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Ask Me Anything: Libertarianism Explained!


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I have seen a few people throwing around the term "Libertarianism" lately, and others who are confused about what that means.  Seeing as how I am an ambassador of capitalism, a custodian of pure classical liberalism philosophy, and a herald of the coming libertarian revolution, I thought it might be a good idea to create a thread for answering questions.  :tw_yum:

Of course, others can answer questions too.  I will get us started with some topics, but feel free to bring up anything.

 

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Yes, a fan of both Congo and Namibia, also Trinidad and Tobago.  Basically any country that has a diagonal stripe on their flag.

When will I be able to buy my fentanyl patches at walgreens?

I am a songwriter.  I create a song.  For a period of years, I am the copyright owner and should receive compensation when someone either purchases or commercially uses my song.  If I didn’t have that

Things Libertarians are for:

Life, Liberty, Private Property, Absolute free speech, Peaceful free trade, Freedom of association, Speedy and accessible courts, Police dedicated to preservation of freedom, A strong military to defend domestic freedom, Freedom of religion.

Things Libertarians are against:

Violence, Limited Liability for Corporations, Government-issued money and restrictions on gold, Progressive taxes (high earners pay a higher rate), Government interference in the market (restrictions on agriculture , medicine, science, etc.), Intellectual Property (Copyrights, Patents), Licensing of businesses and professions (Doctors, Architects, Lawyers), Zoning and building codes, Government run monopolies (Utilities, Schools, Roads), Restrictions on trade (import & export duties), Re-distribution of wealth via welfare programs (Food stamps, government housing, medicare/Medicaid), Government ownership of land for non-military purposes (Public parks/forests/BLM), Immigration quotas, Offensive wars and interference in foreign affairs.

What else?

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Posted (edited)
On 8/3/2019 at 7:16 AM, grilled_cheese said:

When will I be able to buy my fentanyl patches at walgreens?

You just have to keep voting Libertarian in every election and tell your friends & neighbors to do the same.  Then one day:  Boom.  You can buy your fentanyl and cocaine at Walgreens.

On 12/8/2019 at 1:34 PM, Dale said:

Live government ? Move to North Korea!

Did you mean to write "Love Government"?  What does "Live government mean"? 

But, no, I do not love government, and that should be obvious based on the title of this thread.

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I'd like to learn more about how Libertarians (capitol L out of respect) feel about intellectual property rights.  Living in Music City, I feel very uncomfortable saying to half my neighbors that they shouldn't own the rights to their music.  What am I missing here?  Lots, probably.  Help me out!

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5 hours ago, Mr_Bond said:

I'd like to learn more about how Libertarians (capitol L out of respect) feel about intellectual property rights.  Living in Music City, I feel very uncomfortable saying to half my neighbors that they shouldn't own the rights to their music.  What am I missing here?  Lots, probably.  Help me out!

First off I will say that there is disagreement among libertarians about IP, but based on my time at the Mises Institute, there are a good many libertarians within the Austrian Economics sect of the party that strongly disagree with the concept of intellectual property.  It breaks down like this:

1) Each person has the right to think any ideas they want, so right off the bat the term "intellectual property" is misleading because you can't own an idea.

2) Each person has the right to engage in free & peaceful trade with other members of society by using the property they own and the skills they have to meet consumer's needs in the market.

3) Throughout human history, humans have exchanged ideas and learned new techniques from others.  Indeed, the whole point of competition in the market is based on one business finding a better way to serve customers, and then customers favor that business, thus causing other businesses to also begin offering the service/product that is demanded by customers - - possibly at a lower price than the first business that had the original idea.  Thus consumers get more of what they want at a cheaper price, which is basically the entire reason why competition is so good for consumers.

4) What is IP, really?  Actually, it is a government-enforced monopoly for one party who has enough resources to cover high legal fees and navigate the bureaucracy to obtain their monopoly.  All of that effort and expense to obtain and maintain the monopoly provides zero value to the consumer.

5) Why does someone claiming IP need a monopoly?  Basically, because they are terrible at bringing the product they invented to market.  Proponents of IP often admit this when they say "without IP the inventor wouldn't be able to recoup the cost of their R&D".  Think about that statement for a second.  Even if they are first to market with a valuable new product/service, they are still unable to use that advantage to create a profitable business?  Why should the government grant a monopoly to someone so incompetent?

