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1 hour ago, New Buddha said:

... Your legal understanding of "harm" was not informed by the English Revolution, Locke, The Glorious Revolution, Smith, Montesquieu, Jefferson and Rand?  You just knew what harm is? ...

OK, so there's harm and there's harm.  Tell me about this harm you have when I copy something that belongs to you; I know not.  Where does it hurt?

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No, we want them because property is created by men. And the men who create it are entitled to it.

I don't know where I've been talking about "trade." It flummoxes me to see these replies to what I've said that... do not appear to speak to what I've written. Or maybe they do in some sidling fashion

First of all, I write this just having read your "obnoxiously long anecdote," so I wanted to remark that I quite enjoyed it, and certainly I find it interesting as a commentary on copying. Thanks for

16 minutes ago, DonAthos said:

But if you think I'm missing the mark here -- if you believe that there is some legitimate and demonstrable harm being done to Man A by Man B's construction of his plow -- then please say so, and describe the difference you perceive.

The point I'm trying to make about the limits of thought experiments is a subtle one, and is more easily explained in the domain of mathematics, mechanics and scientific modeling.  I didn't use the term formal definition, what I said was that there are unavoidable "limits of formal logic and thought experiments".  (See also my reply to Devil)

Based on which premises I choose to start with I can "logically prove" that IP laws are good or that IP laws are bad.  Hell, arguing from the "right" premises and definitions I can "logically prove" that pigs can fly.  Think Euclidean and Non Euclidean Geometry.

Discussions about IP are (imho) ill served by discussing "Plow A and Plow B" because they are only true or false relative to the axioms, premises and definitions upon which they are based.  And no argument from axioms will be either consistent or complete.  (See also my reply to Devil)

I agree with you that the definition of "harm" is important when discussing IP.  However, I believe that you and I arrive at the definition of "harm" from different directions.  You from "thought experiments" and me from "observation of historical and currently working examples".

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52 minutes ago, Devil's Advocate said:

Where does it hurt?

Concrete bound intellect much?  "Me hurt bad.  Me mad.  Me get angry.  Me get even."

Yes.  Let's regress human civilization back to 20,000 BC.

Until that drunk driver actually kills someone....

Edited by New Buddha
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4 hours ago, dream_weaver said:

Per Bentham, the material form of the idea is not what has being taken. It has been recreated using different atoms (different labor, and different mental activity), thus no harm has been done.

I cannot comment on Bentham directly, never having read him (and my knowledge of his philosophy is very shallow, and old, and I do not trust my memory of it). I expect that if I had sufficient understanding of his philosophy, I would disagree with it in many respects, and likely fundamental ones. Yet if he said that the sky is blue, I would agree. The sky is blue.

When Man B builds Plow B, he has not taken Man A's property (which is the material form of an idea, realized through physical labor). Plow B is constructed of different atoms from Plow A -- it is, in fact, a separate existent; a separate piece of property -- and it owes its existence directly to a separate man's labor: that of Man B. No harm has been done to Man A in this action (though if you disagree, please elaborate on this, as nobody else appears to be willing to try), and Plow B belongs to Man B by right.

If your paraphrase of Bentham is accurate, then in this, at least, he was correct.

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While Mossoff has some written materials on the web, this was from the ARI presentation entitled "Intellectual Property".

 

Rand speaks well about the 'spark' behind a new novel or new piece of music comparing it to new material inventions through Halley to Dagny in the valley in Atlas Shrugged:

Whether it's a symphony or a coal mine, all work is an act of creating and comes from the same source: from an inviolate capacity to see through one's own eyes—which means: the capacity to perform a rational identification—which means: the capacity to see, to connect and to make what had not been seen, connected and made before. That shining vision which they talk about as belonging to the authors of symphonies and novels—what do they think is the driving faculty of men who discovered how to use oil, how to run a mine, how to build an electric motor? That sacred fire which is said to burn within musicians and poets—what do they suppose moves an industrialist to defy the whole world for the sake of his new metal, as the inventors of the airplane, the builders of the railroads, the discoverers of new germs or new continents have done through all the ages?

Let's look at the first part of that quote: "Whether it's a symphony or a coal mine, all work is an act of creating..."

I take this to mean "all work," and I agree, taking this to include Man B's work in building his plow. In his productive labor, in his work, Man B is creating -- creating wealth -- when he builds Plow B, just as much as Man A creates wealth when he builds Plow A.

