It’s my impression that in the last 5-10 years, there has been a striking movement towards the anti-IP camp among libertarians and Austrians. This is a result of the mounting everyday evidence of injustice resulting from the digital age magnifying the baleful effects of IP that have always existed; and the mounting scholarship, from a pro-property rights, pro-free market perspective, against both the moral and principled case and the utilitarian case for IP (resources listed in the final section of my “The Case Against IP: A Concise Guide“).
I’m personally aware of dozens of people who have changed their minds or seen the light on this issue–including, say, myself, Jeff Tucker, and many others. For some things I’m writing and just for general curiosity it would be interesting to get a better idea of this trend. Please feel free to add a brief comment to this post specifying whether you have moved toward the anti-IP position in recent years.Update: Some here may also find of interest the Patent Rights Web Poll I did a while back, pasted below. Feel free to take it if you haven’t:
On a patent practitioner email list I posted the following:
It seems to me that many small/medium companies live in fear of a big patent lawsuit. Even if they had their own IP, I suspect many companies would gladly give up forever their right to sue for patent infringement, in exchange for some kind of immunity from patent liability–at least, if they could eliminate the threat of an injunction, so that the worst penalty they might face is some kind of mandatory royalty. Surely IBM et al. would not take this deal, but I bet a lot of other companies would. What do you think?
Second, in view of this, does this mean there is some kind of market for a service that would let a bunch of companies get together and “pool” their IP and have some kind of agreement (a) never to sue each other; (b) to have access to this pool of patents to countersue any company that sues any of the members.
This post drew some interest so I am doing a simple webpoll. I think the results might be interesting. (DIGG it here.)
In Seen and Unseen Costs of Patents, Jeff Tucker notes, “Intel’s CEO spoke for many when he said he would be glad to cut patents to a tenth of its current rate provided that others did the same.”