Fascinating chapter, “The Law of the Sea of Ignorance: F. A. Hayek, Fritz Machlup, and other Neoliberals Confront the Intellectual Property Problem,” by Quinn Slobodian, in Nine Lives of Neoliberalism, eds. Dieter Plehwe, Quinn Slobodian, Philip Mirowski online at b-ok dot cc then /book/5459057/b5c51d .
Abstract: Aggressive IP rights are often assumed to be one feature of the global neoliberal regime snapping into place since the 1970s. Yet, as this chapter shows, neoliberals themselves have been far from unanimous on the question of when, how, and even if ideas can be treated as property. This chapter focuses on the heterodox Austrian approaches of Friedrich Hayek and his contemporary Fritz Machlup, coiner of both the terms “knowledge economy” and “production of knowledge” and an understudied member of the Mont Pelerin cohort.
“Concreteness and Virtuality: Our Freedoms in the Era of the Internet,” by Eduardo Luft & Rosana Pizzatto, in Internet, Direito e Filosofia: leituras interdisciplinares, Editora Fundação Fênix Porto Alegre, 2021. Abstract:
“Like any other human society, virtual communities face ethical-political issues. Discussions on the internauts’ human rights, especially those related to human freedom, and on the legitimacy of models of regulation are always present in the international Internet forums. The contemporary dispute over the true idea of freedom still places the heirs of Kant and Hegel in the arena. Following the dialectic route, we see as one of the main challenges of our time to unveil the concept of freedom that emerges from an evolutionary ontology. According to the dialectic actualization project shown here, the Internet is conceived as one more subsystem that emerges in nature under the constraints imposed by the evolutionary logical space. As a self-organized process that evolves over time, the Internet also has relational and processual traits, presenting equally a movement towards the coherence of the network itself. Online societies follow the same law of coherence that rules real societies and online freedom presents the same character of real freedom, the exploration of the open field of possible modes of coherence. Personal freedom on the Internet retains common traits with the personal freedom that every person has and should have in real society, but, as we shall show later, there are also subtle differences between the two, with a strong impact on the Theory of Law. Keywords: Law, freedom”
In the end:
But here are some collected resources about ways to make a profit without relying on patent and copyright, or related ideas.
This article is confused. Anything enforced by contract is not IP since contract rights are in personam—between the parties only—whereas IP rights are in rem property rights good against the world. That is why they affect third parties and precisely why they are problematic. A contract cannot bind third parties so it can’t produce IP rights. Hammer is confused. Rothbard was wrong that contracts can bind third parties. I explain this in the “IP as Contract” section of Against Intellectual Property, in particular the subsections “The Limits of Contract” and “Contract vs. Reserved Rights.”
This article was published in the Winter 1995-96 issue of Formulations
by the Free Nation Foundation
Intellectual Property Rights Viewed As Contracts
by Richard O. Hammer
(to table of contents of FNF archives)
While we libertarians wrestle with the rectitude of intellectual property rights, I suggest that we think of contracts, and the limits of the enforceability of contracts. Suppose Scribbler has written a book that you want to read. Scribbler offers you a contract. For $10 you may take the volume — but only if you promise not to copy it.1
While some libertarians argue persuasively against the legitimacy of intellectual property as granted by state power,2 I think that most of us would agree that the state should not intervene to void a contract between two freely consenting parties. You and Scribbler have a right to enter into a contract which gives Scribbler a right, of sorts, to intellectual property. [continue reading…]
This piece Brian Doherty, Intellectual Property: Dying Among Libertarians?, was published in Reason in 2010. He doesn’t quite get it, but at least tries to fairly summarize my propertarian take. I had several replies, including this one:
In this recent podcast, KOL341 | ESEADE Lecture: Should We Release Patents on Vaccines? An Overview of Libertarian Property Rights and the Case Against IP, I start off with a concise overview of the libertarian understanding of property rights and why this rules out intellectual property rights. The podcast episode is accompanied by a transcript.
Kinsella on Liberty Podcast, Episode 341.
This was a webinar I did for an Argentinian audience for ESEADE May 26, 2021. The topic was formally “Should We Release Patents on Vaccines” (“¿Hay que liberar las patentes sobre las vacunas?“). In this talk, I briefly provide an overview of the nature of property rights and the principled case against IP, then apply it to vaccines, and took questions from the audience.