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You can use your property so long as you don't violate the property of others.

Eiuol, if you actually mean this (in your post 214), then you are in agreement with the anti-IP position. The IP position is that you may NOT use your own property if your use is similar to that of someone claiming to 'own' that action or pattern or use.

Edited by howardofski
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Anti-IP arguments are logicaly sound. That's why IP supporters keep going off on tangents or committing logical fallacies. What's funny is they are using the simplest forms of straw man and follow a hit-and-run strategy. But I agree with you, those who don't use logic correctly, cannot be defeated by it.

 

....

 

Of course I don't expect answers to any of my questions above. I'm just trying to demonstrate the logic of pro-IP is bankrupt. And it's based on evasion. The argument will end quickly if howardowski's question is answered directly and honestly.

Speaking of evasion and a refusal to answer questions, I am still interested to know what you think about contract law. Do you think disregarding the terms of use is a violation of rights? You've spent a lot of energy decrying all pro-IP arguments and leveling some harsh accusations at their proponents. Care to behave with a little honesty and respect by actually addressing some of the people you've generalized?

Edited by FeatherFall
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Eiuol, if you actually mean this (in your post 214), then you are in agreement with the anti-IP position. The IP position is that you may NOT use your own property if your use is similar to that of someone claiming to 'own' that action or pattern or use.

Right, as in "I can do what I want with my property as long as it doesn't violate yours". To answer that, you need to determine what is property. If you take as a premise that IP is not really property, well, then of course IP violates property rights. But that's the premise you set out to prove.

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The IP position is that you may NOT use your own property if your use is similar to that of someone claiming to 'own' that action or pattern or use.

The IP position is that all property starts with using your own mind. IP is "property" in the sense that if you did the work to produce the end result, an idea, you should be the one to choose how that idea is used in the context of a society. If one man were alone in the world, this wouldn't be an issue, because he would only be able to use whatever ideas he could think up by himself. But we're talking about people living and thriving together.

Your "anti-IP" position is essentially a rejection of a mind being the source of all value, all property, everything. You say that when someone else observes and learns, then the source of the thing being learned -- another man -- should be automatically forgotten, negated, or ignored. It's dropping the context of the reason we have any property at all, which is to advance our own lives. In a complex society, we do that by trading values. Values start with ideas.

You're right that an idea once learned can't be forgotten. You're also right that IP is a limit on what another person can do with some of his property. But it's not arbitrary, which is why there's an application process, implementation specifications, and time limits based on the individual's life. It's a specific system, specifically for use in the context of a society of men, specifically to reflect the source of value: the original thinker.

It is just so bizarre to me that you would blank out and ignore the source of property and value: human thinking. You haven't acknowledged this in any post. Instead, you repeat over and over the context-less phrase, "Are you or are you not forcing other men not to use THEIR property?" Well, in context, that's not their property -- they didn't do the original thinking. If they weren't part of the society, trading value for value, they wouldn't have had the original thinking to copy, and would be left with their property just as it was.

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The first two sentences is about a condition that is outside of the question's context. In other words it's irrelevant. In other words it's going off on a tangent.

 

The third sentence is very interesting, it states that you must prove something before you present your arguments to prove it. Very interesting.

 

The fourth sentence is again a completely irrelevant truism.

The context is about property. If I want to invalidate IP, first I must find arguments that cannot apply to property as a whole but apply to IP. Once you find this difference, you can then show how IP leads to consequences that don't apply to tangible property. If the arguments apply to IP and tangible property, then the consequences of IP are the same consequences of tangible property.

Well yeah, I'm answering your question first. If you understand my position, I can then proceed to my argument. My explanation was a statement about my position since you told me that my position was vague.

Right, it was the premise I was using. It's the premise Howard also used.

 

Edited by Eiuol
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Jaskn, post 229,

 

You write: "You're also right that IP is a limit on what another person can do with some of his property."

 

Limiting what others can do with their own property in order to reward yourself for originating an idea makes no moral sense.

 

You write: "Well, in context, that's not their property -- they didn't do the original thinking."

