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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/10592/the-case-against-ip-a-concise-guide/

The Case Against IP: A Concise Guide

September 4, 2009 by

Like many libertarians, I initially assumed intellectual property (IP) was a legitimate type of property right. But I had misgivings from the start: there was just something too utilitarian and results oriented in Rand’s purportedly principled case for IP, and something too artificial about the state’s copyright and patent statutory classifications. I started practicing patent law around 1992, and the more I learned about IP, the more my doubts grew.

I finally realized that IP is incompatible with genuine property rights. (This echoed the sloughing off of my initial Randian minarchism in favor of Rothbardian anarchism, when I realized the state is aggression incarnate and cannot be justified. See my article, “What It Means To Be an Anarcho-Capitalist.”)

And so, in 1995 I started publishing articles pointing out problems with IP, finally culminating in my lengthy 2001 Journal of Libertarian Studies article “Against Intellectual Property,” which was republished as a monograph last year by the Mises Institute. A summary of the argument in this paper was set forth in my article “In Defense of Napster and Against the Second Homesteading Rule”, and various of these pieces have been translated into other languages.

In recent years there has been a good deal of more useful writing on IP and, as my previous Napster article is somewhat dated now, the time is ripe to concisely restate the basic libertarian case against IP and provide links to some of the key anti-IP publications. FULL ARTICLE

{ 187 comments }

Bala September 8, 2009 at 6:43 pm

Mark Jones,

” If you require an intellectual property owner to go through some process to achieve “property status,” ”

The “process” is only to secure the legally valid claim that would then announce to one and all that there is a producer who wishes to trade. Incidentally, I do not require it. Reality requires it. Do you, like SK want to deny Reality?

Incidentally, ALL property requires a “process” for it to achieve legal “property status”. That it is so for IP does not take away from my argument.

” The whistle-maker of your example need not achieve “property status” because you’ve claimed already that he has rights owing merely to his “creation.” ”

I did not say anything of this sort. I was just showing possible reasons the whistler may not wish to secure property rights to the tune he whistled. The rest of it, including the “creation” bit, is your language, not mine.

mpolzkill September 8, 2009 at 6:49 pm

Bala,

You may stir up fellow special pleaders, but you can’t possibly open up anyone else’s eyes when you refuse to acknowledge, let alone answer most of the questions put to you.

The onus IS on you to sell this thing. I can’t imagine who you could have sold with your performance so far.

Bala September 8, 2009 at 6:55 pm

antiip,

To all your questions and all the examples you have given, I have only one answer. It is up to the person who came up with the idea to decide if he wants to secure recognition as his Intellectual Property. If he has produced it for a commercial purpose, he will do so and them price it as the market allows him to. He may just as well choose not to secure property rights in which case all your questions on who to pay, etc become wholly irrelevant.

In other words, market forces will determine which idea deserves the status of “property” and will also fix its price.

Stop worrying about how others will find answers to their yet unknown and unrecognised problems and look for answers to your fundamental problem (which you share with SK) – the tendency to evade REALITY and build a false world around yourself based on untenable notions not supported by REALITY.

Bala September 8, 2009 at 7:04 pm

mpolzkill,

” The onus IS on you to sell this thing. ”

Wrobg. This blog is trying to sell an anti-IP position. I am refusing to buy in. If I were blogging trying to sell a pro-IP position, the onus is on me.

In fact, the onus is on SK to try to show that my arguments, which show that his most basic premises, his conception of Rights, have no relevance to man, are incorrect. I have shown that by building on false premises regarding Rights, he is peddling a false theory on IP. He needs to prove me wrong.

Until then, there is absolutely no point discussing specifics, for which this is not the correct forum – the market for goods and services is the correct one.

If you want to continue to be beguiled by SK and his false theories, be my guest.

mpolzkill September 8, 2009 at 7:09 pm

Bala,

“It is up to the person who came up with the idea to decide if he wants to secure recognition as his Intellectual Property. If he has produced it for a commercial purpose, he will do so and them price it as the market allows him to.”

Who do they secure that with? The entirety of society, is that correct, because you said there is no need for the State to enforce this vision of “REALITY”? So you ARE on a literal mission to sell the world on this, it IS required they all go along voluntarily, right?

John Donohue September 8, 2009 at 7:52 pm

So you construct one paragraph of von Mises puttering along suggesting the issue of ownership of the fruit of one’s mind might be “controversial” — absent any position taken — to equate with Kinsella’s militant violent anarchism? Prestidigitation! And way lame, pitiful.

As for that paragraph of von Mises bravely insisting artists ought to suffer? Screw him.

I require a translation. What the hell does this mean? “…with the abolition of patents and copyrights authors and inventors would for the most part be producers of external economies.”

Once again I continue to snark at all anarchists who think that producers will continue to produce with your gun pointed at their head ready to steal their productive ideas the minute you see them. [really cool parting insult self-edited]

I’d also like to suggest to all other readers that Kinsella et al likes everyone to think of his position on the level of a book, or maybe some technological tweak. I suggest that is just window dressing. The real target is deep and powerful capital formation and the exploitation of it by large corporations.

