Kinsella on Liberty Podcast, Episode 040.
This is a discussion about IP with a fellow Austro-anarchist libertarian, Alexander Baker, who initially accepted the anti-IP argument I and others have made, but who has since moved to a type of pro-IP position. We had a few email discussions in recent months about this, but I was unable to persuade him that his approach was misguided. We decided to have a (friendly) discussion about it.
Baker calls his theory “intellectual space” and has a new blog devoted to this “libertarian theory of intangible property”; he sketches his position in his post Intro to Intellectual Space. We had a very interesting, civil discussion, which is rare for discussions with IP advocates (see, e.g., KOL 038 | Debate with Robert Wenzel on Intellectual Property). Baker was honest and forthright, willing to admit what he is not yet sure about; he admitted his own bias for IP given that his career (as a musical composer) depends in part on IP protection. He admitted the burden of proof is on IP advocates, and I believe he would not disagree with me that many advocates over the years have offered weak arguments.
I don’t agree with Baker, in the end. His argument seems to me to be based on analogies: an idea or recipe can play a role in production “similar” to how scarce means can, and thus can be exploited, owned, etc. However, he came across to me as sincere and searching for truth, which I can appreciate. Listen and judge for yourself.
Update: Here is a previous discussion on this topic between Baker and Stefan Molyneux: