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Author Topic: Read this before having an opinion on economics  (Read 25870 times)
NghtRppr
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April 17, 2011, 09:40:00 PM
 #1

Economics in One Lesson: http://www.hacer.org/pdf/Hazlitt00.pdf

It's a great read. It's brief. It doesn't go into a lot of technical detail but it does illustrate a central fallacy that many people, even some economists, make when thinking about economics. If you haven't read this book, I'm going to assume you're ignorant about economics until proven otherwise.
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April 17, 2011, 10:01:28 PM
 #2

Economics in One Lesson: http://www.hacer.org/pdf/Hazlitt00.pdf

It's a great read. It's brief. It doesn't go into a lot of technical detail but it does illustrate a central fallacy that many people, even some economists, make when thinking about economics. If you haven't read this book, I'm going to assume you're ignorant about economics until proven otherwise.

I usually recommend Economics for Real People ( http://mises.org/books/econforrealpeople.pdf )

I think it comes off as less paranoid, even though I agree that One Lesson is sound.
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April 17, 2011, 10:24:26 PM
 #3

Remember, folks...

Mises.org's books are free(well, the digital edition at least) thanks to the hardworking anti-intellectual property movement.

P.S. We need a bitcoin address for mises.org.

Gluskab
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April 18, 2011, 06:22:20 AM
 #4

Remember, folks...

Mises.org's books are free(well, the digital edition at least) thanks to the hardworking anti-intellectual property movement.

P.S. We need a bitcoin address for mises.org.

A bitcoin address for LewRockwell.com would be good as well (guy who founded mises institute).
goatpig
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April 18, 2011, 07:00:45 AM
 #5

Remember, folks...

Mises.org's books are free(well, the digital edition at least) thanks to the hardworking anti-intellectual property movement.

P.S. We need a bitcoin address for mises.org.

Do you have something against IP?

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April 18, 2011, 08:48:44 AM
 #6

Quote from: Henry Hazlitt
From this aspect, therefore, the whole of economics can be reduced to a single lesson, and that lesson can be reduced to a single sentence.  The art of economics consists in looking not merely at the immediate but at the longer effects of any act or policy;  it consists in tracing the consequences of that policy not merely for one group but for all groups.

I can't help but find the premise of this thread to be hilariously ironic.

Quote from: bitcoin2cash
Quote from: benjamindees
Quote from:  bitcoin2cash
I can be evicted by the owner of any owned property.  If you're on my property and refuse to leave after being asked, you're trespassing. You're the aggressor, not me.

What if you are a child and the owner is your family?  Still apply?

Of course it applies. Nobody is forced to care for their children, even with our current system.

Civil Liberty Through Complex Mathematics
da2ce7
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April 18, 2011, 09:13:21 AM
 #7

Economics in One Lesson: http://www.hacer.org/pdf/Hazlitt00.pdf

It's a great read. It's brief. It doesn't go into a lot of technical detail but it does illustrate a central fallacy that many people, even some economists, make when thinking about economics. If you haven't read this book, I'm going to assume you're ignorant about economics until proven otherwise.

'It's brief' my ass

One off NP-Hard.
NghtRppr
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April 18, 2011, 09:19:44 AM
 #8

Do you have something against IP?

Intellectual property laws are incompatible with Libertarianism.

'It's brief' my ass

Maybe this is more your speed.  Grin
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April 18, 2011, 10:02:46 AM
 #9

Unfortunately this book is about as valuable as a teaching book for economics as Das Kapital. If what it says is in line with what you already wanted to believe, you'll love it. If not it's just political propaganda.
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April 18, 2011, 10:07:27 AM
 #10

Unfortunately this book is about as valuable as a teaching book for economics as Das Kapital. If what it says is in line with what you already wanted to believe, you'll love it. If not it's just political propaganda.

I disagree. Most people understand the broken window fallacy. This book shows them how that same reasoning applies to other things like price controls, protective tariffs, minimum wage laws, rent control, etc. If you understand the broken window fallacy, you'll be forced to agree with the other arguments presented. It's taking something that people implicitly believe and making it explicit. That's the most powerful educational tool there is.

Of course, that requires intellectual honesty. If people are just being closed-minded then your analysis holds.
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April 18, 2011, 10:15:48 AM
 #11

'It's brief' my ass
Maybe this is more your speed.  Grin

Look, If I asked my friends to read Economics in One Lesson, they would go 'what do you think I am? somebody with spare time?'

A short essay around 10 pages long is the most that anyone has time for.  It needs to have graphs and diagrams to explain some of the more complex features, not just large blocks of text.

One off NP-Hard.
NghtRppr
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April 18, 2011, 10:27:15 AM
 #12

A short essay around 10 pages long is the most that anyone has time for.

That's perfectly fine. It's not a crime to remain ignorant of economics. However, these people that can't be bothered to educate themselves have no business opining on economic issues. They can't have it both ways.

"I'm too busy to read but here's my stupid uneducated opinion."
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April 18, 2011, 10:31:12 AM
 #13

Intellectual property laws are incompatible with Libertarianism.

Lemme rephrase. Do you have anything against the concept of intellectual property?

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April 18, 2011, 10:35:11 AM
 #14

Intellectual property laws are incompatible with Libertarianism.

Lemme rephrase. Do you have anything against the concept of intellectual property?

Yes, it's incompatible with Libertarianism. Why? Because it makes you a partial owner of my property against my will. That's theft, if only partial theft.

I own paper. I own a printer. I should be able to do whatever I want with them, including printing out copies of the latest bestseller and hocking them on the street.
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April 18, 2011, 10:36:26 AM
 #15

So if I come up with something smart and profitable you should be allowed to copy it without my consent and profit out of it too?

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April 18, 2011, 10:38:30 AM
 #16

"I'm too busy to read but here's my stupid uneducated opinion."

Now that is plain arrogant!

Economics is rational and common scene. What you are saying is that unless people have worked out the right 'words' they stupid.

I like laissez-faire capitalism, not because I have read up extensively on the subject.  But because it is EASY to understand.  Economics isn't hard, it is just applying rational logic to real life.

It is the people who make economics into a super complex science who have got us into all this mess.

On a rational view, inflation is theft, leading to mal-investment. However once it has been covered up with 100 layers of complexity the logical fallacy (inflation is good) can more easily be hidden.

One off NP-Hard.
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April 18, 2011, 10:41:01 AM
 #17

Intellectual property laws are incompatible with Libertarianism.

Lemme rephrase. Do you have anything against the concept of intellectual property?

IP can more easily be debunked from this prospective:

An non-violent act (copying information), needs a violent act (the enforcement of IP rights) to be stopped.

One off NP-Hard.
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April 18, 2011, 10:43:41 AM
 #18

I disagree. Most people understand the broken window fallacy. This book shows them how that same reasoning applies to other things like price controls, protective tariffs, minimum wage laws, rent control, etc. If you understand the broken window fallacy, you'll be forced to agree with the other arguments presented. It's taking something that people implicitly believe and making it explicit. That's the most powerful educational tool there is.

Of course, that requires intellectual honesty. If people are just being closed-minded then your analysis holds.
If you were a communist you would say exactly the same about the arguments made in the books communists like. And of course you're now thinking "but the difference is that I'm right", just like anybody who's chosen an ideology would.
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April 18, 2011, 10:45:32 AM
 #19

Intellectual property laws are incompatible with Libertarianism.

Lemme rephrase. Do you have anything against the concept of intellectual property?

IP can more easily be debunked from this prospective:

An non-violent act (copying information), needs a violent act (the enforcement of IP rights) to be stopped.

That "debunk" is redundant. You assume intellect cannot be a property so that to copy without consent does not consist in theft. To debunk it, you need to start from the assumption that it consist in property and prove that at some point it contradicts itself or makes no sense. In this case your attempt fails, since you have to assume it stands as a property, in which case the copy is theft, which is aggression.

NghtRppr
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April 18, 2011, 10:50:54 AM
 #20

So if I come up with something smart and profitable you should be allowed to copy it without my consent and profit out of it too?

Yes. Why not? If you steal my bicycle, I can't use it anymore. If I steal your idea, you can still use the idea. Only one of us can use the same oven to bake a cake but an infinite number of people can use the same cake recipe.

Economics is rational and common scene.

If that were the case, the last 200 years would look extremely different. Economics is not common sense precisely because people tend to consider only the things they can see but fail to take into account the things they don't see because their idiotic economic polices prevent those things from coming into existence.

If you were a communist you would say exactly the same about the arguments made in the books communists like. And of course you're now thinking "but the difference is that I'm right", just like anybody who's chosen an ideology would.

There's nothing I can say to that. It's like saying that I beat my wife but of course I will deny it because that's what wife-beaters do. It's not a fair argument. Maybe I am delusional, brainwashed or simply mistaken but asserting that it is the case won't convince me of it. You'll have to dig deeper.
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April 18, 2011, 10:52:41 AM
 #21

That "debunk" is redundant. You assume intellect cannot be a property so that to copy without consent does not consist in theft. To debunk it, you need to start from the assumption that it consist in property and prove that at some point it contradicts itself or makes no sense. In this case your attempt fails, since you have to assume it stands as a property, in which case the copy is theft, which is aggression.

There is no 'aggression' in copying, as it is independent of the primary party (the author).  No interaction between the 'author' and the 'copier' needs to occur.  If no interaction, no violence can have taken place.

One off NP-Hard.
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April 18, 2011, 11:08:27 AM
 #22

Quote
Yes. Why not? If you steal my bicycle, I can't use it anymore. If I steal your idea, you can still use the idea. Only one of us can use the same oven to bake a cake but an infinite number of people can use the same cake recipe.

If i write a book, I spend time, effort and resources on this process. I need to recoup those expenses + profit. If you copy the book, I get no return on investment. If you copy the book and sell it for profit, I can't compete against your price, because you didn't participate in the original expenses so you can reduce your margins. Think about it with a movie. Lots of money spent on it, jobs to pay, places to book, stories to write, film to edit and god knows what else. If you take it for free, I am losing money in the process, and I certainly didn't make that movie to lose money. If you steal my movie, I can't pay for food or rent anymore, how's that?

Quote
There is no 'aggression' in copying, as it is independent of the primary party (the author).  No interaction between the 'author' and the 'copier' needs to occur.  If no interaction, no violence can have taken place.

A good thief usually makes sure no interactions will ever occur between you and him. He's only after your property after all. You are confusing physical violence with the concept of violence, which is to take actions with consequences to external parties with no care for such parties' stance on the matter. And once again, you take the point of view of the aggressor. You are taking something from me while you refuse to aknowledge it as something that can be taken. You need to look at it from the author's stand point. If you think you aren't taking something from me you are profoundly wrong.

But let's discuss the fundamentals: do you think intellect can consist in property?

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April 18, 2011, 11:14:02 AM
 #23

Maybe I am delusional, brainwashed or simply mistaken but asserting that it is the case won't convince me of it. You'll have to dig deeper.
Unfortunately that would most likely be as useless as trying to change the mind of a communist or a deeply religious person.
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April 18, 2011, 11:15:45 AM
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Property requires exclusion.
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April 18, 2011, 11:16:27 AM
 #25

Economics is 99% common sense applied rigorously.

However, just because it is not complicated, does not mean it cannot be hard.
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April 18, 2011, 12:15:40 PM
 #26

Economics is 99% common sense applied rigorously.

However, just because it is not complicated, does not mean it cannot be hard.

Economics is no more common sense than math is, and probably even less so.
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April 18, 2011, 12:48:46 PM
 #27

Economics is 99% common sense applied rigorously.

However, just because it is not complicated, does not mean it cannot be hard.

Economics is no more common sense than math is, and probably even less so.

1. If lots of people want something, the price goes up relative to what it would be if fewer people wanted said product (and vice-versa)

2. If lots of people have and/or produce something, the price goes down relative to what it would be if fewer people supplied said product (and vice-versa).

3. Incentives matter.

Most everything follows from there (if applied rigorously), and point 3 is the most important point in most cases.

Just because it is not complicated, does not mean it is not hard.  However, most of the 'hardness' comes from having to undo all the mental gymnastics that you're put through to explain why, all of a sudden, the opposite of core economic principles apply in this special case.
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April 18, 2011, 01:23:15 PM
 #28

1. If lots of people want something, the price goes up relative to what it would be if fewer people wanted said product (and vice-versa)
Higher production volume often results in lower price (as you mention in your next argument...)
2. If lots of people have and/or produce something, the price goes down relative to what it would be if fewer people supplied said product (and vice-versa).
Unless for instance the higher production volume creates a strain on neccessary resources.
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April 18, 2011, 01:28:21 PM
 #29

Unfortunately that would most likely be as useless as trying to change the mind of a communist or a deeply religious person.

Yawn. So be it but don't blame me for your intellectual laziness. You aren't even trying to make an argument. You're just presenting your conclusions as fact and hurling thinly veiled insults.

If i write a book, I spend time, effort and resources on this process. I need to recoup those expenses + profit.

That's not my problem any more than if you were to invest in a business based on a dying market. So you started a buggy whip company and now you need to recoup those expenses plus make some profit. Good luck with that. I guess you want to enforce that with guns too?
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April 18, 2011, 01:42:07 PM
 #30

1. If lots of people want something, the price goes up relative to what it would be if fewer people wanted said product (and vice-versa)
Higher production volume often results in lower price (as you mention in your next argument...)
2. If lots of people have and/or produce something, the price goes down relative to what it would be if fewer people supplied said product (and vice-versa).
Unless for instance the higher production volume creates a strain on neccessary resources.

When I said 'relative,' I meant to imply all other things being equal as opposed to implying an 'absolute' outcome if that happens.  If the word 'relative' did not suffice for that, I apologize.
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April 18, 2011, 02:07:32 PM
 #31

That's not my problem any more than if you were to invest in a business based on a dying market. So you started a buggy whip company and now you need to recoup those expenses plus make some profit. Good luck with that. I guess you want to enforce that with guns too?

I don't see anywhere that he mentioned using force to recoup his expenses and profit. His point was that he can't profit from his creation if you steal it and give it away. Amazing how you turn that around to him using force.  Huh

Also, comparing losses due to theft of a product to an unmarketable product doesn't make any sense.
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April 18, 2011, 02:13:27 PM
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That's not my problem any more than if you were to invest in a business based on a dying market. So you started a buggy whip company and now you need to recoup those expenses plus make some profit. Good luck with that. I guess you want to enforce that with guns too?

I don't see anywhere that he mentioned using force to recoup his expenses and profit. His point was that he can't profit from his creation if you steal it and give it away. Amazing how you turn that around to him using force.  Huh

Also, comparing losses due to theft of a product to an unmarketable product doesn't make any sense.

You cannot steal anything you cannot exclude.
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April 18, 2011, 02:20:24 PM
 #33

Intellectual property laws are incompatible with Libertarianism.

But property laws are OK?

I just came up with a design for a machine that can save everyone time and money. I draw up the plans. You take a picture of the plans with a telescopic lens. You build the machine, sell it and profit. This is OK?

I build the machine and as I'm about to sell it at the market, you take it when I turn my back. You sell the machine and profit. This isn't OK?

So... what is the difference? In both cases you are hurting my ability to profit from my creation.

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April 18, 2011, 02:21:36 PM
 #34

You cannot steal anything you cannot exclude.

So if you can't stop me from taking something, it wasn't yours to begin with?
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April 18, 2011, 02:24:10 PM
 #35

I don't see anywhere that he mentioned using force to recoup his expenses and profit.

How do you think intellectual property laws are enforced? Harsh language?

Also, comparing losses due to theft of a product to an unmarketable product doesn't make any sense.

That's begging the question. We haven't established that it is or isn't theft. I claim it isn't. In any case, even the courts don't consider copyright infringement to be theft.

Quote from: Wikipedia
Courts have distinguished between copyright infringement and theft, holding, for instance, in the United States Supreme Court case Dowling v. United States (1985) that bootleg phonorecords did not constitute stolen property and that "...interference with copyright does not easily equate with theft, conversion, or fraud. The Copyright Act even employs a separate term of art to define one who misappropriates a copyright... 'an infringer of the copyright.'" In the case of copyright infringement the province guaranteed to the copyright holder by copyright law is invaded, i.e. exclusive rights, but no control, physical or otherwise, is taken over the copyright, nor is the copyright holder wholly deprived of using the copyrighted work or exercising the exclusive rights held.

I just came up with a design for a machine that can save everyone time and money. I draw up the plans. You take a picture of the plans with a telescopic lens. You build the machine, sell it and profit. This is OK?

I build the machine and as I'm about to sell it at the market, you take it when I turn my back. You sell the machine and profit. This isn't OK?

So... what is the difference? In both cases you are hurting my ability to profit from my creation.

What about if I make a better machine than yours? I'm also hurting your ability to profit. Is that OK? Did the the automobile industry damage the horse and buggy industry? You betcha'. I don't see the problem. Maybe you want to outlaw competition? Some people do.

If you can't understand the difference between making an exact duplicate of X and stealing X then I really don't know what to say. I think even children understand that.
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April 18, 2011, 02:31:13 PM
 #36

How do you think intellectual property laws are enforced? Harsh language?

It's OK to enforce property laws?

Maybe you'd like to outlaw competition? Some people do.

I never said anything of the sort. Is it necessary to put words in my mouth?

If you can't understand the difference between making an exact duplicate of X and stealing X then I really don't know what to say. I think even children understand that.

You would not have been able to "make an exact duplicate" without the original or the plans. Are you against copyright laws as well? Thanks for comparing me to a child though. It's always a nice addition to any discussion.
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April 18, 2011, 02:33:44 PM
 #37

I'm really torn on this. I'm more on the libertarian side but I just don't see the motivation to write a book / make a movie / program if I know that everyone is going to bittorent my file and I'll actually lose money writing it. Not saying that should stop me from making it or the end result would justify IP laws or not. I'm just saying I wouldn't want to go in to a project knowing I'll lose money due to copying.

As it stands now you can still make a movie and profit. If copying / pirating or whatever you want to call it was 100% legal I'd imagine more people would do it.
I can't see people making movies at a loss. The same with programs and books etc.

I live in a country where it's basically legal to buy a copied book.
People pay $4usd for a copied book when it's $4.50 for an original.
It's not even actually legal just not enforced, if it were completely legal it would be more widespread.
We had a libertarian type group publish a book talking about a whole bunch of good stuff publish a small book.
Tons of good stuff and the $1 they charged went to pay for the book / raise funds for the cause.
People found out they could copy it for $.85 and the cause lost money on the books and died  Angry

Eh I guess I just see both sides of it and realize there's no happy medium and that pisses me off.

