View Full Version : Intellectual Property Laws

14th December 2008, 11:31
In an ongoing topic in the Silver Market forum, I came across this comment and I wanted to take the time to discuss this subject in greater detail in it's own topic...

ascentient said... 3. Abolish intellectual property laws. They create false scarcity from what is otherwise an unlimited resource.

It's a popular, hot-button issue in these days of digital media, where things are easily copied and stored and moved about. Some say it should be freely accessible and distributable, while others say, well, otherwise for a number of reasons.

But article I, section 8 of the Constitution says...

"To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries"

That means the right to patent or copyright and the right to sell/trade them as opposed to simply giving them over to the collective free of charge. There's very good reasons for this provision...

The idea of "false scarcities" is a false idea. While intelligent works in theory are boundless and the ability to reproduce them limitless, the minds to provide them are not. It is therefore an economic issue that the tradeable patent or copyright overcomes. They add further incentive to not only provide fresh new works, but to refresh and recirculate old ones that are still relevent (to the patent holder, but the market decides it ultimately).

Without this incentive it would not be done as much. As collectivist society is wont to do, people would wait for "some one else will do it". And why not, if one can be compensated for their efforts in other pursuits? Or, if the collectivism is an extreme one... the dictates of laws (avoid punishment)?

Ie, patents and copyrights and the potential to trade and profit from them make the pursuit and preservation of intelligent works more attractive in the vastness of competition for one's time and resources.

In our short lives, we just don't see the big picture. But over the longer timeline, given that the development or advancement of intelligent works is uncertain, it becomes absolutely essential for intelligent labor to be preserved through a system of incentive and trade. For all that the human minds, even billions of them, can hold a lot of information, there is simply too many relevent works in existence to keep all relevent intelligent works existing.

To forbid the nessecity of intellectual property law is quite simply barbarism, and any hoped for gain in literal free exchange would only temporarily and conveniently benefit the pirates and barbarians and ignorants who would ultimately destroy or lose them!

So it comes to me as no surprise that the founders made this provision. It is an Enlightened idea that preserves, advances, and enriches via free trade!

16th December 2008, 04:38
I tend to agree, though with some limitations. If IP is used to "sit on" a
creation rather than use it the lifespan of the copyright or patent needs
to be shortened. Sort of a "use it or lose it" provision.

Also Intelectual Property is of a different nature than physical property
so the laws around it have to reflect it's different nature. For instance
a work of entertainment is not being commercially traslated into annother
language, it should become up for grabs for amature translation since the
loss to the creator of the original work is essentially zero. This does
happen in the form of fansubs (thus my user name) but those of us who
are/were involved in it are put in the spot of breaking the law as it currently
exists. The only reason we have "gotten away with it" is the tendancy
of certain foriegn copyright holders to not care because they recognize
that the loss is zero or they may in some ways receive certain small side
benifits. (Toy sales for instance.) They can never outright approve of
it for various reasons but many tend to chose to pretend to not notice.

Though of course since companies like ISPs can get spooked easily we
face disruptions from fake copyright complaints that aren't from the
copyright holders but simply people that like causing trouble. Not really
any different than the bozos who lauch DDOS attacks against web sites,
just these bozos use social engineering.

I'd liike to see things like fansubs legalized to take the matches away
from these fire starters.

A problem arises when somebody's imagination runs wild about the money
they "could have made" from sales that in reality would not have happened
anyways or somebody on an ego trip just wants to use copyright as a club
to make people jump through hoops. Sadly the music bussiness seems to
be to big of a draw for people with big egos and delusions of grandure. Not
that every musician is infected with these traits, but everyone who has
these traits seems to want to be a rock star. ^_- I find it annoying to the
point that quite honestly I'd perfer that some musicians stop making music,
if we don't hear it in the first place we won't miss it and quite simply any
value their music does have (if any) pales in comparison to the annoyance
of their whining and hunger for power. (A particular individual is coming to
mind here.)

If someone does come up with an idea that makes people's lives better and
actually puts it into use I have no problem with paying them for that. But
when they try to stifle derivative works using their patent or copyright as
a club they start doing more harm than good. The same goes for those
who buy up an idea to block competition against their older less effective
methods, there should be no tolerance for that kind of abuse of the
monopoly. Then there is the:


Darn near everything I enjoy is in some way a derivitive work of something
else or quite often of many things. I am so thankfull that parodies are
protected as fair use.

17th December 2008, 03:13
I agree. The Constitutional provision isn't merely to protect, but to promote. Here's my take on it... For whatever reason if you don't use it and someone else comes along and makes something of it, the most you can sue for is the cost of what you paid for the rights. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. By the same token, the infringing party must pay for it (you break it, you buy it). That way, it can't be used to create/maintain monopolies and the more creative/dilligent can keep the reward for their efforts.

On fansubs, minor infringments, etc...

Well, here's the trouble fansub... CAN a law or amendment to the law possibly keep someone from making a false claim against what the harmless plagerizer/petty infringer is doing? Even if you held the rights, the potential for hassel and harassment still exist. Since the rightly protected IP owner can't be spared this, neither can the minor infringer be spared those risks.

