The Instigator
the_mitchster084
Con (against)
Losing
2 Points
The Contender
bladerunner060
Pro (for)
Winning
8 Points

intellectual property rights

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
bladerunner060
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/30/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,494 times Debate No: 28775
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (7)
Votes (3)

 

the_mitchster084

Con

hi. im new to debating so bear with me :) ill try my best

i will be arguing that intellectual property rights in the US should be abolished and my opponent will be arguing the opposite

do not make arguments in the first round

thank you!
bladerunner060

Pro

I accept.
Debate Round No. 1
the_mitchster084

Con

First, let it be known that, due to the nature of the subject, the opponent carries full burden of proof in this debate. The reason for this is that the notion of "Intellectual Property," by its very nature, restricts full natural individual freedom. We innately have full freedom, but some of the freedoms are taken away through law. And proponents of these laws carry the burden to justify the necessity to restrict natural freedom.


---

Intellectual property is the ownership of rights to the intangible, such as expressed ideas (as in the case of copyright law) or ideas applied for practical purposes (as in the case of patent law.) Tom Palmer of the Cato Institute describes it like this: “Intellectual property rights are rights in ideal objects, which are distinguished from the material substrata in which they are instan-tiated.” [1] In our discussion I will be specifically addressing these primary aspects of IP: copyrights, trademarks, patents, and trade secrets.

Ethical/Natural Rights Argument

Some proponents of IP argue that certain ideas deserve protection as property rights because they are created. However, this sets an unjustified arbitrary standard. Philosophical or mathematical or scientific truths cannot be protected under current law, since commerce and social progress would be at a standstill if they were considered the exclusive property of its creator. So a patent can be applied to ideas that are "practically applicable," but not to an abstract or theoretical idea. It seems straightforward at first, but after a moment of thought, we begin to realize that the border between "practically applicable" and "abstract/theoretical" is extremely vague and arbitrary. British economist Arnold Plant rightfully stated, "[t]he task of distinguishing a scientific discovery from its practical application, which may be patentable [...] is often baffling to the most subtle lawyer." [2]

Let us think about this example: an inventor who creates a new lawn mower is using laws and facts that have been discovered through scientific inquiry through the generations, and these laws are founded on the nature of the universe outside of the control of human creation. Thus, the inventor simply rearranged pre-created matter. Now consider the discovery of the law of relativity ("E = MC^2") by Albert Einstein. Both inventors (such as the lawn mower inventor) and theoretical scientists (such as Einstein) use critical scientifict thinking to create new, useful ideas that can ultimately be put into practice; nonetheless, only the former is rewarded under the intellectual property system. Recently, the inventor of a new way to calculate a number representing the shortest path between two points—an extremely valuable technique—was not given patent protection because this was “merely” a mathematical algorithm. [3] And we see this arbitrariness elsewhere in intellectual property law. Patents are upheld for 20 years after initially filing [4], while copyrights are upheld for 70 years after the author's death. [5] Is there any way to justify these exact numbers? Would 21 years or 19 years have any reasonable justification would being improper durations of time for patents? Of course not.

If we are following basic ethics, property rights are justified as extensions of the right of individuals to possess control their own lives. Therefore, “property” ownership that infringes on the individual rights of others to control their lives, such as the ownership of slaves, is unjust, ethically. And IP certainly, by its very nature, conflicts this ethical standard. Information is universal. If I read a poem by contemporary poet Maya Angelou and memorized it, I have stored a “version” of the poem in my memory; does Maya Angelou have rights to the poem in my head? Furthermore, does she have rights to the contents of a book that I purchased? A book without its contents is not a book, but rather just a pile of blank pages; when I buy a book, I buy the information within it. Ownership of information and content is inherently the partial ownership of other people.

Economics

Some argue that IP rights are needed in order to give artists and inventors the financial incentive to create.

The purpose of property rights is to prevent interpersonal conflict that arises over scarce resources by establishing a system of ownership. However, information is certainly not a “scarce” resource, by any means. If we were in the Garden of Eden, where all goods (such as land) were infinitely abundant, then there would be no need for property rights; if you stole my car, it wouldn’t matter because I could simply retrieve an identical one on the fly without any hassle. IP protects information as property, even though information is not scarce.