6) "But Armacing, if someone just copies that new idea they can sell it for less because they don't have any R&D cost to pay back, so nobody will ever innovate due to lack of pay-back"  OK, let's run with that argument:  Say I come up with a new product and I don't patent it.  Then I start selling it and within a month I notice that you have copied my design 100% and are selling the exact same product for half the price.  Funny thing about that:  When I first brought the product to market my profit margin was 500% because of no competition.  But now I need to cut my margin to at least 250% to match your price.  I'm still making money, still earning back the cost of R&D.  But maybe I decide to drive you out of business, so I lower my profit margin to 100%.  Oops, looks like you can't make money at that price because you suck at manufacturing, so now you are gone and maybe I raise the price to 150% margin and see if you come back or not.... nope, you didn't come back.  How about 175%?  Hey, you're back in business and matching my price.  So, back down to 150% and you're gone again.  Basically I found out what your cost of production was and drove you out of business, but I still have a margin - still winning!

7) "But Armacing, what if I actually lower my price below your cost of production after I stole your idea"  Well this one is easy:  That means that I suck at manufacturing and the market needs you to put me out of business so your company can be the one to bring this in-demand product to market at the lowest possible price.  If the government keeps me in business with a monopoly in that case they would only be propping up an inefficient manufacturer who is not serving the consumer with the best product at the best price, thus waste & inefficiency creep into the system and everyone's standard of living has been lowered.  As always, whenever violence is introduced into the peaceful free market (in this case, patents are enforced by government police power), the result is a diminished capacity for wealth-creation in the economy due to inefficient allocation of scarce resources.

8) What does all that mean?  If all laws related to IP were repealed, a certain small number of people would be poorer, but society at large would be richer.  However, I should state here that I don't favor the elimination of IP on the grounds that it raises the standard of living (even though it would).  I oppose IP because it is an authoritarian restriction (enforced by violence) on the freedom of individuals to peacefully engage in free trade using all private property and skills they have at their disposal.  That ideal is a fundamental right regardless of any particular economic outcome.

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I agree with most of the Libertarian approach…but do not agree on IP.  

I would say I’m a conservative with a very strong libertarian streak.  In the end, I’m a “live and let live” person.  As long as you’re not infringing on the freedom of others…go for it. 

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On 5/20/2021 at 6:38 PM, Armacing said:

First off I will say that there is disagreement among libertarians about IP, but based on my time at the Mises Institute, there are a good many libertarians within the Austrian Economics sect of the party that strongly disagree with the concept of intellectual property.  It breaks down like this:

1) Each person has the right to think any ideas they want, so right off the bat the term "intellectual property" is misleading because you can't own an idea.

2) Each person has the right to engage in free & peaceful trade with other members of society by using the property they own and the skills they have to meet consumer's needs in the market.

3) Throughout human history, humans have exchanged ideas and learned new techniques from others.  Indeed, the whole point of competition in the market is based on one business finding a better way to serve customers, and then customers favor that business, thus causing other businesses to also begin offering the service/product that is demanded by customers - - possibly at a lower price than the first business that had the original idea.  Thus consumers get more of what they want at a cheaper price, which is basically the entire reason why competition is so good for consumers.

4) What is IP, really?  Actually, it is a government-enforced monopoly for one party who has enough resources to cover high legal fees and navigate the bureaucracy to obtain their monopoly.  All of that effort and expense to obtain and maintain the monopoly provides zero value to the consumer.

5) Why does someone claiming IP need a monopoly?  Basically, because they are terrible at bringing the product they invented to market.  Proponents of IP often admit this when they say "without IP the inventor wouldn't be able to recoup the cost of their R&D".  Think about that statement for a second.  Even if they are first to market with a valuable new product/service, they are still unable to use that advantage to create a profitable business?  Why should the government grant a monopoly to someone so incompetent?

