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Stephan Kinsella
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NymWPA: "You have done everything possible to divert the conversation away from the merits. Go back and answer my questions regarding your logic fallacies. But, you are like all academics that get on this board. The game is to pretend to be on the high horse and then when you are losing start claiming that we are losers and illiterate." I am waiting for a coherent argument in favor of IP. You have not presented one yet. This is telling. "Face it, Stephan, you are full of it. Your arguments are filled with logic fallacies." Where is your argument for IP? "I've been an adjunct professor, an engineer, inventor, patent attorney, a businessperson, and many more things as well." I seriously doubt you have ever been a real adjunct professor or patent attorney or businessperson. But no matter. "As for the poseur comment that is certainly unfair. You started with the appeal to authority---not me. I merely responded to let you know that not only is that a logic fallacy, but you aren't anymore of an authority than I am." I never claim to be right as an authority. "And I am still sure that I outscored you on standardized tests. So, you can pack away your IQ claims as well." I highly doubt it. You are just some cowardly nobody nym, after all. "Why is it that your ilk are always such dirty fighters? The funny thing is that you think your vanity press publications have more weight than a blog post." Oxford U. Press is a vanity press now? ho-kayyyy Do you have coherent argument for IP law?
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anon: "NWPA may have his sky is falling moments, but you have your head up your @$$." This is not an argument for the legitimacy of the patent system. "Your shtick is well known, and you have zero credibility." This is not an argument for the legitimacy of the patent system. My argument is not based on my 'credibility." NWPA is the one who asked my credentials or my experience with patent attorneys, evidently not being perspicacious enough to do a quick google search to realize that I am already a very experienced one. "You throw around "burden of proof" - and wrongly so. You want to change to a no-IP system. The burden of proof is on you. I have read what you have offered as "proof" - it is not convincing. It's flaws have been well documented." Its. Not It's. And what exactly are the "flaws"? "Here's a simple exercise for you: perhaps you want to lead the pack of "nym/trolls" that post on occasion here in finding that one single example of a modern advanced society that has seen the light of your dogma and chucked their IP systems. Just one that has done as you desired - let's see that empirical result. Just one." You might as well ask me to find an example of a modern industrial economy that has no tariffs, drug laws, or tax system--and then credit these noxious policies with the prosperity.
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Typos are one thing. I am on an ipad. Etc. Writing "out scored" is not a typo. It is an indication of stupidity. Like writing it's for its, or they're for their. These are not typos. They betray an essential illiteracy. The type that makes claims to being an intellectual, scholar, or even good patent attorney laughable.
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NWPA: "Stephan, the smell of defeat is often the other side making an appeal to authority." I made no appeal to authority. "You haven't address my evidence. The fact is that the evidence is overwhelming that patents promote innovation. Why there aren't more studies to this effect, I do not know. I know I could design a study to prove as much." Woulda coulda shoulda. I did address your feeble attempt at "evidence". It is not a fact at all that there is overwhelming evidence. Did you even look at the post I linked showing dozens of studies all leaning against patents? "Hmm...well, you seem to have conceded that patents do promote innovation but that they are against property rights. Maybe." No, I have not. I do not think patent promote innovation. I think they are unjust and contrary to property rights. I also think they hinder, not promote, innovation. And even if patents could be shown to promote innovation in some narrow areas, the cost is not worth it. "What I see is people that "invent" something after having seen the invention and forgotten about it." Sometimes. So what? there is nothing wrong with learning, with competition or emulation. " I have also desperately tried to innovate and failed and then seen others succeed only to have many take their invention and claim that it was obvious or that they had invented it." You cannot "take" someone's invention. You can only copy it or emulate it or build on it. Dishonestly claiming you were the first one to come up with an innovation is just dishonesty and has nothing to do with patent or copyright. Patent and copyrihgt would prohibit people from using public information *even if* they were perfeclty honest about the source of the ideas employed. This is another dishonest red herring of IP advocates--to mix in claims of "plagiarism" which IP has nothing to do with. "The fact is that Microsoft research labs is not a study but evidence. It is very hard to show causation in these cases." You don't say. " But, the number of Microsoft research labs and sales of Motorollas is enormous. I have also worked at innovation centers of corporations and know they wouldn't be there but for patents." Yes, lots of things would not exist but for state interference. So what? "I will also note that I have not seen a study or paper that patents do not promote innovation that does not contain inaccuracies that render the study invalid and often those inaccuracies appear to be intentional." The things is: if you and your kind, who have claimed for a century or more that patents do promote innovation and implicitly cliam that the value of these innovations outweigh the costs of the system, cannot produce in 200+ years a systematic study demonstrating this claim, that you have failed to justify your case. The rest is just thrashing about in an attempt to deny this failure.