Bala September 8, 2009 at 7:54 pm

mpolzkill,

” Who do they secure that with? ”

That’s where Government may come in. The same way I register land in my name to stake a claim.

” ….. to enforce this vision of “REALITY”? ”

What’s there to enforce? It is to be recognised. Man is a rational animal. He is a being of volitional consciousness. He acts in his long-range self interest. He chooses. Which of these needs enforcing?

” So you ARE on a literal mission to sell the world on this, it IS required they all go along voluntarily, right? ”

I am not a fool to do that on this forum. There are better ways, like starting a number of schools to educate children. Out here, I am just trying to learn. To begin with, I was questioning my convictions. Now, having seen that IP-opponents are just moochers seeking moral and legal solace from other moochers, I have little more to learn. However, because I respect Mises, Hayek and Rothbard, it hurts to see someone like SK being able to get away with all his falsehood.

Bala September 8, 2009 at 8:06 pm

Michael A Clem

” I’ve also already shown that if two people have the same idea, neither is taking “fruit” away from the other by having it or acting on it. This is true even if one person got the idea from the other person, instead of thinking of it independently. ”

Not true. If the idea has commercial implications, both are likely earn less. The copycat derives income he never deserved and which might otherwise have gone to the originator. By saying copying is not legally punishable, you are punishing the originator with indeterminable loss of income.

Bala September 8, 2009 at 8:13 pm

mpolzkill,

” because you said there is no need for the State to enforce this vision of “REALITY”? ”

Where did I say that? I just did not mention government in my original post because I was presenting a Moral case. What Government OUGHT to do logically flows from this.

newson September 8, 2009 at 8:20 pm

so it’s settled. randians have never loaned friends cd’s, movies, or books, because that would be a breach of the creator’s right to economic rents (lending is denying the creator opportunity profits).

no “fair use” is acceptable, because no percentage of a “theft” is tolerable.

libraries are a theft perpetrated against the creator, who didn’t give explicit permission to have opportunity profits denied him.

Bala September 8, 2009 at 9:00 pm

newson,

” libraries are a theft perpetrated against the creator, who didn’t give explicit permission to have opportunity profits denied him. ”

You said it, not I. Incidentally, are you prepared to allow the authors to decide on whether they want to take up such issues or do you want me to pontificate on that too?

Further, authors may find many reasons to agree with the aproach of libraries. That may include the fact that they take their books to many people, entice the people and then get the people buy them. For example, I read a large number of PG Wodehouses borrowing them from the library nearby, but because I enjoyed them so much and would like to read them many times over, I now have a collection of PG Wodehouse and recommend his books to thousands of my students every year.

So, in summary, most authors are not as dumb as anti-IP shills on this site are.

mpolzkill September 8, 2009 at 9:36 pm

“Where did I say that?”

Bala, please note the usage of a question mark at the end of my sentence. That indicates a question. I do not understand most of your positions. I’m asking for clarity. I received the impression that you don’t advocate force to back “IP”. You say: “What’s there to enforce?” then you say, “What Government OUGHT to do logically flows from this”. What is that OUGHT? The only thing the State does is force. But really, I have changed my mind, forget it, you are giving me a headache.

- – - – - – - – - – - –

On to the other dizzy special pleader here, John Donohue who earlier today said:

“I’ll speak to Ludwig von Mises. I have not looked in on his writings in 25 years until now. It cannot be possible that the great mind I knew back then would support under the banner carrying his name the kind of violent anarchism and anti-mind mentality exhibited by Stephen Kinsella. It is a disgrace.”

Followed by:

“von Mises puttering along…Mises bravely insisting artists ought to suffer? Screw him. I require a translation [of Mises] What the hell does this mean?

Are you not speaking to him any longer then?

“So you construct one paragraph of von Mises”

I provided six unedited, complete paragraphs Mises wrote.

“absent any position taken — to equate with Kinsella’s militant violent anarchism?”

Bizarre. In response to your hyperbole, I looked into what Mises said; and that was the point, I could find no position he took. Do you have any evidence that he was anywhere near your view on “IP”. Let’s hear it. I was cleary saying that as he had no position on “IP” it makes no sense that he would find SK’s position “violent and anti-mind”.

“What the hell does that mean?”

From Percy L. Greaves’ “Mises Made Easier”:

“External economies. Those gains, benefits or other advantages of a human action which necessarily go to a person or firm that does not participate in the action. Such advantageous results are often neglected in the economic calculations which determine whether or not an action is or will be considered profitable. An example of such an incidental benefit would be the gain A’s neighbors reap from a fence built by A on their boundary lines.”

“von Mises bravely insisting artists ought to suffer”

Your problems are becoming clear to me now, you can’t read and/or think very well. Thank you for the compliment on my lame[!] skill in performing conjuring tricks with the hands. Good day.

Gil September 8, 2009 at 10:02 pm

“Once again I continue to snark at all anarchists who think that producers will continue to produce with your gun pointed at their head ready to steal their productive ideas the minute you see them. [really cool parting insult self-edited]” – J. Donohue.

