In this study, Kevin Carson reviews libertarian perspectives on “intellectual property”; the ethics of the practice itself and the harms resulting from it.

14 May 09 | C4SS

In this study, Kevin Carson reviews libertarian perspectives on “intellectual property” [IP]; the ethics of the practice itself and the harms resulting from it. He finds that IP is an artificial, rather than natural, property right; creating scarcity rather than managing it. In that capacity, it has acted as an unjust and irrational state subsidy to corporate capitalism — distorting markets, doing violence to the concept of real property rights, forcibly transfering wealth to parasitic cartels and generally having a pernicious impact on the U.S. domestic and global economies that is difficult to overstate. He concludes by debunking the myth of IP as supposedly necessary for incentive reasons.

Download: “Intellectual Property — A Libertarian Critique” [.pdf]

C4SS Research Associate Kevin Carson is a contemporary mutualist author and individualist anarchist whose written work includes Studies in Mutualist Political Economy and Organization Theory: An Individualist Anarchist Perspective, both of which are freely available online. Carson has also written for a variety of internet-based journals and blogs, including Just Things, The Art of the Possible, the P2P Foundation and his own Mutualist Blog.

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