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Mnrchst

Why should there be patents and copyrights?

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It is not irrelevant if someone else already has a patent because you don't exist alone in the world as the only person who matters. This is a legal version of subjectivism you employ.

Objectivity applies to legal systems. Legal systems presuppose the existence of multiple persons. Objectivity is established between persons with rules and standards of proof. Two possible objective rules for priority in invention are 'first to invent' and 'first to file'. Proof will require reducing a conclusion back to the perceptual level. Whatever the rule is for establishing priority in an invention, someone will be first and can prove it to the satisfaction of the legal standard. First possession establishes a property claim in patents just as it does in filing a mineral claim for a new silver mine.

My point is what does it matter if they were first? That was the whole matter I was addressing in my post. If someone discovers/invents it independently, then (as in science) they should get equal credit for having done so. They did the work, which is still the creation of a value. That's what I'm saying here. If the standard is "all independent inventors" that is perfectly objective as well (no less objective than "first to invent", certainly, because in such a system it is admitted that one can independently invent something after someone else has done the same and demonstrate that they did it independently, though after, the person with the patent). Why should an independent inventor be barred from getting the rewards for his efforts? He didn't take anything from the original inventor; by definition he has never heard of his invention, and didn't know it existed (can't steal something if someone is totally unaware of its existence). He engaged in an act of creation just like any other inventor, so he should have the rights to sell his creation to people (and not have anyone else take his idea from him).

You assert that first possession creates a property claim in patents just like material objects, but that is exactly the claim I was disputing. I cannot acquire possession of a physical entity without taking it from the original owner ("taking" meaning "interacting with in some fashion", not that it is no longer usable by the original owner--this is to distinguish myself from those who claim that you can't own an mp3 file of a song because I can make unlimited copies and it doesn't take the song from your possession). I can acquire an idea without ever having interacted or known about in any way, shape, or form the "first possessor" (however one wants to define him, first to file or invent). This is the crucial difference between an invention and a material object. No one can come into the possession of a physical entity (even a duplicate of, say, a piece of artwork or a digital record album) without interacting in some manner with an "original" (or at least another duplicate of the original). People can come up with inventions truly independently, without ever knowing about each other, possibly for years or even decades after they each invented it. I don't see how one can ever be said to be violating the property of another if there is no connection between the owner and the supposed aggressor (i.e. the aggressor has never interacted with the owner, at least in the relevant arena, even indirectly, for example by interacting with the property of the owner, which of course the owner himself has some connection to through some chain of interactions).

Basically, my design isn't your design because I had never heard of your design and I came up with mine myself. Since my design isn't your design (there is no connection between us) I too should get a patent, to prevent anyone else from using my design without my permission (of course they could use yours, so if our designs are "identical" in the sense relevant to a patent, then they'd need permission from one of us).

Edited by nanite1018

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Can you explain this further? Doesn't barring force from the marketplace automatically secure the right to exchange value with other people?

Let's say I have a carrot. It's worth 1 dollar at present, if I were to sell it at the going market price (this is the carrot's exchange value). Now let's say some reputable medical association comes out tomorrow and declares that carrots are poisonous and bad for your health, and that no one should consume carrots anymore. A few hours later, the market price for my carrot is now a penny. No one has used force, but the exchange value of my carrot has dropped by 99% in a day. More realistically, I own a stock and its price plummets on a bad earnings report. I have lost a lot of wealth (the exchange value of my possession has decreased dramatically) even though no force was used nor has the actual item itself changed in any way. The only thing that has changed is others evaluations of the value of my possession to their lives.

If I were to have a right to the exchange value of my property, than I would have been aggressed against when the stock price dropped or my carrot dropped in value. A property right to the "value" of a possession, that is the price it fetches on a market (the exchange value), would require me to somehow have a right to the personal evaluations of others. Before doing anything with anything, I'd have to make sure this wouldn't change anyone's evaluations of the relative value of any goods, because if it did I would be aggressing against the owner of the good affected. Such a system would kill everyone in a few days (since no one could take any action at all and we'd all die of thirst in about 72 hours).

On the other hand, having a right to the entity itself is perfectly fine, as I can always know if I am aggressing against your property or not ("Is this my property? No? Well, best not touch it then"). Banning the use of force (that is, the violation of the boundaries of your property--whether a piece of land, a car, or a patent) does not guarantee one to the exchange value of the property, unless you simply mean that you have a right to exchange it with someone else under mutually agreeable terms, irrespective of what those terms might be.

