Is thought property? Without expression thought is a pretty solitary pastime.
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“Intellectual property,” like tariffs and all other monopolies, is a barrier to the free movement of labor and capital into certain legally defined areas of production, which has the effect of maintaining artificially high prices that would not exist under free market competition. “Intellectual property,” in our corporate global economy, performs exactly the same function the tariff did in the old national industrial economies: It regulates the conditions under which one is allowed to produce a particular good for a particular market, so that the beneficiaries are able to charge a monopoly premium. Rather than erecting territorial barriers around particular nations like the tariff, “intellectual property” builds walls around global corporations.