12. “Contra Copyright, Again”

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Abstract: This revised version of the author’s 1985 article “Contra Copyright” includes a new, introductory section explaining the background of the author’s path to copyright abolitionism. The main article surveys various libertarian debates on this issue, including the anti-intellectual property (IP) views of Benjamin Tucker and the pro-IP views of Lysander Spooner. McElroy argues that the issue of copyright hinges on the question: can ideas be property? Because only scarce goods can be property, and ideas are not scarce, copyright must be rejected as unjustified.

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