≡ Menu

KOL216 | Morehouse Interview: Why Intellectual Property Sucks


Kinsella on Liberty Podcast, Episode 216.

I was a guest recently on Isaac Morehouse’s podcast, “Why Intellectual Property Sucks, with Stephan Kinsella” (Oct. 10, 2016), discussing intellectual property and related issues. Isaac’s description below:

Is intellectual property law the foundation of an innovative society? Or a racket set up to protect entrenched businesses from competition? Stephan Kinsella joins the show this week to break down intellectual property law.

Stephan is a practicing patent attorney, a libertarian writer and speaker, Director of the Center for the Study of Innovative Freedom (C4SIF), and Founding and Executive Editor of Libertarian Papers.

He is one of the clearest and most compelling thinkers on intellectual property law.

We cover the historical context of IP law, the modern day consequences of copyright and patent monopolies, the flaws in common arguments for intellectual property laws, and more.

Covered in this episode:

  • How did Stephan become interested in intellectual property?
  • His intellectual evolution on the topic of intellectual property
  • What are copyright, patent, trademarks, and trade secrets?
  • Where did the concept of intellectual property come from?
  • Which IP laws are the most harmful?
  • Fraud vs. Trademarks
  • Libertarian perspectives on IP
  • John Locke’s  errors on property that affect us today
  • Why Innovation is stronger without IP (fashion, food, football)
  • Problems with trade secret law
  • Copyright law that existed under common law
  • Why IP is wrong from a deontological and consequentialist point of view
  • How would J.K. Rowling make a living without IP?
  • How to be principled about IP as an entrepreneur while not harming your company


If you are a fan of the show, make sure to leave a review on iTunes.

All episodes of the Isaac Morehouse Podcast are available on SoundCloud, iTunes, Google Play, and Stitcher.


{ 3 comments… add one }
  • Noah October 17, 2016, 11:39 am

    Stephan, I saw this in my YouTube suggestions, and thought it was pretty interesting: https://www.youtube.com/shared?ci=D5RquYqs4zs

    This guy made a 3D printed puzzle toy that was copied and mass produced by a Chinese company. Even though he firmly believes in IP, instead of wasting his money in court (his puzzle has only ever sold a single unit through his Shapeways page), he took actions very similar to your hypothetical JK Rowling movie deal example which you often use. It’s almost as if no reasonable, well-intentioned “little guy” would actually benefit from these ridiculous laws that are supposedly put in place to help them. Go figure.

  • Arthur Krolman November 5, 2016, 3:46 pm

    Great interview. Thanks especially for the English history part about https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statute_of_Monopolies

    As usual, I’m itching for us to agree on better logic against fraud. You said at one point,
    “Fraud is theft. It is theft by trick”
    This is circular logic or question begging. Question: “Is fraud theft?” Answer: “Yes, fraud is theft by trick.” The answer here begs the question. We know that fraud is trickery. But that wasn’t the question. It is the same way that patent/copyright supporters say “An idea is property. It is intellectual property” — which thinking libertarians, particularly thanks to Wendy and you, reject. I think we need a better argument for why fraud is indeed theft. Cheers.

Leave a Reply

© 2012-2023 StephanKinsella.com CC0 To the extent possible under law, Stephan Kinsella has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to material on this Site, unless indicated otherwise. In the event the CC0 license is unenforceable a  Creative Commons License Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License is hereby granted.

-- Copyright notice by Blog Copyright