Intellectual Property : The Myth of Non-Existence

Anti-IP Argument Forms

  • "Intellectual Property is a Myth."
  • "Intellectual Property does not Exist."
  • "Intellectual Property is not physical, you can't touch it or point at it."


  • Intellectual Property is an Abstraction.
  • No Values or Pursuits are being discussed.


Intellectual property is an abstraction.

(wikipedia) Abstraction is a process by which higher concepts are derived from the usage and classification of literal ("real" or "concrete") concepts, first principles, or other methods. "An abstraction" is the product of this process – a concept that acts as a super-categorical noun for all subordinate concepts, and connects any related concepts as a group, field, or category. Abstractions may be formed by reducing the information content of a concept or an observable phenomenon, typically to retain only information which is relevant for a particular purpose.

There is nothing mythical about abstractions; abstractions are simply ways of categorizing, collecting, and processing useful information. An abstraction may represent something in physical reality, but abstractions are concepts, and as such do not have a physical substance. Property, ownership, aggression, violence, fraud, theft, liberty, threats, and trespass are all abstractions as well.

Unless one wishes to deny all abstractions (including property), this is a meaningless distraction.

Values / Pursuit

Any 'ought' argument lacking a specific value(s) little more than a statement of subjective preference. Considering the subject is "why ought one support or oppose IP" then some pursuit or value(s) must be specified to give the argument meaning.

The closest these arguments come to proposing any pursuit or value stems around the concept of "existence" defined as a physical object. Unless one wishes to propose that physical existence is itself a value worthy of pursuit, these arguments give no reason why one "ought/not IP." In short, these arguments offer no reason "why" or "why anyone should care."


These arguments are a clever reframing, however substantively these are meaningless distractions. This subject offers nothing of value either for or against I.P., and as such should be abandoned in favor of more substantive arguments.

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