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smathy

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  1. Most trade secrets are protected from associates, employees and ex-employees through NDAs and various other employee agreements. This is the nature of the trade secret that I am referring to. Btw, if Dilbert's boss drops his copy of the secret formula in the street then the person who finds it has the same obligations that they have if they find someone's wallet in the street. The ownership of the property is not lost simply because of an accidental loss of possession. I do. Obviously arbitrarily practised laws are incompatible with any proper capitalist society. With regards to attribution I was thinking of quoting in the media, not the classroom (which I haven't seen for over a decade But you are correct, I have made an error in my comments on copyrights, any use of any passage would need to be done with the permission of the copyright holder. I'm sure that things like the Creative Commons licenses will prevail for such situations where people wish to be quoted. Yes, it's serious, and yes, it is my property. Although I publish it knowing the fair use policy and am happy for people to quote me under that, as you've done. Perhaps I should elaborate on the phrase "as they stand" - patents prior to the US Constitution were quite dissimilar. One could argue that current patents actually stem from the British Statute of Monopolies of 1624 but because for the following reasons I pegged my introduction to the US Constitution: I'm not very familiar with the Statute of Monopolies, I know that there are some significant differences, and the essence of my argument is not affected because it too was based on pragmatism. There's no need to guess, I included my concept of property in the section entitled "The Nature of Property". This is very important: the decay of physical objects is an attribute of their physicality - not of the fact that they're property. So important I'll repeat it, the decay of a physical object is an attribute of it's physicality, not of it being property. An object decays whether it is property or not, ergo the decay is an attribute of its physicality. Specially, decay is an attribute of non-living objects. Nothing to do with whether they're property or not. Even for objects that do decay, one's rights to that object do not decay with the object. A rusted out shell of a car is still my rusted out shell. Ownership does not pass slowly away from me to someone else as the car rusts away. One does not need to do anything to maintain ownership of a physical object. The product of your efforts is yours, by right. That objects in the physical world decay with time does not affect one's ownership of that decaying object. So it is an error to attempt to apply the attribute of decay to property and therefore to seek an analogy to it in intellectual property. The attribute does not belong to the class of entities abstracted as "property" it belongs to the class of entities abstracted as "physical object". Yes it is eternal. Think about another common form of property which does not decay: money. Nothing is closer to the abstraction of "property" than money. It is eternal. You own it, or your heirs do, forever. Again, you're making an error in attempting to apply the attribute of decay to property, it doesn't belong here - it belongs to the concept of "physical object". What principle is that based on? What in reality suggests that only when man's efforts result in physical property does he have a perpetual right to that property? By what principle? If I have an idea for an awesome energy conversion device, some new fusion device, and I work to produce a plan for such a device, by what principle does that plan, that intellectual property suddenly cease to be my property? I'm not sure from your choice of words whether you are referring to this, but you are correct in that I have made an error (although it's easily corrected). Item (2) of Section 106 of the Copyright Act which talks about derivative works has no basis in the principles of property rights. The act is not written well enough for me to understand precisely what they mean, but assuming that this paragraph forbids someone from reading a book, and producing a film based on the story in the book but without using any language or quotes from the book, then yes - that paragraph about derivative works is also incorrect in current Intellectual Property legislation. Thanks if that's what you were pointing out. I don't know how you drew the conclusion that I do not consider invention property. The following comments, amongst others, from my article all speak to my position that inventions are property:
  2. ...and now I have. I am posting this link for those (particularly David Odden) with whom I was discussing this issue many months ago: Intellectual Property
  3. The difference between a brain and a computer is consciousness. A computer is not conscious. The element of consciousness relevant to volition is self-awareness, it's a particularly high level consciousn process and what it means is that thoughts themselves can be taken as further input into the decision process. Some significantly more advanced being than us may be able to observe our own inputs and predict the outputs based on those, there are certainly physical reactions at the core of all thoughts and decisions. I have a hard time imagining another human making this accurate observation because their own thoughts during the observation would affect their own conclusions about the outputs of the subject they're observing. Not to mention the massive effect of the observation itself on the subject (just being hooked up to a machine to read impulse firings will dramatically affect the decisions made). All this adds up to something more complicated than is ever likely to be worked out by man (not necessarily impossible, but maybe it is). Certainly it's pointless to attempt to suggest that there's any meaningful determination in our thoughts when that process is not discoverable in the foreseeable future, and when the self-generated effects on one's own decision making process are such that the process is more meaningfully observed as conscious-guided volition, than physics-guided determination.
