Anti-patent-troll ads launch on radio and in print in 15 states: miss the big picture

September 1, 2013

My comments on a Facebook post about this ars technica article, Anti-patent-troll ads launch on radio and in print in 15 states: Sigh. The problem is never addressed, even by these people. Even if Congress were to somehow get rid of “bad patents” (which is impossible, as the patentability standards are inherently vague and administered by […]

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Fetz: My Journey in the World of Copyrights

August 26, 2013

From Joe Fetz’s blog: My Journey in the World of Copyrights The issue of Intellectual Property (IP) is a very contentious one in libertarian circles and indeed between differing political philosophies, not all parties seem to agree on whether such a system could exist in a free society or whether such a system is just in […]

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Of Dice And Men: IP, Open Source and Dungeons and Dragons

August 23, 2013

In this interesting interview on KERA Think, with the author of a new book on Dungeons and Dragons, the author observes that in the early years of D&D, the publisher was aggressive in suing fans who published modified versions of the D&D rules (presumably using either copyright or trademark law as the weapon of choice), […]

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Lionel Robbins on the Patent Monopoly

August 13, 2013

The following passage on patents, by Lionel Robbins, was called to my attention by Jeff Tucker. This is from Robbins’s 1939 book The Economic Basis of Class Conflict and Other Essays in Political Economy, Part I, “The Interests of Groups and the Interest of Society,” chapter III, “The ‘Inevitability’ of Monopoly,” Section (4), “The Causes of […]

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Are Patents and Copyrights “Monopolies”?

August 13, 2013

From my Mises blog post from 2009, with some updates: Are Patents “Monopolies”? JULY 13, 2009 by STEPHAN KINSELLA On occasion you get some defender of patents who is upset when we use the m-word to describe these artificial state-granted monopoly rights. For example here one Dale Halling, a patent attorney (surprise!) posts about “The Myth that Patents are […]

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Techdirt: Copyright Lawyers vs Patent Lawyers Smackdown

August 13, 2013

What can one say…? Copyright Lawyers vs Patent Lawyers Smackdown: And The Winner Is… from the when’s-the-rematch? dept You may remember a rather wonderful court case from 2012 that pitted copyright lawyers against patent lawyers over the issue of whether submitting journal articles as part of the patenting process was fair use. Well, we now have the judge’s decision, as […]

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Rozeff: Contents of Private E-Mails Are Private Property

August 9, 2013

Michael Rozeff has a provocative post on LRC about property rights in the content of email. Here’s the post: Contents of Private E-Mails Are Private Property Suppose that I own a safe and it is empty. Someone breaks into it and finds nothing. They have trespassed at a minimum. Maybe more, maybe breaking and entering, […]

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Freakonomics: Does Copyright Make Books Disappear?

August 9, 2013

On the Freakonomics blog, Kaul Raustiala and Chris Sprigman (the latter mentioned here previously) discuss the phenomenon copyright suppression of some older works because of a combination of the orphan works problem and long copyright terms. This has been discussed here before at How long copyright terms make art disappear. The post is repixeled below. Good for […]

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Hayek’s Views on Intellectual Property

August 2, 2013

Some of Hayek’s views on patent and copyright have already been collected in previous blogposts (see below). Steve Horwitz just called to Jeff Tucker’s attention another provocative comment of Hayek’s on this topic, in his Constitution of Liberty. This is from chapter 3 (which is reprinted here) (emphasis added): 3. The rapid economic advance that […]

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Yaron Brook on the Appropriate Copyright Term

July 29, 2013

Objectivist Yaron Brook on the Leonard Peikoff podcast answers a question about how long the duration of copyright should be. Well, I should say, he attempts to answer the question. No, he doesn’t even quite do that. He just “punts”; says he doesn’t know and that this is the domain of legal philosophy. He says […]

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More defenses of IP by the Federalist Society

July 29, 2013

Economists and legal scholars have long been skeptical of IP,1 and libertarians in recent decades have become even more skeptical; most nowadays are in favor of abolishing IP altogether.2 So it is passing strange that the Federalist Society, allegedly a group of conservative and libertarian lawyers, is completely dominated by pro-IP discourse. You would never know […]

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Joseph Diedrich: Intellectual Property Cannot Be Property

July 29, 2013

From the MacIver Institute, a Wisconsin free market group: Intellectual Property Cannot Be Property July 16, 2013 by Joseph Diedrich Special Guest Perspective for the MacIver Institute What is property? More specifically, at its essential theoretical core, beyond the artifice of legal fiat, what is property? Somewhat broadly, property is anything that satisfies each of […]

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Bill Gates: Flip-Flopping IP Hypocrite

July 29, 2013

A couple decades ago, Bill Gates seemed to have some appreciation of the damage wrought by patent law: If people had understood how patents would be granted when most of today’s ideas were invented, and had taken out patents, the industry would be at a complete standstill today. I feel certain that some large company […]

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Falkvinge: Language Matters: Framing The Copyright Monopoly So We Can Keep Our Liberties

