What we have here is a failure to communicate... I should have clarified; Or perhaps I clarified too much, and as a result ended up saying something I didn't intend to actually say. In any case, what I meant was that because culture and art form have no objective material existence (that is, they are conceptual), they cannot be kept or transferred in an economic sense: Bought, sold, or owned. Just a side note: Ibises are not owls. You are on the right track, though. The ancient Greeks did appropriate many deity-forms and myths from the Egyptians, and adopted those ideas into their own mythos, as did the Romans from the Greeks much later. This isn't stealing, because the Egyptians couldn't "own" concepts. In merely exposing Greeks to their myths and forms of religion, the Egyptians essentially freely and voluntarily gave away these concepts, which the Greeks could accept or throw into the trash-bin of history. To draw a modern parallel from this, African Americans do not (and never did) "own" hip hop, because hip hop is an idea, a concept; In exposing other groups of people to this art form and culture, they freely gave away the idea of hip hop (losing nothing in the process). This idea was then possessed by everyone exposed to it, to be accepted or discarded. Some chose to incorporate the concept of hip hop into their own lives, others chose to discard it. What this is ultimately about is intellectual property. I assert that there is no such thing as intellectual property. In this sense, another related parallel is computer software, or digital music files. I'll simplify the matter for purposes of explanation. Suppose I buy a compact disc from a store. The ideas (concepts) on the CD were originally the artists, which upon recording to a medium then became the property of the recording studio. Not the idea itself, but the actual physical medium of the recording became the studio's property. This medium was then sold to a distributor, who sold it to a music store, who then sold the medium (the CD) to me. I now am the exclusive and sole owner of this particular individual copy of the CD. However, while I bought the medium on which an idea (concept, data) is contained, the idea itself is freely given, just as freely as if I had heard the musician performing in the subway. Through the use of my personal labor and resources, I might have the capability of producing copies of the idea (freely given) contained on the medium I own (the CD I bought) and transferring this idea either directly to other individuals (for free or for a fee) or onto another medium (other blank CD's that I also own.) In doing so, no one has lost anything to which they have an actual property right in. The original artist still has the idea of the songs in their head; They've lost nothing. The recording studio still has the idea of the songs recorded on a master copy of the CD; They've lost nothing. The distributor and music store still have the copies of the CD that they have not transferred property right to through sale; They've lost nothing. All that can be said to be "lost" are potential sales of additional copies of the CD, but no one can claim any property right in potential sales. No one can own property in the will of people who MIGHT buy their product. So, what have I done in making copies of a CD and distributing it (either for free or for a mutually agreed upon price)? I've simply used my labor and resources upon a commodity that I own sole rights to (in this case, the CD ceases to be a consumer good and becomes a capital good) to engage in free competition with others upon the market. This post may seem to have veered drastically off-topic, but I think it will be self-evident to the informed reader how the concept of intellectual property relates to the free transference of concepts in general, and culture in specific. Sorry for the previous confusion and inconsistency in my argument. In my effort to be precise and clear, I muddied the waters more.