Breck Yunits' Scroll

Some writing about probability, programming, economics and life.

An Unpopular Phrase

An Unpopular Phrase

February 21, 2020 — One of the most unpopular phrases I've spoken, so unpopular that it has won me many negative karma points online and in person causes some people to turn and walk away, is the phrase "Intellectual Slavery Laws".

I think perhaps the best term for copyright and patent laws is "Intellectual Monopoly Laws". When called by that name, it is self-evident that there should be careful scrutiny of these kinds of laws.

However, so many people insist on using the false term "Intellectual Property Laws." Instead of wasting my breath trying to pull them away from that analogy, lately I've decided to go the other way and complete the analogy for them. So let me explain "Intellectual Slavery Laws".

As far as I can figure, you cannot have Property Rights and "Intellectual Property" rights. Having both is logically inconsistent. My computer is my property. However, by law there are billions of peaceful things I cannot do on my computer. Therefore, my computer is not my property.

Unless of course, the argument is that my computer is my property, but some copyright and patent holders have property rights over me, so their property rights allow them to restrict my freedom. I still get rights over my property. But other people get rights over me. Property Rights and Intellectual Slavery Laws can logically co-exist! Logical inconsistency solved!

We can have a logical debate about whether we should have an Intellectual Slavery System, Intellectual Slavery Laws, Intellectual Slavery Law Schools, Intellectual Slavery Lawyers, etc. But we cannot have a logical debate about Intellectual Property Laws. Because the term itself is not logical.

I know, having now said this term aloud to a number of people, that this is a not a popular thing to say. But I think someone needs to say it. Do we really think we are going to be an interplanetary species and solve the world's biggest challenges if we keep 99+% of the population in intellectual chains?

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