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So, do you disagree that the lyrics and/or the sequence of musical notes of a song are not neccesary to the surival of a song-writer/performer or that the words contained in a book are not necessary to the survival of an author?

Edit: I should add that I'm only asking this question, not that I'm agreeing with the inference you took from Rand's statement.

You could make songs and get money (from donations) and survive off of that, but anyone could get donations from someone for any reason (for doing nothing). The song itself isn't addressing an existential threat. In other words, I can't put a song in my fuel tank.

Edited by Mnrchst

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Your whole argument continually seems to exclude the concept of "value" as a primary purpose for recognizing the concept "property" to begin with. The whole purpose for creating something "for your survival" is because it offers value to your life, either by it's use by you, or by its ability to be traded for other things that may be needed for your survival. In the case of words, songs, art, etc., those are the products by which the creators of those things trade for other items that are needed for their survival.

I'm saying that a requisite for property is that it can be used as such to survive (not that if you can directly use X to survive, then it should be property, as, of course, we could chuck a person into an incinerator).

In other words, if everyone made songs but no one grew food/hunted/foraged, we'd all die pretty quickly. If things which couldn't directly relate to survival were property, then it seems to me that you're basically saying survival and art are equally important--but you can't get art without survival. Patentable ideas and labor are the values which enable us to have other values (like art).

The only remedy to this problem I can think of is to argue that art is necessary for a moral life (which I disagree with, so I'll refer you to my comments on pages 13+14.

Edited by Mnrchst

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My point is what does it matter if they were first?

They created value and you didn't--the idea already exists. In other words, the scientist who "invents" it second basically deserves the same praise (aside from not knowing about the invention, but perhaps it only happened a few days ago), but s/he didn't really create the value of the invention.

Edited by Mnrchst

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The song itself isn't addressing an existential threat. In other words, I can't put a song in my fuel tank.

Yes it does, but that's really beside the point. You don't need a car to survive either, you can walk so a car can't be property then. You don't need a house to survive, you only need a simple hut or a lean-to, maybe animal furs in the winter, so there goes your house - not your property anymore.

Songwriters, authors and musicians create value for man's life. Yea, I know YOU personally think it must be necessary for survival, but that is not what Rand said. When she talks about life, it is in the context of MAN'S life and she is NOT talking simply about morgue-avoidance.

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You could make songs and get money (from donations) and survive off of that, but anyone could get donations from someone for any reason (for doing nothing).

You can get donations from anything you create so there goes the concept of property for everything if that's a guideline.

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If I were to have a right to the exchange value of my property, than I would have been aggressed against when the stock price dropped or my carrot dropped in value. A property right to the "value" of a possession, that is the price it fetches on a market (the exchange value), would require me to somehow have a right to the personal evaluations of others. Before doing anything with anything, I'd have to make sure this wouldn't change anyone's evaluations of the relative value of any goods, because if it did I would be aggressing against the owner of the good affected. Such a system would kill everyone in a few days (since no one could take any action at all and we'd all die of thirst in about 72 hours).

Okay, but I don't think I've seen anyone in this thread refer to "exchange value" as some specific amount someone is entitled too. Can you point me to where someone has? Saying one has the right to exchange their products for whatever value they can get on the market is not the same as saying someone has the right to some specific "exchange value" of that product.

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Patentable ideas and labor are the values which enable us to have other values (like art).

Copyrightable works allow authors and song writers to survive. They create a value to man's life that they should be compensated for by those who use it's value in their life. As such, if a particular artist's work is not of enough value to a person to pay, say 10 dollars for it, then they can do without and save their 10 bucks. But that doesn't mean that if a particular artist's work is not worth 10 bucks to a person, that that person should just be able to take it anyway.

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Basically, my design isn't your design because I had never heard of your design and I came up with mine myself.

But this negative proposition can never be proven. (The "clean room" technique for rewriting software from scratch is a copyright law maneuver, it is not a defense in a patent infringement lawsuit.)

Also, once we classify a patent as property then as property it comes with certain property rights. The right to exclude is an attribute of property. It would vitiate the point of a patent if there was not a right to exclude.

There is a trade secret exception to the right to exclude. This is when you invent something and then keep it secret but use it to produce your product or service (the formula for Coca-Cola, the nine herbs and spices of KFC). Someone else could reverse engineer and patent the secret, but in this case there clearly is proof of prior invention by a different inventor that can be furnished but because the evidence was held in secret it cannot be cited to reject the patent application. In this case, the patent is allowed but the person or company holding the patent would not be able to sue to stop the established business from using the invention. This is the only case where patents get issued with "holes" in their right to exclude.

