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The Moral Basis for Intellectual Property

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nirgrahamUK:
Kinsella, what do you think Hoppe would say about your reading Strangers book from over his shoulder and writing things down onto your paper? Is there a possibility given your close relationship that you could pester him for a soundbite?

This is a waste of Stephan's and Hans' time.

I have been down this road before.  Stranger would argue with Rothbard that Rothbard was wrong understanding himself, if it could keep him from having to admit an error.

I'd like to think that both Stephan and Hans have better things to do than cater to one guy who hasn't read the literature he claims to use as a foundation in argument.

 

@Stephan, I want to take your course, but I don't know if I can spare time from work.  I think it's the best course offered so far (by subject matter).

"When you're young you worry about people stealing your ideas, when you're old you worry that they won't." - David Friedman
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Stranger replied on Thu, Oct 21 2010 9:08 PM

Do not think that being rewarded for expanding Rothbard's critique of the patent system equates to a letter of marque against the entire body of Rothbardian intellectual property.

What I want is proof that Hoppe is against Rothbardian copyright. Your friendship with him is meaningless. I have crazy friends with crazy opinions who might say anything about me as well, not out of malice but just out of cluttered thought.

Your claim that Hoppe will not refute intellectual property in public and in print is highly suspect, as the man has written scathing critiques of such concepts as Popperian falsification and universal democracy and done so fearlessly. If he really did realize that Rothbard was wrong, we would have known this a long time ago.

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Stranger:
If he really did realize that Rothbard was wrong, we would have known this a long time ago.

Uhm...... a bunch of us have known it for a long time.

"When you're young you worry about people stealing your ideas, when you're old you worry that they won't." - David Friedman
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David replied on Thu, Oct 21 2010 9:39 PM

I also came across this gem from Page 160, Property Freedom & Society, Essays in Honor of Hans-Hermann Hoppe

Chapter 18: A Note on Intellectual Property and Externalities by Hardy Bouillon

Summary:

The alleged collision between the two rights (material property
rights and intellectual property rights) seems to rest on a misinterpretation
of intellectual property. As some reflection on the different
types of usage of goods shows, this misinterpretation rests on
the confusion of intellectual property and its (material) externalities.
These externalities are not, as shown, per se property of the
owner of the idea. Only those externalities belong to him that
derive from material goods he owned before or from free goods he
appropriated. In particular he is not the owner of the material
goods owned by others. Hence the owner of the plum cake recipe
remains the owner of “his” idea but cannot claim sovereignty over
the ingredients owned by housewives. There is no collision with
his intellectual property and their “using his” recipe of baking a
plum cake.

To put it differently, we can talk meaningfully of intellectual
property and intellectual property rights. However, intellectual
property as such—being free of any material “extension”—is of no
immediate importance to business life. What counts in the market
are the externalities that can be derived from intellectual property.
How to deal with these externalities is, of course, a different matter.

http://mises.org/books/property_freedom_society_kinsella.pdf

All persons have certain natural, essential and inalienable rights... defending their lives and liberties; of acquiring, possessing and protecting property; and of seeking and obtaining their safety and happiness. - Constitution of the State of Colorado
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On what basis do I have this right? IP communists never gave us an answer.

I sure as hell did but if you want to be intellectually dishonest by all means continue on doing it.

I have read the one side of the debate bring up the concept of land ownership to make a property argument.  I am not impressed with the application of the concept.  Does anyone actually own land?  No.  You purchase title to borders established by human beings.  Claims to voluntarily recognized borders are often preferable for any minority force versus claims to highly contested borders.  Nothing is owned in a context of absolute control beyond the body, the word owner is often used in society but with regards to land, ownership is a border claim, the concept owner just means the individual who has the most recognized claim.

THERE IS NO RIGHT TO PROPERTY.  THE CONCEPT OF PROPERTY OR ANYTHING THAT EXTENDS BEYOND THE BODY IS A CLAIM.  WHEN RESOLVING DISPUTES, PREFERENCE IS ALWAYS GIVEN TO VOLUNTARY CONTRACTS DURING ARBITRATION BECAUSE IT IS EVIDENCE OF THE INTENT OF EACH PARTY BEYOND WHAT ROLLS OFF OF THEIR LIPS RECALLING THEIR OWN FLAWED HUMAN OBSERVATIONS.

I don't need to cite mountains of literary works for something that is self evident.  There are no rights that extend beyond the body.  The only unalienable rights that exist are an individuals right to control their own thoughts and actions.  These rights are said to be unalienable because they can never be taken away only impaired using force.

When you enforce trespassing or anything else related to your home you are defending your contract evidenced by title to borders.  Since the contract has nothing to do with anything but borders did you enter into a non-disclosure contract with people regarding privacy before allowing them to enter your home?

No you did not. 

But let's say you did enter into a non-disclosure contract.  How are you going to enforce or defend it?  And what do I as a non-contracting party have to do with your contract?  Not a damn thing. 

I noticed no one wanted to touch the definition of Capitalism because you can't touch it.  It is the only argument of IP that aligns with Capitalism.  Anything else is statist.  If the pro IP Nazi Monopolists would just declare their statist intentions we would not have to drag this on.

