IP rights discussion


Just hoping to get some other points of view.

The Slashdot crowd and similar people like to call IP Imaginary Property to try to point out that there is no such thing and therefore it shouldn't be treated like property. They like to point out that copying some music or a movie or software isn't like stealing because the person who it was copied from has not lost their original

Well, playing devil's advocate...

Money is effectively a fiction. It's just a number in a computer database. When your employer pays you they don't send physical money to the bank. They just tell the bank to subtract from their account number and add to your account number. It's all virtual.

The point I'm trying to make is, we treat money exactly like the content creators wish we would treat IP. Money is virtual. I could adjust those numbers in the bank's computer all I want. I could add more. It only works because we all agree it would be a bad thing if it didn't work like that. We all agree (or I think we all agree) that duplicating money would be bad even though in actuality no one would lose any money if we allowed duplication.

So, why should IP be different? Why is it not okay to copy money but it IS okay to copy IP? Both money and IP represent labor...

I can think of a few differences. You can duplicate IP forever with no ill effects to anyone but possibly the creators or the people that funded them where as duplicating money forever would effect everyone. That's a valid distinction but it doesn't quite enough for the difference in thinking.

I guess my main point is it seems like most people approach it in the sense that IP is not like real property and copying is not stealing. It's almost as though they see this ability to copy as something new and the push to stop the copying is something new. I think the money analogy points out that it's not something new. We all agree copying money is bad so there is something that is effectively imaginary property that we all agree is bad to copy. I'm not sure we'd call it stealing. I guess we'd all it counterfitting although that doesn't fit the copying IP stuff unless you try to sell it.

Basically I'm just thinking out loud. If you have some thoughts please share them.

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