  4. Pleasure is never misleading, not in any case. Pleasure always correctly indicates that a certain action benefits your immediate sensational physical being. Such is the nature of sensations, they are immediate, temporary, and their only context is the duration of their effect. For that duration, they are always physically beneficial to the life of the being experiencing them. I hope it's clear how irrelevant the sensation of pleasure is when considering the life of man qua man. We are not primarily physical beings, we must consider the long term effects of an action to the thinking conceptual beings that we are. By that I mean that the positive sensation of pleasure is neither necessarily positive or necessarily negative to one's life. Clearly pleasure cannot be considered innocent (ie. beneficial) unless shown otherwise. The onus is on you to demonstrate that a given action actually benefits your life. You can't assume that it benefits your life unless someone demonstrates that it doesn't - such a demonstration could take years, or your whole life. So, what to do? Well, if pleasure itself is not a guide, then can it be ignored when considering the morality of a given action? Not really, because any action consumes resources, takes energy, takes time, requires you to sacrifice other things to do it. Therefore, seeking pleasure (in and of itself) should be considered immoral unless otherwise proven, not because of some puritanism, but becaue of the reality that it takes an amount of time and consumes resources. In fact all actions should be considered immoral unless shown otherwise. I can't believe that this thread has gone this long without someone pointing out that the immorality in masturbation, the reason why it's immoral if sensational pleasure is all you seek, is becaue of what you're doing in your mind at the time. What you're doing with your thoughts. And in fact, this is the key to understanding when masturbation is moral. Masturbation is moral, ie. it is a value to your life, and contributes to your goals, when you are fantasising about your ideal partner. When done in this way you are experiencing such a vision of clarity and focus as to assist you to both crystalise your view of your ideal partner, and celebrate the love you feel for that person (or the love you will feel if you've not yet met them). In the absence of this, it's an immoral waste of time, and an immoral clouding of your mind in order to experience a sensational pleasure that does not stem from an emotional connection of values originating in the mind. Ie. you've adopted the posture of a dog humping someone's leg to get off.
  5. So, for example, you're suggesting that some particular corporation could spend an enormous amount on the campaign of a particular government official who, in return would select that company's inflated tender over another company's for some government contract or other? Not sure how you think that would escape the attention of a free nation of people. The press would swarm, the checks and balances would start the alarm bells ringing, voluntary contributions to the government may be withdrawn, the opposing government would cry foul. One example way to manage this would be to separate the opex and capex budgets for the government. And for all large capital expenditures of the government to be proposed by the government and then citizens would offer pledges of money towards them. Ie. the government would be prevented from spending out of its operating funds. Obviously if it awarded the contract to someone who was going to charge a lot more than the other tenderers for no gain, then it would not receive the pledges for the expenditure. I'm sure there are many other ways of preventing such a thing from happening. Such is the nature of a government of law, not of men.
  6. I can assure you that if you sold any of those objects that you think you can provide iron-clad proof of ownership of to me then in the simplest case my receipt from you demonstrating that I had paid you for them would demonstrate that you had transferred ownership to me. In the more significant cases (certainly anything of enough value to make it worthwhile) there would be a judicial ownership registration with evidence of transfer (eg. cars, real estate, expensive gems). These mechanisms (receipts and ownership registries) exist specifically for this purpose, of demonstrating transfer of ownership. If you have traded with people who did not demand these mechanisms of transfer, then shame on them. I certainly can produce demonstrable ownership for everything I, my family and my companies own that's not a commodity item. I wasn't aware that people existed who would attempt to operate their lives without utilising such mechanisms, if for no other reason that to ensure valid warranty and tax refund claims (both of which actually just require the same evidence of transfer of ownership on a certain date).
  7. Since Michael's post I've been thinking more about this, I've yet to arrive at a conclusion, but I will. I still maintain that the difficultly involved in creating proper politics around the concept of intellectual property should not lead us to treat it differently than tangible property, and certainly I still maintain that except for the existing concession regarding perpetuality of intellectual property there is no rational argument for non-perpetuality of property. Just quickly to Dave, no, I didn't mean to imply that a declaration was all that is required, I really meant that demonstrable ownership must be shown within the existing context, as perceived by the Oist. In the case of a rusty bush saw, this might consist of a mere declaration, one might perceive that such is said with earnestness and that no apparent contradictions exist, and so you take the declarers word for it. In the case of lands in the middle east, something very much more is required to demonstrate ownership. In fact, in land disputes between nations (ie. in the absence of a jurisdiction) then it's a very complex scenario indeed.