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Live_Free_Or_Die:
If the pro IP Nazi Monopolists would just declare their statist intentions we would not have to drag this on.

Maybe we can stop calling each other nazis and communists.

"the obligation to justice is founded entirely on the interests of society, which require mutual abstinence from property" -David Hume
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Hoppe with Kealey (who challenges IP as a non-Rothbardian) and Kinsella PFS 2010

http://www.vimeo.com/12599024

Kinsella @ 18:40  (Note, Hoppe does not judo chop him for saying IP is not libertarian, despite Hoppe being well within striking distance)

Again at 36:20

"When you're young you worry about people stealing your ideas, when you're old you worry that they won't." - David Friedman
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Onar Åm replied on Fri, Oct 22 2010 12:42 AM

nskinsella wrote the following post at Thu, Oct 21 2010 11:26 PM:

It is that you guys are almost always legal illiterates who have no idea of the contours of the legislative scheme you defend by your opposiiton to its repeal, even though you seem to agree with us on every obvious example of injustice we point out; even though you favor reforms to the system that would make you appear to be "abolitionist" to most pro-IP mainstreamers; and wehn we ask you waht the eff is the system you do support, you say "well I don't konw I am not an IP lawyer". So it's just pathetic.

You have obviously argued with moralists. These people take a principled moral stand, that each owns the fruit of his own labor and that includes his mental labor. That's their starting point (which is a correct one), but most of these people don't have the specialist knowledge required to know what IP law should look like, and it is really no wonder: you have to be an EXPERT to be able to know that. Very few people are *that* qualified. It's no shame. A lot of knowledge is required.

Now, I'm not an expert in law (although I know more about the philosophy of law than most. I am currently writing a book on the rule of law, which contain a significant number of juridical novelties) but I *am* an expert in philosophy, and that is a requirement. Therefore you will find that I know a lot more about how I want IP law to be like than most. I don't have the full-fledged answers because I am not an expert in law as well, but you're not talking to your average principled pro-IP moralist here.

 

But this is the exception, and you cannot abolish normal morality for the exception because that would truly be an unjustice. So long as injustice is unavoidable, occasional exceptional injustice is preferable to normalized systemic injustice.

NOt sure what you are jabbering about.

See, that's because you're not an expert in philosophy, and in ethics in particular, which is very, very bad when you want to have a strong opinion about property rights.

 

I'm not a utilitarian

Ok, sorry. Then you are a rationalist instead it appears. These are the two typical libertarian stances and it's often hard to see the difference in a heated debate because both are pretty wacko. There are THREE primary approaches to principles and these are:

subjectivity (pragmatist/utilitarian -- unprincipled, ad hoc)

objectivity (scientific -- reality based principled)

superjectivity (rationalist -- floating abstractions)

- The pragmatist says "principles? What principles? There are no absolutes, and hence we need to do what's best for the most people."

- The scientist says "we need to abstract the correct principles from reality."

- The rationalist says "I stick with my (arbitrarily acquired) principles! Reality be damned!"

All these three have a hard time distinguishing between the two other guys. So to a pragmatist both the scientist and the rationalist look "dogmatic." To the rationalist both the scientist and the pragmatist look "unprincipled and arbitrary." And to the scientist both the pragmatist and rationalist look equally out of touch with reality.

The way you loathsomely speak about taking reality and consequences into account as "arbitrary" and the fact that you confuse me with a utilitarian places you in the rationalist camp. You're likely to be "principled," sticking firmly with some arbitrarily stated principle such as "the non-aggression principle" as an irreducible primary and then proceeding from there to create a rationalist system of thought that crashes with reality.

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Stephen replied on Fri, Oct 22 2010 12:47 AM

@ Stranger

Here's a video of Hoppe where he clearly attacks IP.

 

 

[1:13:20]

[Audience member]

I’ve heard people defending intellectual property rights from the same rules as you use. Could you touch briefly on that?

 

[Hoppe]

Very briefly. I should make you aware of a great article by a friend of mine, Stephan Kinsella, who is actually a patent lawyer, but doesn’t believe in patents. That article has appeared a few years ago in the Journal of Libertarian Studies, which is available on the net @ www.mises.org, and if you just type in Kinsella, you get his five or six articles that he has are published for the journal, and from the title you would clearly recognize that it deals with intellectual property rights. But let me say this much at this point: recall, I said property rights can only be acquired in things that are scarce, and only because they are scarce, are conflicts over their use possible. Now ideas, once they have been thought, are no longer scarce. If I think the same idea that you think, I am not taking anything away from you. You can still think exactly the same thing as before. Nothing is diminished on your part. Thoughts are, once they have been thought, free goods and conflicts over them are impossible. Again, imagine what the consequences would be if we would not accept this view. Then we would owe royalties to the widow of Aristotle until the end of our lives. Not even the widow has survived up to this point either, but Aristotle’s little Aristotles run around in Greece. They might still collect money whenever we say A and non-A cannot exist at the same time. And I think I would consider that to be utterly unfair because I can think this idea myself also. I would not have needed Aristotle to come up with this idea, but nonetheless, he was the first one to write it down. So this is the same thing, you are all free-riding on my ideas, I could just collect royalties now from all of you, plus I’ve used some words that you might not have heard before, I might have expressed some thoughts that you will repeat, that you found funny or not so funny, and you will now be eternally indebted to me. I should throw you all into debtors prison unless you just deliver your weekly, or monthly, or annual royalties to me. So keep that, please, in mind.

