Thursday, January 3, 2013

The Alleged Case Against Intellectual Property

Kinsella and others have offered their arguments against intellectual property. These same people all support property rights in physical things. If their anti-IP arguments are valid, then the exact same reasoning applied to physical objects should produce the opposite result. However, if a logical construct produces the same result regardless of whether it tests a physical or intellectual object, this is strong evidence for the validity of intellectual property.  If you want to show that physical goods are rightful property while intellectual goods are not, then you must do so by applying consistent standards to both.

Following is a restatement of all of the arguments against IP,  including the conclusion reached by that argument.  After each restatement, I have formulated a generalized rule using the variable “X”, and logical operators and conditions.  The rule is constructed such that when an intellectual object is substituted for “X”, the result agrees with the argument above. Assuming physical property to be valid, I then substitute a physical object for “X”, to test the rule.


1. Intellectual property is not rivalrous. Physical objects, such as the apples on a tree, are always limited in abundance. If I take the apples and eat them, there are none for you. The use of property by one excludes the use by another. Conflict over scarce resources is inevitable. A peaceful society therefore requires a system of property rights in physical things to decide who is allowed to exploit which resource. Conversely, IP is, by its very nature, super-abundant. If you download a copy of my book, I still have my book. Your use of the IP does not preclude my use. A system of IP rights is therefore unnecessary.

Rule 1: If X is useful, and Y is a duplicate of X, and the use of Y does not interfere with the use of X, then X cannot be property.

X = bicycle.

A bicycle is useful, and a second bicycle is a duplicate of the first bicycle, and the use of the second bicycle by a second person does not interfere with the use of the first bicycle by the first person.

Therefore a bicycle cannot be property?

Rule 1 Fails.


2. Intellectual property is not libertarian. Enforcement of IP necessitates violations of physical property rights, including the right to self-ownership. If I write a  novel and assert a copyright, IP denies you the ability to write down the same pattern of words, even though you are using your own pen, your own paper, and your own physical body. Because you have not aggressed against me, any enforcement of my IP would represent the initiation of force against you.

Rule 2: If the enforcement of Person A’s alleged property rights in X imposes any restrictions on the physical movement of Person B, or any restriction on Person B’s use of his own rightful property, then X cannot be property.

X = land with house.

Person A has land with a house on it. Person A’s alleged property rights in her house imposes a restriction on the physical movement of Person B, because Person B is not allowed inside the house.

Therefore a house cannot be property?

Rule 2 fails.

X = Person A’s own physical body.

Person A’s alleged property rights in her own physical body imposes a restriction on B’s use of his own gun and bullets, because Person B is prohibited from shooting Person A. Therefore one’s own physical body is not self-owned?

Rule 2 fails again.


3. IP requires arbitrary boundaries. Supporters of IP all agree that a novel is sufficiently complex to be IP, while nobody has suggested that the single word "the" should be property. But how and where do we draw the line? IP requires arbitrary, subjective judgments about the quantity and complexity of information needed to constitute property.  Therefore IP cannot be the subject of a rational objective theory, and so cannot be property.

Rule 3. If, during the attempted homesteading of X, the property lines cannot be objectively determined with absolute precision, then X cannot be property.

X = un-owned land.

John discovers un-owned land and decides to build a house and farm, a useful thing. He plants one acre of corn, and sets his house back 20 feet from the beginning of his cornfield, believing he owns the land in between.

Jack discovers un-owned land a few miles from John’s place. Jack decides to build a house and farm, a useful thing. Jack plants one acre of tomatoes, and builds his house 500 feet from the beginning of his tomato field, believing he owns the land in between. Jack also believes he owns a 100 square mile surrounding area (except for John’s house and John’s field) because part of Jack’s use and enjoyment of his property is the beautiful view of undeveloped nature.

Joe discovers un-owned land and decides to build a road, a useful thing. The course of the road leads onto the vast area that Jack believes he owns, and, due to the contour of the land, Joe’s road goes right in between Jack’s house and Jack’s tomato field. Joe’s road also includes a tunnel which runs directly below John’s cornfield, at a depth of 50 feet.

What is the allowable “set back” between a farm house and a field? How much land is rightly allocated for “viewing pleasure”? Did Joe’s road aggress against Jack’s homestead by being on his “100 square miles?” What about when the road went in between Jack’s house and field? John is concerned that the tunnel might cause a cave-in, but it hasn’t yet. How deep, exactly,  to property rights go? Where, exactly, are the property lines to be drawn in this example?

The solution to this phsycial property dispute requires arbitrary, subjective, good faith decisions. Therefore land is not valid property?

Rule 3 fails.


4. Intellectual property is evil. IP laws are tools of the coercive state. Enforcement of IP is arbitrary or malicious, practiced for the benefit of the government itself and favored interest groups, at the expense of everyone else.

Rule 4: If a state has legislated with regard to the use of X, and enforced that legislation in violation of libertarian principles, then X cannot be property.

X = gold

In 1933, Franklin D. Roosevelt issued executive order 6102, and the following year Congress passed The Gold Reserve Act, making possession of monetary gold a criminal offense. This is clearly in violation of libertarian principles.

Therefore gold cannot be property?

Rule 4 fails.
  

5. Intellectual property requires a physical container. Storing, transmitting and consuming IP can only be accomplished with tangible, physical things like paper, CDs, hard drives, modems, copper wire, DNA, and the human brain. Without physical property, IP disappears. IP is therefore meaningless, and the only correct system of rights is in physical, tangible things.

Rule 5. If X requires a physical container in order to be useful, then X cannot be property.

X=orange juice

Without a physical container, orange juice just spills on the ground, which is useless.

Therefore orange juice cannot be property?

Rule 5 fails.


6. Intellectual property is free. Content is an unlimited resource. People can now make perfect copies of digital content for free. That's why they expect content to be free — because it is in fact free. That is GOOD.

Rule 6: If the per-unit cost of producing consumer good X is extremely small, then capital investment in productive capacity may be ignored, X may be considered “free goods”, and thus not rightful property.

The per-unit cost of manufacturing pain-relief pills is extremely small, so the capital investment in research and development, and machinery may be ignored, pain-relief pills may be considered “free goods”.

Therefore pain-relief pills are not rightful property?

Rule 6 fails.

