Abstract: This paper explores whether the case against intellectual property can be strengthened by appealing to the work of F.A. Hayek. It strives first to establish a Hayekian research agenda on copyright by providing a unified reading of Hayek’s scattered remarks and positioning them within a broader picture of the contemporary philosophy, politics, and economics of IP. Secondly, exploring peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing and copyright infringement through a Hayekian lens suggests what might be a useful analogy between the ability of torrent downloads and prices to convey information. Last but not least, the paper ends on a skeptical note concerning the moral and economic foundations of copyright by presenting what I consider a more Hayekian alternative: crowdfunding platforms.
Keywords: Intellectual property, copyright, torrents, knowledge, F.A. Hayek