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Wojciech Gamrot, “On Type Creation and Ownership”

Excellent recent paper, “On Type Creation and Ownership,” by Wojciech Gamrot [PDF], arguing against libertarian creationism. From Political Dialogues (30/2021), DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12775/DP.2021.010.


The subject matter of intellectual property rights is an intangible entity. It is identified as an immaterial type which may be embodied in multiple material tokens. A prominent acquisition principle postulates that creators are entitled to a property right in their creation. Combined with a widespread belief that innovators and artists bring to existence not only tokens, but also types, this leads to the acceptance of property rights in these types. In order to avoid conflicts of claims and deadlocks under propertarian framework, the acquisition of equivalent types must be restricted. This may be achieved by assuming that types are unique. However, when the uniqueness property holds, the belief in type creation is untenable. If unique immaterial types exist at all, then they do so regardless of any human activities and may eventually be identified or recognized, but not created. Hence the creationist principle cannot justify owning them.


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