Context : IntellectualProperty
Article in today's Guardian arguing against Bill Gates's latest diatribe about software patents:
The argument in principle that Gates makes against "communism" starts in exactly the right place. But his vested interests lead him to drag it in the wrong direction. It is as if the Sheriff of Nottingham were to announce that it's enormously important that your property was protected from criminals - so he'll take everything you have that might be stolen and lock it up for safety in his castle.
More evidence of uselessness :
PaulGraham argues they don't matter much : http://www.paulgraham.com/softwarepatents.html