Intellectual Property Rebooted

JC and Jeremy revisit the topic from the previous IP debate. JC distinguishes the difference between physical property and the nature of true principles. Jeremy says that how words are used is important when discussing concepts. This episode was recorded using inferior equipment for both JC and Jeremy. Please take the time to get to know our new sponsor, infogenix.com. If you need SEO work, supporting infogenix will help LDS Liberty spread the message in an unprecedented way.

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10 Responses to Intellectual Property Rebooted

  1. Joel Nelson says:

    I enjoyed this clarification much more than the original podcast. I agree that we should get completely away from the term “intellectual property.”

    I think a more accurate word to use is “authority.” For instance, if I have the moral and legal ability to use a copyrighted work, I have valid authority to use the work. Copyright could be better described as copy authority. Patent owners could be better described as those who have authority to duplicate the patented object. This use of the word authority could easily work for public domain copyright – everyone has the authority to copy a piece of work that has a public domain copyright.

    The authority to use the intellectual fruits of one’s labors can be delegated by contract. Also, the authority to use the intellectual fruits of one’s labors can be infringed or misused immorally, and therefore governmental response to such misuse could be justified.

    I’m sure there are other words to use, but for me, authority works.

  2. Johnny Hardy says:

    I also enjoyed the podcast. Jeremy did a great job of explaining my argument that novel ideas can be protected through contract. I am OK if you don’t like to use the word “property” by convention. The terms copyright and patent should refer to protection through contract, and there are certain US laws that should change to reflect this and better adhere to the principles behind it (especially regarding patent laws, which I do address in my article).

  3. Jon Lewis says:

    What do you think of this idea?: “If you can’t protect it, you don’t own it.” Applying this to movie and music downloading. If a contract is broken, who broke it? The company that ripped the file from the not-so-protected medium? Or the individual that downloads the file?

    I’m curious to hear your thoughts.

    Thanks!

    • Johnny Hardy says:

      The contract is to not distribute the movie (or music) without authorization. When the person who ripped the movie posts it online, they are attempting to break the contract (and therefore attempting to use force unjustifiably), but technically the movie isn’t “distributed” until a third party actually downloads it. Therefore both parties are participating in breaking the contract, making both guilty to the crime.

      For example, if multiple people participate in a murder, the person that actually pulls the trigger (or stabs the victim) isn’t the only one guilty of murder–so are the people that helped gain intelligence, distracted the victim, held the victim, etc. Even if you don’t directly use force, you are guilty of a crime you participate.

      Note that the copyright owner can also use force once the movie is posted online, because at this point the first party is attempting to distribute–similar to being able to use force when someone is attempting a murder or attempting to rob. At the point someone attempts a crime, force can be used to prevent.

      • Kevin Brown says:

        Johnny Hardy: “The contract is to not distribute the movie (or music) without authorization.”
        - A contract I not only haven’t seen (the movies and music I download have no such contracts in them) but haven’t agreed to either.

        “When the person who ripped the movie posts it online, they are attempting to break the contract ”
        - This assumes they agreed to the contract. Prove that I agreed to said contracts.

        • Johnny Hardy says:

          Kevin, this is covered in detail in the article I wrote which spurred this podcast: “Our Right to Intellectual Property Through Contract”. In there I write about implied contracts–contracts you agree to based on your actions, not anything explicitly said or written. I give several examples, such as that when you go to a sit-down restaurant, when you order food, you agree to pay for it even though the restaurant doesn’t explicitly tell you that you must agree to such and you don’t explicitly promise such. However, there is still a contract, because if you ordered, ate, and walked away that would be theft.

          Movies and books are so commonly tied to a copyright agreement (such as ordering at a restaurant) that you should know you are agreeing to such when you choose to watch it (a voluntary action indicating you agree to the terms).

  4. Joyful St says:

    Here is my question. I recently found a free tutorial for a purse online. I made a few using the ideas from the tutorial, and changed it a bit to add a few things that made it better for me. I have since had friends ask me how much I would charge to make one for them. I noticed on her blog that she says no one can use her pattern to sell purses and make money. How can someone put forth a basic idea for something, and then ban everybody for using it? I don’t understand? I actually have to go through a physical process to make this property that is based on idea that she had, that is based on an idea that millions have had before her. What do you think?

    • Johnny Hardy says:

      Joyful,

      Here are my thoughts… the question boils down to whether you made a contract not to sell the purses without authorization. In the case of movies and books, usually there is a copyright notice which indicates you are agreeing to not distribute if you proceed to read, watch, buy, etc. However, even if not, a movie and book are so obvious and so commonly held under this contract that such notice probably isn’t needed–just like like when you order food and are first served at a restaurant, you know you’re agreeing to pay even though you never explicitly promise such (which I refer to as an implied contract–an agreement indicated by actions).

      In the case of the purse, was this obvious to you when you were learning about it? For example, was it clear that the purse designer had patented this? Preferably, for them to bind you to such contract on a blog, it would be nice if a notice came up saying that by proceeding to see the design, you agree not to sell any purses you make. Then by clicking “I agree” to go to the design, you know you are entering such contract, and if you don’t want to be bound by the contract, you can decide not to see the design.

  5. Joyful St says:

    also, I have read that there are large ag corps. that are trying to own the patents for all seed. what the h#ck? really?

  6. Jim Davis says:

    JC, I appreciate what you’ve said. I see things from a new perspective now. Though I don’t think you are helping your cause when you say that truth/knowledge should not be IP based on the premise that all truth is God’s and should therefore be shared freely. When you first brought this up in the last podcast I had the same thoughts that Johnny and Jeremy had- if you’re going to apply the basis of that argument to truth/knowledge then someone could apply that same premise to physical property too. All physical property is God’s. We are stewards over the talents he has allowed us (both physical and intellectual) and we are taught to share them with others. To complete this principle we are also taught we have a right to defend our property. So what you’re doing is applying an incomplete principle to truth/knowledge and leaving private property (aka physical stewardship) vulnerable to that same incomplete principle.

    It may sound like I’m disagreeing with you but I’m not. I just don’t want a socialist to think they caught you in a trap by using your own words against you.

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