Must-Read: John Quiggin: Look What They’ve Done to My Song, Ma

Must-Read: John Quiggin: Look what they’ve done to my song, Ma: “My discussion of intellectual property inevitably raised questions about my argument that property rights are not natural rights…

…The ‘moral rights’ of artists over their creative works has been raised as a suggested counterexample. In fact, this example reinforces my original argument…. In France and other European countries, artists have inalienable moral rights over their work… not a property right, but a constraint on property rights…. [If] recognised after the fact, they constitute a taking from the purchaser…. [If] recognised when artists sell rights… they (like any restriction on alienation of property) represent a constraint on the property rights of the artist…. Property rights and (perceived/socially accepted) natural rights… coincide in some ways and conflict in others… both [are] associated with the general feeling of rightful possession, so that a system of property rights is more stable when it coincides with natural rights. On the other hand, natural rights are mostly perceived as inalienable and indivisible…

May 31, 2016

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