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Copyright and Patent in Benjamin Tucker's Periodical


[From the book The Debates of Liberty]

Intellectual property — as embodied in copyright and patent — was the subject of intense debate within Liberty. Benjamin Tucker flatly rejected the idea that legal copyright was compatible with anarchism. The strength of Tucker's opposition to patents may be judged from his essay "State Socialism and Anarchism: How Far They Agree, and Wherein They Differ." Here, Tucker explained the key difference between individualist anarchism's position on intellectual property and that of the major competing radical school of his day — state socialism:

"The two principles … are AUTHORITY and LIBERTY, and the names of the two schools of Socialistic thought which fully and unreservedly represent one or the other of them are, respectively, State Socialism and Anarchism."


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