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April 18, 2011, 02:33:51 PM
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You would not have been able to "make an exact duplicate" without the original or the plans. Are you against copyright laws as well? Thanks for comparing me to a child though. It's always a nice addition to any discussion.

Hmm? Copyright and patents are unnecessary for making a living. How do I know that? I run bitcoinweekly.com.

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April 18, 2011, 02:34:04 PM
 #39

It's OK to enforce property laws?

Yes. If you disagree, please tell me where you live and I'll be by with a truck, ASAP.

I never said anything of the sort.

It was a question. That's not putting words in your mouth.

You would not have been able to "make an exact duplicate" without the original or the plans. Are you against copyright laws as well?

I'm against all forms of intellectual property laws.
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April 18, 2011, 02:37:22 PM
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Hmm? Copyright and patents are unnecessary for making a living. How do I know that? I run bitcoinweekly.com.

Unnecessary for making a living in some industries. I'd say almost necessary for others.
Honestly I'd be fine with them all going away, I just don't see how it wouldn't kill certain industries though.
You have to admit neither side is perfect.

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April 18, 2011, 02:39:38 PM
 #41

Great works of art existed long before copyrights. There are ways to make money while giving away content. Just ask Google or the developers of "Angry Birds".
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April 18, 2011, 02:42:40 PM
 #42

You cannot steal anything you cannot exclude.

So if you can't stop me from taking something, it wasn't yours to begin with?

Every person and business has costs of exclusion.

This argument is mostly moot anyways as the internet has effectively removed any effective means of enforceable copyright.  Those who adapt will prosper, those who fight the change will stagnate and die.
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April 18, 2011, 02:44:23 PM
 #43

OK b2c, basically you think that intellectual property shouldn't exist and property should. Interesting considering the concept of property has to come from the mind of a human.
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April 18, 2011, 02:58:26 PM
 #44

OK b2c, basically you think that intellectual property shouldn't exist and property should. Interesting considering the concept of property has to come from the mind of a human.

But the concept of property is not property.
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April 18, 2011, 03:33:16 PM
 #45

How do you think intellectual property laws are enforced? Harsh language?

How could I possibly enforce them? You people don't acknowledge that the fruit of my mind is my property and are going to take away from me my ability to make a profit with my brains, so be it. I can't rise against a mass of thieves, nor do I need to. As long as I have nothing to steal, I'll be fine.

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There are ways to make money while giving away content

There is a fine line between "voluntary" charity and "mandatory" charity, which is technically slavery, and there is but one way to put an end to slavery, to refuse to produce. You like libertarianism, so you should understand that the absence of rules certainly doesn't imply the absence of rights. If you do not wish to recognize the right I have to my intellect, I just have no incentive to produce anything that you can use, and hide whatever it is that i need to come up with anyways.

Your stand point implies that the fruit of the mind does not belong to the bearer, as such you are effectively rendering professions such as mathematician, physicist, philosopher, economist or doctor unprofitable. Looking back at the early years of USSR much? Where wealth was considered to only possibly be labor, that intellect belonged to the people and that scientists were put to death for stealing it from the masses?

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What about if I make a better machine than yours? I'm also hurting your ability to profit. Is that OK? Did the the automobile industry damage the horse and buggy industry? You betcha'. I don't see the problem. Maybe you want to outlaw competition? Some people do.

You make no sense. There is a clear difference between besting me in a race and letting me run the race alone, walking to the charter, erasing my name, putting yours where mine used to be, and cashing my prize.

Intellect is the one most valuable resource known to mankind, no wonder people want to take it away for free.

Anyways, the problem is quite easy to fix. You don't pay, I don't think, and I'll be asking for front payments.

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But the concept of property is not property.

Spare us the riddle and expose your point.

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those who fight the change will stagnate and die

I wonder. When it takes on average 10 billion dollars to develop an anti cancer drug, I'm pretty sure that stubborn medical researcher that can't give up his evil demand for funds is going to take you guys down in the crapper with himself.

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April 18, 2011, 06:37:39 PM
 #46

There is a fine line between "voluntary" charity and "mandatory" charity, which is technically slavery, and there is but one way to put an end to slavery, to refuse to produce.

It's not charity because I'm not taking any property from you. I'm depriving you of the ability to profit, a right which you were never guaranteed in the first place.

Your stand point implies that the fruit of the mind does not belong to the bearer, as such you are effectively rendering professions such as mathematician, physicist, philosopher, economist or doctor unprofitable.

argumentum ad consequentiam
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April 18, 2011, 06:46:18 PM
 #47

It's not charity because I'm not taking any property from you. I'm depriving you of the ability to profit, a right which you were never guaranteed in the first place.

You choose to not regard it as property, which allows you rationalize taking it from me without my consent, kinda like religious people with their loonie book, ya know. Nevertheless, it needs not be property for it to be charity. Last time I checked labor can be given (read taken) for free, and thinking is a form of labor, unless you're going to step that far in your delusion...

As for the ability to profit, it can't be my right if you are not willing to recognize it as such. There are no guaranteed rights. Which will naturally drive people to stop trying to make a profit off of such practices (read they gonna stop doing it altogether, instead of giving it up for free like you're expecting them to)

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April 18, 2011, 07:03:32 PM
 #48

You choose to not regard it as property, which allows you rationalize taking it from me without my consent, kinda like religious people with their loonie book, ya know.

That's an ad hominem. I'm either right or wrong based on the merits of my arguments, not on my motivation for putting them forth. However, just so you know, I've made over a million dollars as a computer programmer selling software directly to customers. I've sold over 100,000 copies of a certain piece of software. Piracy has always been a concern for me. I was a Libertarian long before I even considered intellectual property laws. I went into the debate wanting to find support for them, biased as I was. However, I had to be intellectually honest with myself and admit that intellectual property laws are incompatible with Libertarianism. Being that as it may, I abandoned my support of the former rather than the latter, even if it means giving up all those juicy profits.

Nevertheless, it needs not be property for it to be charity. Last time I checked labor can be given (read taken) for free, and thinking is a form of labor, unless you're going to step that far in your delusion...

The property in question is your body, which you own. Slavery is just stealing ownership of it from you.
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April 18, 2011, 07:43:30 PM
 #49

That's an ad hominem. I'm either right or wrong based on the merits of my arguments, not on my motivation for putting them forth. However, just so you know, I've made over a million dollars as a computer programmer selling software directly to customers. I've sold over 100,000 copies of a certain piece of software. Piracy has always been a concern for me. I was a Libertarian long before I even considered intellectual property laws. I went into the debate wanting to find support for them, biased as I was. However, I had to be intellectually honest with myself and admit that intellectual property laws are incompatible with Libertarianism. Being that as it may, I abandoned my support of the former rather than the latter, even if it means giving up all those juicy profits.

That's your choice, not mine, and I have clearly stated that I don't intent to let you take what I create for free. Are you still going to try and take it? You do understand the aggression comes from you in that case. Being a "libertarian" as you pretend, you ought to be respecting my wish to not be involved with you, don't you? Or how do you explain the breaking and entering to "rightfully acquire" the blue print of my gizmo?

It is not ad hominem since you are trying to discuss the nature of actions I perform, and the principles of ownership (of my body and mind) says that I set the premise. As such your arguments only have merit based upon the set premise of this discussion.

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The property in question is your body, which you own. Slavery is just stealing ownership of it from you.

Where are you going with this exactly? That the muscle is off limit but the brain isn't? Last time I checked it's part of my body.

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April 18, 2011, 08:05:34 PM
 #50

Or how do you explain the breaking and entering to "rightfully acquire" the blue print of my gizmo?

You're mistaken. I never advocated that. You have the right to keep whatever you like on your private property and I won't make any illegitimate attempts to obtain it. However, the minute you release it to the public, all bets are off.

Where are you going with this exactly? That the muscle is off limit but the brain isn't? Last time I checked it's part of my body.

Forcing you to do labor or depriving you of the fruits of it, when it is tangible, is depriving you of something. If I copy your idea, you still get to keep the idea and use it yourself. Like I said, you are only being deprived of the ability to profit, which isn't a right that I recognize.
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April 18, 2011, 08:21:51 PM
 #51

I imagine a lot of people losing motivation to create new products if they can't copyright and patent them.
Obviously it hasn't happen so we can't be for sure.

What inspires people to create new products in this world where they can't hold on to their IP?
I'm talking about business and profit minded individuals not products that are designed to make the world a better place / non profit art etc.
I'm saying would we have a "microsoft windows" etc, (maybe we'd be better without in this case).

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April 18, 2011, 08:32:33 PM
 #52

You're mistaken. I never advocated that. You have the right to keep whatever you like on your private property and I won't make any illegitimate attempts to obtain it. However, the minute you release it to the public, all bets are off.

So you're saying if I build some gigantic gizmo on my property and you see it, you won't try to copy it? Cause that's not what you're implying.

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you still get to keep the idea and use it yourself

If my intended use was to profit out of it, how am I gonna do that hmm?

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which isn't a right that I recognize.

That's part of property rights, you are starting to deny the whole thing now.

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I'm talking about business and profit minded individuals not products that are designed to make the world a better place / non profit art etc.

Physics and Medicine are some of the fields that require the most funds to research, how is that research to be financed if there is no profit to be made at the end?

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April 18, 2011, 08:51:57 PM
 #53

So you're saying if I build some gigantic gizmo on my property and you see it, you won't try to copy it? Cause that's not what you're implying.

If you let photons bounce off your object and those photons leave your property and strike my retinas, again, all bets are off. Keep your photons to yourself if you don't want me making use of the information they carry.

If my intended use was to profit out of it, how am I gonna do that hmm?

Whether or not you can successfully make use of your idea isn't my concern, you're still free to try which is what matters.

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That's part of property rights, you are starting to deny the whole thing now.

No, it's not.
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April 18, 2011, 08:57:01 PM
 #54

I imagine a lot of people losing motivation to create new products if they can't copyright and patent them.
Obviously it hasn't happen so we can't be for sure.

What inspires people to create new products in this world where they can't hold on to their IP?
I'm talking about business and profit minded individuals not products that are designed to make the world a better place / non profit art etc.
I'm saying would we have a "microsoft windows" etc, (maybe we'd be better without in this case).

You're right.  There's never been a successful operating system created without a profit motive or copyright.  There's also never been anyone who has tried to make a profit with anything in the public domain or with any ideas they couldn't use the gov't to force others not to copy.
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April 18, 2011, 09:07:06 PM
 #55

Just because it is not complicated, does not mean it is not hard.

Common sense means that such knowledge is held in common.  Are you suggesting that most people understand economics?


1. If lots of people want something, the price goes up relative to what it would be if fewer people wanted said product (and vice-versa)

2. If lots of people have and/or produce something, the price goes down relative to what it would be if fewer people supplied said product (and vice-versa).

3. Incentives matter.

Most everything follows from there (if applied rigorously), and point 3 is the most important point in most cases.

Those three ideas are useful, but I would not say that they equate to an understanding of economics.  What about the subjectivity of value?  The value scale?  Why people save?  The effects of capital accumulation and distribution?   Time preference?  Etc. etc.
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April 18, 2011, 09:25:58 PM
 #56

goatpig:

I recommend reading Stephen Kinsella's Against Intellectual Property, though it will definitely be more persuasive if you are already a libertarian and/or agree with the non-aggression principle.
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April 18, 2011, 09:49:13 PM
 #57

If you let photons bounce off your object and those photons leave your property and strike my retinas, again, all bets are off. Keep your photons to yourself if you don't want me making use of the information they carry.

As I thought, you couldn't care less about what I think, as long as you can get your hands on it. I guess since you don't recognize private property you won't either recognize the fundamental concept of violence, only it's tangible consequence.


Quote
Whether or not you can successfully make use of your idea isn't my concern, you're still free to try which is what matters.

Quote
No, it's not.


Property rights include: the right of exclusion, the right of destruction, the right to transfer ownership and the right to use said property as I see fit, which consist, literally, in profiting from it. You're like telling me "hey see that car? it's yours, but you can't drive it". And anyways, what is this setup? You don't acknowledge my right to profit from my creation because I made it, but you acknowledge yourself the right to profit from it precisely because you had nothing to do with my work to begin with?

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though it will definitely be more persuasive if you are already a libertarian and/or agree with the non-aggression principle.

I agree with non aggression. The fact that people think they have a right to strip me of my production because they can't physically touch it and can't recognize aggression when it's in their face is beyond me though.

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April 18, 2011, 09:55:13 PM
 #58

I guess since you don't recognize private property

I recognize tangible property. I don't recognize imaginary property.

the right to use said property as I see fit

The fallacy is assuming that you are required to be successful in your attempts to use said property. You might have x-ray goggles but if I have lead-lined walls, you will fail in your usage.
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April 18, 2011, 09:59:28 PM
 #59

Tell me before you abandon IP-law so that I can withdraw all money from medical research. Copying a drug is dead simple but finding a drug that is actually effective takes years of research by highly skilled professionals, not to mention expensive testing and clinical trials.

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April 18, 2011, 10:03:11 PM
 #60

Tell me before you abandon IP-law so that I can withdraw all money from medical research. Copying a drug is dead simple but finding a drug that is actually effective takes years of research by highly skilled professionals, not to mention expensive testing and clinical trials.

You should probably go ahead and withdraw your investements then, since generics are a well established industry.  And since the only thing that prevents this 'pirate' industry from undercutting the market price of any drug in existance is an international network of government enforced monopolies; should any of these major governments fail and be replaced with anything else, none are likely to be too concerned with enforcement of patent laws for a number of years.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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April 18, 2011, 10:04:37 PM
 #61

Tell me before you abandon IP-law so that I can withdraw all money from medical research. Copying a drug is dead simple but finding a drug that is actually effective takes years of research by highly skilled professionals, not to mention expensive testing and clinical trials.

Right, because nobody would ever donate money to find cures for diseases like cancer, HIV, Alzheimer's, diabetes, etc.
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April 18, 2011, 10:06:22 PM
 #62

Tell me before you abandon IP-law so that I can withdraw all money from medical research. Copying a drug is dead simple but finding a drug that is actually effective takes years of research by highly skilled professionals, not to mention expensive testing and clinical trials.

The pharmaceutical industry does not require IP to be profitable. (Nor does any other industry.)

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April 18, 2011, 10:13:43 PM
Last edit: April 18, 2011, 10:27:26 PM by estevo
 #63

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Your stand point implies that the fruit of the mind does not belong to the bearer, as such you are effectively rendering professions such as mathematician, physicist, philosopher, economist or doctor unprofitable.

You just provided excellent counterexamples to your thesis.  Mathematicians and philosophers don't make money by trying to own, and control the use of, theorems or philosophical constructs.  That's why you don't need to pay a royalty to the descendants of Pierre de Fermat and scores of other true geniuses for the use of cryptography and derived inventions, like BitCoin.  Nor you need to pay those of Adam Smith, Marx, or any of the Austrian economists for the use of it, even if some of their work could be proven to have been instrumental in inspiring BitCoin.

Do mathematicians "create" theorems?  What right would the descendants of Pierre de Fermat (or he himself, in his time) have to prevent you from rediscovering, say, Fermat's Little Theorem independently (such things happen in mathematics all the time), or from using it to prove other theorems or to invent new technologies, like public key cryptography?

One argument for patents is that the alternative would be secrecy.  A counterexample would be the RSA algorithm.  It was first "invented" by someone in some British secret agency and kept secret.  Not much later, a group of researchers discovered it independently and published it.  Now everyone can benefit from it.  I don't think their inventors regret the work they put into it.  Actually, I see absolutely nothing wrong with that.

When was the last time that anybody got rich by patenting a programming language?  Aren't these useful inventions?  Don't they get invented all the time?

In science and medicine it's not the rule either that progress comes from investments motivated by expectations to profit from restricting the use of information.  Your doctor doesn't get his money from trying to prevent others from using his "creations" (whatever this even means) without his permission.  The fruit of the application of his knowledge and intellect is an improvement in your health.  You (or someone) pay him for it because this application of knowledge is not easily reproducible.  If you could reliably heal yourself by checking a website and following simple instructions, doctors would have no business, and that wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing.  That talent would find something else useful to which apply itself.

In sum, mathematics, science, and medicine have progressed alright for centuries without anybody really needing to artificially restrict anybody else's use of information.  Information is variably hard to discover/produce, but, by nature, often trivial to reproduce.  You have no right to demand others to artificially renounce the benefits of this desirable property in order to protect a fundamentally unsound business plan.
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April 18, 2011, 10:15:07 PM
 #64

I agree with non aggression. The fact that people think they have a right to strip me of my production because they can't physically touch it and can't recognize aggression when it's in their face is beyond me though.

I again recommend reading the paper (it's only 73 pages and HIGHLY footnoted, so it's really more like 30-40 without footnotes), especially the sections titled "Some Problems with Natural Rights" and the next titled "Property and Scarcity". Kinsella argues (and I agree), that the need for property rights with tangible goods arises from their scarcity. My use of some object necessarily denies you the use of it. To solve this problem, we label one person the "owner" and in order to use the object, the owner must consent. There is no such scarcity in the realm of ideas, many people can use the same idea at the same time, thus property rights do not make sense.
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April 18, 2011, 10:18:06 PM
 #65

I agree with non aggression. The fact that people think they have a right to strip me of my production because they can't physically touch it and can't recognize aggression when it's in their face is beyond me though.

I think you're under the mistaken assumption that producing X entitles you to own X but let's say you break into my shop, steal a bunch of my wood and then build a chair out of it. Do you own the chair because you produced it? No, it's my chair plus you owe me for damages to my wood. I collect wood, you see, and I wanted it kept in pristine condition.
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April 18, 2011, 10:32:21 PM
 #66

There is no such scarcity in the realm of ideas, many people can use the same idea at the same time, thus property rights do not make sense.

An idea is one thing, but what about when the idea becomes perceptible?

A blueprint? A music composition? A book?

Are these examples of real property or intellectual property?

I would say that a blueprint of a working time machine is indeed scarce.
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April 18, 2011, 10:34:45 PM
 #67

A blueprint?

You own the paper it's made of, regardless of what's written on it.

A music composition?

You own the medium that it's recorded on, regardless if that medium has any data on it.

A book?

You own the paper it's made of, regardless of what's written on it.
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April 18, 2011, 10:42:49 PM
 #68

A blueprint?

You own the paper it's made of, regardless of what's written on it.

A music composition?

You own the medium that it's recorded on, regardless if that medium has any data on it.

A book?

You own the paper it's made of, regardless of what's written on it.

So again, if you manage to photograph my blueprint and build whatever is drawn there, that's perfectly OK?

