#195: Stephan Kinsella : Bitcoin – New ICO Telegraph

[Table] IAmA: I am Stephan Kinsella, a patent attorney and Austrian economics and anarchist libertarian writer who thinks patent and copyright should be abolished. AMA

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Date: 2013-01-22
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My wife is a musician and she is concerned about someone stealing her music at a concert and selling it to a movie maker. The "thief" would then be receiving royalties for music she created. Do you have any articles/research I could share with her to show her that a) royalties are a product of copyright and b) people stealing/copying her music would be a good thing for her? Any other suggested readings for her? Copying information is not stealing; your wife still has her music. What she really means is: the guy who makes a profit playing a versio nof her music, is "stealing" from her, the money he makes from customers. But that means that she has a property right in the money in the pockets of his customers. BUt she does not. This is just free market competition.
What about the cost that goes into the finished product? as a professional musician, without the (meagre) stream of income from royalties, merch, and performances, the level of possible exposure for my work and the amount of time I can focus on my art would plumet. Innovation becomes harder to come by when your means and efforts are limited by the costs of living, making profits off someone elses art (and more importantly the time they put into creating it) without their consent is no different than stealing a chair from a craftsman's warehouse in my eyes. Why do you believe that the intangibility of music makes the time put into it less valuable? You don't own value. value is what others think about your stuff. you have no proeprty in that. the law should not give you a property right in that. besides, if the state stopped taxing you, you would be 8 times richer immediately, an could afford to do your music.
I' m entirely in favor of reworking the whole copyright/patent system, with much more reasonable time limits for the protections, but abolish entirely? Why would people make anything? Why would a pharma company spend hundreds of millions of dollars produce some medication only to have some other company take the formula and just produce the same medication without the development costs? The purpose of law is not to make sure people make enough pre-ordained things. it is justice, to protect property rights. IP invades property rights. it's very simple. Your asking a question "why would people make things" is not an argument. A question is not an argument.
This seems like a very odd answer to my question. I don't think you've actually answered it. But you are asking your question as if makign a rhetorical poitn: "how would people be incentivized to do X?' implies that we all agree that the state ought to make laws to make sure we have x and that if my answer is insufficient, then my arguemnt against the law fails. So it is question-begging; I refuse to be trapped. I will not permit people to engage in equivocation.
How do we balance the need for individuals who invest great amounts of time in techniques and technologies that don't have the ability to go to a broad market with those who do? The best illustration would be someone like Edison who had the connections to get things to the world but didn't necessarily invent them. If we keep technologies secret until we figure out how to make money off of them - might we miss out on much? It seems like the patenting ability gives legal protection to put your ideas out there. And an NDA doesn't seem the same as worldwide patent protection. Of course, there is much potential benefit I see from so many who have put all of their plans and ideas out there (free music for one that leads toward concerts, etc). Seems like with the current system the little guy benefits at a certain point and then begins to lose out at a certain point to the big guys... What is your basic philosophy on how to get ideas to the marketplace? The purpose of law is to protect property rights, not to ensure entrepreneurs of every type can make a profit; that is their job. but for some ideas of what is possible, see Link to c4sif.org
Why "acquire" it from a previous owner? Why not just steal it then? Some people want to justify their actions, or come up with justifiable meta-rules. Others do not.
