In the United States, and elsewhere in the world, intellectual property is protected by patents and copyright law. Are these valid ways to protect intellectual property, or do they validate the rights of others by infringing on "fair use" or some other right?
asked Sep 28 '10 at 20:23
Justin O ♦
Ayn Rand explains this in her article "Patents and Copyrights." You can find excerpts here. The essence of the Objectivist view is that property rights protect the right of a creator to his creation. For the same reason that you have the right to the corn you grow, so you have a right to books you right, or the medicines you discover. In this sense, all property is intellectual property: it all flows from the rationality of the person creating the value.
However, there are crucial differences between how a government protects the right of a creator to IP as against other forms of property. This is one reason why some defenders of property rights have trouble understanding the issue of IP rights. Rand addresses some of this in her article. More work has been done by Objectivist law professor Adam Mossoff (George Mason University). You can find some of his writings here.
answered Sep 28 '10 at 21:39