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Kinsella On Liberty

Austro-Anarchist Libertarian Legal Theory

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KOL210 | Ask a Libertarian: Lafayette County LP

Kinsella on Liberty Podcast, Episode 210.This is my interview, mostly on IP, by Josh Havins, of the Lafayette County (Mississippi) Libertarian Party: Their episode: "Ask a Libertarian #6 - Stephan Kinsella - Against Intellectual Property" (video embedded below).


18 Mar 2016

Rank #1

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KOL136 | Children’s Rights, Spanking, and Libertarianism: Truth Over Comfort Podcast

Kinsella on Liberty Podcast, Episode 136.A discussion with Carlos Morales on the Truth Over Comfort podcast. We discuss children's rights, spanking, my article "How We Come To Own Ourselves," "intractable" issues like abortion, etc.


22 Jul 2014

Rank #2

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KOL158 | “The Social Theory of Hoppe: Lecture 6: Political Issues and Applications; Hoppe Q&A”

Kinsella on Liberty Podcast, Episode 158.This is the final  of 6 lectures of my 2011 Mises Academy course “The Social Theory of Hoppe.”The slides for this lecture are appended below; links for“suggested readings” for the course are included in the podcast post for the first lecture, episode 153.Transcript below.LECTURE 6: POLITICAL ISSUES AND APPLICATIONS; HOPPE Q&AVideoSlidesTRANSCRIPTThe Social Theory of Hoppe, Lecture 6: Political Issues and Applications; Hoppe Q&AStephan KinsellaMises Academy, Aug. 15, 201100:00:01STEPHAN KINSELLA: Final class.  We have a lot to cover.  Before I start, let me say don’t be intimidated by the length of the slides if you see them later.  There’s a lot of slides.  I put a lot of text in there for your reading pleasure later.  We’ll skim over some of that.  It’s there for – just for a full sort of, almost like a paper for you to study later and for resources.  I’m going to try to cover as much of it as I can, and I suspect we’re going to go the full 90 minutes on the lecture.  And I’ll be happy to stay as long as we need after that for Q&A, so that’s my plan.00:00:39So let’s get going.  Slide two.  So we talked about economic issues and applications last week.  We have a few more to finish tonight, and I will post the final quiz later this week.  I think only maybe 15-20% of the class took the midterm, which is fine.  You’re not – don’t feel under an obligation to take it.  But some of you might find it fun and a good refresher, and you’re not really graded on a per-class basis.  It’s just personal grading.  So today, we’re going to cover the – we’re going to finish the economic applications and issues from last time.00:01:19We’re going to go over the Hoppe Q&A.  He did provide me with answers to a bunch of questions that you guys submitted.  And then we’re going to talk about a variety of political issues and applications.  In addition to the ones we’ve already discussed, of course, argumentation ethics, which is a political-type issue, but some other applications tonight.  I didn’t give any suggested readings for this week.  There’s just so many little issues.  All the links are in these slides, and we’re going to go over them tonight.00:01:48So I thought that was sufficient rather than giving you – Karl is asking about the midterm.  I don’t – I think it’s probably close already, but Danny can let you know that.  If it’s not, I wouldn’t mind having it held open a little bit longer if people who haven’t taken it yet want to take it.  Okay, fine.  Stephen says it’s still open, so just – it’s only 16 or 18 questions, all multiple choice.  Some are funny.  Some are harder.  Some are easy, so feel free to take it as a refresher.00:02:2100:02:28Karl says sounds went out.  Can anyone else hear me?  Okay, Karl, it’s your issue.  Maybe Danny can help you.  Okay, now – so I’m going to get to one of the remaining issues that we had here.  I’m only – I’m going to go over these, and a lot of them cover what I think are the highlights so that we can cover a lot.  Okay.  So a brief review.  There is, in the Austrian economics literature, an issue called the “Economic Calculation Debate,” 1920 or so.00:03:10Mises wrote a famous article where he argued that one problem with a centrally planned socialist economy, that is, an economy where the government, the state owns the means of production, is that there won’t be market prices for these things.  And therefore, you won’t know how to compare alternative projects.  When entrepreneurs think about the future, they compare possible uses of resources they have available.  And they compare them in terms of what kind of profit they can make in the future, that is, monetary profit.00:03:42So the only way to do that is to try to imagine, if I do project A, I might make a million dollars.  If I do project B, I might make $2 million, etc.,