I am a regular Joe. After working in a car garage for 20 years I invent a new type of tool that allows my work to go about three times faster. I try to sell it to make some money on the side, only a couple of local garages due to my lack of budget and I get some good reception. In your world I can't apply for a patent for my new idea and try to sell the rights to someone for even more money. Three weeks later, a large auto manufacturer is making a tool that is almost identical to my tool, but there is nothing I can do to stop them due to the fact that there are no patents. Now what? Yes, if you try to sell a product and if it is popular, you have to expect competition. there is nothing wrong with this. you have to have high quality, rely o your first mover advantage, your band name or reputation, or keep innovating, if you want to keep making profit. Profit is unnatural, and is gradually reduced by competition. Everyone who is for patent is against free market competition. See Link to archive.mises.org They admit this. They say "Governments adopt intellectual property laws in the belief that a privileged, monopolistic domain operating on the margins of the free-market economy promotes long-term cultural and technological progress better than a regime of unbridled competition." -- What kind of libertarian or free market advocate is against unbridled competition??!! 'If a man scatters money in the street, he does not thereby formally relinquish title to it … but those who pick it up are thereafter considered the rightful owners…. Similarly a man who reproduces his writings by thousands and spreads them everywhere voluntarily abandons his right of privacy and those who read them … no more put themselves by the act under any obligation in regard to the author than those who pick up scattered money put themselves under obligations to the scatterer.'
Can voluntary user agreements create results similar to copyright/patents? If not, how? If so, are they consistent with you free market principals? No, they cannot. Contracts are just transfers of title to owned scarce resources, and they cannot, in any event, affect third parties. I deal wit this in the reserved rights section of Against Intellectual Property, at www.c4sif.org
I am a research scientist, planning on filing a patent application for a new type of plastic solar cell. I don't know yet for sure if it will work, but if it does work the way I think it does, it could be an enormous boon to humanity. However, if someone with more funding than me can simply steal my idea, where is my motivation to invent this thing? I suppose there is altruism and doing it for the good of mankind and all that. But altruism won't put food in my belly. What do you think of people in my position? No one can steal your idea. They can learn from you. But you still have your idea. So be precise. What you mean is: htey are stealing the money you could extort from people if you had the right to sue for patent infringement; you are claiming a property right in the money of third parties that you can force to buy from you if you can outlaw competition. But you don't have a natural claim to or property right in the money in these potential customers' pockets.
So you'd see a return to a world of commissioned works? I'd like to abolish patent and copyright and let hte market work. I can't predict or guarantee the consequences of liberty.
Stephan, two part question, your answer to the first affects the second, if someone buys computer software and 'accepts' the EULA that states they must not copy or distribute the software, have they then not entered into an agreement that puts them under the same obligations as IP laws? Contracts can never recreate IP b/c IP is "in rem"--good against the world--and contracts only affect the parties, not third parties, unlike real or in rem rights. Plus, such contracts are unlikely to be widely adopted for a variety of reasons: if hte penalties are small, they will not deter copying; if they are large, people will refuse to sign them, or only a marginalized ghetto subset of people will sign them. And as for fine print and EULA's -- see Link to archive.mises.org
If this were to happen, then obviously anyone could legally sell on pirated computer software at a fraction of the price the official developers would be charging (or give it away for free) without paying any royalties to the developers themselves without fear of any legal repercussions. In such an environment, would anyone really want to invest millions of dollars in developing software that we all need? People invst money in develping products to make a profit. easy. Are you saying there would be some profit, but not enough? what is enough?
Do you think the current gun ownership by 3D printing will lead to the first state intervention? Edit: Just realized why that didn't get the response I wanted, because I can't English good. Should be: Do you think the gun ownership by being tied to 3D printing will lead to the first state intervention of printers as some companies have even pulled printers because of this? The state will try to find a way to stop 3D printing on gun or Ip grounds, just like it is using IP, child porn, piracy, terrorism, etc. excuses to limit internet rights.
Can you explain the technological advancement gap between countries and regions with strong IP laws (US, EU, Japan) and countries that don't? How does this trend work in the mind of a person who wants to abolish patent law? Sure--we have stronger property rights in general. we have more prosperity because of property rights laws, and despite IP laws. Correlation is not causation. After all the US is warlike and imperialist, has has slavery, institutionalized racism and misogyny, the drug war, controls on immigration, tarriffs, but only a dunderhead would say these are the cause of our prosperity. We are prosperous despite these measures, despite the state, not beacuse of it. Without the state we would be immeasurably richer. as for backup for my "8 times richer" comments -- see l. neil smith Link to www.stephankinsella.com
I'll be the jerk. What about Georgism bothers you so extensively? I've only seen you point to Rothbard's refutation, which has had many responses itself. Who is going to enforce the tax? how much is it? why does society have a claim on land it never homesteaded? Why is land special--after all it's just another type of scarce resource. etc.