 

Yes, it is their property if they do the work of applying the idea to their own materials.  Applying an idea you revealed to me to my materials does not cause my materials to stop being mine - in any context.

 

Again, you are implying here that the value to the consumer of your product is the wonderful thinking-up you did. Perhaps that thinking is wonderful to you. But perhaps it is trivial to them. Perhaps they only value the item's usefulness to them. This does not mean that I reject your whole (obvious) thesis that man's mind is the source of valuable products, etc., etc., - it means that your mind should not be dictating the value of things to my mind. In a free market, I decide how much I value something I purchase. I am paying for the item, not your creative mental efforts - which I cannot measure or know, anyway. This does not mean I do not recognize cleverness and mental effort and their value. But if I don't value the usefulness of the product, it doesn't matter to me how clever you are or hard it was for you to think it up.

 

Here's a simple example: You spend 40 years thinking up an original and very effective mouse trap. You want to be paid for your 40 years of thinking, so you charge a high price and purchase a patent to eliminate any competition from those who try to imitate your mousetrap. I copy your mousetraps for my own use, but I don't sell them. I use my own effort and materials to make a mousetrap in imitation of yours.

 

According to current IP law, I think I'm still legal, but by your reasoning, I am at least immoral, yes? I have benefited from you idea, but not paid you for it.

 

You would have difficulty however showing that I have harmed you, since you have not lost anything that you owned. You don't own me or my materials or my labor. Your price was too high, so you haven't lost me as a customer - I was never going to be one anyway.

 

So, as far as I can understand your position, you just object to benefiting anyone else, even if it does no harm to you. Further, you are willing to harm others to stop them from such benefiting.

 

However, in so doing, you violate the most fundamental principle of morality - that you must not harm the harmless. You consistently fail to show how anyone harms you by imitating you, but you appear to want to harm them to reward yourself for your thinking.

 

But no one owes you rewards for your thinking. Your reward for thinking is that you are able to shape reality into a new and useful product. Do so, use your new product, and your thinking is rewarded. Your proper reward is not that others owe you anything. They didn't ask you to think anything up. You chose to do that. They may even think you were foolish to spend so much time at it. Your time spent is not their problem.

 

You seems to want to make all choices for everyone and then force those choices on others. You choose to think. You choose to create a new product. You choose to reveal it to others. Then you choose to control their use of their own property because you choose the value - to them! - of what you revealed to them for free. You ignore that a product is valuable to a customer because of its utility and you insist, qua philosopher, that its value is the thought you invested in it. But other people are not required to value items as you want them to be valued.

 

My position is that your proper choices end where you and your property end. You do not deserve anything from anyone unless they are under contract to you. You do not have a right to anything which must be supplied by others - not rewards, not customers, not praise, not gratitude, not philosophical appreciation, nothing. You only have a right to demand payment for the material goods whose title you transfer to them in a voluntary trade of material goods (mousetrap for money). You thinking is your business, and not their concern.

 

To repeat and summarize: the pro-IP debaters consistently fail to show how they would be harmed under a lack of IP law. And they consistently promote harm toward others by means of IP law. Their position is contra property rights and they present it with pro-property rights rhetoric, based on the metaphorical error that ideas are owned exclusively by their originators after they have been voluntarily revealed to others.

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Right, as in "I can do what I want with my property as long as it doesn't violate yours". To answer that, you need to determine what is property. If you take as a premise that IP is not really property, well, then of course IP violates property rights. But that's the premise you set out to prove.

No, the burden of proof is on you to prove that IP is indeed property,  if it is you claiming the right to a coercive monopoly based on your premise that you can own an idea that is in someone else's mind.  You need to define what property is and show why an idea fits that definition. 

 

Traditionally, scarcity has been a standard, but that doesn't fit.  Traditionally, material goods only have been qualified, but that doesn't fit, either.  In fact, IP violates the material goods of others, so you should be very suspicious. 

 

It is not my debate responsibility to prove a negative.

