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Throwing the Book Against Intellectual Monopoly · Monday July 14, 2008 by Crosbie Fitch

Michele Boldrin and David K. Levine have now engaged Cambridge University Press to publish their book Against Intellectual Monopoly, which is, hypocritically, subject to the artificial reproduction monopoly of copyright. I’ll leave it to you to decide whether this indicts the authors for their selection of publisher, or the reputedly academic publisher for failing to educate themselves with the words they lay claim to and neutralise their monopoly – or both.

Check out what Casey Bowman has to say apropos the publication of this book:
freepirate.blogspot.com/boldrin-and-levine-have-published-book.

It’s very disappointing, but not too surprising to the cynics among us, to deduce that even the ‘Pirate party’ is being infested by hand wringing moderates/reformists, so in fear of being identified as a den of IP thieves that they are antipathetic toward abolition or those who propose it.

Contrast this with Bill Stepp’s comparison of those privileged by copyright to suspend the public’s liberty, with those once privileged to own slaves:

Any book published in the United States is automatically copyrighted under the copyright law. Copyright is a form of slavery, under which certain actions of non-copyright holders are proscribed (e.g. making copies of books).

Just as under chattel slavery, a baby born of a slave was automatically a slave under the law of slavery, so too a non-copyright holder is a slave to an author and copyright holder who begats a book, under the law of copyright, to the extent he can’t perform certain actions with his own property.

Anyone opposed to slavery should be against copyright. He who says copyright also says slavery in the same breath.

In accord with Bill, those who advocate appeasement and so dare nothing more radical than the aspiration of a kinder copyright and a less frivolous patent system, may be compared to those who’d bless the god given right for men to keep slaves, but who’d compassionately call for some regulation of working and living conditions. See A Balanced Approach to Copyright?

I was amused only recently to discover that abolishcopyright.com not only admits defeat in its first post (that abolition is impossible), but then compounds this surrender with a Stockholm syndrome endorsement of copyright albeit with a shorter term.

That a world without the privilege of copyright/patent is so difficult to countenance, let alone grok, has led me on past occasions to conclude that the only way of achieving its abolition is to portray this as reform, as a set of apparently more constraining intellectual property rights – possibly having to retain the misnomer of ‘copyright’ to name it (when the term will at least then truly represent a restoration of the ‘right to copy’ and cease being a misnomer).

Nevertheless, latter day pirates do need to be identified correctly, the good from the bad. The good pirates should be recognised as those in pursuit of natural rights, necessarily including liberty unconstrained by mercantile privilege, not as apologetic reformists who simply desire greater kindness from their privileged masters. The bad pirates, at the other extreme, are those nihilistic libertines who would privilege themselves above all others. See The Freedom of Pirates or the Liberty of Civilised Men.

Anyway, do give the book a read.

Stephan Kinsella said 2896 days ago :

But their book is free online; as is my own just-published book, “Against Intellectual Property” (Amazon link).



 

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