spudit on February 18, 2011, 12:19:41 pm
First off, thanks for all the thoughts and perspective Xavin.

I have a patent which I got as an employee so I saw the process up close. My employer had lots of NDAs for everyone to sign. It is a tent and I was not allowed to field test it in a camp ground until the ducks were in a row. Someone might see it. No biggie, the Rockies are nice and empty.

But I see no reason why a non government entity couldn't do what the Patent Office ended up doing, guarantying exclusivity. Maybe sort of like listing something in the public record in the paper, X is divorced form Y and no longer responsible for their debts I mean,

Call it insurance. if they can insure Tina Turner's legs and satellites they can insure anything
« Last Edit: February 18, 2011, 12:21:22 pm by spudit »
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Brugle on February 18, 2011, 12:37:03 pm
But I see no reason why a non government entity couldn't do what the Patent Office ended up doing, guarantying exclusivity.
"Guaranteeing exclusivity" means aggressive violence.  For example, let's say the Patent Office issues a patent for a 7-wheeled wheelbarrow.  That means (among other things) that government thugs will be sent to stop someone who rearranges his own property into a 7-wheeled wheelbarrow without the permission of the patent holder.  In a free society, people are allowed to do what they please with their own property (unless, of course, they contract to not do certain things).

Maybe sort of like listing something in the public record in the paper, X is divorced form Y and no longer responsible for their debts I mean,
Maybe sort of, but not really.

Call it insurance. if they can insure Tina Turner's legs and satellites they can insure anything
Calling aggressive violence "insurance" does not make it insurance.

If a business wants to insure the inventor against someone else building a 7-wheeled wheelbarrow, that's fine, but that would mean the insurance business pays the inventor whatever is  in the insurance contract, not that the insurance business sends thugs to prevent the assembly of 7-wheeled wheelbarrows by other people.

ContraryGuy on February 18, 2011, 01:28:51 pm
But I see no reason why a non government entity couldn't do what the Patent Office ended up doing, guarantying exclusivity.
"Guaranteeing exclusivity" means aggressive violence.  For example, let's say the Patent Office issues a patent for a 7-wheeled wheelbarrow.  That means (among other things) that government thugs will be sent to stop someone who rearranges his own property into a 7-wheeled wheelbarrow without the permission of the patent holder.  In a free society, people are allowed to do what they please with their own property (unless, of course, they contract to not do certain things).

Maybe sort of like listing something in the public record in the paper, X is divorced form Y and no longer responsible for their debts I mean,
Maybe sort of, but not really.

Call it insurance. if they can insure Tina Turner's legs and satellites they can insure anything
Calling aggressive violence "insurance" does not make it insurance.

If a business wants to insure the inventor against someone else building a 7-wheeled wheelbarrow, that's fine, but that would mean the insurance business pays the inventor whatever is  in the insurance contract, not that the insurance business sends thugs to prevent the assembly of 7-wheeled wheelbarrows by other people.


Patents, copyrights(and the distribution right that are implied), and trademarks are if not impossible, then very difficult in an AnCap society.
Because these things are granted(and enforced) by a central governing authority, of which there is non in AnCap, how might these things be handled.

In a small area, everyone would be able to know whose stuff is whose; but in a large area, who keeps person B who has extra money from stealing the stuff/idea/trademark/etc. from person A ?

These things (patents etc) are a government guarantee of exclusivity for the purpose of making money.

If the is no guarantor of exclusivity, or even of credit for invention, what is the motivation for creativity?

Yes, some people will keep creating no matter what; but, people who want to make money from their invention or ideas will tire quickly if other people steal said idea/invention and get it to market first or cheaper of whatever.

People on this board have said before that individual and property rights are the foundation of a market society.  but, there has always some overarching authority that provides the security for such a market to flourish.  What happens to the marketplace when those rights are no longer guaranteed except at the point of self-defense?

Yes, yes, the personal protective services... I had almost forgot about them.  But who protects against the protectors?

I've gotten a little off-topic there, but everything is so intertwined.  I hope I can get an intelligent (or at least a not-bashing me) response to the question of granting or enforcing patents, copyrights, etc.

sams on February 18, 2011, 01:59:41 pm
Yes, yes, the personal protective services... I had almost forgot about them.  But who protects against the protectors?

No political system can survive without the intellectual backbone of its members. The US constitution was the ''best'' ever created, but it didn't survive the fact that the around the 1920 the ideals of the founding fathers was all but lost.

Think about it, most of the US current Libertarian and free market ideals in part survived because lots of European refugee fled Europe during the last century. Friedman, Voergelin, Hayek and Mises were all people who had to flee Europe, most to escape Nazi's and ended up providing the US and UK with a dose of the tradition they lost.