[1:17:00]

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Stephen:

@ Stranger

Here's a video of Hoppe where he clearly attacks IP.

Thanks for posting that Stephen.  I have watched that lecture series with Hoppe and Hulsmann at least 5 times, and I forgot that was where he referenced Kinsella.  I remembered the reference, but not the lecture.

Stellar work!

"When you're young you worry about people stealing your ideas, when you're old you worry that they won't." - David Friedman
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MacFall replied on Fri, Oct 22 2010 1:11 AM

So Hans-Hermann Hoppe is a communist. Who would have thought!

I read that excerpt aloud in my best Hoppe voice. Either it was pretty funny, or it actually wasn't and I should stop drinking and go to bed.

Pro Christo et Libertate integre!

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[Hoppe]

Very briefly. I should make you aware of a great article by a friend of mine, Stephan Kinsella, who is actually a patent lawyer, but doesn’t believe in patents. That article has appeared a few years ago in the Journal of Libertarian Studies, which is available on the net @ www.mises.org, and if you just type in Kinsella, you get his five or six articles that he has are published for the journal, and from the title you would clearly recognize that it deals with intellectual property rights. But let me say this much at this point: recall, I said property rights can only be acquired in things that are scarce, and only because they are scarce, are conflicts over their use possible. Now ideas, once they have been thought, are no longer scarce. If I think the same idea that you think, I am not taking anything away from you. You can still think exactly the same thing as before. Nothing is diminished on your part. Thoughts are, once they have been thought, free goods and conflicts over them are impossible. Again, imagine what the consequences would be if we would not accept this view. Then we would owe royalties to the widow of Aristotle until the end of our lives. Not even the widow has survived up to this point either, but Aristotle’s little Aristotles run around in Greece. They might still collect money whenever we say A and non-A cannot exist at the same time. And I think I would consider that to be utterly unfair because I can think this idea myself also. I would not have needed Aristotle to come up with this idea, but nonetheless, he was the first one to write it down. So this is the same thing, you are all free-riding on my ideas, I could just collect royalties now from all of you, plus I’ve used some words that you might not have heard before, I might have expressed some thoughts that you will repeat, that you found funny or not so funny, and you will now be eternally indebted to me. I should throw you all into debtors prison unless you just deliver your weekly, or monthly, or annual royalties to me. So keep that, please, in mind.



+1.  

I've forgotten how subtle Hoppe's humor is sometimes.  

"Look at me, I'm quoting another user to show how wrong I think they are, out of arrogance of my own position. Wait, this is my own quote, oh shi-" ~ Nitroadict

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arbitrarily stated principle such as "the non-aggression principle" as an irreducible primary and then proceeding from there to create a rationalist system of thought that crashes with reality.

Your whole post about reality is BS.  There is only one reality and the present self evident truth acquired through centuries of human observation is:

The world is a Might Makes Right system and as we presently understand it, the only reason one could believe this is ever going to change is a religious belief or new evidence.

Society is an application of Might Makes Right in that a group of people choose to use force in a geographical region for a given belief or beliefs.

If you can refute the above by all means enlighten me and demonstrate the necessary philosophical expertise I lack...

So the only question is... knowing the above... what are you going to do?

Knowing the above my only objective is to establish and preserve a majority of force that strongly believes in the Non Aggression Principle.

I want to live in a society that strongly believes force should only be used against coercion.

Since you are incapable of logically, rationally, or objectively articulating how a non-contracting party initiates aggression against you, I do not respect your position.  Furthermore I realize you can't convince all the people all of the time and I have no moral dilema participating in a majority of force that imposes the Non Aggression Principle system on anyone that voluntarily continues residing in the geographical territory of the majority of force.

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MacFall:
So Hans-Hermann Hoppe is a communist. Who would have thought!

I lol'd.  But also, what an elegant critique.  It's a simple appeal to logic.  Makes me feel badly that I have spent so much arguing this topic without that much clarity or grace.

"When you're young you worry about people stealing your ideas, when you're old you worry that they won't." - David Friedman
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CSJtheory replied on Fri, Oct 22 2010 2:57 AM

Good discussion, enjoying it from the sidelines...

But regarding the Hoppe quote, while humorous, it doesn't have much to do with IP law in the USA.

Contary to his example, you can't copyright, patent or get legal protection for an idea or thought such as he suggested. Copyrights are for original works in a fixed medium that fit a specific criteria--not just any idea or thought. Patents also have strict criteria, and you cannot patent any idea.

Hoppe's example "A and non-A cannot exist at the same time" would not fulfill the criteria for legally protected copyright or patent.

