Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Artificial Scarcity - Intellectual Property

Intellectual property is a term often used for a category of law used to create artificial scarcity, such as copyright, patent, or trademark laws. To understand the term, you must understand that real property is fundamentally scarce by it's nature. Intellectual property laws are laws that create artificial scarcity out of copyable goods or ideas by making copying by anyone other than the owner illegal, thus making them more like real property, hence why it is called "intellectual" property. A derogatory term for this is "intellectual monopoly", so-called because it grants a monopoly on copying. One problems with this term is overgeneralization as mentioned by the FSF.

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