"...and comes from the same source: from an inviolate capacity to see through one's own eyes—which means: the capacity to perform a rational identification—which means: the capacity to see, to connect and to make what had not been seen, connected and made before."

I agree with this, as well. Man B's act of creation comes from the same respective source as Man A's: the use of his own mind and body, in concert. The "mental labor" involved is a rational identification for Man B just as much as it is for Man A. He must take what he has learned from observation (including his understanding of Plow A, which depends upon his use of his individual rational faculty, which is not automatic) and apply it to his own unique circumstances. In building Plow B, he makes what had not been seen, connected and made before, which is Plow B.

None of this, let me be clear, is to suggest that Rand shared my understanding of this quote, or that she meant this as I am presenting it here. Obviously she believed in IP, and I do not, and I expect she would have understood this quote as applying to Plow A and not Plow B. (Though perhaps not, if she was asked, or if it was pointed out to her? Though the context of the paragraph speaks significantly of "inventors" and "discoverers," she also includes "the builders of the railroads," which would seem to include more than just the innovators among that number.)

It may be that just as Jefferson's observation that "all men are created equal" ultimately was in conflict with a system of slavery that was unfortunately ingrained in our nation's founding, I hold it possible that some of Rand's more fundamental arguments with respect to property, and rights generally, finally conflict with her conclusions re: IP. Indeed, that is my belief, and between "property rights" and "IP rights," I support the former and hold that it is the latter which is in conflict with reason and reality, and thus in error.

2 hours ago, New Buddha said:

The point I'm trying to make about the limits of thought experiments is a subtle one, and is more easily explained in the domain of mathematics, mechanics and scientific modeling.

Then I apologize for my ignorance on those subjects, but it may be that your arguments will follow paths I cannot readily travel.

As it stands, I believe that your hostility towards "thought experiments" is misplaced.

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I didn't use the term formal definition, what I said was that there are unavoidable "limits of formal logic and thought experiments".  (See also my reply to Devil)

I don't know whether I agree or disagree with this as stated, but I also don't understand the application to IP or any of the arguments I've made. If there are "limits of formal logic and thought experiments," I do not know whether my arguments transgress those limits (whatever that would mean), or that your arguments (or Rand's) stay within them.

Until I can be shown the specific fault of any particular argument I've advanced, and so long as it seems correct to me, I shall hold to it.

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Based on which premises I choose to start with I can "logically prove" that IP laws are good or that IP laws are bad.  Hell, arguing from the "right" premises and definitions I can "logically prove" that pigs can fly.  Think Euclidean and Non Euclidean Geometry.

References to Euclidean and non-Euclidean Geometry do not aid my understanding (and I suspect that they will not do much to resolve our IP debate). While I agree that premises can be selected such that one may then deductively reach any conclusion one desires, I disagree that this describes my methodology or impeaches my arguments. I believe my premises to be true, and sourced in reality, and indeed, I invite you to demonstrate specifically where they are not.

I do not think that I've proven that pigs can fly, which I hold to be untrue, but I do think that I've demonstrated that Man B's building of Plow B does not harm Man A, which I further hold to be true. If you think that logic and evidence -- reason and reality, generally -- argue against my conclusion, then please do me the favor of making that case. Demonstrate the harm done to Man A. If you think that logic and evidence are unfit to resolve questions of this sort, then I'll leave you to your belief (and silently wonder about the origin of your own conclusions).

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Discussions about IP are (imho) ill served by discussing "Plow A and Plow B" because they are only true or false relative to the axioms, premises and definitions upon which they are based.

Implying that I am employing "axioms, premises and definitions" which are in error? Or that I am employing them improperly in reaching my conclusions? Such as what? Where exactly do my missteps lie? Enough of these generalities, please, and bring on the specifics. Make your case. Show me where I am wrong. (Absent that sort of demonstration, it seems to me at least possible that it is not my manner of argument that truly discomfits you, but the unassailability of my conclusions.)

And once again I must note that when "thought experiments" in the manner of "Plow A and Plow B" and real life examples such as "Blurred Lines" are both disallowed, then I am left no remaining means of tying my arguments back to reality: there only remains empty, syntactic contradiction, appeals to authority, and circular reasoning.

