Exposing the madness wehind current economic thought

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Kenn Williamson on "Molyneux as Plagiarist"

Kenn Williamson makes some excellent points in a reply to Robert Wenzel:

I think that you are correct that it is sleazy but I don't think that it is theft. Theft implies expropriation which is impossible with infinitely reproducible goods such as ideas.

In my opinion, this distinction is at the core of the anti-IP argument. I think plagiarism and other IP issues are definitely immoral in that at the very least it's dishonest to claim someone else's work for your own. Also denying the original author credit for his work could be interpreted as damaging his reputation. But as a anarcho-capitalist, to me there is a difference between immoral and illegal. Theft is illegal and should be subject to the use of defensive violence against the aggressor in order to make the victim as whole as possible. Plagiarism and other IP violations are immoral and the perpetrators should be subject to ridicule and censure but not violence. This argument is similar to Lysander Spooner's view in Vices Are Not Crimes: A Vindication of Moral Liberty. I'd encourage everyone to check it out because it has some great ideas about how vices and other immoral behavior should be handled in civil society without the use of violence.

We should let Stephan Molyneux know that his behavior is reprehensible and we should not patronize his site or show.