1hr 51mins

20 Oct 2014

Rank #3

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KOL180 | Tucker and Kinsella on Against Intellectual Property

Kinsella on Liberty Podcast, Episode 180.Jeff Tucker and I discussed IP and my original Against Intellectual Property article. The video can be seen here, and it's embedded below:Spreecast is the social video platform that connects people.Check out Liberty Classics: Against IP on Spreecast.

1hr 25mins

31 Mar 2015

Rank #4

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KOL018 | “Libertarian Legal Theory: Property, Conflict, and Society, Lecture 1: Libertarian Basics: Rights and Law” (Mises Academy, 2011)

Kinsella on Liberty Podcast: Episode 018.This is lecture 1 (of 6) of my 2011 Mises Academy course “Libertarian Legal Theory: Property, Conflict, and Society.” The remaining lectures follow in subsequent podcast episodes.Video, Transcript and Slides below.For the Mid-Term Test and Final Exam given during the course, see "Libertarian Legal Theory: Property, Conflict, and Society": Mid-Term Test and Final Exam (Mises Academy 2011).[Update: Lecture 5b, Q&A (KOL022b), has just been added]This lecture's topic is "Libertarian Basics: Rights and Law," and discusses: Legal Theory and Austrian Economics Scarcity and Property Rights Rights as property rightsThe Nature of rights the Is-Ought Problem Argumentation Ethics and Estoppel UniversalizabilityEssence of Libertarianism Self-ownership Homesteading Lockean proviso Labor ownership and mixingAnarcho-libertarianismFor slides for all six lectures, plus extensive hyperlinked suggested reading material, see this Libertarian Standard post. For a listing of the syllabus and topics covered in each lecture, see this Mises Academy Course Page (archived).For more information, see my Mises Daily article "Introduction to Libertarian Legal Theory," and Danny Sanchez's post Study Libertarian Legal Theory Online with Stephan Kinsella.)Video:https://youtu.be/NawbP9yteOASlides:The videos of all six lectures are also available on this playlist.TRANSCRIPTLibertarian Legal Theory, Lecture 1: Libertarian Basics: Rights and LawStephan KinsellaMises Academy, Jan. 31, 201100:00:00STEPHAN KINSELLA: Good morning to people that it’s morning for.  Good evening to people in Europe.  And good evening and afternoon to people in America.  So the course is called Libertarian Legal Theory: Property, Conflict, and Society.  Now, tonight I will spend a little bit more in the preliminaries than I will in the other courses.  So we might spend 15 or so minutes on some things that won’t waste as much time in next class and the subsequent classes.00:00:33So it’s called Libertarian Legal Theory.  It’s not really what lawyers would think of as legal theory.  It’s more how to apply libertarian insights to what the law should be, so that’s why it’s legal theory.  Now, having some legal background and knowledge can help, but you certainly don’t have to be a lawyer to understand this stuff, and in fact, being a lawyer can sometimes be a hindrance because lawyers are steeped in the statist and the positivist legal system.  This – hold on just a second.  Danny left.  Let me make sure he’s okay.00:01:1200:01:20Okay, so – okay, Danny is still there.  Okay, I see.  So let me just give a little background about this course.  We picked the title “Property, Conflict, and Society” because that is what I think libertarianism all boils down to.  Now, the material in this course, to be honest, we have six lectures.  I think there’s enough material here for at least seven or eight or nine or maybe ten lectures.  So I’m going to squeeze as much in as I can.  If we have to leave some out, I have some things I can cut out and give you readings for, for later.  There’s a lot of material.  It should be a lot of fun and very interesting.00:01:57And these classes last for about 90 minutes.  What I did last class, the IP class I did, I spoke for about 50-60 minutes, and we took questions and answers for about 30 minutes for the rest of the class.  What I’m going to do this time, if I need to, I will speak for the entire 90 minutes if I need to, to get all the material in.  And then I can stay later for more Q&A if people want me to, and I’m also going to do office hours on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. London time.  And I may do another office hours like every other week at a later or earlier time during the day, which is better for Americans, but the 7 p.m. London time is designed to be better for non-we...

