal opportunity and uphold our constitutional right stated in section 8. This fight is about the future...and who gets to own it...the people or the machine.

Jay Rene of Hip Hop Humanism has decided to pursue this fight.  If you are interested in helping, please contact and put IPO in the subject line.


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Written by:
Jay Rene @thejayrene

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