I've prosecuted hundreds of patents, am a EE, and have been listed as inventor on a few as well. Masnick is right. You are wrong. The patent system should be abolished. It is nothing but the leftover of mercantalism and protectionism. The state granting monopoly privileges to protect favored applicants from competition has nothing to do with the free market, capitalism, or property rights; in fact it is contrary thereto.
The fact that the Constitution authorizes Congress to grant these horrible monopoly privileges does not mean Congress must do so, nor that it is justified. The Constitution has in the past and does not authorize (or permit) lots of unjust laws and policies, like chattel slavery, tariffs, a central bank, drug laws, war, income tax, prohibition, etc.
"We at Techdirt are among those constantly calling for a factual analysis of intellectual property and the laws that purport to rule it. "
You cannot analyze policy from a purely "factual" point of view. Hume was right about the disinction between is and ought, fact and value. You have to import some norms in order to critique a given norm. This is not a factual endeavor; it is normative, value-laden. Not to say facts are irrelevant; but they are subsidiary to normative concerns.
It's just a way of stating who has the burden of proof: the person challenging the validity of the patent has the burden of proving that it should not have been issued by the PTO. The only way to change this burden, and get rid of the presumption of validity, is to move to some kind of petty patent system where patents are not examined by the PTO but are only reviewed for formal considerations. Then the patentee would have to establish its validity when it sues. This might be an improvement in the law; not sure. In any case, it's moot, since any such change to patent law is viewed as "radical" and would never happen.
Yes,t he only way to make taxes more fair is to lower them. Lower the rates. That is why the politicians distract us with talk of tax simplification, etc. THey don't want to lower revenues--or spending.
Mudlock: "You mock faux-neutrality, and then trot out the most right-wing talking point; that no taxes should ever be increased."
But I am not pretending to say it as an economist. Moreover, this is not a right wing view at all. The right wing is not opposed to taxes. How else will they fund their huge military spending or pay for the secret police and drug prisons?
"This isn't *an* economist. This is a very *diverse group* of economist and the things they can agree on. There are economist who very much think government spending being as high as it is is not inherently bad."
Still. Most economists are as socialist as the typical moron voter and product of public schools. The main ones we should listen to are adherents of the Austrian school of economics.
the problem is there is scientism at work here: economists pretending to be "neutral" and "scientific" in trotting out policy and normative proposals. You cannot do this as an economist; you have to base it on some other value or normative ideas (see Hume's is-ought dichotomy).
No tax should be increased--not carbon taxes, and not by eliminating deductions. That is just a tax increase. The problem is state regulation and spending. That needs to be cut. The idea to "replace" the income tax with a consumption tax is ridiculous; the problem is not the form of tax: it is the amount. Just lower income tax rates. Cut them by half. Whatever. And cut spending to match.
Yes,, marijjuanaa shouuld be legalized, but so should all druugs. And of course pateent and copyright shoulld be abolished.
Pollitics haas always beenn brokeen: itt is corrruupt by itts nature.
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The Field and the Rules, Not the Game
"A tax free society can't work, period."
is this supposed to be an argument for theft? What exactly is it? If some random nym just asserts "An X-free society can't 'work'" then a law mandating X is justified? Wow, I must have missed that class in school.
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The Field and the Rules, Not the Game
the house is a scarce resource. by its nature it can be used only by one person, without violent conflict over it; so property rights allocate an owner. How? by asking: who was the first person to use the previously unowned resources that constitute the house? And has he contractually given it to anyone else? That's how we determine who owns any particular scarce resource.
Owning a song really means you can tell others how not to use their already-owned property. It's a negative servitude granted by the state, not by the owner. It's just theft of his property rights.
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The Field and the Rules, Not the Game
Androdynous Cowherd: You are right to say that IP is not a legitimate property right. It is an "exception" to property rights--i.e., it is contrary to property rights, and thus to justice.
However you are wrong to say that some exceptions are good, or that laws against murder are exceptions. You write:
"Of course, exceptions to property rights aren't inherently bad. The law against murder limits my right to point a gun I bought at someone and pull its trigger, for example, and the tax law provides for the common defense, maintenance of shared infrastructure, and the like -- taxes pay for the stadium and field and referees of the game that is a capitalist economy, and without which it would quickly become an oligarchist economy that was much less productive instead."
