My first rant – so called “intellectual property”

Wut? O hai!

In my last post I talked about setting up my members-only area.  One of the things I did was to edit the standard User Agreement that wp-Member supplies. I replaced the whole section on licensing of content with this:

 License to use website

The term “intellectual property” is meaningless. The concept of property applies only to physical objects because they cannot be reproduced without limit or at negligible cost. Taking a physical object from its owner deprives them of its use, and this is the negative effect which makes stealing a physical object wrong. Information has no such limitations. When someone releases information to the world, in whatever form, it does not give them the right to dictate what others can or cannot do with that information. If the originators of information do not want the information disseminated by others, their only option is to simply keep it to themselves. Inflicting their information on others does not give them the right to initiate force against those others based on their subsequent use of the information. Therefore, there are no so-called “copyright” or other such restrictions on the use of information made public by this site.

So that about covers my thoughts on the subject of imaginary.. errm, I mean irrational, uh, that is “intellectual property.”  My motto is, “Intellectual property is neither.”

Some Objectivists might comment to say that this is quite a departure from Ayn Rand’s thought, but is it really?  It’s clear (to me at least) that the whole idea of intellectual property is inconsistent with the Non-Aggression Principle (thou shalt not initiate force nor threat of force), and the NAP trumps some arbitrary construct like copyright law any day.

So that’s where I stand.  What say you?

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