1hr 50mins

20 Feb 2013

Rank #5

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KOL184 | Intellectual Property is the Root of All Evil (PorcFest 2015)

Kinsella on Liberty Podcast, Episode 184.Last month I attended PorcFest 2015 and delivered this talk on intellectual property. Video version below (followed by a lower quality version shot by James Cox).I also participated in a debate on anarchy and participated in a couple of radio shows (Ernie Hancock’s Freedom Phoenix and Free Talk Live). James Cox shot some other videos as well, which are up on his channel; a few of these are also embedded below.Porcfest 2015: The Root of All Evil (official PorcFest version)Lecture: Intellectual Property is the Root of All Evil: Porcfest 2015 (James Cox version)Stephan Kinsella - Intellectual Property: The Root of All EvilSign up or log in to save this event to your list and see who's attending!TweetShareIn this talk, Kinsella explains that the most evil state policies and institutions include war, taxation, state provided education, central banking, the drug war — and intellectual property, or IP, namely patent and copyright law. In the modern age, IP's importance, and the damage it causes, have increased. Patent originated in protectionism and mercantilism, while copyright originated in censorship. In this modern age of high tech, globalization and international trade, the economic cost of patent law and its detrimental effect on innovation has gotten many times worse. Copyright limits the freedom to learn and communicate and threatens to undermine freedom on the Internet, one of the most important tools to fight against the state.Kinsella, a practicing patent attorney, argues that IP is in a sense the most insidious of the major state institutions. War, taxation, the drug war, and other state laws and institutions are obviously illiberal and rights violations. However, patent and copyright law fly under the banner of intellectual "property" rights, confusing even many anti-state libertarians, who normally support property rights. Kinsella argues that IP rights are based on a fallacious understanding of rights—namely, confusions in Locke's 'labor theory of property'—and that this error pervades and corrupts much modern thinking about the role of law and property rights and the state. The damage caused and the threat posed by IP is greater than most people realize; it is growing; and the intellectual error behind it must be exposed.SpeakersStephan KinsellaExecutive Editor, Libertarian PapersStephan Kinsella is a practicing patent attorney and a libertarian writer and speaker. He Founder and Executive Editor of Libertarian Papers, Director of the Center for the Study of Innovative Freedom (C4SIF). A former adjunct professor at South Texas College of Law, he has published numerous articles and books on IP law, international law, and the application of libertarian principles to legal topics, including Against Intellectual Property... Read More →Friday June 26, 2015 5:00pm - 5:45pmPAVILION  PhilosophyAttendees (46)Attendance numbers do not account for private attendees. Get there early!


29 Jul 2015

Rank #6

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KOL169 | Daniel Rothschild Interview: The Origins and Purpose of Property Rights

Kinsella on Liberty Podcast, Episode 169.I was interviewed today by Daniel Rothschild for his "Live Free, Die Old" Youtube channel. We discussed primarily the fallacious argument that Lockean-libertarian-based property titles are flawed if they are based on conquest or cannot be traced back to the first homesteader.Background material: Rothbard on the “Original Sin” in Land Titles: 1969 vs. 1974 Mises, Rothbard, and Hoppe on the “Original Sin” in the Distribution of Property Rights Justice and Property Rights: Rothbard on Scarcity, Property, Contracts… Property Title Records and Insurance in a Free Society

1hr 25mins

13 Jan 2015

Rank #7

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KOL094 | Liberty Talk 004: Cody Wilson on 3D Printing, the Liberator (3D gun), Dark Wallet, Intellectual Property, and Control of Information by the State

