Intellectual Property Rights: Securing Values of the Mind (MP3 download)
By Adam Mossoff
The extraordinary achievements in the pharmaceutical, biotech, telecommunications and computer industries in recent years are dramatic evidence of the significance of intellectual property rights to human life and success. Yet patents, copyrights and other intellectual property rights are under attack today by both collectivists and libertarians, who condemn these property rights as unjustified monopolies.
In this talk, Professor Mossoff explains Ayn Rand's radical justification for intellectual property rights—that all property is at root intellectual property. In recognizing that intellectual property rights represent "the legal implementation of the base of all property rights: a man's right to the product of his own mind," Rand grounds intellectual property rights in her novel concept of value and in her discovery that man's mind is his basic means of survival. In using a combination of philosophical and historical analysis, Professor Mossoff further develops Rand's unique justification for intellectual property rights, demonstrating that all property—whether real estate, personal property or intellectual property—arises from the values that man must first conceive and then act to produce. Ultimately, to understand why intellectual property rights are property rights par excellence is to recognize the radical political and legal implications of Rand's innovative ethical theory.
This talk was recorded at the Objectivist Summer Conference 2010 in Las Vegas, NV.