How will copyright reform trickle down to aid regular folks who can't afford much of anything these days? Do you see any kind of wealth distribution changes and if so, what? Movies, music, will be more plentiful, more diverse, and much cheaper.
I guess a situation could be that I am a pioneer in a vast expanse of unowned land. I find a nice clearing and build my house and a farm in it, and later, more people show up and homestead around me (or someone who really hates me shows up one night and doughnut holes me). If that is a real risk, move away or buy an exit route. but in reality this is rarely ap roblem. the real problem comes from the state, which is often suggested as a way to solve these non-problems.
How hotly are patent legislations and infringements pursued by big companies? How much money is pumped into these things by companies? My guess is $200 billion a year or even more is wasted as a dead cost in the US economy alone, b/c of patents. Link to blog.mises.org honestly I think it's impossible to figure out exactly, and I would not be surprised if it is a trillion a year.
Stephan- do you believe IP should be abolished cold turkey or phased out? ___ For those who would like an ebook of Kinsella's book, Against Intellectual Property is available for free at mises.org. It's also my understanding that the LvMI copyrighted this publication without his permission. Abolished immediately, cold turkey. IT is the 6th worst statist policy, and thre is not a single good thing about it. Link to c4sif.org
Intellectual property rights is a very broad topic. For example, even without the state a shopkeeper who brands his goods with a trademark will try to defend his trademark from use by others by letting others know of the misuse, ostracism, and possibly through courts (or even through violence!). That's a form of intellectual property. I believe a free society will have this type of intellectual property -- even in the lawless markets of Africa we see this form of intellectual property defended. In a stateless society I see the free market developing some kind of an intellectual property system based on the values of the people in that society. Would you be against such a system of intellectual property rights even though it doesn't involve coercion or the state, or do you think it's impossible for it to happen in a free market? I am totally against patent, copyright, and also tradmeark and trade secret. Trademark law should be replaced with fraud law only. Trade secret should just be a private contract. Easy.
I think the anti-IP crowd spends too much time claiming that IP is dumb because it's not scarce IP are the legal rights attempting to provide property protection in non-rivalrous resources. IP is not nonscarce; it's the resources that it tries to protect that are nonscarce. The problem is not that it's "dumb"; it's that legal rights to nonrivalrous things can never be justified, since that always necessarily implies invasion of property rights in scarce resources.
As a free market economist, do you completely reject the idea of 'stimulus spending'? Yes.
Do you reject all norms regarding intangibles? Of course not; it is immoral to insult your grandma gratuitously.
I am a huge fan. Will you come to our Decline to State show for a fun interview? Sure, just text me on fb or email me.
Is this the response you are talking about? Link to www.stephankinsella.com. That's one.
Givem your complete rejection of Rothbard's ideas regarding the feasibility of market based copyright, and its potential consistency with respect for property rights, do you think there would be a market mechanism for serving similar purposes as copyright? And what I'm more interested in; do you think that such a market mechanism would be the most economically efficient, if not as a general rule, then in some cases? Would you for instance reject it a priori, in all cases, as economically retarding? I think people might use trade secret, when necessary, or non-disclosure agreements. and other things like subscriptions, etc.Other than that, I thnk in the long run the whole closed model is done for.
No, I don't. Any contratual scheme would be limited to a small number of people and so it would collapse. I think people will just realize information is good share and that society depends on learning and increasing the store of human knowledge, and that emulation and copying are just a natural part of competition and the free market.
To what extent do you oppose IP? I am totally opposed to defamation law. I view it as a type of IP. It is based on the same conflicted idea that there is a property right in value.