Or of course then there’s the real life alternative – people stop producing or produce at an amateur level. After all there was a time when you could earn a good living by painting realistically because photography didn’t exist. Once high quality colour photography was invented the demand for realistic portrait painters fizzles away (admittedly not out). Hence it could be said for other industries that rely on I.P. – they will just fizzle away. Sure movies will still be made and be available on the Internet but it will be all ‘independently produced’ with volunteer actors. You might get high quality stuff but then again there’s no real incentive instead the better ones will fall into the “it’s so bad it’s good” and get a cult following and maybe the producers might make some money too.

newson September 8, 2009 at 10:12 pm

to bala:
authors have no say in whether or not their works are viewed in libraries, or loaned to friends of yours.

they may be randian authors, in which case they may strongly disapprove of your library “theft”, or your unauthorized loan to a friend.

you should write out a cheque to the estate of pg wodehouse and the other authors you stole from via the public library. theft is theft. that you came good with the money after many reading doesn’t cancel the original crime.

Bala September 8, 2009 at 10:51 pm

newson,

You are beyond hilarious. As I said, it is for the authors and the publishers to decide what is to be done. You sound like a typical PDA representative. Too much of anarchy in your blood and brain for you to be able to recognise reality and think logically .

Incidentally, libraries have existed for many decades now and no publishing house or author has ever protested what they do. If they think it hurts them they would have by now proceeded against them legally.

I do understand that it is painful to have your entire scheme of thought (or imagination gone wild) torn to shreds in a single post, but the simple point is that you IP-opponents are just moochers and parasites pretending like producers in a free market.

Your axioms are faulty and everything you say to support your “cause” only takes you deeper into the quicksand.

Bala September 8, 2009 at 10:59 pm

newson,

Incidentally, where I live, there are also a number of private libraries. Just in case you still have a little bit of ability to think, they bring into the market people who would not have otherwise been able to pay the full price of a book (we have a lot of them out here).

Secondly, they are distributing the physical printed book, not reprinting its contents. By your logic, shall we also start proceeding legally against second-hand book stores? Hope you realise how brain-dead your position is.

John Donohue September 8, 2009 at 11:49 pm

mpolzkill’s response silly and left all my points intact.

He tried to posit extortion and theft as the default position, but the only place that is true is in The Lord Of The Flies.

The default for civilization is protection of property.

How about all you other patrons of the Ludwig von Mises Institute? Was he a radical anarchist? This is his blog, you people should know him cold and be able to point to many tracts where he sounds like FatherOfKinsella. Don’t think so. The thieves have taken over the place.

Meanwhile, we discover that von Mises (and Gil above) suggests that when patents and copyrights are squashed, artists and inventors will work on a poverty/subsistence basis but can be comforted by the fact that their labors will indirectly benefit others.

That was what the communists thought. Mao and Lennin had songs about it. In fact, they had slave composers writing songs about everyone being everyone’s slave…er…Peoples Hero. It was glorious.

Miss Rand would just glance over at me and say, “You must observe that of course none of them actually believe the productive will continue, stripped of the rights to their brains. The anarchists know they won’t; that is not their motive. It is pure hatred of the good for being the good. They just want them taken down.”

By the way, my prior reference to von Mises as a great mind was largely from the book “The Anti-Capitalist Mentality.” In that book he fingers the core driver of those, like Kinsella, who wage war on capitalism: deep abiding fear they cannot produce anything of value and thus not be able to trade on a volitional basis combined with burning bitter envy.

Bala September 8, 2009 at 11:50 pm

mpolzkill,

” I do not understand most of your positions. I’m asking for clarity. ”

OK. So here is a concise version.

Stephan Kinsella (and all IP opponents) is writing nonsense. His entire theory on IP is false because it rests on an incorrect understanding of the concept of Rights. (Yes. I am saying Rothbard was wrong too.)

The correct understanding of Rights is that they are a Moral concept representing a condition for the survival of man as per his nature. i.e.e as a rational animal with a volitional consciousness. Rational man recognises the rights of all others to Life, Liberty, Property (the fruits of their actions) and the Pursuit of Happiness because he hopes that their doing so reciprocally enhances his chances of survival qua man.

The division of Property Rights as Physical and Intellectual and then conceding the former but refuting the latter is an artificial construct created on the false definition of Rights.

In reality, it is always upto every individual whether or not he chooses to respect the Rights of others to the fruits of their actions (Property) is Moral question. It is not dependent on whether the “property” is physical or intellectual. That division is false.

Hence, Stephan’s position on IP is utter nonsense.

Hope this makes it clear while still being simple.

John Donohue September 8, 2009 at 11:58 pm

Bala, maybe you should direct them to the Henry(Hero of the Homestead riots) Frick private libraries on 5th Avenue. They are housed in mansions from the Golden Age of Capitalism.

One of them was made out of one of Frick’s private bowling alleys.

Bala September 8, 2009 at 11:59 pm

Made a few typos. Sorry about the trouble. Reposting with the corrections.

