Open Letter to Dr. Block and Hoppe on So-Called IP

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Dear Dr. Block, Hoppe, and the anti-IP cult,

While continuing my mission to complete the free e-library, I ran into the following quote from Dr. Block, “For, surely, knowledge is an economic good. It is no different to compel full disclosure than to compel giving away any other economic good. But in the case where someone is told to give away his goods—we libertarians have a name for it: theft.” ~Walter Block, LETTER TO THE EDITOR OF THE FREE LIBERTARIAN (1976)

So, I have to ask, how could one extort or steal knowledge if knowledge cannot be property?! Again, it all comes down to voluntary, contractual terms of use conditions being lawful, as in consonant with the law of private property, and involuntary terms of use conditions being criminal. Since I truly would like to see you cease spreading communistic errors and since you will not engage in any productive discussion but merely cite Kinsella as your Great Leader, I will offer a few examples applying this simple principle slashing through all of this anti-IP/pro-IP claptrap.

If people voluntarily contract with a private arbitration, security, insurance, or other business entity to abide by voluntary restrictions on redistributing a book, song, poem, piece of software, digital token, etc., this is perfectly moral. In theory, an entire “private law society” could be contracted to respect owner’s “copyright”, “trademark”, or “patent” or be excluded from exposure to the information. Involuntary terms of use conditions, for instance statist “copyright”, “trademark”, or “patent” is of course criminal, as is the taxation which funds the enforcement.

In short, if you break in to my house and copy data from my computer, you have stolen property and not simply trespassed. If I instead post the data on a “public” venue with no voluntary terms of use conditions established beforehand, it is clearly not theft to copy it. You cannot evade this basic fact by claiming the trespass is criminal but the copying is not. You would eviscerate potential damages from an immense numbers of crimes since an assessment of the value of the property stolen is central to establishing proper restitution. Hence extorting the combination to a Bitcoin key, or a password, and so on is indeed theft and could result in enormous damages.

Please let me know if you need more help working your way out of this dead end in which Kinsella has lead you. You will eventually ruin your well deserved reputations if you continue to spread these very dangerous errors. Indeed, you are justifying the most horrific infringements of private property imaginable, for instance the state using technology, as it is developing, to read and change minds from remote without causing physical damage. Your position would logically say this is perfectly lawful since the victims don’t own their own thoughts, ideas, feelings, knowledge, and personality anyway. Wake up please. You have been misled.

“It is unfortunately not enough to claim that libertarians, with their devotion to the independence of the individual, are immune from the temptations of cults. Inconsistent it may be, but we all know better. While our most rabid cult died a decade ago, libertarians are still too often prone to cultic seizures… Beware of any group that places one man—or woman—on a pedestal, so that this person becomes the ultimate decider of all questions, and loyalty to him or her becomes the highest good. Loyalty to one person must never be allowed to supersede an individual’s independent judgment. In short, shun the Cult of Personality.” ~Murray Newton Rothbard, Lessons of People’s Temple (1978)


Chris LeRoux

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One Response to Open Letter to Dr. Block and Hoppe on So-Called IP

  1. RZ September 22, 2016 at 10:59 pm #

    Here is a brilliant essay proving the validity of Copyright from an AnCap perspective, and exposing the fallacies of the IP Communism cult:

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