This is akin to the argument that Software algorithms are indistinguishable from mathematical algorithms. The difference is that one deals in no.s while the other deals in words but the principle holds true. So if we do not pay royalties to Pythagoras for using “his” formula then why should we pay for a software algorithm?
It is like paying for logic. It is not to say that it is impossible to come up with the Pythagoras formula and am sure it was only a matter of time before someone else came up with it.
I agree that it must be tied to a particular machine or ‘thing’.