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KOL003 | Prometheus Unbound Interview (intellectual property; science fiction)

Kinsella on Liberty Podcast: Episode 003.

I was interviewed recently by my friend and The Libertarian Standard co-blogger, libertarian philosopher Geoffrey Allan Plauché, and Matthew Alexander for the inaugural episode of their new Prometheus Unbound Podcast. I’m posting here as KOL episode 003. Since we discussed IP and Geoff and Matthew are both fellow anti-IP anarcho-libertarians, I’m sure they won’t mind! ;) Prometheus Unbound is an original, well-done, and excellent “webzine featuring news, reviews, interviews, and commentary on speculative fiction and literature from a libertarian perspective.” Libertarians and others who enjoy sci-fi, fantasy, literature, etc. should subscribe to their podcast feed.

Here’s an excerpt from Geoff’s blog post announcing PUP001.

PUP001 | Interview with Stephan Kinsella

by  on JANUARY 24, 2013 @ 11:57 AM · 0 COMMENTS

Prometheus Unbound Podcast

At long last, here is the first episode of our new, original podcast.

First, Matthew and I break the ice by briefly talking about what we’ve been reading recently. I had just finished Kameron Hurley’s debut novel God’s War. Overall, I think it’s a good effort with an interesting story and world-building but is not without its flaws. Matthew had recently finished Live Free or Die by John Ringo. It was a 2011 Prometheus Award finalist, not a winner as I mistakenly thought while recording the podcast and, according to Matthew, didn’t deserve to be.

Our interview with Stephan takes up most of the episode. It’s around 53 minutes long and starts 9:40 minutes in. For those who don’t already know him, Stephan Kinsella is a patent attorney and prominent libertarian legal scholar. He is best known for his opposition to intellectual property.

We invited Stephan on the show to discuss the problems of intellectual property and piracy in the Digital Age. But first we had to ask him about his love of science fiction and fantasy. We got him to mention some of his favorite authors and books (see below for a list), and we even talked about the Hobbit movie for a bit.

Then, at about 23:15 in, we dove into the meat of the interview. Stephan explained the historical origin of copyright (censorship) and patents (government grants of monopoly privilege, which is what copyright is now too really), how intellectual property has shaped and distorted the film and publishing industries, including Hollywood’s move to California to avoid patent disputes, and why reform is not enough. We also discussed how the Digital Age — the age of the internet, smartphone, ereader, and globalization — is making the evils of copyright and patents more obvious and acute while at the same time undermining traditional business models built around intellectual property. And finally, we explore ways artistic creators might earn a living in a world without intellectual property laws.

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