Also, even if it did, under existing copyright or patent law another party can discuss thoughts and ideas expressed in a copyrighted book, takes quotes out of the book and comment on material in it. And as far as patents it applies for 20 years, so royalties would not be due to Aristotle's progeny today.

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CSJtheory:
But regarding the Hoppe quote, while humorous, it doesn't have much to do with IP law in the USA.

It wasn't meant to have much to do with IP law.  IP law is completely ad hoc, fiat and anti-property.

Hoppe was merely demonstrating how IP fails the test of property qua property by use of a simple reductio.

"When you're young you worry about people stealing your ideas, when you're old you worry that they won't." - David Friedman
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Contary to his example, you can't copyright, patent or get legal protection for an idea or thought such as he suggested.

http://www.freepatentsonline.com/crazy.html

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CSJtheory replied on Fri, Oct 22 2010 3:21 AM

Hmm... ok, well that quote was posted as an example of Hoppe's views on "intellectual property".

My point was only that in the US, and probably many other places, a "thought" isn't considered intellectual property (at least in the legal sense). So dismissing intellectual property law or norms on the basis of thought being a free good is kind of irrelevant to the discussion (or straw man?) and doesn't add any insight into the whole "intellectual property" discussion.

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CSJtheory:
Hmm... ok, well that quote was posted as an example of Hoppe's views on "intellectual property".

It was mostly about demonstrating to Stranger that Stephan Kinsella does not occupy the minority position at LvMI or in AE wrt anti-IP.

That said, Hoppe makes a convincing case that IP is not actually a form of property.

CSJtheory:
My point was only that in the US, and probably many other places, a "thought" isn't considered intellectual property (at least in the legal sense).

Right.  But we weren't generally speaking about monopoly law but moral basis.

CSJtheory:
So dismissing intellectual property law or norms on the basis of thought being a free good is kind of irrelevant to the discussion (or straw man?) and doesn't add any insight into the whole "intellectual property" discussion.

Thought isn't a free good.  Surely any discussion about IP, has to address the notion of ideas or thoughts or patterns as property?

"When you're young you worry about people stealing your ideas, when you're old you worry that they won't." - David Friedman
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My point was only that in the US, and probably many other places, a "thought" isn't considered intellectual property (at least in the legal sense).

I agree all of this is irrelevant to the debate but I disagree with your assertion.

Case in point:

United States Patent 6368227

A method of swing on a swing is disclosed, in which a user positioned on a standard swing suspended by two chains from a substantially horizontal tree branch induces side to side motion by pulling alternately on one chain and then the other.

United States Patent 5443036

A method for inducing cats to exercise consists of directing a beam of invisible light produced by a hand-held laser apparatus onto the floor or wall or other opaque surface in the vicinity of the cat, then moving the laser so as to cause the bright pattern of light to move in an irregular way fascinating to cats, and to any other animal with a chase instinct.

Methods have been patented in the United States. 

United States Patent 5569458

A vitamin and mineral formulation which provides for improved absorption of its nutrients by the addition of digestive enzymes to the formula and including the herb goldenseal to prevent the enzymes from eating up the other nutrients, giving it the capability to retain its value for up to six months. Goldenseal, in conjunction with dandelion and chamomile, also neutralizes the pH of the supplement, thus avoiding a common supplemental problem of widespread ineffectiveness due to large quantities of nutrients being deposited simultaneously into the digestive system. In addition, the formulation of the new invention provides the user with 70 different nutrients, including ginkgo biloba which increases brain alpha rhythms which are associated with mental alertness. Further, the new invention employs an alternate method of construction that does not require high heat or pressure levels, nor the addition of binders or glue like additives.

Formulas have been patented in the United States.

United States Patent Application 20080034453

The present invention is in the field of plant biochemistry. More specifically the invention relates to nucleic acid sequences from plant cells, in particular, nucleic acid sequences from maize and soybean. The invention encompasses nucleic acid molecules that encode proteins and fragments of proteins. In addition, the invention also encompasses proteins and fragments of proteins so encoded and antibodies capable of binding these proteins or fragments. The invention also relates to methods of using the nucleic acid molecules, proteins and fragments of proteins, and antibodies, for example for genome mapping, gene identification and analysis, plant breeding, preparation of constructs for use in plant gene expression, and transgenic plants.

Genes have been patented in the United States.

How can you assert thoughts are not considered intellectual property in the legal sense?  What is all of this patented crap I am staring at in this post?

Or are you asserting that once you write a thought down it is no longer a thought but a piece of paper containing symbols that becomes patentable?

So if the arrangement of symbols on the piece of paper is the only thing that has legal protection, not any thoughts, would it be ok for me to sell a method inducing cats to exercise using a laser pointer?

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dnixx replied on Fri, Oct 22 2010 4:30 AM

Onar Åm wrote: "You're likely to be "principled," sticking firmly with some arbitrarily stated principle such as "the non-aggression principle" as an irreducible primary and then proceeding from there to create a rationalist system of thought that crashes with reality."

You can't agree on much when your fundamental principles, on which your reasoning is based, are so different.