Kinsella on Liberty Podcast, Episode 094. This is the audio for episode 004 of Liberty Talk, a weekly Google hangout-based podcast with Jeffrey Tucker and me (Google Plus page; Youtube Channel).[Update: for more on whether bitcoin is ownable property, see this Facebook thread. And see: Tokyo court says bitcoins are not ownable. See also:"in the WSJ article Tax Plan May Hurt Bitcoin, the article notes that legal tender laws are, in fact, jeopardizing BTC. Bitcoins are now classified by the IRS as “property” “instead of” as legal tender money, meaning capital gains taxes are owed on transactions. I mentioned this danger in my talk; a similar problem afflicts the re-adoption of gold or silver as money.  But as I noted in the Q&A to my talk, I am not persuaded that bitcoins are ownable resources—things subject to property rights. The IRS here assumes that something is either money or property. This is one danger of BTC advocates using the language of property rights to describe bitcoins. I would argue that bitcoins are not legally owned and thus capital gains taxes are not applicable—or at least, this is one argument the target of a government tax evasion suit might want to use." KOL085 | The History, Meaning, and Future of Legal Tender ]This week we talked to Cody Wilson, Director of Defense Distributed, inventor of the world-first working 3D printed gun, "The Liberator", and director of  DarkWallet.  See his Indiegogo campaign to fund Bitcoin Dark Wallet (see video below). Jeff asked him to recommend some of the books that had influenced him. They are: The Society of the Spectacle, by Guy Dubord The History of Sexuality, by Michel Foucault On the Genealogy of Morality, by Nietzsche

1hr 1min

9 Nov 2013

Rank #8

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KOL149 | IP And Beyond With Stephan Kinsella – Non-Aggression Podcast

Kinsella on Liberty Podcast, Episode 149.My recent appearance on the Non-Aggression Podcast with host Mike Cuneo, aka 412 Libertarian. We talked about IP, Georgism, Stefan Molyneux's use of the DMCA to do a copyright takedown of a critic on youtube, whether Hitler is responsible for the holocaust, and the like.From his show notes:IP And Beyond With Stephan Kinsella – Non-Aggression PodcastI had the pleasure of speaking at length with Stephan Kinsella, a patent attorney, libertarian author and scholar, and head of the Center For The Study of Innovative Freedom, or C4SIV.Stephan also runs the site StephanKinsella.comCausation and Aggression (free PDF file), the paper we spoke about in the later part of the podcast.One of my favorite articles of all time, “What It Means To Be An Anarcho Capitalist.”Kinsella is the author of the groundbreaking book “Against Intellectual Property”(freely available for download)Here is the article that I alluded to when speaking about the marble statue example, as to why creation alone is not sufficient or necessary for ownership.

1hr 14mins

30 Aug 2014

Rank #9

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KOL189 | Defining and Promoting Libertarianism—Interview by Richard Storey

Kinsella on Liberty Podcast, Episode 189.This is an interview I did a few weeks ago with English libertarian Richard Storey. We discuss the nature of libertarianism, its roots in Western Rationalism and how to defend and promote it, property rights and scarcity, the significance of Hoppe's argumentation ethics, praxeology, Misesian dualism, logical positivism, legal positivism,  and related matters.Related material: What Libertarianism Is Argumentation Ethics and Liberty: A Concise Guide Logical and Legal Positivism

1hr 6mins

7 Sep 2015

Rank #10

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KOL074 | The Libertarian: Interview by Keir Martland: Argumentation Ethics, Immigration, Libertarian Property Theory

Kinsella on Liberty Podcast, Episode 074.This is my interview from The Libertarian, by Keir Martland. It was released as The Libertarian: Podcast #1. We discussed libertarian theory, Hans-Hermann Hoppe's libertarian views, argumentation ethics, immigration, and related matters. For further background on these topics see: Argumentation Ethics and Liberty: A Concise Guide A Simple Libertarian Argument Against Unrestricted Immigration and Open Borders What Libertarianism IsI also did a previous written interview with Martland for that site: Interview by The Libertarian.