Let us think about the nature of information. If you take my car, I cannot possibly have a car. However, if you take the “textual pattern” of a story I wrote, I will still have the original copy of it. Thomas Jefferson once wrote, “He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me.” [8] Thus, information is not consumable, and it has no natural scarcity. IP simply produces an artificial, unjustified scarcity and protects it.

Utilitarianism

Some people argue for IP for the sake of the “greater good.” However, there are three primary objections to this:

The first is that the label of “greater good” is arbitrary. One could argue that net utility is enhanced by redistributing half of the wealth of society’s richest one percent to its poorest ten percent. [9] However, this would label the “greater good” as wealth maximization. However, if our definition of the “greater good” emphasized individual justice, then we would not be approaching at all through this redistribution of wealth.

The second is that the means of making utilitarian calculations is not practical. Interpersonal utility comparisons do not work in public policy issues [10], and the matter of IP is not an exception. There is no absolute market value to the effects of IP policies or lack thereof; in fact, even the actual price of marketable goods (unlike those in contention in the context of this debate) do not reflect their true value.

And the third is that it is not completely clear what sort of change, wealth-wise, IP brings to the table. Perhaps the absence of patent law would lead to more emphasis on research and innovation as a result of less money being spent on copyrights and patents. And perhaps companies would be more likely to advance technologies and discover new ones if they cannot hold on to and depend on 20-year monopolies on their current products through patent law.

---

The theory and enforcement Intelligent Property is not ethically, legally, or practically valid and should be abolished within the United States.

---

[1] Tom G. Palmer, “Are Patents and Copyrights Morally Justified? The Philosophy of Property Rights and Ideal Objects,” in “Symposium: Intellectual Property,” Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy 13, no. 3 (Summer 1990), p. 818.

[2] Arnold Plant, "The Economic Theory Concerning Patents for Inventions." Economica, New Series. Volume 1, Issue 1, Feb., 1934, 30-51.

[3] In re Trovato, 33 USPQ2d 1194 (Fed Cir 1994).

[4] http://www.uspto.gov...

[5] http://womeninbusiness.about.com...

[6] http://freenation.org...

[7] http://mises.org... (pg. 20)

[8] Thomas Jefferson to Isaac McPherson, Monticello, August 13, 1813, letter, in The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, vol. 13, ed.

[9] Ibid. 7, at 12

[10] Murray N. Rothbard, “Praxeology, Value Judgments, and Public Policy,” in The Logic of Action One (Cheltenham, U.K.: Edward Elgar, 1997), esp. pp. 90–99

[11] “On the Measurement of Value,” in The Theory of Money and Credit, trans. Batson (1912; reprint, Indianapolis, Ind.: Liberty Fund, 1980), p. 51.

bladerunner060

Pro

"First, let it be known that, due to the nature of the subject, the opponent carries full burden of proof in this debate."

No.

To expand:
Con is the one with a proposal; Con is proposing to abolish all intellectual property rights. As the one proposing action, and the removal of rights, the burden is on Con to prove Con's case. If Con wanted it to be otherwise, that should have been established in the Round 1 post, where the parameters were set for acceptance.

"The reason for this is that the notion of "Intellectual Property," by its very nature, restricts full natural individual freedom."
So do ALL property rights. In fact, so do all laws. This is not a debate of the concept of property rights as a whole.

"We innately have full freedom, but some of the freedoms are taken away through law. And proponents of these laws carry the burden to justify the necessity to restrict natural freedom."

Even taken at face value, Con's demand can be met thusly: Intellectual Property is concept recognized by the state in the same vein as Physical Property. As a recognized right, OF COURSE the state is justified in creating laws to protect it. Those laws should stay in place for the same reason ALL property rights stay in place.

To repeat: This was not set up as a debate on the nature of property rights, but whether the specific case of intellectual property rights should be abolished. As such, my opponent bears the burden of establishing WHY intellectual property rights should be abolished.

Con is arguing that property rights should not exist.

For the record, I will not be defending the idea that current IP law is well done. Nor do I, as Pro, have to defend ALL types of Intellectual Property Rights, as my opponent's position is that ALL intellectual property rights should be abolished; the burden is on him to establish why that is.

"Some proponents of IP argue..."

The demarcation between "truths" and applications of principles in a specific manner is by no means arbitrary. The arguments here are not arguments against intellectual property rights; showing that it is sometimes difficult, in some circumstances, to draw a distinction between a scientific discovery and its practical application, does not negate the concept of intellectual property rights. Intellectual Property rights are about creativity. Not the creativity of the process (which gets to truth), but the creativity of the APPLICATION (which is the unique contribution of the creator)

"Let us think about this example..."

