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Bob Murphy on Intellectual Property and Funding Ideas

A nice excerpt from Bob Murphy’s article My Debate Challenge to Paul Krugman:

Intellectual Property and Funding Ideas

The most relevant lesson for Austrian economists is that we are seeing the transformation of funding mechanisms for those in the business of creating ideas. Before the rise of modern capitalism, artists and writers needed the support of wealthy patrons. But with capitalism and its “mass production for the needs of the masses,” this dependence on the philanthropy of the rich receded.

The innovators of today are taking advantage of the new frontier of the Internet. Recognizing the obsolescence of “intellectual-property” laws, they are dreaming up new ways to earn a living from the production of ideas.

Yes, if the state suddenly stopped enforcing ownership claims on intangible, nonscarce things, we can imagine all sorts of potential problems. But surely these budding entrepreneurs — and thousands more rising from the ranks — are just the people to solve them.

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