7. Reduction in market value is not rivalry.  Of course the unauthorized copying and distributing of a copyrighted work reduces the market value of the work to its creator. This does not mean that IP is rivalrous. For a copyright holder to claim that he has been damaged by the copying, he would first have to assert that he has a legal claim on the money of all his potential customers. In fact, the copyright holder has no more rightful claim to the customer's money than the copier does.

Rule 7: If a reduction in market value is the only way that the purported owner of X can measure damages caused by a trespasser, then X cannot be property.

You own a house that would sell for $200,000 on the market. A trespasser comes and breaks all the windows. It would cost $10,000 to repair the windows, thus the house as-is would now sell for $190,000 on the market. The trespasser is liable to the homeowner. According to long-standing common law principles, the correct measure of damages is $10,000, the reduction in the market value of the property.

Therefore a house is not rightful property?

Rule 7 fails.


8. Intellectual property is not economical. IP works against the interest of consumers by stifling innovation and dis-coordinating the economy.

This utilitarian argument is based on economic analysis. An ethical, moral and economic analysis of intellectual property on the free market can proceed by postulating the Doctrine of Intellectual Space, Matter and Property; then reasoning forward under Hoppe’s Argumentation Ethic and Austrian Economic Principles generally. Such is the task of the next section.








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  1. Avatar of Zack Yoscovits
    Zack Yoscovits May 26, 2014, 1:05 am Reply
    You have a fundamental misunderstanding of the idea of what rivalrous means. Two people cannot use THE SAME bicycle at the same time. The idea of a bicycle is non-rivalrous because two people can both have bicycles at the same time.
  2. Avatar of Alexander Baker
    Alexander Baker May 26, 2014, 1:17 am Reply
    Please see “Why Intangible Goods are Scarce and Rivalrous”.
    http://homesteadip.liberty.me/2014/05/25/why-intangible-goods-are-scarce-and-rivalrous/
    Nobody has suggested that “the idea of a bicycle” is copyrightable. This is just one of Kinsella’s strawman arguments.
    Two people CAN use a bicycle at the same time, by “riding double”. What you mean to say is that two people cannot enjoy 100% of the bicycle’s use. One person’s use will reduce the other’s by some percentage. Similarly, two people cannot use 100% of the productive capacity of a song. One person’s use will reduce the other’s by some percentage.
    • Avatar of Dave Burns
      Dave Burns June 3, 2014, 7:08 pm Reply
      “Please see “Why Intangible Goods are Scarce and Rivalrous”.”
      Please read the definition of “rivalrous.” Rule #1 is a strawman. How do you hope to convince us by mis-stating our arguments?
      “intangible goods are, by their very nature, super-abundant.”
      You frequently equate “non-rivalrous” and “super-abundant”. They are distinct concepts. Air is super-abundant but rivalrous. If you use a particular molecule of oxygen, I cannot use it. Practically speaking, the rivalrous nature does not matter, there is enough to consider it super-abundant. Actually, “abundant” is good enough.
      • Avatar of Alexander Baker
        Alexander Baker June 3, 2014, 8:02 pm Reply
        Dave, I invite you think carefully about the relationship between scarcity / abundance, and rivarous / non-rivalrous. The quantity of physical matter in the universe is, as far as we know, infinity. This fact is also irrelevant to humans. What matters is our ability to get at the stuff, control it, and transform it so that it is useful. This is what makes physical things scarce, and rivalrous. The reason atmospheric air is considered non-rivalrous is the SITUATION, i.e. it’s everywhere on the surface of the Earth.
        Yes, it is true that any one molecule of air is rivalrous. One aluminum can is rivalrous. It is also true that any one copy of a song is rivalrous. Yes, the song can be reproduced in great quantity, but so can aluminum cans, and every physical good.
        Thus, it is only by applying an inconsistent standard of analysis that you arrive at your conclusions. If we don’t agree that IP and PP should be judged according to a consistent standard, then we have nothing to discuss.
        If you feel I have misstated the anti-IP position, then PLEASE, I implore you, I BEG YOU, pretty please, with sugar on top, state rules of property with logical operators, as I have done. Show me the rule that holds for PP, yet fails for IP. Or, show me a rule that fails for PP, yet holds for IP.
        But please stop having one rule for PP, and a different rule for IP.
        • Avatar of Dave Burns
          Dave Burns June 6, 2014, 2:50 am Reply
          Alexander said, “any one copy of a song is rivalrous.”
          Are all goods rivalrous by this standard?
          “please stop having one rule for PP, and a different rule for IP.”
          My rule treats both the same. Each has a design and a medium. The medium, usually being physical, fits easily within ordinary ownership. The design, as pure idea, fits only if we torture it.
  3. Avatar of Jeffrey Tucker
    Jeffrey Tucker May 26, 2014, 1:30 am Reply
    All goods consist of scarce and non-scarce goods. E.g. the bicycle is both physical (steel, rubber, peddles, etc.) and intellectual (it’s shape, color, functioning, blueprints). You can “steal” the idea — infinitely reproducibility — but not the property itself. This is an important distinction.
    This covers #1. Getting to the others.
    • Avatar of Alexander Baker
      Alexander Baker May 26, 2014, 2:24 am Reply
      Intellectual objects are not “infinitely reproducible”. Such claim is absurd and provably false. Intellectual objects are mass produced in exactly the same manner as physical objects – first with a capital investment in producer goods, then with the expenditure of labor and resources.
      Good Grief. My songs are NOT like a “magically reproducing lawnmower” (Kinsella’s hypothetical). Technology is NOT magic. There is no free lunch. There are always opportunity costs.
      • Avatar of Skyler J. Collins
        Skyler J. Collins May 26, 2014, 4:55 pm Reply
        Costs, yes, limits to reproducibility? no.
        • Avatar of Alexander Baker
          Alexander Baker May 26, 2014, 5:10 pm Reply
          Skyler, the quantity of aluminum in the Earth’s crust is essentially infinity. Aluminum cans are, in that sense, infinitely reproducible. The limit on our ability to produce aluminum cans is the cost. Cost is ALWAYS the limiting factor. This is true of physical things, it is true of intangible things.
          • Avatar of Skyler J. Collins
            Skyler J. Collins May 30, 2014, 2:48 am
            Wrong. Aluminum is not infinitely reproducible. At some point, you will have mined and used up (sans recycling) all the aluminum. You can never “use up” an idea.
          • Avatar of Alexander Baker
            Alexander Baker May 30, 2014, 3:43 am
            Physical goods are “infinitely reproducible” in the same sense as intellectual goods. Intellectual goods are used up and wear out, just like physical goods.
            Human beings will never, ever use even a tiny fraction of the available aluminum. That is not the limitation. The limitation is our ability and desire to do the work required to go fetch the aluminum, and make something useful.
            Similarly, the limitation on the number of song copies that are made is our ability and desire to the work required. Each copy requires a physical container, which is finite. An upper limit on the number of copies of a particular song is likely related to the number of people on Earth, and certainly not infinite.
            Intellectual creations have a life span of usefulness, after which they wear out and become useless. As with physical things, some are more durable than others.
          • Avatar of Russell Seres
            Russell Seres May 30, 2014, 11:41 am
            Aluminium is certainly not infinitely reproducible. Not only is the quantity finite it also takes other finite resources to extract and process it. Ideas are clearly infinitely reproducible. What is the limit on reproducing an idea? Assuming each human can only have one copy of a particular idea at any one time then only thing I can think of is the number of humans on earth. If someone forgets then they can learn the idea again…another copy.
