I refer to Jeffrey Tucker's July 19th post, "L. Neil Smith on IP"; below are comments I made:.
.Jeffrey: I'm all for discussing this further, but with a little more charity than you offer to L. Neil Smith, who understandably "painted himself into a corner" as a result of an emotional over-reaction to insensitive and insincere actions by FreeTalkLive radio show host Ian Freeman and others of the Shire Society.
Your strawman doesn't help; far from insisting that he owns all of his ideas, it's clear from his references to "plagiarism" that Smith thinks he is simply protecting what he regards as his legitimate interests in a particular expression of his ideas.
I've expressed some of my thoughts - on property and copyright, and on community, respect and persuasion, in greater detail on Stephan's thread:
But let me note that even while I see holes in Smith's arguments (as well as in arguments by others), I feel that his reaction [that the Shire Society stepped on his toes] was completely understandable even if one rejects his position on IP [which, after, all is largely the conventional legal view]. What we consider to be legitimate "property" is quite malleable, differs from society to society, and is something that we defend fairly reflexively (especially when we see our own "rights" threatened, while those doing the threatening are quick with rationalizations, as Smith notes). [It's natural that Smith, having grown up with these rules, would take umbrage when he feels the rules, his "rights" and the moral order have been breached, and at his expense; age and society have a way of making conservatives out of most of us.]
My modest suggestion is that those who wish to change how others think about IP consider more deeply how societies establish rights, and show a little more sensitivity to the sensitivities of others who have accepted conventional views of IP and have not yet reconsidered them. If one wishes to move away from statism, it hardly seems effective to so by starting off the "conversation" by first stepping on the toes of others and then thumbing one's nose at them.