And is it possible to satisfy all possibilities, given that some IP owners don't mind some infringement while others do? I can't see such a change that would be fair; it would somewhere along the lines compromise someone's rights.

Sorry I can't agree with you, but I think the general law suffices. After all, beggars can't be choosers. On the plus side, so long as the tree in the forest isn't heard, I would imagine you don't have much to worry about.

Now on patent trolls and vain victims...

Well, in a court of law a vain victims would have to prove those loses, bearing in mind that IF (it isn't already) they are activiely using thier patent/copyright they should easily be able to do so. I agree that simply saying "this right belongs to me... s/he made this much in infringing on my right...I want 100 billion dollars!" isn't in the spirit of the Constitutional provision. Again, the "you break it, you buy it" and, as you said, use it or lose it should apply.

The thing about a patent troll is that their "opportunity loss" lies in NOT having their rights infringed, and the principles of liberty see unviolated rights as a good thing! They would be the same thing as with vain victims, though. At least in a rational and just system. If things AREN'T like that, then there's problems in the judical system itself. I would think that to be the case (a bad judge) rather than the basic law though.

Now, here's some ideas to toss about that might say something in your favor...

What if an infringement didn't meet the criteria for the "break it, buy it" rule? Ie, your infringement didn't outweigh the costs of the rights or their profits on them? In all fairness, I think something like that should come into play. Perhaps even a joint venture could be established where the infringer must report their infringing and any gains on them to the infringed, just for transparency purposes. Ie, a will-see-how-goes and settle later, if it needs to. Certainly a more civil way of doing things, I think. And it would bring like-minded people together, maybe become something more, who knows?

Barring that, let's say there was an ISP or website that charged more to allow limited infringements in posting/viewing copyrigted material? Would you want to pay for something like that for the uninterupted convenience? Heck, maybe someone already does this and in that case... they stole my idea!!! LOL!

Anyway like I said, just some ideas to chew on in the absence of a fair way to change/amend law.

17th December 2008, 12:06
Yes, I read that too and immediately thought that comment was written by someone who has no ideas, who then somehow comes to the conclusion that the IPL's aren't needed or are at least "no longer in vogue" because ideas don't deserve protection or that somehow they're NOT unique. I'm also reminded how Communistic that idea is in itself. And to prove that point, think about how they respect IPL's in China, the world capital of stolen, copyright infringed and cloned/copied property that, anywhere else in the world (an exaggeration for sure), doesn't happen as often or blatantly as it does in China, even when the government goes after some poor peasant hawker or copier instead of the large criminal enterprises that prey on works supposedly protected by IPL's.
Without these laws and protections why would anyone do any type of research or other brainiac activities if their idea(s) could be stolen legally for use in the real marketplace without them being compensated?? And what's so revolutionary about that?? It's common sense that says that if you or I bring forward something of value, even an idea, as a capitalistic point in the system that the government is supposed to protect, you and I have a right to be compensated and our IPL's say that is so....and like the Constitution, there's only one real interpretation that can stand for the ongoing protection of IPL's, just like it protects the citizens use of firearms in the 2nd Amendment. It is what it is and it says what it says and doesn't need any clarification whatsoever, just enforcement.
Oh and about the use it or lose it....idea??? As long as it's mine and it's patented, I WILL DECIDE WHEN I WANT TO BRING IT TO MARKET AND I WILL DECIDE ALONE. Use it or lose it laws belong on less than $10 rebates when you buy a new computer. They DO NOT belong in the world of marketable and compensatable ideas and products.

17th December 2008, 16:28
Chux03, is my sneaking suspicion that you're...


...a CAPITALIST a correct one? ;)

Well, you've given me some more to review and think about. Which of course means that now I will have to send a box of rabid cobras in a fit of revenge! But fortunately for you, my list of enemies grows by the day and they happen to include rapid cobras and so I had to kill them all. Okay, enough stupid jokes...

Before saying what I am going to say, it needs to be pointed out that infringement and piracy are not the same things. One is the arena of civil law while the other of criminal law. So I'm not defending pirates in saying that I disagree that the infringement laws guarantee one's "right" to a law-protected monopoly just as much I would disagee that the 2nd amendment protects one's "right" to commit murder (in general).

So there are limits on the provision; an owner of IPR is entitled to compensation only. Compensation of what?

If someone out-does another who holds the rights, then perhaps adequate compensation would include time and capital thus far invested by the infringed, to the extent that invested capital is out-weighed by the infringer. Ie, if you invested 1,000 oz silver in pursuing your idea thus far, and someone infringes to the tune of 10000 oz in profit, then the infringer would owe the infringed 1,000 oz.

This, I think, would be much easier and simplified than using "opportunity losses" because it's limited, is based on what is known to exist, is a fact. Profit loses can be theorectical and limitless and imaginary. We can never know that the infringed would have made 10,000 oz of silver. But the infrigned still owns the rights (to change my error in the previous post). It is up to him/her if they sell or if the infringer must cease and desist.