But this is what I should expect, if I am correct that IP is false; its advocates could not then finally be satisfied by any investigation into reality pursued to its end, without undoing their own advocacy in the process.

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I agree with you that the definition of "harm" is important when discussing IP.  However, I believe that you and I arrive at the definition of "harm" from different directions.  You from "thought experiments" and me from "observation of historical and currently working examples".

Not so. I employ all manner of sources in forming my beliefs and making my arguments, "thought experiments" and "observation of historical and currently [potentially] working examples" alike, and I introduce them into the thread, and I am told that I am wrong to do so on both counts. (And what is more, I think I've responded substantially to the examples that you, yourself, have raised... yet you do not seem to want to follow up on my replies, which is disappointing, given the effort I have made in composing them.) But please, demonstrate the harm done to Marvin Gaye (who died in 1984) when Pharrell Williams recorded a song ("Blurred Lines," in 2012) which was judged to have the same "feel" as one of Gaye's.

You say we arrive at the definition of harm "from different directions"; I do not care which direction you are coming from, but I do care to know what the harm you conceive of entails (whether as a "formal definition" or not), and how it is meant to contrast with my own meaning. I believe it will then be possible, your own reluctance notwithstanding, to look back upon my Plow thought experiment and say whether or not there is harm done to Man A, according to your own understanding of the term (whether or not I can agree to it).

I'm open to being surprised, and have been surprised before, but I expect that your own conception of "harm" will not apply to Man A in my plow example. I think it only needs to be said aloud. It might not apply to the "Blurred Lines" case, either. We have a bit of work in front of us to know for sure, I'm afraid, but it might be in the end that your very own concept of "harm" does not properly apply to the supposed victims of "copying" at all.

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10 hours ago, New Buddha said:

Concrete bound intellect much?  "Me hurt bad.  Me mad.  Me get angry.  Me get even."

Yes.  Let's regress human civilization back to 20,000 BC.

Until that drunk driver actually kills someone....

Show me the harm and perhaps we can progress beyond, "Innovation, hurrah!" - "Copying, boo!"

Regress?  As in retreat from the implementation of a right to life without proving harm?

Interesting that you choose an example of actual harm to dismiss an argument about the necessity of proving harm to justify IP.  Got denial much?

--

edit: But at least we now have evidence that you are using the common definition for harm that advocates and opponents of IP understand - we can work on why only one side appears to be using it consistently :thumbsup:

Edited by Devil's Advocate
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Legal definition of harm: "Harm means any injury, loss or damage. It can also be any material or tangible detriment. There are different types of harm like accidental harm-where the injury or damage is not caused by a tortious act; bodily harm-where there is some physical pain, illness, or impairment to the body; physical harm-where there is physical impairment of land, chattels or human body etc."

http://definitions.uslegal.com/h/harm/

--

injury, loss, damage, material, tangible, physical pain, illness, impairment, land, chattels, human body

These are the terms used to describe harm.  Advocates are free to choose any or all, but please, oh please, choose something to describe how copying IP harms the owner.

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In an effort to move the conversation past what seems an impasse, I'd like to try to answer my own question now. I'd like to try to demonstrate the "harm" done to Man A, when Man B builds Plow B, because I believe that there is a species of "harm" accounted to Man B's activities, if only implicitly, throughout many of of the arguments in this thread.

The "harm" done (and while I shall temporarily drop my use of quotes for convenience, trust that I continue to mean "harm," and not harm) is economic in nature. If we imagine Man A as wanting to take the many plows he builds to market (and here, some notation like Plow A1, A2, A3, ... may prove more useful than Plow C, D, E), then we are sensitive to the fact that an economic rival, like a plow-producing Man B, may result in Man A selling fewer plows at market than he might otherwise. Thus the harm done is supposed to be deprivation of potential profits. (That this conclusion is reached via thought experiment does not trouble me, nor should it you.)

But what of Man B who builds Plow B to till his own fields, and does not mean to compete with Man A in the marketplace? The harm done is such: Man A is deemed to have been deprived of the opportunity to sell Plow A2 to Man B (as Man B, being free to build Plow B, is thought unlikely to wish to buy Plow A2).

This is why the conversation sometimes turns to "recouping investments," and why we wonder how someone might get paid for their labor in a world without IP, and etc.

