My article here elicited more correspondence than any in memory. Many people are just shocked at the idea that IP is contrary to market economics. The idea strikes people as obviously nuts and yet once people start thinking about it, wondering why precisely they support IP, it becomes more difficult because the rationales don’t actually hold up under scrutiny.
I’ve written the following note so many times that I thought I should just blog it: “I must tell you that I came to accept my present view very reluctantly. It took five years. The first time I heard the idea, I thought it was incorrect, even embarassingly naive. But technological advance and theoretical advance have convinced me in the meantime. In the Austrian lineage, the early Austrians didn’t talk much about it. Mises rejected patents but without much in the way of robust theory. Rothbard went further on the patent question but didn’t see the problem with copyright. Now in light of all the current controversies, Stephan Kinsella has made the best argument, in my view. I’ve probably read this article 10 times, and it took years to sink in. But I do encourage you to read it“.