  8. Grr, I just hit Escape accidentally, and it undid all the changes I had made to this post!! I don't have time to redo all the replies I made to the individual points, so here's a summary. What I'm calling pragmaticism is the process whereby you are identifying a complicated area of reality where a principle seems to be in conflict with reality, and therefore you're introducing an exception to that principle that has no grounding (at least none that has been demonstrated) in philosophical axioms. Sure, man's life is the standard, but you can't point at an event in man's life (especially one as complex as the perpetuality of property rights as they pertain to intellectual property) and declare (without tracing it back to philosophical axioms and demonstrating that it is non-contradictory) that it is an exception to an otherwise sound principle. I agree that without further work, the implications seem to be contrary to an abundant life of man, and of progress and development. What I declare is pragmaticism is taking those implications and creating an exception to the principle of property rights in order to resolve the complications without even attempting to produce a principle that's grounded in philosophical axioms. It's like saying, "It's too hard to work out which tree the coconuts that have fallen on the beach have come from, so we will declare that property rights to not apply to fallen coconuts." Yes, intellectual property is a difficult subject, no I'm not prepared to introduce an exception to make resolving the apparent contradicitions simpler. You recognise property rights because a man must have the rights to the results of his efforts. Nothing in that is contradicted by perpetuality of his rights to intellectual property. The only thing that suffers in perpetuality is the progress of his fellow men. Yes, I remember that argument from Rand. I think it's flawed. You assume that the current licensing model is correct, and founded in correct principles. I do not concede this. Agreed. Perhaps what has to give is the licensing model that you (and apparently Rand) take for granted. Take this, off the top of my head, as an example. Perhaps a new patent (say an engine patent) could be registered that paid a single license fee to to the holders of the wheel, ballbearing, gear, etc. patents, because the patent designer of the engine only 'uses' those patents during the development of his design. Subsequently manufacturers of vehicles would pay the engine patent holder, not the wheel, ballbearing, etc. patent holders, because they are using the engine, not the individual components of the engine. In that way patents, like knowledge (which they are meant to represent) would be hierarchical. The user of an engine does not use "wheels", "ballbearings", etc. he uses the engine, and the patent costs should reflect that. The engine patent developer was the one that used the 'antecedent' patents of wheel, gear, ballbearing, etc.. So he pays for their use in developing his idea. But those that wish to use his patent pay only him (or his heirs, or those that he dealt with). Such would resolve all the problems that you have identified with patents. It would also more correctly reward "simple patent" holders a smaller fee for their patents than it would "complex patent" holders for their contributions (rather than the holder of the "nut and bolt" patent earning billions of dollars a day where the patent holder of "the cold fusion machine" earns comparitively little). It also more correctly maps the patent hierarchy over to the hierarchy of human knowledge and concepts. Now, I've only just happened upon this idea now, in the few minutes of writing this response, but already it seems to be both consistent and logical, and in keeping with the principles of property rights. Also, as a corollary, it is pragmatic. There is never, and will never, be a situation where an exception to a principle must be introduced in order to achieve a desirable end, ie. in which to satisfy a pragmatic complexity. These are proper principles, don't make excuses for them, and don't abandon them so easily (although here, since Rand herself abandoned this particular one, I suppose it's understandable). I think your trying to ask a question that relies on information not in evidence. If you know that the scenario is 1 or 2, then you may only take ownership of the saw in (1). If you know only what you perceive (that there's a saw in the fire that appears rusted and abandoned) then that is the context. The context isn't what's actually the case for some omniscient consciousness, the context is what's perceived as the case by your consciousness. Moreover, if you learn more information about it later, eg. that you find the original owner who declares that he never abandoned the saw, then the context changes, and your conclusion may (and does in that case) change accordingly. I think that you think that context means "the actual reality of the situation as known by an omniscient consciousness" that's not what it means. What context means is the situation as perceived by a consciousness. As such, it is right and proper for an uncivilised savage who has never seen an aeroplane to conclude that such a thing is some sort of conscious flying creature despite the fact that it is not in fact that at all. As his experience expands, and he becomes aware that things such as planes exist and are the creation of men, then it is wrong for him to continue to conclude such things when he sees a plane overhead. He was not wrong before, and right now. He was right before, and right now. The two conclusions do not contradict each other, because knowledge is contextual. Likewise, I am right when I conclude that the saw is abandoned and take ownership of it. Then, when the owner appears later and declares that he did not abandon the saw at all, I am right (under the new context) to conclude that actually the saw is not my property, but his, and so I am morally obliged to return it to him.
