IP: Unintended Consequences of Abolishing I.P.


Privacy, Blackmail, Identity Theft and Extortion

Another unintended consequence of abolishing I.P. is that it legitimizes legal action *(i.e. arbitration)* against persons who acquire, distribute, or distort (derivative) "personal information" that a person wishes to remain private. Private includes controlling access and restricting redistribution by parties that have been granted access to that information. The inability to restrict access and distribution to this damage enables others to exploit this information for either personal gain or to cause immense harm upon the individual, while leaving the victim unable to respond (i.e. blackmail, extortion, fraud, identity theft, extreme embarrassment, stalking, etc).


Consider the author not a legitimate owner of content, and all copies of that work to be completely distinct entities. As a result, a hacker who creates a virus is also not a legitimate owner of any copies of that virus, and as such not responsible or liable for any damages caused by the virus he created, and copies of that virus. The copies of the virus on other computers cannot be in any way determined to be the property of the hacker.

Economics vs Reality

Economics or Experience?

We could discuss this "Austrian Economics" style, and speculate and create theories. I fully understand the Austrian Economics skepticism regarding empiricism, as data is extremely easy to misinterpret and miss-attribute. I understand their attempts to grasp the macro factors of the industry, but their understanding about how these industries actually work are extremely naive and presumptuous.

Where speculation falls short is when it is simply not true. My experiences in numerous I.P. industries has given me a real world perspective of how this stuff actually works. I'm my experiences in a variety of I.P. related fields, purchasing I.P. rarely exceeds 15% of the budget, in both a macro sense (capital accumulation) and on a per-project basis. Obviously, there is a lot of internal R&D as another expense. Abolishing I.P. would however increase that expense, lower quality, and force a lot of I.P. into becoming trade secrets.

Trade Secrets vs I.P.

Software by Pixar and I.L.M were initially developed as in house trade secrets, but the only brought to market and expanded far beyond its original scope after artists within those companies advocated they attempt to sell that software to other studios. The result is high quality software developed by a dedicated effort of some of the most brilliant minds, resulting in high quality competitive products, frequent updates, and new features. Without that incentive, it would have remained in-house, and not been developed to the extent it has. Would I prefer free access to their in-house trade secret(s), or the high quality user friendly product that exists today… it isn't even a content.

It may be tempting to abolish the I.P. of something 3DS Max, but if that was done earlier, it would have never gone beyond 3.0 and ended up no different from Blender 3d; an unintuitive inefficient mess only used by hobbyists.

Misc / Notes

Eliminating IP perpetuates "The Problem"

Eliminating I.P. does not solve the human interaction problem, but rather removes the means of arbitration. If no I.P. is recognized, denying a person of I.P. is not a 'legal' transgression. Persons who withhold intellectual-wealth *(secrecy, censorship, deletion, removal, data-loss)* from a rightful owner would have no recourse. This is both true of persons who own an instance of the information and those who create the information.

  • *example:* Imagine for a moment you are creating a secret article on Google-docs. A Google-employee discovers your work, and decides to delete your access, modify it, and publish it in another language. Not only would you be unable to recover your original document, but you would be unable to prevent the distribution despite your desire to keep it secret, and unable to recover damages.
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