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NWPA: "And, Stephan, sorry but I am intimidated by academic qualifications. I've gone to some of the best schools and I am sure probably out scored you in standardized tests, but I have focused on practical accomplishments and not academic papers." It is highly doubtful someone dull enough to write "out scored" instead of "outscored" did better than me on ... anything--but this is al irrelevant. As for practical accomplishments I was partner at a top 100 law firm, an adjunct law professor, and GC of a high tech company. And secure enough to use my real name. It is highly you are at best some mediocre poseur-loser, but-- again, this is irrelevant. i do not rest my critique of IP on my credentials. In fact I think anyone of general intelligence and honesty can understand this.
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"So, Stephan, you didn't address my issues at all." yes, I did--very directly. "Nice position you have there. Prove that patents promote innovation or they don't. OK." I am not an empiricist. I don't agree this is the way to go about these normative issues. I prefer to be principled and promote property rights. It is clear that IP undermines property rights. But most people today think in an unprincipled, utilitarian fashion, including most IP advocates, who assert that a patent system leads to overall weatlh gains in the form of increased innovation that has a marginal value substantially greater than the costs of the system. Yet they do not attempt to prove this case, and in fact the studies that do exist indicate the opposite is the case. "I am a patent attorney and I just gave you two very strong pieces of evidence that patents promote innovation. Microsoft's research labs and the sale of Motorolla. You ignored them." That is not evidence -- it's just anecdotal, not quantified at all. Further, you have not attempted to show that the value of this alleged innovation is greater than the cost of the patent system. "We have no arguments? Yes, tell us of the countries without patents and how well they are doing." Again, you evidently are totally unfamiliar with the commonplace observation that correlation does not imply causation. " Basically, what you are doing is taking something that has been a core part of our system for hundreds of years and saying that you don't believe it works." Actually, I say that it unjust, not that it "doesn't work." It is you unprincipled, "pragmatic" types who say that it "works" without proving that it does, even by your own flawed utilitarian standards. " The onus is on you." It is not, but I have met it anyway, in spades. "Innovation has worked in this country for hundreds of years." Yes, despite the patent system. "You are typical of your ilk. I write papers in law journals so I know what I am talking about." I have never heard of a law review that published a paper by a nym called "NWPA". " What review does you law journal article get? Citation checks where a student checks to see if the citation is remotely related to what it is supposed to be a citation to. What a joke. The part of system that is broken is accountability for people like you." Have you even done a simple google search to see who you are dealing with, son? and check the publications page. Not that this is some credentials battle. You guys flounder around using whatever little argument you have at hand, switching from one to the other, because you have no real argument to defend the fascist system of patent that you for some reason feel like pretending to support.
