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