Stephan Kinsella (and all IP opponents) is writing nonsense. His entire theory on IP is false because it rests on an incorrect understanding of the concept of Rights. (Yes. I am saying Rothbard was wrong too.)

The correct understanding of Rights is that they are a Moral concept representing a condition necessary for the survival of man as per his nature. i.e., as a rational animal with a volitional consciousness. Rational man recognises the rights of all others to Life, Liberty, Property (the fruits of their actions) and the Pursuit of Happiness because he hopes that their doing so reciprocally enhances his chances of survival qua man.

The division of Property Rights as Physical and Intellectual and then conceding the former but refuting the latter is an artificial construct created on the false definition of Rights.

In reality, it is always upto every individual whether or not he chooses to respect the Rights of others to the fruits of their actions (Property). It is a Moral question the answer to which is not dependent on whether the “property” is physical or intellectual. That division is false.

Hence, Stephan’s position on IP is utter nonsense.

Hope this makes it clear while still being simple. Thanks once again.

Stephan Kinsella September 9, 2009 at 12:08 am

Bala and this Donahue are just spouting confused, incoherent theories, as best I can tell. By the way, Mises was this close to being an anarchist, and Rand basically was one–see Galt’s Gulch, combined with her stated opposition to taxes. She was a self-hating anarchist.

The bottom line is this: why do Bala and Donahue here support aggression? Real libertarians don’t. But of course if you support the state, you support aggression; if you support legislation, you have to support the state, and thus aggression. And if you support IP, a type of legislated right, …. Moreover, IP transfers rights in property owned by A, to a new owner B who didn’t homestead the property or contractually acquire it. I.e., the state lets B steal some of A’s property. We real libertarians call that aggression. I haven’t heard anything yet in Bala and Donanoe’s fumbling thoughts that shows why this aggression is justified.

Bala September 9, 2009 at 12:24 am

SK,

” Bala and this Donahue are just spouting confused, incoherent theories, as best I can tell. ”

I have put out a long post and a short one too (thanks to mpolzkill) explaining why your fundamental position is completely flawed and why I think you are spouting utter nonsense.

Either prove my arguments wrong or stop posting nonsense yourself. Please tell what is it that “you can tell”.

Don’t try diversionary tactics to try to veer off course. I am not stupid enough to be taken in by that.

Gil September 9, 2009 at 12:31 am

“. . . when patents and copyrights are squashed, artists and inventors will work on a poverty/subsistence basis but can be comforted by the fact that their labors will indirectly benefit others.” – J. Donohue.

I think S. Kinsella & co. are saying that a great many people are getting artificially inflated incomes because they are forcing out competition through I.P. protection. In other words, they see I.P. as guild protection therefore if I.P. is dropped then a great many bloated incomes are going to go out the door with it.

For example, it is asserted that only George Lucas owns the Star Wars franchise because of I.P. and is artificially wealthy as no one else is allowed to continue the saga or sell merchandise without his permission. The conclusion is that George Lucas is artificially rich because he is using guvmint force to prevent competition. However what would happen if George Lucas didn’t have I.P. protection? Would he have been able to profit from the ticket sales from the first three movies because the special effects were ahead of their time? Would Star Wars fans really stick to ‘authentic’ Star Wars stories and merchandise and avoid the cheaper competition? Or once the story was released to the public everyone would be write their Star Wars and share it for free with others and George Lucas may be savvy enough to become a millionaire but not a billionaire?

Stephan Kinsella September 9, 2009 at 12:53 am

Bala,

Either prove my arguments wrong or stop posting nonsense yourself. Please tell what is it that “you can tell”.

Don’t try diversionary tactics to try to veer off course. I am not stupid enough to be taken in by that.

Let’s agree to disagree on this latter point. But as for the former, no–this is about fundamentals, and you and Donatoo’s slippery points help evade this.

So answer, if you dare, these simple questions:

1. Why do you support the aggression that states necessarily commit?
2. Why do you support IP if it requires states, which commit aggression?
3. Why do you support the aggression of taking my property rights in my own property and giving them to some third party just because he thought of a way to use his own property and was able to persuade the criminal state to issue him title to some of my property on these grounds?

John Donohue September 9, 2009 at 1:09 am

Gil, write your own story. Space is big.

Mr. Kinsella, you would do well to not attempt to characterize Ayn Rand or Objectivism, it just lays your poverty of understanding her starkly naked.

If you say von Mises was basically an anarchist, fine, maybe his is, no one else here is standing up for him. Just be aware that unless he repudiated the book I cited, he is one that understands the anti-Capitalist mentality, as explicated in my post above. I despise his ‘be content with your beneficent externalities’ justification of denying copyright and patent.

It was been mentioned by me in these threads that your flaw is not respecting the volitional nature of consciousness and what that implies concerning a type of searing soul/mind ownership of its product. That is not an attempt to teach you anything; you are monolithic in your anarchistic world view. I won’t even repeat my opinion of that world view. No, that concept is merely a pointer. If you ever have a moment of clarity that — as I said previously, and you once must have believed as a patent attorney — you should be doing everything in your power to protect the individual’s — or corporation’s — ownership of it’s product, you know where to look. It is in Objectivism.