Brazil for example was once a great parlamentarian monarchy and got rid of slavery in more humane way than the US, without a civil war, but once they lost the battle of ideas they are on long down road to irrelevancy ... even the once ultra-conservative military are nothing more than a bunch of sissies.

In the same way anarchy will not survive or strive without the intellectual backbone needed. Militarely an AnCap could be invaded like the arc shows, but no occupation force can defeat well entrechend ideals ... but sure that if Nazi Germany came back from the dead and launched a genocidal war it will be almost impossible to survive ... just like Poland, Russia and Czech discovered despite their government.

An AnCap culture is the guarantor of an AnCap system.

I don't think patents will exists, but I think a lot of non-disclosure agreements and some high security manufacturing plants will ensure advantage over competitors ... but at least nobody else would be paying it for you.

ETA:

The free market is self reinforcing, the more you have of it, the more you will get. Because you ''don't make a free market'' you barely refrain yourself of destroying it.

Sure there are some values needed for a free market to exist, which require some shared cultural elements, but it can go working in pilot mode ... because it is not a ''thing'', it is people acting.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2011, 02:02:10 pm by sams »

terry_freeman on February 18, 2011, 02:20:42 pm
Thanks for the explanation. I think your "first past the post" districts are similar to our Congressional districts - whichever candidate gets the majority vote in the district gets the seat.

We don't have strong regional parties at all.

I suspect the biggest difference is the concept of "forming a government" - you folks assemble a coalition which then appoints certain offices - please excuse my ignorance - including the Prime Minister, I believe.

In our Congress, the majority party elects a House Leader or Senate Leader ( depending on which house ) who sets the agenda. The President of the United States, however, is decided by a different process, the Electoral College, which is only roughly equivalent to the national vote. Most Americans are surprised to learn about the Electoral College. Each State gets two votes, one for each Senator, and one for each Representative, so smaller states are slightly better represented in proportion to more populous states.

In my memory, there has never been any third party worth mentioning, electorally speaking. Things were different a hundred years back. Come to think of it, I believe there were strong 3rd party showings during the last Great Depression.

 
« Last Edit: February 18, 2011, 03:04:58 pm by terry_freeman »

Brugle on February 18, 2011, 02:59:58 pm
Friedman, Voergelin, Hayek and Mises were all people who had to flee Europe,
If you mean Milton Friedman, according to Wikipedia he was born in Brooklyn.

sams on February 18, 2011, 03:03:01 pm
Friedman, Voergelin, Hayek and Mises were all people who had to flee Europe,
If you mean Milton Friedman, according to Wikipedia he was born in Brooklyn.

Mistake, but all the other were Nazi Germany fleeing intellectuals
ETA : Another in that category is Otto Maria Carpaux, who fled Austria ... but he was unlucky enough to go to Brazil instead of the US. ;D
« Last Edit: February 18, 2011, 03:11:34 pm by sams »

terry_freeman on February 18, 2011, 03:10:59 pm
There are disputes about "intellectual property". I am a fan of Stephan Kinsella, who maintains that the idea is nonsense, that authors would fare better without IP, that it actually benefits publishers, not authors, and that it retards innovation.

Other anarchists differ. They posit that, when you purchase a book, you'd also agree to a contract, sort of like the shrinkwrap contracts which come with some computer software. Being a party to such a contract, you'd agree not to make copies or give them to others.

There is nothing special about "national" registries that cannot be solved as well or better by voluntary registries. Government agencies are comprised of human beings who put their pants on one leg at a time, unless they are in microgravity, where any human being may leap into a pair of pants with both feet, regardless of government authorization. The state, contraryguy, is nothing but a solution in search of a problem.


spudit on February 18, 2011, 04:06:53 pm
Ya know, there are no patent police. Infringe on one and get sued for damages, dragged in front of our version of Reggie or Pablo. In that regard the government acts as a reposetory for information, like the posting in the paper I mentioned. It could be made to work.

Public information about patents exists. say Edison and the light bulb, since he and the patent are expired. I say my grandfather invented the thing. Then I sue the Edison museum and every one else I can, and get laughed out of court.

Why, because we all know different.
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Holt on February 18, 2011, 04:23:50 pm
The state, contraryguy, is nothing but a solution in search of a problem.

I'd say Anarchists are people proposing a solution to their problem but nobody else's.

Brugle on February 18, 2011, 04:26:41 pm
In a small area, everyone would be able to know whose stuff is whose; but in a large area, who keeps person B who has extra money from stealing the stuff/idea/trademark/etc. from person A ?
Person B with extra money would be prevented from stealing stuff the same way that Person C without extra money but with a great personality would be prevented from stealing stuff.  There are many possible ways, and we don't know which one would be chosen by voluntarily cooperating people.  (And, as I'm sure you realize, there probably would be some theft, just as there is theft in a statist society.)