Edited by howardofski
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No, the burden of proof is on you to prove that IP is indeed property, 

 

First, what do you think IP is?  So far, I've seen you make a reference to "an idea that is in someone else's mind" but that is not what IP is.  It may be helpful to read through this thread : Why should there be patents and copyrights?   Of particular interest to you would be the following posts written by 'Grames':

 

Post #16

 

Post #20

 

Post #38

 

In post #38, Grames makes the following reply:

The continued reference to "idea" is inexact and misleading. It is not mere ideas that are property. Only inventions in specifically claimed forms can be patented and only specific original works can be copyrighted.

Any and all rights only pertain to a social context. If disclosure of the patent or exhibition or sale of the copyrighted work constituted permission for all comers to reuse and resale that property that would be the immediate negation of any property right because one attempted to use it in a social interaction. So, this criterion you propose "if you tell people about it you give it away" is simply assuming there is no such thing as a property right, not proving there is no property right.

 

 

Emphasis mine.

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No, the burden of proof is on you to prove that IP is indeed property,  if it is you claiming the right to a coercive monopoly based on your premise that you can own an idea that is in someone else's mind.

Either way, assuming your premise is not even valid reasoning. That's what I had a problem with. It wasn't even the conclusion that mattered if the logical form is invalid. I can prove that IP is property. You weren't convinced by what I argued. Oh well. All I criticized now was the invalid reasoning - not even the content.

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Either way, assuming your premise is not even valid reasoning. That's what I had a problem with. It wasn't even the conclusion that mattered if the logical form is invalid. I can prove that IP is property. You weren't convinced by what I argued. Oh well. All I criticized now was the invalid reasoning - not even the content.

Your charge that I am 'assuming' my premise is false. You are offering no 'proof' that IP is property. You are merely redefining property so you can own ideas in other people's heads. Fooling with definitions is not proof. Your conclusion is that you get to violate property rights by limiting what others can do with their property.

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First, what do you think IP is?  So far, I've seen you make a reference to "an idea that is in someone else's mind" but that is not what IP is.  It may be helpful to read through this thread : Why should there be patents and copyrights?   Of particular interest to you would be the following posts written by 'Grames':

 

Post #16

 

Post #20

 

Post #38

 

In post #38, Grames makes the following reply:

 

Emphasis mine.

You start by telling me that I don't know what IP is, then assign me some homework so I can catch up with you. Why don't you just tell me? I say it means that you own an idea in my mind and therefore I can't use it. Straighten me out, please.

I did glance at the first (Post 16) and read:

"If someone else sells it..., then you are harmed if it was your intention to use it in commerce.:

That is not true. Your intentions are not claims on others. To be harmed you must lose something that belonged to you. You do not own the market, customers, popularity, opportunity, profit, success. You are not harmed if they don't come your way. Being disappointed is not evidence of harm.

Edited by howardofski
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I'm nearly done here, as I'm finding it hard to remain civil to someone who knowingly reveals the following attitude:

Again, you are implying here that the value to the consumer of your product is the wonderful thinking-up you did.

The fact that someone copies the idea reveals that they found value in the idea (mentioned earlier in this thread). Why should the copier be the one who determines how valuable alone? It's called a market: Two people meet with two values worth more to the other, and they exchange. If a mousetrap is put on the market for $300, the inventor isn't getting rewarded for any amount of work, since no one will exchange that much money in return. In fact, all ideas have individual values placed on them by others, to be purchased for a chosen price, or not. The point is that the guy who did the work thinking up the idea should be the one to decide what to do with it -- in the case of a market, what price to put it at.

At this point, I will only be repeating myself, and all you are doing is making claims about morality and supposed "property" (your own made up, yet not clearly defined, idea of it) repeatedly, so there is no reason to continue our particular exchange.

Edited by JASKN
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I'm nearly done here, as I'm finding it hard to remain civil.... all you are doing is making claims about morality and supposed "property" (your own made up, yet not clearly defined, idea of it) repeatedly, so there is no reason to continue our particular exchange.

See post #87 for my clear definition of property (a reply to you), which I didn't make up, and which excludes IP. Your difficulty with remaining civil is not my problem. No one if forcing you to follow this debate.

