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Against Intellectual Property

3.89  ·  Rating Details ·  341 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
This monograph is justifiably considered a modern classic. Stephan Kinsella has caused libertarians worldwide to rethink the very basis of intellectual property.

Mises warned against patents, and so did Rothbard. But Kinsella goes much further. He argues that the very existence of patents — and copyrights and trademarks, too — is contrary to a free market. They all use the
Paperback, 71 pages
Published 2008 by Ludwig von Mises Institute (first published 2001)
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Todd Martin
May 23, 2014 Todd Martin rated it did not like it
I’ve always considered libertarianism to be a childishly simplistic and completely unworkable political philosophy, but with regards to intellectual property I do think that patent laws are now serving to stifle innovation. We now have patent trolls whose only business model is to blackmail companies into settling costly patent infringement claims, while producing little or no benefit to society. For a primer on the topic see This American Life – When Patents Attack .

With that as a background I
Apr 28, 2011 Nick rated it liked it
Worth a read. Its damn short, and I knew most of this stuff already but its a nice consolidation. The economics isn't particularly deep here, but need it be? If it can be convincingly shown to violate basic economic concepts at the onset, why bother going into deep theory? Similar things can be said for the moral arguments, but this book brought up a few things I hadn't considered on that front so I wont linger on it. Even if you dont want to read the book, definitely check out the appendix whic ...more
Shea Levy
Dec 17, 2015 Shea Levy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: aborted, undirected
Got about halfway through and gave it up as a bad job.

Kinsella doesn't really make an argument here; he simply repeatedly begs the question. This is most stark in his assertion that property rights arise from the need to resolve conflict over scarcity and then dismissal those who argue in favor of rights arising from creation by simply pointing back to the assertion, but is also implicit in his repeated focus on IP rights curtailing tangible rights: one could just as well say that a so-called "r
Rod Hilton
Apr 22, 2016 Rod Hilton rated it it was amazing
Shelves: politics
I've always had a major problem with Intellectual Property, as a concept. But in a world full of people who not only accept IP laws, but argue that they are necessary for functioning society, I've always felt my opinion needed a great deal of fleshing out before I was willing to engage other people in discussion about it. Having such a small minority opinion means I better have thought it all the way through.

It's often been hard for me to put into words what my objection is. I often tell people
Mike Fox
Apr 01, 2011 Mike Fox rated it it was amazing
There always seemed something funny about intellectual property. I never really felt like a thief when downloading a music CD or movie. Stephan Kinsella does an excellent job of explaining why intellectual property is invalid and incompatible with natural law in this short book. Information, unlike economic goods, is simply not a scarce resource. My copying of music data and burning it onto my personal CD in no way violates the rights of the musician that made the music nor the ability of others ...more
Aug 30, 2011 Friendlysort rated it did not like it
Kinsella's position is simplistic: throw the baby out with the dishwater! Let's go back to craftsmanship, "Learn a trade", darn it! But, wait, the modern crafts are the sciences. Kinsella says: "Kill the growth and increasing employment in all fields of science, basic research, applied research, development, and the increasingly important trade in REAL INNOVATIONS that cannot be folded into a product or service, carried around in trucks, and sold in a cardboard box." Kinsella and others seem to ...more
Ben Ford
Aug 29, 2011 Ben Ford rated it did not like it
The agents of banks, huge multinationals, and China are at it again trying to brain wash America.

In Federalist No. 43, James Madison wrote regarding constitutional rights of inventors, "The utility of the clause will scarcely be questioned. The copyright of authors has been solemnly adjudged, in Great Britain, to be a right of common law. The right to useful inventions seems with equal reason to belong to the inventors. The public good fully coincides in both cases with the claims of the individ
César Serradas
Aug 19, 2015 César Serradas rated it it was ok
Tinha muito interesse neste livro porque a temática da PI divide os libertários. Em particular como eu defendo alguns direitos de PI, interessava-me por ver a opinião contrária de um autor que defende o oposto.

Achei o livro algo redutor e tendencioso nos exemplos escolhidos. Acho que merecia mais aprofundamento. Posso concordar com o autor na crítica aos argumentos utilitaristas que pretendem defender a PI.

Onde acho que falha é em não aprofundar as ideias de propriedade intangível que se acerca
Sep 10, 2010 Zinger rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010
I am in the process of going through this book again.

Many things I agreed with right off, and some things were new to me and I have to rethink them through to sort them out.

Definately a book that makes you think deeper about intellectual property and what is right and wrong in our policies or abscence of policies on this topic.
Jul 28, 2015 Diego rated it really liked it
Exposes the reason for rejecting intellecual property. In days of SOPA/PIPA/ACTA, Kinsella can bring useful arguments.
Krishna Avendaño
May 13, 2014 Krishna Avendaño rated it really liked it
Valió la pena releer este texto a propósito de un trabajo para la universidad referente al tema de la propiedad intelectual y sus apóstoles. Importante para repensar muchos temas que hoy se dan por sentado, en especial en lo que concierne a las patentes y a la creación artificial de escasez que supone establecer derechos de propiedad en bienes intangibles y que no son apropiables. Jefferson, como casi siempre, tenía razón.
Daniel Neto
Bom livro. Contudo não achei os argumentos contrários aos utilitaristas e jusnaturalistas fortes o suficiente.

