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The Moral Basis for Intellectual Property

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nskinsella replied on Sat, Oct 23 2010 12:38 PM

Onar,

 

"By Onar Åm in Political Theory

 

protect mental labour? because you hold the labour theory of value?

No, because of the lockean labor theory."

 

I guess you're a better Lockean than Locke since he didn't think his own homesteading/labor views supported a natural right to IP. see this post.

Stephan Kinsella nskinsella@gmail.com www.StephanKinsella.com

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nskinsella replied on Sat, Oct 23 2010 12:46 PM

Onar:

"

"No one is guaranteed a profit just because they produce something."

Well, duh! No pro-IP people that I know of are claiming this. "

 

Oh really?! Here's Objectivist Diana Hsieh in a typical comment: "producers deserve to be rewarded handsomely for their efforts." see also Inventors are Like Unto …. GODS…..  ("the inventor of a book or other contrivance of thought holds his property, as a god holds it, by right of creation; with his silence or inaction the sustenance and advance of millions yet to be may vanish into the great darkness again. His brain has brought the seed out of the infinite, planted it in good soil, tended it with the care that only the sower can feel. Surely the world should not deny him a share of the increase he has brought about" ... "if the creator's rights are not protected, his survival is jeopardized. If another can market his creation, the creator is deprived of the money he wold otherwise earn.")

Of course such imprecise, muddled, unlibertarian thinking leads to pernicious ideas such as:
 Libertarian Favors $80 Billion Annual Tax-Funded “Medical Innovation Prize Fund”; “$30 Billion Taxfunded Innovation Contracts: The ‘Progressive-Libertarian’ Solution“; “Re: Patents and Utilitarian Thinking Redux: Stiglitz on using Prizes to Stimulate Innovation.”

Stephan Kinsella nskinsella@gmail.com www.StephanKinsella.com

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liberty student:
Aposiopesis:
Well, regardless of that, I suppose, it is an observable fact.

I agree, it occurs.  I wouldn't go so far as to attribute a universal motive to it.

Nor I. I probably should have better clarified that I was looking for the the over-arching term applicable to all such subjectively driven motives regardless of what those specific motives are. I'm coming up blank.

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Stephen replied on Sat, Oct 23 2010 1:03 PM

No, that's ok, because the farmer next door didn't steal HIS potatoes. He PRODUCED his OWN and did so cheaper. The correct analogy in IP is that some other author produces his own novel which is so good that people prefer to buy this novel over the other author's novel. THAT's competition. Stealing your neighbor farmer's potatoes is NOT competition. It's theft.

We agree; stealing potatoes is theft.  The owner of the potatoes can show clear damages -- he no longer has his potatoes.  What are the damages can the author show?  He still has his novel.  Not a single copy is missing.

I don't agree that stealing potatoes is theft. After all, the thief has a right to his livelihood and has mixed his labour with the potatoes by taking them. Besides, he was the one who came up with the idea of taking them from somebody else instead of growing them himself. If anyone tries to take them back, their stealing the product of his mind. Prior-later distinction be damned.

And oh yeah. If you disagree with me, it's because you're a shallow materialist who fails to realize that ideas exist and that denial of IP leads you to insane conclusions. Man exists as a mind, not as a body. He is a teleological being, not a physical one. I also find it frightening that none of you are as smart as I am and lack common sense, defined of course not as 'practical judgment', but according to my own highly abstract esoteric notions of what it is.

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Stephen:
I don't agree that stealing potatoes is theft. After all, the thief has a right to his livelihood and has mixed his labour with the potatoes by taking them. Besides, he was the one who came up with the idea of taking them from somebody else instead of growing them himself. If anyone tries to take them back, their stealing the product of his mind. Prior-later distinction be damned.

And oh yeah. If you disagree with me, it's because you're a shallow materialist who fails to realize that ideas exist and that denial of IP leads you to insane conclusions. Man exists as a mind, not as a body. He is a teleological being, not a physical one. I also find it frightening that none of you are as smart as I am and lack common sense, defined of course not as 'practical judgment', but according to my own highly abstract esoteric notions of what it is.

 

 

Very well played, Stephen. I got a good chuckle out of that.

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Onar Åm replied on Sat, Oct 23 2010 1:13 PM

We agree; stealing potatoes is theft.  The owner of the potatoes can show clear damages -- he no longer has his potatoes.  What are the damages can the author show?  He still has his novel.  Not a single copy is missing.

Suppose that a person makes a perfectly good copy of paper money. He becomes rich by simply printing a lot of money! What are the damages to the other money owners? Not a single copy of their money is missing. So what if this debases the value of the money? Tough luck. That's what's called competition! Supply and demand!

(Now it's time for that common sense "waaaaait a minute..." to kick in)

You can argue that it's fraud, but why? The printer of money has signed no contract obliging him not to copy money.

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you are now tying a defence of IP to a defence of fiat money ? wowzers! 

This promises to get even more fun !

