Kinsella’s Intellectual Property Against Intellectual Property
By: Barry Belmont

Like the idea of intellectual property? Then clearly you’ve never read Stephen Kinsella’s Against Intellectual Property, nor signed up for his class (which started today and goes until December 17). Luckily, the first of his slideshows is available (and seen below), as well as a recent speech of his on the fact that intellectual property actual hampers the cause of capitalism. So go ahead and check it out and see if you can still proclaim the fallacies of intellectual property (it is what is “owed” to somebody, it inspires creativity, etc) with a straight face.

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View Comments Posted in Libertarianism, Videos
  • John Russell

    If I were to use an idea from you and make millions from it, someone who believes in the myth of intellectual property would claim that I would owe that money to the “owner”. However, what if I were to use an idea from you and lose millions? Wouldn’t a proponent of IP agree that you be liable for the money lost?

  • Keeban3

    Imagine applying the same logic to regular property. If I steal from you, should you have to pay me if my theft causes me harm?

  • Barry Belmont

    You failed to grasp the analogy. John is saying that the argument from “potential gains” is an absurd reason for the existence of intellectual property rights. Just because someone could potentially make tons of money or lose a bunch of customers is no reason to grant legitimacy to notion of “intellectual property.”

    Hence it is not an argument.

    Now if you could prove that recording someone’s music actually causes them the same kind of harm as stealing their guitars or vocal chords would…then (and only then) would you have a case for intellectual property…

    …but that would be some fancy logical footwork for you to undertake. The more parsimonious explanation is that intellectual property is simply an illusion.

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