The Road To (Intellectual) Serfdom

by Stephan Kinsella on December 14, 2010

From Mises Blog:

Superb anti-intellectual property article by Antiwar.com Research Editor Jason Ditz, The Road To (Intellectual) Serfdom, in Forbes. Ditz notes Russia’s use of copyright violation as a pretense to silence political opposition, and also criticizes Republican Orrin Hatch’s efforts to expand and strengthen IP law over the years. As Ditz writes:

… there seems little doubt that, as our lives become more and more dependent on digital media, empowering governments to arbitrarily crack down on “copyright violators” or other suspects in the name of international obligations to protect intellectual property must inevitably have a chilling effect on freedom of speech, freedom of movement and just general freedom.

One can hope that their government won’t abuse the authority given to it, but this is a fool’s palliative. Governments everywhere and always abuse their powers, and unless this intellectual property regime undergoes a massive rethink (or preferably outright abrogation) it seems destined to become the basis of untold abuses to come.

I list other examples of how IP law leads to censorship, book banning, or actual limitations on bodily freedom (such as the right to sing a song or take a job) in The Patent, Copyright, Trademark, and Trade Secret Horror Files.

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