BEGINNER

Intellectual Property

 

Intellectual property is a special privilege granted by government to the creators of ideas, art, technology, and so on. It gives them property rights for their creation, allowing them to demand compensation for its duplication. Types of intellectual property include copyrights, patents, and trademarks. Supporters of intellectual property claim that it encourages innovation that otherwise would not occur otherwise. Opponents argue that the intellectual property creates artificial scarcity and impedes the progress of the free market.

 

Intellectual Property Rights Debate - Sheldon Richman, Paul Cwik, Ivan Pongracic, Lawrence Reed

Related Publications

ARCHIVE

Intellectual "Property" Versus Real Property

What Are Copyrights and What Do They Mean for Liberty?

JUNE 12, 2009 by SHELDON RICHMAN

Intellectual "property" (IP) is a sleeper issue. It seems uncontroversial: Someone invents or writes something and therefore owns it. What could be plainer? But IP contains the power to destroy liberty.

ARCHIVE

The Freeman: Do Patents Encourage Innovation? The Case of the Steam Engine

DECEMBER 08, 2008

Many economists are in love with the idea of a natural experiment. A natural experiment is a turn of events that enables a clean comparison between two different economic-policy alternatives. For many economic policies we do not have the good fortune of a natural experiment. In these cases economists must fall back on other less-reliable modes of econometric analysis. Fortunately for other economic policies nature has been kind enough to provide us with the laboratory we need.... The impact of patents on innovation does have an objective answer. In this case history instead of nature has been kind enough to provide us with a wonderful natural experiment. More . . .

--A NEW article by Michele Boldrin, David K. Levine, and Alessandro Nuvolari

Related Freeman Articles

THE FREE LIFE

Patently Improper

Obama's "reform": from bard to worse.

SEPTEMBER 27, 2011 by WENDY MCELROY

Whether you agree with the original purpose of patents in America or believe (as I do) that all patents are improper, the America Invents Act is repellent.

ARTICLE

Slave Labor and Intellectual Property

On a misplaced analogy.

JUNE 03, 2011 by SHELDON RICHMAN

If one favors property rights in tangible things, why would one not favor them in intangibles?

ONLINE EVENTS

FEE offers live online events for people new to the economic, ethical, and legal principles of a free society.

CURRENT ISSUE

July/August 2014

The United States' corporate tax burden is the highest in the world, but innovators will always find a way to duck away from Uncle Sam's reach. Doug Bandow explains how those with the means are renouncing their citizenship in increasing numbers, while J. Dayne Girard describes the innovative use of freeports to shield wealth from the myriad taxes and duties imposed on it as it moves around the world. Of course the politicians brand all of these people unpatriotic, hoping you won't think too hard about the difference between the usual crony-capitalist suspects and the global creative elite that have done so much to improve our lives. In a special tech section, Joseph Diedrich, Thomas Bogle, and Matthew McCaffrey look at various ways these innovators add value to our lives--even in ways they probably never expected.
Download Free PDF

PAST ISSUES

SUBSCRIBE

RENEW YOUR SUBSCRIPTION

img E-mail Subscription

VIEW PRIVACY POLICY