Also, the patent is published with a disclosure of enough information for "one of ordinary skill in the art" to reproduce the invention. After the publishing date absolutely no one can claim not to have known about the invention. A legal function of a patent is also to be a public notice of the assignment of the claimed invention to the inventor or owner. That assignment has the force of law. Claiming ignorance here is exactly the same as claiming ignorance of the law as a defense and is as fully invalid.

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But this negative proposition can never be proven. (The "clean room" technique for rewriting software from scratch is a copyright law maneuver, it is not a defense in a patent infringement lawsuit.)

If you can have "first to invent", this means that you can prove you invented it before the other person. Why can't you use the same standards of proof, but not for "first to invent" but "independent inventor"? And my point is not that the burden of proof would be easy to achieve, but that in principle there is one and that there might be a case where we can conclude that someone did in fact invent something independently. And scientists have to keep meticulous records to be able to prove they did the research independently (as well as had priority), and do so on a regular basis (or they keep their work very secret so no one can scoop them). No reason why an inventor can't do the same.

Also, once we classify a patent as property then as property it comes with certain property rights. The right to exclude is an attribute of property. It would vitiate the point of a patent if there was not a right to exclude.

You can exclude anyone who cannot prove that they invented it independently (that's why I'm not against patents per se, but rather the exclusion of provably independent inventors). You have the right to exclude someone from seeing your invention and then building one of his own using your design. In my view, you do not have the right to exclude people from independently using their minds and applying them to a problem and then implementing the solution they find just because it matches what you came up with (assuming, again, they could demonstrate to a sufficient degree that they came up with the idea independently of you).

Property rights are a result, ultimately, of justice. You deserve the fruits of your labor. But if someone came up with an idea independently of you, then clearly the value people are getting from the invention is no longer a result solely of the first inventors work-- it is also a result of the second inventor (for if the first person hadn't invented it, the second person would have, and people would be deriving value from this today). So on the same foundation that the first inventor should get a patent, so should the second (provably independent) inventor.

Also, the patent is published with a disclosure of enough information for "one of ordinary skill in the art" to reproduce the invention. After the publishing date absolutely no one can claim not to have known about the invention. A legal function of a patent is also to be a public notice of the assignment of the claimed invention to the inventor or owner. That assignment has the force of law. Claiming ignorance here is exactly the same as claiming ignorance of the law as a defense and is as fully invalid.

I don't see how this is the case. The law is about the violation of people's rights, so ignorance, I agree, is not a defense. However, I don't see how this is the same as patents. If I can prove I didn't know about your patent/invention (through meticulous records of my efforts, or something like that--doesn't really matter how, in principle I might video tape every second of my life and so it is in principle possible to prove I had no knowledge of the invention, we can debate what the standard of proof would need to be, but I'm not concerned with that), then my whole point is that I am not stealing your idea. I am not violating your rights because I did not interact with your idea. If I beat you, I violated your rights, regardless of whether or not I knew beating people was against the law. If I trespass on your property, I actually crossed the barrier into your property (I interacted with it), regardless of whether or not I knew it was owned or that you were the owner. If I invent something which would be covered by your patent but did so totally independently, then I did not interact with you or your property in any way (and so cannot be said to be infringing on a right of yours, or stealing a value from you, etc.).

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Okay, but I don't think I've seen anyone in this thread refer to "exchange value" as some specific amount someone is entitled too. Can you point me to where someone has? Saying one has the right to exchange their products for whatever value they can get on the market is not the same as saying someone has the right to some specific "exchange value" of that product.

It was way back in post 41 by 2046 and responded to in post 42 by Grames. They used "relational value" (I browsed the whole thread before posting, just to at least attempt to make sure I wasn't repeating something someone else had already said). Basically, it was a question about what "create value" meant--creating a thing, an entity, or creating market value. Basically, it was a confusion over what was meant by "value", because it usually is used to mean exchange/relational value by most non-Objectivists in discussions of property. I knew it had already been addressed, so I put it in there as an aside just because it was on my mind.

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The law is about the violation of people's rights, so ignorance, I agree, is not a defense. However, I don't see how this is the same as patents. If I can prove I didn't know about your patent/invention (through meticulous records of my efforts, or something like that--doesn't really matter how, in principle I might video tape every second of my life and so it is in principle possible to prove I had no knowledge of the invention, we can debate what the standard of proof would need to be, but I'm not concerned with that), then my whole point is that I am not stealing your idea.

