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Intellectual Property

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Brian LaSorsa Posted: Mon, Oct 11 2010 2:04 AM

I'm still not convinced that there should be no IP laws, especially when it comes to creative works (i.e. music, screenplays, fiction novels, poetry, etc.). I understand that IP laws are the government creating scarce resources out of resources that would normally be non-scarced, as it's usually put, but I don't see the fairness when it comes to creative works especially. I have a few questions.

1. What would happen if someone wrote a fiction novel and then someone sold it under his/her own name? Is copyright different than IP? Also, is the libertarian/anarchist view that anyone should be able to sell copies of the author's work without paying him/her royalties and/or without getting permission?

2. When it comes to science like BRCA-1, what's anyone's incentive to invest in or research for a solution to cancer (aside from promoting the general welfare of society) if anyone can take the idea and run? Is it just that they'll be able to come up with a produce before anyone else that makes it fair?

I'm sure I'll come up with more questions after a while, but these are the two main ones and I don't want this to get confusing.

Any material on the subject would help too. Try to name the top 1-2 sources that helped your understanding because I won't be able to read 50 books.

"Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats." - H.L. Mencken.

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"[...] but I don't see the fairness when it comes to creative works especially."

Why does fairness matter?

"What would happen if someone wrote a fiction novel and then someone sold it under his/her own name?"

It could be fraud, but fraud is already illegal. Why do need IP laws to make something that is already illegal... illegal?

"Is copyright different than IP?"

Yes. Copyright is a type of IP.

"Also, is the libertarian/anarchist view that anyone should be able to sell copies of the author's work without paying him/her royalties and/or without getting permission?"

It depends. Could you give a more specific example? I mean, are you asking us if "anyone should be able to sell copies of the author's work without paying him/her royalties and/or without getting permission" is, a priori, okay?

To paraphrase Marc Faber: We're all doomed, but that doesn't mean that we can't make money in the process.
Rabbi Lapin: "Let's make bricks!"
Stephan Kinsella: "Say you and I both want to make a German chocolate cake."

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"[...] but I don't see the fairness when it comes to creative works especially."

I shouldn't have used the word 'fairness'. I meant wouldn't it be theft if someone took the creative work from the author and published it without giving the author royalties and/or without consent? I know that not everyone who has ever built a chair owes the original chairmaker money, but I don't really understand exactly what would concern IP law as opposed to other laws since you said copyright is IP.

It depends. Could you give a more specific example? I mean, are you asking us if "anyone should be able to sell copies of the author's work without paying him/her royalties and/or without getting permission" is, a priori, okay?

Pretend you write a fiction novel. You give a only one publisher permission to sell the book and allow it to distribute the books as it wishes to various bookstores/etc. Then I buy a copy of the book and photocopy every page, staple it together, and sell a bunch of copies of the book at a street corner? Would I be charged with anything in an an-cap society?

And would the absence of IP laws allow for people to burn CDs that they got off of a free ['illegal'] internet file-sharing service (i.e. Napster, Kazaa, etc.), or at least download movies/songs off of that service for personal use?

"Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats." - H.L. Mencken.

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Azure replied on Mon, Oct 11 2010 4:29 AM

I know that not everyone who has ever built a chair owes the original chairmaker money, but I don't really understand exactly what would concern IP law as opposed to other laws since you said copyright is IP.

Under the unrestricted view of IP law, yes. Every person who has ever built a chair owes the original chair inventor whatever royalties their heirs now desire. This is obviously unreasonable so IP supporters came up with weird arbitrary time limits and the such.

Pretend you write a fiction novel. You give a only one publisher permission to sell the book and allow it to distribute the books as it wishes to various bookstores/etc. Then I buy a copy of the book and photocopy every page, staple it together, and sell a bunch of copies of the book at a street corner? Would I be charged with anything in an an-cap society?

Nope. You have not denied anyone use of their property. There's no conflict here.

