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Robert Romero

Intellectual property

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I’m an audio enthusiast.  In that hobby, there’s a lot of contention between audio objectivists, who emphasize the objective performance of a device, and audio subjectivists, who say that the better device is whatever they subjectively feel is better.  When the objectivists implement double blind listening tests to remove bias (ie make it objective), subjectivists immediately protest.  They don’t care that they couldn’t hear the difference between expensive wire and ordinary wire under such conditions. They say it “proves nothing”, because they “know” the expensive wire sounds better regardless of the actual observed reality under objective conditions.   They say that all that’s needed is a “better test”, but they never specify what that is.

Ayn Rand strongly emphasized that capitalism is moral, not just because someone “says so”, but because it fits the reality of what makes man happier and better off.

Any student of laissez-faire economics knows that when government interferes with economics to make it “better”, it actually makes things worse.  Don’t just say that patent laws “protect individual rights” and make people better off, show that they do.  Don’t just say that  anti trust laws are “supposed” to “protect” the “individual rights” of businessmen from “unfair” competition.  Show that they make people better off (in actuality, they stifle innovation, punish success, and raise prices for consumers).  The same goes for the ICC, FCC, FDA, etc.

Regulatory agencies and patent laws (the legal implementation of IP) are an example of false labeling.  They're sold as protecting "rights", but the reality is that these things do NOT protect the rights of consumers OR businessmen OR make everyone better off.  The reality is that they become a tool, a club wielded by some businessmen to gain special privilege, to obtain wealth via what  Franz Oppenheimer called the “political means” as opposed to the “economic means” (voluntary production and exchange).   It’s inherent in their very nature to bestow special privilege, special political privilege on the well heeled, the well connected.  Prior to the antitrust suit against it, Microsoft had no lobbyists in Washington to convince Congress to “protect its rights”.  After the suit, they did.

So when Michael Boulton lobbied (let’s put it bluntly, bought off) Parliament to give him special politically based privileges, it wasn’t because the British had a “bad system” of patent law (their system was designed the way all such patent law systems are).  It was because the very concept of using government power to bestow special privilege encourages such behavior, such corruption.  Without such power, Boulton and Watt would have directed their energies and resources to economic activity instead of political activity, technical advances would have occurred more quickly, the steam engine would have been adopted more quickly, and Watt and Boulton would have made more money.  That’s the historical reality.  It amazes me that an Objectivist would say he doesn’t care what the reality is when such power is used, that IP just needs a “better system”.  Better than making more money for the guy being "protected"?  Better than increased technical innovation?  Better than increased availability? 

 

Edited by Robert Romero

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Regulatory agencies and patent laws (the legal implementation of IP) are an example of false labeling.  They're sold as protecting "rights", but the reality is that these things do NOT protect the rights of consumers OR businessmen OR make everyone better off.  The reality is that they become a tool, a club wielded by some businessmen to gain special privilege, to obtain wealth via what  Franz Oppenheimer called the “political means” as opposed to the “economic means” (voluntary production and exchange).   It’s inherent in their very nature to bestow special privilege, special political privilege on the well heeled, the well connected.  Prior to the antitrust suit against it, Microsoft had no lobbyists in Washington to convince Congress to “protect its rights”.  After the suit, they did.

That's my question. Why is it how IP inherently works? What evidence do you have to show that the British system of patent law was in fact operating on any principles of IP? It's not like we say Pinochet's Chile is evidence that capitalism is inherently bad, we say that Chile was at best a corruption capitalism as a system. You need to give examples of how the British patent system worked, and show this in fact a pretty good approximation of a system that follows IP principles.

If you want me to say what a "better test" is, then I need to know what I'm comparing it to. It'd be things like a sensible limitation on patent duration, and a properly delimited standard of what a patent applies to. Just to get it out of the way, are you an anarchist? I've been assuming so far that you agree government is a proper institution.

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That's my question. Why is it how IP inherently works? What evidence do you have to show that the British system of patent law was in fact operating on any principles of IP?

Because patent law is a way of implementing IP.  This connection is explicit and no one disputes it.   The inherent characteristics of patent law are:

       a.       A government enforced monopoly on the use of some invention, idea, etc.  Again, it is explicitly a monopoly.  The first statutory expression of English patent law  was called “The Statute of Monopolies”.   Prior to that, patents were granted by the Crown to guilds, which held monopolies over particular industries.

        b.      Some term limit for the government monopoly.