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Bizarre set of comments by "NWPA," whoever this nym/troll is. "So, the lack of evidence (according to your unprofessional and sanctionable tripe) equates to patents being a net drag? OK. So, you put a clear logical fallacy as the basis of your paper. So, your credibility is total gone." I am not a utilitarian or empiricist. But those who argue for patents based on utilitarian reasons have the burden of proving their case. they have not and apparently cannot. See my article There’s No Such Thing as a Free Patent It is not my fault that the empirical studies of the type favored by IP proponents do not prove what they say it does. "Please disclose your sources of income so we can determine whether or not you are being paid for your comments. You probably are given your brazen logical fallacy." I am a practicing patent lawyer. I've made a lot of money off of the system. If I had my way, and the patent system was abolished, I would personally be worse off. I am totally opposed to patent and copyright. They are antithetical to private property rights and free markets. "There is plenty of evidence that patents help innovation." No, there is not. "Why did Microsoft build a research facility? Why was Motorolla bought and not put into bankruptcy? Etc... " Questions are not arguments. And even if you show a particular firm benefits from patents that does not show that it promotes innovation or that it is worth the cost. "The fact is there is overwhelming evidence that patents promote innovation." Where is the evidence? Can you point me to a single clear, incontrovertible empirical study that shows this? "And, if you ask patent attorneys (what patent attorneys have you asked? I will straight up say that you are a liar) they will give you lots of evidence." I am a patent attorney. I talk to fellow patent lawyers often. I have never heard one even attempt to show that there is evidence that patents promote innovation. At most you hear them repeat trite bromides they heard someone repeat in law school, nonsense like "the US is prosperous and has always had a patent system--therefore patents are the cause of our prosperity." Correlation is not causation, helloooo "Additionally, what do you know about innovation? Please tell us what experience you have in innovation. We know that you don't understand logic, or have no morals, or more likely both." Just a patentee and patent attorney for 20 years. "And, let's remember putz brain, that your "paper" has no more credibility than a blog post. It has gone through no peer review and apparently from what we have seen of Lemley there is no consequence to intentionally misrepresenting facts in a law journal article." I have authored many peer reviewed papers and my papers are not self-published. I have no idea what you are talking about. I've been published in academic law reviews, economics journals, mainstream presses like Oxford and West. "Vanity press is the best description of what you "paper" is and we all know the best use for your "paper" is in the water closet." You see, this is why people like you are losing the IP argument--you have no arguments whatsoever. Pathetic, scrambling "arguments" like this display to the world that you are intellectually bankrupt. "And, boy, I doubt you have the integrity to take on me on this blog. I will hand your empty head back on a platter like have every other academic that comes on here. You will suddenly realize that facts matter and you can't hide behind your vanity press and cadre of buddies in wealth gathering, i.e. the intellectual prostitutes of our time." lolwhut "What a joke you are. Lies, logical fallacies, vanity press, etc. You should be pillared along with Lemley and Richard Stern. Tell us, boy, is a math equation a natural law? Boy." lolwhut? what a joke nyms can be.
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" all available systematic evidence shows that gene patents do not inhibit but instead spur innovation. " It would be a first, then. See my post The Overwhelming Empirical Case Against Patent and Copyright; and Legal Scholars: Thumbs Down on Patent and Copyright.
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You get sued for making, using, selling, or importing a device that infringes on another's patent. As I just explained, just b/c you innovate does not mean your innovation does not also infringe someone's patent. In fact since all innovation, and I mean all innovation, builds on and borrows from previous ideas, then only that innovation which builds on stuff more than 17 years old, is free from suit. If you take into account anything that has arisen in the last 17 years, it's possible for your innovation to be infringing, as well as to qualify for its own patent protection. I realize that this is arcane, and nonspecialists have a hard time grokking all this. However, this is more reason to be cautious in pontificating about complicated matters you do not undersatnd, and even more reason to be humble and cautious before talking about serious policy matters that depend on a correct understanding of the law that you think you understand and think that you are in favor of. Further: what is wrong wiht copying? Suppose you widen the aisles in your grocery store to attract customers. Suppose you offer computer support service with your computer sales? Now if these things are popular with customers, you make a profit--and the profit you make attracts competitors like chum in the water attracts sharks. That is the way the free market is supposed to work: you do something that is unexpected, and thus you make an above-interest-rate level of "profit"--and remember, profit is a temporary aberration that is supposed to be driven back down towards the natural interest rate, after competition is attracted. When this happens, vendors, manufacturers, entrepreneurs, innovators, etc., have to keep improving the product or service offered to consumers, to keep revving up their profit margins. This is the way the market works. Thsi is exaclty why the patent monopoly, specifically designed to protect people from competition, bogs down the free market dynamic competition/allocation process. It is a slower version of mercantilism or protectionism. It is like pouring molasses all over the economy, to "slow things down." It's like the normal interaction and speed of the free market bugs entrenched conservative interests. Why should they have to work so hard to maintain their temporary profit margins? Shouldn't they be able to double it or add a decade to it? AFter all, fair is fair!