However, regarding the non-aggression principle, Kinsella notes: "In other words, to identify an act of aggression is implicitly to assign a corresponding property right to the victim. (This is, incidentally, one reason why it is better to refer to the nonaggression principle instead of the nonaggression axiom — because property rights are more basic than freedom from aggression.)"

So, if anything, it is the definition of property that would be arbitrary, and this is where the disagreements stem from, isn't it?

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Stranger replied on Fri, Oct 22 2010 8:10 AM

Good discussion, enjoying it from the sidelines...

But regarding the Hoppe quote, while humorous, it doesn't have much to do with IP law in the USA.

Contary to his example, you can't copyright, patent or get legal protection for an idea or thought such as he suggested. Copyrights are for original works in a fixed medium that fit a specific criteria--not just any idea or thought. Patents also have strict criteria, and you cannot patent any idea.

The IP communists believe that Rothbardian opposition to patents translates to full communism in all information. Hoppe's argument is clearly just another elucidation of Rothbard's anti-patent argument, and he does not in any way mention copyright. In fact, by defining property as applying only to scarce goods, he once again draws the line between ideas and information. While information is scarce and can be owned, ideas are not scarce and cannot be.

Reminder: jumping to conclusion from opposition to patents to full communism is fallacy 1 of the intellectual communists. Their entire philosophy rests on denying the materiality of information (fallacy 2), as Onar Am pointed out in his original blog post.

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What is the nature of the material interference with your property in a book when i read it over your shoulder and write into mine?

The information in the book may be instantiated in a material book,  it surely remains so! and undisturbed! when I write out a copy of the contents onto my own material. So again I ask you, what is the tort?

Do you agree with the Hoppe that you interpreted to us as favourable to your position, that I am free to ponder, and to use the ideas that I glean from reading your book? Whatever 'goes bad' when the use I put the idea is to encode a pattern into my own material ? Surely this is unobjectionable when viewed from the perspective of the Hoppean position that you have agreed to.

I hope you can do better than to think of a name to call me for asking a straightforward question.

Where there is no property there is no justice; a proposition as certain as any demonstration in Euclid

Fools! not to see that what they madly desire would be a calamity to them as no hands but their own could bring

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...Their entire philosophy rests on denying the materiality of information (fallacy 2)...

Your stated fallacy two has the caveat that the information must be unique i.e. "when the information is unique and will never re-occur in the lifetime of the universe" and have stated this is the standard for IP. However, you have provided no means for determining uniqueness and I would claim there is no way to do so. In the realm of software this is somewhat possible (bits) but I would claim this is still insufficient; unique literally and irrevocably means singular as in no approximation is considered to fall within the definition of the original--if I were to "forge" a piece of art there is a literal impossibility that it would be identical to the original. IP proponents constantly attempt to draw a line that is further away from the original (similarity) but still no one has answered how far it logically must be drawn or why. Furthermore, the "uniqueness" stipulation becomes even more dicey when you start breaking down the information in component parts e.g. I would argue that the invention of specific characters in language are "unique" by most IP standards, however they are entirely "pirated" to form many more forms of IP. I know this is a specious argument but it hints at the flaw I see in most claims for IP--at what level of complexity does something become "unique"? How do we know? If it's subjective then who is the subject?

Onar has attempted to address the last of those questions appealing to "common knowledge" and such but I think this is again insufficient--if it's known by literally everyone in a geographical region (i.e. common knowledge) but is unknown to those in another--does it only selectively apply?

I really want to "believe" in IP because I generate creative work as well, but I have yet to see an argument that is convincing. The closest I found was z's but even that relied on an arbitrary similarity--i.e. even if you can mathmatically calculate similarity, the limit for infringement is set subjectively.

So here's the conclusion: If you want to set subjective limits to similarity then allow subjective penalties and don't complain when you [intentionally or unintentionally] infringe and the penalty is more severe than you'd hope.

" ‘Bread and Circuses’ is the cancer of democracy, the fatal disease for which there is no cure. “
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Sieben replied on Fri, Oct 22 2010 8:45 AM

Don't tell your secrets to anyone
Because ideas are vulnerable
As soon as you say your idea out loud
Then it can go and live on its own
And you will miss it oh so much
And you will wait for it's return
And you will wish it were your own
But ideas that left never come back home

*********

IP advocates want to have their cake and eat it too. Libertarians are cool with if you have an idea, no one can force you to give it up. But once you put it out for EVERYONE TO SEE, you can't attack people for using it any more than I could attack people for walking on my lawn after I had declared it public space.

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SondreB replied on Fri, Oct 22 2010 8:57 AM

Wouldn't a Pro-IP instance involve the responsibility of consequences of the use of a patent or instructions in a book? If my new Volvo car blows up, I surely will blame that on Volvo manufacturer and demand retribution. If not, why shouldn't that apply to information/ideas in the same way?

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Sieben replied on Fri, Oct 22 2010 9:00 AM

Depends if you had a contract with them... and you certainly can't go back and sue the person who invented cars.

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Maybe we can stop calling each other nazis and communists.