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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Stephen replied on Sat, Oct 23 2010 1:41 PM

I just thought of a way I can 1 up my last post.

 

It may appear to the materialist that a man taking potatoes from a farmer is theft, since the farmer has produced the crop with his own labour. He could just grow his own potatoes on his own land, and leave the farmer well alone. However this naive notion is entirely mistaken.

If he were to produce his own crop, he would actually be robbing the first farmer of the product of his mind. He is copying the first farmers method of roundabout production of sustainance without permission.

The only other option for the would-be thief, other than stealing the product of the farmers mind, is to develop his own method of obtaining potatoes, by physically appropriating them from the farmer. He is entirely justified in doing this, since considerations of survival take precedence over considerations of property. The second-comer is faced with a choice between taking the farmers physical property or taking his intellectual property.

What appears to the naive materialist as theft in the first instance, is actually, from the POV of the teleologist, the only legitimate method of production. The material theory of property is incompatible with the teleological theory of property. Since man is first and formost, a mental/rational being, having rights over the product of his mind, only the teleological theory of property is valid, while the material theory of property must be rejected.

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Onar Åm replied on Sat, Oct 23 2010 1:58 PM

 

I don't agree that stealing potatoes is theft. After all, the thief has a right to his livelihood and has mixed his labour with the potatoes by taking them. Besides, he was the one who came up with the idea of taking them from somebody else instead of growing them himself. If anyone tries to take them back, their stealing the product of his mind. Prior-later distinction be damned.

And oh yeah. If you disagree with me, it's because you're a shallow materialist who fails to realize that ideas exist and that denial of IP leads you to insane conclusions. Man exists as a mind, not as a body. He is a teleological being, not a physical one. I also find it frightening that none of you are as smart as I am and lack common sense, defined of course not as 'practical judgment', but according to my own highly abstract esoteric notions of what it is.

Well, common sense tells me that what you wrote is just a bunch of baloney, and that you know it. "Man exists as a mind, not as a body" is an IDEALIST position, which is the negation of materialism, which causes the mind/body dualism. Well, I'm neither an idealist nor a materialist. I'm an individualist, and my life exists indivisibly as both mind and body.

What I find so shocking about you anti-IP is that you show very little understanding of the other position. Either that or you're just heckling on purpose. Here's a few examples of what you're entitled to and what you're not entitled to:

Example 1: you do NOT have a right to have a job or that your business is profitable. Thus, you cannot demand subsidies, force an employer to hire you or force your customers to buy your products. Correspondingly, you do NOT have a right to have your intellectual work compensated. Thus, you cannot demand that people MUST buy your books or that the government subsidizes it.

Example 2: you do NOT have a right to exclude other competitors because you have a right to make a profit. In other words, a farmer cannot legitimately prevent another farmer from producing competing potatoes. Correspondingly, an author does not have a right to prevent other authors from producing competing novels.

Example 3:  A company can also not own a trade relationship, such how as the East India Trading Company owned trade with India, because that would mean that you own the relationship between independent people. Correspondingly, an company cannot own intellectual trade routes. A company can for instance not have a monopoly on selling Indian books in England.

In other words, there are and should be the same restrictions on intellectual property as there are on physical property. My question to you is: 1) didn't you know this!? (In which case you are very uneducated) IF you know this then you're just out to try to start a barfight, because you're simply heckling, bringing nothing of value to the debate.

One of the reasons this upsets me is because you guys are, whether I like it or not, ambassadors for liberty. You present yourself as champions of liberty and how you behave and argue will reflect on the cause of liberty. When they see a bunch of insane hooligans completely out of touch with reality making uneducated and unintelligent arguments they are going to conclude that liberty is lunacy too, and that hurts ME and MY cause for liberty. I would therefore advice you to seriously strengthen your arguments so that you do not sound like baboons.

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Onar Åm replied on Sat, Oct 23 2010 2:07 PM

 

you are now tying a defence of IP to a defence of fiat money ? wowzers!

See, *this* is why I have no respect for you. It is impossible for me to state something in plain English without it being completely and utterly misunderstood (either by designed stupidity or on purpose or both). Where did I say a single word about the legitimacy of fiat money? Where? Where? Paper money does not equal fiat money. It may say "redeemable in gold" on those paper notes. That does not change the example one bit. I have never signed a contract saying that I should never make a paper note that is an identical copy of a bank's paper money, so it can't be forgery or fraud according to libertarian anti-IP logic.  The bank who made the paper money available to the public released the information about the money into the public domain when they started circulating them. To make copies of that money is just healthy competition according to libertarian logic. It brings the price of money down and makes it affordable to more. Hurray!

(As a side not, I do not want to make fiat money illegal, although whoever, as private free banks, make fiat money MUST put a sign on their note which states the minimum fractional reserve of that bank. I believe that money like that will lose the competition against real money like gold.)

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Onar Åm:
When they see a bunch of insane hooligans

One more schoolyard insult and you're gone.