Should slander or libel be punishable offenses? Slander and libel (defamation) are types of IP and should be abolished. so should patent, copyright, trademark. The former is discussed in Rothbard's Ethics of liberty, free online.
If I were to do an AMA claiming to be you, and then also claim (as you) to have committed disgusting crimes that end up being attributed to you even after it's discovered that I am an imposter, would that be a crime on my part? The AMA thing you mention has nothing to do with any of these things or with IP; at most it is a blend of fraud, contract breach, and plagiarism. None of which have to do with IP.
How can you be a patent attorney and advocate the abolition of patents? Isn't that position directly contrary to your ethical duty to zealously represent your client? EDIT: Do you disclose to your clients that you are in favor of abolishing patents? There is no contradiction any more than an oncologist who hates cancer or a lawyer defending people from incarceration for tax evasion or drug crimes who opposes such laws. I do not hide my views, but my clients do not care; they want competence only. Some of them like that i hate IP, esp. if they are being persecuted. For more: Link to www.stephankinsella.com and Link to c4sif.org and Link to c4sif.org and Link to c4sif.org and
Do you agree with this Mises.org ethics position that "the parent should not have a legal obligation to feed, clothe, or educate his children" and "the parent should have the legal right not to feed the child, i.e., to allow it to die." Basically, should the law be forbidden from punishing a parent who allows their child to stave to death, based on the arguments from the linked article? No, i believe in positive obligations assumed by virtue of actions like siring a child -- see Link to www.mises.org
What are your opinions on the Rothbard vs David Friedman private law debate? I think that Rothbard is right fundamentally, but Friedman's arguments seem more likely to apply in the real world where people don't necessarily care/know about natural rights. I agree. Rothbard is better but Friedman is perhaps more persuasive to the typical person who is somewhat unprincipled, pragmatic, and utilitarian.
Given that you think the state should be abolished, yet believe in free market capitalism, who do you believe would protect everyone? Wouldn't corporations take on state like behavior? I don't grant you the right to your "yet" as i don't see an incompatibility; in fact I see that libertarianism and free markets imply anti-statism. the very purpose of being libertarian is because of opposition to aggression; but if you oppose aggression you have to oppose the state.
No, in a free market no agency could act like the state because it would be widely regarded as acting in a criminal manner; it would immediately lose customers and be viewed as a hostile actor by all the other, civilized, agencies.
Is it true that Keynesian climb trees while Austrians hide under rocks? Yes.
Will we see a more libertarian government in our lifetime? Not sure. maybe. but despite the state, not because of it; and not because of electoral politics or activism.
What does your employer (clients?) that pays you to help them with patent law think about your extra-curricular activities working to abolish patent law? They don't care; they just want competence and professionalism. I mean do you care what your airplane pilot or heart surgeon's religion is?
How do you personally come to terms with the fact that you're an anti-IP crusader who makes his living helping a company protect its IP? I only do defensive IP. I refuse to cooperate in helping aggressively assert IP. But companies need to have IP and patents, if only to defend themselves if they are sued. I have various posts on this at stephankinsella.com and c4sif.org.
Do you believe that the abolishment of patent and copyright would stifle free market innovation? No, I think we woud have far more innovation in a free market with no IP.
Hmm i often see IP as a big incentive for people to go and develop these great things, services and products. You think that IP is incompatible with this? Id love to see hear your take. I just see the need to protect one's own work as an incentive for putting the work. I think many authors, artist and other folks would be less likely to put so much work and time into their works if there was a possibility of straight out plagiarism, or others exploiting their work for their own gain. Things like pharmaceuticals that spend hundreds of millions would have little to no incentive in having the groundwork done, if anyone could just come and steal the work? It's not an incentive; or, rather, it's an incentive that comes with other disincentives. In any case, whether it is an incentive or not, it's not justified. the purpose of law is not to tweak incentives. and copying and competing with others is not "stealing" anything. You don't take anything from th person you are competing with. They still have their "work" as you call it.
