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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/10099/pirat-partiet/

Pirat Partiet!

June 9, 2009 by

Sweden’s Pirate Party has won entry to the European Parliament in Brussels in elections held Sunday.

The Pirate Party gained 7 percent of the Swedish votes and secured at least one of the 18 seats that Sweden holds in the parliament.

“Citizens have understood that it’s time to pull the fist out of the pocket and that you can make a difference,” Rick Falkvinge, leader and founder of the party, told the Swedish daily Svenska Dagbladet, after the result of the elections were revealed. “We don’t accept to be bugged by the government. People start to understand that the government is not always good.”

The Pirate Party is focused on three main goals: “to fundamentally reform copyright law, get rid of the patent system, and ensure that citizens’ rights to privacy are respected.”

{ 27 comments }

Niklas June 9, 2009 at 4:48 am

This is good for Sweden. The leader of piratpartiet, Rick Falkvinge is also an enthusiast of pure capitalism and small government and states that the current centre-right government of Sweden is a bunch of lame quasi-socialists.

Sasha Radeta June 9, 2009 at 5:03 am

Since Sweden is a socialist country, it’s no surprise that another socialist sect emerged there. After all, they’re just advocating nationalization of published works of authorship.

lukas June 9, 2009 at 5:14 am

Well… In Germany the Pirate Party also railed against university fees.

Gil June 9, 2009 at 6:11 am

It’d be good if the P.P. got into power and Sweden could be a good test to see whether I.P. spurs invention and innovation or not.

ktibuk June 9, 2009 at 6:13 am

:-)

At least they are honest.

They joined a crimal gang of pirates (a government) while calling themselves as pirates.

Sasha Radeta June 9, 2009 at 9:07 am

Gil,

There’s no need for yet another leftist experiment (we had plenty of those during the last century):

If nationalization (of anything) should spur more economic activity, this would imply that all nationalized sectors should flourish with entrepreneurial activity…

Socialists often think in terms of “demand-side” in economics… Whether it’s IP or any other property issue, their story goes something like this:
“Imagine how wonderful life would get if we would just allow common people to use rich people’s property… So much knowledge and ideas would disperse to proletariat. Making all this property public would in fact an investment that would pay-off with a multiplier…”

Of course, anyone remotely interested in economics knows that by abolishing the right to sell only limited use of one’s property (such as works of authorship) — the state would only destroy authors’ economic incentive to supply these goods. If anyone should claim that producers (authors) should benefit from such nationalization – why don’t all authors voluntarily switch to public domain? Why don’t all nationalized markets prosper by the same token? Even anti-copyright advocates use copyright to protect their earnings from printed books, while using online access for advertisement purposes.

newson June 9, 2009 at 10:21 am

…and yet, ktibuk, you have no problem with the state enforcing ip, notwithstanding their “criminal” standing.

Matthew June 9, 2009 at 10:38 am

Sasha Radeta,

I believe that you are mistaken to assume that commenters on LVMI (e.g. Gil) have a socialist bent. In general, everyone here is pro-property. Regarding the issue of IP, where there is disagreement, I think that you’ll find there are worthwhile arguments on both sides of the issue.

It does no one any good in this context for you to assume the conclusion that IP is legitimate and based your arguments on that conclusion. A multitude of arguments have been advanced against the natural legitimacy of IP on the LVMI blog, and your time would be better spent addressing those arguments than assuming they’re incorrect.

I’m of the opinion that IP is illegitimate because one is not deprived of the use of his work of authorship without IP. One may read his work, perform his work, duplicate his work, and sell his works. You must determine if the basis of all property rights, IP and non-IP is to ensure that one may use his property without being aggressed upon, or whether the purpose of property rights is to prevent others from using one’s supposed property. These are two different things. I would go with the former.

Shay June 9, 2009 at 11:47 am

Sasha Radeta,

Somehow people still find incentive to do things like repair plumbing or build buildings that people get unbounded use from afterwards, all the while only being paid for their labor, rather than every time the result of the labor is used by someone.

