Intellectual Property Rights have always been a hot topic among libertarians. One of the main arguments in favor is the belief that these rights are essential for entrepreneurship. Businesses wouldn’t be able to innovate without the financial fruits of their intellectual labor. But exactly how essential is intellectual property in this regard? Would an end of these rights mean an end of commerce? Or the reverse? Find out during this upcoming webinar!
Jeffrey Tucker is executive editor of the newly refurbished Laissez Faire Books, a leading publisher of libertarian books, and founder and head of the Laissez Faire Club. He also author of Bourbon for Breakfast (2010), It’s a Jetsons World (2011), and Beautiful Anarchy (2012).
As many of my readers know, I often lecture and speak and give podcast or radio interviews on various libertarian topics and issues, such as intellectual property (IP), anarcho-libertarians, Austrian law and economic, contract theory, rights and punishment theory, and so on. I also blog and comment regularly on such matters in various blogs (primarily The Libertarian Standard, on general libertarian matters, and C4SIF, on IP-related matters), Facebook, and so on—often posting my take on a given issue in response to a question emailed to me or posted online.
This month I am launching a new podcast, Kinsella on Liberty. I expect to post episodes once or twice a week. The podcast will include new episodes covering answers to questions emailed to me (feel free to ask me to address any issue of libertarian theory or application) as well as interviews or discussions I conduct with other libertarians. I’ll also include in the feed any new speeches or interviews of mine that appear on other podcasts or fora, as well as older speeches, interviews, and audio versions of my articles, which are collected for now on my media page). Audio and slides for several of my Mises Academy courses may also be found on my media page, and will also be included in the podcast feed later this year. Feel free to Subscribe in iTunes or Follow with RSS, and spread the word to your libertarian friends. I welcome questions for possible coverage in the podcast, as well as any criticism, suggestions for improvement, or other feedback. My general approach to libertarian matters is Austrian, anarchist, and propertarian, influenced heavily by the thought of Ludwig von Mises, Murray N. Rothbard, and Hans-Hermann Hoppe. My writing can be found in articles here and blog posts at The Libertarian Standard and C4SIF, such as:
I was a guest on Jeff Berwick’s Anarchast (ep. 51, 36 min), released today. We discussed anarchy and how such a society might be reached; the basis and origin of law and property rights and its relationship to libertarian principles, and implications for legislation versus law and the legitimacy of intellectual property; also, utilitarianism, legal positivism, scientism, and logical positivism. Description from the Anarchist site below; MP3 download. For more background on IP, see the C4SIF Resources page; on legislation vs. private law, see The (State’s) Corruption of (Private) Law.
Anarchast Ep. 51 with Stephan Kinsella
Jeff Berwick in Acapulco, Mexico, talks with Stephan Kinsella in Houston, Texas
The most evil and harmful state laws, institutions, and policies are, I believe:
the Fed/central banking/fiat money;
the drug war;
intellectual property (patent and copyright).
You could also mention the regulatory state and the entitlement state, but the above makes a pretty good listing of the top things we libertarians would get rid of if we could.
How are we doing on these issues? I spoke with some radical libertarian friends—it’s fun musing as to which one you would abolish first, if you could—and here is the basic take:
war: not great, but they are getting harder for modern debt-laden welfare-states to afford;
the Fed/central banking/fiat money: not great, but bitcoin could pose a threat;
government schools: not great, but at least, in the US, homeschooling and private schools are legal;
taxation: not great, and getting worse, but there seems to be a limit to the level of taxes the state can get away with imposing on the economy;
the drug war: still horrible, but significant inroads have been made in the last election, with marijuana being legalized on a state-law basis by Washington and Colorado; and
intellectual property: getting more and more out of hand, but being seen as more and more ridiculous and unjust. Copyright is getting easier to evade with various technologies like encryption and bit torrent; and patents are being seen more and more as ridiculous and protectionist.
Overall, the biggest cause for hope is probably the recent progress made in the insane, evil war on drugs.