          • Avatar of Alexander Baker
            Alexander Baker May 30, 2014, 1:28 pm
            @ Russell – To me, it appears that everything you said about physical goods is true of intellectual goods; and everything you said about intellectual goods is true of physical goods. Please help me by answering the following questions:
            1. How a song could be copied without expending resources?
            2. How could the quantity of copies of “Hey Jude” could increase from its current value, say 200,000,000 units, to infinity?
            3. The quantity of air in Earth’s atmosphere is finite. Why is atmospheric air is considered a super-abundant free good, and not the subject of property rights?
          • Avatar of Alexander Baker
            Alexander Baker May 30, 2014, 1:31 pm
            @ Russell – To me, it appears that everything you said about physical goods is true of intellectual goods; and everything you said about intellectual goods is true of physical goods. Please help me by answering the following questions:
            1. How could a song be copied without expending resources?
            2. How could the quantity of copies of “Hey Jude” increase from its current value, say 200,000,000 units, to infinity?
            3. The quantity of air in Earth’s atmosphere is finite. Why is atmospheric air considered a super-abundant free good, and not the subject of property rights?
          • Avatar of Russell Seres
            Russell Seres May 31, 2014, 3:14 am
            1. Copying a song uses PRACTICALLY zero resources. My computer is already on doing nothing, the smallest hard drive that I own is 100 times bigger than I will ever use, my internet connection is subscription based and more than I can possibly use to the limit.
            Copying a song for all intents and purposes uses no resources. Breathing also uses resources but I don’t see you arguing about scarcity of air to breath.
            2. How about practically infinity ? Infinity is a strange concept and if you want to get picky then we can just say the song can be copied as many times as the demand requires for practically zero cost. ie: a non-scarce resource
            3. Exactly. However it does take resources to breath and use the air in the atmosphere, we just don’t think about it.
          • Avatar of Alexander Baker
            Alexander Baker May 31, 2014, 3:33 am
            Russell, are you willing to apply the same standard in analyzing physical goods?
            I.e., if after expensive capital expenditures, the unit-cost to mass produce copies of X is very cheap, then X is not rightful property?
  4. Avatar of Jeffrey Tucker
    Jeffrey Tucker May 26, 2014, 1:33 am Reply
    #2 not letting you into my house does not violate your rights. It’s not “restrictions” on movement that’s the issue; it’s aggression against person and property.
    • Avatar of Alexander Baker
      Alexander Baker May 26, 2014, 2:14 am Reply
      Okay, construe it that way. Copying my song is aggression against my property, because you trespassed in intellectual space.
      • Avatar of Skyler J. Collins
        Skyler J. Collins May 26, 2014, 4:55 pm Reply
        “intellectual space” is not a real thing. only physical space is real.
        • Avatar of Alexander Baker
          Alexander Baker May 26, 2014, 5:17 pm Reply
          Please see “The Ludwig Von Mises Test of External Reality”.
          http://homesteadip.liberty.me/2014/05/26/the-mises-test-of-external-reality/
          • Avatar of Skyler J. Collins
            Skyler J. Collins May 30, 2014, 2:49 am
            That merely shows that we have brains, and our brains have neurons and cells that form into memories and thoughts. The cells exist, their patterns exists. Those are in physical space. Every idea, or informational pattern, exists in physical space somewhere.
          • Avatar of Alexander Baker
            Alexander Baker May 30, 2014, 4:01 am
            “Every idea, or informational pattern, exists in physical space somewhere.”
            So what?
          • Avatar of Skyler J. Collins
            Skyler J. Collins June 4, 2014, 3:20 pm
            Alexander: ““Every idea, or informational pattern, exists in physical space somewhere.” So what?”
            So, there’s no reason (nor justification) to consider ideas as a separate type of property.
          • Avatar of Alexander Baker
            Alexander Baker June 4, 2014, 6:01 pm
            Skyler, private property rights are necessary because without them, we have the “incentive problem” and the “calculation problem”. The results of socialism were predicted by the Austrians.
            Patterns of information are fixed in a tangible container, somewhere in physical space. So what? The only way this proves IP illegitimate is by including “physical” into your definition of property.
            If you want to simply define IP out of existence, go play word games with someone else. It’s silly.
            If you do not include “physical” in your definition of property, then you are arguing the rule I cover in #5 in this article. Please review rule #5 about “containers”.
            Or are you another intellectual communist who doesn’t feel the need to judge IP and PP by the same standard?
          • Avatar of Skyler J. Collins
            Skyler J. Collins June 4, 2014, 6:52 pm
            “Skyler, private property rights are necessary because without them, we have the “incentive problem” and the “calculation problem”. The results of socialism were predicted by the Austrians.”
            They are necessary because without them we have never-ending conflict due to the scarcity that we find in our world. Two people can’t exercise ownership over the same scarce resource at the same time without physically conflicting with each other. Hence property rights as a tool to sort ownership rights for scarce (rivalrous) resources. Two people can, however, exercise ownership over two scarce resources that were designed based on the same nonscarce idea. This, as a matter of physics, not ethics, not economics, is a fact easily observable in the real, physical world.
            “If you want to simply define IP out of existence, go play word games with someone else. It’s silly.”
            I’m not defining it out of existence. It exists, but only through state decree, which I argue is illegitimate on several different grounds.
            “Or are you another intellectual communist who doesn’t feel the need to judge IP and PP by the same standard?”
            We are only intellectual communists if we consider ideas as scarce, and thus ownable (communally), which we do not.
          • Avatar of Alexander Baker
            Alexander Baker June 4, 2014, 8:29 pm
            Skyler, when you say it’s just a matter of “physics”, and that scarcity requires “physical” conflict, you are building your conclusion (property must be “physical”) into your premise.
            If you want presume those definitions (that rivalry must be over physical things) then the the conclusion is absolutely obvious: IP cannot be rightful property.
            And Kinsella’s entire book is completely unnecessary. As are all of your posts. All you need to say is this:
            Property exists to prevent conflict over rivalrous physical goods. By definition, intangible goods are not physical. Therefore, intangible goods cannot be property. QED.
            That’s it. You’re done. With those definitions in place, there is nothing left to be said on the subject.
  5. Avatar of Jeffrey Tucker
    Jeffrey Tucker May 26, 2014, 1:36 am Reply
    #3 complexity: all things are complex. That’s not the same as completely arbitrary. IP is completely uncalled for and unnecessary. No need to create this stuff. So of course its creation involves making stuff up out of whole cloth.
  6. Avatar of Jeffrey Tucker
    Jeffrey Tucker May 26, 2014, 1:38 am Reply
    #4 in the case you mention here, you describe an existing reality and try to formulate a rule around it. That doesn’t really follow. “The state has unjust laws. One of them is against murder. Therefore laws against murder are unjust.”
    • Avatar of Alexander Baker
      Alexander Baker May 27, 2014, 6:03 pm Reply