As for the other comments: you cannot demonstrate that taxation (which is theft) is ever justified. Aggression simply can never be justified. But it is not aggression to prohibit murder. Murder is aggression. Prohibiting it is not aggression.
The reason we have the state is smug statist technocrats like you who mock the complaints of those that the state violates. They rob on the order of a million dollars from me every year. I guess sanctimonious liberals can dismiss these complaints as "petulant". I guess it makes you feel better for condoning violence and theft.
You say you've tried to be "pleasant"; that is fine, but what I want is for the state, and people like you, to not want to take my stuff from me by threat of force; not to threaten my children with being drafted to fight in wars; not to drop bombs on brown people in the Middle East; not to cause poverty and unemployment and misery with the fed, the business cycle, minimum wage, etc. I want action--or rather, lack of action--not pleasantries.
It is uncharitable and sad for you to use "petulant child" or "tinfoil" etc. to dismiss as loony or childish, the legitimate complaints of an erstwhile free man who is robbed on a daily basis by the criminal state. You can dismiss the people that are victims of the state you apparently favor, but this does not mean their complaints are not justified. As Papinian said, it is easier to commit murder than to justify it.
As for your ridiculous and belittling insinuations of medication and insanity--unless you were born into wealth or are some hypersuccessful genius it is highly, highly unlikely my achievements in career, money, family, life, etc., are anything you could look down on.
"...I sincerely do apologize for my snark and sarcasm; I don't have an excuse for turning an innocuous question ("where are you?") into a lame comment saying that your viewpoint might be incorrect (or something like that)."
Okay by me. But I'd prefer you not favor policies that take money property or liberty from me.
"Yes, my real name is in fact Prashanth. It is comes from a word of Sanskritic origin meaning "peace", so "Prashanth" as a name means "one who is peaceful"."
I am for peace too. It's one of the main tenets of libertarianism and my group libertarian blog www.libertarianstandard.com. The thing is, anyone who is sincerely and genuinely in favor of peace, and who has a modicum of consistency and economic literacy, has to realize that most (if not all) state policies and laws amount to the use of violent force and aggression against innocent people. That is the opposite of peace.
"This particular comment of yours seems to be rather over-the-top in its anger and vitriol against me, other commenters who don't necessarily agree with the Austrian school of economics, and the government in general,"
I don't mind people who disagree with me. But the government does more than this: it kills people with bombs. It jails people who don't pay taxes or who use unapproved drugs. The state robs me every g*ddamned day. It threatens me and my loved ones. It is evil to the core. Someone really valuing "peace" would recognize this. How can someone who is in favor of peace be on the side of a criminal organization the kidnaps, murders, enslaves, bombs, and robs on literally daily basis on a scale unknown in the history of the world?
"By the way, if you want to quit your job because you either have made your fortune or you are willing to depend upon either the state or the kindness of others, that is totally up to you. No one is stopping you from retiring/quitting your job early. You'll just have to have some sort of safety net to be able to subsist, either from your own savings or from someone else."
Yes, well your criminal state has robbed literally millions from me over the last 15 or so years, and if they had not, I could retire right now. So thanks to your state for robbing decades of my life and my freedom.
") I hope that you aren't having problems at home or work, and I hope that you aren't having any financial or other troubles. Moreover, I hope that whatever may make you angry outside of TechDirt isn't the cause of your rather vitriolic comments. If you are having issues, please do take a holiday or something, get some rest, perhaps take an aspirin, and tell your family and friends how much you love and appreciate them"
I am actually very well off and successful, and have managed to do this despite the state's predations. This does not justify what your criminal state does to me or to others, though I am starting to think what it does to its supporters is at least half-justified.
"Considering that we seem to agree on a lot of things that come up on TechDirt, it's really a shame that my little comment about antitrust legislation had to lead to this point."
People ought to know what they are talking about before mouthing off on important policy issues in public. My grandma doesn't know anything about this stuff but doesn't presume to mouth off in public about it, either.
"Prashanth" (if that is a real name) pretends to ask a question by blurting out: "PS: Isn't it odd that Mr. Kinsella left this discussion rather early? (Teehee!)".
Is there a particular question? The thing is, I am 46 and not yet retired, because your criminal state gangs have preveneted it, so my time is not as open as I'd like. But your snarkiness and sarcasm are not coherent arguments for the state. Go to bed tonight realizing that you can be a punk and smartass, but that this does not justify the horrible invasions of rights that are perpetrated on innocent people in your name, with your authority. For shame.
