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).

@beebs Property is a way to handle distribution of scarce good? Maybe so but...

Property is observably also a way to keep rights to something for oneself and to exclude others from those rights. Whenever something has value, and there exist a viable means of excluding others, you get property the moment that someone effectuate that exclusion.

_IP is conceivable_, because it satisfies those two criteria.

I'm on your side, but I think your argument may be illogical.

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

@beebs There exists no viable mean of _absolute_ exclusion, demonstrated by e.g. torrents and pirating that break those attemps at exclusion.

But there exist partial means, demonstrated by e.g. governments use of force to enforce IP laws.

I'd rather we make an effort in minimizing any posibility for IP to exist.

@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.

@beebs I'm unable to get what your are suggesting.

I know that there are patent offices today and that courts settle cases about IP. I guess that can be classified as authoritarian.

@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.

@beebs Neither governments nor omnipotence are required for excluding others from _implementing_ ones idea.
A trivial example is asking a friend not to copy your style, and they may listen.
A better example is that breaking NDAs can harm a business through reputation.

I agree with your sentiment and agenda, I just think the arguments are incomplete.

@beebs And by implement I also mean use, redistribute, mimic, etc

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

@beebs Why do you insist that exclusion can only be absolute or not at all? For you have implied that twice now. Why is a spectrum not applicable?

@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?

@beebs It dawns on me that we are facing a possible barrier for further discussion. Are you equating ip as a strict synonym for idea? If that is the case, we have merely wasted our time arguing semantics, and I would also point out that your are in disagreement with the common use of copyright as pertaining to ip. If not, I would like to continue presenting evidence for my claim that your point is a fallacy of equivocation.

@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?

@beebs Copyrights apply to intellectual works that are copyable, e.g. audio files. DRM can impede free distribution, effectively constraining rights of distribution.

This demonstrates someone excluding others from a value (property as defined above) and is a proof by construct.

It is not dependent on whether bits are easy to duplicate (infinite lake).

I can only see it invalidated by the arbitrary requirement of absoluteness: I can touch your parked bike, but the bike is still your property.

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

@beebs The proof of construct: A concrete example of intellectual work usage with properties equal to the definition of property as used above.

@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.

@beebs I can't identify the argument in what you are saying. Can you be more specific about what your premisses are and what conclusion they would lead to?

@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.

@beebs yeah but how does simultaneity of control stop something from being property (referring to bike example)?

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

@beebs (That was written right before I fell asleep, sorry.)

I really can't understand anything but your most obvious claims; those you just pointed out above.
There is no "hence" or "ergo" or any structure that clearly show what the premisses are or how they connect to what conclusion.
The problem statement interests me more than interpreting claims that, as much as I can make out of it, vaguely resemble arguments.
I lost interest, sorry.

@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

@beebs Apropo #property, I'm really confused by its semantics and origin. Eigentum in german? It seems to mean "belonging to" or "is a feature of". Got me really confused.


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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