Lilliburne, always the voice of reason

In States a fresh law is looked upon as a remedy for evil. Instead of themselves altering what is bad, people begin by demanding a law to alter it. ... In short, a law everywhere and for everything!

~Peter Kropotkin

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You have obviously argued with moralists. These people take a principled moral stand, that each owns the fruit of his own labor and that includes his mental labor. That's their starting point (which is a correct one), but most of these people don't have the specialist knowledge required to know what IP law should look like, and it is really no wonder: you have to be an EXPERT to be able to know that. Very few people are *that* qualified. It's no shame. A lot of knowledge is required.

Now, I'm not an expert in law (although I know more about the philosophy of law than most. I am currently writing a book on the rule of law, which contain a significant number of juridical novelties) but I *am* an expert in philosophy, and that is a requirement. Therefore you will find that I know a lot more about how I want IP law to be like than most. I don't have the full-fledged answers because I am not an expert in law as well, but you're not talking to your average principled pro-IP moralist here.

You are opposed to abolishing the IP system; yet you admit you don't know what a proper IP system should look like. Rich. Typical.

 

"'But this is the exception, and you cannot abolish normal morality for the exception because that would truly be an unjustice. So long as injustice is unavoidable, occasional exceptional injustice is preferable to normalized systemic injustice.'"

"NOt sure what you are jabbering about."

See, that's because you're not an expert in philosophy, and in ethics in particular, which is very, very bad when you want to have a strong opinion about property rights.

No. It's because you are incoherent and all over the map.

I'm not a utilitarian

Ok, sorry. Then you are a rationalist instead it appears. These are the two typical libertarian stances and it's often hard to see the difference in a heated debate because both are pretty wacko. There are THREE primary approaches to principles and these are:

You could argue I'm a rationalist of sorts -- New Rationalist Directions in Libertarian Rights Theory -- but I don't need to be either one to be a libertarian. To be a libertarian I only need to value and adopt libertarian principles and grundnorms. It doesn't matter why I do. Maybe I just prefer civilization.

 

The way you loathsomely speak about taking reality and consequences into account as "arbitrary" and the fact that you confuse me with a utilitarian places you in the rationalist camp. You're likely to be "principled," sticking firmly with some arbitrarily stated principle such as "the non-aggression principle" as an irreducible primary and then proceeding from there to create a rationalist system of thought that crashes with reality.

What is loathsome is your championing unjust state monopoly grants as if it's principled or compatible with property rights and liberty. Terrible.

Stephan Kinsella [email protected] www.StephanKinsella.com

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If you're going to keep calling each other NAZI's and Communists, I thought I would bring in some real communist views on I came across;

First of all capitalism is against progress. In order to research something, there has to be some material incentive for the capitalist. He must make profit out of that. Capitalists can do this in 2 ways: sell the invention or use it themselves.

About the former, in order to sell the invention, they must force others not to use their invention, unless they pay them a certain amount of money. This is accomplished using state granted monopoly on the invention using patents. What this means is that without a state imposing patents, there won't be any inventions at all, since you can't profit from selling them. However, restricting access to the invention means restricting progress. For instance someone else could improve the design; however that's illegal. You can't do that, because it's protected by patents.

The capitalist could also use the invention himself. Again that's against progress. Without making it available to everyone else, this means many companies will research the same thing over and over again. Trade secrets are against progress. However, making the invention available to everyone is also against progress. The capitalist who spent the funds on the invention will be selected against by the market. He spent a lot of money on the invention, while those who didn't still have complete access to the results. That means smaller prices for those who don't invent. Being innovative means going bankrupt in this case.

Of course, the state knows very well about this. That's why you can't for instance patent a physical or mathematical theorem. The market doesn't work very well with research. How can you create a competitive theory alternative to quantum mechanics. You can't (what is someone patented the wheel? as long as the patent was enforced, progress would be very much at the mercy of the patent holder). If you could patent such theories, you'd have a state granted monopoly, like every other patents. It would mean physics and mathematics research would be brought to a halt. Capitalists make a lot of money out of using such theories, but don't make money out of researching them. That's why large and expensive physical projects, such as the LHC are not private, but state funded. An even more striking example is ITER. Its goal is to research nuclear fusion. If they succeed in making an economic fusion reactor, capitalists will make billions. However, ITER is again state funded. Inventions and discoveries are for the common good of all, but capitalism has no notion of common good.

In the end, there are 2 situations in capitalism: have state granted monopolies on inventions using patents and restrict further development or don't have state intervention and bring the entire research to a halt. In either case, capitalism is inherently against innovation.
This argument is disingenuous in no small part because it's not really industry that invents or improves things at all.

In States a fresh law is looked upon as a remedy for evil. Instead of themselves altering what is bad, people begin by demanding a law to alter it. ... In short, a law everywhere and for everything!

~Peter Kropotkin

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"Thanks for posting that Stephen.  I have watched that lecture series with Hoppe and Hulsmann at least 5 times, and I forgot that was where he referenced Kinsella.  I remembered the reference, but not the lecture."

 

Wow, great find Stephen!! Yes it's obvious he is anti-IP, and here it is explicit. Stranger is hereby PWNed.