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See post #87 for my clear definition of property (a reply to you), which I didn't make up, and which excludes IP. Your difficulty with remaining civil is not my problem. No one if forcing you to follow this debate.

 

This?:

In addition to our own bodies, all physical goods that we have traded for or homesteaded or received as gifts. 
That won't do. Why is "property" just physical goods? What is the point of property? Why is one rock property and another rock not property? That's your rock? Well, I say it's my rock. Why can/can't I just say it's my rock? Your definition is inadequate.
 
I'll note that your views are not consistent with Rand's stated philosophy nor are they logical extensions of her philosophy.
 
Rand, from Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal:
Every type of productive work involves a combination of mental and physical effort: of thought and of physical action to translate that thought into a material form. The proportion of these two elements varies in different types of work. At the lowest end of the scale, the mental effort required to perform unskilled manual labor is minimal. At the other end, what the patent and copyright laws acknowledge is the paramount role of mental effort in the production of material values.
Edited by JASKN
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You start by telling me that I don't know what IP is, then assign me some homework so I can catch up with you. Why don't you just tell me? I say it means that you own an idea in my mind and therefore I can't use it. Straighten me out, please.

 

 

According to Objectivism, IP stands for: the legal implementation of the base of all property rights: a man’s right to the product of his mind.

 

IP protects: the mind’s contribution in its purest form: the origination of an idea. The subject of patents and copyrights is intellectual property.

An idea as such cannot be protected until it has been given a material form. An invention has to be embodied in a physical model before it can be patented; a story has to be written or printed. But what the patent or copyright protects is not the physical object as such, but the idea which it embodies. By forbidding an unauthorized reproduction of the object, the law declares, in effect, that the physical labor of copying is not the source of the object’s value, that that value is created by the originator of the idea and may not be used without his consent; thus the law establishes the property right of a mind to that which it has brought into existence.

 

The U.S. copyright office states:

Copyright is a form of protection grounded in the U.S. Constitution and granted by law for original works of authorship fixed in a tangible medium of expression. Copyright covers both published and unpublished works. 

 

The reason for emphasizing the fact of being in a fixed tangible form is because, obviously, the content of your mind is not the what the law deals with.  The law deals with and can ONLY deal with objects.  After reading a book, the story is in your mind (and that's the whole point actually.  It would be useless to create a work of art and then prohibit the idea of it from entering the minds of your customers. The artist WANTS it to do so.)  If you reproduce the book without authorization from the author, you are violating his right to property.  

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According to Objectivism, IP stands for: the legal implementation of the base of all property rights: a man’s right to the product of his mind.

 

 

 If you reproduce the book without authorization from the author, you are violating his right to property.  

If I buy a material item which is the product of your mind, it is still your property?

 

If I reproduce your book, what property do you no longer have?

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You asked me for a definition of property, and I gave you a definition of physical property. Leaving aside intellectual property for the moment, would you please define physical property for me? Why is one rock property and another rock not property?

That's convenient. You've now side-stepped both Eiuol and myself. I asked you first, but... We can start with Oxford's definition:

"A thing or things belonging to someone"

And then intellectual property:

"A work or invention that is the result of creativity, such as a manuscript or a design, to which one has rights and for which one may apply for a patent, copyright, trademark, etc.."

Looks like you're still calling "property" "any elements in the universe which can be touched by your hand," or some such. Which is why I asked you for your definition. I've written two or three times that the foundation of "property" is a human's requirement to use his mind in order to alter the universe. It seems you're talking about something else.

Edited by JASKN
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The anti-IP position in no way denies you the right to your mind, or your right to think, or to your ownership of your mind, or to your ownership of other property, or to your right to your life, or to your right to your thoughts.   It merely says you do not have a right to interfere with other people using their mind and their property and their thoughts.  It appears to me that IP can only be defended by these absurd and melodramatic misrepresentations of the anti-IP position; that it is anti-mind and anti-life, etc., etc.  It obviously is none of those things.  It says that your rights end where my mind and property begin.