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There is nothing wrong with copying. Or learning. Or emulation. Or competing. Not everying has to be innovation, and even innovation involves copying, borrowing, and building on previous insights others had. See e.g.
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"This observation is that in all the different countries in the world, we have an extremely wide variety of different types of governments and economic systems. It would seem to me if intellectual property "harmed[ed] economic production and innovation and human freedom," then at least one country would have eliminated them." Here is how it seems to me. The patent system is an obvious, prima facie infringement on liberty and property rights and competition and the free market. If you want to argue that laws the violate property rights etc. are okay, as long as they result in net benefit, you have the burden of establishing this. Isnt this fair, as a general approach? And you seem to think that just pointing to recent history does the trick--a handwave. It does not. Let me explain why. First, you have no evidence that patents have been necessary for or even stimulated any net innovation at all. You cannot just assume this, based on the fact that the experts have not changed their laws. You cannot just assume this because the west is prosperous--that is mistaking correlation for causation. And even if you could show net innovation, you have to show the cost is worth it. For example NASA probably has resulted in useful innovations on net (maybe). But are they worth the NASA budget? Who knows? It seems to me the burden is on you guys to find this out. Otherwise why would you even support the patent system, if you really have no good data to show that it's worth it? Let me ask you: suppose we had a good study, and it concluded that the patent system produced $2B of additional innovation, but cost $30B. Would you still be in favor of it? Or what if it showed that patents depress overall innovation, at $17B per year, in addition to a cost or $30B? Would you be in favor? I suspect not--which means your empirical approach depends on the data. But you guys have no data. You do NOT KNOW. But why are you still in favor of the system? Should the patent term be 5 years? 2? 17? 20? 75? What? Zero? "These days, you don't see many countries warring against one another, but you see a lot of economic warfare. In today's world, the winners and losers are largely determined based upon their economies. As such, why wouldn't a country eliminate intellectual property if that is what it took to move themselves up the economic ladder? As far as I know, over the last century, every modern country in the world has an intellectual property system. Are you telling me that the intellectual property attorneys in each and every one of these countries have so much sway that they can lobby all of the countries to go against the respective country's own best interest for all this time? If your presumption is correct (IP is bad for economic production), then somebody would have eliminated it. Why haven't they?" Instead of asking questions, why don't you find an argument for IP? It is telling that you IP shills never have an argument for it. It is always bash the bearer of bad news, etc. It is fine to have qustions. It is fine to admit you are ignorant. It is fine to admit you don't understand complicated history or political economics. Nor did my 86 year old country grandma. But she did not run around preening and pontificating on issues beyond her ken. "You get all hung it with the costs of intellectual property without attempting to understand the benefits." By all means, please quantify these for us! " The problem with the "no intellectual property philosophy" is that it provides ZERO protection for the creators of ideas and content." This is false. But you are not intrested in really looking into this issue--as I was. You have a set position or vested interest, and are looking to just bash anyone who opposes it. "You admit that "transforming already-existing, already-owned scarce material, into more valuable arrangements, does in fact create wealth." Given that admission, how does your side answer the question "how do you give credit for the person that created the wealth?" A pat on the back? An "atta boy!!!"?" I'm not a fascist or central planner, so "I" or "my system" does not "give credit" to people. IT lets the market function. YOu reallly have no idea what you are talking about. I suggest honest people look into this and reflect seriously before pontificating on matters beyond their ken.