And would the absence of IP laws allow for people to burn CDs that they got off of a free ['illegal'] internet file-sharing service (i.e. Napster, Kazaa, etc.), or at least download movies/songs off of that service for personal use?

Yes. Actually they can do that now. The RIAA just likes to use the state to threaten and extort some people who do so.

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Nope. You have not denied anyone use of their property. There's no conflict here.

So they basically just have to make sure the author's name is printed on the book and/or give him credit somehow? Or is that not even necessary? As we stated before, printing the book under another's name would be fraud but I didn't know if the absence of the author would be fraud too.

Yes. Actually they can do that now. The RIAA just likes to use the state to threaten and extort some people who do so.

In the United States you're allowed to download movies/music off of Limewire and the like? I don't think that's true.

As for screenplays, what if someone wrote a script, gave it to someone to read, and the reader quickly sold the script as his/her own to a producer/studio because the screenwriter wasn't able to copyright the work?

"Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats." - H.L. Mencken.

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Azure replied on Mon, Oct 11 2010 5:01 AM

So they basically just have to make sure the author's name is printed on the book and/or give him credit somehow? Or is that not even necessary? As we stated before, printing the book under another's name would be fraud but I didn't know if the absence of the author would be fraud too.

Not necessary.

In the United States you're allowed to download movies/music off of Limewire and the like? I don't think that's true.

You can but doing so may get you harassed. That doesn't mean it's unethical, and this is what I was trying to say. But yes, in the usual sense you aren't allowed. In an ancap society though, you could.

As for screenplays, what if someone wrote a script, gave it to someone to read, and the reader quickly sold the script as his/her own to a producer/studio because the screenwriter wasn't able to copyright the work?

I don't see the problem with this. Doing so doesn't stop the author from using their work. It only hinders their potential profits. And of course, you don't own your potential profits.

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MaikU replied on Mon, Oct 11 2010 1:08 PM

Did you read Kinsella's "Against IP"? Seems, that you very "green" on this topic, judging from your questions.

Sure, pretending to be original author and selling someone else's work is type of fraud and is unethical. But then keep in mind, that majority of people are not that evil or dishonest to do that, even in the age of piracy. I would never commit such fraud. Do you? Here is the proof, that this sort of crime won't be more common in ancapistan than it is now. Just because there is law that says "killing is illegal" doesn't stop people from killing and vice versa. I don't kill not because I fear cops or jail. I don't kill because I don't need to, or do not want to and see it immoral.

Sure, piracy will be higher, but there is nothing wrong with downloading digital copies from the internet. I know, that in America it's a big problem, RIAA and shit.. But here in Europe it's the norm :D

Anyway, if there be IP laws in ancapistan, they would be quite different than it is now and probably would bind only two parties. If you are a writer and I am a publisher, then we sign a contract, get insurance etc. and profit. Still, third parties can copy your book and read it for free, but then again, if you are good at writing and are popular, many people would still try to support you by donating or by buying your books.

Same with music, arts, etc.

"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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Stranger replied on Mon, Oct 11 2010 1:13 PM

Intellectual property is a natural product of human action. Attempts by ideologues to abolish it via the state will only result in its re-emergence within private systems. See for example Apple's wildly successful "App Store", a for-profit consumer software distribution system that is closed and controlled through the hardware.

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Stranger: "Intellectual property is a natural product of human action. Attempts by ideologues to abolish it via the state will only result in its re-emergence within private systems. See for example Apple's wildly successful "App Store", a for-profit consumer software distribution system that is closed and controlled through the hardware."

Obviously, that is not the type of IP that the OP is talking about. Stranger, weren't you were supposed to differentiate what is commonly known as IP, that is, the USA government's version IP, from your version "IP" that is derived from private property rights? You never did. Instead, you went on to straw man Kinsella and call a bunch of "intellectual communists".

