Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Timothy Sandefur, Pacific Legal Foundation, Economic Liberties Project, has published "A Critique of Ayn Rand's Theory of Intellectual Property Rights," at 9 Journal of Ayn Rand Studies 169 (Fall 2007). Here is the abstract.
Ayn Rand viewed copyrights and patents as natural rights that were secured by legislation, rather than as monopoly privileges that were created by the state. Other Objectivist writers have followed suit. This article disputes this thesis on the grounds that it fails to recognize the distinction between the right to use and the right to exclude, the latter of which cannot be justified with regard to intellectual property on Objectivist premises. In addition, the article discusses three significant objections to the natural-rights interpretation of copyright that Objectivist authors have failed so far adequately to address.
Download the paper from SSRN here.