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Tokyo, Apple and other companies like Microsoft use patent, as well as copyright, to charge higher prices than they otherwise could, and to restrict competition. So it is doubtlessly true that some portion of profits of Apple and Microsoft are greater than they would be in a free market (on the other hand, in a free market, there would be no taxes and economic productivity would be thru the roof, so firms would also be more profitable, so who knows the net). I've argued with my fellow left-libertarians about this. They seem to think that basically any corporation--surely the Fortune 500--are all basically "part of the state," as a state university or the post office is. I think this is a completely unsupportable view. Basically Apple was a private company in an unfree world; its own actions were distorted by the effect of IP law and other state regulations, but it succeeded despite them and I don't think for one second Apple could not have been successful sans patent and copyright law. Sure, they could not have sued Franklin Ace in 1984 (Franklin's Apple II+ clone was my first computer), or other clones. It would be harder to keep competitors from chipping away at a "closed" system as Apple relies on now. But their main market was hardware; just as you can sell a Mercedes at a premium because it is well designed, so Apple could still do great in its business, I believe. I.e., its profits are not dependent on state favoritism and IP law. I and others discuss some of this in my post Apple vs. Microsoft: Which Benefits more from Intellectual Property?; and there is a discussion going on now or in recent days about the Fortune 500 issue between left libertarians and others at Roderick Long's post Double Standard.
It seems to me Pinker's point about the state is a bit confused, but is somewhat compatible with anarcho-libertarian ideas: the development of some institutional legal systems that are more or less effective at prohibiting private interpersonal crime and violence may help achieve the effect he is getting at, even if it could be done better with a minimal state or no state. Although he does not explain, as far as I can see, why 1870 or whatever finally saw a dramatic improvement in such institutions.
Troy, Everyone uses government money. That does not make them as bad as the banksters. The state does not just "give permission" to "cronies" to drill--it negotiates leases with companies that have the expertise, and takes a hefty cut. The oil & gas companies have to pay a huge cut of their sales to the state-landlord, just as they do when negotiating with private surface owners of private lands. What are they supposed to do--not lease from the feds because this is "unfair" to others who do not lease from the feds? In any case, I did not see this criticism made of the upstream oil & gas companies in the linked article--its main focus was how the state's regulators tend to have conflicts of interest. (as far as I could tell; the piece somewhat rambled)
Steve, not sure I see how this is like the banking industry. The state has nationalized the minerals under the outer continental shelf (OCS) by fiat, much like they expropriated the airwaves in the early 20th century. On private land in the States, landowners own it and lease the oil & gas to companies. Why is "regulation" or "oversight" needed here? In the OCS the feds are the landlord. Why they are not blamed for the oil spills of their tenant, BP, is a mystery. In any case, the corruption the article points out, as far as i can see, are on the state's side: the inspectors have conflicts of interest. I don't see how this is corporatism. At most the corporations are rationally trying to protect themselves from regulation by the state. Why does the state have a right to regulate them at all? The state ought to privatize the OCS, get out of leasing altogether, and get out of regulating companies in the first place.
Steve, in what way is GJ better than RP on social issues? From what I've seen, overall, RP is more libertarian on most issues, social and economic, than GJ. I agree he is about the best mainstream-ish candidate we can expect, but he is worse on war and other issues than Ron Paul. Further, realistically, he and RP are both fringe candidates. Romney is gonna get it, so this is all moot, I fear.
