Against Monopoly

defending the right to innovate

Monopoly corrupts. Absolute monopoly corrupts absolutely.

Copyright Notice: We don't think much of copyright, so you can do what you want with the content on this blog. Of course we are hungry for publicity, so we would be pleased if you avoided plagiarism and gave us credit for what we have written. We encourage you not to impose copyright restrictions on your "derivative" works, but we won't try to stop you. For the legally or statist minded, you can consider yourself subject to a Creative Commons Attribution License.


Proudhon: if IP is property, is it theft?

Here is a thought provoking article on how the distribution of income gives the top one percent such a disproportionate share of output link here. It finds the source in French anarchist Proudhon's cry that "Property is theft," and asserts "The biggest "theft" by the [richest] 1 percent has been of the primary source of wealth - knowledge - for its own benefit."

It goes on to make the point that knowledge is the possession of all and not to be kept locked up. The article doesn't say how much copyright and patents have to do with this, but it should have.


Proudhon also called for the abolition of property, saying that if the right of ownership is a natural right, it is an anti-social right. Proudhon also said that the only real property a worker could own were the rights to his tools, his method of production, and the output of his labor. By extension, that would mean that the songs on GNR's computer, being the output of a worker's labor, Proudhon would define as property.

Good man, that Proudhon.

Well, at least the local maximalist contingent is now being honest enough to almost explicitly acknowledge copyright as being a form of socialism...

What does Proudhon saying that the labor of workers is property have to do with Socialism? I thought Proudhon was an anarchist. In a way, Proudhon was the first Libertarian.

Proudhon would have said that the original copy of the music on GNR's computer was GNR's property and GNR, as the worker that created this labor output, had the sole right to that property. Once the music was sold, Proudhon would have also said that GNR has no further rights to the copy GNR sold. Thus, a third party could make a copy of the sold music, if the buyer would permit such copying. Proudhon would not have been a fan of copyright because that is a state mandated right and Proudhon was no fan of the state. Copyright most frequently seems to have been initiated by capitalist societies.

Submit Comment

Blog Post


Email (optional):

Your Humanity:

Prove you are human by retyping the anti-spam code.
For example if the code is unodosthreefour,
type 1234 in the textbox below.

Anti-spam Code



Most Recent Comments

Some history

Killing people with patents SYSSY

IIPA thinks open source equals piracy rerwerwerwer

IIPA thinks open source equals piracy Thank you for this great

Questions and Challenges For Defenders of the Current Copyright Regime Eu acho que os direitos autorais da invenção ou projeto devem ser

IIPA thinks open source equals piracy https://essaywritingsolutions.co.uk/

Your Compulsory Assignment for Tonight rerrerrr

IIPA thinks open source equals piracy rwerwewre

An analysis of patent trolls by a trademark lawyer

Questions and Challenges For Defenders of the Current Copyright Regime It is one of the finest websites I have stumbled upon. It is not only well developed, but has good

Killing people with patents I'm not really commenting the post, but rather asking if this blog is going to make a comeback

The right to rub smooth using a hardened steel tool with ridges Finally got around to looking at the comments, sorry for delay... Replying to Stephan: I'm sorry

Let's See: Pallas, Pan, Patents, Persephone, Perses, Poseidon, Prometheus... Seems like a kinda bizarre proposal to me. We just need to abolish the patent system, not replace

The right to rub smooth using a hardened steel tool with ridges I'm a bit confused by this--even if "hired to invent" went away, that would just change the default

Do we need a law? @ Alexander Baker: So basically, if I copy parts of 'Titus Andronicus' to a webpage without

Do we need a law? The issue is whether the crime is punished not who punishes it. If somebody robs our house we do

Do we need a law? 1. Plagiarism most certainly is illegal, it is called "copyright infringement". One very famous

Yet another proof of the inutility of copyright. The 9/11 Commission report cost $15,000,000 to produce, not counting the salaries of the authors.

WKRP In Cincinnati - Requiem For A Masterpiece P.S. The link to Amazon's WKRP product page:

WKRP In Cincinnati - Requiem For A Masterpiece Hopefully some very good news. Shout! Factory is releasing the entire series of WKRP in Cincinnati,