6) "But Armacing, if someone just copies that new idea they can sell it for less because they don't have any R&D cost to pay back, so nobody will ever innovate due to lack of pay-back"  OK, let's run with that argument:  Say I come up with a new product and I don't patent it.  Then I start selling it and within a month I notice that you have copied my design 100% and are selling the exact same product for half the price.  Funny thing about that:  When I first brought the product to market my profit margin was 500% because of no competition.  But now I need to cut my margin to at least 250% to match your price.  I'm still making money, still earning back the cost of R&D.  But maybe I decide to drive you out of business, so I lower my profit margin to 100%.  Oops, looks like you can't make money at that price because you suck at manufacturing, so now you are gone and maybe I raise the price to 150% margin and see if you come back or not.... nope, you didn't come back.  How about 175%?  Hey, you're back in business and matching my price.  So, back down to 150% and you're gone again.  Basically I found out what your cost of production was and drove you out of business, but I still have a margin - still winning!

7) "But Armacing, what if I actually lower my price below your cost of production after I stole your idea"  Well this one is easy:  That means that I suck at manufacturing and the market needs you to put me out of business so your company can be the one to bring this in-demand product to market at the lowest possible price.  If the government keeps me in business with a monopoly in that case they would only be propping up an inefficient manufacturer who is not serving the consumer with the best product at the best price, thus waste & inefficiency creep into the system and everyone's standard of living has been lowered.  As always, whenever violence is introduced into the peaceful free market (in this case, patents are enforced by government police power), the result is a diminished capacity for wealth-creation in the economy due to inefficient allocation of scarce resources.

8) What does all that mean?  If all laws related to IP were repealed, a certain small number of people would be poorer, but society at large would be richer.  However, I should state here that I don't favor the elimination of IP on the grounds that it raises the standard of living (even though it would).  I oppose IP because it is an authoritarian restriction (enforced by violence) on the freedom of individuals to peacefully engage in free trade using all private property and skills they have at their disposal.  That ideal is a fundamental right regardless of any particular economic outcome.

Interesting ideas but I'm having a hard time following your thinking here. 

Mr. Bond was asking about copyrights, and your response only seems to consider patents unless I'm misunderstanding something. What do you think about copyright protections? 

Also, I don't see a lot of room to allow for the concept of comparative advantage in the libertarian framework as you've laid it out. It seems you envision a scenario where the person/organization with the best idea also then has to be the person with the best materials sourcing and the person with the best production facilities/techniques and the person with the best distribution, etc. in order to continue benefiting from their idea.  It seems to me that requiring that kind of vertical integration for any business to thrive is more likely to create new monopolies than it is to reduce the occurrence of monopolistic practices. Also, it seems incredibly inefficient since people/organizations could no longer specialize in what they do best and would instead have to be prepared to to do everything for themselves internally. If I have a great idea, I don't need to necessarily be great at manufacturing it or marketing it or great at operating a retail outlet to sell it - instead I can contract and enter into licenses with other companies who are experts at doing what they do.  Without IP protection from the government however, it seems like you're just shifting all the power and profit to other areas of the value chain at the expense of the idea creator in a way that's way more likely to consolidate wealth and power. Anyone can potentially have a revolutionary idea, but without IP protection that idea is almost instantly going to be gobbled up and fought over by a few giant entities that have pre-accumulated the capital resources and infrastructure necessary to provide end-to-end support for the entire product lifecycle.  What am I missing here?

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5 hours ago, titanhog said:

I agree with most of the Libertarian approach…but do not agree on IP.  

I would say I’m a conservative with a very strong libertarian streak.  In the end, I’m a “live and let live” person.  As long as you’re not infringing on the freedom of others…go for it. 

That's cool.  Sincere question here:  How do you reconcile the live and let live approach with the government-enforced monopoly attributes of today's IP system?

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59 minutes ago, ruraljuror said:

Mr. Bond was asking about copyrights, and your response only seems to consider patents unless I'm misunderstanding something. What do you think about copyright protections? 

A copyright is just a patent for a particular type of product.  The difference is purely in terminology, but the economic scenario is identical:  right to produce a CD, right to publish a book, right to provide an online streaming service and make ad revenue.  It all involves "IP owners" asking the government to stop someone from engaging in their business activities that involves using their property and skills.   It really speaks to the level of indoctrination we (as Americans) have been subjected to because the knee-jerk reaction is "hey, that song is not their property, it belongs to the artist".   The harsh reality is that is just simply not true.   

Anyone who proposes to make their living off of a product or service that is easily copied bears the responsibility for figuring out how to bring that product/service to market in a profitable way.  It is not the government's responsibility to ensure the success of any one business or industry.  Everyone needs to figure out their own business model in the free market without the exclusive legal right to engage in a given trade.  If they succeed (which is not guaranteed), it will be due to their own hard work, skill, business acumen, and as always - a little bit of luck.

1 hour ago, ruraljuror said:

Also, I don't see a lot of room to allow for the concept of comparative advantage in the libertarian framework as you've laid it out. It seems you envision a scenario where the person/organization with the best idea also then has to be the person with the best materials sourcing and the person with the best production facilities/techniques and the person with the best distribution, etc. in order to continue benefiting from their idea.  It seems to me that requiring that kind of vertical integration for any business to thrive is more likely to create new monopolies than it is to reduce the occurrence of monopolistic practices. 

Ahh, but you have glossed over the fundamental (and crucial) difference between a "de facto" monopoly and a "de jure" monopoly.  If a monopoly happens to arise in a free market that must mean that the monopoly organization has found a way to provide the product or service better and cheaper than anyone else.  If they ever falter in that role, the market will encourage competitors to rise and de-throne the market leader.  In contrast, a government-enforced monopoly can persist as long as their political influence allows them to, regardless of their efficiency or how well they serve the consumer.  Soviet Union, anyone?

1 hour ago, ruraljuror said:

Also, it seems incredibly inefficient since people/organizations could no longer specialize in what they do best and would instead have to be prepared to to do everything for themselves internally. 

No, this doesn't follow at all from what I said.  If a person is a talented artist they just need to be part of an organization (or have a business relationship with one) that has the technical and commercial capability to profitably bring the artist's work to market and fend off competitors.  The answer is more business, not more government.  Would that mean more work for the artist?  Maybe... but it's a small price to pay for freedom.

1 hour ago, ruraljuror said:

If I have a great idea, I don't need to necessarily be great at manufacturing it or marketing it or great at operating a retail outlet to sell it - instead I can contract and enter into licenses with other companies who are experts at doing what they do.  

Exactly!  See?  You do understand.

1 hour ago, ruraljuror said:

Without IP protection from the government however, it seems like you're just shifting all the power and profit to other areas of the value chain at the expense of the idea creator in a way that's way more likely to consolidate wealth and power. 

Uhh, correction.  *You* are the one who is artificially using government police power to shift "wealth and power" away from the default free market structure into the hands of the "IP owner".   Your comment about how wealth and power would shift away from the IP owner is merely an acknowledgement of the fact that IP represents a granting of monopoly rights to the IP owner by the government.  Yes- absolutely - guilty as charged.  I'm advocating taking away this government granted monopoly and all of the wealth and power that comes with it.  But if you think a couple steps ahead you will realize that the party to benefit from this change is not the manufacturer or the retailer; it's really the consumer.

1 hour ago, ruraljuror said:

Anyone can potentially have a revolutionary idea, but without IP protection that idea is almost instantly going to be gobbled up and fought over by a few giant entities that have pre-accumulated the capital resources and infrastructure necessary to provide end-to-end support for the entire product lifecycle. 

That happens today even with IP.  Actually, the problem you describe above may be made worse by IP.  Ever heard of Patent Trolls?  Except today all the money and effort goes towards lawyers and legal battles.  At least in my scenario all of the money and effort goes towards trying to please the consumer and corner the market.

1 hour ago, ruraljuror said:

What am I missing here?

A focus on freedom.

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7 minutes ago, Armacing said:

A copyright is just a patent for a particular type of product.  The difference is purely in terminology, but the economic scenario is identical:  right to produce a CD, right to publish a book, right to provide an online streaming service and make ad revenue.  It all involves "IP owners" asking the government to stop someone from engaging in their business activities that involves using their property and skills.   It really speaks to the level of indoctrination we (as Americans) have been subjected to because the knee-jerk reaction is "hey, that song is not their property, it belongs to the artist".   The harsh reality is that is just simply not true.   