Stealing the records of a hidden idea (say, the plans for an invention locked in a safe) would be handled like any other theft.  I don't know the appropriate restitution for revealing a hidden idea--I don't even know whether legal experts would consider that a tricky problem or not--but such things would be worked out.

As far as I can tell, trademarks can't be stolen in a free society.  Someone who commits fraud using a fake trademark would be handled the same as a person who commits fraud without using a trademark--the crime is fraud; the trademark is incidental.

If the is no guarantor of exclusivity, or even of credit for invention, what is the motivation for creativity?
There can be many motivations for creativity.  I suspect that the usual one would be to make money.

A good discussion of how intellectual property stifles creativity is Against Intellectual Monopoly by Michele Boldrin and David K. Levine.  It is online.

People on this board have said before that individual and property rights are the foundation of a market society.  but, there has always some overarching authority that provides the security for such a market to flourish.
Not true.  People voluntarily cooperate without any "overarching authority".

What happens to the marketplace when those rights are no longer guaranteed except at the point of self-defense?
If necessary, voluntarily cooperating people will create institutions that serve their needs without aggressive violence.  Look up "law merchant".

There are disputes about "intellectual property". I am a fan of Stephan Kinsella, who maintains that the idea is nonsense, that authors would fare better without IP, that it actually benefits publishers, not authors, and that it retards innovation.
I agree.  I thought his Against Intellectual Property (available online) was quite good, but it might be heavy going for those who don't have enough background to understand the terms.

Other anarchists differ. They posit that, when you purchase a book, you'd also agree to a contract, sort of like the shrinkwrap contracts which come with some computer software. Being a party to such a contract, you'd agree not to make copies or give them to others.
But the problem with those arguments (such as those made by J. Neil Schulman) is making them binding on third parties who have not made any contract.

For example, X writes a song and gives a concert that Y attends and agrees that he will not reveal that song to anyone else (under penalty of severe damages).  However, Y sings that song in his backyard, not knowing that Z is listening on the other side of the fence.  Z then gives a concert where he sings the song (and admits that he did not write it).  X can sue Y and recover damages.  In a statist society where the song is copyrighted, X can also sue Z and recover damages.  However, in a free society, how can X sue Z?  There is no fraud, no theft (except metaphorically), no breach of contract.  Z has simply used the contents of his brain.  Does X own that part of Z's brain?  I don't think so.

mellyrn on February 18, 2011, 05:02:31 pm
Quote
I've gotten a little off-topic there, but everything is so intertwined.  I hope I can get an intelligent (or at least a not-bashing me) response to the question of granting or enforcing patents, copyrights, etc.

CG!  No, hey, it's a good question!  And asked as though you'd really like to know, instead of being a kind of indirect bash on us anarchs.

So, here's a story:

I was given a pirated copy of a CD.  I loved it.  Played it to death.  Loved it so much that -- I went to the store and bought 3 (THREE) legit copies:  one to keep and two as gifts.  Why?  Because I want the artists to be able to make even more!  Now, I know another guy (online only) whose wife is a musician, and who does provide a few small samples of her work, but he's so anti-"piracy" there will never be any more than these few samples.  I won't buy her albums -- because I don't know if the sample I like is maybe the only one of her songs I'll like; I don't know if the one I don't like is just the odd one that doesn't match my taste.  By protecting his wife from having her stuff "stolen" or copied, he's forcing people like me to "buy a pig in a poke" -- or, well, just not to buy.

Second story, current:
http://tinyurl.com/67kfvmj
Gizmodo reports:  "Monty Python started a YouTube channel with tons of their sketches streaming for free. The included links to their DVDs at Amazon. The result was a whopping 23,000% increase in sales."

Genius artist Jonathan Coulton "copyrights" his stuff with Creative Commons and still supports himself musically.

Publishing house Baen has a whole bunch of their titles available for free -- and the site is growing, so I guess it's working out for them.  Here's a link to why they're doing it:
http://www.baen.com/library/defaultTitles.htm

I probably spend more on donations to any given online comic ($5 or $10 here and there as the mood strikes) than I would be willing to pay as an annual subscription.

My own stuff is available free online -- no sales, because I haven't told anybody about it, because I haven't quite got set up yet because I'm a chicken shit, but that's where I'm going.  Run with my fantasy for a moment:  imagine that my stuff is awesome and becomes the next must-have.  Monty Python's experience above, and Baen's, suggests that I'll get some sales out of it.  Will everybody who reads my stuff pay me for the privilege?  Ha -- that's as close to "impossible" as I can well imagine.  But so what?  I expect I will wind up earning more making it available for free than I would if I tried to exact a price from every reader.  Thanks to the internet, it will be hard for someone to present my stuff as if he had written it himself, and the attempt will cost him credibility. 

