Sunday, February 15, 2009

Lew Rockwell on Intellectual Property

Lew Rockwell has a short post on Apple's attempt to defend its right to contract. Writes Lew:

February 15, 2009

Calling Kinsella and Tucker

Posted by Lew Rockwell at February 15, 2009 12:31 PM

Apple wants to jail you and fine you if you alter your own property. Just another indication that "intellectual property," as Stephan and Jeff say, is the destruction of real property rights for the benefit of bogus ones, not so speak of an attack on human betterment.
I'm just not getting Lew's line of argument on this very important topic.

If anyone makes any type of product and sells it with stipulations, i.e. with contract, I don't see how I have the right to violate that contract. If Apple sells a phone and says, "We are selling this phone with the stipulation that you don't mess with the insides," I am free to take that deal or walk away.

If I take the deal and then mess with the insides, in my book that is violating contract. Just what gives me the right to overrule a contract we both agree on? If Apple makes you sign a contract that it will only sell the phone if you don't mess with the insides, and you sign it, and are aware of the terms Apple expects you to live up to, and you then mess with the insides, aren't you a liar by telling Apple one thing and doing another?


  1. Bravo! Contracts = Offer and Acceptance. If one doesn't like the terms - don't accept the contract. It astonishes me that Rockwell can't understand this simple concept known as contract law.

  2. In contract law this is also known as "mutual assent" or "meeting of the minds". The parties indicate their agreement when they sign (accept) the contract (agreement).

  3. Bob, have you read the writings of Andrew J. Golambos? He was very clear on property rights including Intellectual Property. I believe he even went as far as to say that a person could sell the ideas of liberty for profit - which he practiced.

    His definition of property is great: "Property is individual man's life and all the non-procreative derivatives of his life".

    A good primer is his book "Thrust for Freedom".

  4. I am only familiar with the profile Harry Browne wrote up about him.

    I also recall reading somewhere his definition of a traffic jam:

    "A traffic jam is a collision between free enterprise and socialism. Free enterprise produces automobiles faster than socialism can build roads and road capacity."

    Thanks for the tip on "Thrust for Freedom", I will read it.

  5. Yes, "Traffic Jam" is a great one. Here are a few others from "Thrust for Freedom":

    Freedom: Freedom is the societal condition that exists when every individual has full (i.e. 100%) control over his own property.

    Capitalism: Capitalism is that societal structure whose mechanism is capable of protecting all forms of private property completely.

    Profit: Profit is any increase in happiness acquired by moral means.

    Bureaucracy: Bureaucracy is any legal organization that controls the property of individuals without their consent.