If I manage to copy your wallet file, the bitcoins are mine? And that's OK?
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April 18, 2011, 10:55:53 PM
 #69

Right, because nobody would ever donate money to find cures for diseases like cancer, HIV, Alzheimer's, diabetes, etc.
Donations? I'm stunned. This is how you propose all medical research should be done? While they are important, they can't replace the massive amount of research being done by the pharma industry. But you don't want a pharmaceutical industry, atleast not one that makes money.

The pharmaceutical industry does not require IP to be profitable. (Nor does any other industry.)
The companies who manufacture drugs where patents have expired sure don't. Not so sure about the companies who actually do the research. They spend a lot of money developing drugs, and most of them don't make it to the consumer, so the few that does have to carry all costs. It takes about 30 years from initial research to consumer, and you apply for a patent when you have a candidate drug, which is around year 12-15, and then you start clinical trials, if they go well you can have a drug in the market in 2-3 years, so you have about 10-15 years to make enough money to cover your costs and make a profit.

You should probably go ahead and withdraw your investements then, since generics are a well established industry.  And since the only thing that prevents this 'pirate' industry from undercutting the market price of any drug in existance is an international network of government enforced monopolies; should any of these major governments fail and be replaced with anything else, none are likely to be too concerned with enforcement of patent laws for a number of years.
Agreed. That is a risk. And generics are great, they do lower the price for consumers. I do however feel that it's fair to grant a time limited monopoly to allow those who actually do the thinking to reap the rewards of their work. After that time it's free for all.
I don't think the risk is too great at the moment, but I do keep an eye on the market.

The patent system does need a reform, I would suggest that anyone who applies for a patent should pay $1 for this patent. This has to be renewed every year, and each time the cost doubles. It won't be too many years until most patents enters the public domain. Same thing for copyrights I think.
Ok, it's a goofy idea that some friends an me thought up while drunk and should probably be refined, but as a general idea I don't think it's that bad.  Cool

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April 18, 2011, 10:57:57 PM
 #70

If I manage to copy your wallet file, the bitcoins are mine? And that's OK?

Immoral? Yes. Unethical? Yes. Criminal? No.

While they are important, they can't replace the massive amount of research being done by the pharma industry.

Can you demonstrate there would be a net loss to society? Where's your evidence?
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April 18, 2011, 11:08:16 PM
 #71

If I manage to copy your wallet file, the bitcoins are mine? And that's OK?

Immoral? Yes. Unethical? Yes. Criminal? No.


I could care less about laws. So lets address the morality. You say it would be immoral for me to copy your bitcoin wallet, yet you condone copying of intangible property.

I own paper. I own a printer. I should be able to do whatever I want with them, including printing out copies of the latest bestseller and hocking them on the street.

So you are immoral. Excellent. I will be sure to never do business with you.
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April 18, 2011, 11:08:24 PM
 #72


The patent system does need a reform, I would suggest that anyone who applies for a patent should pay $1 for this patent. This has to be renewed every year, and each time the cost doubles. It won't be too many years until most patents enters the public domain. Same thing for copyrights I think.
Ok, it's a goofy idea that some friends an me thought up while drunk and should probably be refined, but as a general idea I don't think it's that bad.  Cool

That's as good an idea as any, but it still doesn't solve the problem with regard to the state enforcement of a monopoly.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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April 18, 2011, 11:10:28 PM
 #73

Bitcoins can't be copied, wallet can.
I don't see how copying his wallet and taking his bitcoins wouldn't be illegal under US law.
It has a value and it seems like that would be theft for sure.


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April 18, 2011, 11:12:49 PM
 #74

Remember, folks...

Mises.org's books are free(well, the digital edition at least) thanks to the hardworking anti-intellectual property movement.

P.S. We need a bitcoin address for mises.org.

Unfortunatly the mises and lewrockwell folks tend to be gold-bugs and tend to automatically dismiss any currency that is "backed by nothing"...

"We will not find a solution to political problems in cryptography, but we can win a major battle in the arms race and gain a new territory of freedom for several years.

Governments are good at cutting off the heads of a centrally controlled networks, but pure P2P networks are holding their own."
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April 18, 2011, 11:13:18 PM
 #75

I guess since you don't recognize private property

I recognize tangible property. I don't recognize imaginary property.

the right to use said property as I see fit

The fallacy is assuming that you are required to be successful in your attempts to use said property. You might have x-ray goggles but if I have lead-lined walls, you will fail in your usage.

Yet that property is very real. So very real that you want to take it to use it for yourself, and are making a point at not caring what I have to say about it.

Your example deviates from the point. What you present would be the equivalent of coming up with some ingenious design of yours and taking over my market share, which is perfectly fair, even if you based it off of my original concept, since you made it better, you deserve the rip from it.

The proper example would be I have x-ray goggles and you outright tell me "no you can't use them", then proceed to buy yourself a pair and use them.

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Do mathematicians "create" theorems?  What right would the descendants of Pierre de Fermat (or he himself, in his time) have to prevent you from rediscovering, say, Fermat's Little Theorem independently (such things happen in mathematics all the time), or from using it to prove other theorems or to invent new technologies, like public key cryptography?

If I rediscover it, it is mine to use. You are completely out of context. Laws of nature are for anyone to use if they can so manage. I am a painter and I come up with a piece. Now I choose to charge people to come and see it. I am not pretending dominion over paint, canvas or the technique I used to produce my painting. I am pretending property over the original alignment of colors that is the picture I have come up with. Then you come along, take a picture under the pretense that I cannot restrict access to that piece, that it somehow belongs to everyone, and god knows what else.

You take the stance that originality does not exist, that voluntary alignment of objects hold no meaning nor value, that a thousand monkeys with a typewriter and infinite time can come up the whole of Shakespear's work, and then pretend that I am calling dibs on words and semantics.

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When was the last time that anybody got rich by patenting a programming language?  Aren't these useful inventions?  Don't they get invented all the time?

Programming languages were invented for the very purpose of being spread. You are oblivious to the intention of the creator, thinking that intangible creation were made for masses benefit, at the cost of its creator's time, effort and resources.

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One argument for patents is that the alternative would be secrecy.  A counterexample would be the RSA algorithm.  It was first "invented" by someone in some British secret agency and kept secret.  Not much later, a group of researchers discovered it independently and published it.  Now everyone can benefit from it.  I don't think their inventors regret the work they put into it.  Actually, I see absolutely nothing wrong with that.

That is their very right, ideas aren't properties, their expression is. A movie maker isn't demanding rights over the concept of romance, only his take on it. A mathematician knows there is no rights to be held on a theory, but the software he builds after it, that is his property. If you can understand his process and give it your own shot, you are in your right and the more power to you. But to copy his software to spread it at your profit and at his detriment, this is not only aggression against the creator but also pocketing his wealth for yourself.

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If you could reliably heal yourself by checking a website and following simple instructions, doctors would have no business, and that wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing.


Specialists fill for your inability to specialize in said domain, in the expectation of returns for services rendered. The very existence of specialists implies that they were able to profit from their specialty more than from being common laborers, which is the reason we don't live in caves anymore. But we are headed straight towards cave land if they can't make a profit of holding and applying knowledge that you don't have. If intellectual rights are moot, then a doctor has no right to charge you for a diagnosis. Let's see where that is going to take us.

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In sum, mathematics, science, and medicine have progressed alright for centuries without anybody really needing to artificially restrict anybody else's use of information.  Information is variably hard to discover/produce, but, by nature, often trivial to reproduce.  You have no right to demand others to artificially renounce the benefits of this desirable property in order to protect a fundamentally unsound business plan.

Yeah let's forget the existence of sponsors under the form of kings, feudal lords and later governments and corporates, all that have greatly benefited from said research that they financed. And you want to read the part on charity again. My business plan seems to be sound enough that you want to take over, don't you? And somehow what isn't property turns into "desirable property" out of a sudden. Well shit, son.

You pay to be taught but you don't pay for the book that holds that knowledge? That is nonsensical.

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I think you're under the mistaken assumption that producing X entitles you to own X but let's say you break into my shop, steal a bunch of my wood and then build a chair out of it. Do you own the chair because you produced it? No, it's my chair plus you owe me for damages to my wood. I collect wood, you see, and I wanted it kept in pristine condition.

'scuse me what? If you gonna talk about private property at least respect it's principles... first come first served, it doesn't matter what I did to your wood, it was without your consent, I have no right to it nor did I ever had. And yeah, if I build a plane it belongs to me, and the original alignment of its innards too. kthx.

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that the need for property rights with tangible goods arises from their scarcity
I don't agree with this at a fundamental level. This is a pragmatic explanation, that exposes the need of property rights for a functional society to exist. It does not tend to the fundamental concept of property. I walk on a beach and pick up a grain of sand and call it mine. Assuming no one claimed it before me, it is now mine, and as all value is subjective, I shall assign it any value that I wish, and it certainly is not scarce. Property is a factor of value, and even though scarcity is an important parameter of value, it is but situational. Here's a simple example. Titanium is the 3rd most available metal on the world. Yet items made of titanium are highly expensive, because it requires particular knowledge and skill to work it. Here what is scarce is the ability to work it, even though, according to you, ideas 'cannot be scarce', so since the knowledge is available, anyone should be able to reproduce it.

True, scarcity isn't relevant to an idea, but the ability to understand it, that is. And nevertheless, books are not scarce, but a particular book holding a particular idea is valuable, because of the knowledge it provides.

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April 18, 2011, 11:14:26 PM
 #76

You say it would be immoral for me to copy your bitcoin wallet, yet you condone copying of intangible property.

What do you mean by condone? I think it's immoral and unethical to derive enjoyment from someone's artwork without paying them what they ask, assuming you knew they were asking for a fee before you enjoyed said artwork. I just don't think it should be criminal. Intellectual property laws are incompatible with Libertarianism. That's my only claim.

The proper example would be I have x-ray goggles and you outright tell me "no you can't use them", then proceed to buy yourself a pair and use them.

Utter nonsense. That's so wrong that I don't even know where to start. Try again.
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April 18, 2011, 11:15:23 PM
 #77

If I manage to copy your wallet file, the bitcoins are mine? And that's OK?

Immoral? Yes. Unethical? Yes. Criminal? No.

Hmm, I think that is actually a very interesting question. In general, private keys are not scarce. However, those which unlock my funds are, as are Bitcoins themselves. Admittedly, by merely copying my wallet, you are not denying me the use of my funds, but as soon as you actually send funds from it you are. Additionally, it is likely that in order to copy my wallet, you made use of my physical property (computer) without consent.
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April 18, 2011, 11:15:26 PM
 #78

Bitcoins can't be copied, wallet can.
I don't see how copying his wallet and taking his bitcoins wouldn't be illegal under US law.
It has a value and it seems like that would be theft for sure.


Yes, it's theft.  But only because 1) the data is his and he made no attempt to publish it, so by default he intended to keep it; and 2) the wallet.dat file has only one function, and therefore copying it without the owner's consent can have only one motive.  I.E. to spend another person's funds.

I don't think that this is comparable to "intellectual property" because the core point of copyrights and such is to maintain a market advantage over other publishers, not to protect secrets.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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April 18, 2011, 11:23:36 PM
 #79

You say it would be immoral for me to copy your bitcoin wallet, yet you condone copying of intangible property.

What do you mean by condone? I think it's immoral and unethical to derive enjoyment from someone's artwork without paying them what they ask, assuming you knew they were asking for a fee before you enjoyed said artwork. I just don't think it should be criminal. Intellectual property laws are incompatible with Libertarianism. That's my only claim.

The proper example would be I have x-ray goggles and you outright tell me "no you can't use them", then proceed to buy yourself a pair and use them.

Utter nonsense. That's so wrong that I don't even know where to start. Try again.

You made it quite clear that you do not respect intellectual property and not simply the actual take of whatever government on it, which also puts you out of context since from the early steps of this discussion it was stated that no force was going to be used to apply those property rights.

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April 18, 2011, 11:27:33 PM
 #80


What do you mean by condone?


Accept and allow. I quoted a previous comment of yours so you would know exactly what I meant by condone.

I own paper. I own a printer. I should be able to do whatever I want with them, including printing out copies of the latest bestseller and hocking them on the street.

You condone copying intangible property.
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April 18, 2011, 11:31:21 PM
 #81


What do you mean by condone?


Accept and allow. I quoted a previous comment of yours so you would know exactly what I meant by condone.

I own paper. I own a printer. I should be able to do whatever I want with them, including printing out copies of the latest bestseller and hocking them on the street.

You condone copying intangible property.

I think it should be legal, yes, if that's all you mean by condoning. Nobody should use force or coercion to stop me. You're still free to socially stigmatize me. I think cheating on your spouse shouldn't be criminal but it's still immoral and unethical. I hope you understand now.

If you were under any other impression, it was a mistake on your part, one that I've corrected for you.
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April 18, 2011, 11:37:56 PM
 #82

Yes, it's theft.  But only because 1) the data is his and he made no attempt to publish it, so by default he intended to keep it; and 2) the wallet.dat file has only one function, and therefore copying it without the owner's consent can have only one motive.  I.E. to spend another person's funds.

I don't think that this is comparable to "intellectual property" because the core point of copyrights and such is to maintain a market advantage over other publishers, not to protect secrets.

So using a telescopic lens to photograph blueprints that I've created, then producing and selling the item for yourself, would be theft as well?

But reverse engineering a product that I've sold and selling the exact same item for less (because you didn't have to invest in the creation), is OK?

Forget the current government / corporation collusion. What if the core point of copyrights was exactly what it implied?  Right to copy.
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April 18, 2011, 11:51:41 PM
 #83

So using a telescopic lens to photograph blueprints that I've created, then producing and selling the item for yourself, would be theft as well?

But reverse engineering a product that I've sold and selling the exact same item for less (because you didn't have to invest in the creation), is OK?

Neither is theft, as neither denies you the use of your property OR idea. It may deny you the ability to profit (as much) from the idea, but that is not the point of property rights.

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Forget the current government / corporation collusion. What if the core point of copyrights was exactly what it implied?  Right to copy.

The original idea behind copyright about in the late 1600s as a form of royal censorship. The Stationer's Guild was given exclusive rights to make copies, in exchange for only making copies of approved works. Eventually, their monopoly was revoked and anyone could make copies without penalty. Then, presumably under influence by the guild, the Statute of Anne was passed, giving the exclusive right to copy to the original creator of the work. Luckily for the guild, they still essentially had a de facto monopoly on copying, so most creators transferred ownership as part of their contract.
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April 18, 2011, 11:55:13 PM
 #84

Yes, it's theft.  But only because 1) the data is his and he made no attempt to publish it, so by default he intended to keep it; and 2) the wallet.dat file has only one function, and therefore copying it without the owner's consent can have only one motive.  I.E. to spend another person's funds.

I don't think that this is comparable to "intellectual property" because the core point of copyrights and such is to maintain a market advantage over other publishers, not to protect secrets.

So using a telescopic lens to photograph blueprints that I've created, then producing and selling the item for yourself, would be theft as well?

Yes.

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But reverse engineering a product that I've sold and selling the exact same item for less (because you didn't have to invest in the creation), is OK?

Okay?  I don't know if it's okay.  As a generality, it might be immoral and an unethical business practice; but what if that product was a cure for AIDS but the same company that sold it at an inflated price did so while selling a much cheaper maintaince drug?  I could think of any number of strawmen to burn here, but the point is not whether it's okay to intentionally compete with an inventor by reverse engineering their work.  The point is that it's not ethical to advocate for the use of force to punish said unethical behaviour.  You can take steps to prevent your trade secrets from being stolen, including using force against anyone who tresspasses to that end, but once the cat is out of the bag, use or advocacy of force to punish said person is easily as wrong as the original "crime".  I wouldn't do it, nor would I support anyone that I knew did it, but nor would I support the original inventor if he decided to hire a group of thugs to tear down his competitors' factories.

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Forget the current government / corporation collusion. What if the core point of copyrights was exactly what it implied?  Right to copy.

The "right to copy" is not a right, but a privilage, and as such cannot be seperated from the current government/corporate collusion.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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April 18, 2011, 11:58:50 PM
 #85

I think it should be legal, yes, if that's all you mean by condoning. Nobody should use force or coercion to stop me. You're still free to socially stigmatize me. I think cheating on your spouse shouldn't be criminal but it's still immoral and unethical. I hope you understand now.

If you were under any other impression, it was a mistake on your part, one that I've corrected for you.

No, I understood what you meant by incompatible with libertarianism, I enjoy discussion and other peoples' point of view. I once considered myself a libertarian.

Let me say that I consider it initiation of force to take property which belongs to someone else and using force to prevent it would be justified.

I've seen the result of intellectual property theft and I don't like it. The market adjusts and less people spend time creating things that are easy to copy, so the quality of those things are diminished.
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April 19, 2011, 12:01:07 AM
 #86

I've seen the result of intellectual property theft and I don't like it. The market adjusts and less people spend time creating things that are easy to copy, so the quality of those things are diminished.

Can you demonstrate there would be a net loss for society? The burden of proof is on you.
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April 19, 2011, 12:05:23 AM
 #87

Okay?  I don't know if it's okay.  As a generality, it might be immoral and an unethical business practice; but what if that product was a cure for AIDS but the same company that sold it at an inflated price did so while selling a much cheaper maintaince drug?  I could think of any number of strawmen to burn here, but the point is not whether it's okay to intentionally compete with an inventor by reverse engineering their work.  The point is that it's not ethical to advocate for the use of force to punish said unethical behaviour.  You can take steps to prevent your trade secrets from being stolen, including using force against anyone who tresspasses to that end, but once the cat is out of the bag, use or advocacy of force to punish said person is easily as wrong as the original "crime".  I wouldn't do it, nor would I support anyone that I knew did it, but nor would I support the original inventor if he decided to hire a group of thugs to tear down his competitors' factories.

The "right to copy" is not a right, but a privilage, and as such cannot be seperated from the current government/corporate collusion.

I guess I meant to ask "is it theft" by is OK.

I see. So using force in the reverse engineering example would be wrong because anyone is free to copy something that has been publicly released, regardless if it is immoral or unethical business practice.
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April 19, 2011, 12:11:05 AM
 #88



Let me say that I consider it initiation of force to take property which belongs to someone else and using force to prevent it would be justified.


This is true, but what the disconnect here is what defines property.

Quote

I've seen the result of intellectual property theft and I don't like it. The market adjusts and less people spend time creating things that are easy to copy, so the quality of those things are diminished.

This is not an argument in favor of copyrights.  Your opinions on the quality of products are irrelevent.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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April 19, 2011, 12:15:21 AM
 #89

I've seen the result of intellectual property theft and I don't like it. The market adjusts and less people spend time creating things that are easy to copy, so the quality of those things are diminished.