Sasha Radeta June 10, 2009 at 10:33 am

Matthew, let me address your arguments against legitimacy of IP:

I’m of the opinion that IP is illegitimate because one is not deprived of the use of his work of authorship without IP.

You’re unfamiliar with the concept of trespass. If a writer/publisher produces 1,000 books in order to sell the strictly limited use of these items — and you decide to hijack one of these books and use them for reproduction without his consent — you trespassed against his property, while creating economic injury (tort).

You are basically implying that a rent-a-car company should not be allowed to prohibit you from using their vehicle as a taxi.

If you didn’t buy expensive co-ownership or publishing rights over a work of authorship, you can’t logically claim that the rightful owner is “aggressing” upon you by making the rules by which you can use his property.

============

Shay,

You missed the topic entirely. Best regards.

Libertarian Thinker June 10, 2009 at 2:53 pm

@ktibuk

Oh please could you socialist join the other socialists over there (you are free to choose a socialist state) and leave here! :-)

@Sasha Radeta

You are wrong to assume that an author has “every right over his work”, because there is no right on information and there could be a third party using information which has no contract with the author. What if the third party gets its information from a second party?

Example: A writes a book. B gives C a copy of this book. In no way it would be righteous for A to forbid C using the information! Such an enforced information monopoly is pure initial aggression and therefore in no way libertarian!

Nuke Gray June 10, 2009 at 9:54 pm

If a plumber fixes a problem, that is not an IP issue, since the plumber did not invent the solution to the problem. If, though, a plumber were to invent something new, like a better tool, or a pipe with easily-replaceable sections, that would be an IP issue.

newson June 11, 2009 at 1:17 am

the plumber went to school and “copied” from what others had developed years before. innovations are all built from existing shared knowledge.

the romans used sophisticated plumbing and engineering techniques long before patents.

Nuke Gray June 11, 2009 at 2:13 am

But if a Roman-era plumber had invented a better tool, would he have been adequately rewarded for it? In those backward, patentless, days,NO! Civilisation has progressed. When the USA developed a speedy patent process, Great Britain felt it had to copy it, or Great Britain would have lost all its’ inventors to the USA. Why did the inventors want to move? Because of patent protection. If America dropped all patent and IP laws, companies and inventors would desert the US for inventor-friendly nations.

newson June 11, 2009 at 4:46 am

civilization has progressed, but whether this is due to the patents system or in spite of it is unknowable. plumbers don’t reinvent the science of hydraulics every job they perform, so, at best, they are innovators, and use a substantial pre-existing knowledge base.

it’s possible, as you say, that inventors would move country to capture ip rents, but unlikely. much cheaper to stay at home (no language, cultural problems), and get attorneys to fix up the patents in the foreign jurisdictions.

newson June 11, 2009 at 4:51 am

anyway, who’s to determine what “adequately rewarded” means? this is in conflict with the austrian view that interpersonal utility comparisons are impossible.

alan June 11, 2009 at 5:19 am

i think there’s a distinction between reproducing a physical good, e.g. a car; reproducing a song by doing a self-recording, and just blatantly copying a CD.

i.m.o. the first two are ok. the last is just theft.

Sasha Radeta June 11, 2009 at 7:33 am

Copyright is not about “information ownership.” The essence of copyright is to restrict unwanted use of one’s physical good, while allowing other uses.

Example: person A (author) prints a book and allows (sells) its non-commercial, personal use to B. B gives C this particular book owned by A.

Does this mean that person C in this example can do whatever he wants with someone else’s property? Of course it doesn’t. Person B only purchased a limited use of this good and they can only lend this use to others. All other rights are retained by the rightful owner A.

The fact that information contained in a book can serve as evidence of unauthorized use (trespass) does not imply any “information monopoly.” Mises institute published many wonderful copyrighted works that serve as a cornerstone for many future works.

