Mises Wire

The Road To (Intellectual) Serfdom

The Road To (Intellectual) Serfdom

Superb anti-intellectual property article by Antiwar.com Research Editor Jason Ditz, The Road To (Intellectual) Serfdom, in Forbes. Ditz notes Russia’s use of copyright violation as a pretense to silence political opposition, and also criticizes Republican Orrin Hatch’s efforts to expand and strengthen IP law over the years. As Ditz writes:

… there seems little doubt that, as our lives become more and more dependent on digital media, empowering governments to arbitrarily crack down on “copyright violators” or other suspects in the name of international obligations to protect intellectual property must inevitably have a chilling effect on freedom of speech, freedom of movement and just general freedom.

One can hope that their government won’t abuse the authority given to it, but this is a fool’s palliative. Governments everywhere and always abuse their powers, and unless this intellectual property regime undergoes a massive rethink (or preferably outright abrogation) it seems destined to become the basis of untold abuses to come.

I list other examples of how IP law leads to censorship, book banning, or actual limitations on bodily freedom (such as the right to sing a song or take a job) in The Patent, Copyright, Trademark, and Trade Secret Horror Files.

All Rights Reserved ©
Note: The views expressed on Mises.org are not necessarily those of the Mises Institute.
What is the Mises Institute?

The Mises Institute is a non-profit organization that exists to promote teaching and research in the Austrian School of economics, individual freedom, honest history, and international peace, in the tradition of Ludwig von Mises and Murray N. Rothbard. 

Non-political, non-partisan, and non-PC, we advocate a radical shift in the intellectual climate, away from statism and toward a private property order. We believe that our foundational ideas are of permanent value, and oppose all efforts at compromise, sellout, and amalgamation of these ideas with fashionable political, cultural, and social doctrines inimical to their spirit.

Become a Member
Mises Institute