1hr 4mins

11 Aug 2013

Rank #11

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KOL215 | Latter-Day Liberty Podcast: Intellectual Property

Kinsella on Liberty Podcast, Episode 215. www.stephankinsella.com/kinsella-on-liberty-podcast/I was a guest recently on the Latter-Day Liberty podcast discussing intellectual property and related issues. Host: Mat Kent.Ep. 19 Intellectual PropertyPodcast: Play in new window | DownloadHow could a true libertarian claim to be against intellectual property? Aren’t property rights central to the principles of liberty? Stephan Kinsella joins us to discuss the case against IP and why, as libertarians, we should oppose it.About the Guest:Stephan Kinsella is a practicing patent attorney, a libertarian writer and speaker, Director of the Center for the Study of Innovative Freedom (C4SIF), and Founding and Executive Editor of Libertarian Papers.Guest’s Book:Against Intellectual PropertyGuest’s Links:stephankinsella.comLibertarian PapersCenter for the Study of Innovative FreedomAuthorMat KentPosted onSeptember 9, 2016


20 Sep 2016

Rank #12

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KOL161 | Argumentation Ethics, Estoppel, and Libertarian Rights: Adam Smith Forum, Moscow (2014)

Kinsella on Liberty Podcast, Episode 161.This was my (remotely delivered) presentation at the 6th Adam Smith Forum, Moscow, Russia (Nov. 2, 2014):From the programme:"Entitled "Argumentation Ethics, Estoppel, and Libertarian Rights," Kinsella discusses the nature and definition of libertarianism and surveys different arguments and theories for its particular conception of rights and politics, including natural rights, consequentialist, and utilitarian approaches. He concludes with an overview of two more recent and unique approaches to justifying libertarian rights, the "argumentation ethics" approach of Austrian economist and political philosopher Hans-Hermann Hoppe, and Kinsella's own "estoppel" theory of rights."This is my second speech at the Adam Smith Forum; the first was “Why Intellectual Property is not Genuine Property,” 3rd Adam Smith Forum, Moscow, Russia (Nov. 12, 2011), also via remote video.I did not prepare a new powerpoint but I drew heavily on the one linked here, and included below. Here is the transcript.The main resources I drew on, which I mentioned in the lecture, include: New Rationalist Directions in Libertarian Rights Theory Argumentation Ethics and Liberty: A Concise Guide Defending Argumentation Ethics: Reply to Murphy & Callahan A Libertarian Theory of Punishment and Rights How We Come To Own OurselvesThese issued were also discussed in further detail in previous Mises Academy courses: KOL155 | “The Social Theory of Hoppe: Lecture 3: Libertarian Rights and Argumentation Ethics” (the slides for this lecture are appended below; links for“suggested readings” for the course are included in the podcast post for the first lecture, episode 153) KOL108 | “Why ‘Intellectual Property’ is not Genuine Property,” Adam Smith Forum, Moscow (2011)SLIDES FOR THE SOCIAL THEORY OF HOPPE: LECTURE 3: LIBERTARIAN RIGHTS AND ARGUMENTATION ETHICS


8 Nov 2014

Rank #13

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KOL071 | “Intellectual Property Law and Policy” at NYU School of Law Symposium (2011)

Kinsella on Liberty Podcast, Episode 071.This is my appearance at a New York University School of Law/Journal of Law and Liberty Symposium: “Plain Meaning in Context: Can Law Survive its Own Language?” (February 18, 2011); my panel was “Intellectual Property Law and Policy." Our panel was preceded by a keynote speech on a somewhat unrelated topic by Professor Richard Epstein, and featured me and two law professors specializing in IP law.After Epstein's keynote speech, my talk was first. The podcast here omits Epstein's speech and begins with my own talk, and continues with the other two panelists' talks and the Q&A session in which I answered a few questions. The full video, which includes Epstein's introductory talk, is online here and included below.Note: near the end of Epstein's speech (at 48:11, in the embedded video version) I asked him a question about federalism and the doctrine of selective incorporation; he gave a fair answer, but one I disagree with on the grounds the privileges and immunities clause did not unambiguously mean to incorporate a large set of "fundamental rights" into the Fourteenth Amendment, as Raoul Berger has argued. On the IP panel, a more general Q&A and interpanelist interchange session starts around 1:53:14 in the video (57:35 in this podcast excerpt), with me drawing a lot of the questions from fellow panelists and the audience. I was the only one who used a powerpoint; it cannot be seen from the posted video, so the file is here: The problem with IP, and also embedded also below.

1hr 17mins

12 Jul 2013

Rank #14

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KOL068 | James Cox: Why Man Made Law Is Slavery!

