Kinsella’s “Rethinking Intellectual Property” course: Audio and Slides

In late 2010 I taught my first Mises Academy course, “Rethinking Intellectual Property: History, Theory, and Economics.”1 I reprised the course in Spring 2011: “Rethinking Intellectual Property: History, Theory, and Economics.”2 This was a 6-week course, which provided an overview of current intellectual property law and the history and origins of IP. (In Teaching an Online Mises Academy Course, I offer my reflections on teaching the Rethinking IP class the first time.) Here is some feedback provided by past students of this course:

“The class (everything) was perfect. Content wasn’t too deep (nor too shallow) – the reviewed material was just brilliant and the “tuning” was great for someone like myself (engineering background – no profound legal/lawyer experience). It provided all the material to really “understand” (instead of “just knowing”) all that was covered which I find always very important in a class.”

“Instruction was very comprehensive and thought provoking. The instructor was fantastic and very knowledgeable and answered every question asked.”

“Learned more then i expected, the professor seemed to really enjoy teaching the class, and the readings provided were excellent. Overall for the cost I was extremely satisfied.”

“Very interesting ideas I was not exposed to. Inexpensive, convenient, good quality.”

“It is a very fascinating topic and I was quite eager to learn about what I.P. is all about. I thought that Professor Kinsella was able to convey complicated issues to us clearly.”

“Professor Kinsella’s enthusiasm and extra links posted showed his true knowledge and interest in the subject. Great to see.”

And:

Thank you so very much for all the excellent work — very few classes have really changed my life dramatically, actually only 3 have, and all 3 were classes I took at the Mises Academy, starting with Rethinking Intellectual Property (PP350) (the other two were EH476 (Bubbles), and PP900 (Private Defense)). …

My purposes for taking the classes are: 1. just for the fun of it, 2. learning & self-education, and 3. to understand what is happening with some degree of clarity so I can eventually start being part of the solution where I live — or at least stop being part of the problem.

The IP class was a total blast — finally (finally) sound reasoning. All the (three) classes I took dramatically changed the way I see the world. I’m still digesting it all, to tell the truth. Very few events in my life have managed to make me feel like I wished I was 15 all over again. Thank you. …

[M]uch respect and admiration for all the great work done by all the members of the whole team.

Students would often give real-time feedback, in comments such as the following at the end of the lectures (these are from the actual IP-lecture chat transcripts):

  • “Thank you, great lecture!”
  • “Thanks, excellent lecture.”
  • “Great job.”
  • “Great lecture!”
  • “Thank you, Sir. Great lecture!”
  • “Thanks for an excellent talk.”

(Student reaction to the first lecture of my Libertarian Legal Theory course can be found in Student Comments for First Lecture of Libertarian Legal Theory Course: Not Too Late to Sign Up!) In the meantime IP has continued to metastasize and increasingly harm property rights, capitalism, prosperity, technology, and freedom of expression–all, perversely, in the name of “property rights.” The patent smartphone wars have continued to escalate. And copyright, as I argue in here, is even worse. It threatens to enable the state to ratchet up the police state and threatens freedom on the Internet.3 The latest threat in this regard is the evil Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA.

Below is an introductory video for the course followed by the audio and slides for each of the 6 lectures. The “suggested readings” for each lecture are appended to the end of this post.

Update: the audio files may also be subscribed to in this podcast feed. (In iTunes (for Windows) you can subscribe to podcast by copying the feed address to iTunes>Advanced>Subscribe to podcast; on Macs, you can click on the link to have iTunes add it to podcasts.)

Introductory video from the Mises Blog post Kinsella Can Be Your Professor:

Lecture 1: INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY IN HISTORY

(mp3 download)

Lecture 2: OVERVIEW OF JUSTIFICATIONS FOR IP; PROPERTY, SCARCITY, AND IDEAS

(mp3 download)

Lecture 3: EXAMINING THE UTILITARIAN CASE FOR IP

(mp3 download)

Lecture 4: IP STATUTES AND TREATIES; OVERVIEW OF JUSTIFICTIONS FOR IP; PROPERTY, SCARCITY AND IDEAS; RIGHTS-BASED ARGUMENTS FOR IP: CREATION AS A SOURCE OF RIGHTS

(mp3 download)