July 14, 2013

From the great Rick Falkvinge. For related see Intellectual Poverty, Are Patents “Monopolies”? and Intellectual Properganda. Language Matters: Framing The Copyright Monopoly So We Can Keep Our Liberties Rick Falkvinge July 14, 2013 George Orwell was scaringly right in many ways, but one of his most overlooked points is one of the most important. The language we use […]

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Evangelization vs. Copyright

July 6, 2013

Thought-provoking piece by Jeff Tucker: Evangelization vs. Copyright by Jeffrey Tucker Brandon Vogt really liked the new papal encyclical but noted that the Vatican only made it available in HTML. So he worked to convert it to PDF, epub, Mobi, and more, and then he gave away these formats on his website. Perhaps he was inspired by the […]

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How long copyright terms make art disappear

July 6, 2013

Good post by Cory Doctorow illustrating how copyright is a type of censorship—in this case, it suppresses the dissemination of books caught in the copyright “black hole” as a result of the combination of copyright terms, the orphan works problem (which is a result in part of the lack of a requirement for copyright registration […]

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Recent StephanKinsella.com Podcasts and Blog Posts of Interest

July 4, 2013

  Portugese translation of Against Intellectual Property; KOL070 | Interview on Red Ice Radio (Sweden) about Libertarianism, Property Rights, IP KOL069 | Thinking Liberty Interview on IP (2011) KOL068 | James Cox: Why Man Made Law Is Slavery! KOL067 | Patent and Copyright are Unconstitutional! KOL066 | LiveFreeFM with Nathan Fraser KOL065 | Guest on The […]

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Falkvinge: The Copyright Monopoly Was Always Intended To Prevent Freedom Of Expression

June 4, 2013

From Rick Falkvinge at Torrent Freak: The Copyright Monopoly Was Always Intended To Prevent Freedom Of Expression Rick Falkvinge April 14, 2013 As I was explaining the need for copyright monopoly reform in Dublin this week, an elderly gentleman red-faced with rage exclaimed in the Q&A session that the copyright monopoly was absolutely crucial for […]

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Music industry: enforce copyright enforcement by surgically-implanted neural shunts, haha

June 3, 2013

On This Week in Law #213, the hosts were discussing DRM and the upcoming X-Box One, and speculation, based on a Microsoft patent, about whether that system might move away from standard DRM to  “visual DRM“—an Orwellian system where the Kinect looks around the room with its camera, counts the number of people watching a movie […]

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My IP Odyssey

May 30, 2013

I became libertarian in 1982, as a junior in high school, after reading Ayn Rand’s novels and nonfiction books. A few years later I was in law school and a nascent anarchist and Rothbardian, having by this time rejected Rand’s attacks on libertarianism and anarchism. And I had always had qualms about her pro-IP arguments.1 […]

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“Around this time I met the Galambosian.”

May 29, 2013

A great anecdote from Jerome Tuccille’s hilarious It Usually Begins with Ayn Rand, about one of the stranger kooks in the libertarian movement, Andrew Galambos.1 I quoted this way back in the Summer 1998 issue of the Pennsylvania Bar Association IP Law Newsletter (which I founded in 1997):  Around this time I met the Galambosian. “I am […]

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Karl Hess and Robert Anton Wilson: Thumbs Down on IP (1987)

May 22, 2013

From Karl Hess and Robert Anton Wilson Discuss Everything, a Q&A session at a 1987 Libertarian Party convention, an audience member asks them about their opinion on “so-called intellectual property rights,” and Apple’s assertion of IP claims over its computer systems (at 1:13:53). Hess first replies that he thinks IP rights are “difficult to enforce” and Wilson […]

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Dante’s Divine Comedy and Intellectual Property

May 18, 2013

Interesting article at Strike-the-Root by Lawrence Ludlow, Dante’s Divine Comedy and the Divine Origins of the Free Market, which makes some interesting connections between Dante’s Divine Comedy, the free market, and (anti) intellectual property theory. An excerpt: In short, Virgil asks Dante to abandon his outmoded economic paradigm of command-and-control economics, where the Diktat of economic viziers […]

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Does Innovation Require the Patent Office?

May 10, 2013

From Jeff Tucker at Laissez Faire Today: Does Innovation Require the Patent Office? Jeffrey Tucker · May 10, 2013  Two years ago, I spoke to a gentlemen who had started and sold four companies. He was currently working on a new project that sounded very promising (for all I know, he has already sold that one too). […]

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Study: Patent Claims Causing Firms to Exit Business Lines

May 6, 2013

From the Insurance Journal, more depressing evidence about the baleful effects of the anti-competitive, anti-property rights fascist patent system: Patent Claims Causing Firms to Exit Business Lines: Study May 6, 2013 Patent demands are taking a big toll on technology companies, with results that range from forcing companies to tweak their products to exiting their […]

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EU Antitrust Ruling Says Google Abusing Patent Position in German Lawsuit Against Apple

