How to become a libertarian

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  • #51
mheslep
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As I already noted you can not contractually forfeit all rights to your own patent or copyright. You will always possess ownership of it. You can only transfer rights. See my argument above.
Well my definition of ownership is different than yours, maybe we'd just go round and round on that. I usefully define ownership only by who has rights to buy, sell, or otherwise use the invention for purposes of commerce. Where you say 'ownership' I think 'creator' would be a better word. The creator can never change, but under the US system ownership easily can for IP.

And yes corporations are capable of owning copyrights and patents as you note from your link.
Agreed
That does not mean that they can buy ownership of copyrights or patents.
Disagree, I expect again on the definition of ownership vs creator.
Generally a corporation owns a copyright or patent on the end product, the sum of the work of the individual creators that work for them.
Agree, depending on the employment agreement. Some companies allow employees to own and control patents outright.

Given the letter written by Jefferson late in his life, I am dissuaded for the moment from calling IP a natural right, but its unquestionably a legal property right (fictitious or otherwise) under the current US system for any usable, practical definition.
 
  • #52
If IP law said that, then it would be legal fiction, but it doesn't.No, it doesn't. See below.Because we were talking about ownership of IP rights, not ownership of the "idea". Those are two different things.

IP rights are the right to restrict others' use of an invention, not ownership of the invention itself. That important distinction is made clear here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patent
:sigh:
http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/pac/mpep/documents/0300_301.htm
http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/pac/mpep/documents/0900_901_02.htm

Actual patent ownership must always go to the inventor. The inventor may then license or assign ownership rights to another party. Actual ownership never changes hands. Since the original patent always goes to the original owner this means that a patent may only be abandoned or given up to the public domain by the original patent owner but not by an assignee. If an assignee gives up rights to the patent then those rights revert to the original owner unless the original owner has abandoned the patent as well.

This is important because the original objection I made was to the argument that the law treats IP the same as real tangible property, the rights to which are stipulated as a natural right by the constitution, made here and here. Aside from the fact that the constitution gives the right to congress to issue IP rights, which would not be necessary if it were a natural right, IP is obviously not treated as real property in many respects including the fact that actual ownership of the property can never change hands.

I think that we are mostly agreeing and that you are just not seeing where my argument is coming from and that we are not necessarily disagreeing with one another.

I do think however that you are missing certain nuances to the law in regards to IP law that would be of interest to you as a free marketer and libertarian. Consider that IP law gives individuals and corporations a limited sort of monopoly. Consider modern changes to copyright in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act that makes simple possession of product based on patented or copyrighted material that has not been paid for illegal. That the DMCA allows a corporation the de facto right to tell you how you may or may not use product which you own and have paid for. Have you ever considered the fact that the software terms of use agreement is not even agreed to until after you have purchased the product and attempted to use it? Could you imagine buying a car and finding that when you go to drive it home you are suddenly told that you must only drive a certain speed, use a certain type of oil, and use a certain type of gasoline or else you forfeit your right to use the vehicle?

For a more hyperbole filled version of my objections to current IP laws and their abuse see here
 
  • #53
Given the letter written by Jefferson late in his life, I am dissuaded for the moment from calling IP a natural right, but its unquestionably a legal property right (fictitious or otherwise) under the current US system for any usable, practical definition.
Since the issue of it being a natural right was my main point of contention I will be happy to lay this to rest here and quit my bickering. I suppose until Moonie's guy or some other person with expertise in this area of law comes along we will simply have to agree to disagree on the rest. As I stated above though I believe that some of the finer nuances of IP rights are really rather important to larger issues of current laws and their interpretation. IP is coming closer and closer to be considered a natural right due to modern interpretations of law and I for one am rather concerned about the development.
 
  • #54
Al68
:sigh:
http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/pac/mpep/documents/0300_301.htm
http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/pac/mpep/documents/0900_901_02.htm

Actual patent ownership must always go to the inventor. The inventor may then license or assign ownership rights to another party. Actual ownership never changes hands.
What are you calling "actual ownership", then, if not ownership of the patent rights which are transferable. I read both of those links, and they don't say anything like what you're saying.
This is important because the original objection I made was to the argument that the law treats IP the same as real tangible property, the rights to which are stipulated as a natural right by the constitution, made here and here.
Whether a right is a natural right or not depends on whether it exists independent of government, not on how government treats it. The fact that IP rights can be sold, transferred, etc. in the same way as tangible property rights in no way implies that since tangible property rights are natural rights, then IP rights must be, too.

Of course, I think you and I agree that IP rights are not natural rights. The actual right of an inventor to use his invention could be a natural right, if recognized, but that's a different issue.
I do think however that you are missing certain nuances to the law in regards to IP law that would be of interest to you as a free marketer and libertarian.
Well, I might agree with you on some of those. I never said I was in favor of current IP law in its entirety. And for all I know, we might agree completely about what should be changed. :smile:
 
  • #55
Al68
You seem to ignore about 90% of my points and find some small technicality to argue.
I just wanted to comment on this, because you're right. I do tend to bias my responses to points of disagreement. But that just means I probably agreed with the other 90%, not that I ignored it or didn't read it.

I guess that's why there's no such thing as a "heated agreement". :smile:
 

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