1. Content
  2. Index
  3. Search
  4. RSS/Subscribe

IP is Indeed Property · Thursday August 10, 2006 by Crosbie Fitch

Property is that which you physically and exclusively control, and have created or otherwise have a natural right to. It is something that you can exchange or can give to another. Try not to focus beyond that.

To make it easier to explain, an example of such property is a secret formula you write in a diary.

You could sell this formula to someone if they were convinced only you had it and it was valuable. Once you’ve sold it, it is no longer your secret.

It doesn’t matter that you haven’t destroyed your diary. The property was the secret, and you no longer have that secret.

It doesn’t matter that what you sold was transformed in the process of exchange (from a secret to a ‘restricted knowledge distribution’), you and the purchaser considered the exchange equitable. You now have more money instead of a secret. They have a formula which they didn’t have before, and less money.

This buyer, could instead have burgled your house, taken a photo of your diary, and thereby STOLEN your secret.
It doesn’t matter whether you knew about this or not, the fact remains that the burglar had to breach your privacy and property in order to remove something of value from you. You lost the secret.

Naturally, owners of secrets are conscious that they may be stolen without their knowledge and are sensitive to clues that theft may have occurred, e.g. previously keen purchasers suddenly claiming they’ve found someone else who also has a good formula.

Unfortunately, copyright makes people think that all intellectual property is a pretence, even private intellectual property. This is because copyright is about pretending that public intellectual property is still privately owned when it plainly isn’t. So, don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater when you ignore copyright. You’re reclaiming the public’s rightful ownership of published intellectual property, you are not also claiming ownership of people’s private intellectual property – that’s still theirs to keep or sell.

drew Roberts said 4513 days ago :

“Property is that which you physically and exclusively control, and have created or otherwise have a natural right to. It is something that you can exchange or can give to another. Try not to focus beyond that.”

Sorry, I want to focus beyond that.

The problem I have is that what you are calling property here cannot be stolen from you.

Unless, perhaps, you are willing to stipulate that is is the secretness itself and not the subject matter of the secret which is your property?

Or unless perhaps I steal the diary with the secret formula and you have actually forgotten it?

Otherwise, I can wrongly convert your secret knowledge to public knowledge, but I cannot take the knowledge itself from you.

What other property behaves in this fashion?

all the best,

drew



 

About

Contact

Recent Articles

Recent Comments

Topics

Rights

Natural Right

Legal Rights

Life

Equality

Fraternity

Violence

Privacy

Being Privy

Confidentiality

Personal Data

Publication

Truth

Attribution

Authenticity

Moral Rights

Plagiarism

Representation

Veracity

Liberty

Censorship

Disclosure

Freedom of Speech

Freedom vs Liberty

Official Secrets Act

Piracy

Property

Apprehensibility

Facility

Identifiability

Copyright

Copyfarleft

Ineffectiveness

Modulation

Neutralisation

Patent

Software

US Constitution

'exclusive right'

Sanction

Contract

Inalienability

Licensing

NDA

Abolition

GPL

Business

Models

Incorporation

Immortality

No Rights

Regulation

Culture

Miscellany

Links

Principles

Amnesty International

Copyleft (Wikipedia)

Electronic Frontier

Free Culture F'n

Free Culture UK

Free S/w Foundation

Pontification

Against Monopoly

One Small Voice

Open...

P2Pnet

Question Copyright

Paragons

GratisVibes

Jamendo

SourceForge

Wikipedia

Protagonists

Downhill Battle

Publishers vs Public

Proof

Rethinking Copyright

Papers

Against Monopoly

Ecstasy of Influence

Libertarian Case

Post-Copyright

Practitioners

Janet Hawtin

Nina Paley

Rob Myers

Scott Carpenter