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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/8461/ip-converts-authors-and-google/

IP Converts — Authors and Google

September 4, 2008 by

On the Sept. 3, 2008 show of Free Talk Live, the excellent libertarian radio program, there was an interesting discussion with a caller who is an author and has changed his mind about IP–he realized that by giving online versions of his book away on Amazon, he can sell more copies of it.

The recorded show is here; the IP discussion starts at the beginning, with the first caller, and lasts for a few minutes.

In other news, Google’s new Chrome browser “is based on the open-source WebKit architecture, and Google claims that its code will be open source, so it’s unlikely that the company is trying to corner the market on browser functionality, since innovations are eminently copyable.” I.e., Google’s not trying to lock Chrome’s code down with copyright. It’s not afraid of competition.


Person September 4, 2008 at 10:43 am

he realized that by giving online versions of his book away on Amazon, he can sell more copies of it.

You’re kidding. He actually claimed that? He didn’t realize that the whole time he was prohibiting others from selling physical copies?

ktibuk September 4, 2008 at 3:23 pm

I happened to witness a similar thing.

A supermarket owner and a cheese maker were arguing. I can’t give a link to the whole argument but after the argument cheese maker realized that by giving free samples of cheese he can sell more cheese.

But I don’t remember anybody claiming the cheese maker can not own the cheese he made because of this, but a few kooky socialists.

scineram September 4, 2008 at 5:45 pm

You of course own the book you make!

Skyler August 9, 2011 at 3:59 pm

Yes, but you only own the COPIES you make. You cannot own information. If you write a book and want to sell it, you must make it cheaper than anyone else, otherwise their paper and ink will beat your paper and ink in competition.

When someone copies your book, they are no threat to your monopoly unless you are charging more than what customers are willing to pay, or unless they add to the information itself. In both cases, further production has taken place, and copying and distribution make everybody better off, except the monopolist, who now simply has to compete fairly just like everyone else.

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