May 6, 2013

From MacRumours: EU Antitrust Ruling Says Google Abusing Patent Position in German Lawsuit Against Apple Monday May 6, 2013 7:01 am PDT by Eric Slivka The New York Times reports that Google and its Motorola Mobility unit have been found to be abusing their patent dominance in 3G wireless networking technology by the European Commission. The ruling, […]

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Recent Discussions on the Abolition of Patents for Inventions in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and the Netherlands: Evidence, Speeches, and Papers in Its Favour: With Suggestions as to International Arrangements Regarding Inventions and Copyright (1869)

May 2, 2013

Great find by David Koepsell: A book published in 1869, Recent Discussions on the Abolition of Patents for Inventions in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and the Netherlands: Evidence, Speeches, and Papers in Its Favour: With Suggestions as to International Arrangements Regarding Inventions and Copyright, ed. by Robert Andrew Macfie (London: Longmans, Green, Reader and Dwyer, 1869; […]

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How the Decision Not to Patent Gave Rise to the Internet

May 1, 2013

Interesting post from NPR about CERN’s decision in 1993 not to patent the basic protocol of the world-wide web. If they had not done this who knows what would have happened. (It is odd that they contacted law professor Mark Lemley to ask him whether the web could have been patented, as Lemley was never a […]

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Cory Doctorow, Victim of Fox Copyright Legal Bullying, Should Take A Stand Against Copyright

April 27, 2013

As reported by ars technica, Fox is using federal copyright law and the DMCA process to bully author Cory Doctorow. His novel Homeland has the same title as the Fox television series, but otherwise has nothing to do with it. Having the same title is not a copyright violation as titles are too short to […]

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Nina Paley: Make Art, Not Law

April 26, 2013

From QuestionCopyright.org, a great interview with Nina Paley. For some background on problems Paley alludes to re CC0, see my post Copyright is very sticky!. Make Art, Not Law. Submitted by admin on Fri, 2013-04-19 15:56 QCO Artist-in-Residence Nina Paley’s interview with at Baixa Cultura, conducted by email with journalist and photographer André Solnik. The English below is the […]

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German Parliament says: Stop Granting Software Patents

April 24, 2013

Good news, but of course, it misses the fundamental problem which is the patent itself. The problem is not low quality patents or software patents or “abuse” of patents. Even if you get rid of these problems, the fundamental problem remains: the state is granting anti-competitive monopoly privileges that entrenched market players can use to […]

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Copyrights, Fundamental Rights, and the Constitution

April 22, 2013

From Freedom to Tinker, on the “liberal” IP fascist Scott Turow: Copyrights, Fundamental Rights, and the Constitution APRIL 22, 2013 BY ANNEMARIE BRIDY 9 COMMENTS There was a lot to take issue with in Scott Turow’s recent op-ed in The New York Times. Turow, who is currently President of the Authors Guild, took to The Times to criticize the Supreme Court’s decision inKirtsaeng […]

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Against Intellectual Property in French

April 22, 2013

My monograph Against Intellectual Property is now available in a French translation, as Contre la propriété intellectuelle Écrit (PDF). It was translated by Xavier Gillard. My work has now been translated into fourteen other languages.  

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Japan even worse than US on copyright?

April 18, 2013

Sad, especially given that Asia was traditionally better on copyright than the West has been (well, at least in China: “To Steal a Book is an Elegant Offense” —Chinese saying). From Crunchyroll.com: Tokyo Man Arrested for Uploading “Accel World” Anime Episode The battle between the Japanese police and illegal uploaders continues Mikikazu Komatsu April 18, 2013 […]

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Thoughts on the Great IP Debate

April 14, 2013

My comment on Thoughts on the Great IP Debate: “The argument against IP does not rest on being anarchist or even anti-legislation. It simply rests on the assumption that property rights in scarce resources are a good thing. Once you accept this, IP becomes impossible to justify. You cannot have both: property rights in scarce resources […]

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Locke’s Big Mistake: How the Labor Theory of Property Ruined Political Theory: Transcript

April 13, 2013

This is a transcription of my speech Locke’s Big Mistake: How the Labor Theory of Property Ruined Political Theory. I have cleaned up a few things and added a few links and notes.

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Libertarian Papers Ranked “A” by Excellence in Research for Australia/Australian Research Council

April 10, 2013

From the site for the C4SIF’s journal Libertarian Papers: Libertarian Papers Ranked “A” by Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA)/Australian Research Council (ARC) I was informed recently by that Libertarian Papers has received a quite good ranking from the Australian Research Council’s (ARC) Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA), an Australian Government body that deals with academic […]

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CEO of Danish CopyrightAlliance: “Control is Freedom!”

April 9, 2013

Maria Fredenslund, the CEO of the Danish CopyrightAlliance, in a debate in which she argues for increased control of the Internet in the name of copyright, proclaims that “control is freedom.” She lauds the “highly controlled and regulated society we live in” and insists that “control gives us freedom.” You see, “Control and regulation creates […]

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