However, in point of fact, Man B's activity (whether in his own fields or in the market) does not prevent Man A from doing whatever he would like with his own property (which is to say, those plows that Man A has actually built). Man A may continue to sell any number of his plows he would wish... including to Man B, if his sales pitch is sufficiently persuasive. He only needs to convince people to buy them, acting as a trader. And if it appeals to a sense of justice, he may even cite the fact that he is the originator of the plow. Perhaps people would be willing to pay a premium to reward him for this fact, or simply to steer their business his way. (If we value his innovation such that we are willing to craft unjust laws in order to reward it, then it seems to me that in the absence of those laws, we would at least be willing to patronize his business.)

Yet it is true that some people Man A would like to deal with may be less inclined to purchase a plow from him, based on Man B's activities. But this is no actual harm, even if true. Or if it is deemed some actual harm, then it is equally true if Man B innovates a superior plow. If harm is assessed on some judgement that Man A deserves some particular return in the market due to the labor he has invested, then arguably we ought prevent Man B from any economic activity which has that same potential effect of reducing Man A's profitability. The electric light should be prevented, lest we allow harm to come to the chandlers.

Or let us consider a case outside of "innovation." An entrepreneur may invest a significant amount of time, energy and money in the establishment of a new pizza restaurant. His may be the first pizza place in the town, and through marketing and patient business practices, it may be that he creates or excites a new demand in the town for pizza, in general. Yet he cannot (rightly) prevent some competitor from opening a rival pizza restaurant across the street, capitalizing on his efforts in creating that new demand, even if this results in diminishing his profits... or driving him out of business outright.

It is perhaps understandable that such a man might desire a monopoly -- some assurance from the government that he will be the only man authorized to sell pizza in the area, on threat of force. He wishes to protect his investment, after all; he believes that since his efforts resulted in the creation of this new demand, he is justly entitled to enjoy its exploitation; and he may well wonder "how will I make my money back if someone else is free to open up shop across the street"? And indeed, it seems (based upon my cursory investigation, which is admittedly not sufficient) that "intellectual property" may have found much of its origin and force among numerous such monopolies, all with the goal of protecting the potential profits of these labors (of whichever laborer had royal favor at the time, at least, or was willing to contribute to the kingdom's coffers).

The question of whether the pizza-seller actually benefits economically, not from his pizza monopoly alone, but from participating in a system in which such monopolies are granted is, perhaps, an open one. I think others in the thread have tried to argue that patents have not actually had the effect of spurring innovation, or increasing the wealth of participants, but retarded both. I don't know enough to comment on those arguments, and I don't think they've provoked much informed debate. When pressed on economic questions (like what would happen to the publishing industry, if no copyrights [qua IP law] existed), I've done my best to speculate using such information as I have -- but that's all they are, is speculations. I hold it as possible, at least, that the pizza seller may even stand to do better economically, in the face of direct competition, than otherwise. And the individual author may be even richer without copyright, as may the society more greatly proper (as is suggested in this interesting article).

Yet my interest is not in resolving this question economically, as such, in trying to manipulate market outcomes so as to speak to my sense of what people deserve according to their efforts; it is, for me, a question of inviolate individual right. Where property rights are concerned, I assess each instance of property to the man who has created that property. Man A has created Plow A, and owns it. Man B has created Plow B, and owns it. And when I ask myself what actual harm (as opposed to the specious and speculative economic "harm," discussed above) is done to Man A when Man B builds his own plow, I find none at all. Only production. Only an increase in Man B's wealth, with no corresponding diminishing of the wealth of Man A. The production of wealth is not a zero sum game; my neighbor's riches are no threat to me, to my life or flourishing, and I do not need to try to sabotage him to improve my own lot. If I did so sabotage, with or without the government's blessing, I would account it the initiation of the use of force. As such, I believe that there is no just basis for preventing Man B from building his own plow.

 

________________________________

Edited to add: Though the "economic" argument of IP is not my primary interest, as I've indicated above, in an effort to investigate this side of the debate in more depth, I've begun reading a work focusing on it entitled Against Intellectual Monopoly. It can be found here, if anyone else is interested in looking along with me.

Edited by DonAthos
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Yes, I think you respond to what has become the tacit argument for IP, that copying is a forgery of innovation and theft of what ought to go unimpeded to the innovator.  And yes, Man B is equally guilty of theft by using his own effort to deny yet another sale to the cost of innovation.  Denying compensation to innovation apparently halts progress...  except it doesn't really.  About the worst that can happen is that innovators might actually need to develop some marketing skills to present their new idea, and perhaps Man B can help them with that without putting a gun to his head.

