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Don't Steal This Article!

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After stumbling across yet another libertarian the idea of intellectual property (one who was specifically taking Rand to task for her defense of IP in Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal), Don Watkins invited me to investigate the issue for the January issue of Axiomatic Magazine. Recycled here for your philosophical enjoyment is the result of immersing myself in the strongest arguments I could find against the legitimacy of IP.

For a little bonus, try this experiment: Go read Rand's "Patents and Copyrights" essay before reading this article. No hurry, I'll wait. Heck, it's only about 1600 words, barely more than two standard op-eds in length. (At the very least, pause to recall the "sure, sounds okay" nod you likely gave it back when you read it.) Okay, now go ahead and read my article here -- then re-read Rand's essay.

If you are anything like me, that second reading will leave your jaw in your lap. Until I'd engaged the sharp thorns of the issue, I really didn't appreciate Rand's brilliant, economical, focused coverage of the essentials, seemingly tossed off in response to some reader's query. Astonishing.


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