Masnick on the libertarian position on patents

by Stephan Kinsella on February 27, 2013

In a recent Techdirt post discussing a Reason TV video called How Patent Trolls Kill Innovation (see below), Masnick notes:

Nothing in the story or the video will really be all that new to regular Techdirt readers, but it’s great to see more attention being given to the problems of patent trolls and how they harm innovation. It’s also great to see it come from Reason.TV, a part of the libertarian Reason Foundation — as there is still some dispute among the wider “libertarian” crowd as to whether or not the patent system is good or bad. It’s felt like there’s been a growing recognition that the answer is “bad,” and hopefully videos like this represent a recognition that the scale is tipping.

Yes, Masnick is right that libertarians are increasingly IP abolitionists, see “The Death Throes of Pro-IP Libertarianism” (discussed previously at by Brian Doherty in Intellectual Property: Dying Among Libertarians?), The Four Historical Phases of IP Abolitionism, and The Origins of Libertarian IP Abolitionism.

For my explanation that focusing on the patent troll problem misses the fundamental problem of the patent system itself, see Patent trolls as mafioso (and that’s a compliment).


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Sam Liberty March 26, 2013 at 2:03 pm

As Libertarians we must realize that the rights of Corporations exceed the rights of individuals.

Our first priority must be to perpetuating the growth of Corporations as it is their wealth that trickles down to the people.

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