To paraphrase Marc Faber: We're all doomed, but that doesn't mean that we can't make money in the process.
Rabbi Lapin: "Let's make bricks!"
Stephan Kinsella: "Say you and I both want to make a German chocolate cake."

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Stranger replied on Mon, Oct 11 2010 2:15 PM

Stranger, weren't you were supposed to differentiate what is commonly known as IP, that is, the USA government's version IP, from your version "IP" that is derived from private property rights? 

No, I wasn't.

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Stranger: "No, I wasn't."

Oh wellz.

To paraphrase Marc Faber: We're all doomed, but that doesn't mean that we can't make money in the process.
Rabbi Lapin: "Let's make bricks!"
Stephan Kinsella: "Say you and I both want to make a German chocolate cake."

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MaikU replied on Mon, Oct 11 2010 2:46 PM

Spot on.. IP derived from private companies would be quite different than it is now, when it is monopolized by state violence.

I think IP should be written with quotes. Or maybe we should invent new concept? Intellectual work, for example? Hehe.

 

Anyway, state's IP is not that IP that could emerge in free market.

"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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Did you read Kinsella's "Against IP"? Seems, that you very "green" on this topic, judging from your questions.

I haven't read that yet. I saw that PDF on the site, so hopefully I'll have the time to get through it one day. It's only ~50 pages if I recall correctly, so that's good. Would you recommend it / anything else? I don't know what being "green" means, but....... maybe?

Sure, pretending to be original author and selling someone else's work is type of fraud and is unethical. But then keep in mind, that majority of people are not that evil or dishonest to do that, even in the age of piracy. I would never commit such fraud. Do you?

I understand that the same amount of people who do it now would do it then, but my question was whether the 'criminal', so to speak, would be punished for the fraud or piracy in some manner if caught.

Also, for the screenwriting situation. If someone takes my screenplay and quickly sells it to a producer/distributor because I couldn't copyright it, why isn't that theft/fraud? So the guy who steals the screenplay would get compensation for my script?

"Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats." - H.L. Mencken.

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Stranger replied on Mon, Oct 11 2010 9:14 PM

Also, for the screenwriting situation. If someone takes my screenplay and quickly sells it to a producer/distributor because I couldn't copyright it, why isn't that theft/fraud? So the guy who steals the screenplay would get compensation for my script?

You don't understand. Under intellectual communism, your screenplay is worthless. As free as the air.

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Back for more!

Stranger:

liberty student wrote the following post at Sat, Sep 11 2010 4:40 AM:

You may not be aware there is a different posting standard on the forums since your last ban.  Please clean it up if you wish to continue participating.

It does seem that things have taken a turn for the worse in my absence. I'm verry sad that the Mises Institute allowed the forums to disintegrate like that. I won't return.

Time to take the gospel to a new land!

"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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Brian:
I haven't read that yet. I saw that PDF on the site, so hopefully I'll have the time to get through it one day. It's only ~50 pages if I recall correctly, so that's good. Would you recommend it / anything else? I don't know what being "green" means, but....... maybe?

Most of Jeffrey Tucker's recent lectures on the Misesmedia YouTube Channel.  Most of Stephan Kinsella's videos on that same channel.

Against Intellectual Monopoly by Michele Boldrin and David Levine

Brian:
I understand that the same amount of people who do it now would do it then, but my question was whether the 'criminal', so to speak, would be punished for the fraud or piracy in some manner if caught.

Do you mean criminal in a legal sense, or criminal in an ethical sense?  Law and ethics are not the same thing.

Brian:
Also, for the screenwriting situation. If someone takes my screenplay and quickly sells it to a producer/distributor because I couldn't copyright it, why isn't that theft/fraud? So the guy who steals the screenplay would get compensation for my script?

Sure, but there are dozens of ways that would not happen.  You would keep your work secret.  You would write for a guild that has agreements with the studios who use the scripts.  You publish it to the world faster than someone can steal it.

Actually, check out this video too.

"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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