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Against Monopoly

defending the right to innovate

Blocking Technology

Monopoly corrupts. Absolute monopoly corrupts absolutely.





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There's a big difference between a noncompete and government mandated IP laws. In the former the parties both agree to enter into the relationship in exchange for a mutually beneficial situation (employer gets worker, worker gets pay).

The laws can be enforced against your will. That's a significant difference.

It is possible to waive Intellectual Privileges. It is still possible to agree not to have IP restrictions if it is mutually beneficial. It is also possible, if anti-trust laws don't prevent it, to agree not to compete when buying art.

For me the fact that it is possible to contract in and out of Intellectual Privilege restrictions is very confusing. If Intellectual Privilege hampers innovation, it should be mutually beneficial to contract out of the system.

We already see this happening in some cases, notably copyleft contracts like the GPL. Again I wonder why the practice is not more widespread. Has it not yet been discovered by the rest? Left to itself, would the free market have contracted into IP in some cases?

Freedom to contract does not solve the problem of monopoly. Monopoly is reinforced when you and I write a collusive contract agreeing to charge a higher price to a third person who isn't a party to the contract. Noncompete agreements and other private contracts work the same way as government "mandated" intellectual property: they are noncompetitive agreements. Here the third party is the prospective future employer.
In this case, we don't both make a profit. I am taken advantage as much as anybody else. In a sense, I am, by choosing to buy from the monopoly instead of choosing a free alternative, voluntarily trading away my liberties in return for the art it makes.

I wonder, if people (I am not alone) so readily trade these liberties away, how are we EVER going to stop intellectual monopoly? Is the only "solution" to ban voluntary agreement?

Also, in what ways are our current Intellectual Privilege laws worse than buying subject to contract? Do we gain a lot by moving to contracts from Intellectual Privilege?

You and I write a contract agreeing to split the monopoly profit derived by charging colluding to charge a high price to people who aren't party to the contract. There is nothing to say you can't pay me extra if I agree to sign a no-compete agreement: and if you want me to sign it, then that's exactly what you have to do.
If the publisher were forced to put the art on the market without monopoly protection, then society would win. We'd have low prices and low costs of innovating. So, what we need is not monopoly protection but precisely the opposite, making monopoly illegal. Right?

The problem, then, is not so much the idea of Intellectual Privilege regulation but market failure in the form of monopoly, that we want government to correct.

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