property is a way to handle distribution of scarce goods. When you hear someone talking about the capitalist fiction of intellectual "property", about ideas that can be infinitely copied where scarcity is literally impossible, you've found someone who doesn't understand property at all. "Intellectual property" is attempting to seal off an infinite lake so you can sell bottled water.


Totally agree.

Note however that the exact same reasoning apply to personal data. Which is interesting because probably we should find an unified and uniform way to regulate all informations and their representations (eg data or programs).

@byllgrim there does not exist a viable means of excluding others, though. It is literally impossible to exclude others from an idea.

@byllgrim sure, if you have an authoritarian government you can do all sorts of things! But then you don't really have property so much as you have just following the whims of the authority.

@byllgrim The right to copy is a fundamental human right. We copy and modify others' ideas all the time, in everything that we do. If you have an idea, you cannot prevent anyone else from having the same idea. The only way you can exclude others from your idea is an all-powerful government that surveills everyone on Earth and punishes them if they ever use your idea or have the same idea themselves.

In contrast, to exclude others from actual property, you just...hold it in your hand.

@byllgrim your examples don't exclude anyone from implementing your idea, though. And of course they don't- because that's literally impossible.

@byllgrim absolute exclusion is a core part of the concept of property. The system is based on the logic that if I take something from you, you no longer have it, and thus you have been harmed and the harm must either be prevented (don't take it, it's mine) or compensated fairly.

If I'm merely filling my cup from the literally infinite well, what justification do you have mustering the authority of a government to stop me?

@byllgrim idea is not strictly synonymous with IP, but IP is a term that covers three entirely different capitalist fictions that really need to be discussed individually. Is copyright the only one you're interested in?

@byllgrim I explained why it's not arbitrary, though. When you say "proof by construct" what specifically are you claiming to have proved?

@byllgrim when you touch my bike, you are temporarily taking exclusive control over whatever parts of the bike you're touching. While you are sitting in the seat, no one else in existence can. The bike is still property that you have just taken. When you only take my property for a millisecond because you were literally just touching it, nobody cares. When you take it for longer, it becomes an issue.

@byllgrim it seems like you understandy argument (that ideas cannot be property because it is literally impossible to exclude others from it) because you think that excluding others is something you can do partially rather than it being literally the fundamental core of what property is.

@byllgrim I don't know what you mean with this question.

@byllgrim I'm only making one claim- that ideas fundamentally cannot be property. If you understand that claim, you understand everything because it's the only claim being made.

@beebs yeah "intellectual property" matters when artists can't get food and housing and literally no other time

@chillgamesh @beebs even then i would argue a much more successful / fruitful endeavor would be to push for housing and food rather than pushing for inclusion in an inherently exclusionary and exploitative system

like, imagine you strengthen ip rights for poor artists or whatever. congrats you've solved nothing, they're still starving bc they can't reasonably compete with the corporate entertainment industry! time is a limited resource! attention economy stuff clearly doesn't work

@trwnh @beebs of course we need universal housing and food; doesn't mean it isn't still worthwhile to always share art with the artist's name and site attached, and spread around knowledge about which companies (coughdeviantartcough) will steal your work, all of that. We still have to survive under capitalism until we build other means of meeting our collective needs.

@chillgamesh @trwnh @beebs i feel this confuses "citation" with the dynamics of intellectual property, which only protects artists who can afford continuous legal counsel. your average artist is not protected by intellectual property; it is only there to protect the most moneyed thief.

@garbados @chillgamesh @beebs yeah also mutual aid is more effective, like, you could crowdfund or do patronage and that's vastly more productive than attempting to sell your creative works on a small scale. the fundamental problem is attempting to claim payment *after* the labor is performed and *without* a contract guaranteeing payment.

@garbados @chillgamesh @beebs i guess with regards to citation and credit, the only contract is a social one that tells you to maintain the source tree, or at the very least not strip that info? but you still can't own the idea itself, you're just the person who expressed it at that point in time. the idea is part of nature, just like math can be used to express every single possible piece of information ever in a binary sequence. in that sense intellectual property is as abhorrent as plagiarism


I agree, but I think "kill IP" is largely something we can't just convince humanity to do in one fell swoop

they've been lied to by rich people all their life that "IP protects everybody", and people buy that lie, as if somehow they're going to design the perfectly tweaked whateverthing and then they're set for life

it's lottery thinking and it's caused by IP, but really, I think the best I'll see in my lifetime is a cutback to "creator life + 20 years for non-creators", maybe

@aemon "Is the concept 'theft' at all possible unless one allows validity to the concept 'property'? How can one steal if property is not already extant? ... Accordingly property is not theft, but a theft becomes possible only through property."


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