Twenty million books. Easily accessible by the public. Searchable in less than a second. For free. But is it legal? Beginning in 2004, Google started copying books. Through partnerships between its Google Books project and participating libraries, Google has since copied over twenty million books. It has indexed them and rendered them searchable on the […]Read more "The (Not) Little (Search) Engine That Could"
In a victory for media Goliaths, the Supreme Court recently ruled that TV-streaming service Aereo “perform[ed] … copyrighted works publicly” and therefore violated copyright law. The ghost of Grokster haunts us. Napster rolls in its grave. Copyright’s muscular hands have once again strangled innovation. What is the purpose of copyright law? Conventional wisdom asserts that […]Read more "The Origins and Intentions of Copyright"
In response to my recent article, “Private Property, the Least Bad Option,” Cory Massimino has penned a well-articulated rebuttal. I find myself in agreement (more or less) with everything he says, yet I don’t believe my article is in any way contradicted or undermined. In my opinion, Cory asserts that my article claims more than it […]Read more "Private Property: When and Why"
A music composition professor of mine once lamented that without copyright protection, Western civilization would cease to exist. Most of us take intellectual property (IP) for granted, assuming it is ethically and economically necessary. We’ve become so blasé about IP that heavy-handed FBI warnings and billion-dollar lawsuits don’t faze us in the slightest. Yet despite […]Read more "Does Intellectual Property Defy Human Nature?"
Libertarians tend to see two worlds: one with private property that works reasonably well, and one without that farcically implodes. What they often miss, however, is that this dichotomy is conditional. Private property isn’t morally meritorious or great in itself, but only insofar as it is the best and only way to avoid conflict given […]Read more "Private Property, the Least Bad Option"
What is property? More specifically, at its essential theoretical core, beyond the artifice of legal fiat, what is property? Somewhat broadly, property is anything that satisfies each of the following requirements: property is scarce; property possesses objective (intersubjectively ascertainable) borders; and property has a determinable temporal genesis. The theory of intellectual property (IP) posits that […]Read more "The Day All Action Ceased"
With all the current controversy over agricultural biotechnology company Monsanto, many are missing the biggest problem: reliance on patents and monopoly protection. Last week, President Obama signed into law the infamous “Monsanto Protection Act” as part of an Agricultural Appropriations Bill. The law, which essentially protects the agricultural giant against litigation, has caused opponents of […]Read more "Monsanto, Steaks, and Chefs: Intellectual Property and Food"