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Robert Romero

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Everything posted by Robert Romero

  1. The originator determines the value of an idea to himself. He does not determine its value to others. Each man decides for himself how valuable something is. The originator is only sharing the idea, not the value. Labor and time have no value; only the product of that time and labor has value. I could have spent lots of time laboring to be as good at basketball as Michael Jordan, or as good a pianist as Vladimir Horowitz. It would have produced nothing of value. I could have (and did) produce something else of value with my labor and time. When your supervisor asks you to produce
  2. The fact is that steam engines improved very little during the period when the Watt patent was in effect. Once it expired, efficiency and production exploded. The causal link is obvious. People were free to innovate without being inhibited by a patent. They were also free to produce when they were no longer told they couldn’t. The almost sixfold increase in engine production was hardly due solely to Watt having increased capital. I have shown evidence that the biotech and software industries were very innovative prior to the introduction of patents, and that the introduction of the
  3. An inherent characteristic of LFC is free market entry. Laws that prohibit market entry by competitors are fundamentally anti LFC. Uniqueness has nothing to do with the loss of use of something if someone else uses it. That's the crucial distinction between the beach house and an idea. A can't use his beach house if B is using it. If B could make a copy of A's beach house simply by having knowledge of it, then B could use the copy without infringing on A's use of his beach house. The same applies to ideas. Why would A need to be punished for withholding his idea? He's no under
  4. I stand corrected that no one ever addressed it before. But my point stands--that simply referring to Rand doesn't answer it, because she never addressed it.
  5. Sorry about the wrong quote attribute. The system software behaves strangely. I wasn't asking about your support of Rand's position on IP. I was asking about your response to the nonscarcity argument, which Rand never addressed, because it wasn't raised in her time.
  6. More persuasive with respect to what? AFAIK, Rand never addressed the nonscarcity argument. I don't think it was even raised in her time. So you can't say her argument against it is more persuasive. You would have to show why that argument is invalid with your own reasoning.
  7. Competition is the nature of LFC. The potential for A to make less money because of the presence of Ax in the market is not a justification for the prohibition of Ax. To advocate such prohibition is to be opposed to LFC. That is not the only way. A can simply implement the idea better than his competitors, outcompeting them. Again, this is the nature of LFC. This is not "mere theory". It's exactly what happened with the steam engine. When his patent expired, Watt made more money by emphasizing quality over his competitors. Also, the fact is that innovation thrived in the biotec
  8. Of course I am, because you said you define virtue in the Objectivist sense. I was showing that you aren't. You're coming up with your own ethics that holds that theft is a virtue. As I previously asked, why then wouldn't you advocate having the most ruthless egoistic thug as head of state instead of a businessman? For that matter, there is no reason for you to not consider ANY thug initiating ANY kind of force (including murder) to be virtuous. After all, your only standard is what is useful to the thug. So you are advocating that men interact with each each other on such a basis. Thi
  9. As has been stated many times in this thread, ideas are nonscarce. Use of them cannot deprive anyone else of their use. That is the difference you refuse to acknowledge.
  10. Absolutely false. Here are John Galt’s (Rand’s) words from Atlas Shrugged: Rand says NO man may initiate the use of physical force against others. NOWHERE does it say that the virtuous may engage in theft (“virtuous theft” is an oxymoron). NOWHERE does it say that a man may steal from the “nonvirtuous”. You are saying that “your mind has convinced you of your right to force my mind” in defiance of reality, as Rand put it. Don’t bother to claim that it really isn’t theft, that A is not A. You are taking things from people at the point of a gun. That is theft, period. Not only a
  11. I agree with this. What I find interesting is the attitude that copying is ok as long as the copier doesn’t make money from it. The implied attitude that there’s something base and immoral about making money from a copy (as opposed to the more “pure” motive of personal use) is one that I would expect to come from the anti capitalists, not proponents of LFC.
  12. I see circular reasoning here. You’re saying “theft is virtuous if done by the virtuous”, without bothering to define what is virtuous. You say the only heads of state should be those with a proven track record in business because you assume they are virtuous. But you say nothing about why they are virtuous. No one considers such businessmen virtuous because they engage in mass theft, murder, etc. (else you would have said you wanted only the most ruthless egoistic thug to be head of state). They do so because such people are good at creating things of value that people want to volunta
  13. This is a false premise (as Rand would say, you need to check it). Reasoning based on it is faulty. The fact that ideas are nonscarce is not a statement about how valuable they are or the source of their value. The point, which you have been unable to refute, is that there can be no loss of use of something that is nonscarce (you have agreed that ideas are nonscarce). This fact is true regardless of its value, regardless of whether it‘s a design for a better mousetrap (relatively low value) or a cure for cancer (extremely high value). Do you really think the guys making their own spears
  14. You are contradicting yourself. Taxation is theft. Theft is not virtuous. But then you say that anything done should be virtuous. This is a form of saying "do A by not doing A".
  15. I'm not seeing any objection from you to noncommercial copying.
  16. The question wasn't what someone could get away with, but what advocates of IP would allow.
  17. What if a buyer doesn't engage in commercial reproduction, but simply gives away copies? After all, he's not profiting monetarily. I emphasize this point because of the phrase "scrambling to cash-in on the achievements of genius".
  18. Glad you agree. The point is not that lack of scarcity causes ideas to have no value, or why they have value. Of course they do. The point is that a lack of scarcity means the use of an idea cannot deprive anyone else of the use of it. It therefore becomes meaningless to say that anything has been taken from anyone by its use. Bandying about labels such as Hegelian or Kantian does not address the point. A label is not an argument. Enemies of Rand use this illegitimate tactic against her, labeling her a Nietzschean without addressing what she actually said. There is a certain irony in q
  19. Comparing an IP lawsuit to filing a report of burglary is begging the question. You have not established that any property has been taken. The originator still has full use of his property. No fraud is committed, no coercion used. So there is nothing present that can be compared to a burglary. As for saying that a lawsuit has nothing to do with a threat of violence, of course it does. What entity enforces court decisions? A police force. The word force isn’t used for nothing. The police stand ready to use guns, brute force, etc. against people. In other words, the threat of violenc
  20. I would add that preventing someone, via the threat of violence, from using what he has learned in the service of his own life is absolutely immoral.
  21. Of course, not everything is acquired via a sale. What if the buyer just leaves a sample out for people to take? Then, of course, there are accidents. A sample could fall off a vehicle. It's hard to imagine a contract for every contingency.
  22. The analogy of use of a house to use of an idea is a false one, since use of an idea does not prevent the originator from using it. This is very different from tangible property such as a house. Copying it would not be using it, just as copying a bagel would not be eating it. If I have the ability to make a copy of your house, leaving your house intact, then it’s certainly common sense that I can use the copy. You have no monopoly rights to copies that leave intact your ability to use your property. Discrete yes. Also infinitely copyable. Copying means they are still usable by the orig
  23. I’ll return to the bagel example: If I make a copy of your bagel, have you lost the use of it? No, it’s still sitting on your plate. If someone copies Bob’s song (by singing it, telling friends about it, etc.), has Bob lost the use of the song? No. Of course, it can be made a condition of sale that the song not be copied. If the argument is that copying by third parties would “steal Bob’s profits”, here’s a quote from Against Intellectual Monopoly that counters that:
  24. The research paper I cited showed that lobbying efforts regarding patents are an inevitable result of their existence. It also says: Also: This shows that the issuing of patents is indeed a bad system. They should not be supported.
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