I wish you could have posted this AMA before I submitted my thesis! I wrote about how (in Australia) our conception of copyright relies on an ideology of Romantic authorship which ignores not only the realities of textual production (art is never a solo endeavour, many people contribute to the end result) but also ignores the post modern realisation that originality as a concept is flawed. My question to you is how you feel about the movement towards Creative Commons liscencing and whether you feel this will become the new norm in copyright and perhaps even patent law? I don't see CC pervading patents that much, just like it does not work well for software; but someting like the defensive patent license has a greater chance, though it still faces hurdles. Link to c4sif.org
Cc is a second best. far better to not have copyright, or at least permit us to do CC0 or opt out. Link to c4sif.org But in the meantime I do suspect CC will spread among academics at least.
Late to the game here, but I'll give it a shot anyway. What are the biggest challenges you've found trying to earn a living while refusing (as much as possible) to use the power of the state to enforce IP on your content in a market filled with people using it? I'm an Ancap musician/music teacher, convinced by your position on IP about three years ago. I create music, instructional articles, and videos, and I'd like to just ignore the state's power to enforce my copyrights and earn my money other ways: teaching, performing, selling merchandise, etc. Am I on the right track? And yes, I think you should put cC-BY on all your work and make it available for free, or sell access to it if you want, and use it in other ways. see my posts at Link to c4sif.org about how authors and creators can make money absent IP, conversation with an author, etc.
Out of curiosity... why is everyone referring to Kinsella as "Dr. Kinsella"? I've NEVER heard an attorney refer to themselves as "doctor." Even if it was because he was a professor, that usually comes with the "professor' appellation. It's probably out of respect or deference, but though I have a JD whcih entitles me to the doctor title (Link to www.stephankinsella.com I do not ask for or insist on it. I will say that it's nice for europeans and students to be humble and respectful and to give me the compliment of assuming i must have a PhD, even though I don't. I'd rather people give me that naturally, than get a PhD that no one respects.
Do you know Ron Paul? I've met him but not sure if he knows who I am.
Hi, I'm a Computer Science major in my freshman year and currently am looking at intellectual property law as my main career interest. I read Against Intellectual Property on Mises.org and have been a huge fan of yours since. I guess my question for you is if you have any career advice about intellectual property law. Additionally, do you believe that the eradication of intellectual property is feasible (as in can we actually get there from here)? I have some crude advice here Link to www.stephankinsella.com but it is a big dated, and I am not sure what to tell people now. I tend to think that law is a difficult career to go into--you should not go into it unless you LOVE law and want to do it no matter what; or you are confident you can be top 3% of your class and get a top job, and don't think you'll hate it.
And I think IP is here for a while unfortunately.
What are your thoughts about bitcoin?. I am hopeful about it. In some ways it's the perfect or ideal money.
Whats your favorite type of ice cream? Pecan crunch.
I realize only now that I am waaay too late, but I love your work; I read the Mises blog (now Circle Bastiat) all the time, and I really enjoy getting into debates with my fellow lawyers who went into IP law. If I have one question for you it is this: have you heard of John Hospers? Sure, I've read Hospers. early LP guy. but I think by our modern radical standards--well he was kinda randian and pro-war etc., no?
I agree with your position. How do you convince people who don't. Preferable through a practical, rather than moral, lens. That's hard, but there are countless examples of abuse and obvious injustice. You can also put the burden of proof on the IP advocates. If they claim that it's necessary to have IP to have invention and innovation and artistic creation, point to examples that preceded modern IP and ask them how this was possible. And ask them where the stoppoing point is--some alleged libertarians actually support tax funded subsidies for innovation. where is the stoppoing point? Link to www.againstmonopoly.org
Keep up the good work. Feel free to frequent /Anarcho_Capitalism and /Libertarian whenever, they will no doubt enjoy discussing stuff with you. Danke.
