Property and Ideas


Are ideas property? Should individuals be able to “own” their ideas, like they do other forms of property?

Perhaps if governments had not been involved in these issues, by way of copyright and patent legislation, there would have been fewer differences of opinion among libertarians. As it is, these and other related questions have been a potent source of controversy among them since at least since the middle of the 19th Century.

So, in the interest of informed discussion, we present the following items which elaborate both sides of the argument for and against respecting ideas as property.

Richard Boren, For Intellectual Property (pdf revision posted September, 2016), with separate public discussion.

Richard Boren, For Intellectual Property, (first posted June, 2015) with public discussion

N. Stephan Kinsella, Against Intellectual Property (2008)

Alvin Lowi, Jr., On Andrew Galambos and His Primary Property Ideas (1998)

Butler Shaffer, A Libertarian Critique of Intellectual Property (2014)

Lysander Spooner, A Letter to Scientists and Inventors (1884)

Lysander Spooner, The Law of Intellectual Property (1855)

Carl Watner, Copyright Before (Statutory) Copyright (2015)

Carl Watner, On the Ownership of Ideas (2015)

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