Rights versus Bargains.
We haven't talked about many specifics of patents or intellectual property yet, but as the recording industry goes to court against the P2P successors of Napster, I found this discussion interesting. Not often that we think of individual rights being granted (not recognized) for the express purpose of furthering the good of society.
(Of course, reading Vandana Shiva's chapters will put this aspect of patents in historical context. Stay tuned!)