Kinsella on Liberty Podcast, Episode 068. From the shownotes:"Why Man Made Law Is Slavery! In this video I talk to Stephan Kinsella of https://www.stephankinsella.com We talk about man made law and how it is better to just have contracts with one another."Youtube: Original:


16 Jun 2013

Rank #15

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KOL259 | “How To Think About Property,” New Hampshire Liberty Forum 2019

Kinsella on Liberty Podcast, Episode 259.New Hampshire Liberty Forum, Manchester NH, Feb. 8, 2019.[Update: transcript here.]This is my main presentation at New Hampshire Liberty Forum, Feb. 8, 2019. Recorded on my iPhone. I'll upload a higher quality version later, if it becomes available.Youtube:https://youtu.be/asozCLV4FJ4My Powerpoint that I used is embedded below:Background: KOL 037 | Locke’s Big Mistake: How the Labor Theory of Property Ruined Political Theory A Libertarian Theory of Contract: Title Transfer, Binding Promises, and Inalienability Rothbard on the “Original Sin” in Land Titles: 1969 vs. 1974 (Nov. 5, 2014) “What Libertarianism Is”, see esp. n. 25 and accompanying text, regarding tracing title, in a property dispute, back to a common author (ancestor in title).Bonus: I also appeared on the Vin Armani and Dave Butler (of Vin and Dave's Destination Unknown podcast) livestream of the Free State Project's New Hampshire Liberty Forum, Day 1 -- we discussed government versus the state, intellectual property, and related issues. It is here: KOL259-2 | Destination Unknown with Vin Armani and Dave Butler: Government vs. the State, Intellectual Property (New Hampshire Liberty Forum 2019).


9 Feb 2019

Rank #16

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KOL024 | Daniels, Kinsella, Marks, Hoppe, Tucker: “Discussion, Q&A” (PFS 2012, Day 3)

Kinsella on Liberty Podcast, Episode 024.[See also PFP102]I previously podcasted my speech from September 2012 at the 2012 Annual Meeting of the Property and Freedom Society in Bodrum, Turkey (KOL001 | "The (State's) Corruption of (Private) Law" (PFS 2012)). Later that day I and the other speakers from that day, including Jeff Tucker and Hans-Hermann Hoppe, participated in a general panel discussion and Q&A session, which is included in this podcast episode.Topics discussed include the issue of preemptive attacks and standing threats, spanking and libertarianism, Gresham's law and law and legislation, strategies for liberty in life and how to avoid corruption in an unfree world. On the latter topic, I talked about the power of attraction and also vocally objecting, speaking out, when hearing statist sentiments from friends, co-workers, etc. There were also questions about how victims of aggression can achieve restitution from the aggressor, what does he have the right to do to the aggressor—issues such as proportionality, punishment, ostracism, and so on.https://youtu.be/X9slH341agoFor other speeches at the PFS 2012 meeting, see the links in the Program, or the PFS Vimeo channel.Day 3 Q&A Part 1 from Property & Freedom Society on Vimeo.Day 3 Q&A Part 2 from Property & Freedom Society on Vimeo.

1hr 9mins

25 Feb 2013

Rank #17

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KOL175 | “Rethinking Intellectual Property: History, Theory, and Economics: Lecture 4: IP Statutes and Treaties; Overview of Justifications for IP; Property, Scarcity and Ideas; Rights-based Arguments for IP; Creation as a Source of Rights” (Mises Academy, 2011)

