Labor as the Basis for Intellectual Property Rights

Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 17 (4):681-695 (2014)
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In debates about the moral foundations of intellectual property, one very popular strand concerns the role of labor as a moral basis for intellectual property rights. This idea has a great deal of intuitive plausibility; but is there a way to make it philosophically precise? That is, does labor provide strong reasons to grant intellectual property rights to intellectual laborers? In this paper, I argue that the answer to that question is “yes”. I offer a new view, different from existing labor theories of intellectual property, which I call the productive capacities view. This view gives us a way to make sense of the idea of labor as the basis for intellectual property rights, as well as a tool for critically evaluating existing intellectual property institutions



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Bryan Cwik
Portland State University

References found in this work

Anarchy, State, and Utopia.Robert Nozick - 1974 - New York: Basic Books.
The Lockean Theory of Rights.A. John Simmons - 2020 - Princeton University Press.
Anarchy, State, and Utopia.Robert Nozick - 1974 - Philosophy 52 (199):102-105.
Justifying intellectual property.Edwin C. Hettinger - 1989 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 18 (1):31-52.

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