  9. Umm, I just realised something. Unless Bob is alive, then he can't defend himself at a trial, so the so-called crime of theft is only an allegation. Unless you're willing to try a dead man then there's no way to even decide that this was a crime. Shame on us all. Clerisan should have been pulled up on the first post with "check your premises." So, we can continue the conversation sans the whole issue of the bequeathing of stolen property if you like. Thankfully, despite my silly example of the Empire State Building thief, real estate transfers are a complex process involving many weeks of time, during which solicitors and government registrars are involved, and would be ample witness to any forced handover of deeds by one party to another. Anyway, the process becomes a lot simpler if Bob is alive to be convicted of theft. Assuming he is convicted then his assets would be seized (from the point of his arrest) and the debt will be attached to him and paid out of his assets, and if he can't pay it back from moneys that he is in possession of then he will be sent to prison and begin paying off his debt (see my The Perfect Prison blog for how I think that should work). One other comment, on transferring stolen property. It's important to make a distinction between uniquely identifiable property (cars, real estate, the hope diamond) and commodity property (oranges, gold, oil, even money in 99% of cases where no record of serial numbers is made). In all unique property trades that we perform there are checks involved to confirm ownership, buying a car from someone is not a process of exchanging cash for the physical vehicle and keys. There are ownership checks performed, there's a registration transfer performed, liens are checked, many personal details are taken from each party. This is all done as a recognition that the vehicle itself is unique and if it was stolen at some point then the rightful owner may, at some point, come and repossess the vehicle. They can do that because they can show that they are the rightful owner through their ownership registration documents. When found the property would be repossessed even if the current possessor purchased it unknowingly using morally obtained funds, his error is in not properly confirming the ownership of the property by the person selling it to him. His avenue of justice is in pursuing his own action against that person to reclaim the money he paid. I don't have time to check/edit this, excuse any mistakes.
  10. Glad you're enjoying the significant aspects of this debate
  11. There are really two aspects to this scenario. Let's discuss them separately. 1. Whether Alan maintains ownership of the property despite it being stolen and despite his inaction in pursing its recovery (perpetuality of property rights). 2. Whether Charlie can be held liable for paying back a debt incurred by Bob despite his innocence of the crime (transfer of debt). I say that either of these considered in isolation is a slam dunk. 1. If you steal my car, but I'm too busy to pursue the theft until next week, then I do not relinquish my property rights to the car and can rightfully pursue my ownership of it when my priorities allow. Substitute "next week" for any time period you'd like and the same holds, ie. there's no time decay to property rights, no expiry period, there's no principle for it and if there is then let me know. 2. I can't write a will leaving the Empire State Building to my son, because I don't own it and I cannot demonstrate ownership of it. If I run into the Empire State Building so that I possess it, and then die, that doesn't change the equation. If I steal the deeds to the Empire State Building, then die, that doesn't mean that my son rightly inherits the Empire State Building. The rightful owners could rightly pursue him for its return. Whether he is ignorant of the theft or not does not change the fact that the property was not mine to begin with, I had no right to bequeath it, and the will in which I did bequeath it is invalid in respect to that bequeathing. The only thing needed to add them together is the realisation that bequeathing property is not handing over a physical article, but it is transferring the legal rights of ownership (in full) of an amount of property.
