At long last, here is the first episode of our new, original podcast.
First, Matthew and I break the ice by briefly talking about what we’ve been reading recently. I had just finished Kameron Hurley’s debut novel God’s War. Overall, I think it’s a good effort with an interesting story and world-building but is not without its flaws. Matthew had recently finished Live Free or Die by John Ringo. It was a 2011 Prometheus Award finalist, not a winner as I mistakenly thought while recording the podcast and, according to Matthew, didn’t deserve to be.
Our interview with Stephan takes up most of the episode. It’s around 53 minutes long and starts 9:40 minutes in. For those who don’t already know him, Stephan Kinsella is a patent attorney and prominent libertarian legal scholar. He is best known for his opposition to intellectual property.
We invited Stephan on the show to discuss the problems of intellectual property and piracy in the Digital Age. But first we had to ask him about his love of science fiction and fantasy. We got him to mention some of his favorite authors and books (see below for a list), and we even talked about the Hobbit movie for a bit.
Then, at about 23:15 in, we dove into the meat of the interview. Stephan explained the historical origin of copyright (censorship) and patents (government grants of monopoly privilege, which is what copyright is now too really), how intellectual property has shaped and distorted the film and publishing industries, including Hollywood’s move to California to avoid patent disputes, and why reform is not enough. We also discussed how the Digital Age — the age of the internet, smartphone, ereader, and globalization — is making the evils of copyright and patents more obvious and acute while at the same time undermining traditional business models built around intellectual property. And finally, we explore ways artistic creators might earn a living in a world without intellectual property laws.
More about Stephan Kinsella and Intellectual Property
- C4SIF.org (Stephan’s Center for the Study of Innovative Freedom)
- “The Case Against IP: A Concise Guide,” Mises Daily
- Against Intellectual Property (Free in epub and pdf formats.)
- Google+: Stephan, C4SIF
- Twitter: NSKinsella, C4SIF
- Facebook: NSKinsella, C4SIF
Authors and Books Recommended by Stephan Kinsella
- Marion Zimmer Bradley, The Mists of Avalon
- Stephen R. Donaldson, The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant (the first novel in the series is Lord Foul’s Bane)
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit; The Lord of the Rings
- Vernor Vinge, A Fire Upon the Deep; A Deepness in the Sky; The Children of the Sky
- Dan Simmons, Hyperion
- Orson Scott Card, Ender’s Game
- Robert A. Heinlein, The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress; To Sail Beyond the Sunset; Starship Troopers; Time Enough for Love
- J. Neil Schulman, Alongside Night
- Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged; The Fountainhead; Anthem
- L. Neil Smith, The Probability Broach (also a graphic novel); The Gallatin Divergence
- Yevgeny Zamyatin, We
- Robert James Bidinotto, Hunter