Who prevents authors from making all their works a “public domain?” It’s the profit incentive that prevents them… Banning the market for “limited use” of works of authorship will only lead to less of these goods being produced (since you remove the way most of these people make money). Nationalization of published works of authorship (and the abolishment of market for “limited use” of these goods) would lead to catastrophic consequences, just like any other nationalization would. Blame it on law of supply.

newson June 11, 2009 at 8:14 am

sasha radeta says:
“Nationalization of published works of authorship (and the abolishment of market for “limited use” of these goods) would lead to catastrophic consequences, just like any other nationalization would.”

no it wouldn’t, nor has it (the vast body of work produced prior to copyright is a testimony to this). socialization of physical property (à la ussr), on the other hand, does lead to impoverishment.

creators’ delivery modes would change if the socialization of ip protection costs were abolished. serialization, pre-payment, sponsorship etc.

Sasha Radeta June 11, 2009 at 10:01 am

By “vast body of work prior to copyright” Newson probably refers to period in history also known as Dark Ages. Such “vast body of work” is really the best evidence of anti-IP silliness.

Newson said:
socialization of physical property (à la ussr), on the other hand, does lead to impoverishment.

Since copyrighted books are physical property (their limited use is sold) you just confirmed everything I said. If the market for limited use of books should be abolished – next logical step is to abolish market for labor and rent (also based on limited use of property).

Matthew June 11, 2009 at 11:54 am

Sasha Radeta,

If a writer/publisher produces 1,000 books in order to sell the strictly limited use of these items — and you decide to hijack one of these books and use them for reproduction without his consent — you trespassed against his property, while creating economic injury (tort).

I interpret “hijack” as expropriating a physical copy of said book without the consent of the owner. If my interpretation is correct, we are in agreement that such an action would constitute trespass.

If one acquires a copy of the book justly, and never voluntarily enters into a contract pledging not to reproduce the work, I see nothing unjust in doing so.

You are basically implying that a rent-a-car company should not be allowed to prohibit you from using their vehicle as a taxi.

I believe the IP/anti-IP battle lines are pretty clearly drawn, that the anti-IP position allows contract over one’s justly acquired property (which, as assumed, does not include IP). Car rental companies are obviously allowed insist on contractual provisions that prevent renters from operating as taxis, and customers of course, may take it or leave it.

If you didn’t buy expensive co-ownership or publishing rights over a work of authorship, you can’t logically claim that the rightful owner is “aggressing” upon you by making the rules by which you can use his property.

Again, you are assuming that your pro-IP position is the correct one without providing support for it. If your true goal is to make headway in common understanding, I suggest you provide support for the position, rather than stating it as an obvious truth in the category of 2+2=4. If I am misinterpreting anything you’re saying, I apologize.

I will again try to elucidate my justification for my position of being anti-IP. I assume we are in agreement that one possesses rights over the use of his property. The question just remains of what can be considered property and what can’t, and tangentially, what property rights entitle one to.

I contend that the existence of justice gives one the right to use those things he labors to create or discover (even including IP-type things like ideas, equations, designs, plans, etc.) without aggression from others. I define aggression as the use or threat of physical violence, or the removal (not including duplication) of that creation from the possession of the owner.

Note that in the case of tangible items, the laws of physics prevent the duplication of the item. In the case of IP-type items, duplication is possible without depriving the original owner of its use. Using my definitions, the only way that the creator of an IP-type item can be aggressed upon would be for someone to say, for instance, “I will shoot you if you utilize the ideas that you yourself have created.” Note that such a conception of rights is silent on the use of those ideas by others. I suggest, therefore, that our disagreement over the legitimacy of IP is specifically over exactly what property rights entitle one to.

I realize that definitions of some of my terms (“use” and “aggression” specifically) are vague. If you’re genuinely interested in finding the kernel of disagreement over IP, I’m engage in further discussion and refine my definitions.

Marc June 11, 2009 at 4:32 pm

I think I’ve come to accept that copyrights are a right to exclusivity and that in order to copyright something you must have a physical copy and so it would be possible even in a private court system to prove that someone has infringed on a defendants copyright, which has been the biggest reason why I was against copyrights. Even Rothbard was in favor of copyrights but against patents. And Tucker, who I find interesting, identifies patents as one of the ‘Four Monopolies’.

newson June 11, 2009 at 6:31 pm

to sasha radeta:
if you think that the world was in a permanent “dark age” prior to patents, you need to be spending more time over the history books. or tour europe and the ancient world and open you eyes to what was achieved long before the ip bug took hold. this will disabuse you of your naïve view.

are you a randian?