"the obligation to justice is founded entirely on the interests of society, which require mutual abstinence from property" -David Hume
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ah, if you meant paper money substitutes which are titles of deeds to quantities of precious metals in bank vaults and whatever else then we can talk about that.

there is no tort in merely the act of printing up 'fake' deeds, there is no tort in selling them as objects of art to be hung on walls, there is a tort of going to the bank and claiming that you are the title holder to the quantity in the vault, since you are not ! in that circumstance the 'fake' deed is used as a device with which  to claim physical possession  over scarce precious metal from the true title holder .

There is a similar tort in purchasing a yacht with a 'fake' title deed to money in a vault that is not your money in the vault.

I don't see how the issue of paper money substitutes helps you argue for IP.

I don't doubt you'll keep trying though!

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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Onar Åm replied on Sat, Oct 23 2010 2:27 PM

I guess you're a better Lockean than Locke since he didn't think his own homesteading/labor views supported a natural right to IP.

Yes, I am, thanks to Locke. Locke was a giant, and I'm standing on his shoulders, and thereby I can see further and apply his insights better and more consistently than he could.

My view starts with the basic insight that life itself is a process of self-sustaining, self-defining, self-generating action. In other words, all living beings, humans included, really have a lot in common with highly liquid processes such as fire, vortices, clouds and rivers. These are not objects and do not have the same kind of solid existence as rocks. Yet, all living beings look and behave very, very much like objects. It's the closest thing a process can ever get to becoming a solid object. However, since we are processes and not objects WORK is needed to maintain and define life. The living entity needs to PRODUCE in order to exist. It's own body is self-produced. Production, work, creation are at the heart of what it means to be alive. The reason we own our bodies is because we mix our labor with it. We eat pieces of nature and then transform that nature through work into this semi-object we will life. THAT is the biological basis of property. Work, work, work. Whoever denies this denies biology.

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Liberty Student:
Its not piracy though
Yea late night post... forgot to use quotes on "piracy" :P

"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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@ Onar: Congratulations, you've made a decent argument against paper money, or at least poorly designed tracking methods of paper money (regardless of whether said paper money represents real wealth or is the money itself).

Now make a decent argument for IP.

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Onar Åm replied on Sat, Oct 23 2010 2:34 PM

There is a similar tort in purchasing a yacht with a 'fake' title deed to money in a vault that is not your money in the vault.

Why? The original owner still has his title. Nothing has been taken from him. He has not made a fake. He has copied the original.

Now, the reason you immediately understand why this is fraud/theft is because a PHYSICAL property is involved. The moment you use an immaterial property as an example your intelligence drops by 70 points and you resort to arguments which assumes that MENTAL WORK EMBODIED AS INFORMATION DOES NOT EXIST. In other words, you are so deeply entrenched in materialistic thinking that you're not making the mental effort necessary to understand the existence of the scarce resource of mind.

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Onar Åm replied on Sat, Oct 23 2010 2:41 PM

One more schoolyard insult and you're gone.

Well, I'm out of here anyway. I would not however say that I am making schoolyard insults. I'm simply making accurate descriptions of reality. The intellectual level on this forum is so low that it truly deserves scorn. It's a disgrace to the cause of liberty that it be sullied by intellectual imps. My final word of advice before I leave is: read up on materialism. Try to educate yourself and understand what it is, and then try to understand its alternative (no, not idealism, but individualism) which involves an integration of mind and body, of matter and consciousness. You guys really ARE materialists, but you're so intellectually stunted that you don't actually understand what it is or that you are materialists. That makes it 100% impossible for me to make arguments against you. I cannot argue with a cat either because he lacks the conceptual awareness to understand arguments. This is true for you too. Until you start acknowledging that you are materialists and what this involves, you will be forever trapped in a reduced state of consciousness.

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Onar Åm:
I would therefore advice you to seriously strengthen your arguments so that you do not sound like baboons.

Onar, your arguments have been taken apart every possible way.  You've not substantially rebutted any of the criticisms made of your claims.

Calling people baboons is just poor form.

"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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The moment the 'property' in question cannot be separated from the original owner or deformed , and is impervious to such attempts of separation or deformation, it become outrageously laughable to think that torts can occur in its regard.

Alll you are left with is your Labour Theory of Value appeal, which amounts to the right to stake a claim to an imagined level of  market-value for goods derived from a work. well you have no such claims to imagined levels of market-value of goods outside of your ability to bring them to market and earn the price... so if you don't have this for real physical property why should you have it for derivatives of intangible 'so-called' property.

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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Onar Åm:

One more schoolyard insult and you're gone.

Well, I'm out of here anyway.

See ya.  Your style of argumentation that revolves around unsubstantiated claims, insults and logical fallacies is a poor fit.  When you're able to debate like a scholar maybe you will be able to advance your ideas.   Acting like this isn't going to convince anyone that your positions are sound.

