Symposion: Theoretical and Applied Inquiries in Philosophy and Social Sciences 2 (3):323–345 (2015)
AbstractIntellectual property has become the apple of discord in today’s moral and political debates. Although it has been approached from many different perspectives, a final conclusion has not been reached. In this paper I will offer a new way of thinking about intellectual property rights (IPRs), from a left-libertarian perspective. My thesis is that IPRs are not (natural) original rights, aprioric rights, as it is usually argued. They are derived rights hence any claim for intellectual property is weaker than the correlative duties attached to self-ownership and world-ownership rights, which are of crucial importance in any left-libertarian view. Moreover, IPRs lack priority in front of these two original rights and should be overridden by stronger claims of justice. Thus, as derived rights, IPRs should not benefit of strong enforcement like any original rights especially if it could be in the latters’ detriment.
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