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Rockwell on IP and Emulation

I confess that I hate self-promotion but I cannot resist reposting comments like the following from the single most important libertarian thinker and organizer of our generation:

Daily Bell: One of the hardest issues to resolve from a free-market point of view is ownership of intellectual property. Can you tell our readers where you come down on this difficult issue? In a free-market, would individuals be able to claim and enforce intellectual property rights with any prospect of success?

Rockwell: Rothbard condemned patents but not copyrights. Mises and Machlup saw patents as government grants of monopoly, but neither condemned them outright. Hayek was against copyrights and patents, but didn’t write about them much. It is digital media that have brought the issue into focus. The key thinker here is Stephan Kinsella. He and Jeffrey Tucker have done the heavy lifting and convinced most all of us that intellectual property is an artifice that has no place in a market economy. There are incredible implications to this insight. The infinite reproducibility of ideas means that we stand a great chance for success. The fact that ideas are not scarce goods means that they need not be controlled. This is a wonderful thing. There is much work left to do in this area. The whole history of invention needs revision, and our theory of markets needs to take better account of the central place of emulation in social progress.

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{ 3 comments… add one }
  • Conza88 February 22, 2010, 5:11 am

    Great work SK.
    Keep on keepin’ on.

  • Kyle Kidwell February 22, 2010, 10:25 pm

    Stephan,
    Props from Lew Rockwell is kind of a big deal. Your self promotion is modest and easily forgiveable, if it would have been me… I would have made a montage video about it.

    I agree with your assesment on IP and your paper titled “Against Intellectual Property” supports the position with brilliant nuance.

    Congratulations sir.

    Kyle Kidwell
    President Young Americans for Liberty
    Illinois State University Chapter

  • Bob Kaercher February 23, 2010, 10:21 am

    I always deeply appreciate the efforts of principled libertarians to highlight conservatives’ war worship as being inconsistent with any kind of a libertarian philosophy, as Scott Smith does in his commentary following the interview. That cannot be stressed enough.

    And kudos to you, Stephan.

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