Musing "I don't think that monopolies are a good thing for consumers" is not the way to figure out what laws or just or not. You don't just toss of this kind of stuff, implicitly assuming that an unprincipled, incoherent, ad hoc consequentialist or utilitarian standard is the appropriate one for justifying the use of force against people. Antitrust law is wrong, because it is the initiation of violence against people who have not initiated violence against anyone else. Antitrust law is theft. It is like taxation or other forms of regulation. the state has no right to tell people waht to do with their property, so long as they are not violating others' rights. If one company acquires a monopolisitc position because consumers voluntarily pay them money for providing them with services or goods they value, then no one's rights are violated. The state has no right to step in. At all. If two companies collude to set prices, that is their right. If you don't want to guy from them, don't. You don't have a right to their products or for them to make an offer. The free market, and justice, and liberty, are about respecting people's property rights. so long as people do not commit acts of aggression they should be left alone by the state and the law. Just because some liberal activist law professor or state-paid economist says it's "bad for social welfare" if peopl "are allowed" to have "monopolies," this is no justification for the armed thugs of the state to threaten some peaceful businessmen with imprisonment. Antitrust law is utterly and completely evil.
Richard: Just because some "rules are needed" for a free market to function does not mean "anything goes." In fact the rules needed are fairly simple: define and respect property rights and contracts. Antitrust law is unsupported by sound economic theory and also is immoral as it punishes companies for charging too much (monopolization), too little (predatory price cutting), or the same as others (collusion). This lets the state cherry pick who it wants to persecute. And the economics make no sense whatsoever. There is no objective way to define "the relevant market." There are innumerable other problems with it as shown by scholars like D.T. Armentano , Murray rothbard, and even Alan Greenspan and Robert Bork. http://mises.org/daily/4397/ http://mises.org/daily/2694 http://mises.org/daily/5005/Alan-Greenspan-Was-Right-About-Antitrust-Anyway
"Anti-trust laws, properly formulated, do not punish companies for being too successful. What they do is to prevent those companies from turning financial success into political power that they can use to entrench their position beyond what they could achieve using honest market forces alone."
Think about what you said: it's about preventing them from getting political power. Now this is actually not true--that's not the aim of antitrust law. But if it were, you want to trust the state itself, to enact laws limiting corporate power, to ... prevent corporations from getting state power. Why doesn't the state just pass a law addressing this very issue, instead of using antitrust law as the excuse? The state could limits its own power to be bought by corporations, or limit teh ability of corporations to bribe the state. The solution to the problem that large companies get in bed with the state is to limit the power of the state in the first place, not to hobble companies so that they never become rich or successful enough to have enough money to buy politicians!
"Similarly it is a mistake to see minimum wage and other employee protection laws as helping big business at the expense of small."
It is not a mistake at all; it is reality. Take a look at my previous link where I link to a discussion about Rothbard and Kolko on this. Just b/c state propaganda characterizes its policies a certain way does not mean it is so.
"What these laws should do is to prevent business from exploiting its workforce and then externalising the human cost so that the rest of society has to pick up the pieces. The reason such laws can appear to favour big business over small is not in their essence but rather in the bureaucratic means that are employed to implement them."
This is not true. this is in fact the essence of such laws. Walmart, for example, recently lobbied for an increase in the minimum wage. The reason is walmart already pays its employees above minimum wage. So it would not be hurt by an increase. But the increase would hurt smaller competitors of Walmart. this kind of thing is rife in the history of such legislation. Not to mention that federal minimum wage law is blatantly unconstitutional, since there is no enumerated power authorizing Congress to legislate in this area.
Prashanth, see the comments about Rothbard and Kolko here -- http://archive.mises.org/14623/state-antitrust-anti-monopoly-law-versus-state-ip-pro-monopoly-law/ -- it is true that laws like antitrust, minimum wage, pro-union laws, etc., which are normally said to be "against business", actually help big business at the expense of smaller businesses. They help to increase costs for newcomers etc. and entrench oligopolistic entrenched firms. They, like patent and copyright, are anticompetitive. The only true monopoly is the state's, yet the antitrust laws do not apply to them. Antitrust law should be abolished. It is anti-free market. It punishes companies that are too successful, which is ridiculous.