Lecture 5: PROPERTY, SCARCITY, AND IDEAS; EXAMINING RIGHTS-BASED ARGUMENTS FOR IP

(mp3 download)

Lecture 6: THE FUTURE; INTEGRATING IP THEORY WITH AUSTRIAN ECONOMICS AND LIBERTARIAN THEORY; PROPOSED REFORMS; IMAGINING A POST-IP WORLD; THE FUTURE OF OPEN VS. CLOSED

(mp3 download)

 

SUGGESTED READING MATERIAL

The “suggested readings” for each lecture are appended below. The links were internal Mises Academy links so would not work here, and I had no time to add individual links for all of them, but until I find time to code in the links, most of these materials can be found on stephankinsella.com/publications, c4sif.org/resources, mises.org, hanshoppe.com/publications, or on Wikipedia or by google search. (If there is a particular link you cannot find online, email me or add to the comments, and I’ll try to find it and update the post with that link.)

Main Texts

  • Kinsella, Against Intellectual Property (AIP)
  • Boldrin & Levine, Against Intellectual Monopoly (AIM)

LECTURE 1: INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY IN HISTORY

SUGGESTED READINGS

  • Legal Background:

  • AIP, pp. 9-14

Optional

  • URL Copyright Basics (US Copyright Office) URL
  • URL Copyright overview (LII/Cornell) URL
  • URL Patent law overview (LII/Cornell) URL
  • URL Patent introductory information (Ladas & Parry) URL
  • URL US Patent law information (USPTO) URL

History:

  • AIM, ch. 2, pp. 33-35 (“World Before Copyright” section); ch. 3, pp. 48-51 (“World Without Patent” section).

  • AIP, pp. 9-14
  • URL Statute of Anne (Wikipedia) URL
  • URL Stationers’ Company (Wikipedia) URL
  • URL History of patent law (Wikipedia) URL
  • URL Letters Patent (Wikipedia) URL
  • URL Statute of Monopolies 1624 (Wikipedia) URL

Optional

  • URL Krummenacker, Are “Intellectual Property Rights” Justified? (Historical Origins section) URL
  • URL Palmer, Intellectual Property: A Non-Posnerian Law and Economics Approach (pp. 264-71) URL
  • URL A Brief History of the Patent Law of the United States (Ladas & Parry)

LECTURE 2: OVERVIEW OF JUSTIFICATIONS FOR IP; PROPERTY, SCARCITY, AND IDEAS

SUGGESTED READINGS

Law

  • URL Defamation (Wikipedia)–beginning to Section 5 only URL
  • URL Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy URL

History

  • URL Machlup, “An Economic Review of the Patent System” [pp. 2-5] URL

Optional

  • URL Machlup & Penrose, “The Patent Controversy in the Nineteenth Century” [pp. 2-6, et pass.] URL
  • URL Frumkin, “The Origin of Patents” URL

Economic and Utilitarian Arguments

  • AIP, pp. 19-23

Optional

  • AIM, ch. 7, esp. pp. 176-201

  • URL Kinsella, There’s No Such Thing as a Free Patent URL
  • URL Machlup, “An Economic Review of the Patent System” [pp. 19-26 et seq., et pass.] URL
  • URL Machlup & Edith Penrose, “The Patent Controversy in the Nineteenth Century,” pp. 7-28 URL
  • URL Hurt & Schuchman, “The Economic Rationale of Copyright” URL

Deontological/Natural Rights-Based Arguments

  • AIP, pp. 23-28

  • URL Ayn Rand Lexicon-Patents and Copyrights URL
  • URL Ayn Rand Lexicon-Production URL

Optional

  • URL Dale Halling, Ayn Rand on Intellectual Property URL
  • URL Kinsella, Comment to “Galambos and Other Nuts” URL
  • URL Machlup & Edith Penrose, “The Patent Controversy in the Nineteenth Century,” pp. 7-28 URL
  • URL Greg Perkins, Don’t Steal This Article! URL
  • URL Kinsella, Objectivists: “All Property is Intellectual Property” URL
  • URL Kinsella, Inventors are Like Unto … GODS … URL
  • URL Hurt & Schuchman, “The Economic Rationale of Copyright” URL

Property, Scarcity, Ideas

  • URL Tucker & Kinsella, “Goods, Scarce and Nonscarce” URL
  • AIP, pp. 28-42

Optional

  • URL Kinsella, “Intellectual Property and the Structure of Human Action” URL
  • URL Boudewijn Bouckaert, “What Is Property?” URL
  • URL Hoppe, A Theory of Socialism and Capitalism, chs. 1 & 2 (esp. pp. 13-15, 18-30); p. 158 & p. 158n120, et pass.