Kinsella on Liberty Podcast, Episode 175.This is the fourth of six lectures of my 2011 Mises Academy course "Rethinking Intellectual Property: History, Theory, and Economics" (originally presented Tuesdays, Mar. 22-April 26, 2011). The first lecture may be found in KOL172.Transcript below.Youtube and slides for this lecture are provided below. The course and other matters are discussed in further detail at KOL172. The “suggested readings” for the entire course are provided in the notes for KOL172.Lecture 4: IP STATUTES AND TREATIES; OVERVIEW OF JUSTIFICTIONS FOR IP; PROPERTY, SCARCITY AND IDEAS; RIGHTS-BASED ARGUMENTS FOR IP: CREATION AS A SOURCE OF RIGHTSSUGGESTED READING MATERIALSee the notes for KOL172.❧TranscriptRethinking Intellectual Property: History, Theory, and Economics—Lecture 4: IP Statutes and Treaties; Overview of Justifications for IP; Property, Scarcity and Ideas; Rights-based Arguments for IP; Creation as a Source of RightsStephan KinsellaMises Academy, April 12, 201100:00:00STEPHAN KINSELLA: … economics association groups, and Sheldon Richman is an anti-IP libertarian guy with the Foundation for Economic Education.  He’s editor of The Freeman.  He’s written some good stuff on IP as well, and he was there.  Roderick Long was there, who’s also good on IP, and some other people and also this guy named Adam Mossoff who I’ve mentioned before I think.  He’s an objectivist law professor at George Mason.  He’s pro-intellectual property, and he gives this typical Randian line for it.  And Sheldon was relating to me his interaction with this guy and how the debate went.  It was quite fascinating.00:00:37Apparently, Mossoff really didn’t like getting questions and didn’t really know how to respond to a lot of questions to defend the IP view.  So I think that spurred Sheldon to pose this morning a question for Randian IP advocates.  It’s already got a lot of comments on the thread.  Check it out.  He basically said I want to ask the Randians if you believe that their property rights come from getting property in things that you value, which is their theory, which we’ll go into later today or next class.00:01:15Imagine a simple society where there’s a tribe and there’s one guy who explores – does a lot of investigation trying to figure out the best kind of fruit to eat, and he discovers that there’s a lot of berries around and people eat them.  Sometimes they do better.  Sometimes they get sick.  And he discovered there’s one berry that is really good, healthy, and nourishing, and he also discovers there’s a few that you should not eat.00:01:42And according to the Randian theory, it would seem like he has an intellectual property right in that knowledge, in that technique.  And so the question is do the other people in the village who have observed what he’s doing and they see which berries he’s eating and not eating now, do they have the right to eat the berries they want to eat and not eat they berries they want to eat?  Or do they have to get his permission first?  So he asked them this question as sort of a test of their theory, and of course the answer is, according to their theory, he would not be able – these people need his permission, which is, of course, absurd, which is the point of the hypo, to make them uncomfortable.  I don’t expect any serious Randians that would attempt to address it, but it’s interesting.00:02:23I had a post this week on Mises, and C4SIF, “Let’s Make Copyright Opt-OUT.”  I think I mentioned this already to the class before that copyright would be better if it was opt-in, which means you don’t get a copyright unless you apply for it, register for it, which used to be the law in the US until ’89, 1989.  But when we joined the Berne Convention, we got rid of formalities, so it’s automatic now.  And it would be better if we could get rid of that because it would solve this so-called orphan works problem.

1hr 32mins

17 Feb 2015

Rank #18

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KOL129 | Speech to Montessori Students: “The Story of Law: What Is Law, and Where Does it Come From?”