Bala September 9, 2009 at 1:25 am

SK,

Oh please!!!! Don’t try to slime out of it by putting the onus of disproving specific claim of yours on me.

The situation is this. You posted a blog, based on certain premises, that castigated the very concept of IP. I raised basic questions about your most fundamental premises (fundamental enough to say you have treated them as axioms) and thus demolished your entire argument against the concept ot IP. I showed that you are talking nonsense.

The onus is now on you to defend your position. The way to do that is by defeating my arguments, not by throwing fresh questions at me. That only shows you are unable to counter what I have said.

As for your questions, all of them are stupid questions posed by someone who has made a lot of false and untenable assumptions and is working on flawed axioms.

Just as an example, I shall respond to the first question.

” Why do you support the aggression that states necessarily commit? ”

Can you feel the slime oozing out of this question? I can do it sitting here in India. Now to answering it.

What is the aggression that states necessarily commit that I support? From all previous encounters with Anarchists, I presume you mean the force exerted by an Ideal Objectivist Government (to take my best case scenario) on a competing PDA.

That is not aggression. That is self-defence. It is the PDA that has declared war on the Government and on the liberty of all the people living in the domain of the Government. The Government’s action is an act of retaliatory force protecting people’s liberty.

As I had said elsewhere just yesterday, under an ideal Objectivist Government, there would be a need for a competing PDA only for a person whose Moral positions and hence Legal positions differed considerably from those of the Ideal Objectivist Government. Since I consider the latter the most Moral option, I consider the act of raising a rival PDA immoral and the Government’s act of crushing it justified retaliatory force. Clear????

If you mean any other type of aggression, the onus is on you to specify it so that I can address it.

Bala September 9, 2009 at 1:31 am

John,

” Mr. Kinsella, you would do well to not attempt to characterize Ayn Rand or Objectivism, it just lays your poverty of understanding her starkly naked. ”

SK is getting hilarious. Elsewhere, he has characterised Ayn Rand as a minarchist. He is now so shaken he has started contradicting himself.

mpolzkill September 9, 2009 at 1:38 am

Bala,

Yes, yes, yes, I know that you have declared your opinion “REALITY”: that creative men will not have enough motivation to create without “IP”, inevitably sending us into a “Dark Age” if we were to all stop recognizing “IP”. And I understand you have decreed that physical, scarce items are in fact exactly the same thing as immaterial things that are not scarce when it comes to ownership. The part I was not understanding was what you advocate in order to advance your theology. You always seem to me to try to avoid this part for some reason. So then, to be perfectly clear: you advocate the State enforcing your concept of morality (sorry, MORALITY) on the millions of recalcitrants who are never going to buy your FACTS as fact, correct?

If so, no sale. I would never join you in aggrandizing the State. On the other forum you denigrated libertarianism as axiomatic, an end in itself. Well, it IS an end in itself for full-fledged adults, but the more liberty (under Natural Law) there is, the better it is for you too. I sincerely believe that if you were to ever get off your misguided obsession with your special interest and honestly studied the history of the world, you would come to find it true that “liberty is the mother, not the daughter of order.”

Bala September 9, 2009 at 1:51 am

mpolzkill,

” So then, to be perfectly clear: you advocate the State enforcing your concept of morality (sorry, MORALITY) on the millions of recalcitrants who are never going to buy your FACTS as fact, correct? ”

That’s called law when Government codifies Morality into a system by which true conflicts of interests between individuals may be resolved.

” On the other forum you denigrated libertarianism as axiomatic, an end in itself. ”

No. I said it is based on the false axiom of Liberty. I have also shown in my post that Liberty is not axiomatic and Life is. The Right to Liberty is a logical corollary of the Right to Life but it is only a by-product of the Right to Life. When you take it axiomatically, you make mistakes like Stephan Kinsella is making.

Bala September 9, 2009 at 2:00 am

mpolzkill,

” Yes, yes, yes, I know that you have declared your opinion “REALITY”: ”

The “opinion” I stated was very simply that man is a rational animal with a volitional consciousness who needs to act consistently in his own self-interest and whose sole tool for comprehending the world around him is his mind. If that is want to smear by calling it “REALITY”, please remember that it is a reflection of the disconnect your axioms have with the real world.

mpolzkill September 9, 2009 at 2:01 am

Ah, I should have put that one sentence:

“And I understand that you have decreed that when it comes to ownership, physical, scarce items are in fact exactly the same thing as immaterial things that are not scarce.”

Bala answered me while I typed I reckon:

“…under an ideal Objectivist Government, there would be a need for a competing PDA only for a person whose Moral positions and hence Legal positions differed considerably from those of the Ideal Objectivist Government. Since I consider the latter the most Moral option, I consider the act of raising a rival PDA immoral and the Government’s act of crushing it justified retaliatory force. Clear????”

Sorry if I missed you posting your insane creed yesterday (Was objectivist government in caps that time?). You are only different in the source of your biases and obsessions, not in principle, from a diehard Communist. Just like you, Commies sincerely, and wrongly believe that they alone possess MORALITY and once they finally get their “ideal” government, they will then mete out perfect justice. You will all fight each other until you wipe us all out or until some unknown critical percentage of humans completely reject the political means.

