Comment: I also agree with your

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I also agree with your

I also agree with your friend, and here is why:

Quick note; These ideas are not my own, I read them in an article somewhere, though I couldn't source where... I spend a lot of time on Von Mises and reading economics.

A song is not private property, even if you wrote it. You cannot own an idea or a song. Infact you never "own" anything save for raw materials and land. For example, you don't own a treehouse. You own the wood its built out of. The easiest way to proove this is to ask yourself if you own a treehouse which is built from lumber you've stolen from your neighbor.

Here are the criteria which an object must fullfill in order to be considered private property:

1) A finite product. Something with limits.
2) An item which cannot be used in the same way, by 2 or more people, at the same time.

The only way private property can be aquired is through original claim, or through purchase from its former owner.

So ask yourself, can two people use a song at the same time and in the same way without depriving the other of its enjoyment?

Yes. Therefore, a song is not something which can be defined as private property. A song is infinatly reproduceable, and making copies of it deprives no one of the ability to enjoy that song, even the original artist.

What the artist "does" loose, is an economic advantage to be the sole owner of it and profit from it. However thats only applicable when you have a market place built around government intrusion. In a truly free market where patents were never introduced by governments, this would be a non-issue because artists and the market would have developed other profitable means by which an originator of an idea can profit from their ideas and intellectual products. In other words, this is a problem caused by government, so the solution isn't more government. Its to remove the original problem.

A patent, such as Intellectual Property Rights is a government granted monopoly on the freedom to produce a certain product. Its you paying the government in order to be granted sole rights to market something.

This concept is antethetical to a free market, and is perhaps one of the single most limiting factors to human progress in our entire history (unless you count collectivist thought in all of its forms). Patent law is the 2nd of two grave mistakes written into our constitution (#1 being slavery).

Here is why:

First, the dark side of patents. Imagine if in your home laboratory, you solve cold fusion, and create a safe, limitless energy source that can free the entire world from dependance on fossil(*smirk*)fuels, providing cheap and abundant power to everyone. The moment you begin the patent process, the legal team of big oil whose entire job is to watch the patent markets for competition will swoop in, buy your patent out from under you with their endless resources and lawyers, and tuck your technology into a dark corner, never to see the light of day again.

Patent law is a product of crony capitalism (fascism for the politically incorrect person) and is used to destroy competition and protect the monopolistic stranglehold which "connected" companies have on the market. If you even try to build or market your own cold fusion reactor, they will sue you into destitution. Consider how much this holds back human technological progress?

Now the advantages to a free market without patent law: Imagine if there was no such thing as patents or "Intellectual property." Imagine Apple came out with the I-phone. Immediatly, their competition would reverse engineer it, learn how to replicate it, improve upon it, build it for cheaper etc. Apple would therefore need to constantly be improving its technology and lower its prices in order to stay on the cutting edge of the market.

A company's need to retain their skilled employees (and thus trade secrets) would be greater than ever, maximising market incentives to provide great working conditions and competitive pay.

The techonlogical explosion, and the economicly competitive advances (cheaper prices, better quality) would be staggering and utterly advantageous to the consumer.

Throughout history, mankind has stood upon the shoulders of our predecessors to advance technology. The introduction of modern patent laws removes our ability to do this. Every inventor must start several rungs down the ladder of progress, and must completely avoid methodologies and technologies which are patented or risk being financially ruined. This is an absolute depresent to the advance of mankind. As usual, the product of government intrusion into the market.

Patent law is the reason that we are not colonizing the stars, driving flying cars, living for 200 years and enjoying a golden age of liberty, free from government tyranny.

Don't believe me? Then consider that "patent" law is exactly what the government is using to go after and destroy internet freedom. The internet, arguably the greatest advance of man kind, which connects the entire world and allows the free, unfiltered sharing of ideas, techonology and philosophy, uniting us together in a way that has never happened in all the ages of the world is, unsuprisingly, a threat to governments. The internet is waking humanity up to the nature of governments.

Its the height of irony that IP law is being used to go after "Internet pirates," when the first patents were used by the collectivist tyrannys of Europe to grant captains the "right" to become priviteers in order to attack their competitors. Patents created piracy, and now they want to use it to stop online piracy. What a joke.

Anyway, hope that gives you a good perspective.