From my appearance on the Nothing Exempt podcast, Ep. 53, discussing IP with a couple of libertarian hosts. Well, co-host Nick said he was 80% libertarian and disagreed with me on IP … but for somewhat inscrutable reasons, as I started asking him about, about 4 minutes in.
Anthony Wile: You’ve called the following a fallacy: “If you own something, that implies that you can sell it; and if you sell something, that implies you must own it first. The former idea, which is based on a flawed idea about the origin and nature of property rights and contract theory, is used to justify voluntary slavery; the second, which is based on a flawed understanding of contract theory, is used to justify intellectual property.” Can you elaborate please?
Stephan Kinsella: I discuss this in more detail in some podcasts such as
This is hard to elaborate in a quick interview. But here is a summary answer.
Ownership means right to control. It is not automatically clear why this would imply the power or ability or right to stop having the right to control it. My view is that we own our bodies not because of homesteading but because each person has a unique link to his body: his ability to directly control it. Hoppe recognized this decades ago, as I point out in How We Come To Own Ourselves. I had to find an old German text of his and have it translated, to find out his early insight on this, from 1985. This has implications for the idea of the voluntary slavery contract and the so-called inalienability debate. [click to continue…]
From my recent appearance on the first episode of rising libertarian and media star Michael Malice’s “Your Welcome” show on his new network, GaS Digital (consider subscribing–libertarian Dave Smith also has a great show on the network–I just did). I was in New York for the weekend, he was rebooting his show on a new network, so it was kismet. We discussed the basic case against intellectual property (I had to persuade Malice, an anarcho-capitalist who came into this without a lot of settled views on it), the Hoppe “toy helicopter” incident [e.g., 1, 2, 3], the infamous Robert Wenzel “debate,” and a few other issues, like my recent bout with prostate cancer (yeah, he got me to go there).
From the YouTube episode description:
It’s the first episode of “YOUR WELCOME”! Join Michael Malice as he speaks with American Intellectual Property Lawyer Stephan Kinsella on the current system of IP and how the implementation of its laws effect commerce, culture and society. From the drug industry to entertainment, the precedents set by those who govern over the laws of Intellectual Property help shape the foundation of culture as well as the economy. Listen as Michael Malice delves deep into the core of the issues and stories that effect our world today. “YOUR WELCOME”. Follow the show @michaelmalice, @NSKinsella
The YouTube video below will only be up for a couple weeks, I believe.
I was a guest last night on Punching Left, with hosts Clifton Knox and David German, discussing argumentation ethics, estoppel, covenant communities, the non-aggression principle, physical removal, Hoppe, Propertarianism, Curt Doolittle, Austin Peterson, and so on.
I was a guest yesterday (3/26/18) on Dave Smith’s podcast. His description: “Talking Libertarian Legal philosophy with Stephan Kinsella. Topics include how the court systems could work without government and why intellectual property isn’t real.”
We discussed a wide-ranging but fairly high-level array of libertarian theory issues, including how I became a libertarian, the main influencers (Ayn Rand, Milton Friedman, Bastiat, Mises, Rothbard), property theory and scarcity, Hoppe’s argumentation ethics, praxeology, dualism of various types, and, sigh, yes, intellectual property. Dave even worked in a funny joke about “The Man on the Moon” … well you’ll just have to see for yourself. But he stole it from Steve Martin.
Episode 23: Patents and Paywalls: How IP Stifles Scientific Innovation: Stephan Kinsella
February 11, 2018
The accepted wisdom tells us that intellectual property (IP) laws encourage innovation. Without legal protection for their discoveries, scientists would have no incentive to conduct research and we would lose out on “…life-changing and life-saving new treatments that bring hope to doctors, patients, and patients’ families worldwide. “
That’s a nice story, but my guest today says this seemingly self-evident truth is entirely incorrect. Far from fostering innovation in the sciences, patent attorney and legal scholar Stephan Kinesella argues that intellectual property hampers competition and thus stifles the discovery of new medicines and other technologies. Every year businesses waste millions of dollars in court defending their patents and divert resources away from research and development. This perverse system keeps smaller companies from out-competing established firms and severely limits consumer choice throughout the economy.
Moreover, copyright protections allow major publishers to lock original scientific research behind paywalls and charge obscene prices to anyone who wants to access the content, even though much of the work is financed by taxpayers. Paradoxically, then, IP laws have allowed giant corporations and federal bureaucracies to tightly restrict the production and distribution of scientific knowledge.
Listen in as Stephan and I discuss how this broken system came to be and what we can do to replace it.