Bala September 9, 2009 at 2:05 am

mpolzkill,

Do you even realise that you have started smearing and stopped arguing?

scott t September 9, 2009 at 2:18 am

“However what would happen if George Lucas didn’t have I.P. protection? Would he have been able to profit from the ticket sales from the first three movies because the special effects were ahead of their time?”

i guess so. if movie production, distribution and viewing were under the same umbrella i would think so.

again, i am not completely certain, but i used to deliver film movies to theatres and pick them up after their runs.

the large heavy rolls of film were in locked hexagonal steel cases. i assumed the film was returned to some type of warehouse owned or controlled by the production company (for $1.00 movie showings post run).
so to make a copy of star wars would have been a pain in the ass.
control production, distroibution and some ownership of theatres – and the audience would be captive to great degree.
a ‘pirated’ roll of film showing in a rouge theatre would be known to be movie subterfuge (somehow copying thousands of feet of film using sophisticated expensive equipment, etc).
i made about 6.50 /hr doing that .

mpolzkill September 9, 2009 at 2:22 am

Bala,

My belief that libertarianism is the “mother of order” is not derived from my desire for it as a means unto itself. I believe some people are born libertarians, I believe I was. I ask nothing of freedom, even as a child I didn’t care what happened to me as long as I was free. It came as a slow realization through study that in fact it is the greatest philosophy for the maximization of what you (the egomaniac here who constantly pronounces what IS reality, what IS morality and claims the right [through an agent, I suppose, that cleans it up for most] to crush those who disagree) pronounce axiomatic: life. Now, it could be said that I had a confirmation bias here. That may be, but it doesn’t make sense to me. It doesn’t matter what it does for me, so I don’t know why I would exaggerate its benefits.

Anyway, got to hit the hay, nice talking to you. I really do enjoy some of your sermons. I only ask that you please reevaluate yourself so that you stop advocating the State’s crushing of those who disagreeing with you would have the temerity to defy YOUR decreed “morality”, OK?

Bala September 9, 2009 at 2:28 am

mpolzkill,

” I only ask that you please reevaluate yourself so that you stop advocating the State’s crushing of those who disagreeing with you would have the temerity to defy YOUR decreed “morality”, OK? ”

The “crushing” was reserved for a rival PDA. As long as the rival PDA follows the same principles of law and does not engage in what Objective Law would call initiation of force, there would be no problem. That is the meaning of federalism and local self-government. It is only when it departs from the path of Objective Law that trouble erupts.

Good night.

mpolzkill September 9, 2009 at 2:33 am

Bala say:

“Do you even realise that you have started smearing and stopped arguing?”

Of course, totalitarians are beneath arguing with. Our freedom is not negotiable, not up for discussion at any rate. I’m just drawing out of you as clear an expression of your authoritarianism as I can for all who don’t belong to your strange cult to see and be repulsed by. I think SK got you to give a pretty good snapshot of it, I’m satisfied. Goodnight.

newson September 9, 2009 at 3:26 am

to bala:
i find your logic difficult to follow. why is it fine to watch a cd borrowed from the library, and not borrowed from a friend? if i can borrow it from a friend, where’s the distinction between downloading it from a well-wisher? are you aware of any authors or publishers who have ever denied public libraries books?

have you randians ever borrowed or loaned books, or must you buy everything in order that royalties be devolved to the creator?

why, indeed, don’t authors claim royalties on secondhand books, as you’ve mooted? the works of creation would still belong to the creators, not to the purchaser, in randland.

Bala September 9, 2009 at 5:49 am

mpolzkill,

” Of course, totalitarians are beneath arguing with. ”

To return the compliment, thieves who seek to make thieving an honourable profession are beneath contempt. That’s what all you moocher anti-IP propagandists are.

I wonder how a person with an unrelenting commitment to individual rights can be called totalitarian just because he opposes the concept of competing PDAs not just as an affront to Liberty but also as something that makes Liberty impossible.

To the moocher, the producer who threatens to use force ro put an end to his mooching always appears like a totalitarian. Thanks for the clarification that you too belong well and truly in the moocher camp.

Bala September 9, 2009 at 5:56 am

newson,

” why, indeed, don’t authors claim royalties on secondhand books, as you’ve mooted? ”

For the same reason that no one stakes claim to all the air on Earth – Rationality and practicality.

Lord Buzungulus, Inspirer of Awe September 9, 2009 at 8:43 am

Here’s another anti-IP paper that might be of interest; I didn’t see it on Stephan’s list:

http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1117269

I have to say, I find it amusing how Randroids use physicalist metaphors like the “fruit” of one’s actions in their defense of IP.

mpolzkill September 9, 2009 at 8:50 am

Bala,

“I wonder how a person with an unrelenting commitment”

I was fading and too lazy to think of a better word. “Totality”: I still can’t come up with the word for a religious cult that seeks world government to enforce their nutty ideas about morality. Your commitment to individual rights is quite relenting, it relents as soon as anyone disagrees with your ideas of morality. If they refuse to bow to the theocrat army you advocate, you call for their crushing.

