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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/11717/against-intellectual-property-audiobook-version/

“Against Intellectual Property”: Audiobook Version

February 23, 2010 by

Against Intellectual Property

An audiobook of my monograph Against Intellectual Property (Mises Institute, 2008; Mises Store; PDF; Scribd; HTML) has been prepared. The narrator is Jock Coats, who produced a very impressive, professional-quality product. The audiobook, about 1 hour, 54 minutes in length, is available on iTunes U, and by chapter on Mises.org; there are also separate .mp3 format and .m4b iTunes book format files (the .m4b file has chapter breaks built in).

{ 29 comments }

AJ Witoslawski February 23, 2010 at 4:52 pm

But Stephan! How could you give this away for free?!?!? Don’t you know, you’ll lose all of your profits!!!

S.M. Oliva February 23, 2010 at 4:52 pm

Meh. I’ll wait for the movie to come out.

Robert Brager February 23, 2010 at 6:17 pm

I just maxed out my iPod (I’m not going to lie, it’s 160gb… no doubt more than enough to many of you) and, in the act of so doing, made some painful cuts (goodbye Caetano Veloso’s first album, goodbye audio book of Garrett’s “The Driver”). Seriously, no more than five minutes ago.

Then you go and do this to me.

Tom February 23, 2010 at 6:18 pm

I disagree with the premise of this article. I would argue that all property is intellectual property, because you had to apply your mind and reason towards accomplishing some goal in order to earn compensation in order to buy property.

Moreover, the amount of time and effort you put into education and research is your own self-directed investment, and you own any results of such efforts. It is amoral and should be illegal for someone else to then take your finished product and do with it as they please. If you want to absolutely kill innovation and encourage everyone to go into non-intellectual fields, remove intellectual property rights.

Renegade Division February 23, 2010 at 6:27 pm

Mr Kinsella you shouldn’t give away stuff for free, what incentive would you have to produce more of this kind of stuff.

I am writing you a check so that you continue producing more anti-IP stuff like that.

Renegade Division February 23, 2010 at 6:31 pm

If you want to absolutely kill innovation and encourage everyone to go into non-intellectual fields, remove intellectual property rights.

I disagree, without IP there will be more vertical innovation, and less horizontal innovation, and with strict IP you will have more horizontal innovation and less vertical innovation.

http://www.stephankinsella.com/2009/08/24/patents-horizontal-vs-vertical-innovation/

Jake February 23, 2010 at 8:29 pm

Tom,

Have you ever worked in a business where intellectual property was central to the day to day workings? I’d be quite surprised if so, because I can’t imagine someone working in that environment, as I have for 7 years now, and say, with such certainty, “If you want to absolutely kill innovation and encourage everyone to go into non-intellectual fields, remove intellectual property rights.”

Not to say it’s obviously untrue, but it certainly isn’t obviously true either. IP concerns waste vast sums of money, you can’t do anything novel without spending many thousands of dollars making sure someone you’ve never heard of hasn’t already patented it, or crossing your fingers that nobody’s going to sue you into oblivion.

Nor is it clear to me that intellectual property is nessecary to spur innovation. We had great music, literature, inventions, etc before we had state-granted monopoly privileges of the same. And patents are frequently not sought after to “protect” the product of millions of dollars and years of research, but to grab up some trivial feature that would be obvious to anyone who sat down to solve the problem. Harnessing the force of the state to interfere with their competition.

Finally, I’d just like to point out that most of the really great and revolutionary discoveries/inventions were either:

A: accidental, thus not requiring any state-provided incentive to be discovered. (Penicillin, Radar & Teflon all come to mind after just a few seconds of thought)

B: discovered by multiple people independently in various places at very nearly the same time, making the granting of a monopoly privilege to just one of them a very arbitrary, and dare I say, immoral, action.

C: Developed to solve a specific problem, it’s development being driven by the need to solve said problem whether the developer can enjoy a monopoly privilege on the solution or not.

iawai February 23, 2010 at 9:24 pm

To add a (D) to jake’s post:

Even if Intellectual creation needed “incentive”, it is a non-sequitur to conclude that these rewards be from the socialist trough. There are many architectural design, song writing, literature, engineering, and other “creation” competitions that pool money from those interested in seeing developments in these areas.