My two cents: "It's Not Just About Markets" -- statements like these are frustrating for ambiguity and the potential for equivocation. "It"--waht does "it" refer to? WHAT is "not just about markets"? Markets are just about markets. So what? Libertarians have never pretended to care ONLY about markets, or even liberty, for that matter. There is an implicit, common-sense "thickness" to any specialized inquiry or discipline: the recognition that the questioner is an actor in society with needs and values other than those of the discipline itself. Yawn. We know this. So we libertarians are not "just" libertarians. Yeah. We know. So?
If I'm not mistaken this young lady attends(attended) a local Montessori high school (School of the Woods) here in Houston, where there is a coterie of Austro-libertarian students as influenced by a few teachers there (and a gaggle of them apparently were taken to a recent Austrian Scholars Conference at the Mises Institute in Auburn). Another testament to the Montessori method.
Toggle Commented Jan 6, 2011 on The Hayek Love Song at Coordination Problem
Steve, as a friend told me, "If socialized medicine is bad, how does one explain the success of the Canadian system?
Steve, I actually used to own a mckenzie bros album featuring geddy lee--he even sang a song "Get Out!" on it. Btw what is the "tin foil hat" thing?
Ross, "decentralized monetary system served Canada pretty well until it was forced by the international community to adopt a central bank" Could you elaborate on how this happened or provide a link explaining it?
Professor Selgin, that is not my motive, I assure you. I have never argued that FRB is inherently fraudulent nor that it should be outlawed. As for consumers choosing FRB, I was responding to Steve Horwitz's comment which I assumed concerned today's situation. I was not clear he was talking about former practices. I assume we all agree that consumers choosing FRB accounts now proves nothing. I did not and have never weighed in on the supposed historical cases that demonstrate FRB is in fact preferred. There are arguments for why these examples do not prove what they are said to--and there are counterarguments. But so what? At most these arguments about historical practices only support predictions about what practices are likely in the future. Do we really need to argue based on differences in prediction? I agree with Guido Huelsmann in "Has Fractional-Reserve Banking Really Passed the Market Test?" ( ) that notes issued by FRFB's are IOUs; and I agree with him that IOUs can only serve as media of exchange, but only in special limited cases of limited scope and extent. But how limited? Who can say? As a libertarian my main interest is in eliminating deposit insurance, and ensuring that the nature of the banking relationship is clear to the customer. I have not been persuaded there is any economic problem that FRFB is a solution to, but if I am wrong, then in a free market, my error would soon be apparent. Disagreements on economic aspects of FRFB primarily manifest themselves in different predictions about what type of banking practice would be common or preferred by customers in a free market--seems to me we don't all have to have the same predictions. We can work together to achieve a free system in which we can all watch and see whose predictions are borne out.
Steve, I didn't see a link so I went to I saw nothing on the home page so I clicked events. I didn't see it there either. Finally after googling I found it -- I assume you mean this. This is great info--should be more prominently displayed and more easily findable. Anyway it looks great--I'd like to watch or at least listen to the podcast later--I can't find the links for that either. Do you know where they are? Thanks Stephan
Toggle Commented Aug 3, 2010 on First Full Day of FEE at Coordination Problem
Jonathan: "Stephan: if you're not ignoring the stipulation, then I don't understand why you don't see a problem. I hold the position that Universities should make it a policy to not take donations with certain kinds of stipulations." I don't know if I disagree with this. I still don't see that it's a problem. A makes an offer; B rejects it. No problem. but someone above seemed to say that the department may be "unable" to say "no" for financial reasons. Well.... I mean what can you say. All education should be totally private, of course, and then it's up to the school's Board to determine what its policies are. This just seems a private policy decision to me. Schools that adopt reasonable policies will prosper in the long run. Etc.
Jonathan, I'm not ignoring the stipulations. I don't see how that affects my points. Richard: if a department doens't refuse it, they don't refuse it. That's on them, it seems to me. Or are you saying the offer should not be made? That the outside donor is doing something... what, immoral? by making an offer? Why? The college can just turn it down.