Can you demonstrate there would be a net loss for society? The burden of proof is on you.

Who even remotely cares? It is not a matter of net loss for whatever people you are willing to lump in some group and call them representative of society, it is a matter of loss to you, as a consumer, for certain quality products are not profitable enough because they are too easy to copy and as such only low quality of such product is ever only made (read low investment).

This started as a fundamental look at property, let's keep it as such.

Also ethics and morals are not relevant in this discussion, because your morals are yours only and you cannot implement them into anyone. What you can expect though, is consequences for you actions, i.e., you do not respect my property by stealing the design I've come up with, do not expect me to respect your property, however material or immaterial it is.

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April 19, 2011, 12:17:55 AM
 #90

This is not an argument in favor of copyrights.  Your opinions on the quality of products are irrelevent.

It establishes a direct link between quality of intellectual products and their perceived value by the market. If the market undervalues such product by copying it, the quality will adjust itself down to that value. And value is relevant to property.

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April 19, 2011, 12:18:03 AM
 #91

I've seen the result of intellectual property theft and I don't like it. The market adjusts and less people spend time creating things that are easy to copy, so the quality of those things are diminished.

Can you demonstrate there would be a net loss for society? The burden of proof is on you.

An example that is at the top of my head is hard to call a net loss for society. But I can see how it could easily translate to other fields. And of course something like net loss to society would be extremely subjective, so proof is difficult. And it's probably impossible to measure.

The example would be PC video games. They were very good for a while and kept getting better. But as the internet grew, it became very easy to copy them and share the copies. Most major games released these days are ports of console games. Why? Producers make more money (if you look at the sales figures it's quite plain) on console games because it is more difficult to copy and share them. Of course it is possible, but much more difficult than a PC version. So we have these custom built PCs that absolutely destroy consoles as far as gaming power is concerned, but the only games that are released for PC are shitty ports of games that can run on the current consoles.

Video games may actually be harmful to society though. Perhaps PC games were better for society than console games because they pushed hardware developers to constantly upgrade their products., although they still do.
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April 19, 2011, 12:25:43 AM
 #92

But as the internet grew, it became very easy to copy them and share the copies.

A lack of copyright laws would allow for a greater level of piracy (loss) but it would also allow for developers to remake technologically outdated or abandoned games (gain). You're focusing only on the losses while ignoring (or are simply unaware of) the gains. The real question is, which outweighs which? Would it be a net gain or a net loss? If you don't know then it's irresponsible to advocate such laws.
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April 19, 2011, 12:26:32 AM
 #93

The "right to copy" is not a right, but a privilage, and as such cannot be seperated from the current government/corporate collusion.

Perhaps not, but it could be derived from the right to property, depending on what defines property.
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April 19, 2011, 12:29:42 AM
 #94

The real question is, which outweighs which? Would it be a net gain or a net loss? If you don't know then it's irresponsible to advocate such laws.

I know, for myself, whether it is a gain or loss. It would be irresponsible to force my subjective ideas on you.

And for the record, I don't advocate any laws. I've already said I don't care about that.
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April 19, 2011, 12:33:30 AM
 #95

But as the internet grew, it became very easy to copy them and share the copies.

A lack of copyright laws would allow for a greater level of piracy (loss) but it would also allow for developers to remake technologically outdated or abandoned games (gain). You're focusing only on the losses while ignoring (or are simply unaware of) the gains. The real question is, which outweighs which? Would it be a net gain or a net loss? If you don't know then it's irresponsible to advocate such laws.

Devs are already doing that oO. You aren't very familiar with copyright laws are you?

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April 19, 2011, 12:38:28 AM
 #96

But as the internet grew, it became very easy to copy them and share the copies.

A lack of copyright laws would allow for a greater level of piracy (loss) but it would also allow for developers to remake technologically outdated or abandoned games (gain). You're focusing only on the losses while ignoring (or are simply unaware of) the gains. The real question is, which outweighs which? Would it be a net gain or a net loss? If you don't know then it's irresponsible to advocate such laws.

Devs are already doing that oO. You aren't very familiar with copyright laws aren't you?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chrono_Resurrection

Here's just one example.
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April 19, 2011, 12:41:46 AM
 #97

But as the internet grew, it became very easy to copy them and share the copies.

A lack of copyright laws would allow for a greater level of piracy (loss) but it would also allow for developers to remake technologically outdated or abandoned games (gain). You're focusing only on the losses while ignoring (or are simply unaware of) the gains. The real question is, which outweighs which? Would it be a net gain or a net loss? If you don't know then it's irresponsible to advocate such laws.

Devs are already doing that oO. You aren't very familiar with copyright laws aren't you?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chrono_Resurrection

Here's just one example.

Those guys gave up because they didn't have the resources to defend themselves, but had they, they would have won.

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April 19, 2011, 12:45:34 AM
 #98

Those guys gave up because they didn't have to resources to defend themselves, but had they, they would have won.

That's irrelevant. The point is, copyright laws have a chilling effect on the creation of derivative works. That's a loss for society any way you care to slice it. The only question that remains, which outweighs which, the losses or gains?
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April 19, 2011, 12:45:51 AM
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Difficulties were encountered in the game engine development as Lazur was the unique programmer and worked from scratch.

You are against copyright laws because of a misuse of copyright laws? Huh
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April 19, 2011, 12:47:35 AM
 #100

That's irrelevant. The point is, copyright laws have a chilling effect on the creation of derivative works. That's a loss for society any way you care to slice it. The only question that remains, which outweighs which, the losses or gains?

You could say the same for any law.
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April 19, 2011, 12:49:50 AM
 #101

You are against copyright laws because of a misuse of copyright laws? Huh

No, I'm against it on principle. I'm just also calling the bluff on the utilitarian argument.

Even if there was a net gain for society, I'd be opposed to it on principle alone.
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April 19, 2011, 12:50:59 AM
 #102

Those guys gave up because they didn't have to resources to defend themselves, but had they, they would have won.

That's irrelevant. The point is, copyright laws have a chilling effect on the creation of derivative works. That's a loss for society any way you care to slice it. The only question that remains, which outweighs which, the losses or gains?

Sure it is. Had this guy known his rights, he would have kept on going with his project, and nothing legal Square could have thrown at him could have stopped him. Hell, he would have even gotten money out of them.

And anyways, who cares about society? You are so prone to look down upon laws yet your referential is the very frame for laws.

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April 19, 2011, 01:00:29 AM
 #103

Sure it is. Had this guy known his rights, he would have kept on going with his project, and nothing legal Square could have thrown at him could have stopped him. Hell, he would have even gotten money out of them.

Right, after wasting years of his life in a legal battle, spending all his money on lawyer fees, fighting a company with comparatively bottomless legal funds and of course, we all know that juries never make mistakes, especially when dealing with highly technical issues. He's a fool for giving up so easily!
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April 19, 2011, 01:10:35 AM
 #104

Sure it is. Had this guy known his rights, he would have kept on going with his project, and nothing legal Square could have thrown at him could have stopped him. Hell, he would have even gotten money out of them.

Right, after wasting years of his life in a legal battle, spending all his money on lawyer fees, fighting a company with comparatively bottomless legal funds and of course, we all know that juries never make mistakes, especially when dealing with highly technical issues. He's a fool for giving up so easily!

Assuming a company however wealthy they are would bother prosecuting a case they know they can't win, literally burning money over a project they haven't made a dime off in the last 10 years and won't be for another 20... Assuming he couldn't get legal support from open source developers groups... Knowing Square can't use any measure of force to stop his project without a court order...

It is not as one sided as you like to present it. Moreover, what you are pointing at is an abuse of judiciary institutions, not an abusive law as you pretend it to be.

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April 19, 2011, 01:16:59 AM
 #105

The point is, it's still a gamble, one that not everyone is willing to take. Therefore, it has a chilling effect, as evidenced by my example, of which there are numerous others in other industries. There's a loss for society, plain and simple. The only question that remains is whether the net is a gain or loss.

I'm not interested in clubbing you over the head with anymore examples. Either demonstrate it's a net gain, net loss or admit you don't know which it is.
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April 19, 2011, 01:17:48 AM
 #106

The "right to copy" is not a right, but a privilage, and as such cannot be seperated from the current government/corporate collusion.

Perhaps not, but it could be derived from the right to property, depending on what defines property.

So define property without exclusivity of use and without exclusivity of resource, and you might be able to define it such that the term is can both refer to historical examples of property and IP.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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April 19, 2011, 01:38:03 AM
Last edit: April 19, 2011, 02:02:10 AM by estevo
 #107

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Yet that property is very real. So very real that you want to take it to use it for yourself, and are making a point at not caring what I have to say about it.
Information is real and useful, it's just not property.

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Do mathematicians "create" theorems? [...]
If I rediscover it, it is mine to use.
You know that is not how IP works, right?

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Laws of nature are for anyone to use if they can so manage. I am a painter and I come up with a piece. Now I choose to charge people to come and see it. I am not pretending dominion over paint, canvas or the technique I used to produce my painting.
Yet the equivalent of those could conceivably be patentable in other disciplines.

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I am pretending property over the original alignment of colors that is the picture I have come up with.
And while I will support your work if I like it, I am not recognizing any such claim, much less accepting its enforcement.

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Then you come along, take a picture under the pretense that I cannot restrict access to that piece, that it somehow belongs to everyone, and god knows what else.
The physical object is yours.  You can restrict access to it, and, for example, forbid anyone to enter your house with a camera.  But once you expose it in a museum with no such restrictions, for example, you have no business forbidding anyone from circulating pictures of it.  I don't think art history books are paying royalties to the artists in illustrations, or their families.

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You take the stance that originality does not exist, that voluntary alignment of objects hold no meaning nor value, that a thousand monkeys with a typewriter and infinite time can come up the whole of Shakespear's work,
Nope, nope and nope.  Originality exists.  Voluntary alignment of objects may be meaningful and valuable.  It's just not property.  It's not something that can be taken from the author by the act of reproducing it.

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and then pretend that I am calling dibs on words and semantics.
I think you're mixing me up with someone else here?

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When was the last time that anybody got rich by patenting a programming language?  Aren't these useful inventions?  Don't they get invented all the time?
Programming languages were invented for the very purpose of being spread. You are oblivious to the intention of the creator, thinking that intangible creation were made for masses benefit, at the cost of its creator's time, effort and resources.
My point here was that useful stuff gets created even without the financial incentive of IP laws.

In general, I'll be respectful with the intention of the creator.  That doesn't mean I recognize he has a right to dictate how his creations will be used (or not) once they have entered public circulation.

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That is their very right, ideas aren't properties, their expression is. A movie maker isn't demanding rights over the concept of romance, only his take on it. A mathematician knows there is no rights to be held on a theory, but the software he builds after it, that is his property. If you can understand his process and give it your own shot, you are in your right and the more power to you. But to copy his software to spread it at your profit and at his detriment, this is not only aggression against the creator but also pocketing his wealth for yourself.
That is an arbitrary line to draw, and one that isn't that clear in IP laws.  Software patents do try and make properties out of ideas.  Luckily, their very absurdness is what keeps them from doing much damage.  Most companies keep patent portfolios defensively, knowing full well that practically nothing of value can be built without stepping on top of someone's IP.

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If you could reliably heal yourself by checking a website and following simple instructions, doctors would have no business, and that wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing.
Specialists fill for your inability to specialize in said domain, in the expectation of returns for services rendered. The very existence of specialists implies that they were able to profit from their specialty more than from being common laborers, which is the reason we don't live in caves anymore. But we are headed straight towards cave land if they can't make a profit of holding and applying knowledge that you don't have.
So, coming back to the example to which you're apparently replying, you mean that if a website could reliably diagnose every disease that would be a step backwards?

I understand the value of specialization and intellectual work.  I contend the point that it needs rely on the ability to artificially restrict the dissemination of information.

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If intellectual rights are moot, then a doctor has no right to charge you for a diagnosis.
We are still talking about intelectual property laws, right?

If so, this is patently false.  The doctor can charge me because paying him is immensely more practical and safe for me than educating myself in medicine in order to cure myself, not because such scientific and medical information is proprietary.  There is a natural opportunity cost here.  IP laws try and enforce artificial barriers to the dissemination of information to create scarcity.

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In sum, mathematics, science, and medicine have progressed alright for centuries without anybody really needing to artificially restrict anybody else's use of information.

Yeah let's forget the existence of sponsors under the form of kings, feudal lords and later governments and corporates, all that have greatly benefited from said research that they financed.
Exactly: they greatly benefited from said research without the need to restrict anyone else's access to, or use of, the results.  That proves IP laws unnecessary.

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My business plan seems to be sound enough that you want to take over, don't you?
Absolutely not.  I don't recognize your right to dictate what I do with the bits you discovered.  I certainly don't intend to try and tell others what they can not do with information.

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And somehow what isn't property turns into "desirable property" out of a sudden. Well shit, son.
Desirability doesn't make property.  Exclusion is needed too.  The very concept of property comes from the fact that some things are finite and so we both can't enjoy them at the same time.  So we must either fight for them or somehow agree on how to distribute them.  Information is not finite.

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You pay to be taught but you don't pay for the book that holds that knowledge? That is nonsensical.
I pay for both, if I can afford it.  The first because it's a service; if I can't afford it, I do without it.  The second because I want to support the author and encourage him to produce more good stuff.  I will sometimes pay for books that are legally downloadable for free.  But if I can't afford the book, I'll download a copy with no remorse.  I'll buy one when I can.  Nobody is any better for me waiting to read the book until I got employed again, especially if the book helps make me more employable.

This is admittedly a contrived example.  I don't intend it to represent the general case of piracy.  I just mean it's in the domain of morals, not law.

More to the point, I don't recognize the author's, or anyone else's, "ownership" on the end product.  And I don't support laws that try to criminalize something like lending a book to a friend.  In the IP model, that's as much "stealing" as downloading it from a warez site, right?
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April 19, 2011, 01:42:59 AM
 #108

Tell me before you abandon IP-law so that I can withdraw all money from medical research. Copying a drug is dead simple but finding a drug that is actually effective takes years of research by highly skilled professionals, not to mention expensive testing and clinical trials.

Now there is a good one.  So why is a drug 'recipe' copyright but a food recipe not copyright?

Both the fashion industry and the food industry are areas of very little copy-right and both seem to flourish without those artificial controls. 






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April 19, 2011, 02:05:07 AM
 #109

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Now there is a good one.  So why is a drug 'recipe' copyright but a food recipe not copyright?
I have invented a neat new yoga posture.  I'll tell you for 50 bucks.  That is, 50 bucks each time you do it.  I'll send the police to your home if I catch you doing it without paying me.  Tongue
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April 19, 2011, 07:12:56 AM
 #110

So, in your world, void o IP-law explain this to me:

I have an idea on how to cure Parkinsons disease. I convince a few of my friends who happen to be very rich to invest in my company, naturally they expect some return from this investment. I then build a lab, hire the right people, and eventually succeed in finding the cure. I then test it to make sure it's safe and get it approved for the market. All in all it's been quite cheap to find this cure and only 900 million dollars have been spent so far. I then spend another 100 million to build a factory that can manufacture the drug.
Then we start selling the drug.
Generica company buys a few pills, reverse engineer them, builds a similar factory for 100 million, and goes to market with the same product, at 1/10th the price, 6 months later. In that time I've managed to make a 100 million dollar profit then I must slash my prices to sell anything at all, my investors won't get their money back for a very long time, if ever.

How can I convince my investors to invest in my new idea to cure Alzheimers? Why should they not wait and invest in Generica company instead.


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April 19, 2011, 07:59:42 AM
 #111

Most drug development costs are spent on advertising.  Pharmaceuticals are the biggest flim-flam scheme on earth.

It is literally all profit and advertising.  There is a tiny cost involved in adding a few new atoms to cocaine or whatever, running some trials and getting a patent.  But it's peanuts.

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April 19, 2011, 08:54:06 AM
 #112

Most drug development costs are spent on advertising.  Pharmaceuticals are the biggest flim-flam scheme on earth.

It is literally all profit and advertising.  There is a tiny cost involved in adding a few new atoms to cocaine or whatever, running some trials and getting a patent.  But it's peanuts.

Yes they advertise. Quite a lot. Free markets suck, right? Having to convince your customers that your product is the one to buy is a pain.

But what about the example? What would you say to the investors to make them want to fund your alzheimers research?

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April 19, 2011, 12:03:12 PM
 #113

I wonder if it exists a Keynesian counterversion of "Economics in One Lesson" so to say?

I'm trying to learn as much as possible about economics and so far I have read mostly things from the Austrian school, and yeah I think it makes a lot of sense and it suites my values and opinions and it seems to describe the reality fairly well but I would also like to read stuff from the other side as well. If I didn't I would feel ignorant.

So, it there anybody who know a lot about economics that would care to recommend me a book on this subject?
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April 19, 2011, 03:47:53 PM
 #114

So, in your world, void o IP-law explain this to me:

I have an idea on how to cure Parkinsons disease. I convince a few of my friends who happen to be very rich to invest in my company, naturally they expect some return from this investment. I then build a lab, hire the right people, and eventually succeed in finding the cure. I then test it to make sure it's safe and get it approved for the market. All in all it's been quite cheap to find this cure and only 900 million dollars have been spent so far. I then spend another 100 million to build a factory that can manufacture the drug.
Then we start selling the drug.
Generica company buys a few pills, reverse engineer them, builds a similar factory for 100 million, and goes to market with the same product, at 1/10th the price, 6 months later. In that time I've managed to make a 100 million dollar profit then I must slash my prices to sell anything at all, my investors won't get their money back for a very long time, if ever.

How can I convince my investors to invest in my new idea to cure Alzheimers? Why should they not wait and invest in Generica company instead.

Luckily, you're a smart venture capitalist, and you knew in advance there is no IP law. To that end, you had a meeting with Generica and the other pharmaceutical firms that could match your output. In return for access to all your research, you received additional funding, and a voluntarily entered into contractual agreement for 1 year monopoly rights (in return for doing the brunt of the research). Everybody wins.

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April 19, 2011, 04:45:41 PM
 #115

Two more things about IP:

 - By defending it is property, you're not just justifying the temporary monopoly that would be "needed" to derive a profit from research.  You can hold onto your property forever, pass it to your heirs indefinitely, and prevent anyone from ever using it.  Recognizing IP implies recognizing your right to prevent your new cure for Alzheimer from being rediscovered and/or used by anyone, ever.  Of course this is a pathological use, but if you deny its legitimacy, you are saying IP is something else than property.

