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Dismantling Intellectual Property Myths

Adam Kokesh: Dismantling Intellectual Property Myths



Interesting and insightful perspective on intellectual property, an issue libertarians have a hard time discussing and agreeing on. Check out these resources and let me know what you think.

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I agree with the philosophy

I agree with the philosophy of smaller government and the principle of non-aggression, but we're not there yet. Please don't confuse your or my personal philosophy with the persistence of external reality.

Uh oh you used the "r" word

Uh oh you used the "r" word with an anarchist.... :p

Ventura 2012

Well said!

Although I do believe there is a way to create an "auto-dimminishing" Minarchism that would allow a Consumer-Sovereignty to arise naturally without causing hysteria.

I agree 100% though with your statement and it was well said:

Once you agree in principle that it is acceptable to use force against peaceful people for some reason or another all that differentiates you from the politicians in power today is who you'd be forcing to do what, and who would benefit the most from your use of force.

Thank you!

While you and I may not agree on the minutia of what a truly liberty oriented society might look like, we agree completely on the most important point; initiating force against peaceful people is always wrong. I think it will be interesting to see what it looks like when society finally embraces this fact.

What it really comes down to

What it really comes down to then is what exactly you believe is an initiation of force (could it be someone telling you to move your car or face arrest because an ambulance needs to get to a hospital?) and who exactly is a "peaceful person"? I've met plenty of people I'd never want anything to do with who might technically be considered "peaceful".

What you believe to be true isn't the same for the next person. Individuals determine their own level of discomfort, their own definition of force, their own view of what it is to be peaceful. People, views and things are not equal... ever.

The initiation of force isn't subjective.

If you have a sliding scale for what you consider the initiation of force you aren't just sliding down the slippery slope gently, you're free falling down it.

Your black and white thinking

Your black and white thinking is classic BPD.

Ventura 2012

Oh boy, it's my favorite relativist here

How much of a beating would it be before it was assault? Would a simple finger poke be assault? What about two fingers? How about four? What if it were a fist, but not used with absolute force? How about if the fist were used, but with moderate force? How about if a fist were used with maximum force? What if instead of one strike it were two? Would it be assault if a foot were used too? How about a stick? How about a taser? What if a gun were used?

If I were to poke you in an unwanted fashion with so much as a finger it would be assault, plain and simple. The matter of initiating force is black and white. You are either initiating force or you are not. The difference between you and I on this subject is that you would willingly and gladly initiate force against peaceful people to make them behave as you'd wish and I won't.

The initiation of force IS black and white. If you see it otherwise, quit complaining about how others aren't really using force against you to make you behave as they think you should.

The thing I've always

The thing I've always disliked the most here is the righteous indignation of the unrighteous. Have another cup of coffee on me, bub.

I agree with your first premise

IP and Property Rights have existed long before our bloated gov't.

They existed during Colonialism - Mass Slavery - Women and Children as Property - Forced Relocation - Forced Assimilation.

I disagree with the thought that "those times" had a "smaller" (less intrusive) gov't.

The Gov'ts of Old afforded no protections for MOST of the people (surfs - indentured - slaves - women - children).

Back then Gov'ts were formed by the Priesthood and the "royals" were thought to be "divine conduits"

The level of bull-malarky and oppression would not be fathomable today.

This is why I'm against this "harkening back" mentality of puritanical constitutionalists -- it was not a period of consumer-sovereignty or free-markets as Mises conceived or theorized.

Governments exist at the will

Governments exist at the will of their populace, despite a tendency toward bloated self-importance. As we've seen time and again, a government that attempts to crush the population will cause the governed to rebel and eventually destroy that government.

Your historical examples are noted, but none of them exist today.

What is the biggest source of slave labor today? I daresay the "illegal drug" and prostitution industries and only because they are illegal. If they were legal, the value would be reduced and the criminal element would disappear.

If you had 535 Ron Paul's in Office

What would the spending be if there were 535 Dr. No's?

It's not because they all agree (in free-market terms) but they all as individuals refuse to spend -- if there is no spending in a short order there will be no gov't.

The very idea of getting 535 RP's in office is an affirmation to Zero Gov't -- now that is perfectly logical.