Stephan Kinsella [email protected] www.StephanKinsella.com

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I don't understand why Monopoly Nazi's see IP as a devisive issue.

In a free market, IP would likely voluntarily and contractually exist using non-compete clauses in larger scale manufacturing and distribution markets.  IP benefits investors and big industry requires a lot of investment.  I find it hard to envision manufacturing associations not forming, entering into IP non-compete agreements, and keeping private IP databases similar to credit reporting.

I also find it hard to believe there would not be more companies assisting inventors, musicians, artists, etc.  Right now government stifles competition because IP costs are... wait for it.... too DAMN HIGH.  Using the Pat Buchanan argument in a video recently posted by Tom Woods on LewRockWell.com, I am not cutting IP.  I am an IP liberator (which fits very well since I am liberating it from IP Monopoly Nazi's :).  IP would be much cheaper, prolific, and individual friendly eliminating state distorted IP costs.

Not only am I an IP liberator, I am a jobs creator.  Look at all the new business opportunities that would exist liberating IP.  Man I am starting to sound too good.  I should completely sell my soul and run for political office.

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Stranger:
The IP communists believe that Rothbardian opposition to patents translates to full communism in all information. Hoppe's argument is clearly just another elucidation of Rothbard's anti-patent argument, and he does not in any way mention copyright.

Hoppe's example with Aristotle is a copyright claim, not a patent claim.

It's hard to take your arguments seriously when you don't understand the differences between a patent and a copyright.

Stranger:
In fact, by defining property as applying only to scarce goods, he once again draws the line between ideas and information. While information is scarce and can be owned, ideas are not scarce and cannot be.

You're confusing media with information again.  Hoppe and Kinsella share the same position on IP (which is why he advises people at that lecture to read Kinsella's paper).

"When you're young you worry about people stealing your ideas, when you're old you worry that they won't." - David Friedman
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David replied on Fri, Oct 22 2010 2:29 PM

I am still on the fence on this issue. I reread the Rothbard position and would like to better understand the objections. Let's put aside the idea of patents for now, just help me focus on copyrights alone.

We can probably all agree that most printed books have more value than a bundle of paper and ink. I suppose some may argue about the where this added value comes from (labor theory or relative utility) but this is irrelevant to the discussion. It really comes down to this:

·        IP-Monopolizers might say that the originator of an idea or thought expressed in the book is always entitled to ownership of this differential value, every time the thought is mixed with the paper and ink.

·        IP-pirates might say the very reason I value this book above the sum of the paper and ink is because it contains the expression of this thought or idea – I should be free to copy that expression onto my own paper and ink.

·        Rothbardian Libertarians would then counter by saying: "If you want to hang on to your idea, you should have two prices for your books; (price a) if you want only the book, without reproduction rights, which I will mark "copyright" or (price a^X) if you want the book with the all reproduction rights. This is a free market and you are free to choose which of these two variations you want to own, or none at all. If you chose to purchase at (price a), then please honor your contract.

As has been noted in this thread, some might argue that the purchaser's agreement to honor the copyright has no bearing on third parties who "read over his shoulder". But as Rothbard explains here, any third party who may have access to the assembly can never have greater ownership than what was obtained from the original sale. Said differently: If I give you my rental car, you don't become the new owner. (If you read my library book over my shoulder, you don't own it.)

Help me understand where Rothbard's explanation breaks down?

All persons have certain natural, essential and inalienable rights... defending their lives and liberties; of acquiring, possessing and protecting property; and of seeking and obtaining their safety and happiness. - Constitution of the State of Colorado
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Live_Free_Or_Die:
I don't understand why Monopoly Nazi's see IP as a devisive issue.

Lilburne asked for this sort of language to be cleaned up.  It's not conducive to, or helpful in debate.

@Stranger, that goes for you with the IP Communist comments as well.

"When you're young you worry about people stealing your ideas, when you're old you worry that they won't." - David Friedman
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MacFall replied on Fri, Oct 22 2010 2:47 PM

As has been noted in this thread, some might argue that the purchaser's agreement to honor the copyright has no bearing on third parties who "read over his shoulder". But as Rothbard explains here, any third party who may have access to the assembly can never have greater ownership than what was obtained from the original sale. Said differently: If I give you my rental car, you don't become the new owner. (If you read my library book over my shoulder, you don't own it.)

Help me understand where Rothbard's explanation breaks down?

One difference comes down to the fact that the car is actually property, and hence recoverable, whereas once the book sale contract has been breached, the exclusivity of the information transferred thereby cannot be recovered. The wronged party has a claim against the party who breached contract, but has no claim against later recipients of the information.

Also, there is the fact that a wronged party has no right to initiate force against people who benefit from the action that harms them but who were not parties to the action itself. Should the company that rented out the car be allowed to penalize me for driving your car? Or what if I gave my friends a ride, should they be penalized as well? I think not, and this is in opposition to Rothbard's position, which states that the victim of theft may initiate force against the innocent reciipient of the property he lost. But that is an initiation of force, any way you look at it, and hence unjust. The victim's claim is against the thief, and the thief alone. If possible (and if it is the victim's desire), the thief should be made to purchase the stolen property back from its recipient, but if the third party does not want to part with it, then the victim must accept monetary compensation. Justice is never a positive-sum game, and there is no justification for the victim to compel anyone else to share the harm that is done to him except for the one who caused it.

