One of the reasons to oppose intellectual property is that it assigns partial ownership rights to real, tangible, and already-owned property to non-first-comers. For example, that copy you made of Microsoft Office, although you own the disk, you are restricted by law in how you may use this disk, e.g. installing the program, or selling it.
In some cases, IP laws assign a complete ownership, as demonstrated this week when Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes obtained the permission of certain trademark owners to redistribute seized counterfeit clothing items which didn’t belong to either party on condition that their trademarks and identifying labels be removed from the articles.
What I would like is to hear an explanation for is this inconsistency– if there was a counterfeited Nike ‘swoosh’ label once attached to this sneaker, now that it has been removed, why is the sneaker still being treated in the eyes of the law as the rightful property of Nike?
Honestly, I find the concept of IP laws to be illogical in any of its various manifestations whether copyright, trademark, patent, or otherwise. This is not to say that I condone either fraud or misrepresentation, both of which can be reduced to theft– the obtainment of property without the consent of the owner. But merely producing and offering for sale an article of clothing that resembles the output of another producer doesn’t violate anyone else’s rights, even if for the sake of argument we were to concede with sloppy semantic quibbles that it “harms” the potential sales of the other party, since the other party does not enjoy a right to not have his sales diminished by competition.
This is all beside the point that in the common arrangement where counterfeit goods are offered for sale, both the buyer and seller are well aware that the goods are knock-offs, and we can safely assume that no fraud or misrepresentation has transpired.
To conclude, after being robbed suffering a coerced charitable giving, the de facto owner was made further victim to kidnapping and is now serving a seven month prison sentence. As is usually the case, existing positivist law has enshrined principles antithetical to property right in the name of property rights.