      Yes, Jeffrey, I agree completely with you here. We are making the same point. Just because the state co-opted copyright does not mean that copyright would not exist in a free society. I believe that it would, ans should.
  7. Avatar of Jeffrey Tucker
    Jeffrey Tucker May 26, 2014, 1:42 am Reply
    I think I’ll stop here and let others deal with things like pain relief pills. E.g. nothing wrong with property in pills; much wrong with criminalizing reverse engineering the nonscarce formula of those pills.
    I suspect that most of the errors here involve the failure to decouple the scarce and nonscarce features of goods and service.s
    Anyway, this is some good argument and I like that you are thinking hard about this topic. It’s hugely important.
  8. Avatar of maluka
    maluka May 26, 2014, 2:16 am Reply
    I don’t get it at all.
    Your premise is:
    “If their anti-IP arguments are valid, then the exact same reasoning applied to physical objects should produce the opposite result. However, if a logical construct produces the same result regardless of whether it tests a physical or intellectual object, this is strong evidence for the validity of intellectual property.”
    Ok, sounds reasonable.
    But then you go forward and show in different “abstractions” that the rules which apply to IP do not apply for a physical object, because otherwise they would not be property.
    So the same rule applied to a physical object shows indeed the opposite result. So you showed that the same rules applied to IP an P do not produce the same result. So you did not make a strong case for the validity of IP.
    Or am I missing something?
    • Avatar of Alexander Baker
      Alexander Baker May 26, 2014, 2:27 am Reply
      You are missing something. Each time I state the rule that supposedly shows that IP is invalid, when we substitute a physical object into the same rule, the rule “proves” that physical property is invalid. Thus, we know that the rule itself is flawed.
      • Avatar of maluka
        maluka May 26, 2014, 2:29 am Reply
        No, it just shows that same rules applied to a physical object does not hold. Thus intellectual and real property are different. Exactly what you didn’t want to show, I suppose.
        • Avatar of Alexander Baker
          Alexander Baker May 26, 2014, 2:49 am Reply
          Sorry maluka, you are upside-down and backwards.
          IP and Physical Property produce IDENTICAL RESULTS.
          What I insist on is analyzing physical property and IP with consistent standards. We all agree that physical property is valid. If IP is invalid, then a given 1 (one) logical rule would produce opposite results. But this article demonstrates that IP and PP behave IDENTICALLY.
          • Avatar of maluka
            maluka May 26, 2014, 2:58 am
            No they don’t. And you showed it.
            You claim:
            “After each restatement, I have formulated a generalized rule using the variable “X”, and logical operators and conditions. The rule is constructed such that when an intellectual object is substituted for “X”, the result agrees with the argument above. ”
            So let’s look at rule one:
            “Rule 1: If X is useful, and Y is a duplicate of X, and the use of Y does not interfere with the use of X, then X cannot be property.”
            Your claim thus says that this rule holds by substituting X with IP.
            (I would agree)
            No substituting X with some material thing (X=bike), produces a contradiction with what we know is right: you can have property in material things.
            So they are DIFFERENT. (Logiacal 1 with IP, Logical 0 with P)
            So how exactly do you think I am upside down?
  9. Avatar of Alexander Baker
    Alexander Baker May 26, 2014, 3:07 am Reply
    You can make a copy of a bike. Riding bike 1 does not interfere with riding bike 2. Therefore bikes are not rivalrous. Therefore bikes are not valid property.
    Identical result as IP.
    • Avatar of maluka
      maluka May 26, 2014, 3:18 am Reply
      But the conclusion is wrong, as we know, while the same argument applied to IP holds true, as you claimed in your methodology.
      So while the this is 1 for IP it is a 0 for P. So it is the opposite result, as the truth value of the WHOLE statement has to be assessed.
      • Avatar of Alexander Baker
        Alexander Baker May 26, 2014, 3:27 am Reply
        When the rule is applied, both IP and PP return a logical value of 0.
        Because we know that PP is valid property, we know there must be something wrong WITH THE RULE.
        If you oppose IP, you should attempt to create a logical rule that holds for PP, and fails for IP. Good luck.
        • Avatar of maluka
          maluka May 26, 2014, 3:46 am Reply
          No. You are wrong.
          The rule, as you stated yourself is:
          ["If some IP is useful, and Y is a duplicate of this IP, and the use of Y does not interfere with the use of the IP, then the IP cannot be property." } =1 (by the very definition of your methodology, as this is a restatement of the anti-IP argument: "The rule is constructed such that when an intellectual object is substituted for “X”, the result agrees with the argument above.")
          ["If some PP is useful, and Y is a duplicate of this PP, and the use of Y does not interfere with the use of the PP, then PP cannot be property" ]= 0 (as this is a direct contradiction to property)
          We would know that there is something wrong with the rule if IP and PP were the same or the rule is supposed to generate a “true” for X=PP.
          I would have troubles with finding that if and only iff PP would equal IP (which is YOUR assumption and YOU have to prove this claim)
          So “X is PP” applies for (X=PP), does not apply for (X=IP).
    • Avatar of Zack Yoscovits
      Zack Yoscovits May 26, 2014, 3:42 am Reply
      No, Bike 1 is rivalrous, Bike 2 is rivalrous therefore they are property. The idea of bike 1 is not rivoulrous, therefore the existance of bike 2 does not diminsish bike 1.
      • Avatar of Alexander Baker
        Alexander Baker May 26, 2014, 4:20 am Reply
        @ Zack – formulate your point as a logical rule please.
        • Avatar of Zack Yoscovits
          Zack Yoscovits May 26, 2014, 4:33 am Reply
          A thing is rivalrous if only one person can use it fully at a time. i.e. a specific bike
          A thing is non rivalrous if more than one person can use it fully at a time i.e. the design of a bike
          • Avatar of Zack Yoscovits
            Zack Yoscovits May 26, 2014, 4:34 am
            i.e is the wrong abbreviation, should have been e.g.
          • Avatar of Alexander Baker
            Alexander Baker May 26, 2014, 4:39 am
            Great. A song is rivalrous because only one person can fully use it to mass produce copies. As soon as a second person begins making copies, then the first person is not fully using it.
          • Avatar of Zack Yoscovits
            Zack Yoscovits May 26, 2014, 4:41 am
            How so? The first person can make as many copies as they want, even if the second person also does.
          • Avatar of Alexander Baker
            Alexander Baker May 26, 2014, 5:09 am
            To “fully use” the song’s productive capacity means owning 100% of copies made. Explained fully here:
            http://homesteadip.liberty.me/2014/05/25/why-intangible-goods-are-scarce-and-rivalrous/
          • Avatar of maluka
            maluka May 26, 2014, 5:48 am
            I think defining “fully use” as owning something other people produced with their own resources is not really a definition I would agree on.
    • Avatar of Dave Burns
      Dave Burns June 3, 2014, 8:56 pm Reply
      “Therefore bikes are not rivalrous.”
      Bike designs, yes. Bikes, no.
  10. Avatar of Stephan Kinsella
    Stephan Kinsella May 26, 2014, 3:43 am Reply
    This is thoroughly confused, if not disingenuous. Almost everything Baker says is wrong. For example, he characterizes our view as “Intellectual property is not rivalrous.” That is imprecise. Intellectual property refers to the legal rights that the state enforces in patent, copyright, etc. The argument against IP is not that “IP is not rivalrous.” Rather, it is that rivalrous things like human bodies and previously unowned scarce resources, should have ownership rights allocated in accordance with the libertarian principles of original appropriation, contractual transfer, and rectification. IP allocates property rights in scarce resources in accordance with a different rule. Having IP means that some previously owned scarce resource has the title partially assigned to a third party who did not homestead or contractually acquire the resource. In other words, IP amounts to a taking of property rights.
