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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/8420/kinsella-vindicated/

Kinsella Vindicated

August 22, 2008 by

You will note that Kinsella’s book Against Intellectual Property is the #2 bestseller in the store. This is despite its having been online for six years and remains so, in two formats. What a way to demonstrate a thesis. If you have something that is valuable to others, people might be willing to pay for it.

{ 23 comments }

Alexander S. Peak August 22, 2008 at 10:27 am

I’ll buy it when I get the money.

The interesting thing I’ve noticed about myself is this: every time I listen to an mp3 audiobook here on Mises.org, I usually end up buying the book later. Having loved it so much, I end up wanting a paper-copy for my own collection.

Cheers,
Alex Peak

Neal W. August 22, 2008 at 11:50 am

Yes, sometimes it is true, like in the case of Radiohead selling their album for whatever price you want, but many people paid more than $.01 or free.

But, I think if someone printed off hard copies of the book and sold it for cheaper than you guys are selling then your sales would decrease a good bit.

Person August 22, 2008 at 12:01 pm

And if there were no IP, there would already be a place that sells stuff like this cheaper than you are, meaning you’ve proven nothing.

jl August 22, 2008 at 12:16 pm

So I see from the free PDF that the manuscript is “Copyright 2008″. Per Neal W., if someone were to print it off and sell it, would Mises.org sue him? Can someone have a go at printing and selling the book? I’m not sure that someone would or could sell it cheaper than Mises.org, but is it allowed?

Matthew August 22, 2008 at 12:41 pm

Person said:

And if there were no IP, there would already be a place that sells stuff like this cheaper than you are, meaning you’ve proven nothing.

Is there anything precluding someone else from selling copies of Kinsella’s writings? I have to believe that, on principle, Jeffrey Tucker et al. would not object to someone else selling copies of Kinsella’s writings, on legal grounds at least.

Perhaps Kinsella’s book being the #2 bestseller in the Mises store does not prove anything in a rigorous sense, but it most certainly demonstrates the fact that people are willing to pay for a hardcopy replica of information they can obtain for free. If others are able to undercut Mises.org on price, that is a wonderful boon for consumers who can obtain a hardcopy of the book and use their saved, hard-earned money to improve their standard of living by consuming or investing that money elsewhere.

Rob D. August 22, 2008 at 12:44 pm

I like to buy the mises.org books for a couple of reasons:
1- I think mises.org is a fantastic organization, I want to support the work you do, and I like the fact that I can give my support by buying a book, because I hate making donations, period. Even with “non-profit” (I put that in quotes because profit and NFP organizations are different only in the tax circumstances of the money they receive). I feel that if you can’t provide a service people are willing to pay for then you need to be more creative.
2- I enjoy reading books on paper (although that may change when tools like the Amazon.com Kindle become more affordable and support .PDF format). It costs me about $30 to have a PDF book printed out and bound at Kinko’s and it still looks like crap, I’d much rather buy the book itself.

Rob D. August 22, 2008 at 12:49 pm

I would like for the PDFs to have a “recomended donation” for each book however, so that way we can have a benchmark should ‘digital ink’ e-readers become ubiquitous.

Person August 22, 2008 at 12:52 pm

it most certainly demonstrates the fact that people are willing to pay for a hardcopy replica of information they can obtain for free.

WOW, another conclusive proof of something that no one ever disputed!

Let me guess — now you’re going to flaunt some evidence of how there exist intellectual works that were produced without intent to assert IP.

Stephan Kinsella August 23, 2008 at 12:17 am

Person: “And if there were no IP, there would already be a place that sells stuff like this cheaper than you are, meaning you’ve proven nothing.”

You think people would be selling a copy of a bound book… for less than $6? Let ‘em try. Do you realize you have to sell 500 copies (say) to just break even?

jl: “So I see from the free PDF that the manuscript is “Copyright 2008″. Per Neal W., if someone were to print it off and sell it, would Mises.org sue him? Can someone have a go at printing and selling the book? I’m not sure that someone would or could sell it cheaper than Mises.org, but is it allowed?”

First off, what you “see” as the copyright statement is irrelevant: you note it as if this statement is legally significant. The fact is the federal law automatically gives you copyright protection in certain works, whether you print a notice as to this fact or not (much like a black person has a right to sue for discrimination, even if he does not ask for this right). Second, if Mises makes a free, online PDF copy available, and sells print coipes at a loss for $6 (at least for hundreds of initial copies), do you really think they are doing this for anything other than spreading truth, ideas, liberty?

They should be applauded for their truly heroic work spreading ideas of liberty–not carped at from the sidelines.

And see Ideas Are Easy… Execution Is Difficult.

Person: “Let me guess — now you’re going to flaunt some evidence of how there exist intellectual works that were produced without intent to assert IP.”

You IP advocates have become as slippery as your socialist progenitors. Every time we explode one of your alleged arguments for state intervention, you retreat to the position that this is not essential to your case. Many IP advocates say that one reason for IP is that without it, people would not produce books, if they could just be knocked off. The truth is–it’s not so easy to execute an idea. Those who do, might profit from it.

See Ideas Are Easy… Execution Is Difficult.

ktibuk August 23, 2008 at 3:12 am

This has mostly to do with the effect of marketing.

