Center for a Stateless Society
A Left Market Anarchist Think Tank & Media Center
Tag: IP
The State as Stay Puft Marshmallow Man
I’m usually pretty optimistic about the day after tomorrow — I’ve been dismissed more than once as a techno-utopian — but sometimes when I get depressed by NSA surveillance, drones, and the corporate state’s manufactured aura of inevitability, I need a story to cheer me up. Here it is: A Canadian artist copyrighted his land…
How the Soviet Union Won the Cold War
I don’t know when this column will see print, but as I write it people all over the world are celebrating — with rightful enthusiasm — the fall of the Iron Curtain 25 years ago. During the Spanish-American War, William Graham Sumner gave a speech on “The Conquest of the United States by Spain,” in…
Cancer Therapy and Barriers to Open Biopharma
Science and innovation are chaotic, stochastic processes that cannot be governed and controlled by desk-bound planners and politicians, whatever their intentions.  Good scientists are by definition anarchists. –Theo Wallimann, ETH Zurich Abstract Although profitable, cancer therapy has failed to live up to the promises of the War on Cancer waged since 1971. Modern chemotherapy can…
Monopoly Privilege as “Individual Rights”
A recent Pew Research study surveys 44 countries, revealing that the Chinese are even friendlier to free markets than Americans. Katie Simmons, a senior researcher at Pew, “notes that China has enacted numerous reforms to open up the country’s economy since the 1970s.” It probably shouldn’t surprise us that people living under the Communist Party of China’s rule…
On “Economies of Scale” and Other Magical Incantations
There’s a certain kind of economic technocrat who tosses around the term “economies of scale” like a Young Earth creationist tosses around the Second Law of Thermodynamics. This is true of legacy liberalism, obviously, which is still defined by the mid-20th century mass-production paradigm of Joseph Schumpeter, John Kenneth Galbraith and Alfred Chandler. It’s also…
I Thought Monopoly Was the Whole Point of “Intellectual Property”
In one of the weirdest permutations of “intellectual property” ever (Mike Masnick, “Apple Facing Trial Over Whether Its Use Of DRM Violated Antitrust Laws,” Techdirt, October 6), Apple may end up in court for anti-trust violations because its iTunes Digital Rights Management code gave it monopoly power back in the day. The US District Court for…
“Intellectual Property” is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things
I came late to the news of Twitpic‘s impending (and thankfully partial) closure and even later to an explanation for it. My initial assumption was that the service had failed to turn a profit and become financially insolvent. I couldn’t have been more wrong. This is, in the worst way, all about “intellectual property.” And it significantly and negatively impacts…
The Weekly Libertarian Leftist And Chess Review 47
David S. D’ Amato discusses the political economy of Benjamin Tucker. Tom Engelhardt discusses how America made ISIS. Peter Harling discusses how ISIS is back in business. Jacob Sullum discusses pot related prisoners of the War on Drugs. Ronald Bailey discusses whether immigrants are more likely to commit crime or not. Kevin Carson discusses Reason…
Ownership and Ideas
Like many libertarians, I’ve learned a lot from Murray Rothbard on a wide variety of subjects. Of course, no one gets everything right, especially someone as intellectually ambitious, multidisciplinary, and prolific as Rothbard. Nevertheless, reading the work of the man who left such a mark on the modern libertarian movement is as profitable as it…
There is More to Industrial Enclosure than Patents on Feed 44
C4SS Feed 44 presents Dawie Coetzee‘s “There is More to Industrial Enclosure than Patents” read and edited by Nick Ford. I wonder about the motivation in forgoing these patents, given that many are relatively toothless. Tesla obviously wishes to play the heroic underdog, to imply solidarity with the open-source movement despite operating in an industry legally…
Seed Libraries: Treat Law as Damage, Route Around It
Recently the story went viral of the Pennsylvania State Department of Agriculture threatening a Mechanicsburg seed library on the grounds that it was in violation of regulations intended to thwart the danger of (ahem) “agri-terrorism.” To comply with the regulations, the library would have to confine itself to distributing only store-bought seeds and not distributing…
Jaron Lanier: “Proprietà Intellettuale” e Parassitismo di un Sistema Violento
Pare che gli ultra-trentacinquenni non amino altro che sentirsi dire che internet, e il rapido sviluppo culturale sviluppatosi in parallelo, è stato un terribile sbaglio le cui ripercussioni ci perseguiteranno. E poi c’è il mare di scribacchini opportunisti, tutti allineati nel descrivere questo loro spasmo generazionale reazionario come la voce contraria della ragione. Dicono che…
Agri-Terrorists Accuse Seed Bank of Agri-Terrorism
According to a recent story at Shareable by Kelly McCartney and Sarah Baird (“Pennsylvania Seed Library Investigated by Department of Agriculture,” August 7), the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture is investigating an heirloom seed library as a possible vector of attack by “agricultural terrorists.” Libraries for sharing traditional and heirloom seed varieties are a growing phenomenon nationwide, intended…
Nick Gillespie Looks at the Way Things Are, and Asks “Why Not?”
Critics of libertarianism on the Center-Left sometimes depict it as a radical ideology that would turn upside down everything we know — a doctrine of such thorough-going change that the critics are compelled to ask “what society in human history was ever organized along libertarian lines?” Not so! Nick Gillespie (“Why an 1852 Novel by…
Jaron Lanier, “Intellectual Property” and Parasitism on the System of Violence
Over-35s seem to love nothing more than being told that the Internet — and the rapid cultural developments that have paralleled it — have been a terrible mistake with huge downsides that will surely doom us. And there’s no end to the opportunistic hacks lining up to dress this generational reactionary spasm as the contrarian…
Stan Lee and the Rise and Fall of the American Comic Book
With Stan Lee and the Rise and Fall of the American Comic Book, coauthors Jordan Raphael and Tom Spurgeon provide a balanced biography — thorough, yet a concise 300 pages; sympathetic yet markedly non-hagiographic — of not only the titular comics stalwart, shown punching through the comics page like one of his larger-than-life creations in the playful cover illustration; not even just…
Private Property, A Pretty Good Option on Feed 44
C4SS Feed 44 presents Cory Massimino‘s “Private Property, A Pretty Good Option” read by Stephen Leger and edited by Nick Ford. It’s vital not to forget Joseph’s wonderfully put and absolutely correct argument that private property is the only method by which people can peacefully interact and allocate scarce resources. It would be odd indeed if we ignored…
Property The Least Bad Option on Feed 44
C4SS Feed 44 presents Joseph S. Diedrich‘s “Property The Least Bad Option” read by Stephen Leger and edited by Nick Ford. We would be much better off if we weren’t tormented by scarcity. There would be no conflict or potential for conflict over physical goods. This hypothetical world — one of superabundance or post-scarcity or infinite supply or…
The New Enclosure: Erecting Gates and Tolls in the Information Age
The widely noted transition from the “old economy,” based in the production of physical commodities, to the “new economy” of the information age—with its capital base concentrated not in heavy machinery and land, but in human beings and in knowledge—has been attended by a concomitant sea change in the legal framework surrounding business. Where ingress…
There is More to Industrial Enclosure than Patents
Eric Blattberg, writing for VenturBeat, reports (“Tesla Motors: Please infringe on our patents for the greater good,” June 12) that electric car manufacturer Tesla will henceforth permit all comers to exploit its innovations. “Tesla will not initiate patent lawsuits against anyone who, in good faith, wants to use our technology,” says Tesla CEO Elon Musk. I…