So it's looking to me like the constitutional provision is/was to protect and encourage the pioneering spirit, rather than keeping pursuits of intelligent work from not being done due the many risks the person would face without the provision in place. That, in turn, would also not DISCOURAGE others from venturing forth in just competition, by limiting the damages that they would have to pay for from doing so.

Together, intelligent works preserve and advance in benevolent free-market competition! :cool::D

Fair enough, yall?

21st December 2008, 05:04

Intellectual property, is a liability. the brightest minds of the richest country of the world, with the best universities in the world, simply put, did not use their head.

22nd December 2008, 08:12

Intellectual property, is a liability. the brightest minds of the richest country of the world, with the best universities in the world, simply put, did not use their head.

(shakes my head) Hillbilly, hillbilly...

...the pirates and barbarians and ignorants who would ultimately destroy or lose them!

26th December 2008, 02:36
Thing about pirates is that the literal seas in some places aren't safe anymore. There isn't enough resource to deal with them. Of course, it's the result of a double-whammy. As more people in the world go broke, policing efforts also suffer.

Having said that, I'm sure that many pirates of intellectual property get away with it for much the same reason. Quite simply, we're living in a world where paper money and endless credit reign. So the worth of the work diminishes in value to a cut-throat/hatchet industry... then they can't afford to seek legal recourse.

I don't think it's the publishing biz per se, any more than I think unions ruined the Big Three. It's just the every-man-for-himself mentality that over-takes many as the ship sinks. Lest we forget, it's been going on for some time now. But as I am "fond" of saying these days... it's gotten to the point where everyone is pointing so many fingers that no one can spare a digit to pick thier nose and start flinging boogers at their chosen Lex Luthor.

Reminds me of that Twilight Zone episode where space aliens were fucking with people's minds by turning on/off power to houses to see how they would react. Of course, all the primitive humans started shooting each other in a fit of rampant fear and parnoia.

I guess the old Chinese curse "May you live in interesting times" is indeed so!

But again I say...

To forbid the nessecity of intellectual property law is quite simply barbarism, and any hoped for gain in literal free exchange would only temporarily and conveniently benefit the pirates and barbarians and ignorants who would ultimately destroy or lose them! So it comes to me as no surprise that the founders made this provision. It is an Enlightened idea that preserves, advances, and enriches via free trade

Piracy? Haha, you'd better believe it. I had a how-to book published in the USA and a globe-trotting ex-pat friend who moves about mainly in the Pacific Rim area wrote and told me that she saw my book available all over the freakin' ORIENT. I called my literary agent, told her, she said neither she nor the publisher had sold subsidiary rights, and, therefore, consider it a backhanded compliment: but I'd been PIRATED. I asked her what she'd do. She said nothing. Not worth the cost involved.


Yes it is, isn't it? It's all been taken over by the unsoundness of bad money and a total lack of regard for civilization!


Not really related, but I was so reminded of the plight of the sciences in hearing your story. That article by Ms. Szwarc illustrates it just perfectly. And let me tell you... some of the pirates in that part of the sea are downright muderous. Who else would spend their time and effort putting up bogus sites on medical science, propagating their garbage knowing that people will suffer as result?

Funny how it didn't feel like the Dark Ages until a couple years ago.

27th December 2008, 18:45
Well, I'm writing a response to this issue as we speak - but it's getting long. I'm at about 1000 words already and I think this may turn into a thesis rather quickly as it is the book I've had in me for many years but have never written.

The drawback to arguing such a complex point is in simplification - if I simplify it too much it may appear contradictory and my goal is both to understand and to be understood.

Suffice to say that I'm a capitalist and my strong anti-intellectual property stance is not contradictory but rather should be taken into account with my refutation of many of the factors that destroy capitalism:

Trade unions
Dogmatic religion
Fiat Money
And of course, intellectual property.

The more I write the more I realise that without fully expounding on each of these ideas (without continually quoting Ayn Rand, and then refuting a few of her ideas at the same time including her support of intellectual property) I may not be able to convince anyone of anything.

Instead, whilst I gradually combine together my thesis showing how each of these concepts is both an afront to capitalism and an anachronism, I'll ask each of you to do something for me:

Take my word for it that I'm neither unintelligent nor communist but rather ask yourself what the world would be like if any one of these entities or concepts was removed from it, what role they serve and what sort of void would they leave.

Turn to your history books, your economics books and your philosophy texts and consider how each of these concepts was introduced and why they were accepted at the time. Consider the commonality of all of them in the way that they prevent you from achieving freedom and liberty.

In the mean time I'm going to keep writing. I can't promise a response in a day or a week, but I'll respond when it's ready and my argument is either completed or I've refuted it.

If you are interested in reading it at any stage of incompleteness PM me.

28th December 2008, 19:19
If you are interested in reading it at any stage of incompleteness PM me.

I look forward to your completed masterpeice :)

btw, just so you know, I didn't think you were unintelligent or a full-blown supporter of communism. People hold all sorts of ideas and notions, when all is said and done. So I was just picking on the idea, not you in particular. Actually, I quoted your name in hopes you'd respond sooner or later. I just didn't want to go off on a tangent in the topic you originally posted in.

Anyway, again I look forward to hearing your side.

General comment: Seems a post disappeared from the last time I was here....