"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:
Well, I'm out of here anyway. I would not however say that I am making schoolyard insults. I'm simply making accurate descriptions of reality. The intellectual level on this forum is so low that it truly deserves scorn. It's a disgrace to the cause of liberty that it be sullied by intellectual imps. My final word of advice before I leave is: read up on materialism. Try to educate yourself and understand what it is, and then try to understand its alternative (no, not idealism, but individualism) which involves an integration of mind and body, of matter and consciousness. You guys really ARE materialists, but you're so intellectually stunted that you don't actually understand what it is or that you are materialists. That makes it 100% impossible for me to make arguments against you. I cannot argue with a cat either because he lacks the conceptual awareness to understand arguments. This is true for you too. Until you start acknowledging that you are materialists and what this involves, you will be forever trapped in a reduced state of consciousness.

Well, a bunch of ad hominems on you and yours, too, and fie on you I say! Fie!

 
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Onar Åm:

One more schoolyard insult and you're gone.

I would not however say that I am making schoolyard insults.

...intellectual imps...

...you're so intellectually stunted...

Haha. Yeah, ok.  Byebye.

"the obligation to justice is founded entirely on the interests of society, which require mutual abstinence from property" -David Hume
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dnixx replied on Sat, Oct 23 2010 3:13 PM

I have a question. Which of these is illegitimate?

* Someone copied the author's novel and sold it, and that's why the author doesn't make any money

* Someone copied the author's novel and sold it, but that's not why the author doesn't make any money

* Someone copied and sold the first three sentences of the author's novel, and that's why the author doesn't make any money

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David replied on Sat, Oct 23 2010 3:35 PM

nskinsella wrote the following post at Sat, Oct 23 2010 11:26 AM:

David, "I'm still not finding any explanation yet as to why or how Rothbard is mistaken."

See the Contract vs. Reserved Rights section of my Against IP. I go into it in detail. http://www.stephankinsella.com/publications/#againstip

Thanks Mr. Kinsella. I read your explanation before but needed the refresher. The "Famer Jed" analogy on page 40 - 41 is brilliant. It clearly debunks the concept that reserved rights can be applied to knowledge or information.

In light of this I should modify my four point summary from above as follows:

  1. With or without any explicit copyright expression in the voluntary exchange, there can be no limit or restriction on what the buyer can later do with the information he has acquired and his own property. There can be no implied or explicit copyright over information. 
  2. If such an explicit expression of copyright is clearly identified and included in the voluntary exchange, it becomes only a moral obligation of the buyer to honor those terms. The buyer has voluntarily agreed to a restriction of use, but if he later abandons the book, donates or resells it, this obligation or restriction is not transferred.
  3. When a third party acquires the book/music/mousetrap, they are never bound by any limitation or reserved rights that may obligate the original buyer. Whether they are aware of any prior restriction or not, they may proceed to reproduce without any moral offense.
  4. If this book was acquired illegitimately (theft, larceny, fraud, etc) and after notification they do not return the original book, they are aggressing against the rightful owner. If after notification, they return the original book, they may maintain any copies produced with their own property and may continue to produce and sell them, without any offense to the original author or to the rightful owner.

Basically under a free-market, we would have only an "honor-system" that would apply only to explicit copyrights and only to the original party of the voluntary exchange who agreed to the restrictions - correct?

Put it into more modern and current terms:

Under such a system a movie studio could offer a video entertainment subscription on the free market with a subscriber agreement that includes a commitment by the subscriber not to copy or redistribute the entertainment content (just as they do today). (Is this still true?)  If the subscriber breaks the agreement and redistributes the movies via BitTorrent or some other means, those third parties who receive or acquire the content via that p2p channel have no liability to the studio and may copy or redistribute freely. (True?)

Since the studio may use some technological means to uniquely identify the source of such a breech (e.g forensic watermarks) they may take action against this subscriber for contract violation. Assuming the studio can uniquely identify every copy and every copy-of-a-copy that originated with this subscriber's breech, how much do they owe?  Without an indemnity clause or limit of liability in the contract, to what extent  would this subscriber be liable to the studio?  Can the original subscriber become liable for the additional copies spread by the non-offending third parties?

I don't mean to be a pest, I'm just trying to understand the complexities.  Thanks for your patience with me.

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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MaikU replied on Sat, Oct 23 2010 3:43 PM

Stephen:

No, that's ok, because the farmer next door didn't steal HIS potatoes. He PRODUCED his OWN and did so cheaper. The correct analogy in IP is that some other author produces his own novel which is so good that people prefer to buy this novel over the other author's novel. THAT's competition. Stealing your neighbor farmer's potatoes is NOT competition. It's theft.

We agree; stealing potatoes is theft.  The owner of the potatoes can show clear damages -- he no longer has his potatoes.  What are the damages can the author show?  He still has his novel.  Not a single copy is missing.

I don't agree that stealing potatoes is theft. After all, the thief has a right to his livelihood and has mixed his labour with the potatoes by taking them. Besides, he was the one who came up with the idea of taking them from somebody else instead of growing them himself. If anyone tries to take them back, their stealing the product of his mind. Prior-later distinction be damned.

