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Intellectual Property: A Thought Experiment

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Post #11...Property rights, like all rights, are a right to action, not objects, materials, etc. Seems like everyone is ignoring this, and treating property rights as the right to materials and objects.

Perhaps everyone is ignoring this because it is so patently (sic) untrue. Property rights certainly do include the right to act, but it is a right to unspecific acts with regard to a very specific object. The word "property" refers to the object, not the acting, and the phrase "property rights" obviously refers to both actions and the specific objects which are acted upon. Property rights are very much a right to materials and objects.

Divorcing the term 'property' from its traditional, objective definition is necessary to the upkeep of the IP argument.

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Moving on... (He said she said doesn't help anything and I want to keep this on topic. Post in that other thread if you find it necessary.) I'm using this thought experiment to ask specific question

Property rights, like all rights, are a right to action, not objects, materials, etc. Seems like everyone is ignoring this, and treating property rights as the right to materials and objects. The i

Not virgin land, without inhabitants or signs of civilization; no.  But anything you do TO the land or WITH the land will allow you to define it ostensibly.   I would argue that land-ownership is no

Post #11...The argument to make here is that property rights are the right to self-sustaining action, and they serve the purpose of allowing such action...the most fruitful, important kind of self sustaining actions are intellectual in nature.

Obviously (and I do mean OBVIOUSLY), imitation denies no one the right to self-sustaining action, intellectual or otherwise, and equally OBVIOUSLY, IP law does, in fact, deny to imitators that very same right to use what they know (their intellect) and what they own (their property) for their own self sustenance.

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Post #11...But, when said to people who don't know what rights are, "I own that chair" sounds like "I can do whatever I want with that chair".

It sounds that way because that is what it does, in fact, mean. People (in general) do know what rights are. They understand that, so long as they do no harm, they CAN do whatever they want with THEIR chair.

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Post #11...They don't understand that what you actually mean is that "you have the right to set reasonable, legally prescribed (in laws that direct the functioning of patents) conditions on how the design may be used and how you can be compensated for its use.

Many do understand but disagree. You do not have a right to set conditions - of any kind - on how others use an idea that they obtained by observing you (assuming no harmful use, of course). Their use of their property does not become your business simply because their use of their property reminds you of your use of your property.

Edited by howardofski
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Post #11...That's where that constraint comes from: you do not have the right to copy someone's creations and inventions...because of the nature of the far more abstract concept of property rights.

This is known as begging the question: Decorating the argument with 'abstract concept' does nothing to make it valid. IP is the belief that imitators owe something to the imitated. This is not true until it is shown that the imitated have suffered some loss. This will never be shown, thus the increasingly cloudy rhetoric.

The Pro-IP position requires the misuse of language. It requires redefining common terms.

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Post #58...Do men need the products of intellectual work to live? Yes or no?

Yes! However, no one is questioning the survival related need for products of intellectual work. What is being questioned is the right to prevent others from producing similar products for their own survival - which is what you are promoting.

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Post #21...From this case, and cases like this, through induction (not deduction), one can then establish that such a state of affairs stifles innovation. One can also establish that a system of government which allows Franz to protect his design, and sell it exclusively, would allow creative people like Franz to live a fully creative, productive life.

If IP law is immoral (under debate here), then whether its absence stifles innovation, or not, is irrelevant to a debate about its morality. To suggest that a coercive monopoly is necessary to live a fully creative, productive life, is hyperbolic, at best.

The utilitarian question of whether IP law does, in fact, produce net benefits or losses to society, is highly debatable, but it's a debate for another thread.

In Post #22, Nicky claims the goal of IP law is to "allow" individuals to fully engage in life sustaining action."

But that would be allowed in the absence of IP law. Instead, IP law actually DIS-allows that for all but one person.

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Post #55...In "copying" a design -- building something for himself, with all of the mental and physical effort that necessarily entails, though he did not innovate it originally -- Wolfgang is not a parasite at all. He is acting as all human beings do in learning from our observations of others and then putting that learning in our own service. By working to produce our own material values, we do not act as parasites, but we are the very soul of productivity.

Exactly right.

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Post #64...the principle is that it is immoral to mimick other people; the converse of which is that it is only moral to be original.

Exactly right! The rhetorical strategy is the claim that imitation = theft. But in truth, imitation = education.

Edited by howardofski
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Post #96...So, when property is defined as the link between the elements of the universe and the necessity of a man's use of them through his reasoning mind, it's easy to see at least a hint as to why one would take it to the next step and accept "intellectual" property as another form of property.

No, it is not easy (at least for me) to see why one man's use of an idea should lead to him violently preventing another man's use of that same idea.

Edited by howardofski
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Post #102...I actually expect those debating me to have the intellectual integrity to admit they are wrong when they realize they are wrong.

Then you are either very young or have only recently arrived on planet Earth (I'm just visiting here, myself). Here on Earth, when they run out of logic, they turn to word games, sarcasm, changing the subject, personal remarks, psychobabble, misrepresentation and a host of other rhetorical strategies too numerous to list. Saving face precludes all else. I suspect it has to do with the excessive gravity, but that's just a theory of mine.

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Post #103...Why is it that the concept of ownership can only apply to physical objects?

Because you can't eat your lunch if I have eaten it, but you can use an idea which I have used. The lunch issue is what economists refer to as "scarcity". Scarcity does not apply to ideas. They don't get "used up" and one person's use does not preclude another person's use.

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Post #115...Ownership , the right to disposal of a thing...

If we are using this word (disposal) as originally (traditionally) used in the definition of property, then it cannot be applied to ideas, since they cannot be disposed of - they cannot be used up or depleted. They are not a physically limited resource since they can be infinitely reproduced and shared with no loss to their originators.