English patent law at the time of Watt obviously had these characteristics.  Whatever differences there might be with respect to current American law (legal procedure, penalties, etc.)  are irrelevant.  The British system obviously followed the principle of IP.

You need to give examples of how the British patent system worked, and show this in fact a pretty good approximation of a system that follows IP principles.

I already did.  I don’t need to demonstrate every technical detail of the British legal system to show that James Watt was granted a government monopoly (patent) for the steam engine, based on the notion of IP (again, IP and patents are inextricably linked.  Discussion of IP ALWAYS brings up patents as a way to implement it).  The patent WAS granted, and he DID spend considerable energy enforcing it, just as defenders of IP today do.

If you want me to say what a "better test" is, then I need to know what I'm comparing it to. It'd be things like a sensible limitation on patent duration, and a properly delimited standard of what a patent applies to.

What are you comparing it to?  Well, let’s see…in the absence of a patent, innovation increased, more people had steam engines, and Watt made more money, compared to less innovation, fewer engines, and less money made.  I’d say that’s an explicit comparison.

Are you saying that the granting of a patent for the steam engine didn’t follow “a properly delimited standard of what a patent applies to”?   I don’t think any patent lawyer, then or now, would agree with you.   It seems to me that proponents of IP believe that ALL IP deserves government protection, but if they want to argue over the minutiae of what kind of idea constitutes IP, let them.  My view is that we’re much better off when companies spend their energy and resources on things such as engineers, salespeople, etc. (you know, actually PRODUCING and SELLING things) than on lawyers.

As for duration, talking about “a sensible limitation on patent duration” seems to be an explicit admission that the inability of others to use an idea (in other words, limiting the spreading of the use of knowledge) is harmful.  Otherwise, why limit the duration of the monopoly?  If, as I’ve shown, everybody benefited by not having a patent, why wait 32 years to enjoy those benefits?  10 years?  5?  Why wait at all?

I don’t want to derail this discussion by talking about anarchy.  I remember hearing government defined as a taxing authority.  I favor the absence of such an authority.  Rand herself said all taxation is theft.

 

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Individualists are strongly in favor of property rights, but we must ask why do we want property rights?  We want them because property is scarce. 

This is not the basis for an Objectivist's defense of property rights.

http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/property_rights.html

Your productive effort is what sustains your life.  Your rights to the products of your efforts are essentially the right to your own life.

 

How does use of an idea by someone else result in loss of use of that idea?

 

"Commercial" use of the idea is the issue.  
 

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This is not the basis for an Objectivist's defense of property rights.

http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/property_rights.html

Your productive effort is what sustains your life.  Your rights to the products of your efforts are essentially the right to your own life.

 

 

"Commercial" use of the idea is the issue.  
 

 

The nature of an idea is that use of it by someone else does not deprive you of your use of it, or the product of it.  As Jefferson said, lighting a candle with your candle means you still have your candle. You're perfectly free to make any use of it, including commercial use.  I gave what happened with the steam engine as an example.

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Robert,

Designers and engineers of the world unite.

We've decided to withhold our design and engineering services from the world unless paid the going market rate (as the current IP and patent laws have, via Adam Smith's "invisible hand" helped structure.)

We've designed a couple of hundred cars, airplanes and other high-tech devices, built prototypes, and worked the most obvious bugs out. However, we have chosen not to build production tooling or manufacture any of it (All our prototype parts have been machined from solid stock, and can be shown to meet six sigma production standards.)

We are prepared to sell you the design for between $1 billion and $6 billion dollars (perhaps $2 billion to $12 billion, since this is your 'thought experiment') depending if it is a modification to an existing design or a "developed it from scratch" version. You will still have to secure the tooling, set up the assembly facilities and arrange to have distributors willing to sell your end product.

Once we've sold you a copy of the blueprints and assembly details necessary to have all the infrastructure laid, our livelihood has been paid for the time and efforts invested. After that, we are planning on making available for download, for no charge, full copies of the blueprints and assembly details to anyone that would like them.

Surely you can amortize a billion dollars or so into your piece price and still be profitable, while still counting on the fact that you still have to spend the addition billions needed to develop your infrastructure.

Will your completion price their final product just under your amortized cost, or will they take advantage of being able to eliminate the engineering and design costs from their end product?

