Against Monopoly

defending the right to innovate

Monopoly corrupts. Absolute monopoly corrupts absolutely.

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Intellectual Poverty

Opponents of the state monopoly privilege grants that the state and supporters propagandistically call "intellectual property" use a variety of alternative terms, in attempt to better describe these "rights" without implying they are valid, as the word "property" seeks to do.

Boldrin and Levine, in Against Intellectual Monopoly, use the term "intellectual monopoly." The benefit of this term is that it calls attention to the fact that IP rights are not property but monopoly grants by the state (see Are Patents "Monopolies"? and Intellectual Properganda). I sometimes still call it IP, simple for communicative efficiency and out of semantic inertia, but of late I tend to just say "patent and copyright," to isolate the two main state legislated rights schemes that fall under the IP umbrella. In the past I have proposed the term "pattern privileges" (see Renaming Intellectual Property) and sometimes call IP advocates "intellectual properteers."

The term intellectual poverty occurred to me the other day. It has several advantages: it is disparaging and pejorative; it rhymes with intellectual property; and it implies both intellectual impoverishment (which results from the censorship and restriction on ideas, which are the results of patent and copyright law) and material impoverishment caused by all state invasions of genuine property rights.

[Mises cross-post]


A related article on how copyright impoverish the society and culture by preventing some works to be created or released: questioncopyright.org/ghost_works
How about:
  • "Cultural & Technological Privileges"
  • "Derogations of Liberty"
  • "Amortised Slavery*"
  • "Instruments of Injustice"
  • "Weapons of Immortal Corporations"
  • "Means of Mankind's Suppression & Exploitation"

'IP' - could be "Injudicious Privileges" - privileges that should never have been granted; illiberal anachronisms that should have been abolished along with slavery.

You know that Nina Paley goes for Intellectual Pooperty.

* Suspensions of a few liberties from all, instead of all liberties from a few.

If I need to conflate the current abusive copyrights and patents, that betray their original purposes, I often use the term Improper Privileges.
I like the term Intellectual Monopoly precisely because it is not that disparsging and pejorative, and it describes precisely what I am against.

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