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Howard, please don't post 20 times in a row before even one response. You are flooding. Make a consolidated post, it's a mess like this. If the only points you have are barely even a paragraph and not a sustained argument, I don't care to talk about it - others would probably feel the same.

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Howard, please don't post 20 times in a row before even one response. You are flooding. Make a consolidated post, it's a mess like this. If the only points you have are barely even a paragraph and not a sustained argument, I don't care to talk about it - others would probably feel the same.

Good, don't talk about it. That way, I get the last word.

These post are all responses to individuals and to individual points they have made. They are brief and easy to read in 5 minutes. I consider their brevity to be a virtue. They add up to a very coherent and sustained argument.

Edited by howardofski
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No, it is not easy (at least for me) to see why one man's use of an idea should lead to him violently preventing another man's use of that same idea.

This is a whole lot of dropped context which we have discussed in circles a few times now. No sense in going over it again if we're both going to say the same exact thing.

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Because you can't eat your lunch if I have eaten it, but you can use an idea which I have used. The lunch issue is what economists refer to as "scarcity". Scarcity does not apply to ideas. They don't get "used up" and one person's use does not preclude another person's use.

How does the consumption of the good affect the assignment of the rightful owner?

You could take my lunch by force and eat it, but that doesn't mean you owned it in a legal or moral sense. So I don't follow your use of the economic term in this instance.

How does the scarcity principle apply to rights in land property?

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No, it is not easy (at least for me) to see why one man's use of an idea should lead to him violently preventing another man's use of that same idea.

By violently prevent, I assume you mean to call in the govt gunslingers when some one claims a violation of IP.

Do you also oppose violently preventing bicycle theft?

Because it seems your anti IP stance is grounded in the protection of the imitators from the govtmuse of force per se regardless the validity of the offense.

Edited by tadmjones
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Then you are either very young or have only recently arrived on planet Earth (I'm just visiting here, myself). Here on Earth, when they run out of logic, they turn to word games, sarcasm, changing the subject, personal remarks, psychobabble, misrepresentation and a host of other rhetorical strategies too numerous to list. Saving face precludes all else. I suspect it has to do with the excessive gravity, but that's just a theory of mine.

 

Right. But you forgot appeal to googleTM.

 

-----

 

As a reader I had no difficulty reading howardowski's replies, it wouldn't make a difference for me if they'd be compiled into 2 or 3 longer replies. I am just saying.

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These post are all responses to individuals and to individual points they have made. They are brief and easy to read in 5 minutes. I consider their brevity to be a virtue. They add up to a very coherent and sustained argument.

Within a context of subsequent posts and clarifications. Look, if you are responding to a set of posts one person has made, keep responses to them in a single post. I don't think it's easy to read at all, and in this thread, brevity is not a virtue when trying to give substantive philosophical replies. The responses are too trivial for me to warrant attention. That's all for now, I'll respond to DonAthos' previous reply to me in a few days.

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By discrete idea, I meant an idea that can be viewed as separate from other ideas.

 

Any idea can be viewed as seperate from other ideas.

 

 

 

 

By unique idea , I meant an idea that is unlike any other.

 
Any idea is different than any other idea except itself. Even if the difference between two ideas are infinitesimal, they would still be unique with respect of each other.
 
 
 

And then I just listed them, so perhaps just embellishment. But look around, you must see that I am one of, if not the least articulate posters on this forum.

 
So your question:
 
Why can't an identifiable, discrete, and unique idea, eg a widget design be recognized as an existent or entity?

 

 

...becomes:
 
Why can't an idea be recognized as an existent or entity?

 

 

 
(Emphasis mine.)
 

Here is my answer: why, not. I would recognize an idea as an existent or entity.

 

Ayn Rand seems to agree with me on this:

 

The building-block of man’s knowledge is the concept of an “existent”—of something that exists, be it a thing, an attribute or an action. 

 

 

However, your other question:

 

Why is it that the concept of ownership can only apply to physical objects? 

 

 

I still say no, ideas cannot be owned. And if that statement is too jarring; the concept of ownership cannot be applied to ideas. And if that statement is too strawmanish or google-treasurehunt-worthy; the concept of ownership can only be applied to material objects. 3 ways of saying the same thing.

 

This is my honest and straightforward answer. I'd be happy to expand on anything that doesn't make sense.

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Any idea can be viewed as seperate from other ideas.

 

 

 

 

 

Any idea is different than any other idea except itself. Even if the difference between two ideas are infinitesimal, they would still be unique with respect of each other.

 

 

 

 

So your question:

 

 

...becomes:

 

 

 

(Emphasis mine.)

 

Here is my answer: why, not. I would recognize an idea as an existent or entity.

 

Ayn Rand seems to agree with me on this:

 

 

However, your other question:

 

 

I still say no, ideas cannot be owned. And if that statement is too jarring; the concept of ownership cannot be applied to ideas. And if that statement is too strawmanish or google-treasurehunt-worthy; the concept of ownership can only be applied to material objects. 3 ways of saying the same thing.

 

This is my honest and straightforward answer. I'd be happy to expand on anything that doesn't make sense.

The question was not if ownership applies only to physical objects, but why does,it only apply to physical objects.
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Is this a reference to page ranking or some algorithm they have protected? Or about posters cutting and pasting and implying unoriginal responses , but then you could have said Wikipedia.

 

It's a reference to this:

 

 

The reason why you're wrong is too obvious to warrant further debate. You wouldn't even need to read Rand for it, the proof is a quick Google search away.

 
Namely, refusing to provide actual arguments and asserting that the truth will be revealed if a certain undefined[*] action to be performed.
 
*: Google search? Which google search? Google doesn't even show the same results for the exact same query to different people.
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