And oh yeah. If you disagree with me, it's because you're a shallow materialist who fails to realize that ideas exist and that denial of IP leads you to insane conclusions. Man exists as a mind, not as a body. He is a teleological being, not a physical one. I also find it frightening that none of you are as smart as I am and lack common sense, defined of course not as 'practical judgment', but according to my own highly abstract esoteric notions of what it is.

 

dunno if it's a beer or what, but your post made my day :D

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(english is not my native language, sorry for grammar.)

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MaikU replied on Sat, Oct 23 2010 4:09 PM

Onar Åm:

One more schoolyard insult and you're gone.

Well, I'm out of here anyway. I would not however say that I am making schoolyard insults. I'm simply making accurate descriptions of reality. The intellectual level on this forum is so low that it truly deserves scorn. It's a disgrace to the cause of liberty that it be sullied by intellectual imps. My final word of advice before I leave is: read up on materialism. Try to educate yourself and understand what it is, and then try to understand its alternative (no, not idealism, but individualism) which involves an integration of mind and body, of matter and consciousness. You guys really ARE materialists, but you're so intellectually stunted that you don't actually understand what it is or that you are materialists. That makes it 100% impossible for me to make arguments against you. I cannot argue with a cat either because he lacks the conceptual awareness to understand arguments. This is true for you too. Until you start acknowledging that you are materialists and what this involves, you will be forever trapped in a reduced state of consciousness.

 

 

so now being materialist is a bad thing? Wow.... Though I still am not sure what kind of materialism you are talking about. It sounds very much like when creationists accuse "evilutionists" of being MATERIALISTS. It's poor tactic, really. Materialism is a state of nature, though I wouldn't advocate that it is absolute.. that would be probably scientism. Just easily observable and testable.

"Dude... Roderick Long is the most anarchisty anarchist that has ever anarchisted!" - Evilsceptic

(english is not my native language, sorry for grammar.)

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David:

In light of this I should modify my four point summary from above as follows:

  1. With or without any explicit copyright expression in the voluntary exchange, there can be no limit or restriction on what the buyer can later do with the information he has acquired and his own property. There can be no implied or explicit copyright over information. 

I think information cannot be owned. Ever. Only scarce objects. If you transfer possession of an object to someone, it can be a sale, or it can be some kind of lease, where I retain ownership and thus grant only limited use rights to the possessor. I think this would be impractical or infeasible for sales of books or CDs. They would just sell the things.

If you want to restrict the buyer/lessee's use of information associated with the object bought or leased, then that is simply a separate contract. But since I accept the Evers-Rothbard title-transfer theory of contract (and related inalienability ideas and the concomitant inability of contracts to create enforceable obligations), then the seller/lessor can only get the buyer/lessee to agree to pay money damages to the seller/lessor in the event that he does certain things with the information he gains. But again, I don't see typical buyers of a $5 book agreeing to large liability for future actions. So this would be impractical too, IMO.

Note that if you publish a copy of a book or leak information, that is NOT a use of the book itself. It is use of information gleaned from the book, but the book may no longer even exist. It cannot be said to be trespass since it's not a misuse *of the book*. At most it coudl be a breach of contract. Not trespass.

  1. If such an explicit expression of copyright is clearly identified and included in the voluntary exchange, it becomes only a moral obligation of the buyer to honor those terms. The buyer has voluntarily agreed to a restriction of use, but if he later abandons the book, donates or resells it, this obligation or restriction is not transferred.

Well, I agree that the restriction can never be transferred. If the book is actually owned by the buyer, then the next buyer now owns it. Suppose however that you only are the lessee of the book; then I would say if you try to sell it to a third party, the third party does not get good title. But htat means he doesn't own that copy. If the original seller (and owner) finds the second guy, he can ask for it back. but he can't demand the information not be used since there was no contract between them.

And if you as lessee OR buyer have a contractual obligation not to sell the book or reveal information to third prties, then if you do this, you owe money damages to the seller, but the people you gave the information to do not.

  1. When a third party acquires the book/music/mousetrap, they are never bound by any limitation or reserved rights that may obligate the original buyer. Whether they are aware of any prior restriction or not, they may proceed to reproduce without any moral offense.

Yes, with one caveat: if the physical object is stil owned by the original produer, then it is trespass to knowingly possess, use, or retain the book if you are aware of this; and you must return it when you do learn someone else owns it; it;s just like a case of stolen property. But the inforation is not property.

 

  1. If this book was acquired illegitimately (theft, larceny, fraud, etc) and after notification they do not return the original book, they are aggressing against the rightful owner. If after notification, they return the original book, they may maintain any copies produced with th89eir own property and may continue to produce and sell them, without any offense to the original author or to the rightful owner.

I agree with this. this is because they didn't agree to anything.

