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You only own stuff that can be stolen

You only own stuff that can be stolen

Posted Jan 30, 2013 22:43 UTC (Wed) by Max.Hyre (guest, #1054)
In reply to: Villa: Pushing back against licensing and the permission culture by wagerrard
Parent article: Villa: Pushing back against licensing and the permission culture

I begin with the premise that when I make something -- software, music, a book, a table, an apple pie, anything -- I own that thing and all the rights entangled with it.
I'm afraid that premise is wrong. Intellectual effort does not produce property.

Fundamental property rights don't need legislation to create them. They get laws to punish those who violate them, but the government doesn't create my right to this ham sandwich---I did when I bought it. ``Intellectual property rights'' are a snare and a delusion. The U.S. Constitution recognizes copyright as a government-granted monopony. The Statute of Anne created it out of thin air. Previous to that, no one had any property rights in writing, art, whatever. After that, no one had any, either. Despite the unfortunate name, copyright isn't a right, it's a monopoly on copying.

Remember, theft applies to things the thief takes away from the owner: ham sandwiches, cash, Maseratis, &c. When an infringer copies a photo, the creator still has it. Nothing has been taken.

Copyright, licensing, and all such schemes are, from my point of view, legal scaffolding erected, in principle, to protect my rights[.]
Copyright gives you a monopoly on copying, licensing, &c. It creates the monopoly, it doesn't protect a pre-existing right.


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