Intellectual Property Rights

Norms are a human construct meant to establish acceptable behavior and decrease conflict within a community. A norm in one community does not have to match a norm in another community. Community norms are created through many different methodologies.

Creation of a property or service is independent of any community norms. Community norms are solely for the purpose of protecting property or services that have already been established.

The difficulty with both intellectual property and intellectual service is that much of it is easily created by everyone. It's within basic human capabilities to quickly learn intellectual skills with no tangible prerequisites. Without community norms protecting these intellectual commodities, then an owner can only hope to protect them by their high skill requirement or tying them to a tangible prerequisite.


Stages of Property Theory

  1. Establishment of property
  2. Establishment of rights
  3. Establishment of enforcement

All discussions of property must incorporate each of these stages of property. Many people can agree on at least one of these stages with their opponents, but they compress all these stages into one and assume that a much larger divide exists than actually does. If people can ascertain where their disagreements lie, then the discussion can be better focused in on that one particular stage.

Establishment of property means the definitions by which property comes into the world. Most libertarians accept Locke's Labor Theory of Property, even though they might not all accept his Provisos.

Establishment of rights comes only after there is a context from which to lay these rights upon. So first property must be agreed to exist before rights can be established over that property.

Establishment of enforcement comes after which rights are known to need protection. Without a context of rights, then there is nothing to lay enforcement upon.