Since we KNOW we can never have 535 RP's in office the best case scenario is we have a "true" 3rd Party with one party or the other having "just" enough power to get the blame for why nothing is ever efficient.

Efficiency in Gov't is when NOTHING gets done and NOTHING gets spent.

When you have a two-party system "something" is always getting done and everything is being spent.

No Gov't has EVER been destroyed by the rabble -- only leadership, immediately replaced by another oppressive regime.

Now that's reality.

There could never be 535 Ron

There could never be 535 Ron Pauls in political office. People aren't wired identically. Ron's views are a minority of public opinion and it will always be so. I realize that.

Also... "Whenever you have an efficient government you have a dictatorship." —Harry Truman

Inefficiency in government (due to factions fighting each other and a semblance of balance of power) is the only thing that protects us from being rounded up by government workers to be fed into woodchippers.

So then you concede my point

Not only is voting an abdication of self-rule (to rule at the POS not the ballot box as Mises' argued) but it is a waste of time -- since if given a choice (to circumvent consumer-will or to ensure it) most people will "vote" to circumvent -- in fact a counter vote (to ensure consumer sovereignty) is in fact a circumvention of the ballot-box-market.

Do you believe that the ballot-box is a "market good" -- if so then you must believe in open competition (if you favor free-markets) and thus competing ballot boxes.

If you meditate on the later for more than five seconds you'll see that you CANNOT have competing ballot boxes and thus voting is not a market good.


At this point it is probably counter-productive to respond,

but I'll be brief.

I vote to keep the mob from completely overwhelming and taking what I have left in this society. Thanks to the current economy, it ain't easy going.

Voting and Lobbying creates "demand"

The vote and lobby "market" is a false-market.

A false-market cannot exist in a free-society because it cannot exist (logically) in pure competition.

Could you imagine mulitple ballot box organizations? No one would believe the outcome of the other.

A true-market-good could be conceiveable in pure competition.

A false-market-good (one that can only exist under monopoly-rule is therefore a circumvention of consumer-rule and antagonistic to all other markets it effects.

My point should be clear and irrefutable.

To participate in a false-market-good is the same as an abdication of self-rule; so by "voice" you argue for free-markets and by action you work against it.

Oh -- A false-market-good can only "grow" gov't -- it can never shrink it.

'less you could show that the Ballot box is a Temporary Misesian "natural" Monopoly?

Seeing as I was born in a

Seeing as I was born in a country with an existing political system and a history to support that system, it will not be easily changed. Flaws in the DNA affect the life and health of the system.

Yeah -- You wiggled out of a conversation and dismounted into


Thanks for stating the obvious.

My final word on the matter

My final word on the matter is simply that you are a very difficult person to attempt to engage in conversation. Good day.

Well-reasoned post! In answer

Well-reasoned post!

In answer to your example of the pharmaceutical company, obviously, once the product is marketed, the competitors will be able to deduce its composition. However, this research takes time. And setting up a production process to create the same product also takes time. The pharmaceutical company that invented the drug still has a first mover advantage. The whole point of a patent is to restrict competitors' ability to produce the same thing only for a definite period of time. By what metric do you conclude that the arbitrary seventeen years of government-enforced patents is better than the six months of first mover advantage? Surely, a patent which takes 100 years to expire is much too long.

As for the book example, that is exactly how Rothbard defended copyright. However, I agree with your assessment. The contract-based defense of copyright is ridiculous. However, the whole point of a book is to make public its contents, not to keep it secret. So it's not a very good counter-example to the point you were responding to :)

I also agree with your point that absolutism is a bad strategy for liberty. If one should become an anarchist, he should do so on the basis of a reasonable assessment of the arguments, not on the basis of ideological absolutism.

But there might be a question hidden in this particular case. Let me try to formulate: Suppose that you agreed with all the other arguments for anarchy, would you erect a state just to enforce IP laws?

"However, this research takes

"However, this research takes time. And setting up a production process to create the same product also takes time. The pharmaceutical company that invented the drug still has a first mover advantage."

