Friday, November 7, 2014

Ayn Rand on Intellectual Property

Patents and copyrights are the legal implementation of the base of all property rights: a man’s right to the product of his mind...What the patent and copyright laws acknowledge is the paramount role of mental effort in the production of material values: these laws protect the mind’s contribution in its purest form: the origination of an idea...
What the patent or copyright protects is not the physical object as such, but the idea that embodies it.  By forbidding an unauthorized reproduction of the object, the law declares, in effect, that the physical labor of copying is not the source of the object’s value, that the value is created by the originator of the idea. Thus the law establishes the property right of the mind to that which it has brought into existence...Today patents are the special target of collectivists' attacks--directly and indirectly, through such issues as the proposed abolition of trademarks, brand names etc....the collectivists seem to realize that patents are at the heart and core of property rights, and that once they are destroyed, the destruction of all other rights will follow automatically, as a brief postscript.... 
In Atlas Shrugged, one of the guiltiest men is the passenger who said: "Why should Rearden be the only one permitted to manufacture Rearden Metal?"


  1. Ayn Rand (and objectivism, and especially the businessman worship) is so for teen-agers.

    Adults look for a coherent logical construction. Which IP patently lacks.

    1. "Ayn Rand (and objectivism, and especially the businessman worship) is so for teen-agers."

      Despite some of the philosophical inconsistencies surrounding objectivism, there is no denying that Rand has had substantial impact in a positive way on many people that aren't "teenagers".

      That list would include Rothbard(even though Rand was an ass to him in many ways), Ron Paul, & Alan Greenspan(even though he was a traitor to gold for a while).

      This notion that she appealed only to the "teenager" intellect you have is mistaken.

      You have this nasty habit of labeling people instead of actually debating the relevant topics, it doesn't help your cause in convincing those that are able to focus on logic, in fact it detracts.

      That doesn't mean you can't be successful doing it I suppose, just like pols practicing demagoguery.

  2. Best argument for the pro-IP side I've read yet. Now we must work on a way to protect IP non-coercively and without the State.

  3. All the free uncopyrighted work on the internet (art, writing, music) is proof most creative people dont need or want govt or private copy protection. Actually, copyright has SUPPRESSED creativity by instilling fear of violating someones copyright.