Anyone who proposes to make their living off of a product or service that is easily copied bears the responsibility for figuring out how to bring that product/service to market in a profitable way.  It is not the government's responsibility to ensure the success of any one business or industry.  Everyone needs to figure out their own business model in the free market without the exclusive legal right to engage in a given trade.  If they succeed (which is not guaranteed), it will be due to their own hard work, skill, business acumen, and as always - a little bit of luck.

Ahh, but you have glossed over the fundamental (and crucial) difference between a "de facto" monopoly and a "de jure" monopoly.  If a monopoly happens to arise in a free market that must mean that the monopoly organization has found a way to provide the product or service better and cheaper than anyone else.  If they ever falter in that role, the market will encourage competitors to rise and de-throne the market leader.  In contrast, a government-enforced monopoly can persist as long as their political influence allows them to, regardless of their efficiency or how well they serve the consumer.  Soviet Union, anyone?

No, this doesn't follow at all from what I said.  If a person is a talented artist they just need to be part of an organization (or have a business relationship with one) that has the technical and commercial capability to profitably bring the artist's work to market and fend off competitors.  The answer is more business, not more government.  Would that mean more work for the artist?  Maybe... but it's a small price to pay for freedom.

Exactly!  See?  You do understand.

Uhh, correction.  *You* are the one who is artificially using government police power to shift "wealth and power" away from the default free market structure into the hands of the "IP owner".   Your comment about how wealth and power would shift away from the IP owner is merely an acknowledgement of the fact that IP represents a granting of monopoly rights to the IP owner by the government.  Yes- absolutely - guilty as charged.  I'm advocating taking away this government granted monopoly and all of the wealth and power that comes with it.  But if you think a couple steps ahead you will realize that the party to benefit from this change is not the manufacturer or the retailer; it's really the consumer.

That happens today even with IP.  Actually, the problem you describe above may be made worse by IP.  Ever heard of Patent Trolls?  Except today all the money and effort goes towards lawyers and legal battles.  At least in my scenario all of the money and effort goes towards trying to please the consumer and corner the market.

A focus on freedom.

 

Maybe I'm just dense, but a fair amount of that sounds ludicrous to me.

So if I wrote a book, you think that that anyone who gets their hands on a copy of that book should be able to photocopy it and sell it without paying me a dime? 

Further, why would any organization contract with me to help market, produce, and distribute my book when they could just wait for me to self publish or get it published through some other entity and then steal it? 

 

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Posted (edited)
20 minutes ago, ruraljuror said:

 

Maybe I'm just dense, but a fair amount of that sounds ludicrous to me.

So if I wrote a book, you think that that anyone who gets their hands on a copy of that book should be able to photocopy it and sell it without paying me a dime? 

Further, why would any organization contract with me to help market, produce, and distribute my book when they could just wait for me to self publish or get it published through some other entity and then steal it? 

 

It only sounds ludicrous to you because you have been indoctrinated your entire life to believe otherwise.  In your book scenario, please tell me why someone with a photocopy machine can produce books cheaper than you and your publishing house can.  Using a copier to produce books en masse sounds ludicrous to me - yet that is the scenario you have presented.

Why would a publishing house pay authors?  Oh, I don't know, maybe to have new literature to publish, which is demanded by consumers?

Edit:  Expanding on that last part:  Why don't they wait for someone else to publish it?  At that point, the market would already be flush with your new novel and the competitor publishing house would be playing catch-up.  Yes, they can do it, sure, but so much of a publisher's reputation comes from publishing new material by in-demand authors.  A lot of consumers want the book right away and don't want to wait for the knock-off copies to come out.  Some consumers who want to pay less will wait for the price to come down - maybe that even results in a wider pool of interested readers who decide to buy the next book right away for the extra cost.

Edited by Armacing
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37 minutes ago, Armacing said:

In your book scenario, please tell me why someone with a photocopy machine can produce books cheaper than you and your publishing house can.  Using a copier to produce books en masse sounds ludicrous to me - yet that is the scenario you have presented.

Yes, using a photocopier to mass produce books is ludicrous, but that's not what I'm talking about. The photocopier was just the means of replicating the words on the page, the scenario works just as well if we paid somebody on fiver to retype the whole book in a word document. 

