Mises Wire

Absurd Arguments for IP

I’ve begun to collect some of the sillier arguments I’ve heard for IP. A few of them are listed below. (Note: I am giving a Mises Academy Webinar this Friday, Sept. 23, “Obama’s Patent Reform: Improvement or Continuing Calamity?“; my Mises Academy course “Libertarian Controversies” starts tonight.)

1. “Thank goodness the Swiss did have a Patent Office. That is where Albert Einstein worked and during his time as a patent examiner came up with his theory of relativity.” —Patent attorney Gene Quinn

2. “It is true that other means exist for creative people to profit from their effort. In the case of copyright, authors can charge fees for reading their works to paying audiences. Charles Dickens did this, but his heavy schedule of public performances in the United States, where his works were not protected by copyright, arguably contributed to his untimely death.” —Willliam Shughart ((He also wrote, “To paraphrase the late economist, John Robinson, patents and copyrights slow down the diffusion of new ideas for a reason, to insure there will be more new ideas to diffuse.”))

3. If you are not for IP, you must be in favor of pedophilia. —Sasha Radeta

4. If you oppose IP, you are advocating slavery. –Wildberry

5. “Patents are the heart and core of property rights.” —Ayn Rand

6. Song piracy and file-sharing are the cause of stage collapses at concerts. (Insurers blame stage collapse on copyright piracy)

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