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Saturday, March 22, 2008

Freedom of Information Part Three

index

When a man mingles his labor with the fruits of nature, it becomes his property; whoever takes his property takes his labor, and hence, takes his liberty.

That is the basis for property rights.

If intellectual property is stolen, the labor is not taken. It affects the man not at all, it does not interfere with his liberty, and intellectual property cannot, therefore, be a natural right.

That's all the proof we need, but allow me to address the convoluted arguments that will be levied.

"If you steal IP, you cost the owner money by lost sales. That affects him, therefore it's wrong."

Yes, it does affect him, in that sense. And? It's still a fair playing field. Man A can copy Man B's ideas and vice versa. The key is that, in reality, Man A still has his liberty. He just doesn't have the ability to restrict others' use of their knowledge.

This concludes the theoretical, "ethical'" and "moral" aspects of the argument. Consequentialist / utilitarian arguments will follow.

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