It does not matter what an independent inventor actually knew. He should have known, and he could have known because a patent is an official and public government publication.

If you are an inventor you are naturally concerned with the current state of the art in your field, and besides professional journals in the field The Official Gazette for Patents is recommended reading anyway. Using it is easy once you know what numbers are used by the Patent Office to classify the technology you are interested in. For example, if digital and pulse communication technology is your interest then browse through class 375 in the "electrical utility patents granted" section.

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It does not matter what an independent inventor actually knew. He should have known, and he could have known because a patent is an official and public government publication.

If you are an inventor you are naturally concerned with the current state of the art in your field, and besides professional journals in the field The Official Gazette for Patents is recommended reading anyway. Using it is easy once you know what numbers are used by the Patent Office to classify the technology you are interested in. For example, if digital and pulse communication technology is your interest then browse through class 375 in the "electrical utility patents granted" section.

How is it relevant how easy it is to know, or what one "should" know? The question here is one of principle: Does one deserve to reap the rewards of one's work if one invents something independently of anyone else? Has such a person violated the rights of anyone else, and if so, how?

You haven't addressed my argument that the original inventor no longer can claim to be the creator of all the value from the idea, as the independent inventor must now be held to be at least in part responsible for some of the value others get from the idea (after all, if the first inventor hadn't invented it, the independent inventor would have, and people would be getting value from the invention). Therefore, justice would demand that he have a right to some of the value that people get from the idea (though not all). Hence, both should have a claim to intellectual property in the invention. Where is the flaw in this argument? Both are responsible for some of the value of the invention, so why shouldn't both have a property right? Note that this still prevents people from copying a book or invention, as the value from the copies ultimately is a consequence of the creator(s) of the original(s).

How can one infringe on property that one has never interacted with in any way? You said earlier (forgive me, it was many pages ago) that ideas are physical, and so if one accepts physical property one must accept property in ideas as well. Well, how can I be infringing on your property in an idea if there is no connection between you and I? I can't steal something unless I've interacted with it in some way, and an independent creator has never interacted with the piece of intellectual property from the first creator, so the independent creator cannot be said to be stealing anything at all (he's never "touched" it, metaphorically or literally).

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How is it relevant how easy it is to know, or what one "should" know? The question here is one of principle: Does one deserve to reap the rewards of one's work if one invents something independently of anyone else? Has such a person violated the rights of anyone else, and if so, how?

One of the differences between law and ethics is how objectivity is implemented. Law definitely requires a social dimension to objectivity. It is not enough that an independent inventor knows he did not rely on the prior art, other people need to know that as well and they can never really know what the independent inventor was exposed to or not exposed to. Technical literature or sales material that is dated is assumed to be known by everyone as soon as it is available, it is the only way to proceed that meets the standard of legal objectivity.

You haven't addressed my argument that the original inventor no longer can claim to be the creator of all the value from the idea, as the independent inventor must now be held to be at least in part responsible for some of the value others get from the idea (after all, if the first inventor hadn't invented it, the independent inventor would have, and people would be getting value from the invention). Therefore, justice would demand that he have a right to some of the value that people get from the idea (though not all). Hence, both should have a claim to intellectual property in the invention. Where is the flaw in this argument?
Again, it neglects the need for legal objectivity. "First to claim" is a valid principle for original property rights, and the only way to demonstrate possession in intellectual property is by means of dated writings, registered letters to the patent office with delivery receipts, and publication in journals or even newspapers.

How can one infringe on property that one has never interacted with in any way? You said earlier (forgive me, it was many pages ago) that ideas are physical, and so if one accepts physical property one must accept property in ideas as well. Well, how can I be infringing on your property in an idea if there is no connection between you and I? I can't steal something unless I've interacted with it in some way, and an independent creator has never interacted with the piece of intellectual property from the first creator, so the independent creator cannot be said to be stealing anything at all (he's never "touched" it, metaphorically or literally).

This is why it is called intellectual property. What is granted is a right to a particular invention, as specifically described in the "Claims" portion of the patent.

The claims enumerate the configuration, attributes, use etc of the invention. An infringing product or method must have at least those same characteristics. If that similarity exists, then the disputed infringing product or method is classified as an instance of the claimed invention. In other words, (in Objectivist jargon) the claimed invention is in the role of a concept which is open-ended with regard to which particulars it refers to.

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You don't need a car to survive either, you can walk so a car can't be property then. You don't need a house to survive, you only need a simple hut or a lean-to, maybe animal furs in the winter, so there goes your house - not your property anymore.

