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Ep. 39 Stephan Kinsella Discusses Law Without the State, and the Illegitimacy of IP (Intellectual Property)

Bob talks with Stephan Kinsella about the basis of libertarian law, and how we could have justice without a coercive State. They then discuss Stephan’s pathbreaking work making the case that property must be in tangible things, rendering “intellectual property” an incoherent and dangerous concept.

Mentioned in the Episode and Other Links of Interest:

The audio production for this episode was provided by Podsworth Media.

About the author, Robert

Christian and economist, Chief Economist at infineo, and Senior Fellow with the Mises Institute.


  1. Claudio Santana on 06/09/2019 at 7:50 PM

    Good stuff, this guy opened my eyes with ip

  2. Russell Kanning on 06/12/2019 at 2:17 AM

    loved this one

  3. Thundaga on 06/13/2019 at 7:54 AM

    This debate here,, is not the best way to learn Kinsella’s IP argument but it is funny and entertaining.

  4. LP on 06/22/2019 at 6:08 AM

    So, there is an important point to make with regard to I.P, that Stephan touched on but I don’t know that he’s even realized it, and I know RPM missed it. The important part is not the tangibility of the ‘thing’ in question, but the rivalrousness of the ‘thing’ in question. There are abstract ‘things’ which are rivalrous, and ownership of these is essential. Historically, this would include abstract things like ‘noise level’. In the modern world, this includes things like DNS records and IP addresses. You own the domain name. If someone else tries to use at the same time, traffic will get split between your site and theirs. This can certainly lead to conflict, which is the pragmatic reason for establishing rules for property rights. Of course, as an anarchist, it should be obvious that the state is not required to settle this, and in practice the market has solved these issues, using web-of-trust and similar technologies.

    On the subject of bitcoin and ownership, control over individual bitcoins, recorded in the public ledger, is rivalrous. Control over the ledger itself is nonrivalrous, and has its own dispute resolution system in-built, so asserting ownership over it is nonsensical.

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