There is this big financial crises going on in the world, maybe the biggest since the great depression. People are clueless to what is going on and Austrians can’t even decide on the definition of money and if there is a deflation or inflation of US dollars right now.

Eventhough the world is going through this phase Mises blog has more IP spam from Kinsella than anything else.

It is really sad for the Mises institute that during this phase in world economy, not a book on monetary theory or business cycle but a pamphlet that supports socialization of property is no 2 in the book sales.

Brainpolice August 23, 2008 at 5:44 am

*sides with Kinsella on this one*

newson August 23, 2008 at 7:34 am

to kinsella,
haven’t read the book yet, but given the heat ip generates, wouldn’t it behove you to omit the copyright nonetheless? no carping intended.

Stephan Kinsella August 23, 2008 at 10:54 am

ktibuk, as usual, you are a confused nuisance. Anyone who thinks we can trust the state that taxes, murders, bombs, regulates, conscripts, lies, imprisons, invades, imposes antitrust, tort, FDA regulations and penalties–to set up a state-run bureaucracy to grant monopolies designed to reward people justly or to enhance wealth, under the supervision of a bunch of federal “judges” … does not have an accurate picture of how the world works. And they are hardly libertarian, at least on this issue.

Newson: “haven’t read the book yet, but given the heat ip generates, wouldn’t it behove you to omit the copyright nonetheless? no carping intended.”

First, it was not my decision. It was Mises Inst. Second, again, it’s just restating a FACT, a fact that exists whether you omit it or not. Third, it’s the common way of putting the publication date on publications so people know how to cite them accurately.

ktibuk August 23, 2008 at 4:04 pm

Kinsella, as usual you are lying socialist that keeps constructing straw man and trying to knock them down.

There is no need for a state to enforce copyrights, or any contact for that matter.

newson August 23, 2008 at 7:00 pm

to kinsella:
that’s for the explanation.
i assume you must have anticipated questions along those lines, even from fellow-travellers.

newson August 23, 2008 at 9:19 pm

kinsella: read “thanks for the explanation”. makes more sense.

Arnim Sauerbier August 24, 2008 at 5:52 am

ktibuk

I agree that there are more important issues for libertarians to address in our advocacy and actions dealing with the rest of the (non-libertarian) world.

However, within libertarian/austrian circles, the IP debate is one we need to have in order to attain internal consistency in our theory and philosophy. We have no notable internal disputes on the fraud of fractional reserve banking for example, but we do face a challenge in coming to a consensus on what sensibly constitutes ‘property’. It is an issue “at the forefront”, so to speak, of the evolution of libertarian thought and the arrival of the internet, along with the inevitable attempts to control it, are both current and highly significant.

The enforcement of the copyright regime necessarily creates one of the most significant wedges in the door of our personal privacy today. The violations thereof have vast implications for the future of freedom and liberty in the world.

Marcello August 24, 2008 at 7:33 am

ktibuk at least explain how you think a free market would defend a copyright. Stop being so pretentious and stop throwing around the word “socialist” at people when they are certainly not.

ktibuk August 24, 2008 at 1:31 pm

Arnim, I am not sayin IP debate is a useless debate. But priorities are important.

You try to enlighten and educate people about economics. There comes a great opportunity and you debate about IP. For example why do you think Ron Paul caught on this year. He has been saying these things for years. He caught on because the time proves him right.

The time also proves Aurstrian economics right but not enough is being done. Last time there was a staflation Hakek got a Nobel. This time it is worst and only Ron Paul is trying to make dent.

And since Kinsella is a patent attorney with seemingly a lot of time in his hands, and since he doesnt know economics he keeps filling the blog with IP posts.

Yes there are lots of argument in the opinion boxes but they are all the same.

Now Marcello wants to know how contracts are enforced in the absence of state.

Marcello, have you ever rented a car? Think of buying a book with a copyright contract as renting a car. You rent a car on certain conditions. You buy, rather rent, a copyright book movie or sofware on certain conditions.

It is as simple as that.

Marcello August 24, 2008 at 8:00 pm

No shit you can rent a book. Ideas are not limited in bound books. Your idea of a contract that only you can read it has already failed in the market. Just look at DRM. No one wants that crap on something they bought.

Stephan Kinsella August 24, 2008 at 10:27 pm

kitbook:

“And since Kinsella is a patent attorney with seemingly a lot of time in his hands, and since he doesnt know economics he keeps filling the blog with IP posts.”

Kitbook, we all have “time on our hands. This is an irrelevant, eristic comment. You have enough time on you hands to stalk me thru cyberspace, for example. And to use a cowardly nym. You aren’t Silas-John Sharp-Richard Harding-Person are you?

“Yes there are lots of argument in the opinion boxes but they are all the same.”

The libertarian argument, yes, is rather consistent and simple. We oppose aggression, we support property rights, we oppose the state. Anyone favoring IP has to take the opposite position on all of these.

Dr. Klaus Graf August 25, 2008 at 3:18 pm
Ron August 26, 2008 at 8:37 am

I read the book online, for free! And I didn’t give Kinsella one red cent. Take that, mister IP Freeleigh!!!

Actually, the book was very good, and the anti-IP argument validated what I had already reasoned out as my own viewpoint on the subject. Maybe I’ll send Stephan a fruitcake.

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