Michelangelo creates David and is immediately surrounded by sculptors recreating David because Mike neglected to inscribe a (C) on his David's heel.  Achilles ought to have warned him about that...

Edited by Devil's Advocate
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2 hours ago, DonAthos said:

Yet it is true that some people Man A would like to deal with may be less inclined to purchase a plow from him, based on Man B's activities. But this is no actual harm, even if true. Or if it is deemed some actual harm, then it is equally true if Man B innovates a superior plow. If harm is assessed on some judgement that Man A deserves some particular return in the market due to the labor he has invested, then arguably we ought prevent Man B from any economic activity which has that same potential effect of reducing Man A's profitability. The electric light should be prevented, lest we allow harm to come to the chandlers.

I carefully read the underlined several times, but I don't understand your points.  I don't know if you believe current IP law allows for such? Or that somehow they logically follow from how IP is practiced?

And the pizza example.  You know that you can't patent "pizza" any more than you can patent "sandwich".  You can Trademark the name of your restaurant, but you cannot prevent someone from opening another one in your town.  So I'm not sure that's a good example.

That is an interesting article.  And it is hard to speculate how society would be structured if all IP were abolished, because I can't imagine anyone ever doing so.  If for no other reason than foreign countries probably wouldn't do business with you.   There is pretty clear evidence that foreign companies will not do business in countries without some form of IP.

I'm realizing that some of my frustration with this post is that while I have no problem conceding that IP is not perfect and that I'm open to new ideas, I hear very little acknowledgement from you that the problems that IP currently resolve in our society will continue to exist in a non-IP world.  

30 years ago when I was in college, I had one answer for solving all economics problems and it was, "The free market will figure it out."  The older I got, and the more involved I became in the market, the more I realized that a great many laws on the books are there precisely because "the market did figure it out".  And that's pretty much the position I take on IP.

Tearing things down is easy.  Building things up is hard.  That was the true genius of our Founding Fathers.

Edited by New Buddha
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On 2/12/2016 at 8:42 PM, Devil's Advocate said:

You're not going to like this but to paraphrase the lady, if that which you claim to think about does not exist (yet), what you possess is not property.  Can something really exist as property prior to being brought into existence as a material thing? How exactly does one validate the existence of an idea prior to any physical manifestation or prototype?

I suppose if you're desperate to claim all property is intellectual this is the direction you'd need to go, but it appears dangerously close to reversing the POE...

I wanted to point this out, an issue deeper than "harm". I should've highlighted this post, Devil. At least per Objectivism, what exists is not limited to physical manifestations. Concepts exist. Health. Bears exist. You may ask if validation is needed, so physical manifestations are only your means to say your idea isn't an "Idea". Is your idea pure imagination? A way to test it is to see where an idea reduces to reality, to perception. That doesn't mean the idea is itself tangible.

 

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OK, but what I'm saying (or trying to express) is, property doesn't exist without manifestation.  An idea plus physical effort creates the manifestation of property.  It's not like, "I think, therefore it is."  IP jumps from the prototype to the end of the assembly line and counts it all as earned profit, and the problem is the profit hasn't been earned yet; it hasn't manifested as property.

So you can't say there is some kind of right to recover that which has yet to materialize just because you really need it to materialize.  Reality doesn't work that way, unless you force it to at someone's expense.

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10 minutes ago, Devil's Advocate said:

OK, but what I'm saying (or trying to express) is, property doesn't exist without manifestation.  An idea plus physical effort creates the manifestation of property.

And this is how current Intellectual Property law works.  The idea is not patented, trademarked or copyright protected nor is it property.

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51 minutes ago, Devil's Advocate said:

OK, but what I'm saying (or trying to express) is, property doesn't exist without manifestation.  An idea plus physical effort creates the manifestation of property.  It's not like, "I think, therefore it is."  IP jumps from the prototype to the end of the assembly line and counts it all as earned profit, and the problem is the profit hasn't been earned yet; it hasn't manifested as property.

This is a fair description of what IP actually is so what are you arguing against?

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1 hour ago, Craig24 said:

This is a fair description of what IP actually is so what are you arguing against?