The point of the scenario is to illustrate the the value of the book is not simply the value of the paper that it's printed on + the warehousing, shipping, shelving costs, etc. The majority of the value is in the words themselves, and to view the value of the book only in terms of the cost of its inputs is farcical - as though the phone book, a blank spiral notebook, and War & Peace were all of equal value simply because they happen to have the same number of pages. 

I would agree with you that ideas can not be monopolized and protected by the government, but that's not what copyright protection is. If I write a book about philosophy, for example, you could tell all your friends about all my ideas and that wouldn't violate my copyright, of course. You could even talk about my book and my ideas all day every day on your monetized Youtube channel and that wouldn't violate my copyright either. You could even paraphrase my book line by line and I don't think even that would qualify as a copyright violation, because it's not the ideas that are being protected but the words themselves in the order they were written. 

37 minutes ago, Armacing said:

Why would a publishing house pay authors?  Oh, I don't know, maybe to have new literature to publish, which is demanded by consumers?

I must be missing something again. Instead of paying authors, why can't the publishing house just photocopy/retype/upload the author's new book and start printing their own copies on the day that the book is released. I suppose some publishers in this scenario might pay an author something to gain a small head start over all the bootleg publishers getting their presses warmed up, but even then the author's advance would be based on the value of that head start, not the value of the book itself. 

But hey, what do I know after being indoctrinated my whole life? 

 

Edited by ruraljuror
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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, ruraljuror said:

.... to view the value of the book only in terms of the cost of its inputs is farcical .....You could even paraphrase my book line by line and I don't think even that would qualify as a copyright violation, because it's not the ideas that are being protected but the words themselves in the order they were written

Ideas should not be "protected", they should be shared and spread without limitation.   When you say "protected" you are talking about the author's income stream.  And I'm saying that's up to the author to determine how to leverage their skills in such a way that they obtain monetary gain.  It's neither the government's right nor responsibility to help the author earn a living.  On the other hand, it *is* the government's responsibility to make sure nobody is treading on the rights (life, liberty, property) of the author and preventing them from earning a living.  See the difference?  By the way... when I say "Property", I mean physical property that can be exclusively possessed by an individual.  Ideas and information are not physical property - anybody can possess, share, and use them - either altruistically or for monetary gain.

 

6 hours ago, ruraljuror said:

it's not the ideas that are being protected but the words themselves in the order they were written. 

We need to look at this phrase again because it is so interesting to see how you think about this subject.  The order in which they are written is just the syntax of the language.  How can you say that is not an "idea" in the classical sense of the word?  Are words not first formulated in the mind before they are written?

6 hours ago, ruraljuror said:

I must be missing something again. Instead of paying authors, why can't the publishing house just photocopy/retype/upload the author's new book and start printing their own copies on the day that the book is released. I suppose some publishers in this scenario might pay an author something to gain a small head start over all the bootleg publishers getting their presses warmed up, but even then the author's advance would be based on the value of that head start, not the value of the book itself. 

Sorry, I put this in an edit of my previous post after you had already started responding.  Here's what I said:

Why don't they wait for someone else to publish it?  At that point, the market would already be flush with your new novel and the competitor publishing house would be playing catch-up.  Yes, they can do it, sure, but so much of a publisher's reputation comes from publishing new material by in-demand authors.  A lot of consumers want the book right away and don't want to wait for the knock-off copies to come out.  Some consumers who want to pay less will wait for the price to come down - maybe that even results in a wider pool of interested readers who decide to buy the next book right away for the extra cost.

Now adding something new to this section:  When you say "some publishers in this scenario might pay an author something" - THAT.  That right there is the author's income, as dictated by the free market.  At least as far as we have been able to imagine within the post-IP publishing industry hypothetical scenario we have constructed.  Maybe other revenue streams for the author would arise in the real world, but absent that, you have identified a way for authors to still get paid.  Would they like to be paid more for the work they do?  Yes, but as the saying goes: "Join the club".