Kinsella on Liberty Podcast, Episode 129.This is a lesson/lecture I presented to a group of "Upper Elementary" Montessori students today at my son's school, The Post Oak School (Upper El includes 4th, 5th, and 6th grade students, and there were also a few third graders visiting from lower el, who are moving up next year). The students (25 or 30 or so) sat in a group at my feet, and were polite and interested the whole time. They asked many very intelligent and fun questions. I tried not to get too complicated, but did speak in fairly frank and sophisticated terms, tried not to talk down to them or dumb the talk down too much, and almost all of them hung in there till the end. The original plan was to speak for 40 or so minutes then take questions for another 15 or so, but we ended up going about an hour and 7 minutes, and then during lunch I had throng of students throwing more questions at me for another half hour. What amazing students; what an amazing school and educational approach. (This is one reason I love the Montessori approach; see my Montessori, Peace, and Libertarianism.) I included here only the main talk and Q&A, not the lunch banter. (An article prepared by 6th graders in the class, describing the lecture, appears in the first couple of pages of this issue of the class newsletter.)I think this talk is suitable for kids from ages 9 to 16 or so.The notes I used and handed out are reproduced below, with a few links added.For more background on these topics, see the links below, as well as my short article Legislation and Law in a Free Society, adapted from my 1995 JLS article Legislation and the Discovery of Law in a Free Society, which contains detailed references; and my more detailed speech The (State’s) Corruption of (Private) Law, from the 2012 Annual Meeting of the Property and Freedom Society.Update: Some people have asked me for further recommended readings, in legal history, etc. Unfortunately my library is packed away in boxes now for a renovation so I cannot peruse my legal theory/history titles, but from memory and some other notes I have, here are some suggested readings related to the talk. Some of my own personal favorites first: Bruno Leoni, Freedom and the Law Watson, Alan, The Importance of “Nutshells” Herman, Shael, The Louisiana Civil Code: A European Legacy for the United States Giovanni Sartori, Liberty and Law Alan Watson, Roman Law and Comparative Law The Story of Law, by John M. Zane (I haven't finished it yet but liked what read so far) (also online) Arthur Hogue, The Origins of the Common Law See also my post Book Recommendations: Private, International, and Common Law; Legal Theory, and also: The Greatest Libertarian Books and  Other Top Ten Lists of Libertarian Books.For some others: A History of American Law, 2d. ed., 1985, Lawrence M. Friedman Trakman, Leon E., The Law Merchant: The Evolution of Commercial Law Oliver Wendell Holmes, The Common Law Buckland, W.W. & Arnold D. McNair, Roman Law and Common Law: A Comparison in Outline The Bramble Bush: On Our Law and Its Study, by Karl N. Llewellyn Jhering, Dr. Rudolph von, The Struggle for Law Harold J. Berman, Law and Revolution: The Formation of the Western Legal Tradition. “The latter is one of the greatest books (not just of law, but of any subject) I’ve ever read; and the former is full of interesting argument and facts. Berman also has a sequel, published a few years ago, that carries the story through the Protestant Reformation, but I haven’t read it yet. I venture to recommend it, sight unseen, on the strength of my admiration of its predecessor.” (Thanks to Robert Higgs.) Alan Watson, The Making of the Civil Law Rosalyn Higgins: Problems and Process: International Law and How We Use It Giovanni Sartori, Democratic Theory Merryman, John Henry, The Civil Law Tradition: An Introduction to the Legal Systems of Western Europe and Latin America, 2d. ed.

1hr 7mins

22 May 2014

Rank #19

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KOL123 | Debate with Jan Helfeld on Anarchy vs. Limited Government

Kinsella on Liberty Podcast, Episode 123.Daniel Rothschild arranged for and moderated a debate between me and Objectivist/classical liberal (or whatever he is) Jan Helfeld. I lost my temper with the guy because I refused to let him do what I've seen him do to others—take the moral highground (which, as someone defending the state against me, a real libertarian, I was not going to let him do) and use his boring/bludgeoning "socratic" debate technique to try to boringly wear people down. I refused to give in to either, which resulted in the funny mess that you can see here.Of course, Helfeld never seriously tried to justify aggression or the state. He read from a prepared script, like a parakeet. And one of his arguments hinted at the idea that the state does commit aggression but that it is worth it because it prevents more serious aggression that would occur under a condition of anarchy; though he never made this argument explicitly. The other one suggested by him is that if Stephan Kinsella might in some conceivable emergency commit trespass to steal food, that means that aggression is not objectionable as a general matter, i.e. the state is justified in stealing $3trillion a year from US taxpayers because a starving Stephan Kinsella could conceivably be willing to break into a cabin in the woods to steal a can of beans. Again, Helfeld does not want to make this argument so explicitly because then it would rightly subject him to ridicule.My opening statement was originally lost due to technical issues and deleted by Helfeld, but James Cox somehow saved it and spliced it in with take two. The combined material is included here.https://youtu.be/DFYrrVSI4zIFor those who think I was too rude or disrespectful to Helfeld, I submit this video showing his interaction with Jeff Tucker:Update: See Robert Wenzel's post "Kinsela Constantly Insulted Me, Interrupted Me and Broke His Agreement" (Wenzel too stupid or sloppy to spell my last name right), and his post Is This What Kinsella Was Afraid Of?.

1hr 48mins

28 Apr 2014

Rank #20