Sasha Radeta June 12, 2009 at 10:35 am

Newson,

I just stated the fact that these “flourishing” times you described are better known as Dark Ages…

What was achieved after Dark Ages was the result of the printing press — which enabled authors to multiply their works of authorship in order to sell limited use of these goods. This profit incentive enabled greater spread of knowledge and ideas.

======================

Matthew,

You focus too much on “the laws of physics”, while not focusing too much on this statement of yours:

Car rental companies are obviously allowed insist on contractual provisions that prevent renters from operating as taxis, and customers of course, may take it or leave it.

However, no such provision should be necessary. If a rent-a-car company sells you only a non-commercial use of their vehicle — that means that all other rights over the use of that vehicle are retained by this company. If you don’t pay for the right to turn someone else’s vehicle into money-making taxi — you legally don’t have a right over this kind of use. Period.

The same goes for books, CDS, etc… You can’t legally assume the right to use someone else’s property in ways that were not explicitly authorized by the rightful owner.

Sasha Radeta June 12, 2009 at 10:48 am

I can see that anti-IP crowd still advocates a strange notion that that a property owner should not be allowed to allow (sell) only limited use of his property (like non–commercial use of his book) – while retaining all other rights for himself. The logical conclusion of anti-IP arguments is that we should not be allowed to rent our property or sell our labor, since those activities are also examples of limited use of property…

Also, they keep saying that market would flourish if market for limited use of copyrighted works should be abolished by stripping away the ownership rights and making them a public domain. Yet, they fail to see that this is nothing but a socialist nationalization that inevitably leads to less goods being produced (law of supply).

Also, kmeisthax completely misunderstands free market contracts and how they pertain to copyrights:
You can’t legally assume the right to use someone else’s property in ways that were not explicitly authorized by the rightful owner. If you purchase only a limited, non-commercial use of other person’s property, no other usage right was transferred to you. In other words, if I don’t give you the expressed consent to replicate my CD, such action would be unauthorized use of my property, which in English is also known as trespass.

matskralc June 12, 2009 at 2:52 pm

You still have not shown how, for example, somebody paying me $50 to belt out “Piano Man” from my own memory is a violation of Billy Joel’s property rights. I look forward to the intellectual distortions that will show how I prevented Billy Joel from using his original copy of “Piano Man” however he pleases. I look forward to the intellectual distortions that will show how Billy Joel’s ownership of the part of my mind where “Piano Man” resides after I heard it on the radio is justified. I cannot wait to find out why creators of music receive the benefit of this wholly-arbitrary state monopoly while the creators of food recipes do not. I am thrilled to hear your exposition on how ideas are scarce resources that cannot be multiplied infinitely and need to be allocated economically in order to prevent conflict over access to them.

Matthew June 17, 2009 at 9:28 am

Sasha Radeta,

Again, I sense we are miscommunicating. You said :

However, no such [contractual]provision [limiting the lessee's use of the owner's property] should be necessary. If a rent-a-car company sells you only a non-commercial use of their vehicle — that means that all other rights over the use of that vehicle are retained by this company.

Though I haven’t delved deeply into legitimate forms of leases and contract, I have no problem with your statement. I would even agree with your position in the context of IP if IP rights were legitimate, but I do not believe they are. Your arguments on selling limited rights use of one’s property are based on a presupposition that IP rights are legitimate. I still don’t see any argument that you have advanced to justify them.

Why are IP rights legitimate? Is their legitimacy a fact that is plainly obvious, not to ever be disputed, like 2+2=4? Is it because one labors to create/discover the idea? What do property rights entitle one to? Not to be deprived of the use of his property, or the ability to exclude others from using his property? Are those two versions of rights entitlements the same thing or subtly different? (I offer these questions as a prompt to explain the legitimacy of IP, not because I desire an answer to each in turn)

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