If you're going to peddle Mises.Org materials here, please try to take into consideration other aspects of reality that they might be package dealing within.

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I’m not sure what point you’re trying to make here.   It seems rather obvious to me that it would be a term of sale that the buyer gets exclusive access to the full copies of the blueprints and assembly details.  He’d be pretty stupid not to have that as a contractual obligation, with appropriate monetary penalties if the terms aren’t met.   A private contract is entirely different from a government imposed monopoly.

It also seems to me that selling it to some “you” at a single rate is misleading, since there would be lots of potential buyers, and many of the designers and engineers could yield to the temptation to undercut the others.  This is one of the reasons why private cartels don’t last.  The “unity” breaks up pretty quickly.

 

Edited by Robert Romero

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       a.       A government enforced monopoly on the use of some invention, idea, etc.  Again, it is explicitly a monopoly.  The first statutory expression of English patent law  was called “The Statute of Monopolies”.   Prior to that, patents were granted by the Crown to guilds, which held monopolies over particular industries.

        b.      Some term limit for the government monopoly.

A and B is loaded terminology. Usually monopoly as you used it seems to aim at invoking your conclusion in the premise, i.e. that IP is coercie. Technically, all property is a monopoly to the extent you are sole owner of all usage of the thing in question. Sole controller. The government ought to protect that. So it still takes to the question of if IP is valid. If IP is invalid, of course its enforcement is coercive.

To me, it sounds like you're saying patent law was based on non-capitalism anyway. So even if it superficially has similarities to proper patent law, we're not getting at any core principles of operation. Was Watt a pervasive case? Was the government following its own laws in the case of Watt? I mean if he used bribes to gain pull, we're not talking about IP, we end up talking about if Parliament was corrupt on a wide scale. I grant you know more about Watt than me, so I'm asking out of my own interest of expanding your argument.

"If, as I’ve shown, everybody benefited by not having a patent, why wait 32 years to enjoy those benefits?  10 years?  5?  Why wait at all?"
I'd say the inventor's lifetime, plus or minus some years depending on contractual agreements  having to do with what is produced in some time frame. Basically, as long as the inventor demonstrates usage of the patent in question in a meaningful way, much like how we might deal with land that someone "owns" but doesn't use. Or if he dies, whichever is first.

"I remember hearing government defined as a taxing authority."
As long as you agree that its proper for an institution to hold a monopoly on force in a geographic area and to enforce individual rights, then we're good. If not, we've got bigger disagreements that have bearing on how rights should be enforced.

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I’m not sure what point you’re trying to make here.   It seems rather obvious to me that it would be a term of sale that the buyer gets exclusive access to the full copies of the blueprints and assembly details.  He’d be pretty stupid not to have that as a contractual obligation, with appropriate monetary penalties if the terms aren’t met.   A private contract is entirely different from a government imposed monopoly.

So would you be ok with having authors put a preamble (current copyright law) into their books stipulating the contractual terms you agree to, to be signed prior to purchase?

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You don’t lose the potential in trade. 

 

Yes you do.  You lose the opportunity to sell the pirated copies of your song.  As far as I can tell, you think an artist has a right to commercialize a song.  You also think that copies are not really his property.  That seems like some kind of paradox (possibly a contradiction).  How can an artist be within his rights to charge for copies he doesn't actually own?  

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So would you be ok with having authors put a preamble (current copyright law) into their books stipulating the contractual terms you agree to, to be signed prior to purchase?

Yes.  Terms of a private contract.

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A and B is loaded terminology. Usually monopoly as you used it seems to aim at invoking your conclusion in the premise, i.e. that IP is coercie. Technically, all property is a monopoly to the extent you are sole owner of all usage of the thing in question. Sole controller. The government ought to protect that. So it still takes to the question of if IP is valid. If IP is invalid, of course its enforcement is coercive.

 The heart of the matter regarding the objection to IP is that if something is copyable, the usage is not lost.  Here’s another example:  You have a bagel on your plate.  I have the ability to copy it simply by having knowledge of it.  Is your bagel “taken” from you?  Of course not.  It’s still sitting there on your plate.  You can do whatever you want with it.  The same goes for ideas.  Your idea is still there in your mind, and you can still do whatever you want with it.

