Wednesday, May 03, 2006

The first part of property is production

Greg Perkins applies the Objectivist theory of property to intellectual property and contrasts it with the libertarian view of IP at NoodleFood. Among his arguments, Perkins' makes the following identification:

[C]ontrary to the view of libertarians opposed to intellectual property, the essential basis of property is not scarcity -- it is production. Their complaint that intellectual property is an oxymoron because ideas are not scarce in the same way as apples has no merit, for the concepts of property and ownership lie fundamentally in the need for men to produce and enjoy values in support of their lives -- not merely in the narrower and subsidiary need to avoid conflict with one another in that enjoyment.
I think that's an important statement; basically it says one must put the horse before the cart. If we don't clearly establish why a man creates values in the first place, we undercut the subsequent case for property and property protection.

Read the whole article. IP rights have often been turned into a deeply confusing issue, and Perkins' does an excellent job of bringing light to the key points of the issue.

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