  12. I have read it, and will refresh my memory when I get home (which will not be until Monday). Best not to assume that just because Rand has said something that I will agree with it though, everything is up for grabs as far as I'm concerned, unless you can lock it in with a principle. The perpetuality of IP is something I was thinking about just this morning. Specifically, Rand's comments on patent expiry seem grounded in a pragmaticism that may have no idealogical basis ("may" because I'm still thinking about it I'm nothing if not consistent, so if I'm proposing that ownership of physical property (say a table that I constructed myself) is perpetual, then I will also include intellectual property, property is property. I was thinking about it, but by the end of this post I have decided, I am in fact saying that all property rights are perpetual (including IP) until shown otherwise. I was thinking this through this morning on the bus. I remember being very uncomfortable when I read Rand's comments on patent expiry (which I guess was in CUI), specifically on the arbitrariness of the chosen timeframe (from memory, 50 years after the death of the patent owner). Any arbitrary choice like that raises alarm bells in my head. I'm leaning towards patents being perpetual as well. I don't see any principle by which they would expire. I'm happy to be shown one, and perhaps Chap10,11 of CUI already do that, and I have forgotten, but it's hard for me to imagine such. If a man can take existing plans and make a table and then sell that table to someone else, and if ownership of that table (while that table exists) never expires - then a man can also make a new design for a type of engine and the same moral law applies to that product as to his table. Each is a mixture of both mental and physical effort, the former attaches ownership to the physical article, the second to the physical plan. Even in the absense of a political context, one would first need to create a plan for their mud-hut (even if only in the mind), that is a creation. If he then proceeds to chisel such plans onto a tablet, those plans have a physical presence that is objectively observable. Those plans are his, ownership of and rights to them should never expire. If he sells those plans to his son, then they should now be the property of the son, ad infinitum, without expiry, pragmaticism be damned. First of all natural resources are not property, they are natural resources. They only become property when a man injects his effort into them in some way. Please see my blog article on Land Ownership which details the process by which land (and other natural resources) become property through use, and what that use constitutes both without and with a political context. So, a rock lying on the ground can only enter the following conversation if it is property somehow. On to the lost knife... Let's get explicit, because in reality one does not happen upon a "lost knife", one happens upon an unpossessed knife. To conclude immediately that it was lost is an error. So it is to conclude immediately that it is abandoned. One cannot happen upon unpossessed property and uniformly conclude anything about it other than that it is property (ie. it has or had an owner) and that it is presently unpossessed. I think that the actions of the Objectivist in such a situation would be to use reason to acertain the most likely situation and then act accordingly. Eg. if a tree saw is discovered sitting on the grass in front of someone's house then it would be immoral to conclude that it was abandoned, and take it. Likewise it would be immoral to conclude that it was lost, and hand it in to some lost-property office. The most likely scenario is that the saw has been placed there by its owner for their own purpose and momentarily forgotten. The proper action in that situation is to either leave it there, or at your discretion, to alert the owner to the fact that they have left the saw out where it might be stolen. If, however, you discover a rusty old tree saw in the charcoal remnants of a campfire in the middle of the bush, then you could properly conclude that it had been abandoned by the owner, and (if you wish) you could properly take ownership of it. But the context is key. If it was a car, instead of a saw, then you would be incorrect to conclude that the owner of that car had abandoned their property. You should conclude that the car was stolen, and abandoned by the thieves. It boils down to this. Part of the effort that one must expend in order to make unpossessed property yours is to critically examine the context and honestly seek out the truth. A $10 note on the ground isn't yours just for picking it up. The risk that you take when taking possession of unpossessed property is in being wrong. In drawing the wrong conclusion. As you get ten steps away from the campsite, a man appears from the bush and yells at you because he just left his rusty saw in the fireplace while he went to the toilet. You cannot, now knowing the truth, persist in your claim of ownership. The conclusion that you made, your guess, however well intentioned, was wrong. You must return the man's property to him. I welcome your comments on the above. I am putting a summary of my whole position re this thread in a following post.
  13. Rubbish, wills don't even need to be registered with the government. It is advisable for the reasons that you state (fighting parties at your funeral), but not required. What you do is you register the will contract with the judiciary in order to expedite execution and reduce the likelihood of foul play. Rubbish, if they were not a trade then please, tell me, how does the willer choose which of the 6 billion people on the planet to name as his heir(s)? Why are wills routinely changed in order to remove an heir from that will? Why do some wills stipulate clauses for certain things that the heirs must do in order to be given their inheritence? Agreed, but that's evidence of why you should register the contract between the willer and the heirs. I asked for the principle and you immediately switch to an example showing the impracticality of finding lost property. Demonstrate how? Demonstrate to whom? What is this consciousness that must see me performing some demonstration in order to maintain my moral right to my own property? "People live in the real world" Jennifer? You mean that there's a dichotomy between idealism and pragmaticism? I don't care whether it's impossible to unravel ten years of paper trail, whether it's impossible to trace where my pen went, I care whether if I do find that pen and can demonstrate that it is the same pen that I dropped ten years ago that it is still mine by right. I know precisely that the pragmaticism/idealism (false) dichotomy is why statutes of limitation exist, that doesn't make them right and none of this says anything about the principle behind your time decay of property rights. So, in order to maintain any ownership of any property, I have to always be willing to place the recovery of that property as my highest priority at any time that it is stolen from me or lost? Is that the principle that you're working with? If I can't spare the time currently to report my car as stolen because I have to get home as soon as possible for some other priority, then the thief can now keep my car because I didn't pursue the theft immediately upon learning of it? Or do we again get into some arbitrarily chosen timeframe that I have to report the crime within in order to maintain my moral rights? Again, none of this says anything about the principle. I agree with the choices, I would also not fixate on the lost pen, but if it was something that I could demonstrate ownership of (let's say it had my signature on it) and ten years later I saw someone fish that pen out of a drain, I would still be within my rights to claim it as mine. I don't think I would be bothered doing that, but if it was a gold pen I might. Whether I chose to look for it in-between has no bearing on whether it's mine or not, it was mine, I didn't trade it, I never decided to abandon it, so it's still mine. I'll pardon it, but not entertain it. Again you've looped back onto pragmaticism. I agree, that the most healthy choice is not to spend any extreme amount of effort on it and to get on with your own life. But none of that says anything about the principle by which you claim that property rights can decay over time.