“just because he opposes…that makes Liberty impossible.”

We’ve gone through this: your opinions are somehow facts and you wish to make them universal law. “All ways are MY ways!” is all that rings in my ears when you speak.

“thieves who seek to make thieving an honourable profession”

This tack you’ve adopted is asinine. It is clear that I think “IP” is almost a non-issue, whereas you are so obsessed with it you call for world government to enforce it. It is obvious what my motivation is; why don’t you tailor your spiel, it is absurd and offensive for you to act like all those who don’t share your obsession have nefarious objectives. I don’t think you have evil intentions, I think you are wrong. Even in D.C., I think it’s the vast majority who have good intentions. THEY always do more harm than the conventionally rapacious. You are all completely ignorant about the nature of the tool you wish to become the wielder of.

I don’t know anything about any mooching. I guess in the broad sense we are ALL moochers, making your name-calling ridiculous. On the personal level, I gather from the quality of your argumentation and from your quaint ideas about the creative process that you’ve never created anything that anyone would want to mooch. Far from giving honor to a poor stooge who would copy you, I’d feel pity for the hypothetical fellow. Moochers are beggars, after all. Try a different tack, Bala. You won’t convert anyone possessing a functioning mind this way. And if you can’t persuade with words you’ll have to use the gun to force your views on us and that never works the way anyone but the power mad would like.

Good day.

newson September 9, 2009 at 10:29 am

to bala:
so it’s as i thought, there are tremendous invocations of morality to justify ip when it comes to downloading and copying digitally, but “practicality and rationality” kick in when the complexity of enforcement becomes too great, or the internal contradictions are highlighted.

Bala September 9, 2009 at 10:34 am

mpolzkill,

” I still can’t come up with the word for a religious cult that seeks world government to enforce their nutty ideas about morality ”

I never spoke of “world government”. That’s your embellishment.

I never spoke of enforcing my morality. You are adding it.

I said Government would exert what I call defensive force on a competing PDA. I did omit to mention that that would happen when the PDA exerts what it claims is defensive force and what Objective Law considers aggression. As long as the PDA works within the framework of Objective Law, no conflict is possible.

” it relents as soon as anyone disagrees with your ideas of morality ”

How stupid can you get? Or are you just low-life that you put words in my mouth and then claim they are mine?

” We’ve gone through this: your opinions are somehow facts and you wish to make them universal law ”

Please… That anarchy would degenerate into tyranny is my hypothesis. How about trying to prove me wrong? Especially when all the nut jobs out in force on this site are preaching it. Read that to mean you are trying to sell Anarchy.

” it is absurd and offensive for you to act like all those who don’t share your obsession have nefarious objectives ”

I only said your most basic premises are false. If that means that I am implying that you have nefarious objectives, that’s your problem, not mine.

” You won’t convert anyone possessing a functioning mind this way. ”

Who said I am trying to convert anyone? When I want to do that, I use a different approach. Here, I am just showing that you are all taking nonsense.

” On the personal level, I gather from the quality of your argumentation and from your quaint ideas about the creative process that you’ve never created anything that anyone would want to mooch. ”

Now you turn to personal slander when you run out of arguments completely. Rand really identified you types and your approaches. So, I am ready for this.

I employ well over 120 people. I have been running a successful business in education for 10 years now. I am the biggest player in my field within my operating area, twice as big as all my competitors put together. I am also the most successful in my territory in terms of the success of my students. I train over 6000 students in long and short-term courses every year. Students and prospective students know my company and look up to it with respect.

What have you achieved to talk of me like this???? Dumb moocher.

newson September 9, 2009 at 10:48 am

thanks to buzungulus for the sandefur ip paper.

Stephan Kinsella September 9, 2009 at 11:40 am

Buzungulus, I didn’t cite Sandefur because (a) he’s evil; (b) he’s a lightweight and a moron; (c) he’s not a libertarian; (d) his IP stuff is not original or non-cumulative with other stuff. Plus his thesis is not that principled: he writes: “Nor do I assert that patents and copyrights are necessarily bad things; although I contend that they are not natural rights, they might be justified on prudential grounds.” Plus, he does not criticize the central Randian error, of assuming creation is an independent (indeed, the primary) source of property rights.

Who needs this lightweight, sellout, preachy, tut-tutting, laughably sanctimonious, insufferable neocon statist twit?

Lord Buzungulus, Bringer of the Purple Light September 9, 2009 at 11:50 am

Stephan,

Yes, I agree, Sandefur is a little prick. I haven’t read the entire article, but the little I did seemed reasonable, so I thought I would mention it here. Perhaps the rest of it will prove to be crap, but I don’t know yet.

Stephan Kinsella September 9, 2009 at 12:00 pm

Bala:

” Of course, totalitarians are beneath arguing with. ”
To return the compliment, thieves who seek to make thieving an honourable profession are beneath contempt. That’s what all you moocher anti-IP propagandists are.

