The problem of “Intellectual Property”

Intellectual Property is an unjust concept. But, rather than get into the philosophy about objects; ownership, and value. I am just going to get straight to the practical point.

The idea behind intellectual property is that one owns an idea and so they can retain the “rights” to it and license those rights out. Aside from the fact that it is basically a glorified Honor System, the big problem is the buying and selling of intellectual property. When a transaction occurs involving intellectual property; what happens is that one person trades wealth, such as time (from their limited lives) or objects (from the limited earth) for something which is not wealth, an idea. This is called in other terms a “redistribution of wealth”, wealth is going from one to another, rather than being exchanged. It is a transaction where wealth goes one way.

Now, this wouldn’t be such a huge problem if it only occurred once, after all the “owner” of the idea put in some kind of effort to produce the idea; even if it’s just writing it down on a slip of paper (such as what banks do with their fiat-”idea”-currency.) But, this doesn’t happen once. It happens many times, billions of times every day. It comes in many forms: drugs, food, code, written works, currency, and so on. When it happens once you get a situation where one is trading the limited time they spent for someone else’s limited time or for a piece of the limited earth. When they trade it again they are no longer doing that as it did not cost them the same amount of time in exchange for the same amount of time or material they got from someone else. That is, the second transaction was a situation where the seller got something for free.

When the seller gets something for free thousands, millions, or billions of times; they will accumulate a lot of wealth at no cost to their own time or wealth. The only “cost” they have is in maintaining their “right” over the idea. A cost that wouldn’t exist if they didn’t engage in this kind of transaction in the first place. When many people do this you have a pooling of wealth from many into the hands of the few. This is called a wealth disparity (ie. “the 1%”). The classic example is banks; banks turned “risk” into an object and sold that object in the form of interest on loans. This is intellectual property; even though that term is not used. When fiat currency came along it became literal intellectual property in that the banks issued notes with a serial number (product key, for you younger folks) on them. While still retaining “ownership” of that bank note. So banks traded your time and wealth for their bunch of numbers printed on a piece of paper. This is how they accumulated wealth because they were engaged in transactions that were one way.

Intellectual property creates wealth disparity; in turn creating poverty. It is present in all major industries. Pharmaceutical companies for example, do not produce wealth. They produce a formula that they sell for billions. Many arms companies do not produce wealth; they produce schematics that are sold for millions. Agriculture companies (monsanto) produces little to nothing; they simply licenses seeds and other plants and then you pay a license to grow them. Entertainment and Fashion industries do not produce wealth; they produce ideas that are sold. You pay time to mcdonalds who gives you banknotes (ideas) that you don’t own that you then trade to netflix who shows you films that you do not own. You actually gain no wealth from that whole process; but you lose it. Billions of people live this way trading wealth for virtually nothing. Millions of others (the elite, so to speak) gain time and wealth at virtually no cost other than the cost of maintaining the IP. When this system goes on with billions of transactions; after awhile the wealth will be in the hands of a few, a few that gets smaller and smaller as more people are bought out.

IP is the reason there is wealth disparity in the world; it is the reason there is poverty. It is true these industries do have some revenue that isn’t from IP, but the vast bulk of it is based on IP, the whole banking system is based on IP. The so called 1% exists because of IP. Because people dare to claim ownership of ideas. There are other super wealthy industries that do not use IP as much of course, like the energy industry (the people behind why war exists), natural resources (you know, child miners and and theft of brown people’s land), and our lovely friends south of the border producing all of that sticky icky. Oh, and women selling their bodies.

This is why I do not support IP, patenting, or copyright.