What if there's a tsunami and you need to use the car to survive? What if there's a flood and you need to be on top of your roof to survive? Can songs directly help you in these situations? My point is that these things can directly help you survive.

Yea, I know you personally think it must be necessary for survival, but that is not what Rand said.

I know that, but her reasoning for why any idea should be property is that we survive by the use of our minds (and coming up with ideas).

Songwriters, authors and musicians create value for man's life. When she talks about life, it is in the context of man's life and she is not talking simply about morgue-avoidance.

It seems like you're saying art is a value necessary for people to live morally. I don't think that's the case. This brings us to my posts on page 13+14 critiquing the whole "you need art to get metaphysical value judgments". Yes, art has value. But why should all values be property?

You can get donations from anything you create so there goes the concept of property for everything if that's a guideline.

My point is that artists don't need copyrights to (indirectly) survive off of their art. You're arguing that artists need copyrights to live

Copyrightable works allow authors and song writers to survive.

and I'm pointing out that that isn't true.

I'm not saying people should have property so that they can control things in order to help them survive (because, obviously, this can include people), I'm saying people should have property rights to values they create which can (directly) help them survive, and I'm pointing out that survival is requisite if you want any art. I don't think it makes sense to value art and survival equally under the law.

They create a value to man's life that they should be compensated for by those who use it's value in their life.

Yes, they should be compensated, but the state shouldn't necessarily be involved. Just because people shouldn't take heroin doesn't mean it should be illegal. Again, the value they're creating doesn't directly contribute to the foundation of the creation of that value, which is survival.

Edited by Mnrchst

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my point is not that the burden of proof would be easy to achieve, but that in principle there is one and that there might be a case where we can conclude that someone did in fact invent something independently.

Again, the second inventor didn't invent anything--the idea already exists.

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If I invent something which would be covered by your patent but did so totally independently, then I did not interact with you or your property in any way (and so cannot be said to be infringing on a right of yours, or stealing a value from you, etc.).

Yes, you did--it was their property. Look at it this way: if an inventor comes up with an idea independently and uses it (perhaps building something using the idea) without the permission of the inventor of the invention, then the "second inventor" shouldn't be punished even though they broke the law.

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This is why it is called intellectual property. What is granted is a right to a particular invention, as specifically described in the "Claims" portion of the patent.

I understand it is intellectual property, my point is that if my idea didn't come from you in any way, then I can't be infringing on any conception of property (I can't take anything from you or infringe on anything you have unless I have some sort of connection to you). An idea originates in someone's mind. If I have an idea for an invention, and I didn't get it from someone else (or the creation of someone else, say a book or tv show or journal, what have you), then my idea is my own and I should have a right to the value that comes as a result of my idea. If someone else comes up with something similar, and again didn't get their idea from anyone else or anything created by anyone else, then they too should have the right to the value that comes as a result of their idea. It is their idea, it originated in their mind, not mine, and so I don't have any say over and they can't possibly be said to be stealing my idea.

One of the differences between law and ethics is how objectivity is implemented. Law definitely requires a social dimension to objectivity. It is not enough that an independent inventor knows he did not rely on the prior art, other people need to know that as well and they can never really know what the independent inventor was exposed to or not exposed to. Technical literature or sales material that is dated is assumed to be known by everyone as soon as it is available, it is the only way to proceed that meets the standard of legal objectivity.

Again, it neglects the need for legal objectivity. "First to claim" is a valid principle for original property rights, and the only way to demonstrate possession in intellectual property is by means of dated writings, registered letters to the patent office with delivery receipts, and publication in journals or even newspapers.

We in the US have (or is it had? has the reform gone through?) a first to invent system. So we admit that it is possible to invent something independently before someone else and prove that one had done so, the proof even being offered after the granting of the patent. So we do have some acknowledgement of the possibility of independent inventors already. But what I want to consider is the principle at the heart of this: Does a truly independent inventor deserve a property right in his invention? I don't care if the standard of proof for this is that he has to be on timestamped video camera wit sound 24 hours a day from before the publication of the patent until whenever he invented the thing (including, perhaps, a camera strapped to his head to ensure that we can see everything he is looking up on his computer, etc.). Even if it is ridiculously high, so high that perhaps no one has ever met it before in history, that is not the point. The point is that at least in principle there would be such a standard of proof so we could know beyond a reasonable doubt that the man invented the creation independently (I think my video-camera all day, every day should come close, right?). And so, provided that one can reach this possibly virtually impossibly high standard of proof, should the independent inventor be able to get a patent on his invention? This is really the only question. You can say that no one would be able to meet the necessary standard of proof, or that certainly no one ever has. That doesn't matter. If someone ever did (say in the future, with an implant in their eyes which records everything they ever see, and everything they ever hear, and sends it off to a remote server), should they be able to get a patent? My disagreement with the standard (or official? Not sure) Objectivist position on IP is just this point: a provably independent inventor should be able to get a patent, whereas the standard Objectivist position is that they should not (note the "provably" in that statement, again the hurdly required for proof could be absurdly high, I don't care about that).