 - The world where scientific and technological progress can only happen with the expectation of a monopoly, or even of direct profit from the discovery itself, is not the world we have lived in for centuries, and would indeed be a very sad world.  A medicine or treatment that cures a disease altogether is less profitable that one that makes it chronically treatable.  Medicines or treatments that are not patentable or otherwise less profitable get lobbied against so public authorities fail to promote them or regulate against them.

Besides private deals such as proposed by BitterTea, and besides philanthropy (a big one to ignore), I can think of another obvious driver for medical research in an IP-less world: rich people, and their relatives and loved ones, get sick too.  Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen invested in cancer research when he was diagnosed himself.

You can contend that only diseases common in the rich will be funded this way.   That is also true, to some extent, for the IP-driven big pharma research.  If it's not profitable to cure some disease that is killing millions in Africa, no research to that end will be funded by IP-driven ventures.
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April 19, 2011, 05:39:58 PM
Last edit: April 19, 2011, 06:00:51 PM by markm
 #116

Quote: "I'm really torn on this. I'm more on the libertarian side but I just don't see the motivation to write a book / make a movie / program if I know that everyone is going to bittorent my file and I'll actually lose money writing it. Not saying that should stop me from making it or the end result would justify IP laws or not. I'm just saying I wouldn't want to go in to a project knowing I'll lose money due to copying."

It is maybe a pity actually that most likely this would *not* prevent profit-motivated works of literature and art, leaving the field to those who do the art for the art's sake.

Advertisers would probably still produce movies glorifying their products, military-fancying regimes still produce movies glorifying war and combat, and so on.

It is maybe bad enough that some things get glorified, that propaganda is so rife and pervasive, without making its production worse than cost free but actually directly profitable!

(One might have to weave the product or "philosophy" more tightly into the plot instead of simply placing one's products as non-essential props in non-essential scenes, which might inspire one to employ imaginative script or screenplay writers...)

-MarkM- (Just a quick try at a counterexample off the top of my head, maybe full of holes...)

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April 19, 2011, 05:52:38 PM
 #117

Here's a couple paragraphs I liked from Against Intellectual Property.

Quote from: Tom Palmer
“Intellectual property rights are rights in ideal objects,
which are distinguished from the material substrata in
which they are instantiated.”

Quote from: Stephen Kinsella
One reason for the undue stress placed on creation as the source of property rights may be the focus by some on labor as the means to homestead unowned resources. This is manifest in the argument that one homesteads unowned property with which one mixes one’s labor because one “owns” one’s labor. However, as Palmer correctly points out, “occupancy, not labor, is the act by which external things become property.” By focusing on first occupancy, rather than on labor, as the key to homesteading, there is no need to place creation as the fount of property rights, as Objectivists and others do. Instead, property rights must be recognized in first-comers (or their contractual transferees) in order to avoid the omnipresent problem of conflict over scarce resources. Creation itself is neither necessary nor sufficient to gain rights in unowned resources. Further, there is no need to maintain the strange view that one “owns” one’s labor in order to own things one first occupies. Labor is a type of action, and action is not ownable; rather, it is the way that some tangible things (e.g., bodies) act in the world.

The problem with the natural rights defense of IP, then, lies in the argument that because an author-inventor “creates” some “thing,” he is “thus” entitled to own it. The argument begs the question by assuming that the ideal object is ownable in the first place; once this is granted, it seems natural that the “creator” of this piece of property is the natural and proper owner of it. However, ideal objects are not ownable.

Under the libertarian approach, when there is a scarce (ownable) resource, we identify its owner by determining who its first occupier is. In the case of “created” goods (i.e., sculptures, farms, etc.), it can sometimes be assumed that the creator is also the first occupier by virtue of the gathering of raw materials and the very act of creation (imposing a pattern on the matter, fashioning it into an artifact, and the like). But it is not creation per se that gives rise to ownership, as pointed out above. For similar reasons, the Lockean idea of “mixing labor” with a scarce resource is relevant only because it indicates that the user has possessed the property (for property must be possessed in order to be labored upon). It is not because the labor must be rewarded, nor because we “own” labor and “therefore” its fruits. In other words, creation and labor-mixing indicate when one has occupied—and, thus, homesteaded—unowned scarce resources.
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April 19, 2011, 08:02:50 PM
 #118


Generica company buys a few pills, reverse engineer them, builds a similar factory for 100 million, and goes to market with the same product, at 1/10th the price, 6 months later. In that time I've managed to make a 100 million dollar profit then I must slash my prices to sell anything at all, my investors won't get their money back for a very long time, if ever.

How can I convince my investors to invest in my new idea to cure Alzheimers? Why should they not wait and invest in Generica company instead.

So companies are not smart enough to differentiate themselves from the generic and still make a lot of money?  After all clorox sells bleach at 2x the cost of others and people buy it. 

First to market is worth a lot, and you can build an advertising campaign around it.  You can also have contracts with generic manufacturers to have them make the product under a contract where they get the REAL recipe and pay a fee. 

I am not sure things would be much better with ZERO IP laws, but right now they are pretty screwed up.  IP laws allow big pharma to charge US citizens 5x or more what others pay for the same thing.  Something needs to be fixed.  Certainly copyright and patent should not be longer then 3 years, that would fix many problems. 

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April 19, 2011, 08:35:34 PM
 #119

Quote: "I'm really torn on this. I'm more on the libertarian side but I just don't see the motivation to write a book / make a movie / program if I know that everyone is going to bittorent my file and I'll actually lose money writing it. Not saying that should stop me from making it or the end result would justify IP laws or not. I'm just saying I wouldn't want to go in to a project knowing I'll lose money due to copying."

It is maybe a pity actually that most likely this would *not* prevent profit-motivated works of literature and art, leaving the field to those who do the art for the art's sake.

Advertisers would probably still produce movies glorifying their products, military-fancying regimes still produce movies glorifying war and combat, and so on.

It is maybe bad enough that some things get glorified, that propaganda is so rife and pervasive, without making its production worse than cost free but actually directly profitable!

(One might have to weave the product or "philosophy" more tightly into the plot instead of simply placing one's products as non-essential props in non-essential scenes, which might inspire one to employ imaginative script or screenplay writers...)

-MarkM- (Just a quick try at a counterexample off the top of my head, maybe full of holes...)


Honestly you're right about the first part in my opinion. If they did it for the love of the art and not money I'm guessing we'd have less Britney Spears etc.
I agree with you on that. I mean it more like "I wouldn't do it for profit" I'd still do it because I wanted to for me or I enjoyed it etc.

I'd love to see what happens without the IP laws. We can look at countries that don't respect them but that's a bad reference because they still wouldn't produce as much if they had the laws.

The big problem is when you have half the people supporting and the other half against. Which is basically what we have now.
Also when IP laws are used to stop a new technology that's about as bad as it could possibly get.
If someone invents the Mr. Garrison car and someone buys the rights to it and hides it so that we keep driving gas powered vehicles then I'm pissed.

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April 19, 2011, 08:37:22 PM
 #120

Luckily, you're a smart venture capitalist, and you knew in advance there is no IP law. To that end, you had a meeting with Generica and the other pharmaceutical firms that could match your output. In return for access to all your research, you received additional funding, and a voluntarily entered into contractual agreement for 1 year monopoly rights (in return for doing the brunt of the research). Everybody wins.

Why should a smart venture capitalist pay for something he can get for free? As an even smarter venture capitalist I wait, pick up a few chemists with the proper education, build my factory and can still undercut the lot of them. After all, they all have costs that I don't.  Copying is easy. Reseach is hard.

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April 19, 2011, 08:45:10 PM
 #121

Luckily, you're a smart venture capitalist, and you knew in advance there is no IP law. To that end, you had a meeting with Generica and the other pharmaceutical firms that could match your output. In return for access to all your research, you received additional funding, and a voluntarily entered into contractual agreement for 1 year monopoly rights (in return for doing the brunt of the research). Everybody wins.

Why should a smart venture capitalist pay for something he can get for free? As an even smarter venture capitalist I wait, pick up a few chemists with the proper education, build my factory and can still undercut the lot of them. After all, they all have costs that I don't.  Copying is easy. Reseach is hard.

Sure, it's always a possibility, but imagine if all of the big players pooled their resources for research like this. Let's say that your startup is profitable because you successfully engaged in corporate espionage or reverse engineering. You're not always going to be successful, and now that you have lots of extra capital, the smarter move is to pool your resources with the rest. Perhaps if you don't join them, they will put pressure on you to do so, by refusing to cooperate with you as an outside profit seeking entity.
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April 19, 2011, 09:24:03 PM
 #122

Sure, it's always a possibility, but imagine if all of the big players pooled their resources for research like this. Let's say that your startup is profitable because you successfully engaged in corporate espionage or reverse engineering. You're not always going to be successful, and now that you have lots of extra capital, the smarter move is to pool your resources with the rest. Perhaps if you don't join them, they will put pressure on you to do so, by refusing to cooperate with you as an outside profit seeking entity.

The point is that I don't want to do the research. I just want the end result, a working drug, and without IP I can have it. I can just pick it up at the pharmacy. It's hard to fail in reverse engineering. And why would I want to pool resources? I don't want to do research. That shit's expensive. And even if I do, just because I'm such a good guy, there will always be another VC who'll see the opportunity to make money from someone elses research.

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April 19, 2011, 09:35:26 PM
 #123

Sure, it's always a possibility, but imagine if all of the big players pooled their resources for research like this. Let's say that your startup is profitable because you successfully engaged in corporate espionage or reverse engineering. You're not always going to be successful, and now that you have lots of extra capital, the smarter move is to pool your resources with the rest. Perhaps if you don't join them, they will put pressure on you to do so, by refusing to cooperate with you as an outside profit seeking entity.

The point is that I don't want to do the research. I just want the end result, a working drug, and without IP I can have it. I can just pick it up at the pharmacy. It's hard to fail in reverse engineering. And why would I want to pool resources? I don't want to do research. That shit's expensive. And even if I do, just because I'm such a good guy, there will always be another VC who'll see the opportunity to make money from someone elses research.

I could see big players pooling their research and honestly it would benefit the world but at the same time wouldn't there always be people that didn't want to participate in the research and just reap the rewards of the other groups work?


Maybe we could let the government do all the research ......haha was a joke.....

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April 19, 2011, 09:56:01 PM
 #124

The point is that I don't want to do the research. I just want the end result, a working drug, and without IP I can have it. I can just pick it up at the pharmacy. It's hard to fail in reverse engineering. And why would I want to pool resources? I don't want to do research. That shit's expensive. And even if I do, just because I'm such a good guy, there will always be another VC who'll see the opportunity to make money from someone elses research.

I'm not saying you should have to do the research. In fact, I'm saying the opposite. The large entities will most likely find it in their interest to pool resources for research. If non-participation is beneficial to smaller entities, they will grow and participate in the research pool. If not, then we've replaced a coercive IP system with one of a voluntary nature and there is no difference in market function. In addition to that we've lowered the barriers to entry to the pharmaceutical market and increased competition.

wouldn't there always be people that didn't want to participate in the research and just reap the rewards of the other groups work?

Sure. Who cares? Small freeloader is successful and becomes large contributor. There will always be freeloaders. How can anyone advocate for the use of violence against them?
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April 19, 2011, 09:57:29 PM
 #125

Maybe we could let the government do all the research ......haha was a joke.....
You might be joking, but this might actually happen soon. Doctors are running out of antibiotics and are forced to use stronger and stronger variants. There are strains of bacteria that are immune to ALL known antibiotics. People might actually start dying of things we used to be able to prevent, and in developed countries too. Big pharma are reluctant to do research into antibiotics-NG (next gen) because the research is so hard that they don't expect to be able to get their money back.
So there's talk of co-funding research between pharma and government, or to create incentives (like longer patents, or cash prizes) to get the research done.

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April 19, 2011, 10:22:46 PM
 #126

I'm not saying you should have to do the research. In fact, I'm saying the opposite. The large entities will most likely find it in their interest to pool resources for research. If non-participation is beneficial to smaller entities, they will grow and participate in the research pool. If not, then we've replaced a coercive IP system with one of a voluntary nature and there is no difference in market function. In addition to that we've lowered the barriers to entry to the pharmaceutical market and increased competition.

Why do research at all? Why be in a pool? There's no profit in research anymore, or not enough to justify it.
And how have you increased competition by pushing large pharma together into a large pool?

I agree that IP law should be reformed. But in some way intellectual work needs to be protected.

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April 19, 2011, 10:32:50 PM
 #127

Why do research at all? Why be in a pool? There's no profit in research anymore, or not enough to justify it.

Why should research be profitable? Research generally leads to profit making opportunities. That's why it's risky.

Quote
And how have you increased competition by pushing large pharma together into a large pool?

Start ups are no longer restricted by IP laws and can thus enter the market more easily, without having to worry about being sued into oblivion by the larger players for patents they may or may not have violated. More opportunity to means more players means more competition.

Quote
I agree that IP law should be reformed. But in some way intellectual work needs to be protected.

Your conclusion is that "intellectual work needs to be protected". What are your premises, and the steps that take you from those premises to the conclusion?
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April 19, 2011, 11:03:18 PM
 #128


Why should research be profitable? Research generally leads to profit making opportunities. That's why it's risky.

Start ups are no longer restricted by IP laws and can thus enter the market more easily, without having to worry about being sued into oblivion by the larger players for patents they may or may not have violated. More opportunity to means more players means more competition.

Your conclusion is that "intellectual work needs to be protected". What are your premises, and the steps that take you from those premises to the conclusion?

Except in the case we're discussing where it doesn't lead to profit making opportunities. At least not for the ones doing the research. They just have costs.

Who would fund the start ups? It wouldn't be anyone who expected to make money from the investment. Especially since big pharma is now pooled together and have all the infrastructure in place to copy your invention.

Work is work, regardless if you use muscles or brain. If you have to compensate me for my physical work, you should for intellectual work too.

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April 19, 2011, 11:16:56 PM
 #129

Except in the case we're discussing where it doesn't lead to profit making opportunities. At least not for the ones doing the research. They just have costs.

Who would fund the start ups? It wouldn't be anyone who expected to make money from the investment. Especially since big pharma is now pooled together and have all the infrastructure in place to copy your invention.

In this hypothetical scenario, I posit that there will be a significant incentive for large pharmaceutical organizations to pool their resources for research. They do research, even lacking IP law, because they want new treatments to sell. They pool their resources because otherwise their large competitors would use their work without any compensation. This way, they all get access to the research and they all share its costs. Perhaps the ones furthest along take the lead and thus get some form of monopoly rights inside this pool. The agreements made by these entities do not bind, in any way, entities (I posit it will be the small to medium size ones) that are not part of the agreement.

Another thing you overlook is the role of trade secrets. Any entity is free to try to keep any or all information secret. Corporate espionage is still a violation of property rights, and I feel you underestimate the time and effort required to reverse engineer a drug. Even if it's only a matter of months, that's still a huge advantage for the initial developing entity.

Quote
Work is work, regardless if you use muscles or brain. If you have to compensate me for my physical work, you should for intellectual work too.

The justification for compensation derives from consent, not work. If you dig a hole in my lawn, I owe you nothing and in fact you may owe me damages. If I hire you to dig a hole in my lawn, I owe you whatever amount I agreed to pay you.
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April 19, 2011, 11:22:20 PM
 #130

When I laugh about the government doing the research I'm more laughing at it from the "less government is good" perspective not that it might be the best answer.
The government can (and does) take a loss all the time where private companies wouldn't. If something affects 1 in 1000000 people the government could lose money researching it while the private pharms might ignore it. Obviously this is good and bad. If they handled the research then we might have better antibiotics but no viagra. So I guess you'd be guaranteed to get old and not enjoy it.

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April 19, 2011, 11:54:07 PM
 #131

When I laugh about the government doing the research I'm more laughing at it from the "less government is good" perspective not that it might be the best answer.
The government can (and does) take a loss all the time where private companies wouldn't. If something affects 1 in 1000000 people the government could lose money researching it while the private pharms might ignore it. Obviously this is good and bad. If they handled the research then we might have better antibiotics but no viagra. So I guess you'd be guaranteed to get old and not enjoy it.

You assume there would be better antibiotics, but in my opinion you are more likely to just end up with a lot of academic researchers chasing grants, not producing useful research.  The most likely outcomes of government managed scientific research is either focused towards developing more effective ways to kill brown people or an accidental viagra, which then gets buried in paperwork only to be rediscovered by some paper-miner in two decades and bought up by a private company anyway.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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April 20, 2011, 12:11:31 AM
 #132

When I laugh about the government doing the research I'm more laughing at it from the "less government is good" perspective not that it might be the best answer.
The government can (and does) take a loss all the time where private companies wouldn't. If something affects 1 in 1000000 people the government could lose money researching it while the private pharms might ignore it. Obviously this is good and bad. If they handled the research then we might have better antibiotics but no viagra. So I guess you'd be guaranteed to get old and not enjoy it.

Should the government (or anybody) be in the business of taking money from everyone, by force if necessary, in order to spend it on research for a disease which only affects 1/1,000,000th of the population? In what way does that even make sense? Do you realize that by saying government should not only do this, but accept a loss in doing so, you are saying that your money should not only be forcefully taken from you and distributed to causes which net little gain?

Government has no incentive to provide quality, cost effective service, since they can never go out of business.
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April 20, 2011, 12:17:03 AM
 #133

All this debate about the merit of IP is a whole bunch of useless talk.

I make money and I don't need IP. End of debate.

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April 20, 2011, 03:23:21 AM
 #134

Economic Policy, Ludwig von Mises

http://mises.org/etexts/ecopol.pdf
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April 20, 2011, 03:54:24 PM
 #135

When I laugh about the government doing the research I'm more laughing at it from the "less government is good" perspective not that it might be the best answer.
The government can (and does) take a loss all the time where private companies wouldn't. If something affects 1 in 1000000 people the government could lose money researching it while the private pharms might ignore it. Obviously this is good and bad. If they handled the research then we might have better antibiotics but no viagra. So I guess you'd be guaranteed to get old and not enjoy it.

Should the government (or anybody) be in the business of taking money from everyone, by force if necessary, in order to spend it on research for a disease which only affects 1/1,000,000th of the population? In what way does that even make sense? Do you realize that by saying government should not only do this, but accept a loss in doing so, you are saying that your money should not only be forcefully taken from you and distributed to causes which net little gain?

Government has no incentive to provide quality, cost effective service, since they can never go out of business.