Do you believe in private contracts between companies and individuals stating that they won't copy each others work as some sort of voluntary substitute for the patent system. Yes, but I think they are largely impracticable--hard to enforce, pointless, and can't affect third parties. IP needs to ensnare third parties.
Consider as a customer: some publisher offers a text book on amazon for $30. to buy it you hvae to sign an agreement saying you will pay the publihser $10M if he can prove you copied the book or showed it to a friend or used the ideas in it. Who would sign this? not many people. Most peopld would move on to the next seller.
OMG. We have the same first [email protected]#!! Sorry but I've never met anyone with the same first name as me. Hello, my brother from another mother.
When it comes to pharmaceuticals, how would you keep companies investing in research and development without patents. If i can remember an equation from my econ law class a few years ago, i believe the basic equation is profit x length of patent - cost to develop, or the YK value. See chapter 9 of Boldrin and Levine's Against Intellectual Monopoly, at www.c4sif.org/resources. they explain the flaws in this view. The main costs of pharma are not those protected by patents; it's marketing, etc. And the other costs are imposed by the goddamned state via the FDA, taxes, etc. If you want innovation then get the state out of the goddamned way. don't ask it for more interventions.
Last updated: 2013-01-28 18:04 UTC
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Stephan Kinsella - YouTube Let's Talk ETC! #27 - Stephan Kinsella, JD, LLM - Libertarianism & Anarcho-Capitalism Read Rothbard ~ Use Bitcoin, with Max Hillebrand - YouTube Bitcoin Ownership and a Global Withering of the State, with Stephan Kinsella Intellectual Property Debate - Stephan Kinsella vs. Dr. Craig Wright

Stephan Kinsella, Intellectual Property lawyer, and libertarian advocate joins me in this episode to discuss: His story with bitcoin Money as Sui Generis Good The imprecise application of Lockean property theory Why you can't own bitcoin, but it probably doesn't make a big difference anyway The harmful effects of patents and copyright 'Internet Censorship' as it relates to property rights and ... [ September 28, 2020 ] Blockchain Bites: DeFi Meets NFTs, TSLA Beats Bitcoin in Volatility, Uniswap Breaks $2B Crypto News [ September 28, 2020 ] First Mover: Bitcoin Low Exchange Balance Looks Bullish but Chart Looks Bearish as $11K Nears Crypto News [ September 28, 2020 ] Bitwise Bitcoin Fund Doubles to $9M as Investor Fears Grow Over Runaway Inflation Crypto News Stephan Kinsella is a patent attorney, Austrian economist and author of Against Intellectual Property. We talk about IP law’s monarchist origins and how it’s a tool for monopoly. Stephan also tells us about how information is not the same thing as physical property and how IP and Bitcoin both suffer from labor theories of value. Stephan Kinsella is an attorney in Houston, director of the Center for the Study of Innovative Freedom, and editor of Libertarian Papers. We discuss some current topics about the brand of Bitcoin (versus Bitcoin Cash), and if blockchain could(?) ever resolve some of the faults and friction in IP that Stephan has studied for years. Stephan is a well-read intellectual and Bitcoiners would do well to read more of his writings.

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Stephan Kinsella - YouTube

On the fourth episode of the MisesUK.Org Podcast, Andy Duncan discusses with Stephan Kinsella the concept, theory, and practice of Bitcoin ownership, amongst other topics, which include the use of ... In this debate, the question of whether or not Intellectual Property has a place in the world of cryptocurrencies and the blockchain will be on the table. Stephan Kinsella is an attorney in ... This video is unavailable. Watch Queue Queue. Watch Queue Queue Let's Talk ETC! provides timely news about ETC (Ethereum Classic) and related technologies including: Ethereum, Bitcoin, blockchains and more. Feel free to leave requests, questions and comments ... Bitcoin Ownership and a Global Withering of the State, with Stephan Kinsella by Mises Centre UK KOL233 Mises UK Podcast: Bitcoin Ownership and the Global Withering of the State