LECTURE 3: EXAMINING THE UTILITARIAN CASE FOR IP

SUGGESTED READINGS

***Note: Use same readings as for Lecture 2 starting with “History”–PLUS the new material re patent trolls linked below***

Law

  • Page Patent Troll email response Page
  • URL Hidden from students: Patent Troll email response URL
  • URL Patent Trolls and Empirical Thinking URL
  • URL Facebook Threatened by a Non-Patent Troll URL

OUTRAGE OF THE WEEK

  • URL Once Again, the Copyright/Trademark Tail Tries to Wag the Internet Dog

 

LECTURE 4:  IP STATUTES AND TREATIES; OVERVIEW OF JUSTIFICTIONS FOR IP; PROPERTY, SCARCITY AND IDEAS; RIGHTS-BASED ARGUMENTS FOR IP: CREATION AS A SOURCE OF RIGHTS

SUGGESTED READINGS

***Note: Use same readings as for Lecture 2 starting with “Economic and Utilitarian Arguments”–PLUS the new material linked below***

Recent News & Outrages

  • URL Outrages: See following recent C4SIF entries: Hershey Claims Ownership of Orange, Brown and Tan Candy Wrappings; UK High Court Ruling Implies Headlines Are Copyright; Universities attacking high schools over trademarks; EFF rescues ASL Ally’s sign-langu URL

Law

  • URL Photography and the law URL
  • URL Key IP Statutes and Treaties

LECTURE 5: PROPERTY, SCARCITY, AND IDEAS; EXAMINING RIGHTS-BASED ARGUMENTS FOR IP

SUGGESTED READINGS

***read the material from Week 2 starting with “Deontological/Natural Rights-Based Arguments”***

LECTURE 6: THE FUTURE; INTEGRATING IP THEORY WITH AUSTRIAN ECONOMICS AND LIBERTARIAN THEORY;
PROPOSED REFORMS; IMAGINING A POST-IP WORLD; THE FUTURE OF OPEN VS. CLOSED

SUGGESTED READINGS

Outrages of the Week/Recent News

  • URL See recent postings on C4SIF.org (since Dec. 8) URL

Austrian Economics and IP

  • URL Kinsella, “Mises on Intellectual Property“ URL
  • URL Hayek and Rothbard references in “Other Publications and Resources” section URL

Libertarianism and IP

  • URL A Libertarian Theory of Contract: Title Transfer, Binding Promises, and Inalienability, pp. 30-33 URL
  • URL Kinsella, “Locke on IP; Mises, Rothbard, and Rand on Creation, Production, and “Rearranging”” URL

IP as Contract

  • AIP, pp. 45-55 (IP as Contract)

Reputation, Trademark, and Communication

  • URL Kinsella, “Reply to Van Dun: Non-Aggression and Title Transfer,” pp. 59-63 URL

Proposed Reforms

  • URL Kinsella, “Reducing the Cost of IP Law,” URL

Innovation in a Post-IP World

  • URL Kinsella, “Innovations that Thrive without IP URL
  • URL Kinsella, “Funding for Creation and Innovation in an IP-Free World ” URL
  • URL Kinsella, “The Creator-Endorsed Mark as an Alternative to Copyright” URL

OPTIONAL

  • URL Property Title Records and Insurance in a Free Society

[C4SIF]


  1. Discussed on the Mises Blog in Study with Kinsella Online; Lecture 1

  2. Discussed in Rethinking IP; and on the Mises Blog in Study with Kinsella Online and in Rethinking Intellectual Property: Kinsella’s Mises Academy Online Course

  3. See my posts The Ominous PROTECT IP Act and the End of Internet Freedom; Copyright and the End of Internet Freedom

1 comment… add one

  • For those who want to listen to Stephan’s course as podcast, I have created podcast feed for course here: http://vahur.com/rethinkip.xml

    In iTunes (Windows) you can subscribe to podcast by copying the feed address to
    iTunes>Advanced>Subscribe to Podcast…

    Reply

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