Honestly I think helping one out of a million people is a waste of money (unless it's me) but society doesn't view it that way.
How many times have you heard people cry about not having a cure for xyz disease that affects 1000 people a year or whatever.
Seen fundraisers to help research a rare disease? Personally I'd prefer to worry about the big stuff and have a bigger impact.
I still think there are advantages to gov research though. Some say that pharmaceutical companies would rather treat than cure because they sell more products.
I'd assume the gov would prefer to cure than treat.

Now if we could just get bitcoin bounties together to cure diseases and open source the drug formula then maybe we'd have something.
I'd be all for that. I'll give a healthy contribution.

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April 20, 2011, 05:10:25 PM
 #136

I'll give a healthy contribution.

People like Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, when allowed to spend their money as they please, do engage philanthropy. Who knows how many billionaires would feel more generous towards society if they weren't being robbed at gunpoint.
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April 21, 2011, 03:05:40 AM
 #137

Aren't Bill Gates and Warren Buffet paying taxes?
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April 21, 2011, 03:24:41 AM
 #138

Aren't Bill Gates and Warren Buffet paying taxes?

That was my point. Even while being robbed at gunpoint, they are generous enough to give away their money. How many more billionaires would feel generous if they weren't already being forced to give away their money? We will probably never find out.
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April 21, 2011, 04:16:56 AM
 #139

All this debate about the merit of IP is a whole bunch of useless talk.

I make money and I don't need IP. End of debate.

Kiba, it's a debate.  The whole point of a debate is to discuss.  We know your opinion, but if we want to discuss this issue why do you care? If you don't want to participate, don't.  The fact that you make money off a business with no IP protection is a valid point, but in no way is the last word on the matter. 
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April 21, 2011, 04:17:10 AM
 #140

Aren't Bill Gates and Warren Buffet paying taxes?

Relatively speaking, this is questionable.  Warren Buffet has been quoted as saying that he pays less in federal income taxes than his own secretary.  The point he was trying to make was that the tax code is so complicated that one needs a professional in order to utilize it to one's full advantage, which he can afford and his secretary cannot.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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April 21, 2011, 05:08:54 AM
 #141

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Even while being robbed at gunpoint, they are generous enough to give away their money. How many more billionaires would feel generous if they weren't already being forced to give away their money? We will probably never find out.
Or even better: how many more billionaires would feel generous if the government gave them money instead? Tongue

You don't need to be a millionaire to donate money to a good cause either, do you?  If your point is that aggregation of resources makes efforts more effective or that Bill Gates and Warren Buffet will put the money to better use than your average NGO, nothing stops non-millionaires from donating to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Not arguing for or against taxing here, but frankly, that kind of statement makes you sound like a hammer desperately looking for nails.

Quote
Relatively speaking, this is questionable.  Warren Buffet has been quoted as saying that he pays less in federal income taxes than his own secretary.  The point he was trying to make was that the tax code is so complicated that one needs a professional in order to utilize it to one's full advantage, which he can afford and his secretary cannot.

[Emphasis mine]

I suppose he pays way more than his secretary overall, via other kinds of taxes.  If not... well, problem solved? Wink
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April 21, 2011, 05:18:28 AM
 #142

You don't need to be a millionaire to donate money to a good cause either, do you?

I never claimed otherwise.

If your point is that aggregation of resources makes efforts more effective or that Bill Gates and Warren Buffet will put the money to better use than your average NGO, nothing stops non-millionaires from donating to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

No, that wasn't my point.

Not arguing for or against taxing here, but frankly, that kind of statement makes you sound like a hammer desperately looking for nails.

You clearly weren't following the discussion. Before you make anymore snide comments, go back and read the thread a little more so you know what you're talking about.
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April 21, 2011, 09:14:25 AM
 #143

I had read the thread, even participated a bit, even proposed rich sponsors as an option for the funding of medical research (especially when they, or their loved ones, were affected by disease --not ruling out philanthropy though).

I wasn't intending to put words in your mouth.  I was illustrating my disagreement with the stress you placed on (a) rich people and (b) taxes, in this context.  My point is that if you're the philanthropic type, you'll contribute, rich or not, within your possibilities.  If you can otherwise afford philanthropy, taxes will not change that, qualitatively.  You'll contribute less.  Some research will still get done.

If you mean that taxes will resent rich people out of causes they otherwise believe in... doesn't sound rational to me.  I don't think that's how philanthropically inclined people think either.  Sounds more like a cop out.

Maybe some rich people without much of a philanthropic inclination would be guilted into otherwise "giving back" if taxes didn't exist?  Makes sense to me.  Would that allow for more research than taxing them?  Not sure.

(I'm not discussing whether medical research would justify taxing.  Only the relative effectiveness of taxing vs trusting people to contribute on their own.)

And sorry if the tone came across as trying to ridicule your position.  Our cultural backgrounds are very different and I was amused (not in a paternalistic way, but in a "this is refreshing to hear" way) by the dissonance, hence the jocular tone.
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April 21, 2011, 04:12:09 PM
 #144

If you mean that taxes will resent rich people out of causes they otherwise believe in... doesn't sound rational to me.  I don't think that's how philanthropically inclined people think either.

If you perceive society as parasitic and coercive, you're going to be less inclined to feel generous towards it. That seems fairly uncontroversial to me. It's irrational to think that will have no effect whatsoever. There's also the matter of simply having less money to give to charity.
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April 22, 2011, 04:08:55 AM
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It's irrational to think that will have no effect whatsoever.
Yes, it will certainly have some effect.  Now, if taxes didn't exist, some ability to fund research would be lost too.  I'm not convinced that the increased generosity would make up for that.

Just for your puzzlement/horror:  Smiley

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8321967.stm
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April 22, 2011, 04:24:20 AM
 #146


It's one thing to give your own money away voluntarily. It's another thing to force everyone else to do the same thing.
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April 22, 2011, 04:28:09 AM
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It's irrational to think that will have no effect whatsoever.
Yes, it will certainly have some effect.  Now, if taxes didn't exist, some ability to fund research would be lost too.  I'm not convinced that the increased generosity would make up for that.

Just for your puzzlement/horror:  Smiley

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8321967.stm

I'm not shocked, really.  All governments are functionally owned by the wealthy citizens, and a good show of social solidarity would generally encourage the middle classes to not complain later if the wealthy are willing to put up now.  Of course, the middle class is who pays for almost everything anyway, and the wealthy will get their taxes cut again later on, but it's always a horse and pony show anyway.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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April 22, 2011, 05:10:47 AM
 #148

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It's one thing to give your own money away voluntarily. It's another thing to force everyone else to do the same thing.
I agree.  I brought up the link only for the man-bites-dog appeal.
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April 22, 2011, 05:58:47 PM
 #149

Quote
It's irrational to think that will have no effect whatsoever.
Yes, it will certainly have some effect.  Now, if taxes didn't exist, some ability to fund research would be lost too.  I'm not convinced that the increased generosity would make up for that.

Just for your puzzlement/horror:  Smiley

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8321967.stm

"Mr. Volmer said that it was 'really strange that so few people came out.'".  Lol.
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April 22, 2011, 08:59:46 PM
 #150


In this hypothetical scenario, I posit that there will be a significant incentive for large pharmaceutical organizations to pool their resources for research. They do research, even lacking IP law, because they want new treatments to sell. They pool their resources because otherwise their large competitors would use their work without any compensation. This way, they all get access to the research and they all share its costs. Perhaps the ones furthest along take the lead and thus get some form of monopoly rights inside this pool. The agreements made by these entities do not bind, in any way, entities (I posit it will be the small to medium size ones) that are not part of the agreement.

Another thing you overlook is the role of trade secrets. Any entity is free to try to keep any or all information secret. Corporate espionage is still a violation of property rights, and I feel you underestimate the time and effort required to reverse engineer a drug. Even if it's only a matter of months, that's still a huge advantage for the initial developing entity.

The justification for compensation derives from consent, not work. If you dig a hole in my lawn, I owe you nothing and in fact you may owe me damages. If I hire you to dig a hole in my lawn, I owe you whatever amount I agreed to pay you.

They want new treatments to sell, except that they can't sell them, not for profit anyway. So why would they want new treatments? Anyone with enough money to build a factory can just take the research and make the product cheaper than anyone who participated in the research.

Most, if not all, big pharma today already do reverse engineering of the competitors products to learn something that might be useful for their own research. I don't underestimate it I'm afraid. And a few months is peanuts compared to the 20 years or so it takes to find a good drug through research. The time it takes to reverse engineer the drug is about the same time it takes for someone to make it known to the customers, through advertising.

I think you did stumble on the reson for IP in the first place in your comment above. Trade secrets. With no IP I would be a fool to try to capitalize my inventions. Better to keep them secret and make money that way. Let's say I invent a drug that cures every disease known to man, I wouldn't put it on the market, I'd keep it and only give it to those who work for me. That way they'll never be sick and I'd make tons of money more than my competitors. Until someone else figures it out, which may or may not happen. That's the original thought with IP. You get a temporary monopoly for your invention, in exchange for sharing it with the world. It doesn't work flawlessly, but it works.

The thing about IP is the "I" in it. It's hard, if not impossible, to use analogies to physical property. They're just different beasts. But let's say I write a book. You then feel that you have the right to all the hours I spent writing and researching it. Not writing your own book about the same subject, but to take my work away from me. That's not right.

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April 28, 2011, 06:18:54 AM
 #151

[...]
The pharmaceutical industry does not require IP to be profitable. (Nor does any other industry.)
The companies who manufacture drugs where patents have expired sure don't. Not so sure about the companies who actually do the research. They spend a lot of money developing drugs, and most of them don't make it to the consumer, so the few that does have to carry all costs. It takes about 30 years from initial research to consumer, and you apply for a patent when you have a candidate drug, which is around year 12-15, and then you start clinical trials, if they go well you can have a drug in the market in 2-3 years, so you have about 10-15 years to make enough money to cover your costs and make a profit.
[...]
I can think of only one way to fund pharmaceutical research without IP: funding from a government that collects taxes to cover the cost of research.  It's either this kind of government, or we have intellectual property.

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April 28, 2011, 02:07:51 PM
 #152

Just because you are unimaginative does not mean those are the only options.

For instance, there could be competing for profit research organizations who then sell their data to pharmaceutical companies. They might even have arrangements by which they share resources and results, to save costs on very expensive research.

Alternatively, the pharmaceutical companies themselves may pool together for research, perhaps with an internal bidding process to determine which entity gets a short "monopoly" on producing the drug.
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April 28, 2011, 02:33:20 PM
 #153

Just because you are unimaginative does not mean those are the only options.

For instance, there could be competing for profit research organizations who then sell their data to pharmaceutical companies. They might even have arrangements by which they share resources and results, to save costs on very expensive research.

Alternatively, the pharmaceutical companies themselves may pool together for research, perhaps with an internal bidding process to determine which entity gets a short "monopoly" on producing the drug.

But why do the research in the first place. That's the key issue here. It's like you homestead a house and spend a lot of time and effort on fixing it, and when it's done me and some friends move in and use it as we see fit. You do the work, we get the benefit. Sure, you do too, but we get it for free.


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April 28, 2011, 02:51:55 PM
 #154

But why do the research in the first place.

How many times do I have to explain this to you? They research because there is money to be made, and humans are inherently curious, and because if they don't somebody else will.

Quote
It's like you homestead a house and spend a lot of time and effort on fixing it, and when it's done me and some friends move in and use it as we see fit. You do the work, we get the benefit. Sure, you do too, but we get it for free.

No, it's absolutely nothing like that, information is not an excludable good.
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April 28, 2011, 03:20:31 PM
 #155


How many times do I have to explain this to you? They research because there is money to be made, and humans are inherently curious, and because if they don't somebody else will.

No, it's absolutely nothing like that, information is not an excludable good.

I can understand that curiosity can play a part. Some people will experiment no matter what. But money to be made? By bearing the cost and not getting the profit? You go write a book, borrowing money to sustain yourself while writing it, and then send it to me so that I can compete in selling it. Sounds fair, right? I can sell it for the printing cost plus a fraction of a percent and still make a profit. Can you?

I would say that data isn't an excludable good. Information sure is. Someone has taken time to order the data and make it useful. That's worth something.

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April 29, 2011, 03:59:31 AM
 #156

This whole discussion about anti-IP is quite fascinating. I actually have a small amount of IP so obviously I am in favor of it.

One argument against IP seems to go along the lines that ideas don't change if they're copied. However, it seems to me that the more widespread ideas become, the more "diluted" they become. They don't transfer from one person to the next in an exact "copy." The more people they pass through, the more changed they are. I remember the "telephone" game in school. The teacher got us all in a line, and whispered a single word to the first kid. That kid then whispered the word to the next kid, and so forth all the way through the line of kids. By the time it got to the end, the last kid said what he heard. It was a completely different word.

I am of the opinion that more harm is done by a lack of IP than with IP. "People respond to incentives," is one of the first things learned in an econ class. IP provides a powerful incentive for people. As a very practical example from my own life: I sell a few ebooks on my site. They are $9.97 each. I wrote them myself, and they're based on my years of experience working with clients. They address very real issues and solve very real problems.

If a client were to pay me for my time to convey all that knowledge to them in person, by the hour, it would cost them literally thousands of dollars. I am not exaggerating here. But instead, I created four ebooks, and for under $40 the person can learn everything I've written there. It's really a bargain for both parties. I make money via scale by selling to many people, and the end user gets my knowledge for a tiny fraction of having me be there in person.

IP works for me at this time.



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April 29, 2011, 04:32:51 AM
 #157

¶1: Computers are machines that are very good at perfectly copying information. The cat's already out of the bag.

¶2: Holding a gun to someone's head provides a powerful incentive for them to do what you say, but it does not justify the action.

¶3: You're assuming that you would not be paid without IP law. I don't acknowledge IP as valid, yet I still purchase books, movies, music that I enjoy or find useful.
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April 29, 2011, 06:36:19 PM
 #158

I am of the opinion that more harm is done by a lack of IP than with IP.

Harm to you personally or society as a whole? If it's the latter then I'd really love to see some kind of argument for that. The burden of proof is on you.
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April 29, 2011, 07:10:31 PM
 #159

I am of the opinion that more harm is done by a lack of IP than with IP.

Harm to you personally or society as a whole? If it's the latter then I'd really love to see some kind of argument for that. The burden of proof is on you.
Read his post again. IP lets her/him share his knowledge to a lot of people. I wouldn't go so far as to say that depriving society of this knowledge does it harm, but it does benefit society to have it shared cheaply. And no IP won't mean the knowlege will be free. It means it'll be expensive, just like s/he wrote.

Perhaps s/he'll provide an example where it does harm. I can however think of several other examples where IP does harm instead. It's a double edged sword, that.

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April 29, 2011, 08:45:16 PM
 #160

I am of the opinion that more harm is done by a lack of IP than with IP.

Harm to you personally or society as a whole? If it's the latter then I'd really love to see some kind of argument for that. The burden of proof is on you.

Just off the top of my head....

Harm to me personally, yes.

Harm to society as a whole, yes.

The way I see it, you can't harm a single person and not have it effect others. Therefore, harming a single person harms society. The OP referred to a book, and a story about the broken window. It wasn't just the shop owner who was harmed in that incident. One can look at any sort of harm inflicted on a single person. It's NEVER just that person alone who suffers. Others suffer too.

It's like throwing a small pebble in a pond, the effects ripple away from the point of impact. Of course the biggest splash is where the rock landed, but it does create a ripple that travels outward.

Question: Do you believe that a single person can be harmed without it having a negative impact on others?

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April 30, 2011, 04:48:34 AM
 #161

Question: Do you believe that a single person can be harmed without it having a negative impact on others?

If you own a lemonade stand and I start giving out free lemonade while standing next to it, I'm harming you but I'm also helping other people by giving out free lemonade. The question is a matter of whether or not there is a net benefit to society by IP laws. Just because the lack of IP laws may hurt the author of a book doesn't mean it can't help others.
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April 30, 2011, 05:09:30 AM
Last edit: April 30, 2011, 05:20:24 AM by LH66
 #162

Quote
If you own a lemonade stand and I start giving out free lemonade while standing next to it, I'm harming you but I'm also helping other people by giving out free lemonade. The question is a matter of whether or not there is a net benefit to society by IP laws. Just because the lack of IP laws may hurt the author of a book doesn't mean it can't help others.

I see the net effect as harming both of us. You're giving people your resources in exchange for nothing in return. This results in a net loss for you. This is not sustainable. Unless you have the resources of a very wealthy person (and perhaps you do but I assumed we were discussing the ordinary person), you won't be able to afford to give away the lemons, the sugar, the water, the table, the chair, the sign, the napkins, the cups, not to mention the opportunity cost of losing that time to a money making endeavor.... maybe you could have been trading stocks instead of giving away lemonade.

Questions: what is your reason for giving away the lemonade? Do you foresee doing this for a long period of time? If so, how will you regain your costs so that you can continue? If won't continue for a long period of time, why not?

I, on the other hand, once I see that the lemonade market is not profitable, will either seek to make it profitable, or seek a market that is. I'm going to make money, one way or another. And I will do so by helping people.

I have found, the hard way, that people do not value what is given. I used to occassionally give away my time in the hope that the client would appreciate it. I found the exact opposite. The people who wanted, and got, my time for free were very ungrateful. The clients who pay are grateful. Just how it works.

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April 30, 2011, 06:42:01 PM
 #163

The point was only that some things can harm some people while helping others. That should be fairly uncontroversial. If you don't like the lemonade stand analogy then I'm sure you can tweak it a little so that it fits, instead of giving it away, selling it at a lower price or even the same price. I'm still hurting your business by not giving you the entire market to yourself. I'm sure you could come up with your own example if you gave it enough thought.

This leaves us with the real question regarding IP laws: are they a net benefit or a net harm to society? If you don't know one way or the other and can't provide evidence to backup your assertion then you have no business advocating the existence of such laws. One assumes that the state of nature is the default and that we don't keep laws on the books without good reason. I personally think that IP laws are a net harm because it stifles innovation, i.e. nobody can use the likeness of existing fictional characters to reinterpret them into new contexts and stories.
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April 30, 2011, 06:47:30 PM
 #164

I feel that it comes down to a simple question.

Do you have the right to use force against me in order to control the way in which your idea is used?
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April 30, 2011, 06:53:30 PM
 #165

Do you have the right to use force against me in order to control the way in which your idea is used?