That the expenditure of time and effort to create a new product logically imposes a right against having it copied.

1 hour ago, New Buddha said:

And this is how current Intellectual Property law works.  The idea is not patented, trademarked or copyright protected nor is it property.

Thank you, I wasn't clear.

IP prohibits prototype 'A' from being duplicated as 'A1', 'A2', 'A3', etc., by anyone but the patent holder for prototype A, without proving any harm is done to said patent holder by duplication without his consent; harm being defined as a loss of material benefit to the patent holder by competition in an otherwise free market.

Better?

Edited by Devil's Advocate
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32 minutes ago, Devil's Advocate said:

That the expenditure of time and effort to create a new product logically imposes a right against having it copied.

A novel's copyrights status is not dependent on the quantity of time and effort expended its creation.  The copyright status is dependent on the originality/novelty of the material item - not the idea.  Only original works can claim copyrights.  It doesn't matter if a book was written in a month or a year.  The same is true for patents and trademarks.

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2 hours ago, Devil's Advocate said:

OK, but what I'm saying (or trying to express) is, property doesn't exist without manifestation.  An idea plus physical effort creates the manifestation of property.  It's not like, "I think, therefore it is."  IP jumps from the prototype to the end of the assembly line and counts it all as earned profit, and the problem is the profit hasn't been earned yet; it hasn't manifested as property.

It -does- need to be "reducible to perception" as in it needs to be demonstrated as actually producible. And insofar as you created the original one, you came up with the idea. But it's not ideas -per se- we care about, but that there is a created existent (a story, a building plan, etc) which is used in order to create another existent (a book, a building, etc). I'll need to write a long essay or a paper sometime to sketch out my entire argument, I'll probably do so one of these days as a totally separate thread. I just wanted to clarify my thought.

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1 hour ago, Devil's Advocate said:

That the expenditure of time and effort to create a new product logically imposes a right against having it copied.

Thank you, I wasn't clear.

IP prohibits prototype 'A' from being duplicated as 'A1', 'A2', 'A3', etc., by anyone but the patent holder for prototype A, without proving any harm is done to said patent holder by duplication without his consent; harm being defined as a loss of material benefit to the patent holder by competition in an otherwise free market.

Better?

Proving harm doesn't enter into the equation (no matter how harm is defined).  By law, you cannot duplicate an Intellectual Property without permission from the holder of the patent, trademark or copyright.

Edit:  I didn't see your edit until just know.

Edited by New Buddha
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I'm really unclear here as to why "harm" is a deciding litmus test.

Here are two more excerpts from Mossoff:

Many people today exploit this fact and engage in acts of piracy of songs, books and movies over the internet. And they rationalize it in exactly these terms. Illegally downloading a movie or a song is different from taking a bicycle. Taking the bicycle natural conflicts, while the illegal copy of the song does not prevent the recording artist or legal purchaser of the same song from using their respective copies.

As Rand explains so many times, philosophical ideas always filter down into the culture and are put into action by people who may never have heard of the name of Bentham, studied the philosophy of utilitarianism, or learned the economic concept of scarcity.

In one sense, the owner of a bicycle is not physically harmed if his bicycle is stolen from his front yard while he is in his home watching a movie. The economic value of the bicycle can presumably only be established at a future point of sale. Yet, as admitted in a sidebar, an inventor who goes thru the red tape needed to patent an invention is only deprived of one sale of his invention by the individual who chose to recreate the invention for his own personal use, which is dismissed as being "paid for" by the mental and physical labor of reverse engineering an invention that could not have been reverse engineered had the inventor not been "guilty" of placing it market, making it available to be reverse engineered.

As Dagny flew to Utah to meet with Quentin Daniels, she pondered another oblique reference to IP:

But she did not need to see the earth. The instrument panel was now her power of sight—it was the condensed sight of the best minds able to guide her on her way. Their condensed sight, she thought, offered to hers and requiring only that she be able to read it. How had they been paid for it, they, the sight-givers? From condensed milk to condensed music to the condensed sight of precision instruments—what wealth had they not given to the world and what had they received in return?

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48 minutes ago, dream_weaver said:

I'm really unclear here as to why "harm" is a deciding litmus test.

I too am unclear.

Here is the clause from the Constitution.  No mention of harm is made.

To Promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts*, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.

*Useful Arts, back then, did not mean the "arts" such as literature, music, etc. It meant artisans creating useful inventions.