The sense that it’s wrong comes from the notion that your idea is now less valuable to you.  But no one has a property right to the value of his property.   You can’t say “no one can do anything that makes my property less valuable”.   Otherwise, you could prohibit (insert name of “undesirable minority” here) from buying the property next to yours on the grounds that it makes your property less valuable.  You could prohibit the production of cars, because they made your buggy company valueless.

Here’s a historical example:   The brilliant inventor Edwin Land developed “Polavision”, which was launched by Polaroid in 1977.  It was an instant movie camera.  It so happened that it was introduced right around the time that JVC and Sony were coming out with video based cameras.  As a result, Polavision was an utter failure.  No one wanted it.  The video based systems were much better and everyone preferred them.   Now, should JVC and Sony have been prohibited from marketing their systems simply because it made Land’s Polavision (based on his idea of instant movies) valueless?  Of course not.  Video won on merit.  It was what people wanted.  It would have been equally ridiculous for Sony to try to prohibit JVC (or vice versa) from marketing their system on the grounds that it made one system less valuable.  I think it’s so much better when there’s competition to implement an idea, rather than prohibiting such competition.

To me, it sounds like you're saying patent law was based on non-capitalism anyway. So even if it superficially has similarities to proper patent law, we're not getting at any core principles of operation. Was Watt a pervasive case? Was the government following its own laws in the case of Watt? I mean if he used bribes to gain pull, we're not talking about IP, we end up talking about if Parliament was corrupt on a wide scale. I grant you know more about Watt than me, so I'm asking out of my own interest of expanding your argument.

I do think the historical roots of patent law are based on privilege, not capitalism.  Cronyism (ie providing special government favors for someone over his competitors), is of course, bad in general and anticapitalist.  I’m not saying that this would always happen with patent law, or that this is my primary objection to patent law.  I don’t know how prevalent it was.  But corruption  tends to be a consequence of giving government the power to favor one competitor over another.  We’ve all seen plenty of examples of politicians being bought off.  Once such power exists, why shouldn’t the unscrupulous businessman and the unscrupulous politician try to take advantage of it?  Of course, they’ll always try to say it’s done for the “public good”.  I think it’s better for government not to have such power in the first place.

"If, as I’ve shown, everybody benefited by not having a patent, why wait 32 years to enjoy those benefits?  10 years?  5?  Why wait at all?"

I'd say the inventor's lifetime, plus or minus some years depending on contractual agreements  having to do with what is produced in some time frame. Basically, as long as the inventor demonstrates usage of the patent in question in a meaningful way, much like how we might deal with land that someone "owns" but doesn't use. Or if he dies, whichever is first.

Even if it actually makes the inventor less wealthy and inhibits innovation and makes the invention less available (as shown in the Watt example)?  That makes no sense to me.   It sounds too much like a socialist saying “I don’t care if capitalism produces more, makes everyone wealthier, encourages greater innovation, and makes more choices available, socialism is better because it’s morally better.”   It sounds exactly like Non-consequentialist morality.  An example of Non-consequentialist moral theory is Kantianism (ie adhering to a moral imperative regardless of the consequences).   Every Objectivist knows what Rand had to say about Kant.

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Yes.  Terms of a private contract.

And if an author chose to use, by an understood reference (such as this book is published in accordance with U.S. Copyright Law), a previously written contract rather than clutter the beginning of his novel with 200 pages or more of legalese?

Edited by dream_weaver

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Yes.  Terms of a private contract.

Why does an artist have a right to commercialize a copy of an original work if he doesn't own the copy?  This is still an unresolved issue.  

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re watts example

So it wasn't really Watts' gaining a patent that harmed himself and society at large , economically, just his enforcement of it ?

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I’ve enjoyed reading Ayn Rand and listening to lectures by the Ayn Rand Institute.  I do disagree, however, with the Objectivist position on intellectual property, based on my reading of the book Against Intellectual Property, by Stephan Kinsella.   The objection to intellectual property is as follows:

Individualists are strongly in favor of property rights, but we must ask why do we want property rights?  We want them because property is scarce.  If someone takes your land, your car, or your phone, you lose the use of it.  But if something is superabundant, we do not talk about property rights to it.  For example, no one talks about property rights to atmospheric air.  It’s superabundant and free.  No one says “you’re breathing my air”.  That fact that I’m breathing does not impinge on your breathing.  Property rights are meaningless in this case.