Some people think initiating violence is acceptable as long as there is a net benefit to society. I disagree with that but I would also like to point out that it hasn't even been established that there is a net benefit to society as far as intellectual property laws are concerned.
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April 30, 2011, 07:00:20 PM
 #166

I think it also has to be established that society can be benefited or harmed. No action can be taken against or for society, only against or for individuals. To say that the initiation of force is acceptable when it benefits society is to say that it is acceptable to aggress against some individual or group for the benefit of another individual or group.
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April 30, 2011, 07:57:05 PM
Last edit: April 30, 2011, 08:44:31 PM by LH66
 #167

The point was only that some things can harm some people while helping others. That should be fairly uncontroversial. If you don't like the lemonade stand analogy then I'm sure you can tweak it a little so that it fits, instead of giving it away, selling it at a lower price or even the same price. I'm still hurting your business by not giving you the entire market to yourself. I'm sure you could come up with your own example if you gave it enough thought.

This leaves us with the real question regarding IP laws: are they a net benefit or a net harm to society? If you don't know one way or the other and can't provide evidence to backup your assertion then you have no business advocating the existence of such laws. One assumes that the state of nature is the default and that we don't keep laws on the books without good reason. I personally think that IP laws are a net harm because it stifles innovation, i.e. nobody can use the likeness of existing fictional characters to reinterpret them into new contexts and stories.

I liked your analogy very much actually. My conclusion from it is that without certain protections, people in my position are subject to the free rider problem. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_rider_problem) Your analogy creates a net loss for society, not only for us individually. Neither of us can sustain the creation of lemonade so society loses since they can't get lemonade.

Speaking in terms of economic theory: my view is that IP laws attempt to take intellectual creations that would otherwise be public goods, and turns them into private goods.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_good

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Private_good

Without IP laws, intellectual creations would remain public goods and are then subject to the free rider problem. This means that the creators of those goods would not have an incentive to continue creating them, and society would lose since it would have fewer inventions, etc.

Without IP laws, how do you suggest addressing the free rider problem?
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April 30, 2011, 08:05:21 PM
 #168

I feel that it comes down to a simple question.

Do you have the right to use force against me in order to control the way in which your idea is used?

If you took one of my ebooks and tried to sell it without my permission, then I have the right to redress the situation via the judicial system.

As I stated above, all IP laws do is to take something that would otherwise be a public good, and turn it into a private good. This is to avoid the free rider problem.

For argument's sake, let's remove IP laws and turn all intellectual creations into public goods. (please see links above so we're using the same definitions for the italicized terms) What then is your suggestion to avoid the free rider problem?
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April 30, 2011, 09:16:22 PM
 #169

If you took one of my ebooks and tried to sell it without my permission, then I have the right to redress the situation via the judicial system.

I think this simplifies to: individuals have the right to control the use of the ideas they share with others, through force if necessary. Do you agree with this? Keep in mind that if I don't acknowledge your right to drag me to court, police will come and take me by force.

We agree on the rights of life, liberty, and property. From these principles, how do you derive the right to control the use of your ideas?

Even if I agree that there is a right to intellectual property, I do not agree that it supersedes the right to liberty of thought or action. How do you arrive at the conclusion that it does?

These are the points of contention that prevent me from supporting the idea of intellectual property.
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April 30, 2011, 09:50:12 PM
Last edit: April 30, 2011, 10:00:16 PM by LH66
 #170

I realize reading economic theory is probably not on anybody's list of things to do on a weekend....   Wink

but if you do, then you may know my answer to your questions.
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April 30, 2011, 10:41:14 PM
 #171

I realize reading economic theory is probably not on anybody's list of things to do on a weekend....   Wink

but if you do, then you may know my answer to your questions.

Actually it is something I would do on a weekend...can you say nerd? Tongue  The problem with this, though, is:who's economic theory? Austrian? Keynsiansim? Chicago school? The conclusions we'd come to would vary depending on which school we "followed".  This is why it's better if you actually explain your stand on Bitter Tea's questions instead of making us guess. That way, too, we can start the name calling when we discover we don't agree on economic theories.  Wink
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May 01, 2011, 02:06:51 AM
 #172

This means that the creators of those goods would not have an incentive to continue creating them, and society would lose since it would have fewer inventions, etc.

That is simply false. There is still the incentive for the enjoyment of creating, becoming famous from creating, selling live performances, donations, etc. There are people that wish to create but can't because you can't use characters from existing works for fear of lawsuits. So it seems to me that even though there will be some discouragement to some people there will be encouragement to others. Which outweighs which? Do you have anything to offer aside from your gut feelings?
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May 02, 2011, 03:15:31 AM
 #173


Actually it is something I would do on a weekend...can you say nerd? Tongue 

haha yea me too.

Quote
The problem with this, though, is:who's economic theory? Austrian? Keynsiansim? Chicago school? The conclusions we'd come to would vary depending on which school we "followed".  This is why it's better if you actually explain your stand on Bitter Tea's questions instead of making us guess. That way, too, we can start the name calling when we discover we don't agree on economic theories.  Wink

It's basic microeconomics 101. It's not advanced stuff, just took microecon two semesters ago and learned those concepts then, then came across those links as I researched my answers here.

If you don't want to read them, that's OK. But I have already explained the concepts in a nutshell. The italicised words can be referenced via the links. I think it would be helpful if you read the links, but like I said if you don't want to then that's OK too.
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May 02, 2011, 03:18:32 AM
 #174

This means that the creators of those goods would not have an incentive to continue creating them, and society would lose since it would have fewer inventions, etc.

That is simply false. There is still the incentive for the enjoyment of creating, becoming famous from creating, selling live performances, donations, etc. There are people that wish to create but can't because you can't use characters from existing works for fear of lawsuits. So it seems to me that even though there will be some discouragement to some people there will be encouragement to others. Which outweighs which? Do you have anything to offer aside from your gut feelings?

If you don't want to read the links, that's fine, but I've stated my position and also supported it. It's not a gut feeling. I cannot continue this conversation since we're not playing equally - I have answered your questions, but many of my questions you have not answered.
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May 02, 2011, 03:40:56 AM
 #175

Is there anybody that can answer my two simple questions?

From where do you derive the right to intellectual property, and why does it supercede my right to liberty?
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May 02, 2011, 08:08:12 AM
 #176

Is there anybody that can answer my two simple questions?

From where do you derive the right to intellectual property, and why does it supercede my right to liberty?

Well, to play the Devil's Advocate, where does your right to liberty come from and why does it supersede someone's IP rights?
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May 02, 2011, 08:11:46 AM
 #177


Actually it is something I would do on a weekend...can you say nerd? Tongue 

haha yea me too.

Quote
The problem with this, though, is:who's economic theory? Austrian? Keynsiansim? Chicago school? The conclusions we'd come to would vary depending on which school we "followed".  This is why it's better if you actually explain your stand on Bitter Tea's questions instead of making us guess. That way, too, we can start the name calling when we discover we don't agree on economic theories.  Wink

It's basic microeconomics 101. It's not advanced stuff, just took microecon two semesters ago and learned those concepts then, then came across those links as I researched my answers here.

If you don't want to read them, that's OK. But I have already explained the concepts in a nutshell. The italicised words can be referenced via the links. I think it would be helpful if you read the links, but like I said if you don't want to then that's OK too.

Oh hey, I guess I wasn't paying that close attention to what you meant. I'm familiar with those economic concepts (I took a basic microeconomics class too, and have done a fair amount of independent reading) but I'll take a look at those links later and get back to you. It's late and I'm on my iPad so it's hard to type long responses.  Tongue
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May 02, 2011, 10:47:46 AM
 #178

Is there anybody that can answer my two simple questions?

From where do you derive the right to intellectual property, and why does it supercede my right to liberty?

The right to IP comes from my ability to keep it secret.

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May 02, 2011, 11:22:24 AM
 #179

Is there anybody that can answer my two simple questions?

From where do you derive the right to intellectual property, and why does it supercede my right to liberty?
From where do you derive rights at all?

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May 02, 2011, 12:51:27 PM
 #180

This means that the creators of those goods would not have an incentive to continue creating them, and society would lose since it would have fewer inventions, etc.

That is simply false. There is still the incentive for the enjoyment of creating, becoming famous from creating, selling live performances, donations, etc. There are people that wish to create but can't because you can't use characters from existing works for fear of lawsuits. So it seems to me that even though there will be some discouragement to some people there will be encouragement to others. Which outweighs which? Do you have anything to offer aside from your gut feelings?

I would also like to add that we have a plethora of real world examples of free (as in free speech) intellectual creations being created and quite often working out better than commercialized intellectual creations. We have loads of free software for example, and not many computer scientists would argue that msdos is a better kernel than linux. We also have wikipedia that accumulated around 16 million USD of donations last year. So not only are people willing to give away there time for free in doing tasks that benefit the community as a whole but also, people are willing to give them money for doing so.
I would also like to point out - although this can be considered a subjective opinion I suppose - that intellectual works made with only money as an incentive (e.g. most big movies) are plain crap since their goal is not the expression of an artistic vision from the creator but just creating as much money as possible by pleasing the evermore stupid crowd of people who will buy it.
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May 02, 2011, 02:12:06 PM
 #181

From where do you derive rights at all?

My friend has a great blog post about this, from the perspective of a subjectivist. The whole thing is worth reading, but I want to specifically quote the section that argues for the right to property as an example of what I am looking for (roughly).

Quote
The chief resource of any subjective entity is their own body. The foundation for any subjective entity feeling secure is in having control of their own body to direct toward whatever aims it so wishes in acquiring a greater sense of security. Thus the very nature of the cooperative social mode of objectifying the subjective is founded on two implicit but foundational agreements, often called natural rights (in this context, rights born from the very nature of what it means to be social):

    1) the right to life; and
    2) the right to liberty

These two natural rights are technically negative rights, which means that they require a particular absence of action by others. The directive of these rights stated in negative terms are: a subjective entity has the right to expect that other subjective entities will not take their life (for without their life they cannot use the chief resource of their body) and the right to expect other subjective entities will not force their body to perform actions against their will.
 
Because the very definition of social is the respect for the voluntary actions of others in cooperation, we may term such behavior as being bounded by a social contract. Like any other contract, a subjective entity gains rights (natural rights in this case) so long as they abide by the contract; should they break the contract, they lose any privileges gained as rights by that contract. Since the use of aggressive violence is by definition a breaking of that contract, the use of violence can only be justified on social grounds in defensive use against such aggression. This is commonly called the non-aggression principle, that no justification exists for the initiation of violence.

There is a third natural right leading directly from the first two, but it is less direct, and that is the right to property. If a resource has not been gathered by any subjective entity and then is, the resource becomes the property of the subjective entity that has put their body and time into collecting it. Thus if another subjective entity takes that resource away without the consent of the owner, they have, through the clever leveraging of time, controlled the body of the owner. It is in effect the taker making a claim that the use of the body and time of the owner is theirs regardless of the wishes of the owner. It is thus the same thing as if the taker had beaten the owner into gaining the resource and beaten them to take it. It is theft and it is characterized by its aggressive violence and thus it breaks the social contract.
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May 02, 2011, 02:40:25 PM
 #182

My friend has a great blog post about this, from the perspective of a subjectivist. The whole thing is worth reading, but I want to specifically quote the section that argues for the right to property as an example of what I am looking for (roughly).
I agree with all of that, but what makes the product of my mind (which also takes time and labour) any different from physical property?

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May 02, 2011, 02:51:26 PM
 #183

I agree with all of that, but what makes the product of my mind (which also takes time and labour) any different from physical property?

It did not start off as an unowned resource, and it is not scarce. Scarcity is what creates the need for property, as it is the source of dispute. If I steal your physical book, you can no longer make use of that book. But if I infringe on your copyright, you still have the original book, and the book-pattern, the symbols in a particular order that form a story. Stephen Kinsella calls these "ideal objects" in his short paper Against Intellectual Property. As they do not fit into the category of property, my questions stand.
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May 02, 2011, 02:52:12 PM
 #184


That is simply false. There is still the incentive for the enjoyment of creating, becoming famous from creating, selling live performances, donations, etc. There are people that wish to create but can't because you can't use characters from existing works for fear of lawsuits. So it seems to me that even though there will be some discouragement to some people there will be encouragement to others. Which outweighs which? Do you have anything to offer aside from your gut feelings?

I would also like to add that we have a plethora of real world examples of free (as in free speech) intellectual creations being created and quite often working out better than commercialized intellectual creations. We have loads of free software for example, and not many computer scientists would argue that msdos is a better kernel than linux. We also have wikipedia that accumulated around 16 million USD of donations last year. So not only are people willing to give away there time for free in doing tasks that benefit the community as a whole but also, people are willing to give them money for doing so.
I would also like to point out - although this can be considered a subjective opinion I suppose - that intellectual works made with only money as an incentive (e.g. most big movies) are plain crap since their goal is not the expression of an artistic vision from the creator but just creating as much money as possible by pleasing the evermore stupid crowd of people who will buy it.

When was the last time you saw an "open source" drug in the market? Drug as in medicine I mean. I can think of Jonas Salk who did give away his polio vaccine, but how many other examples can you think of?

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May 02, 2011, 03:20:30 PM
 #185

My friend has a great blog post about this, from the perspective of a subjectivist. The whole thing is worth reading, but I want to specifically quote the section that argues for the right to property as an example of what I am looking for (roughly).
I agree with all of that, but what makes the product of my mind (which also takes time and labour) any different from physical property?


You don't necessarily own the products of your labor. If you steal wood from me and make a chair, you don't own the chair. I own the chair and you owe me for damages to my wood.

By telling me what I can and can't do with my ink and paper, you are claiming ownership of my property, which is theft since it wasn't given to you voluntarily but rather under threat of violence or imprisonment.
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May 02, 2011, 03:45:43 PM
 #186

it is not scarce. 
then why are you copying my book? WRITE YOUR OWN DAMN BOOK  Angry j/k (sort of)

You don't necessarily own the products of your labor. If you steal wood from me and make a chair, you don't own the chair. I own the chair and you owe me for damages to my wood.

By telling me what I can and can't do with my ink and paper, you are claiming ownership of my property, which is theft since it wasn't given to you voluntarily but rather under threat of violence or imprisonment.
all true

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May 02, 2011, 04:07:48 PM
 #187

it is not scarce. 
then why are you copying my book? WRITE YOUR OWN DAMN BOOK  Angry j/k (sort of)

Ideas, or "ideal objects" are not scarce in the economic sense. Wood is scarce because you and I can't use the same wood at the same time. A story, song, piece of software (etc) are not scarce because you and I can use them at the same time.
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May 02, 2011, 05:06:51 PM
 #188

Ideas, or "ideal objects" are not scarce in the economic sense. Wood is scarce because you and I can't use the same wood at the same time. A story, song, piece of software (etc) are not scarce because you and I can use them at the same time.

Time is scarce. Yet somehow you feel that you have the right to mine.

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May 02, 2011, 05:11:00 PM
 #189

Ideas, or "ideal objects" are not scarce in the economic sense. Wood is scarce because you and I can't use the same wood at the same time. A story, song, piece of software (etc) are not scarce because you and I can use them at the same time.

Time is scarce. Yet somehow you feel that you have the right to mine.

Time is not scarce in the economic sense, in fact it doesn't make sense to say that you and I "can't use the same time" or "can use the same time". I did not force you to share your ideas, you did it of your own volition. You have made no argument that you have the right to control the use of your ideas after you share them.

If I felt I had a right to your time, I would make you my slave or take your possessions.
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May 02, 2011, 05:25:44 PM
 #190

Time is not scarce in the economic sense, in fact it doesn't make sense to say that you and I "can't use the same time" or "can use the same time". I did not force you to share your ideas, you did it of your own volition. You have made no argument that you have the right to control the use of your ideas after you share them.

If I felt I had a right to your time, I would make you my slave or take your possessions.

But you do want to take my possessions. You want to take the thing I've spent years on. And you want to make me your slave. You've taken my time for your own.

And how is time not scarce? Once spent, on whatever thing, it won't come back. I can only spend my time on one thing, and then it's gone. Forever.
Clearly you've never worked as a contractor. Time is scarce and valuable.  Wink

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May 02, 2011, 05:32:48 PM
 #191

But you do want to take my possessions. You want to take the thing I've spent years on. And you want to make me your slave. You've taken my time for your own.

First you have to show that ideas are possessions. Likewise, you want to make me your slave by forcing me to pay you for using my property in a certain way.

Quote
And how is time not scarce? Once spent, on whatever thing, it won't come back. I can only spend my time on one thing, and then it's gone. Forever.
Clearly you've never worked as a contractor. Time is scarce and valuable.  Wink

That's not what is meant by scarcity in this sense. Think of a hammer - if I'm using it, you can't use it. Does that same statement apply to a story, or a song, or any other idea?

Just answer the questions... why do you have the right to control the use of your ideas? Why does that right supersede my right to liberty?
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May 02, 2011, 05:49:57 PM
 #192

First you have to show that ideas are possessions. Likewise, you want to make me your slave by forcing me to pay you for using my property in a certain way.

That's not what is meant by scarcity in this sense. Think of a hammer - if I'm using it, you can't use it. Does that same statement apply to a story, or a song, or any other idea?

Just answer the questions... why do you have the right to control the use of your ideas? Why does that right supersede my right to liberty?

If I don't share my it's my possession, right? Industrial espionage would still be punishable in your world? Why then does it end to be my possession all of a sudden?
And I don't want to force you to use your property in a certain way, I want to prevent you. Sort of like how your right to wave your fists around ends where my face begins.

It applies to time. If I'm using it to invent unobtanium, it can't be used for something else.

Why I have the right to control my ideas? Because they're mine perhaps? I spent time and by extension money on it. You don't have the right to wander into my property, why doesn't that apply to IP? Why does the right to property supersede your right to liberty?

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May 02, 2011, 06:02:44 PM
 #193

ITT: Religious argument about rights.

Rights: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hWiBt-pqp0E
Law: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPn84m1pvh4
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May 02, 2011, 06:41:02 PM
 #194

Why I have the right to control my ideas? Because they're mine perhaps? I spent time and by extension money on it. You don't have the right to wander into my property, why doesn't that apply to IP? Why does the right to property supersede your right to liberty?

Because we both cannot use your property at the same time (thus, if I were to use it against your will, I would deprive you of its use). We can both use your idea at the same time, so I can use it against your will without depriving you of its use. You don't seem to realize that the reason theft is bad is because it deprives the rightful owner of its use.

Think about it this way. If we could make copies of physical things as easily as we could information, there would be no need for property rights. If you had a lawnmower and I made a copy of it, have I diminished your use of the lawnmower in any way? Perhaps you sell lawnmowers... well, it's kind of dumb to try to sell copies of things that can easily be copied. Should you be able to kill me in order to stop me from copying your lawnmowers?