State-enforced IP kills true creativity in favor of profit-seeking mediocrity and protectionist stagnation.

Bruce Koerber February 23, 2010 at 9:50 pm

Walking the talk.

Artisan February 24, 2010 at 3:32 am

“State-enforced IP kills true creativity in favor of profit-seeking mediocrity and protectionist stagnation.”

Yes, but only sometimes… just as copyright abolition would “sometimes” kill true creativity (or its author).

What you need – according to Montesquieu – is a counter-incentive to the IP lobbying abuses in legislation.

If you’d bind copyright (no patent please) strictly to the author with no possibility for a third party like publishers, to ever acquire exclusivity to those rights (so in fact it’s a small restriction of copyright with potentially great effects: a publisher will not invest so much to artificially “make” an author as he cannot bind him legally – instead, publishers will tend to diversify more and offer better service that bind them “morally” to authors).

It gets more complex with cooperation works like movies, where many authors are working.
Basically, the composer would be able to market the movie score with a different label…
Most interesting: the script team would be able to sell – during production – its idea to another more talented director!

I’m confident most copyright abuses – as regularly criticized and illustrated by Mr Tucker – would vanish soon … while creativity would not likely be curbed, and most important: you’d have the whole artist community supporting that change of legislation!

Kerem Tibuk February 24, 2010 at 4:00 am

“But Stephan! How could you give this away for free?!?!? Don’t you know, you’ll lose all of your profits!!!”

“Mr Kinsella you shouldn’t give away stuff for free, what incentive would you have to produce more of this kind of stuff.”

“Walking the talk.”

:-)

Juvenile arguments like these are actually the great way to undermine this IP socialism nonsense. W,th intellectual allies like these who would need opponents.

I wonder if there were socialists who point out that people sometimes give away their property thus they didn’t actually have any rights over private property at the first place.

Did a socialist ever go to the cheese section at the super market and said,

“But, but I thought private property was important. You shouldn’t give away anything for free, and if you do this proves private property is not necessary and evil”

newson February 24, 2010 at 5:40 am

cheese is tangible. it has taste, aroma, texture and is finite in supply.
ideas are intangible. tasteless. odourless, texture-less, and potentially infinite in supply. (who invented cheese? and how many copied his idea, thereby stealing his wealth?)

next dud metaphor, please.

newson February 24, 2010 at 5:47 am

what we really need is a government protection scheme to award monopoly rights to selected cheese makers, and institute a comprehensive electroshock programme on those who have wittingly or unwittingly found out how to make cheese, so that they be made to unlearn the recipe for cheese.

that would be the freedom-lover’s model for sure.

newson February 24, 2010 at 5:52 am

everyone knows what great delicacies spring forth from the state kitchens.

epicures, just sit back and eagerly await the wonderful world of government cheese.

Magnus February 24, 2010 at 7:14 am

I not only invented cheese, I invented the word cheese, which means all y’all owe me royalties, big time.

Jock Coats February 24, 2010 at 7:30 am

Might I be so humble as to point out that in fact Stephan only created the pattern of words but that it was I who engraved them in audio compatible digital files and you are listening to my unique wave-forms.

So if there are any cheques being put in the post…
:-)

We did like the irony that immediately after reading the title, I had to read a copyright notice! Of course it needs to be done in order to stop someone else from claiming the copyright and preventing Mises and Stephan from then distributing it however they want to!

Jock

Jock Coats February 24, 2010 at 7:55 am

Incidentally newson, here in the Imperial Federation of Yurrp, the unelected government has already granted special protections for particular cheese-makers (blessed be they) such that nobody is allowed to use even the name of their regions to describe their products, however similar they may be. “Feta” and “Parmesan” are examples.

I believe would be forgers who do not manufacture their wares within a gnat’s whisker of the said geographical locations have to call their products things like “Greek style cubed cheese” or “Italianate hard stuff you grate over pasta that smells funny but tastes yum”.