Suppose you had a bagel, and I have the ability to make a perfect copy of it simply by having knowledge of it.  In doing so, I do not impinge on your use of your bagel.  You can eat it, sell it, do whatever you want with it.  This situation would involve no scarcity, no taking of property, similar to atmospheric air.

So it is with ideas.  By gaining knowledge of your idea, I’m in essence making a copy of it.  You still have full use of it.  Therefore, nothing has been taken in a property rights sense.  Ideas are not scarce.  They are infinitely copyable with no loss of use by the person they are copied from.

Example:   People are living in a forest.  Someone comes up with the idea of building a log cabin.  His neighbors observe him building it, and say “hey, that’s a great idea!”  They all proceed to build one for themselves , using THEIR own land, THEIR own materials, THEIR own labor, etc.  Some of them even improve on the design.   The logic of intellectual property is that what the neighbors did would be wrong, because they “took his idea”.  But what “property right” has been violated here?  Has the originator’s physical property been taken?  No.  Has he lost any use of his physical property?  No.   Has the idea of a log cabin been removed from his mind?  No.   Is he still able to use that idea?  Yes.  Has he been coerced in any way?    No.  Is he not able to enjoy the fruits of his labor, ie the log cabin?  No.  He has FULL use of it.  Indeed, the fact that some people took his idea and improved on it is to everyone’s benefit.  None of the things that apply to the taking of property apply here.

It might be argued that the “taking” of “his” idea about a log cabin means a loss of value to him.   Perhaps he planned to start a log cabin business, which will not be able to make as much money, because others can do the same.  Perhaps he simply laments a potential loss of value in his log cabin.

This is not, however, a valid objection, because he has no property right to the value of his property.  The value of his property is whatever potential buyers are willing to pay for it.  He can no more object to the loss of value than someone who decides to sell his car, and laments the fact that another seller of the same make and model car undercuts his asking price.  Tough luck.

Furthermore, the concept of the idea of a log cabin being intellectual property has terrible implications.  Exercising his “intellectual property right” would mean that he has coercive power over how his neighbors (indeed, even the entire world based on contemporary court cases) use THEIR property and even their minds, even though doing so involves no force against him, no prevention of the use of his property or his mind, and no fraud against him.  I don’t think this can be considered a good thing at all.  The sharing of knowledge is a good thing.  This very forum is evidence of that.

 

We want property rights because it is a moral requirement to live and thrive as a human.  Scarcity is irrelevant outside of later arguments involving pricing and like evaluations in the field of economics.  Property is a moral issue that pre-empts all fields in the realm of ethics.  The degree of one’s ability to live and thrive is dependent on this ethical issue.

Air is a straw horse since it has nothing to do with property.  Property is something you create (or in advance economics purchase by means of your work), which is what makes it a moral issue in the first place. 

A bagel is property because you either made it or bought it – Once again scarcity is irrelevant.  Just because bagels are cheap and easy to buy doesn’t mean you can to steal my bagel because I can go buy another. Someone takes by bagel or coffee in the morning we will be having words!

I’m pretty sure a log cabin, even if such a generic design is even eligible under patent law in the first place, would have exceeded the 50 year limit several thousand years ago.  Now if I invented a special truss device that made connecting beams together cheaper/easier/better that would be a patent.  If someone doesn’t want to buy my truss then they can use their own or do it the traditional way.

***

IP is a moral issue like all property rights.  It means you have a right to your creations because they are yours and you created them to advance your life.  This is resolved long before you get to politics or economics and try to shoehorn a supply and demand scenario into justifying the right to my creations.  Every argument I have seen to date for why IP is a bad idea is based on examples like the above that attempt to shoehorn an economic argument into an ethical issue.  It doesn’t work because ultimately you have to construct the argument instead of bring in actual issues as they exist.  IP is like all ethical principles – They are a product of observation and integration.  

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We want property rights because it is a moral requirement to live and thrive as a human.

 Agreed.

Scarcity is irrelevant outside of later arguments involving pricing and like evaluations in the field of economics.

It’s not irrelevant.  If something is nonscarce, then how can anyone be deprived of it?  Everyone lives, everyone thrives.  What’s the issue?

Air is a straw horse since it has nothing to do with property.

Air illustrates why the nonscarcity of something makes it meaningless to worry about who “owns” it, or any issue of living and thriving.  No one says, “I can’t live and thrive because you’re breathing ‘my’ air”.