Edited by Armacing
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23 minutes ago, Armacing said:

Ideas should not be "protected", they should be shared and spread without limitation.   When you say "protected" you are talking about the author's income stream.  And I'm saying that's up to the author to determine how to leverage their skills in such a way that they obtain monetary gain.  It's neither the government's right nor responsibility to help the author earn a living.  On the other hand, it *is* the government's responsibility to make sure nobody is treading on the rights (life, liberty, property) of the author and preventing them from earning a living.  See the difference?  By the way... when I say "Property", I mean physical property that can be exclusively possessed by an individual.  Ideas and information are not physical property - anybody can possess, share, and use them - either altruistically or for monetary gain.

 

We need to look at this phrase again because it is so interesting to see how you think about this subject.  The order in which they are written is just the syntax of the language.  How can you say that is not an "idea" in the classical sense of the word?  Are words not first formulated in the mind before they are written?

Sorry, I put this in an edit of my previous post after you had already started responding.  Here's what I said:

Why don't they wait for someone else to publish it?  At that point, the market would already be flush with your new novel and the competitor publishing house would be playing catch-up.  Yes, they can do it, sure, but so much of a publisher's reputation comes from publishing new material by in-demand authors.  A lot of consumers want the book right away and don't want to wait for the knock-off copies to come out.  Some consumers who want to pay less will wait for the price to come down - maybe that even results in a wider pool of interested readers who decide to buy the next book right away for the extra cost.

Now adding something new to this section:  When you say "some publishers in this scenario might pay an author something" - THAT.  That right there is the author's income, as dictated by the free market.  At least as far as we have been able to imagine within the post-IP publishing industry hypothetical scenario we have constructed.  Maybe other revenue streams for the author would arise in the real world, but absent that, you have identified a way for authors to still get paid.  Would they like to be paid more for the work they do?  Yes, but as the saying goes: "Welcome to the club".

Well, I guess at the very least we have once again conclusively determined that I am not a libertarian. Thanks for the discourse in any case. 

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1 minute ago, ruraljuror said:

Well, I guess at the very least we have once again conclusively determined that I am not a libertarian. Thanks for the discourse in any case. 

Always happy to oblige!

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On 6/8/2021 at 10:43 AM, Armacing said:

That's cool.  Sincere question here:  How do you reconcile the live and let live approach with the government-enforced monopoly attributes of today's IP system?

I am a songwriter.  I create a song.  For a period of years, I am the copyright owner and should receive compensation when someone either purchases or commercially uses my song.  If I didn’t have that copyright to back me up…then my business would not exist. 

I can’t even comprehend someone creating something and not being able to copyright it…or patent it.  I see nothing of “live and let live” where the two intersect.  It’s called stealing, otherwise.

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On 6/10/2021 at 10:38 PM, titanhog said:

I am a songwriter.  I create a song.  For a period of years, I am the copyright owner and should receive compensation when someone either purchases or commercially uses my song.  If I didn’t have that copyright to back me up…then my business would not exist. 

I can’t even comprehend someone creating something and not being able to copyright it…or patent it.  I see nothing of “live and let live” where the two intersect.  It’s called stealing, otherwise.

I definitely think you should be allowed to earn the maximum income possible from your song-writing skills and the tools you use to perform that trade.  However, I don't see an objective reason give preferential treatment to your skills over someone else's skills.  Your earnings should be obtained within the framework of peaceful and voluntary trade.

If there is someone out there who is talented at recording songs, making copies of songs, and talented at selling copies, then that person should be allowed to perform their trade without interference from the government.  If that person has invested in recording equipment and CD-making equipment, then it would be wrong to restrict how that person uses their own property to conduct their business.  I would argue that from the perspective of that person, your attempt to take a portion of their earnings through the vehicle of government-enforced IP is more akin to stealing than their sales of your song.  Why do I say that?  Because you are the one relying on violence (police force) to obtain your money.  In contrast, the act of recording a song and selling copies is non-violent.

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On 5/20/2021 at 12:18 PM, Mr_Bond said:

I'd like to learn more about how Libertarians (capitol L out of respect) feel about intellectual property rights.  Living in Music City, I feel very uncomfortable saying to half my neighbors that they shouldn't own the rights to their music.  What am I missing here?  Lots, probably.  Help me out!

Now that you've had the benefit of seeing the dialogue between me and two other posters, how do you feel about the issue of IP?

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