 

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25 minutes ago, New Buddha said:

I too am unclear.

Here is the clause from the Constitution.  No mention of harm is made.

To Promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts*, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.

*Useful Arts, back then, did not mean the "arts" such as literature, music, etc. It meant artisans creating useful inventions.

 

Let me offer you a little more of Mossoff's presentation in line with the copyright clause:

America soon displaced England, primarily, (according to Mossoff,) due to IP laws.

England still viewed patents as other old world European countries: as special limited legal privileges granted to inventors at the liege of the crown.

(something else perhaps to consider in the largely unread 300+ page anti-IP reference)

Very first session of Congress, one of the very first laws passed was with regard to patent and copyright. — They secured them as “Fundamental Property Rights.”

60 years later, the old world was marveling at the explosion of industrial growth in the US, a birth precipitated by the strong protection of IP rights, confirming Rand’s discovery that “Man’s mind is the root of all the goods produced and of all the wealth that has ever existed on earth.”

(Again, to Locke's credit, while intrinsically based, a kernel of truth overshadowed by the seductiveness of Bentham's Utilitarian "no harm done" angle, or so it seems to me.)

Edited by dream_weaver
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And to add to Dreamweaver's post, many Colonialist were, for religious reasons, not granted full Civil Rights - they were Dissenters (meaning they did not belong to the Anglican Church).  And, in England, they were denied a seat at the government table, so they went into science, the industrial arts, manufacturing, etc.  These were also, for the most part, supporters of the American Revolution.

Edited by New Buddha
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5 hours ago, Eiuol said:

I wanted to point this out, an issue deeper than "harm"...

 

1 hour ago, dream_weaver said:

I'm really unclear here as to why "harm" is a deciding litmus test...

 

29 minutes ago, New Buddha said:

I too am unclear...

 

Oh ho!  So harm isn't relevant to justifying IP infringement...  Is that so?  So in the following explanation of how issues of IP infringement are addressed by legal firms, the repeated term damages means something other than harm??

"The theft (or ‘infringement’) of a patent, copyright, trademark or trade secret (collectively known as intellectual property) is typically handled as a civil matter. That is, the owner sues the infringer and attempts to collect financial >> damages << and to have the infringing material removed or destroyed. The infringer is liable for the >> damages << and must follow court orders."

http://www.intellectualpropertylawfirms.com/intellectual-property/ip-crimes.htm

Well OK then, as they say, "No harm no foul".  Glad we cleared that up :thumbsup:

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On 2/17/2016 at 5:49 PM, Devil's Advocate said:

Harm is harm, as anyone who has been harmed knows. Not getting the compensation (or reward, or respect, or love...) you think you deserve, regardless how hard you worked for it, isn't harm.  The word you and others who promote IP struggle with (or ignore) is actual, i.e. actual harm.  Real crimes like theft and forgery leave a mark; copying an idea expands knowledge.  You will say that copied knowledge is forbidden, but you cannot say why.

Earlier you could not grasp "harm" except as something that "leaves a mark".  But now you are discussing damages that don't "leave a mark".

If you re read my post, you'll see that I said proving harm or damages is not necessary to proving that an infringement of Intellectual Property rights has taken place.  You only need to demonstrate that violation of IP law has taken place.  Whether or not the holder of a patent, trademark, copyright, etc. has lost sales, etc., does not prove that a violation of law has taken place.

Edited by New Buddha
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If having IP doesn't secure a recovery from damages (harm), then why have it?

This new advocacy position of harmless infringement of IP rationalizes using force simply because the law sanctions it; coercion isn't bad, it's profitable. Every time I put a gun to someone's head to prevent them from competing with me, I make more money.  Genius!

You've left out any reference to trade secrets as part of the list of things IP secures in your recent posts.  Shall we dispense with the term security as well?  I mean if having IP allows using force for reasons other than retaliation, are we even talking about security anymore?

Having proven copying doesn't harm innovators, and reducing advocacy for IP to a defense of the status quo, it's time for a break.

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19 hours ago, Devil's Advocate said:

That the expenditure of time and effort to create a new product logically imposes a right against having it copied.

 

Just to be clear: You do acknowledge that an original work of art or an original invention is the creator's property and you think that others have the right to copy that creation without the creator's permission and without compensating the creator no matter what?  

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