Pro Christo et Libertate integre!

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Also, there is the fact that a wronged party has no right to initiate force against people who benefit from the action that harms them but who were not parties to the action itself. Should the company that rented out the car be allowed to penalize me for driving your car? Or what if I gave my friends a ride, should they be penalized as well? I think not, and this is in opposition to Rothbard's position, which states that the victim of theft may initiate force against the innocent reciipient of the property he lost. But that is an initiation of force, any way you look at it, and hence unjust. The victim's claim is against the thief, and the thief alone. If possible (and if it is the victim's desire), the thief should be made to purchase the stolen property back from its recipient, but if the third party does not want to part with it, then the victim must accept monetary compensation. Justice is never a positive-sum game, and there is no justification for the victim to compel anyone else to share the harm that is done to him except for the one who caused it.

I'm going to have to disagree with you ano that one.  Say, for example my car is stolen.  The thief then sells it to you for $5,000.  It's still my car.  The thief had no legitimate claim to sell it to you.  He sold you nothing.  We are both victims, me of car theft, and you of fraud.  Why should the fact that the thief swindled you out of your money keep me from recovering my property?  Your calim is against the thief, not me.  If you prevent me from recovering my property, after being shown proof of ownership, why should I refrain from using force?


faber est suae quisque fortunae

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Said differently: If I give you my rental car, you don't become the new owner.

Let's forget about a rental contract.  What would prevent me from homesteading any car I wanted?  Nothing.  When something is not in your full control you don't really own it.  You simply have a claim to it.  You would likely pursue a remedy in society arguing you have the best claim to the car and it should be returned to you using force.  What is it that would establish your claim to be greater than mine?  I am in possession of the car.  First you would establish the car was previously in your possession.  Next you would establish the title and receipt for the car is evidence of a voluntary exchange.  Third you would claim there is no voluntary exchange between you and me.  I have no rebuttal.  According to the NAP, voluntary exchange is a greater claim than non-voluntary exchange.  

How does this translate into consumer enforced IP?  I don't think it does unless someone can articulate a non-voluntary exchange.  I don't think it needs to.  I personally think in a free market IP would be (to use someone elses description of Open Source) a producer good.  IP is important to investors.  IP is not important to consumers.  The advantage of capital is marketing, mass production, and distribution.  That is where I would expect to see IP non-compete contracts emerge in the free market. 

Imagine no Cable monopolies.  What type of network does a content producer want to be on?  One that has some respect for copyright or one that does not?  Clearly one that does.  Telecommunications companies might form associations and enter into copyright contracts where all subscribers and competing providers are bound to terms of service that respects copyright.  Cable companies can quickly react to infringements blocking rogue providers or subscribers from the network.  What happens if the copyright policies are too restrictive?  New competiting networks pop up.

Same concept would apply to manufacturing and distribution markets for patents.  Companies would enter into non-compete agreements agreeing not to manufacture or distribute an infringing new product.  There would be an arbitration process provided for in the contract.

My rebuttal is that IP is perfectly compatible with a free market and contracts.  IP does not require coercion.  If investor interests implement IP contractual controls that are too restrictive the market will demand more competition.  If IP contractual controls are too loose less investors will invest.  Isn't that how a free market is supposed to work?

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Live_Free_Or_Die:
My rebuttal is that IP is perfectly compatible with a free market and contracts.  IP does not require coercion.  If investor interests implement IP contractual controls that are too restrictive the market will demand more competition.  If IP contractual controls are too loose less investors will invest.  Isn't that how a free market is supposed to work?

That's contract, not IP qua intellectual property.

Examples

Live_Free_Or_Die:
My rebuttal is that secrecy is perfectly compatible with a free market and contracts.  Secrecy does not require coercion.  If investor interests implement secrecy contractual controls that are too restrictive the market will demand more competition.  If secrecy contractual controls are too loose less investors will invest.  Isn't that how a free market is supposed to work?

Live_Free_Or_Die:
My rebuttal is that sex is perfectly compatible with a free market and contracts.  Sex does not require coercion.  If investor interests implement sex contractual controls that are too restrictive the market will demand more competition.  If sex contractual controls are too loose less investors will invest.  Isn't that how a free market is supposed to work?

One could contract some sort of control over the dissemination of ideas (action), but that wouldn't make ideas property.

"When you're young you worry about people stealing your ideas, when you're old you worry that they won't." - David Friedman
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Sieben replied on Fri, Oct 22 2010 6:41 PM

The following is copyright by Sieben Enterprises. If you read this, you are stealing my ideas without my permission. NO ONE HAS PERMISSION TO READ THE FOLLOWING:

The best way to pop a pimple is to take a shower first

IDEA STILL IN DEVELOPMENT - NO ONE CAN EVER USE TILL I'M DONE WITH IT.

I'll bring a huge increase in innovation I promise.

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