But maybe someone will, say, base a movie or other work on mine.  My thinking is, AWESOME!  His work will in effect advertise for mine (and vice versa).  It would be nice if he offered me a piece of his action, in gratitude for my being the originator -- but you know what?  I don't think I get to demand it.  I do think I get to demand that my name get mentioned somewhere in his credits, and I could make a public fuss and embarrass him if he left it out -- that's just honesty.

In this current real world, I could slap a conventional copyright on and ask existing government to protect my "intellectual property".  I will not.  And I'm telling you all this as a case of real-life practical application of principle, as opposed to airy theorizing:  I am putting my own creative work (err, once I actually get it online)  "at risk" -- because I know I will get way more out of doing so than I could hope to achieve with a conventional copyright.  I am, if you will, "putting my money where my mouth is."

Holt on February 18, 2011, 05:13:10 pm

Not true.  People voluntarily cooperate without any "overarching authority".


You ever see or hear of those old bazaars you used to get back in the far and middle east?
You'd have all these merchants peddling their wares and giving a share to the guy who ran the bazaar. Why? Because he provided a nice, safe environment for them to peddle their wares. He made sure thieves were dealt with, he made sure disputes were resolved and just generally ensured things ran smoothly. in that bazaar his word was law. Merchants would flock to these places rather than set up shop just anywhere. Why? Because people went there, because it was safer and because there was order.

Brugle on February 18, 2011, 05:39:30 pm

Not true.  People voluntarily cooperate without any "overarching authority".


You ever see or hear of those old bazaars you used to get back in the far and middle east?
You'd have all these merchants peddling their wares and giving a share to the guy who ran the bazaar. Why? Because he provided a nice, safe environment for them to peddle their wares. He made sure thieves were dealt with, he made sure disputes were resolved and just generally ensured things ran smoothly. in that bazaar his word was law. Merchants would flock to these places rather than set up shop just anywhere. Why? Because people went there, because it was safer and because there was order.

Exactly.  Voluntary cooperation.  No government aggression.

J Thomas on February 18, 2011, 05:42:27 pm

I was given a pirated copy of a CD.  I loved it.  Played it to death.  Loved it so much that -- I went to the store and bought 3 (THREE) legit copies:  one to keep and two as gifts. 

http://tinyurl.com/67kfvmj
Gizmodo reports:  "Monty Python started a YouTube channel with tons of their sketches streaming for free. The included links to their DVDs at Amazon. The result was a whopping 23,000% increase in sales."

....

My own stuff is available free online -- no sales, because I haven't told anybody about it, because I haven't quite got set up yet because I'm a chicken shit, but that's where I'm going.  Run with my fantasy for a moment:  imagine that my stuff is awesome and becomes the next must-have.  Monty Python's experience above, and Baen's, suggests that I'll get some sales out of it.  Will everybody who reads my stuff pay me for the privilege?  Ha -- that's as close to "impossible" as I can well imagine.  But so what?  I expect I will wind up earning more making it available for free than I would if I tried to exact a price from every reader.  Thanks to the internet, it will be hard for someone to present my stuff as if he had written it himself, and the attempt will cost him credibility. 

But maybe someone will, say, base a movie or other work on mine.  My thinking is, AWESOME!  His work will in effect advertise for mine (and vice versa).  It would be nice if he offered me a piece of his action, in gratitude for my being the originator -- but you know what?  I don't think I get to demand it.  I do think I get to demand that my name get mentioned somewhere in his credits, and I could make a public fuss and embarrass him if he left it out -- that's just honesty.

In this current real world, I could slap a conventional copyright on and ask existing government to protect my "intellectual property".  I will not.  And I'm telling you all this as a case of real-life practical application of principle, as opposed to airy theorizing:  I am putting my own creative work (err, once I actually get it online)  "at risk" -- because I know I will get way more out of doing so than I could hope to achieve with a conventional copyright.  I am, if you will, "putting my money where my mouth is."

When I look at that as an economic choice rather than a moral one, it looks plausible but not in general a good business model.

A few things will be wildly popular, and a lot nobody will notice much. Releasing them for free is a start toward free publicity. Probably not as good as an expensive advertising program, but a whole lot cheaper. It will only work for a relatively few published works. If it doesn't work for you, does that mean your stuff wasn't the best? No. Everything that gets popular has to be good enough for a lot of people to like, but lots of better stuff they'd have liked even better might get lost by accident.

The way it works now, lots of people try to "write" and even finish products that they can't publish. Some of them are better than lots of things that do get published and would probably sell well except that the author doesn't have name recognition, but publishers only satisfice rather than optimise.

It's possible that in a world where self-publishing is cheap, a few writers will make lots of money and a whole lot will make nothing or way below minimum wage, because for whatever reason they just don't get the attention they might deserve.

Maybe the most important thing for success as a "writer" etc will be not "writing skill" or essential quality, but some other skill that's hard to define. The quality has to be adequate, but the other skill has to be superb. Or perhaps someone might occasionally be lucky without that skill.