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cathyn: (Johnny!)
[personal profile] cathyn
Over on Facebook, I got into a discussion with a friend, and I asked him to explain the Libertarian Platform on reducing Government Regulation, specifically how that would apply to Intellectual Property Rights. He graciously provided me with a link to an article on the subject written by an IP Attorney who happens to be a Libertarian, and an author of a large body of work on Libertarian concepts. He is a good writer, well educated, and presents his ideas well. I read it, carefully, twice, before crafting this response:

"OK, I read through the link you provided, and find the ideas therein regarding intellectual property abhorrent.

As an example, an entity (let's call them Company A) spends vast resources creating a thing, say a unique medicine, which cost $500M to research and perfect. Presuming we live in a Libertarian Utopia, Company A doesn't need to spend even greater resources to pass through Government Regulations, but the cost of process was still astronomical. According to the argument of the author, upon completion of that process, the minute Company A brings that product to market, and releases it for sale, at whatever price they feel is fair, as there cannot be any regulations on such a thing. there is nothing whatsoever to stop Company B from purchasing a small quantity of it, reverse-engineering it, and selling it themselves.

Without the need to both sell the product, and pay for the Research and Development required to bring it to market, Company B can charge significantly less for the product. Company A has a need to charge more, which is the mechanism by which Company A would recoup the $500M investment required to create the product. At this point, Company A goes out of business, not because they were weak, poorly managed, or unsuccessful, they were simply bankrupted by spending money to "create" a product, the specifics of which were then taken by Company B (which spent virtually nothing to develop the product), and they are profiting on the works of Company A. Company A, according to the author, has no Property Rights to the creation at all. Under the stated Nonaggression Principle, since Company A still owns everything they physically have in hand, their research, their product inventory, and such, nothing it being "taken" from them, therefore Company B is complying with the Nonaggression Principle perfectly, and therefore is doing nothing wrong when they choose to take their own resources and make a product identical in every conceivable way to that of Company A's product, but at a much lower cost of production. Company B is successfully participating in "pure competition", nothing more, nothing less.

This very idea completely disincentivizes invention, and in fact abjectly penalizes anyone and everyone who spends even the tiniest resource to invent anything whatsoever, by allowing the latecomer to take whatever ideas are out there that they feel like producing, and boldly claims that the reason IP rights do not, and should not exist, is that a Government Entity would be required to enforce them."

The author also presents ideas regarding "ownership" of one's own body, and I fully understand why many individuals would like those ideas, but can't imagine how anyone could read this full article and not realize that such policies as applied to IP would essentially demolish a nation's economy over time.

Date: 2016-08-25 08:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] madbaker.livejournal.com
My thought is that there are gradations of view in the theory. Just as your view of socialism probably isn't consistent with the socialism that the USSR practiced...

I haven't had to put my admittedly-vague leanings into practice and thus they are still vague and probably contradictory to some extent. Should innovation be rewarded? Absolutely, for many of the reasons you stated. Should it be a permanent monopoly? I don't think so (although IP has been going this way. Thanks Disney)

I think you're responding to an extreme end of the spectrum, but I haven't bothered to investigate it fully. I could be wrong. One of the several reasons why I will never register Libertarian is that those people tend to be insane.

Date: 2016-08-25 08:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cathyn.livejournal.com
Yeah, I had a bit of trouble of a "how did they jump from this to that?" nature with the idea that "owning your body" means one doesn't have to pay taxes. Combine that with my hard-earned knowledge that in almost 100% of cases, Corporations can be sure to do everything possible to increase shareholder value over any other drive, while Libertarianism, at least as espoused out loud and in public, seems to count in some small way on those same Corporations demonstrating some small bit of altruism, which we know they almost exclusively only do when there is some benefit for them.

Date: 2016-08-25 08:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] madbaker.livejournal.com
Combine that with my hard-earned knowledge that in almost 100% of cases, Corporations can be sure to do everything possible to increase shareholder value over any other drive

The concept of increasing shareholder value is relatively new, and completely upset the prevailing theories. I find it hard to completely disagree with it - shareholders own the company, so isn't the duty of the company to produce value for its owners?

The sad reality I see is that they produce more value for the people in charge of the company at the expense of everyone else. Shareholders included. This is known as the agent/principal problem.

Date: 2016-08-26 12:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] joycebre.livejournal.com
kind of like China.

Date: 2016-08-27 12:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] emt-hawk.livejournal.com
I find that most libertarians are like cats.

Fully convinced that they can live without the trappings of society, such as roads, hospitals, etc., but not willing to do so, for the most part. They don't believe that history affects them, such as the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, and that they know best.


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