    It is a mystery why Baker continues to pontificate on something he is so confused about.
  11. Avatar of Alexander Baker
    Alexander Baker May 26, 2014, 4:18 am Reply
    “Why Intangible Goods are Scarce and Rivalrous”.
    http://homesteadip.liberty.me/2014/05/25/why-intangible-goods-are-scarce-and-rivalrous/
    Assigning property rights to intangible goods is no less and no more a taking of property rights than is the assigning of property rights to physical goods. I demonstrate this in #2 above.
    Perhaps Mr. Kinsella would care to explain why his thesis depends on characterizing digital technology as “magic”.
    After that, he can explain why Murray Rothbard was wrong when he supported copyright under the title-transfer theory of contract.
    • Avatar of Zack Yoscovits
      Zack Yoscovits May 26, 2014, 4:38 am Reply
      The problem with Rothbard’s formulation, is that it doesn’t bind people who are not party to the contract:
      Alice sings song to Bob on the condition that he not sing it for others.
      Bob sings it to Charlie with no conditions.
      Bob now owes damages to Alice, but Charlie isunder no obligations, and can distribute it freely, ruining the copyright.
      • Avatar of Alexander Baker
        Alexander Baker May 26, 2014, 5:03 am Reply
        This is where Intellectual Space comes in. With the doctrine of Intellectual Space, now we have the tools to treat intangible goods exactly the same as physical goods under the law.
        • Avatar of Stephan Kinsella
          Stephan Kinsella May 26, 2014, 8:25 pm Reply
          “This is where Intellectual Space comes in. With the doctrine of Intellectual Space, now we have the tools to treat intangible goods exactly the same as physical goods under the law.”
          A whole thesis could be written, analyzing the various confusions underlying these assertions. Wow. Impressive.
    • Avatar of maluka
      maluka May 26, 2014, 4:39 am Reply
      Maybe I have to make myself clearer:
      You did NOT demonstrate what you claim to have demonstrated!
      You took a rule, which is the restatement of an argument against IP.
      Then you substituted IP with PP and arrived at a contradiction.
      Now you claim that the rule itself is flawed, because it does not apply in the same way to another thing.
      That is not a valid conclusion.
      “A X can eat fish”
      X=shark => true
      X=Comet => false
      This does not show that Sharks do not eat fish.
      • Avatar of Alexander Baker
        Alexander Baker May 26, 2014, 4:55 am Reply
        I’m sorry Maluka, but clearly you never studied formal logic. Or if you did, you are deliberately twisting everything sideways. Since you like fish, here is a fish example that is comparable to the IP examples.
        If X can eat fish, X must be a shark.
        Humans can eat fish. Therefore a human is a shark?
        No, the rule fails. By plugging in examples for which we know the answer, we can test the validity of the rule.
        The above rule about sharks is invalid, just as the case against IP is invalid.
        • Avatar of maluka
          maluka May 26, 2014, 5:26 am Reply
          1) ad hominem
          I did study it (admittedly on my own).
          2) strawman, as your example has nothing in common with the statements you gave in your article, or I gave to you. I hope you know that?
          That is because your statement is false by default. It is just a logical 0 and you have nothing to evaluate in this statement as X itself in its function of being a variable is evaluated. You are creating a set (everything that can it fish) and test for the identity with a singular entity, which by default is a SUBset of your created set.
          Therefore our statement does not even hold for a shark, as the ability of eating fish does not constitute a shark. So this rule is always false and thus no information can be taken from it.
          What you gave in your examples in the articles is another case. You used X as a placeholder and not as an entity itself.
          So the rules can be evaluated at different values for X.
          While you could never establish identity via this method, as you would have to show the similar result for every possible set of rules, you can easily show difference by one counterexample.
          And I would argue that’s exactly what you did.
          You claimed that you would reformulate the argument against IP. And you did.
          So from: “If you download a copy of my book, I still have my book. Your use of the IP does not preclude my use.” — you made the rule “If X is useful, and Y is a duplicate of X, and the use of Y does not interfere with the use of X, then X cannot be property.”
          And evaluated it at X=IP and X=PP. You gave no argument what’s so ever, why the original claim was wrong. So the truth value of the statement at X=IP is 1. Evaluating the same statement at X=PP is 0.
          So the same statement at 2 points delivers a different result. Thus IP!=PP.
          If you would argue that the statement is 0 in both cases this does not prove anything.
          I can produce infinitely many rules that will produce false for both “X is the same as the number Y” for X={IP,PP) and Y=the set of all complex numbers.
          So either you methodolohy is worthless or you disproved you claim “IP!=PP” yourself.
          You choose.
          • Avatar of maluka
            maluka May 26, 2014, 6:19 am
            The above sentence should read as
            ” It is just a logical 0 and you have nothing to evaluate in this statement as X itself and not in its function of being a variable is evaluated. “
          • Avatar of Alexander Baker
            Alexander Baker May 26, 2014, 6:41 am
            Please write a logical rule that holds for PP and fails for IP. Good luck.
          • Avatar of maluka
            maluka May 26, 2014, 4:29 pm
            That’s you reply?
            Are you kidding me? Do you acknowledge that you tried a strawman argument? Where is the logial flaw in my reasoning? If there isn’t a flaw you yourself gave 7 argumentes in your article. That’s my whole point!
          • Avatar of Alexander Baker
            Alexander Baker May 26, 2014, 4:57 pm
            I have not made a strawman argument. I restated Kinsella’s arguments against IP as logical rules. When tested with physical objects, the rules generate a conclusion that physical objects cannot be property. Since we accept a priori that physical objects CAN be property, we conclude that Kinsella’s rules must be wrong.
          • Avatar of maluka
            maluka May 26, 2014, 5:59 pm
            You pulled the strawmen on me. And I showed why it was a strawman.
            And you are repeating the same logical flaw over and over again.
            You ASSUME that IP and PP are the same.
            Then you give a statement for X. You put in PP for X and you come to the coclusion that the truth statement is 0. So the statement does not hold for PP.
            But that would only show that the argument is flawed IF AND ONLY IF IP and PP would be the same. YOU MADE NO CASE WHATSOEVER TO SUPPORT YOUR ASSUMPTION.
            Only be assuming the identity in the first place you think you arrived at something proving your point.
            You only showed a the same argument is not valid for PP. But that is the whole point of the argument you are eximning in the first place. It is supposed to show that what applies to IP does not apply to PP. So it is supposed that they are DIFFERENT.
          • Avatar of Alexander Baker
            Alexander Baker May 26, 2014, 7:58 pm
            My idea is to test both IP and PP with one consistent standard. You wish to apply a different standard to IP than to PP.
          • Avatar of maluka
            maluka May 27, 2014, 3:32 pm
            You take an argument against IP. You give no reason why this argument is flawed.
            You test it with a PP, that YOU CLAIM IS THE SAME as IP. You give no reason why that claim holds.
