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Intellectual Property

 

Intellectual property is a special privilege granted by government to the creators of ideas, art, technology, and so on. It gives them property rights for their creation, allowing them to demand compensation for its duplication. Types of intellectual property include copyrights, patents, and trademarks. Supporters of intellectual property claim that it encourages innovation that otherwise would not occur otherwise. Opponents argue that the intellectual property creates artificial scarcity and impedes the progress of the free market.

 

Intellectual Property Rights Debate - Sheldon Richman, Paul Cwik, Ivan Pongracic, Lawrence Reed

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ARCHIVE

Intellectual "Property" Versus Real Property

What Are Copyrights and What Do They Mean for Liberty?

JUNE 12, 2009 by SHELDON RICHMAN

Intellectual "property" (IP) is a sleeper issue. It seems uncontroversial: Someone invents or writes something and therefore owns it. What could be plainer? But IP contains the power to destroy liberty.

ARCHIVE

The Freeman: Do Patents Encourage Innovation? The Case of the Steam Engine

DECEMBER 08, 2008

Many economists are in love with the idea of a natural experiment. A natural experiment is a turn of events that enables a clean comparison between two different economic-policy alternatives. For many economic policies we do not have the good fortune of a natural experiment. In these cases economists must fall back on other less-reliable modes of econometric analysis. Fortunately for other economic policies nature has been kind enough to provide us with the laboratory we need.... The impact of patents on innovation does have an objective answer. In this case history instead of nature has been kind enough to provide us with a wonderful natural experiment. More . . .

--A NEW article by Michele Boldrin, David K. Levine, and Alessandro Nuvolari

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THE FREE LIFE

Patently Improper

Obama's "reform": from bard to worse.

SEPTEMBER 27, 2011 by WENDY MCELROY

Whether you agree with the original purpose of patents in America or believe (as I do) that all patents are improper, the America Invents Act is repellent.

ARTICLE

Slave Labor and Intellectual Property

On a misplaced analogy.

JUNE 03, 2011 by SHELDON RICHMAN

If one favors property rights in tangible things, why would one not favor them in intangibles?

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December 2014

Unfortunately, educating people about phenomena that are counterintuitive, not-so-easy to remember, and suggest our individual lack of human control (for starters) can seem like an uphill battle in the war of ideas. So we sally forth into a kind of wilderness, an economic fairyland. We are myth busters in a world where people crave myths more than reality. Why do they so readily embrace untruth? Primarily because the immediate costs of doing so are so low and the psychic benefits are so high.
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