In a practical sense, no. This isn't the 1700s. This is the high tech world. A competitor can close the gap in DAYS. Look at a other drugs that go off patent; the original company has had first-mover advantage for YEARS, but as soon as it is off-patent, profits drop tremendously.

Of course, the 17-year length is arbitrary. But that is kind of the compromise that society makes; "we're willing to protect your right to your IP for this long; then, open market". And society has to contend with the results of that; higher drug prices vs. more innovation.

"However, the whole point of a book is to make public its contents, not to keep it secret."

What? Where do you come up with this. The whole point of a book, from the author's and publisher's perspective, is to make money. They want to sell it; they want to sell the contents of the book and do not want it to be made available for free.

Plan for eliminating the national debt in 10-20 years:

Overview: http://rolexian.wordpress.com/2010/09/12/my-plan-for-reducin...

Specific cuts; defense spending: http://rolexian.wordpress.com/2011/01/03/more-detailed-look-a

If the seventeen year period

If the seventeen year period is completely arbitrary, why exactly is it better than your estimate of several days' first mover's advantage?

You don't write and publish a book to keep a secret. As such, I don't see how your book example can be a relevant counter-example to Mr none's comment about using secrecy to protect intellectual property.

"Submitted by alanius on Wed,

"Submitted by alanius on Wed, 07/11/2012 - 02:41. Permalink
If the seventeen year period is completely arbitrary, why exactly is it better than your estimate of several days' first mover's advantage?"

It is because I don't see it as some kind of moral issue. It is a moving target; each society will have the target placed at a certain number and will suffer the consequences of that.

With only several days first mover advantage, a drug company doesn't get enough benefit that they would sink billions into research and development costs. As a result, you will see innovation go down.

"You don't write and publish a book to keep a secret."

No, but you write it to make money, no? If someone else copies your book and distributes it for free, do they have the right to do so?

Plan for eliminating the national debt in 10-20 years:

Overview: http://rolexian.wordpress.com/2010/09/12/my-plan-for-reducin...

Specific cuts; defense spending: http://rolexian.wordpress.com/2011/01/03/more-detailed-look-a

Like other collectivists

some people like freedom when it suits them and big government when it works for what they believe in.

The people in favor of IP laws seem to focus on the person they think invented the idea. But did this person not use other people's ideas to get his own idea? So who exactly got the idea?

But the more important question to me is the obvious unfairness of a billion people not being able to make a wheel for themselves because the first person patented the idea. All you who favor IP laws how do you justify this in a free society?

IP laws are morally wrong because of this obvious assault on personal liberty.

And to those less idealistic IP laws also don't work as they in reality only benefit the rich and powerful.


"IP laws are morally wrong because of this obvious assault on personal liberty." ...is something that anyone who claims to want greater liberty ought to realize.

On the Kinsella Presentation

"Underwhelmed" is the best term for describing how I felt after watching Kinsella's presentation. (my views on Kokesh's 'arguments' can be found further down this thread).

Kinsella makes some good points on how different groups view the origin of property rights but he completely fails to address the moral aspect involved.

If someone takes a process / system you have created and then uses it as one of the factors in a product / service he / she then offers on the market, he / she is obviously obtaining value from your previous work and creation.

How this differs from stealing is beyond me. A portion of the value he / she obtains when trading is due to the factor you have worked for and created and he / she simply copied.

If someone here can explain why this isn't theft I would appreciate it very much. But please just don't use the fallacious argument that the person is not 'damaging' me just because a non-tangible process can be easily copied - the flame / candle analogy.

He also tried to make his

He also tried to make his point by showing as many crappy patents as he could find.

yes, that was so embarassing


More Libertarian Hypocrisy

Libertarians claim they are against infringing on the rights of others; Do what thou wilt as long as it does not infringe on others rights.

Yet this guy violates my rights to decency. By deceit I am forced to listen to this foul mouth with no self-control. What give him the right to infringe my rights?

But you say no once is forcing you to watch or listen. Yet Libertarians are also against labeling, so consumers can not make informed choices that suit them. So we are left with those with the lowest moral standard win. Same as the kleptocracy we have now.

This double standard is why the Libertarian hypocrisy will never go anywhere.

The only thing violated here was LOGIC

As 'none' said below, go look in the mirror.