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Ep. 36: Intellectual Property

The John Deere corporation would like you to understand that you don’t actually own anything you’ve purchased if it relies heavily on software. According to John Deere, you’ve merely purchased the license to the software that runs on those devices. But otherwise, they retain an exclusive right over the device and how it’s maintained or altered. I’m not making this up, although I wish I were.

At the heart of this absurd claim is the inevitable application of intellectual property laws.

If you’re anything like me, you’ve always understood that intellectual property laws (copyrights and patents) promote innovation and creativity by guaranteeing inventors and authors their proper remittance upon completion of an invention or creative piece that meets with the satisfaction of the masses.

To be sure, this was my holding for many many years. But I’ve recently come to question this longstanding dogma. You’ll definitely want to hear why.


Books Referenced

Against Intellectual Property, by Stephan Kinsella

Against Intellectual Monopoly, by Michele Boldrin and David K. Levine


Authors’ Websites

The Center for the Study of Innovative Freedom

Libertarian Papers

Against Monopoly


Articles Referenced

John Deere just told the copyright office that only corporations can own property, humans can only license it

We Can’t Let John Deere Destroy the Very Idea of Ownership


Documents Referenced

The Constitution of the United States

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