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The Unsatisfactorily Far Reach Of Property

i'm a fervent intellectual property abolitionist.

one of the reasons IP seems repulsively bad is that it gives some people control over the activity of others no matter how far and unrelated away they are. patents and trademarks even can (and often do) restrict the activity of people who never even heard of the original piece of IP; but copyright is joining in on that too.

however, how specific to IP is this? how do i feel about, say, someone owning a rock one million light-years away, and through that, legally restricting the ability of people around that rock to interact with it?

on another hand, recently i've been really trying to come up with alternatives to private property on which a libertarian world (with voluntary association and voluntary socities) can be built, but to no avail. until i made this post, that is.

maybe the key is having some notion of locality apply to ownership: you entirely own your mind, you very strongly own your body, you strongly own your house, you mildly own your garden? this sure seems a lot more flexible than the classic libertarian hard dichotomy of "either this is my property and i get to murder anyone who even touches it, or it's not and i have no say whatsoever", and perhaps it can create a better sense of what is meant to be common property.

though, of course, as soon as you have a flexible limit, molochian defectors nibble at it until you have nothing. this is the reason that, when we can have hard limits (such as when we're all cyberpeople with a very discrete and clear boundary of what we have sovereignty over), they hopefully let us survive even maximally molochian-defecting actors.

so, for the moment i maintain my previous positions, but IP bringing in questions of locality is a novel for me way of thinking about property rights that i'll be considering.


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