            You arrive at a contradiction. Now you claim, that this disproves the claim against IP.
            This is just circular reasoning.
            Of course, if IP=PP and the statement with PP is false but true for IP, you could show that the statement is wrong. No questions asked. But this is completely due to your assumption.
            You asked me like 3 times to give you a rule that holds for PP and not for IP (or the other way round?). Sure that would be impossible if they were the same.
            But that’s your assumption. You have to justify it.
            This is not how an argument works. Its simply flawed and has nothing to do with my ” wish [of] apply[ing] a different standard to IP [...]“. In fact, I apply the same standard. Logic.
            On the other hand, if the argument (your number 1) is not flawed for IP and I do not see how this is the case and you did not show why this is the case, you established a truth value of 1 for IP and 0 for PP. For the same statement. Thus showing IP!=PP.
            Remark:
            I find you way of “discussing” increasingly annoying. You do not give any feedback that you at least read my argument. You did not acknowledge the sophistry you tried to pull on me.
            I am pretty sure that I have made my case clear why the reasoning you applied is simply wrong. If there is no substantial feedback, this will mark EoD for me.
    • Avatar of Stephan Kinsella
      Stephan Kinsella May 26, 2014, 8:24 pm Reply
      I’ve already explained why Rothbard was wrong. And if you think copryight can be justified under contract theory, it just shows how confused you are.
      • Avatar of Alexander Baker
        Alexander Baker May 26, 2014, 9:30 pm Reply
        I’ve already explained that copyright is justified the same way as property rights in physical things – they are scarce, rivalrous, and have all of Menger’s “goods characteristics”.
        Is issue of contract comes up in response to intellectual communists who attempt to explain how intellectual goods could still be delivered absent copyright. They can’t. No property = no contract, under title-transfer theory.
  12. Avatar of Zack Yoscovits
    Zack Yoscovits May 26, 2014, 4:53 am Reply
    I would like to add, that regardless of how compelling (or not) I find you arguements, I commend your willingness to post a contradictory opinion to most here, and your engagement with commentors. This is exactly what we all need to improves our thinking, and improve our libertarian philosophy.
  13. Avatar of Jack Feka
    Jack Feka May 29, 2014, 2:18 am Reply
    Where I think these arguments may be going astray, is that they seem to be trying to prove that because a rule doesn’t apply to Property [P] as it does to [IP] makes the rule wrong.
    Stated in other words you say that if X doesn’t work on a tangible thing the way it works on an intangible thing, then the rule is wrong.
    I don’t think you need to look very far to find an example of how this line of thinking fails. Consider the rule that exposing iron to water produces rust. Here we have a rule for a tangible thing such as a steel hammer. It would be absolutely ludicrous to say that if you sing a song which you’ve written (the sound of which is intangible), that it will become rusty. That does not make the rule absolutely invalid, all it does is show that the rule is not valid in that case.
    If you turn it around and start with a rule that applies to an intangible thing we could also discover that there are cases where that rule would not apply to a tangible thing yet it still remains valid in the situation where it was first established. It is difficult to imagine an example that makes sense, but this still does not establish the principle that every rule must apply to all cases or circumstances in order to be valid.
    The case against restricting the ownership of Intellectual Property is not one which denies that ideas (or a whole package of them) exist but rather that the rules which we apply to them do not work the same way as they do when applied to physical property. All of the arguments which you object to are not negations of the existence of ideas but rather reasons why they will not react to the same conditions as physical property.
    • Avatar of Alexander Baker
      Alexander Baker May 29, 2014, 2:40 am Reply
      Sorry Jack, you have it exactly backwards.
      There are arguments by Kinsella and others which supposedly show IP to be invalid. What I’ve done is state Kinsella’s rules. Not my rules. Kinsella’s rules. Then, I substitute physical objects into the rules. The rules then “prove” that physical objects cannot be property.
      Since we all accept that physical things CAN be valid property, it is shown that Kinsella’s rules are bogus. All I ask is that we evaluate IP by the sames standards we evaluate PP.
      Isn’t that fair?
      • Avatar of Jack Feka
        Jack Feka May 29, 2014, 6:21 am Reply
        I don’t think it is an issue of fairness but rather one of logic. You can’t take a result and argue backward towards a cause which doesn’t fit and then claim that the argument you used is wrong because it doesn’t lead to the cause you were attempting to get to.
        I don’t know if you are familiar with Nassim Taleb’s Black Swan. (It’s a very worthwhile read.) In the book he makes the case that the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, which is describing a similar process as what it seems to me your form of reasoning is attempting to do.
        You state: “All I ask is that we evaluate IP by the sames standards we evaluate PP.”
        That is an unreasonable request. IP and PP have enough different characteristics so you cannot apply the same rules to them any more than you can ask for all the rules that apply to ice, apply to water, too. (Example, it’s quite OK to skate on ice, why can’t I skate on water?) Perhaps this ice/water analogy is a good one in this situation too because while each share in some characteristics such as being comprised of the similar elements, their differences still do not allow them to let you treat them exactly the same way. That’s why when you take one of Kinsella’s principles and substitute PP in place of IP they don’t make sense.
        I realize that as a creative person you might want to have IP evaluated in the same way as PP, but it just isn’t going to work, and asking for it to be that way is like getting down on your knees and praying “Dear God, I know that 2+2 makes four, but just for me, please allow it to be 5.”
        The world has changed enormously since copyright was invented. There was a time when it was conceivable that some controls might be effected that would allow people to restrict the copying of things that cannot be done today. Putting aside whether you can get people to agree on whether or not copyright SHOULD exist (which is what Kinsella argues against), from a practical standpoint you also need to ask if you CAN effect controls in a cost-efficient manner. If you are also hoping to see a greater degree of freedom and encourage more people to act freely, you also need to ask yourself if there is an effective way to limit access to IP that won’t require a coercive force behind it.
        What we need more of, in my opinion, is creative thought being focused in finding ways in which developers of ideas can exercise the degree of control they want over their ideas which will function in a society where more and more freedom and technological advances will be seen.
        • Avatar of Alexander Baker
          Alexander Baker June 3, 2014, 9:27 pm Reply
          Jack, thank you for admitting that you judge IP on a different standard than PP. That’s all I need to know about you. Some people care about principle, some don’t.
    • Avatar of maluka
      maluka July 9, 2014, 2:57 am Reply
      Jack,
      look at how often I have tried to explain it to him. He seems to be really thinking that his “reasoning” is sound and tries to insult anybody who dares to disagree as proven by his comments.
  14. Avatar of Dave Burns
    Dave Burns June 3, 2014, 9:04 pm Reply
