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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/11218/the-intellectual-revolution-is-in-process/

The Intellectual Revolution Is in Process

December 11, 2009 by

This is just the beginning. We have some startling projects on the way, to be unveiled week by week in the coming year. We are using every tool we have available and implementing the newest ones as they come along. FULL ARTICLE by Douglas French


Jon Christianson December 11, 2009 at 10:48 am

Sorry but ideas are not free – they belong to the owner and are only free if the owner says so.

Mike December 11, 2009 at 11:25 am


The only way that is true is to not ever tell your ideas to anyone, nor use them in any way that makes them reasonably inferrable.

MB December 11, 2009 at 12:25 pm

I love what you guys are doing. You are pretty much the only really active libertarian publisher out there. I wish you could teach a few things to ISIL/LFB so they can get their Cobden Press effort off the ground, maybe take over Libertarian Press (sick of their borring stripey covers), etc. I might question some of your decisions (putting out books still in print from others), but since you are bring out so many new/long out of print books, so be it.

I also like how you are scanning so many works. There are so many libertarian journals that existed out there that should be saved from oblivion (Inquiry, Libertarian Review, etc etc). Maybe you could team up with reason, Liberty, etc, to get their magazine in digital format.

Heck, if you were to sell (at a reasonable price) DVDs with all your scanned materials, I’d buy it!

Cosmin December 11, 2009 at 12:33 pm

Jon, you are right that ideas belong to their owner.
What that really means, is that if you have an idea for a mousetrap and you build your mousetrap, if I analyze it, then I can more easily develop MY idea for a mousetrap. Then I can build a mousetrap that’s very similar to yours and compete in the marketplace.
The same way that the word “tall”, or “blue” (or any word really) means different things to each of us, ideas are an internal event, dependent on our past experiences to come into existence.
If i lived in a world without mice, your mousetrap idea would be beyond my understanding. Hence, ideas are not imbedded into the objects that are built. The idea remains in your brain and nobody can ever buy it, steal it, copy it or destroy it.

Bum December 11, 2009 at 4:12 pm

Great, now get rid of your awful Microsoft software that eats up my posts.

Peter Bach December 12, 2009 at 6:37 pm

Dear Doug, I’m excited for the plans that you envision for the Institute in 2010. Among them I hope you give SERIOUS consideration to establishing an educational arm e.g. in the form of online courses/degrees in Austrian economics. We need an alternative to the mainstream doctrine; yet I see few Austrian economists step up to the plate and take a risk to inundate society with the free-market point of view. YOU could undertake this needed educational component. Sincerely, Peter Bach

Iain December 13, 2009 at 6:59 am

Jon, yes, that’s roughly the current law and way thinking.

However… It’s a lot more complicated than that because it’s very hard to distinguish an original idea from one that someone else has already had. Also, every idea is based on the existing ideas known to that person – it has been arrived at via countless other concepts and ideas – all of which must, apparently, ‘belong’ to someone and should perhaps be forbidden from use?

To have ‘just’ IP the number of arbritary (i.e. unjust) rules required, and the resources required to police them, are massive. To the point that it is impossible and immensley wasteful- basically the party with the most lawyers/power is likely to win – pause and reflect on how depressing this is. It is a mess that makes no sense (yes, yes, much like this paragraph). It is also arbritrary to say that it’s ok to use other peoples ideas as long as you don’t sell them.

Copying and benefiting from other peoples ideas is what us humans do. It’s where language comes from, it’s how we learned to walk etc etc etc. It is how we develop. http://mises.org/daily/3631 has more coherent arguments about the fallacy of IP, as does reams of other quality literature available freely on this site.

Douglas French’s article suggests an intellectual revolution… removing the contradictory, arbritrary rules that stifle (such as IP) and obeying those that give individuals freedom and allow voluntary cooperation.

The content on Mises.org provides me with a lot of optimism. Please keep up the good work and I will continue to support you as best I can.

Brian Macker December 13, 2009 at 7:00 am

Here’s some ammo for the anti IP crowd.

Take a look at the comments for Muvico Theater in Rosemont. They’ve got a one star rating.

I think it is more about a ridiculous misinterpretation of the law by a frankly stupid businessman. As evidenced by the fact that prosecutors dropped charges. But the lady spent two days in jail.

Jeff December 13, 2009 at 11:25 pm

I joined a few months ago. It cost me $50. That’s a SMALL price to pay for the best education I ever got. Hundreds of hours of audio lectures, which I’ve listened through multiple times. More reading material than I could ever hope to skim through.

I truly believe that Austrian Economics can potentially eclipse the “mainstream” before the next decade is over. I think the Mises Institute is a worthy investment.

David December 14, 2009 at 3:43 am

ever since my eyes were opened to Austrian economics this website has been an invaluable resource. I have my eye on one of those Mises silver coins, and I’ll make sure to buy my books from here rather than second hand on Amazon.. (to show my support!)

Intellectual property laws IMO have badly stifled innovation/human progress, it’s awesome to see you guys walk the walk and not just talk the talk.

David B. December 14, 2009 at 8:35 pm

Thank you for all your work with the Mises institute and online publications. Austrian economics has truly changed my understanding of so many things. I would like to see Austrian economics grow and I have been personally recommending readers to stop by this site and it peaks so much interest. Keep on Expanding and preserving free thought!

Roberto Valenzuela December 15, 2009 at 12:44 pm

Mr. French,
You say your thinking “is that ideas are a free good, not subject to economic constraints. They are infinitely reproducible.” Am I correct in reading this as proclaiming all Mises Institute publications as being in the public domain and not subject to copyright?



Stephan Kinsella December 15, 2009 at 9:08 pm

Valenzuela, “You say your thinking “is that ideas are a free good, not subject to economic constraints. They are infinitely reproducible.” Am I correct in reading this as proclaiming all Mises Institute publications as being in the public domain and not subject to copyright?”

He is saying ideas are non-scarce, and thus the law should not treat them as if they are (property). That does not imply the law is as it should be, and it does not imply that Mises Institute publications are not subject to copyright. In fact, they all are, since it’s almost impossible to get rid of copyright. See my post Copyright is very sticky!.

That said, it’s my understanding the Mises Institute is trying to release as much as it can in a way that is a reliable and effective means for doing so (creative common attribution only–see logo at the bottom of your screen). They are doing all the can and are to be commended.

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