Friday, January 23, 2004

It's about property rights.

I am almost finished with Lysander Spooner's AN ESSAY ON THE RIGHT OF AUTHORS AND INVENTORS TO A PERPETUAL PROPERTY IN THEIR IDEAS. I read four chapters of it out load to my wife the other night. As a result we had a very rich conversation about making copies of music for personal use. While I still feel no sorrow for the plight of the RIAA, I also believe that it is wrong to steal something that another man worked hard and labored over. The essay is particularly mind expanding in the area of wealth creation.

I am now of the opinion that the we have this "problem" of file sharing as a result of society matching the morals of our leaders, namely the refusal of our government to acknowledge the rights of property owners over their possesions. Mr Spooner makes the case very well that labor is property, and to steal the fruit of his labor is to steal his property.

These essays should be required reading for kids in school. The wealth of information that is free on the internet is amazing. I really look forward to teaching my children these things as they homeschool.