    I was surprised when I read this, yet it relates to the argument Alexander has been making from the first, so I guess I should not be. His argument depends on an attempt to redefine the word “rivalrous”. If his application of the concept of rivalry was appropriate here, the concept would be completely useless. 2 bikes are 2 different goods. Rivalry between separate independent goods might exist in some strange case, but restricting it to that rare (perhaps nonexistent) case just turns this discussion into babble.
    • Avatar of Alexander Baker
      Alexander Baker June 3, 2014, 9:34 pm Reply
      Dave,
      How have I redefined “rivalrous”? It means that use by one interferes with use by another. You want “physical use” smuggled into the definition, which obviously assumes the conclusion. It simply becomes a semantic argument at that point. If you insist on defining rivalrous as including “physical”, OK. I’ll just pick a new term, like “contestable” or “disputable” or “conflictable”. Clearly it is possible for people to exert dominion and control over intangible goods. It is possible for people to engage in conflict over their use. People voluntarily contract to buy and sell patterns of information. These facts would be true in a free society.
      • Avatar of Skyler J. Collins
        Skyler J. Collins June 4, 2014, 8:42 pm Reply
        Alexander: “Property exists to prevent conflict over rivalrous physical goods. By definition, intangible goods are not physical. Therefore, intangible goods cannot be property. QED.”
        Actually, the argument is: Property ownership (the right to forcefully exclude others from control/use) exists to prevent conflict over scarce (rivalrous) resources. Ideas are nonscarce (nonrivalrous). Therefore, ideas cannot be the subject of property ownership.
      • Avatar of Skyler J. Collins
        Skyler J. Collins June 4, 2014, 8:44 pm Reply
        Alexander, therefore, if you believe that ideas can be the subject of property ownership, then the burden of proof is on you to show that ideas are scarce (rivalrous). Please formulate such an argument as clearly and concisely as possible.
        • Avatar of Alexander Baker
          Alexander Baker June 4, 2014, 9:31 pm Reply
          Um, how about the article titled “Why Intangible Goods are Scarce and Rivalrous”?
          • Avatar of Skyler J. Collins
            Skyler J. Collins June 5, 2014, 12:46 am
            We’re discussing that over there. You’ve yet to convince me (or anyone else, it seems).
          • Avatar of Alexander Baker
            Alexander Baker June 5, 2014, 2:34 am
            The overwhelming majority of people accept the validity of intellectual property.
          • Avatar of Skyler J. Collins
            Skyler J. Collins June 5, 2014, 3:10 am
            Alexander: “The overwhelming majority of people accept the validity of intellectual property.”
            They do? An overwhelming majority of people have never downloaded a pirated song, or movie? Everyone, and I mean everyone I know is a pirate to some degree. And I’m in the heart of Mormonism, a people sinfully proud of their commitment to obedience to law and morality.
        • Avatar of Alexander Baker
          Alexander Baker June 4, 2014, 10:48 pm Reply
          Which is not to say I accept the burden of proof. Throughout humanity, people overwhelmingly believe and act as though IP exists – i.e. they voluntarily contract to buy and sell it. This would seem to shift the burden of proof.
          • Avatar of Skyler J. Collins
            Skyler J. Collins June 5, 2014, 12:44 am
            The burden of proof is yours because you are promoting the use of violence in the protection of so-called IP rights. I don’t have to prove that you don’t have the right to kill. That’s the default among humanity.
          • Avatar of Alexander Baker
            Alexander Baker June 5, 2014, 2:32 am
            IP is no different than physical property in requiring the use of violence to protect it. If this is not a condemnation of PP, it is not a condemnation of IP.
          • Avatar of Skyler J. Collins
            Skyler J. Collins June 5, 2014, 3:07 am
            Alexander: “IP is no different than physical property in requiring the use of violence to protect it. If this is not a condemnation of PP, it is not a condemnation of IP.”
            Yes, it is, because IP enforcement is violation of my real property rights, and real property rights enforcement is not.
          • Avatar of Alexander Baker
            Alexander Baker June 5, 2014, 3:57 am
            Of course enforcing physical property rights can interfere with your physical property rights.
            If you steal my car, then we’re going to break into your garage and take it back. If you are violent, then we’re going to lock you in a cage.
            Kinsella’s Kool Aid has really messed with your guys’ ability to think rationally.
          • Avatar of Dave Burns
            Dave Burns June 6, 2014, 12:55 am
            “Of course enforcing physical property rights can interfere with your physical property rights. ”
            I think you mean to say, of course enforcing physical property rights can interfere with your use of your property. If we need active enforcement, I must have exceeded my rights. Enforcement does not interfere with my rights, it rectifies the situation after a violation has occurred, restoring everyones’ rights. Enforcement interferes only with uses that violate property rights.
            “Kinsella’s Kool Aid has really messed with your guys’ ability to think rationally.”
            Or maybe you’re not trying very hard to stop and understand?
      • Avatar of Dave Burns
        Dave Burns June 6, 2014, 12:43 am Reply
        ‘How have I redefined “rivalrous”?’
        You defined rivalrous correctly, but then use the word as if the definition was something else. You spun out that convoluted story about not having 100% of the use of the productive capacity. This somehow is supposed to make me think your use has been interfered with, although you can use the good all you want for whatever you want all day long.
        A song has various uses. You can listen to it, you can copy it, you can sample it, you can mash it up, you can sell it. My possession of a copy does not interfere with your ability to make use of it. There is no way to warp reality so that a song is a rivalrous good.
        • Avatar of Alexander Baker
          Alexander Baker June 6, 2014, 4:34 am Reply
          I agree that your possession of a copy does not interfere.
          • Avatar of Dave Burns
            Dave Burns June 6, 2014, 4:47 am
            Alexander, thank you for pointing out my imprecision. Does my use interfere with your use?Copy, sell, sample, mash-up?
  15. Avatar of Dave Burns
    Dave Burns July 10, 2014, 11:40 pm Reply
    I’ve summarized my thoughts in an article: http://roadmap.liberty.me/2014/07/10/copyright-copywrong/.
  16. Avatar of Dave Burns
    Dave Burns July 11, 2014, 6:33 am Reply
    Alexander’s rules are straw men. Here are my versions.
    Rule 1: If X can be duplicated, the owner of X does not own the duplicate unless he also owns the materials and energy used to make the duplicate. The owner of the duplicate no longer owns it after selling it.
    Rule 2 : If Y is a duplicate of X, composed of materials not owned by the owner of X, the owner of X has no right to spy on or coerce the owner of Y just because of the similarity of X and Y.
    Rule 3: I don’t know how to formalize the idea that ordinary property has some ambiguous situations where interpretation is difficult, and compare that to the arbitrariness of copyright. Both are arbitrary to some degree, but not in a similar way.
    Rule 4: If the common law precedent for a kind of property predates the birth of the nation state, this is evidence for compatibility with a free society. Otherwise, it may be only a creature of the state, though this is not certain.
    Rule5: it makes no sense for the ownership of a hard drive to change as a result of creating a file on it using information that “belongs” to someone else.
    Rule 6: If the per-unit cost of producing consumer good X is extremely small, and consumers are able to produce their own goods using their own material resources and energy, what they produce belngs to them.
    Rule 7: If a reduction in market value of X is the only damage that can be caused by a trespasser, then X cannot be property.
    Rule 8: Alexander gave no rule, just cited Hoppe, etc. I still want an explanation of why ideas in general are not “productive” or homestead able.