That is the only question I would like answered, and we can turn to the question of just how high the bar should be after we've settled the question of principle--if one can prove they are an independent inventor, should one be able to get a patent on their invention? (Sorry if that was repetitive, but I wanted to make it absolutely clear what I'm talking about, and what I would like to see an answer to, so we can move the discussion forward).

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What if there's a tsunami and you need to use the car to survive?

People lived for years in the face of tsunamis without cars. If you live in a flood area you should probably have some twine made of vines and tie some logs together to fashion a raft.... no need for that house roof or the car. We can play the "need" game all day, but it isn't necessary because it is a horrible foundation for why something should be considered property and thus protected from theft.

Can songs directly help you in these situations?

That's not a necessary condition for why something should be copyrighted and protected from theft. What the songs could have helped me do was build that house, buy that car, etc. etc. were I allowed to sell my creations with protections against theft just like the creators of other products.

It seems like you're saying art is a value necessary for people to live morally.

Not at all. I'm saying you are creating a condition for what should or shouldn't be property that does not exist. Otherwise, all the stuff you have that you do not "need" to survive is not your property.

But why should all values be property?

Neither patents nor copyrights make "all values" property, so this is a strawman.

You're arguing that artists need copyrights to live

No, actually I've argued that artists need copyrights to be able to pursue the full potential value of the products they create. I don't accept your individual requirement that for something to be property it must be "needed". A lot of the stuff I own, material and otherwise would not be property then.

I don't think it makes sense to value art and survival equally under the law.

They aren't. Murder has much stiffer penalties than copyright infringement.

Yes, they should be compensated, but the state shouldn't necessarily be involved. Just because people shouldn't take heroin doesn't mean it should be illegal.

A more apt analogy would be people shouldn't forcibly make other people take heroin. The act of an individual taking heroin himself is not analogous to this situation.

I don't know how else to put it; you are creating an unnecessary condition for what should be considered property.

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We can play the "need" game all day, but it isn't necessary because it is a horrible foundation for why something should be considered property and thus protected from theft.

Otherwise, all the stuff you have that you do not "need" to survive is not your property.

Need isn't the foundation, it's whether X can directly help you survive. I think this applies to anything physical, and any ideas which help us manipulate the physical in a manner that can improve economy of scale (patentable ideas), but not artistic ideas. What is your standard and why is it better?

What the songs could have helped me do was build that house, buy that car, etc. etc. were I allowed to sell my creations with protections against theft just like the creators of other products.

That is also true of being able to sell people.

Neither patents nor copyrights make "all values" property, so this is a strawman.

Then what is your standard for which values get to be property and which don't?

Murder has much stiffer penalties than copyright infringement.

I just mean in the sense of treating both as property.

A more apt analogy would be people shouldn't forcibly make other people take heroin.

What I'm saying is that just because something is bad doesn't mean it should be illegal. Is it bad if someone (not a young child, able bodied, of sound mind, etc.) listens to music and doesn't pay the artist? Sure. But it's also bad if a lot of other things happen that Objectvists don't want to make illegal.

Edited by Mnrchst

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if one can prove they are an independent inventor, should one be able to get a patent on their invention?

No, because they didn't invent anything because the idea already existed in a physical form available to the public--they have created no value.

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That is also true of being able to sell people.

Let me ask you now before I decide whether or not to continue (I stopped once before and continued after hinking we were past this); are you going to continue to bring people into this when it has been demonstrated, repeatedly, how that does not apply to the argument?

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I know that, but her reasoning for why any idea should be property is that we survive by the use of our minds (and coming up with ideas).

Whoa there. I think you need to re-read the argument; it's not just about mere survival. Her ethical and political system is not at all geared towards immediate survival or 'morgue-avoidance' as she derisively termed it. It is about a flourishing life, the best possible to man, a life of man qua man. We discover what political system is proper to man by looking at the requirements for individual men to live fully and flourish, not simply what they may conceivably need to survive the next five minutes.

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