Basically under a free-market, we would have only an "honor-system" that would apply only to explicit copyrights and only to the original party of the voluntary exchange who agreed to the restrictions - correct?

not sure what you mean by honor system.

Put it into more modern and current terms:

Under such a system a movie studio could offer a video entertainment subscription on the free market with a subscriber agreement that includes a commitment by the subscriber not to copy or redistribute the entertainment content (just as they do today). (Is this still true?)  If the subscriber breaks the agreement and redistributes the movies via BitTorrent or some other means, those third parties who receive or acquire the content via that p2p channel have no liability to the studio and may copy or redistribute freely. (True?)

right. the customer may be liable, but I doubt peoplue would agree to crazy liability just for some minor priced service.Not worth it.

Since the studio may use some technological means to uniquely identify the source of such a breech (e.g forensic watermarks) they may take action against this subscriber for contract violation. Assuming the studio can uniquely identify every copy and every copy-of-a-copy that originated with this subscriber's breech, how much do they owe?  Without an indemnity clause or limit of liability in the contract, to what extent  would this subscriber be liable to the studio?  Can the original subscriber become liable for the additional copies spread by the non-offending third parties?

the damage woudl be breach of contract, and if htere is a cotnract it woudl specify damages. If not, then whaever the court decides.

s

Stephan Kinsella nskinsella@gmail.com www.StephanKinsella.com

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Onar,

Suppose that a person makes a perfectly good copy of paper money. He becomes rich by simply printing a lot of money! What are the damages to the other money owners? Not a single copy of their money is missing. So what if this debases the value of the money? Tough luck. That's what's called competition! Supply and demand!

(Now it's time for that common sense "waaaaait a minute..." to kick in)

You can argue that it's fraud, but why? The printer of money has signed no contract obliging him not to copy money.

There is actually nothing wrong with making copies of money. It doesn't violate rights. If you use one of these fake notes to pay some seller S for something, then if you don't disclose that it's fake, then you are committing fraud on S. If you do disclose it, then S is not defrauded. He would be moron to take the fake note, but if he agrees to take it, no problem.

Stephan Kinsella nskinsella@gmail.com www.StephanKinsella.com

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I was setting him up ...

I think information cannot be owned. Ever.

That is the argument I don't like. 

I own the thoughts in my brain.  You interchanged the word secrecy earlier for IP in my contract post and I think secrecy is a good word.  I absolutely own my IP until it leaves my brain and then it becomes a claim once it enters other brains.  Since I am in control of my lips, thoughts leaving my brain are voluntary acts.

I believe I correctly argue anything that extends beyond the body is a claim in society.  I reject land or other scarce resources can be owned based on a dislike of reusing the word "own".  Land and scarce resources are also claims.  People say they own title but title is evidence of a voluntary act to support a claim.  Under the NAP arbitration subjectively favors voluntary acts.

You can set me up all day long but self ownership is self evident.  I will continue to reject the word "own" because it does not clearly convey concepts.  Self ownership is absolute.  Self ownership can never be taken away only impaired.  Property ownership is not absolute, again it is a claim and I don't like using one word, like own, that can have two different meanings to define big concepts.  It's muddies the sales pitch.

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David replied on Sat, Oct 23 2010 6:23 PM

Thanks for your detailed reply.

nskinsella wrote the following post at Sat, Oct 23 2010 3:13 PM:

not sure what you mean by honor system

Yes, it was a poor choice of words.

right. the customer may be liable, but I doubt peoplue would agree to crazy liability just for some minor priced service.Not worth it.

I think you're right, it is probably not worth it. But I think people agree to very restrictive terms all the time. Here are a few clips from a typical click-through agreement for such on-line entertainment services. Some may argue the that the "click-through contract" is not legitimate, but here is the kind of stuff they contain (I removed the company's name since similar language is used by many companies):

This license will enable you to view, preview, select, stream and access video, audio, graphics, photos, text, special features, software and/or messages (collectively "Content") via the Service in accordance with the terms of this Agreement during the timeframe in which your account is active and for the duration of the access window for each individual Content item. Any copy of this Service, Content or any portion thereof will constitute a violation of copyright. Violation of this Agreement in any manner automatically terminates the license granted to you herein and obligates you to cease all use of the Service.

Unauthorized copying, editing, exhibition, broadcast or distribution of a copyrighted program can result in severe criminal and civil penalties under U.S. laws. In particular, criminal copyright infringement, including without monetary gain, is investigated by the FBI and is punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

You may not copy, reproduce, distribute, transfer, sell, license, publish, enter into a database, display, perform publicly, modify, create derivative works, upload, edit, post, link to, frame, transmit, rent, lease, lend or sublicense or in any way exploit any part of this Service, or attempt to interfere with the operation of the Service in any way, except that you may access and display material and all other Content displayed on this Service for non-commercial, personal, entertainment use for a limited time only as strictly authorized herein.

