@argumate the issue is not whether ip is plausible from first principles, libertarian world or not, or whether it seems like it “could work.” the issue is whether that is actually best, what the costs in feasible ip systems are (centralization being a big one), and whether that actually gives enough benefit compared to alternative systems that can avoid incentivizing centralization or prohibiting the natural marketplace of ideas.
you say disney could license their characters. i ask why that thought is even coming into your brain, why should it be necessary to concede to disney’s wishes, limiting your expression for their sake. why. why.
the centralisation aspect is a bit tricky, because access to capital is a major factor here. I’d like to make a Star Wars movie, but even without IP law I can’t afford to hire thousands of people, one of whom is Harrison Ford.
I’m making this post in reply to the @trashworks chain because I want to bring in one extra thing:
i ask why that thought is even coming into your brain, why should it be necessary to concede to disney’s wishes, limiting your expression for their sake. why. why.
Because (if there are no transaction costs lol) it actually doesn’t matter if the property belongs to Disney or is free for everybody’s use. This means that @argumate is completely right (again assuming no transaction costs) in pointing out that if I can claim I can create value with the Mickey Mouse brand, but haven’t licensed it, that I am wrong about my claim. If I could make $10 million, then Disney would be willing to license me the right to use Mickey for the cost of $9 million unless my use of Mickey would destroy more than $9 mil worth of value to them. The fact that I haven’t done this is evidence that I am wrong – I am either not certain I could create $10 million OR Disney disagrees that I wouldn’t ruin more than $9 million worth of market for them.
This, again, implies that releasing the IP for free would destroy, rather than create, value.
Assuming no transaction costs (looooowl)
You could license Mickey Mouse from Disney. If they charge more than you can afford to pay, it’s an indication that you may not be able to add that much value.
If they charge more than I can afford to pay, it’s an indication that I don’t have enough liquidity, and that transaction costs are non-zero.
I’ll use owlny one example – a hair cutting salowln I saw once. In front of their store, their feather-rufflingly lowl prices were advertised on a sign that was cut in the shape of Bart Simpson.
I don’t know hooo-hooo-w much extra custom they received from having that sign but they must have belowlved it was more than $0 or the wouuldn’t have had the sign. I do, however, have some idea of how much it would have cost to persuade the Simpsons license holders to allow them to use their IP, and by “some idea” I mean that even getting their lawyers out of bed would already be $thousands. By the time we’re done, it might have cost a mowllion. The sign did not create that much vowlue, so it wouldn’t have been made if we stuck to the license.