 

You are begging the question that an idea which you originated and then revealed to me remains exclusively yours, even when it is my head.  It does not.  So the anti-IP position is not a denial of property rights or your right to life, bla, bla, bla, - it is a disagreement about whether an idea can be the exclusive property of you when it is in someone else's head, because you revealed it to them. 

 

It would be neat if you would debate the issue instead of repeatedly re-presenting your straw man argument.  What you are defending is your right to a coercive monopoly.  Why not start there, instead of falsely claiming that you are being denied your right to life?  

 

Why not say:  "I believe I have a right to customers and their money, so I have a right to force you to stop using your property to compete with me in the market.  I believe this because I own the idea in your mind.  And I believe that because........" 

 

Why do you believe that you own what is in other people's minds?      

 

1.  When he can steal my ideas and act on them yourself, then yes you are.  This is not a meldramtic idea - It is a simply fact that the Rearden Steel example was meant to spell out.  Rearden Steel is IP.  Miracle Metal is knoweldge of public property and the anti-IP possition. 

 

The rest is simple hiarchy thinking in context which is Objectivism 101.  That should not even be debatable on this forums of all places. 

 

2. I hear a song and it is in my head - That does not mean it is mine and I can recreate it and make money off of it.  Again, simple concept.  I don't hate the artist enough to tell him "You didn't think that" and I have a right to make money off of your song because it's easier then writing my own.

 

3.  You keep bringing up the coercive monomply straw horse.  I asked you once to site my claim of that, which you ignored, then you brought it up again, which I ignored since I don't argue arbitrary claims. Your the only one discussing force, which I guess is natural since you are the one that thinks you have a right to act on someone elses mind. 

 

3.  "I have a right to the customers and money that my property would generate from the idea I created. You are free to benefit from your own property and ideas like any other man.   We can work together and through free trade benefit from each other."  Fixed

 

4. I don't.  They can think whatever they want. It's in the "acting on it" part that property rights and patents are implimented.  another starw horse.

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That's convenient. You've now side-stepped both Eiuol and myself. I asked you first, but... We can start with Oxford's definition:

"A thing or things belonging to someone"

And then intellectual property:

"A work or invention that is the result of creativity, such as a manuscript or a design, to which one has rights and for which one may apply for a patent, copyright, trademark, etc.."

Looks like you're still calling "property" "any elements in the universe which can be touched by your hand," or some such. Which is why I asked you for your definition. I've written two or three times that the foundation of "property" is a human's requirement to use his mind in order to alter the universe. It seems you're talking about something else.

So the acres I thought I owned aren't mine, since I haven't used my mind to alter them.  To define property as a thing belonging to someone is a tautology.  To "belong" MEANS to be property - that definition doesn't offer a basis for deciding when or why something becomes property in the first place, which was your question - which I answered, and you have not answered.  The definition of IP - something you can get a patent on because you have rights to it - is equally circular.

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So the acres I thought I owned aren't mine, since I haven't used my mind to alter them.  To define property as a thing belonging to someone is a tautology.  To "belong" MEANS to be property - that definition doesn't offer a basis for deciding when or why something becomes property in the first place, which was your question - which I answered, and you have not answered.  The definition of IP - something you can get a patent on because you have rights to it - is equally circular.

Well right, it's not an argument, it's a starting point. The key point in the definition is "result of creativity", and "able to be patented" would refer to at least well-defined boundaries as opposed any creation whatsoever. And if you want to say that use of mind can't be what makes something property, because it would make land not property, then the disagreement is deeper than IP.

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howardofski

 

"Property" is not an intrinsic attribute of something.

 

First look to what "rights" are (keeping in mind its foundation in ethics), and then more specifically look at what "property rights" are, i.e. on the basis of what principles do what specific, actions, contexts, etc. gives rise to an individual's rights (in a society) with respect to "something", i.e. an individual's "property rights" to that something, and what is the form and nature of those rights? 

 

Once that is clear then try to differentiate between the somethings that are physical and the somethings that are not, on the basis of essential fundamentals, with respect to the principles which are the reason for property rights, differentiate the specific actions and contexts.

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