...you may not distribute any part of this Service over any network, including a local area network, nor sell or offer it for sale. You may not assign, sublicense, pledge or transfer any of your rights or obligations under this Agreement to any person or entity without BigStudio's prior written consent which may be withheld in BigStudio's sole discretion (and any such purposed assignment, pledge or transfer without such prior written consent shall be void ab initio). In addition, these files may not be used to construct any kind of database. Any authorization to copy material granted by BigStudio in any part of this Service for any reason is restricted to viewing a single copy for non-commercial, personal, entertainment use only, and is subject to your keeping intact all copyright, trademark and other proprietary notices. Using any material on any other Service or networked computer environment is prohibited. Also prohibited are: decompiling, reverse engineering, disassembling, or otherwise reducing the code used in any software or digital rights management feature on this Service into a readable form in order to examine the construction of such software and/or to copy or create other products based (in whole or in part) on such software or any feature of the Service, or intercepting and/or recording network communications transmitted between the Service and BigStudio.

You are not permitted to link to this Service from any third-party site without the prior written permission of BigStudio. However, this Service may link you to other sites on the Internet including, without limitation, sites owned or controlled by our distributors. These sites may contain information or material that some people may find inappropriate or offensive. These other sites are not under the control of BigStudio, and you acknowledge that (whether or not such sites are affiliated in any way with BigStudio or its partners) BigStudio is not responsible for the accuracy, copyright compliance, legality, decency, or any other aspect of the Content of such sites. The inclusion of such a link does not imply endorsement of any site by BigStudio or any association with its operators.

You may not reproduce, sell, resell or otherwise exploit any resource, or access to any resource, contained on this Service.

You are prohibited from using any services or facilities provided in connection with this Service to compromise security or tamper with system resources and/or accounts. The use or distribution of tools designed for compromising security (e.g. password guessing programs, cracking tools or network probing tools) is strictly prohibited.

BigStudio along with its respective partners and affiliates reserve the right to investigate suspected violations of this Agreement, and may seek to gather information from the user who is suspected of violating the terms of this Agreement, and from any other user. We may suspend any users whose conduct is under investigation and may remove such material from its servers as it deems appropriate and without notice. If we believe, in our sole discretion, that a violation of these terms of this Agreement has occurred, it may warn users, suspend Usernames and Passwords, terminate Registered Accounts or take other corrective action deemed appropriate. We may provide personally identifiable information in response to legal process, for example, in response to a court order or a subpoena. We also may disclose such information in response to a law enforcement agency's request. BY ACCEPTING THIS AGREEMENT YOU WAIVE AND HOLD HARMLESS BigStudio, ITS RESPECTIVE PARTNERS AND AFFILIATES FROM ANY CLAIMS RESULTING FROM ANY ACTION TAKEN BY BigStudio DURING OR AS A RESULT OF ITS INVESTIGATIONS AND/OR FROM ANY ACTIONS TAKEN AS A CONSEQUENCE OF INVESTIGATIONS BY EITHER BigStudio OR LAW ENFORCEMENT AUTHORITIES.

Certainly few people actually read these and they have no mechanism to negotiate, so they just take it as it comes.

To the extent terms like "US Law" and FBI etc, would be replaced with something more appropriate, could such a contract still be taken seriously under a libertarian free market?  Would such businesses generally need a new business model?

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 own the thoughts in my brain.

Under normal circumstances, you control the thoughts in your brain.  You don't necessarily own them.  This is obvious.

Live_Free_Or_Die:
I absolutely own my IP until it leaves my brain and then it becomes a claim once it enters other brains.

So you can have a claim on my mind, but you own your own mind.  How convenient.

Live_Free_Or_Die:
I believe I correctly argue anything that extends beyond the body is a claim in society.

That depends on the society.

Live_Free_Or_Die:
You can set me up all day long but self ownership is self evident.  I will continue to reject the word "own" because it does not clearly convey concepts.  Self ownership is absolute.  Self ownership can never be taken away only impaired.

So you reject the word own, but you say self ownership is absolute and self evident.  And you adopt this position in order to create clarity.

Live_Free_Or_Die:
It's muddies the sales pitch.

I have no idea what your position is (and care less by the second).  I don't think anyone else reading this will either.

"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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Live_Free_Or_Die:

I was setting him up ...

I think information cannot be owned. Ever.

That is the argument I don't like.

See, the issue with claims, as you call them, is that in order to be able to settle a claim, you need to be able to prove ownership.  But you reject ownership in favor of claims (which doesn't make any sense to me whatsoever) and I am left wondering, how you settle and resolve claims in your claim based society, if multiple people make the same claim as once.

That is related to this bit where I was scooped by an unscrupulous thinker who did not recognize the sovereignty of my thoughts I had not yet shared.

liberty student:

Aposiopesis:
If you're appealing to IP existing as property because it exists physically in the brain, then you also have to realize that same IP can exist in someone (perhaps many) brains simultaneously.

I was setting him up ...

Substitute the word property for claim to fit it into your model.  How do you resolve the conflicts which will inevitably rise from a lack of scarcity and the multitude of claims it will breed?