  14. Just because the contract is registered with the government, that doesn't mean that it's a contract with the government. The contract is between the willer and his heirs. Clearly they are the two parties in the contract. Some wills even stipulate specific actions that the heirs must perform in order to attain their inheritence (reach a certain age, marry, have children). The only reason one would need a contract with the government is if by right, the ownership of the property passed to the government upon death, then the will would state that the government agreed to distribute that property to the named heirs. Such a suggestion is anti everything I know to be true about moral governance. I don't know what this means. If you're saying that Daniel has no rights to pursue the stolen property after Alan's death (again) then perhaps this is because you think that a will is a contract between the willer and the government. It's an ordinary contract, between the willer and his heirs. He is trading his property, under certain conditions (at least his death) for the benefit he receives from them during his life (companionship, friendship, whatever). It's a trade, like any other. No he didn't. David said: I remember no such thing. Property rights stem from the effort involved in the creation of that property, not from any effort involved in the continued use of that property. This is not some natural resource, like land, that needs to be continually used in order for ownership to be maintained. This is property, like money, that Alan produced through his effort. He does not need to continue to use that money in order to maintain ownership of it. His rights to that property stem from the fact that it was his effort that produced that property. My comment to you, is the same comment to David:
  15. Only Alan? Daniel's not wronged because the theft affected a death-suriving contract that he had in place with Alan? Agreed, while Alan is alive Daniel has no claim to any of Alan's property (assuming that the will is the only agreement in place). You fall a long way short of demonstrating that Alan gave permission for Bob to keep his property explicitly. If anything is explicitly expressed by Alan's actions it is a moral default on his property rights, ie. through inaction he is allowing another to control and dispose of his property. But to make the link between that immorality and the dissolution of Alan's rights to that property is something that you have not done. Alan can dispose of the property any way he chooses, but he didn't choose to have the property stolen. Until he acts in the positive to declare that he waives his rights to that property then Alan's rights to that property persist indefinitely. They are inalienable. He cannot dispose of his property rights through inaction, this is not some lump of natural resource that he has yet to inject any of his effort into, this is the result of his own efforts, his property, by right - he does not need to do anything in order to maintain that right. That property is still his until he dies, at which time the will transfers those rights over to Daniel, who can certainly choose to then pursue the matter of the theft on his own behalf. The simple fact that Bob possesses Alan's property at the time of Alan's death does not mean that Bob now owns that property. By what principle does such a transfer of rights happen? Let's paint a scenario, say I own the title and deeds to a block of land, I bequeath that property to my son. In a home invasion a thief forces me to sign over that title and deed to them. I decide not to pursue the matter because I'm old and near death, and I'm financially comfortable in my life. I do not sanction the thief's actions in any way, it's just not a priority to pursue that property right now. I still maintain that it's rightfully mine, but I have other priorities at this late stage in my life. Besides, I'm sure that once the will is executed that my son can pursue the matter if he wishes - I have a closed circuit TV system so proving the crime will be a simple matter for him. I die a few weeks later, and you say that the legal and moral ownership of that property is transferred to the thief? Despite the clear evidence of demonstrable ownership, will, and the crime of force? Please tell me what principles you base that on? Your analogy is flawed. I agree that your scenario illustrates the improperness of such a situation as unrepresentational legal proceedings, but that has nothing to do with this situation. Daniel is not Alan's lawyer, AND, Alan is aware of Daniel's existence. Again, by what principle? Where does it say that property rights are rights to the product of man's effort as long as he retains possession or seeks to resume possession of that property if it is stolen?
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