O autor defende uma posição libertária ampla sobre direitos de propriedade cessando ao que tange a PI. Compreendo seus pontos sobre de fato não ser legítimo submeter-se a um Estado a subjetividade de um direito a PI.

Boa obra, mas careceu dissertar mais sobre as consequências da ausência e proteção/produção de riquezas com a PI.
Feb 07, 2014 Timothy rated it it was ok
Shelves: politics
I find it difficult to say anything too negative about this book as I agree with the general idea of intellectual property reform but I found myself disagreeing with Kinsella on many points. Kinsella promotes the idea of doing away with any form of intellectual property law. This is a very short book and I don't really feel that his position was completely justified.
Emil Duhnea
Oct 01, 2011 Emil Duhnea rated it did not like it
Shelves: law
So-called freedom fighters, libertarians with no grounds on which to base their politics other than subjective whims and faith in their own personal Jesus flounder confusingly through a muck of misunderstood notions of individual rights, their source or how they are non-contradictory with eachother; truly, they can not be by their very definition. Employing numerous fallacies, however, intellectual communists attempt to prove just that, that IP is contradictory to other individuals' rights and m ...more
Jason Keisling
Jan 20, 2015 Jason Keisling rated it liked it
Shelves: politics
Quick read (about 70 pages). One can read it for free here:
Pedro Faraco
Jan 15, 2016 Pedro Faraco rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
O livro é uma excelente provocação libertária sobre a questão da Propriedade Intelectual.

Como especialista na área, Kinsella inicia com uma breve explicação sobre os diferentes tipos de PI (direitos autorais, patentes, segredos comerciais, marcas registradas, etc). Daí em diante, o autor combate as visões utilitaristas e jusnaturalistas sobre o tema.

Apesar de reconhecer que a obra é bastante interessante, rica em referências e que desafia outras visões sobre PI, seu argumento não foi suficiente
Sep 02, 2016 Pigdestroyer rated it liked it
Hits many important anti-IP points, but I expected a much longer read.
Charlie Pribble
Oct 15, 2015 Charlie Pribble rated it liked it
This is a good introduction to intellectual property for libertarians.
Jul 27, 2011 James added it
An interesting, academic treatise on the nature of Intellectual Property law. Kinsella employs the position that copyrighted non-scarce (i.e. non-tangible) resources diminish the value of tangible resources, and are fundamentally invalid because they 1) do not conform to the correct idea of "homesteading," and 2) prevent other individuals from using their own tangible property in the manner of their choosing. A fast read, and a necessary one, but not written extremely well or convincingly (despi ...more
Sep 01, 2015 Mark rated it really liked it
This book provides interesting insights for the reader to mull over, which is what is truly important in a work such as this. Whether one agrees or not with the author or not is ultimately unimportant, as you are sure to get something out of the read in the end. Oh, and true to the Kinsella's words, its digital version is available for free download, which is always a good thing.
Nov 10, 2008 Clarence rated it liked it
Easily readable in an hour or two, a good argument is made that the produce of intellect is not akin to "property" and that attempting to include it in the umbra of property rights damages the structure the theory of those rights are built on.

For the most part, I must agree with most of what he writes -- but it still seems wrong to me to "steal" intellectual output!
Apr 28, 2013 Eric rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kinsella made some reasonable and intelligent arguments. Though I'm not a general fan of the libertarian philosophy -- and so I think there needs to be some adjustment before his theories could be implemented in practice -- I do respect the argument he lays out against intellectual property.
frank Hernandez
Jul 14, 2012 frank Hernandez rated it it was amazing
Before I read this book I wasn't exactely sure what side of the issue I was on, but the moment I read this, I knew where I stood and would never condone IP in any shape or form. If your looking for a convincing,to the point argument against IP this is the book.
Ryan Watkins
Oct 13, 2016 Ryan Watkins rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: misc
Listened to the audiobook version while traveling for work.

Very short fascinating read/listen. Not convinced of his position, but it makes me want to research intellectual property and the various positions on it further. I appreciate his consistency.
Erick Njenga
Jan 04, 2012 Erick Njenga rated it it was amazing
Excellent book that cites the challenges facing modern i.p. law but sadly the author doesn't give a workable solution to the problem he so carefully outlines. Great read.
Jan 25, 2011 Dave rated it liked it
Shelves: lvmi, non-fiction
Some interesting points, but I don't completely follow the logic behind all of the arguments.
Gabriel Grommeck
Apr 27, 2013 Gabriel Grommeck rated it it was amazing
Buenisimo para entender cual es la problemática de la propiedad intelectual.
Apr 13, 2011 Kathleen rated it really liked it
I'm not sure I agree with everything in this book, but it really made me think.
Sep 14, 2012 Jon rated it really liked it
This book left me with a lot more questions.
Josh marked it as to-read
Oct 22, 2016
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right to useful inventions 2 8 Sep 14, 2011 10:24PM  
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Also publishes as Stephan Kinsella.
Norman Stephan Kinsella is an American intellectual property attorney and libertarian legal theorist.

He is the founder and Editor of Libertarian Papers, Director of the Center for the Study of Innovative Freedom (C4SIF), and General Counsel for Applied Optoelectronics, Inc. He is a former partner with Duane Morris LLP and was adjunct law professor at South Texas
More about N. Stephan Kinsella...

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