"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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Under normal circumstances, you control the thoughts in your brain.  You don't necessarily own them.  This is obvious.

Absolute control = ownership

So you can have a claim on my mind, but you own your own mind.  How convenient.

Sigh... anyone can claim anything.  It doesn't mean it's true or enforcable.  That's why it is a claim.

That depends on the society.

This is just as bad as your previous comment.  Does this site advocate some non-libertarian society I am unaware of?  Do you think I am referring to some other kind of society?

So you reject the word own, but you say self ownership is absolute and self evident.  And you adopt this position in order to create clarity.

Are you even reading my posts before you reply?

I have no idea what your position is (and care less by the second).  I don't think anyone else reading this will either.

Fine don't respond.  I don't think you are reading my posts because my position hasn't changed in the thread.  I have primarily argued one line of thought.  Contractual.

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Substitute the word property for claim to fit it into your model.

Had you read my posts this sentance would read:

Substitute the word claim for own with regards to property or anything that extends beyond the body into your model.

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Live_Free_Or_Die:
Fine don't respond.

Despite the fact I don't think you make much sense, I have been responding.

Live_Free_Or_Die:
I have primarily argued one line of thought.  Contractual.

Why?  No one is even debating contracts.  It's a given!

"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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Despite the fact I don't think you make much sense, I have been responding.

Since you want to "set me up", in your opinion, am I not participating in the discussion in good faith?  In your opinion, could I benefit from a little benevolent entrapment?

Court does not begin when one is standing before a judge.  Court begins long before that.

For instance if I take your claim above, despite the fact you have asserted it as fact, it is a claim.  While the thought was floating around your own gray matter it was an absolute fact, unrebutable, but now that the thought has voluntarily entered society of your own free will it is no longer a fact.  It is a claim that can in fact be rebutted.  So let me analyze the claim:

Despite the fact I don't think

No further comment required.

Despite the fact I

In my short paragraph of dissertation above about rebuttals, I was not referring to your use of the word fact.  When a claim enters society it is de facto true until it is rebutted (I wonder why media is so effective at controlling public opinion, how much media rebuttal has occurred before the internet?).  Presently in the United States, courts are a monopoly on truth.  In light of the comment I made above about court occurring long before people ever make it to a judge, try to grasp this statement coming from a Judge.  "I see the facts are not in dispute." 

Simply to make a point about claims I am rebutting:

I don't think you make much sense

Obviously something not rebutted is one way a judge could state.  "I see the facts are not in dispute."  What grounds would I base a rebuttal on?  I imagine I could cite previous posts and ask if you understood this sentence or that sentence.  I make some sense because your claim is I don't make much sense.  If you were to respond to a sentence by sentence rebuttal and acknowledged 50% of my sentences make sense would your claim still be considered true?

If you admitted 50% of my sentences made sense what would your rebuttal of pride be?  I am unfairly measuring the claim by sentence and the claim should be measured by paragraph? By post? By concept?

Could I base a rebuttal simply on the English language and whether or not there are spelling or errors in grammar?

Hopefully you are getting a larger point I have made about using the NAP as the measure because how things are measured is important, including arbitration.

Having said all that let me rehash my line of thought as it applies to IP.  When this was floating around your own gray matter:

Despite the fact I don't think you make much sense, I have been responding.

It was intellectual property.  Once it entered society, it is a claim that can be rebutted.  If it voluntarily entered society there is no harm to base an IP claim on in society.

If it involuntarily entered society, how did it enter society?  Was it a result of using force or breach of secrecy contract?  Who caused the harm?  The individual(s) using force, individual(s) breaching a contract, or other third parties in society?  Obviously not the latter.  Earlier someone used a stolen car example.  Would monetary settlement be acceptable in lieu of return of the car?  Of course it would and non-voluntary IP claims in society could receive monetary settlement since it is impossible to return the idea because no one owns anyone elses brain.

Am I making sense yet?

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Live_Free_Or_Die:
Am I making sense yet?

Nope.

"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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Very convincing rebuttal.

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Live_Free_Or_Die:
Very convincing rebuttal.

Insofar as I can understand your position, it seems incoherent.

"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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JohnDoe replied on Sun, Oct 24 2010 4:00 PM

Onar wrote:

"Suppose that a person makes a perfectly good copy of paper money. He becomes rich by simply printing a lot of money! What are the damages to the other money owners? Not a single copy of their money is missing. So what if this debases the value of the money? Tough luck. That's what's called competition! Supply and demand!

(Now it's time for that common sense "waaaaait a minute..." to kick in)

You can argue that it's fraud, but why? The printer of money has signed no contract obliging him not to copy money."

 

It's interesting to note that the Government strictly enforces copyright on paper money. Probably Onar would like them to be as strict in enforcing the rest of the copyright laws.

 

Now, I can't think of no faster way to abolish fiat money than to eliminate the copyright on them.

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