But your calling it theft is question-beggings. On the other hand, you have admitted (or not denied) that you favor the state and its aggression. So it’s not symmetrical, I’m afraid. Your “moocher” accusations are vague and non-rigorous; but in any event, libertarianism is about respecting property rights. It opposes aggression. It does not oppose “mooching,” whatever that is, any more than it opposes being a jerk or rude or lazy.

I said Government would exert what I call defensive force on a competing PDA. I did omit to mention that that would happen when the PDA exerts what it claims is defensive force and what Objective Law considers aggression. As long as the PDA works within the framework of Objective Law, no conflict is possible.

Jesus, look at the damage Rand has wrought. Not worth responding to.

Lord Buzungulus, Bringer of the Purple Light:

Yes, I agree, Sandefur is a little prick. I haven’t read the entire article, but the little I did seemed reasonable, so I thought I would mention it here. Perhaps the rest of it will prove to be crap, but I don’t know yet.

The paper’s not bad and does show some problems with Rand’s views, but it does not really start from a thoroughly principled libertarian view of property rights nor is it systematic. It is sort of a collection of ad hoc criticisms (e.g. the stuff about “derivative rights” while omitting more fundamental ones). Anyway, he’s at least basically right and on our side on this one–but you know being right on IP does not exactly make up for being in favor of millions or billions of state murders in war.

Bala September 9, 2009 at 12:27 pm

SK,

” Jesus, look at the damage Rand has wrought. Not worth responding to. ”

You are sick. When you have nothing to say, you make a virtue out of a necessity, is it? If you are so dumb that you couldn’t understand that, that part meant that till it transgresses the line between engaging with people to try and settle disputes and forcing people in the name of acting on behalf of its clients, it is just a legal adviser. When it forces someone to satisfy its client, it becomes a criminal. Guess you dumb moochers will always find this tough to comprehend. I guess your brain is Anarchic as well – One half refuses to agree with the ideas of the other half.

Bala September 9, 2009 at 1:37 pm

SK,

How about addressing the huge holes I punched in your premises? You have had a day to think (if you ever do that). I addressed at least 1 of your 3 questions immediately. How about returning the courtesy?

Or do you just want to evade till you think I will lose my patience and buzz off so that you can restart your rubbish again?

mpolzkill September 9, 2009 at 7:10 pm

SK is right, this isn’t worth it, but it is slightly amusing and I feel sorry that no one will respond to his ranting. Bala said:

“I never spoke of ‘world government’. That’s your embellishment…I never spoke of enforcing my morality. You are adding it….

…I said Government would exert what I call defensive force on a competing PDA. I did omit to mention that that would happen when the PDA exerts what it claims is defensive force and what Objective Law considers aggression. As long as the PDA works within the framework of Objective Law, no conflict is possible.”

I think I have it now, you believe in magic words. Change the words and your statism is softened. That’s incorrect. Will there be a place in the world your government has no jurisdiction over? And the hypothetical PDA not working within your framework, that “framework is defined by your concept of morality, correct? The “Mr. Blonde” philosophy here: “If they hadn’t done what I told them not to do, they’d still be alive”, ha ha. You ARE wacky

“How stupid can you get? Or are you just low-life that you put words in my mouth and then claim they are mine?”

Pretty stupid I guess, I have no idea how you think you won’t have to enforce your obscure, quaint philosophy. I try to put your gobbledy-guck into clear language so I can understand and I ask you if you agree with it. I didn’t quote you as saying anything you didn’t.

“How about trying to prove me wrong?…sell Anarchy.”

Already been through that. I won’t be definitively proving anyone right or wrong on their theories regarding the future of the world. I only have a general belief that the more people build social power, the better, the more resort to the political means, the worse off the world will be. I don’t require and won’t be decreeing “anarchy”, so I don’t know how or why I would be “selling anarchy”. Quite ridiculous; advocating personal responsibility, you bet. No, I’m not in your system selling game.

“only said your most basic premises are false. If that means that I am implying that you have nefarious objectives”

You didn’t imply, you said we were “thieves who seek to make thieving an honourable profession ”

“Who said I am trying to convert anyone?”

Well, that’s good for you. Though I then have no idea what you’re doing. You have shown nothing other than you are an absolutist nut. Please do show me something: show me exactly what a “moocher” is and how I am any worse of one than yourself. I’m guessing it must be because I’m not a part of your silly cult.

“Now you turn to personal slander when you run out of arguments completely. Rand really identified you types and your approaches. So, I am ready for this.”

You employ slander all the time, please get off your high horse. It is also pathetic how you constantly have to assert what a bad-ass you are. We’re all impressed by your manic tenacity OK? And your cult leader has trained this young Jedi well…god, give it a rest.

“I employ well over 120 people. I have been running…”

See above: pathetic. What in the world does any of this have to do with being good at argumentation or with being truly creative? You give your opinions that we are thieving idiots, I give my opinion that you are a clown that obviously has no knowledge of what drives the creative to create. No need to try to pull rank over it. How strange!?!

“What have you achieved to talk of me like this???? [childish name-calling]”

The ability to get on-line and type in English.

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