6 comments:

  1. Regarding number 1:
    "A bicycle is useful, and a second bicycle is a duplicate of the first bicycle, and the use of the second bicycle by a second person does not interfere with the use of the first bicycle by the first person. "

    The conclusion is that the first person has no ownership over the second bicycle. The same goes for IP.
    This does not mean that the first person cannot have ownership of the first bicycle.

    There is little contention that the first person owns his idea in his head (self-ownership). But it cannot follow that the first person should own the idea once duplicated to someone else's head.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Why do you say it does not follow?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Because it is someone else's head. Person 1 does not own person 2.
    That still holds even if person 2's neurons have a pattern (idea) somewhat related (similar to, derived from, influenced by) something produced by person 1.

    By the way, I hope you have permission to copy the arguments and ideas produced by Kinsella or whoever came up with the anti-IP arguments you debate. ;-)
    To avoid any accidental theft, I hereby allow you to store a copy of my comments and arguments in your brain and replicate them during discussions with other people...

    ReplyDelete
  4. There is nothing trespassory about you remembering and thinking of my song in your head. The physical analog would be you thinking about and remembering the location of my bike factory. It is your actions which may violate my property rights.

    There are arbitrary limits on how small or insignificant an intellectual object may be and still constitute property. Precisely the same arbitrary judgments are necessary in physical property.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @Alex

      Can you define "actions", if thinking about or remembering "your" song does not count as action? My neurons and will are no less or differently engaged than in a physical activity.
      Does memorizing a poem and writing it violate your property rights? If so, maybe you can explain how.

      I addressed the "song as factory" argument in a comment elsewhere, so I won't duplicate and mix threads ;-)

      Regarding size limits, I think a coin or button are pretty small. Yet they are property. I'm sure there are even smaller ones. I'm not sure how such scale could or would translate in "intellectual space".

      Delete
  5. Why does IP have a time limit, contrary to physical property?

    ReplyDelete