Intellectual property is just as stupid.
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May 02, 2011, 07:06:19 PM
 #195


Because we both cannot use your property at the same time (thus, if I were to use it against your will, I would deprive you of its use). We can both use your idea at the same time, so I can use it against your will without depriving you of its use. You don't seem to realize that the reason theft is bad is because it deprives the rightful owner of its use.

Think about it this way. If we could make copies of physical things as easily as we could information, there would be no need for property rights. If you had a lawnmower and I made a copy of it, have I diminished your use of the lawnmower in any way? Perhaps you sell lawnmowers... well, it's kind of dumb to try to sell copies of things that can easily be copied. Should you be able to kill me in order to stop me from copying your lawnmowers?

Intellectual property is just as stupid.

So I can move into your house, use your bed when you're not using it? Use your kitchen when you're not using it? I'm not depriving you of anything as long as I stay out of your way, correct?
I do realize theft is bad, I just extend it to "think-work" too. I do believe IP could do with some reform, but eliminating it is bad imho.
Copyrights are good for preventing you from just copying my work. You can still write your own song, book. Just don't take mine. Your work is yours, mine is mine.
Patents are good for protecting an implementation. If you can find another way of doing the same thing, go right ahead. Don't copy my way of doing it. Your work is yours, mine is mine.

Killing you? That's a little extreme don't you think? I never suggested that anyone should be killed over IP.

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May 02, 2011, 07:06:38 PM
 #196

Also relevant... http://www.ted.com/talks/kathryn_schulz_on_being_wrong.html

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May 02, 2011, 07:20:35 PM
 #197

If you support the use of force against individuals that make use of your ideas against your will, you ultimately support killing them.

Do you think an individual has the right to defend himself against aggression?

Do you think you have the right to fine me for infringing on your copyright?

Do you think you have the right to send armed men to my house if I don't pay your fine?

Do you think those men have the right to kill me if I defend myself against them?

Can you answer my question regarding a world where physical goods are as easy to copy as intellectual goods? Does it make sense that the above escalation of force is justified if I copy your lawnmower?
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May 02, 2011, 10:21:36 PM
 #198

So I can move into your house, use your bed when you're not using it? Use your kitchen when you're not using it? I'm not depriving you of anything as long as I stay out of your way, correct?

Correct, but it's the fact that I can't possibly use it, even if I don't want to. That's what makes it scarce. That's what makes it ownable. Once I own it, I get to control the use of it, even if I'm not using it all the time. Of course, this assumes that things have objectively defined uses, which is false. Maybe I collect beds. Maybe I derive joy from knowing I have a clean bed with pristine sheets on it. In that sense, I'm always using it and you would be depriving me of something just by laying on it. However, as mentioned already, that's irrelevant.
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May 02, 2011, 10:22:25 PM
 #199

If you support the use of force against individuals that make use of your ideas against your will, you ultimately support killing them.

Do you think an individual has the right to defend himself against aggression?

Do you think you have the right to fine me for infringing on your copyright?

Do you think you have the right to send armed men to my house if I don't pay your fine?

Do you think those men have the right to kill me if I defend myself against them?

Can you answer my question regarding a world where physical goods are as easy to copy as intellectual goods? Does it make sense that the above escalation of force is justified if I copy your lawnmower?

No.
Yes.
Yes.
No.
No.

Since we don't live in la-la land the question is quite pointless. There is a difference between physical and intellectual property. And there's no labour involved in the lawnmover example. If you did copy my "lawnmover" while the rest of you used a scythe to cut your grass, then yes, I would mind. The above escalation, no, I don't condone killings.
And why did you ignore my questions?

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May 02, 2011, 10:33:48 PM
 #200

If you support the use of force against individuals that make use of your ideas against your will, you ultimately support killing them.

Do you think an individual has the right to defend himself against aggression?

Do you think you have the right to fine me for infringing on your copyright?

Do you think you have the right to send armed men to my house if I don't pay your fine?

Do you think those men have the right to kill me if I defend myself against them?

Can you answer my question regarding a world where physical goods are as easy to copy as intellectual goods? Does it make sense that the above escalation of force is justified if I copy your lawnmower?

No.
Yes.
Yes.
No.
No.

Since we don't live in la-la land the question is quite pointless. There is a difference between physical and intellectual property. And there's no labour involved in the lawnmover example. If you did copy my "lawnmover" while the rest of you used a scythe to cut your grass, then yes, I would mind. The above escalation, no, I don't condone killings.
And why did you ignore my questions?

If you don't condone killing then your threats have no teeth. Good luck collecting your fines. I will be balling them up in the trash or using them to light my grill.
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May 02, 2011, 10:35:45 PM
 #201

The way I read your answers, it appears that you feel an individual does not have the right to defend himself from aggression. This is equivalent to stating that individuals do not have a right to live. Is this what you believe?

Based on this interpretation of my answers, here is how I see the situation playing out.

I infringe on your copyright. When you find out, you respond by notifying me of the fine you have levied. Since I don't agree that I have done anything wrong, I ignore the fine. In response, you send men with guns to my house to extract the fine by force if necessary. Seeing this as an invasion and threat to my life, I defend myself from the men, killing some and driving the rest off.

This is where it gets confusing, because you have stated both that I do not have the right to defend myself, but also that they do not have the right to kill me. Only one of us can be the aggressor, who is it?

As far as your question, bitcoin2cash answered it the same way I would have.

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May 02, 2011, 10:39:25 PM
 #202

Correct, but it's the fact that I can't possibly use it, even if I don't want to. That's what makes it scarce. That's what makes it ownable. Once I own it, I get to control the use of it, even if I'm not using it all the time. Of course, this assumes that things have objectively defined uses, which is false. Maybe I collect beds. Maybe I derive joy from knowing I have a clean bed with pristine sheets on it. In that sense, I'm always using it and you would be depriving me of something just by laying on it. However, as mentioned already, that's irrelevant.

You know what else is scarce. The blueprints for a room temperature superconductor. It's so scarce there aren't any yet. Are they ownable? If I invent one I get to control the use of a bed, but not the thing that I and no one else in the whole world could create? Doesn't seem right.

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May 02, 2011, 10:44:03 PM
 #203

You know what else is scarce. The blueprints for a room temperature superconductor. It's so scarce there aren't any yet. Are they ownable? If I invent one I get to control the use of a bed, but not the thing that I and no one else in the whole world could create? Doesn't seem right.

Can two or more people make exclusive use of a bed? No.

Can two or more people make exclusive use of a copy of the blueprints? Yes.
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May 02, 2011, 10:51:47 PM
 #204

You know what else is scarce. The blueprints for a room temperature superconductor. It's so scarce there aren't any yet.

Yet, once it does exist, it's no longer scarce. Unfortunately, you can't own something that doesn't exist yet so that doesn't help you at all. The paper the blueprints are printed on would still be scarce but not the content therein. This seems pretty simple so maybe you are trying very hard not to understand?
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May 02, 2011, 10:54:32 PM
 #205

The way I read your answers, it appears that you feel an individual does not have the right to defend himself from aggression. This is equivalent to stating that individuals do not have a right to live. Is this what you believe?

Based on this interpretation of my answers, here is how I see the situation playing out.

I infringe on your copyright. When you find out, you respond by notifying me of the fine you have levied. Since I don't agree that I have done anything wrong, I ignore the fine. In response, you send men with guns to my house to extract the fine by force if necessary. Seeing this as an invasion and threat to my life, I defend myself from the men, killing some and driving the rest off.

This is where it gets confusing, because you have stated both that I do not have the right to defend myself, but also that they do not have the right to kill me. Only one of us can be the aggressor, who is it?

As far as your question, bitcoin2cash answered it the same way I would have.

People do have the right to defend themselves with the minimum force needed to repel the attack, and only as a last resort.
When did I say that people doesn't have the right to live? Please stop putting words in my mouth.

We now live in the real world where there is IP.
You infringe, I find out, I send you a notice, you ignore it. You are now the agressor. I had a rightful claim that you ignored. If money can't be extracted by any other means police will show up at your door, as a last resort. If you start shooting at the police you have a problem, as they have the right to defend themselves. Again, with minimal force.
However if you are a normal member of society things will never go that far.

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May 02, 2011, 10:58:45 PM
 #206

We now live in the real world where there is IP.
You infringe, I find out, I send you a notice, you ignore it. You are now the agressor.

According to Libertarianism, no. According to the current laws, yes. The law used to be that you could own black people. I guess you would have supported that back then too, huh?
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May 02, 2011, 11:00:42 PM
 #207

Yet, once it does exist, it's no longer scarce. Unfortunately, you can't own something that doesn't exist yet so that doesn't help you at all. The paper the blueprints are printed on would still be scarce but not the content therein. This seems pretty simple so maybe you are trying very hard not to understand?
How do you know. Perhaps I have the blueprints in front of me.  Wink
So even though I'm the only one with access to the content, it's not scarce?

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May 02, 2011, 11:01:06 PM
 #208

People do have the right to defend themselves with the minimum force needed to repel the attack, and only as a last resort.
When did I say that people doesn't have the right to live? Please stop putting words in my mouth.

My first question was "Do you think an individual has the right to defend himself against aggression?" and your first answer was "No". Am I misunderstanding something?

Quote
We now live in the real world where there is IP.
You infringe, I find out, I send you a notice, you ignore it. You are now the agressor. I had a rightful claim that you ignored.

By this same logic... when slavery was legal, a slave that ran away was aggressing against his master, who had a rightful claim the slave ignored. Do you agree with this? If not, what's the difference?

Quote
If you start shooting at the police you have a problem, as they have the right to defend themselves.

I don't know about you, but if armed men come to my house and threaten me with imprisonment, I consider that an act of aggression. I never agreed to the terms you placed upon the use of your idea.
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May 02, 2011, 11:03:39 PM
 #209

According to Libertarianism, no. According to the current laws, yes. The law used to be that you could own black people. I guess you would have supported that back then too, huh?
Dear lord. First I'm anti life. Now I'm also pro-slavery.
Let's be civil please. Don't do that.

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May 02, 2011, 11:04:51 PM
 #210


People do have the right to defend themselves with the minimum force needed to repel the attack, and only as a last resort.
When did I say that people doesn't have the right to live? Please stop putting words in my mouth.

No one is putting words in your mouth.  Bitter Tea asked you five questions, you gave five answers.

If you support the use of force against individuals that make use of your ideas against your will, you ultimately support killing them.

Do you think an individual has the right to defend himself against aggression?

Do you think you have the right to fine me for infringing on your copyright?

Do you think you have the right to send armed men to my house if I don't pay your fine?

Do you think those men have the right to kill me if I defend myself against them?

Can you answer my question regarding a world where physical goods are as easy to copy as intellectual goods? Does it make sense that the above escalation of force is justified if I copy your lawnmower?

No.
Yes.
Yes.
No.
No.


First question: "Do you think an individual has the right to defend himself against aggression?"

Your first answer: "No."

If this is not what you meant then you need to be more clear when you write.

We now live in the real world where there is IP.
You infringe, I find out, I send you a notice, you ignore it. You are now the agressor. I had a rightful claim that you ignored. If money can't be extracted by any other means police will show up at your door, as a last resort. If you start shooting at the police you have a problem, as they have the right to defend themselves. Again, with minimal force.
However if you are a normal member of society things will never go that far.

I think the point that Bitcoin2Cash and BitterTea have made is a good one.  Namely that if you agree that the right to life and the right to property are the two fundamental rights, you have to prove how the "right" to IP is not superseding either of those.  In your own example it is, because you are limiting their freedom to use their property (paper, ink, computer hard drives, etc.) in ways they choose.
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May 02, 2011, 11:07:00 PM
 #211

So even though I'm the only one with access to the content, it's not scarce?

No, as has been explained to you many times, for something to be scarce it has to be the case that only one person can possibly control its usage at a time. Are you saying that it's the case that only a single person at a time can possibly use the information contained on a set of blueprints? I hope not because that's obviously not true.

According to Libertarianism, no. According to the current laws, yes. The law used to be that you could own black people. I guess you would have supported that back then too, huh?
Dear lord. First I'm anti life. Now I'm also pro-slavery.
Let's be civil please. Don't do that.

So you admit then that just because a law is on the books doesn't make it justified? Good, now we are back to square one, providing a justification of intellectual property laws.
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May 02, 2011, 11:13:40 PM
 #212

People do have the right to defend themselves with the minimum force needed to repel the attack, and only as a last resort.
When did I say that people doesn't have the right to live? Please stop putting words in my mouth.

My first question was "Do you think an individual has the right to defend himself against aggression?" and your first answer was "No". Am I misunderstanding something?

Quote
We now live in the real world where there is IP.
You infringe, I find out, I send you a notice, you ignore it. You are now the agressor. I had a rightful claim that you ignored.

By this same logic... when slavery was legal, a slave that ran away was aggressing against his master, who had a rightful claim the slave ignored. Do you agree with this? If not, what's the difference?

Quote
If you start shooting at the police you have a problem, as they have the right to defend themselves.

I don't know about you, but if armed men come to my house and threaten me with imprisonment, I consider that an act of aggression. I never agreed to the terms you placed upon the use of your idea.

I thought the first question was "If you support.... something something ... you support killing them".

Owning someone isn't morally right. So no rightful claim.

If you break the law armed men will come to your house and threaten you with imprisonment. That's not agression, thats defence on behalf of the community.
If you don't like the law you try to get it changed, or use civil disobedience, but civil disobedience means that you are willing to accept the punishment.

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May 03, 2011, 01:17:58 AM
 #213

Owning someone isn't morally right.

Since you own yourself, you have every right to sell yourself into slavery, if that's what you choose to do voluntarily. To say otherwise is to attempt to control what other people can and cannot do with their own bodies, which is involuntary slavery. What goes on between consenting adults is their business and no one else, be it sexual acts or even voluntary slavery. A contract is a contract. If you don't want to sell yourself into slavery, don't.
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May 03, 2011, 05:09:37 AM
 #214


People do have the right to defend themselves with the minimum force needed to repel the attack, and only as a last resort.
When did I say that people doesn't have the right to live? Please stop putting words in my mouth.

We now live in the real world where there is IP legislation.
You infringe, I find out, I send you a notice, you ignore it. You are now the agressor. I had a rightful claim that you ignored. And here you decide to go to the monopoly court, who will interpret their monopoly laws and use their monopoly on violence, escalating this violence until BitterTea complies. If money can't be extracted by any other means police will show up at your door, as a last resort. If you start shooting at the police you have a problem, as they have the right to defend themselves. Again, with minimal force.
However if you are a normal member of society things will never go that far.

Great TED video by the way.
BitterTea
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May 03, 2011, 05:29:44 AM
 #215

I was impressed by the TED video too. Have you considered that your position is self contradictory?

People do have the right to defend themselves with the minimum force needed to repel the attack, and only as a last resort.

Is threatening someone with the use of physical violence as a response to their disregard of your supposed right to intellectual property the "minimum force needed to repel the attack", and "only as a last resort"?

Owning someone isn't morally right. So no rightful claim.

Using actual or threatened force to prevent an individual from making use of their property on the basis that you own an idea isn't morally right. So not rightful claim.

If you break the law armed men will come to your house and threaten you with imprisonment. That's not agression, thats defence on behalf of the community.

The definition of aggression is "initiation of the use of force". Theft is an act of aggression because it deprives the owner use of the property. Unauthorized copying does not deprive the original owner of the original, nor the ability to create additional copies; without further justification it cannot be considered an act of aggression.

If you don't like the law you try to get it changed, or use civil disobedience, but civil disobedience means that you are willing to accept the punishment.

"Disobey civilly or we'll have to kill you!"
stillfire
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May 03, 2011, 04:33:50 PM
 #216

Since most arguments in favour for Intellectual Property so far in this discussion have been rather poor from a fundamentals perspective, let me bring forth a more interesting one.

Murray Rothbard writes on copyright: "Copyrights [...] have their basis in prosecution of implicit theft. [...T]he defendant stole the former’s creation by reproducing it and selling it himself in violation of his or someone else’s contract with the original seller."

In other words, the definition of a copyrighted work is a work with a contract attached to it. The receiver agrees not to copy the material, and to hold any other person to which the material is transferred to the same contract, or otherwise refrain from receiving or transferring it.

This engages the right to hold property and the right to enter into a contract.

Now I hear you cry, 'But I never agreed to such a contract when I found the software/music/book on a P2P network!' This is no more a defence than if you purchased a chair made out of stolen wood. Somewhere along the line a contract was broken and the transfer was illegal.

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BitterTea
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May 03, 2011, 04:55:48 PM
 #217

That argument assumes that individuals have a right to control the use of their ideas through the use of physical force.

Why is this so?

If it is merely voluntary - by contract - then bypassing the contract and obtaining the information through alternative channels is not morally wrong.
stillfire
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May 03, 2011, 05:00:40 PM
 #218

That argument assumes that individuals have a right to control the use of their ideas through the use of physical force.

It makes no such assumption.

This argument assumes the individual has the right to property, in this case the physical representation of their work in e.g. the form of a book.

The individual now refuses to give you access to their property, the book, unless you first agree to certain terms. He is exercising his right to form a contract with another consenting person.

Remember this is an argument in favour of copyright, not patents. The idea itself remains free, and should you be able to reproduce it independently, that's marvellous and it is your right. But you will never have access to the particular physical rendition required for you to make a copy without first agreeing not to make a copy.

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NghtRppr
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May 03, 2011, 07:02:44 PM
 #219

That argument assumes that individuals have a right to control the use of their ideas through the use of physical force.

Why is this so?

If it is merely voluntary - by contract - then bypassing the contract and obtaining the information through alternative channels is not morally wrong.

Plenty of things are morally wrong but still legal and rightfully so, such as cheating on your partner. I personally think it's morally wrong to obtain value from creative works without contributing some of that value in the form of many back to the creator. However, that's irrelevant because it still shouldn't be illegal.
stillfire
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May 03, 2011, 07:03:21 PM
 #220

Ah, it seems like you added this part after I responded.

If it is merely voluntary - by contract - then bypassing the contract and obtaining the information through alternative channels is not morally wrong.

Only to the extent that you do not bypass the contract by illegally entering my property or handling physical property, such as a book, which does not belong to you.

For instance, earlier in the thread someone spoke of using binoculars to examine the material. This would be fine, assuming a copyright owner would be so foolish as to let the book lie open in plain sight.

But even taking the book of the shelf in a library would be wrong unless you first have permission to do so.  And again such permission will not be forthcoming unless you agree to the contract.

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NghtRppr
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May 03, 2011, 07:07:44 PM
 #221

But you will never have access to the particular physical rendition required for you to make a copy without first agreeing not to make a copy.