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A Libertarian Defence of Intellectual Property


Lina Salih

London School of Economics, GB
About Lina

My sincere thanks to Peter Dennis for supervising this dissertation, and to Marie Milofsky for her support.

BSc Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method student at the London School of Economics (2012-2015). She has just graduated and is looking forward to the adventures that lie ahead!
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This essay examines Nozick’s theory of entitlement in relation to intellectual property rights, and will provide a case for its moderation in order to properly satisfy the Lockean Proviso. In addition to the often cited principle of leaving ‘enough, and as good’ in the state of nature for others to appropriate, this Proviso also includes the often neglected ‘non-waste’ principle, which states that one cannot take from the state of nature more than one can use before it goes to waste due to spoilage. I will argue that the often unlibertarian consequences that result from the strict enforcement of intellectual property rights can in fact be mitigated if Nozick’s theory of entitlement with regards to its applications to intellectual property rights is modified to properly represent what is in fact Locke’s moderate views on the acquisition of property.

How to Cite: Salih, L., 2015. A Libertarian Defence of Intellectual Property. Rerum Causae, 7(2), pp.161–182.
Published on 01 Jul 2015.
Peer Reviewed


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