We also offer the same privilege to certain sausage, or “northern English compacted pigs meat tubes”, makers and sparkling (probably even more faithful to the original recipe of Widow Cliquot and Dom Perignon) wines.

But at least the Yurrp Patent Office did not protect the cat exercising light…though I have submitted an application now!

Kerem Tibuk February 24, 2010 at 8:17 am

:-)

Great when you point out the stupidity of one argument,

“hey if you are giving some free that means you didn’t have the right to own it in the first place”

They turn to the

“But one is scarce the other is not” argument.

My point is, there is one and only one argument for the IP socialist.

And that is the argument from scarcity.

The other so called arguments, like the ones I mentioned in my first posts, are nothing but distractions. Tools for the insecure IP socialist, who can not defend the original argument from scarcity but needs to show somehow that there are many many more reasons for IP socialism.

Well, there actually aren’t. And you are all right to feel insecure. Because the original argument from scarcity is not a valid argument either.

mpolzkill February 24, 2010 at 8:28 am

Tibuk, “socialism: a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of productionand distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole.”

Are you saying that those who don’t agree with your fascist scheme wish to have a collective body assume “ownership” of everyone’s ideas? That is not true. We aren’t collectivists, you are: if you and Hubbard can’t lie the world into a stupor (and you can’t), you want us all to be robbed for policing to prop up your outmoded business model.

Tibuk inventing and then running away from another ridiculous analogy:

http://blog.mises.org/archives/011689.asp#c670711

mpolzkill February 24, 2010 at 9:11 am

“…if you and Hubbard can’t lie the world into a stupor (and you can’t)”

Well, OK, sometimes you do lie me into a stupor, but I recover.

- – - –

Jock Coates: Wrong! “Obviously, it’s not meant to be taken literally, but refers to any manufacturer of dairy products.”

ddefino February 24, 2010 at 9:56 am

We’re hosting an IP conference at the end of April and would love to see some of you present. It’s an academic conference, but participants come from all different professional, personal and disiplinary perspectives. Send us a couple of hundred words proposing a topic, and become part of the discussion. presenters include James Boyle (THE PUBLIC DOMAIN), Nina Paley (SITA SINGS THE BLUES) and Jamie King (Vodo). Here’s our link:
http://www.iona.edu/cip/
Abstract deadline approaching, but if you let us know you are interested, we will give you a little leeway.

ddefino February 24, 2010 at 10:04 am

We’re hosting an IP conference at the end of April and would love to see some of you present. It’s an academic conference, but participants come from all different professional, personal and disiplinary perspectives. Send us a couple of hundred words proposing a topic, and become part of the discussion. presenters include James Boyle (THE PUBLIC DOMAIN), Nina Paley (SITA SINGS THE BLUES) and Jamie King (Vodo). Here’s our link:
http://www.iona.edu/cip/
Abstract deadline approaching, but if you let us know you are interested, we will give you a little leeway.

Anna Caruthers February 24, 2010 at 12:21 pm

Luca Ferrini- just wanted to say that piece you wrote on communism was truly inspirational and helped me with my homework a lot! Thank you.

Keep writing, I find your articles interesting. Anna

Ryan February 24, 2010 at 12:27 pm

Awesome. I love Kinsella’s IP work. Nice to have this in audio format.

Michael A. Clem February 24, 2010 at 1:04 pm

Moreover, the amount of time and effort you put into education and research is your own self-directed investment, and you own any results of such efforts. It is amoral and should be illegal for someone else to then take your finished product and do with it as they please.
If a person has a right to the fruits of their labors, then shouldn’t a person who takes an existing work or works and turns out new work also be entitled to the fruits of their labors? Society and culture in general have largely benefitted from the previous works and history of others so that each new generation does not have to start all over again from scratch–this is true in science, education, industry, etc., so why shouldn’t it also be true in culture and arts?
Robert van Gulik wrote his Judge Dee novels by utilizing the Chinese murder mystery style and borrowing heavily from old chinese murder mystery plots, modified here and there for modern sensibilities.
Ancient Robin Hood poems, ballads, plays, and legends have been countlessly updated and adapted for newer stories, movies, television, and comics over the 20th century up to the present. I understand a new Robin Hood movie is due out this year. Why make a new movie about a legend in the public domain instead of a specific copyrighted character by a modern author? Yet IP laws would have strangled this wealth of material, limiting it to a specific author (or more likely publisher) and/or heirs.

