"You're not in the oil business. You're in the oil shortage business."
--Barney Caine (The Formula)
This snippet from a new book proposing negative effects of intellectual property laws includes arguments made often on these pages.
Intellectual property laws are unjust because they grant monopoly privileges to people who develop ideas from on the backs of peoples' ideas and then claim the sole possession of the intangible and abundant result. This result cannot be justly be considered property because clean title cannot be proven.
Moreover, intellectual property laws are unlikely to facilitate more production and competition. In fact, they are likely to do the opposite. IP laws add barriers to entry. Larger firms can absorb these costs better than small firms. Entrepreneurs that might enter an industry see those costs and are discouraged.
The beneficiaries are the large firms. Industries get more concentrated and complacent. Innovation goes down...as does efficiency.
As such, general standard of living does not benefit from IP laws. The beneficiaries are those who receive IP privilege and then are protected by the strong arm of the State.
More often than not, this means big business.