Just because bagels are cheap and easy to buy doesn’t mean you can to steal my bagel because I can go buy another. Someone takes by bagel or coffee in the morning we will be having words!

You’re not addressing my point.  If you have a bagel on your plate and I take it from you, of course that’s wrong.  But if, by my having knowledge of it, I can make a copy of it, it’s meaningless to say I’ve taken it from you.  It’s still there in front of you.  You can still do whatever you want with it.

I’m pretty sure a log cabin, even if such a generic design is even eligible under patent law in the first place, would have exceeded the 50 year limit several thousand years ago.  Now if I invented a special truss device that made connecting beams together cheaper/easier/better that would be a patent.  If someone doesn’t want to buy my truss then they can use their own or do it the traditional way.

That doesn’t address my point either.  I’m talking about the situation where someone is the first guy to invent a log cabin and proceeds to build one.  The proponent of IP is saying that the first guy is justified in saying to everyone around him “I’ll club any of you who copies my invention and builds his own log cabin on his own land with his own materials and labor, even though doing so doesn’t keep me from living and thriving in my log cabin”.   There would be a whole lot less thriving with such an attitude.

IP is a moral issue like all property rights.  It means you have a right to your creations because they are yours and you created them to advance your life.

As I pointed out in my previous post, everyone (including the inventor) was better off in the absence of a patent (the legal implementation of IP) for the steam engine.   I think a morality that makes people better off is superior to one that makes them worse off.

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re watts example

So it wasn't really Watts' gaining a patent that harmed himself and society at large , economically, just his enforcement of it ?

It wouldn't make sense to issue a patent and then not bother to enforce it.  That's the same as having no patent at all.  Watt and everyone else was better off without a patent.

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It wouldn't make sense to issue a patent and then not bother to enforce it.  That's the same as having no patent at all.  Watt and everyone else was better off without a patent.

You are only half right.  It makes no sense to have laws that are not enforced but no one is better off without IP.  You still haven't addressed my points above (unless you are in the middle of replying to my recent replies to you.)

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And if an author chose to use, by an understood reference (such as this book is published in accordance with U.S. Copyright Law), a previously written contract rather than clutter the beginning of his novel with 200 pages or more of legalese?

200 pages seems like a gross exaggeration. 

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You are only half right.  It makes no sense to have laws that are not enforced but no one is better off without IP.

After the expiration of the steam engine patent, Watt made more money, engines got better, and more people had them.  How did that not make everyone better off?

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After the expiration of the steam engine patent, Watt made more money, engines got better, and more people had them.  How did that not make everyone better off?

I don't think people are better off without IP.  I don't think the example you provide proves this.  All that is is a specific application of the law at particular point in time with respect to a particular group of individuals.  I could argue that socialism makes everyone better off by reference to examples of a more socialist country having a better economy than a more capitalist country.  It does not follow from a single example that a particular principle is wrong.   

You still haven't addressed the major issue.  Why does an artist have the right to commercialize copies of his original work if he doesn't own the copies?

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We want property rights because it is a moral requirement to live and thrive as a human.  Scarcity is irrelevant outside of later arguments involving pricing and like evaluations in the field of economics.  Property is a moral issue that pre-empts all fields in the realm of ethics.  The degree of one’s ability to live and thrive is dependent on this ethical issue.

Air is a straw horse since it has nothing to do with property.  Property is something you create (or in advance economics purchase by means of your work), which is what makes it a moral issue in the first place.

I think there's something key here with regard to "scarcity" that you are, perhaps, missing.

"We want property rights because it is a moral requirement to live and thrive as a human."

True -- but why is this so? Why are "property rights" a requirement to live and thrive as a human? What is the fact of reality that makes this so? I believe it is scarcity. If property were unlimited (which is to say non-scarce), and by this I mean the material wealth that human beings need to live and thrive, then we should hardly divide things into yours and mine, because we would have no need to.

Property is something you create, sure. But we need to have a concept of "property" in the first place because living requires material values, and material values are not unlimited; they are scarce. Thus I do not think "scarcity" is necessarily irrelevant to a further exploration of the concept property and its proper application.

Robert Romero likes this

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More like a slight understatement. Here is the 366 page document (ok, you can drop the cover pages from the count if you want) as of December 2011.

http://copyright.gov/title17/circ92.pdf

Why would a declaration of copyright at the beginning of the book have to cite a bloated document written by a committee of politicians?  Why would it have to have that particular form?

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