Jack Roberts February 24, 2010 at 2:25 pm

Moreover, the amount of time and effort you put into education and research is your own self-directed investment, and you own any results of such efforts. It is amoral and should be illegal for someone else to then take your finished product and do with it as they please.

With ip law it allows an inventor to as you say “protect” his effort. But what it also allows him to do is prevent competition. Which will ultimately mean higher prices and a less quality product.

Removing IP law will force the inventor to not only invent his good, but to invent with the most viable economic means available and offer the best deal to the customer.

Then you might think to argue, well then eventually you will have one place that sells the best products at the best prices. I would say to you that i look forward to it.

Kerem Tibuk February 25, 2010 at 12:39 am

Clem,

“If a person has a right to the fruits of their labors, then shouldn’t a person who takes an existing work or works and turns out new work also be entitled to the fruits of their labors? Society and culture in general have largely benefitted from the previous works and history of others so that each new generation does not have to start all over again from scratch–this is true in science, education, industry, etc., so why shouldn’t it also be true in culture and arts?”

Yes, but why not give the owners of the preexisting work his due?

Who, takes one raw material and makes finished product, all from the scratch?

What you are describing is “stages of production” and that is true for almost all goods and services that are being produced.

The difference when it comes to IP, is you claim you do not need the consent of the owner of the property that is used in this stage of production.

I concede to the fact that when it comes to stages of production of IP, the “semi raw material” that will be used may not be owned by someone at that time. Or maybe the owner is very hard to identify, and mistakes can be made.

But that is nothing like denying an ethical right.

If you use an existing work either you are aware of the existing work or you were subconsciously influenced by it.

If you are aware, either you can identify an owner or you can not.

If you can identify the owner, you either take his consent or not.

The ethical question regarding property here only comes into play on the third step. You either acknowledge the property owners right, or you deny it.

What IP socialist claim is that the owner doesnt have a property right over his property, when it comes to IP. This is an ethical issue.

Also all the practical real life problems of the world regarding IP is related on the ethical choice presented in the third step.

So lets say respecting the ownership rights of the IP owners property rights is ethically the right thing to do. Let us assume this at this point.

Could every human in this world act ethically without causing a contradiction?

Yes.

If everyone behaved ethically as formulated above, the problems or disagreements would be very very rare (only limited to the mistakes described in the steps above), as in the case of accidental trespass regarding land and can be handled in a very civil matter.

But I know the argument again will go back to the argument from scarcity. As I pointed out many times, there is no other argument that is valid, but the argument from scarcity.

Kerem Tibuk February 25, 2010 at 12:47 am

I have to add, to try to avoid any straw man.

When I say,

“So lets say respecting the ownership rights of the IP owners property rights is ethically the right thing to do. Let us assume this at this point.

Could every human in this world act ethically without causing a contradiction?”

I am only talking about the stages of production where one individual uses the product of another, not independent discovery.

Also when I said,

“But I know the argument again will go back to the argument from scarcity. As I pointed out many times, there is no other argument that is valid, but the argument from scarcity.”

I didn’t mean argument from scarcity is valid, but the other so called reasons and arguments given are not unique to IP but are also true for tangible goods, thus they can not be used to justify this IP socialism but only work to distract.

mpolzkill February 25, 2010 at 12:56 am

Intellectual coward, Kerem Tibuk in his latest missive:

“ethical right” “ethical question” “ethical issue” “ethical choice” “ethically the right thing to do” “act ethically” “behaved ethically”

All that “ethics” sure looks funny amidst his favorite bit of lying propaganda:

“IP socialist”

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