The two examples you give (Lawnmower man and Einstein) are perfect for our purposes. In the case of Lawnmower man, the Lawnmower did not exist prior to his creation of it, while E=MC^2 exists independent of its discovery: there is nothing more to it than the formulation of what is already true. The non-arbitrary difference is the creativity OF THE APPLICATION. Another genius would have discovered E=MC^2. It is the sole answer. However, another inventor would create, using the same principles, a different lawnmower.

My opponent then begins talking about relative timeframes of patents and copyrights, which is immaterial to the question of whether the protections should exist in the first place. The same question could be asked about prison sentences, but that doesn't justify getting rid of prisons altogether.

"If we are following..."

The points made in this paragraph ignore the fact that Intellectual Property Rights are primarily concerned with the SALE of the protected item. If somone has invented a new item, I am free to make it myself; I just cannot sell it to others, as that is the right of the inventor. IP laws are laws regulating not the individual, but commerce.

"The purpose of property rights is to prevent interpersonal conflict that arises over scarce resources by establishing a system of ownership."

I disagree with that point. The purpose of property rights is to protect the rights of ownership; scarcity has nothing inherently to do with it, and if my opponent would like to assert that, he is free to establish that point.

"If we were in the Garden of Eden, where all goods (such as land) were infinitely abundant, then there would be no need for property rights; if you stole my car, it wouldn"t matter because I could simply retrieve an identical one on the fly without any hassle."

That may be the case to you, but I disagree. If you steal the car that I have as "mine", that I do not wish you to take, then you have stolen, you are in the wrong, and the fact that it's trivially easy to replace the car is meaningless to the moral principle at issue. The punishment would be less, as the damage is less, but it would nonetheless still be a wrong.

"IP protects information as property, even though information is not scarce."

No. IP, in concept, protects the rights of the originator to control the sale of their creation. All laws are based on that premise, even the ones that prohibit things like torrents (where no profit is generated among the torrentors) on the assumption that each torrent equals one lost sale.

"Let us think about the nature of information. If you take my car, I cannot possibly have a car. However, if you take the "textual pattern" of a story I wrote, I will still have the original copy of it. Thomas Jefferson once wrote, "He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me." [8] Thus, information is not consumable, and it has no natural scarcity. IP simply produces an artificial, unjustified scarcity and protects it."

Again, my opponent has failed to establish that that is the purpose of property rights. But even if I were to accept it, the scarcity being protected by IP law is the MONEY provided by sales. There are not an infinite number of buyers.

My opponent then moves on to an attack on the concept of utilitarianism, which has no bearing on this debate.

I find it interesting that Trademarks are included in this discussion. The purpose of trademarks is different than most other creative works. Trademarks exist so that a brand can differentiate itself. Without trademark, ANYONE can sell Coca-Cola, and call it that, and put it in a red can with the same font, so consumers have no way of determining what the "genuine" Coca-Cola is.

The rights of intellectual property protect the rights of the consumer to know what they're buying (trademark), the rights of the producer to be known for their own works, and the rights of the producer to recoup the cost and control the distribution for profit of their work. The idea that ALL IP is invalid I call untenable. Commerce is regulated by the state, and the state has an interest in seeing htat the originators of information be compensated for their efforts.
Debate Round No. 2
the_mitchster084

Con

On Burden of Proof

The burden of proof, by the very nature of the matter at hand, rests solely on the opponent.

We have an infinite number of freedoms; we have freedoms to pick our noses, to walk, to debate on Debate.org. If those who wish to enact laws to restrict freedoms have no burden of proof, then all of the freedoms we possess, by default, should be illegal until defended to be otherwise. This is, of course, not practical at all and is not the way that the law works. Moreover, in a situation in which proponents of restrictive laws have equal burden of proof to those who are not proponents, it would be, by default, just as fair to restrict each (and all) of our freedoms as it would be to allow them; this is not how the law works, and if you name any freedom that has not been concretely and specifically named by the law (e.g., one's right to eat tree bark), you will see that it is, by default, always allowed. This is because the law works in a way that allows all freedoms until they are proven unallowable, in the same way that the accused is considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

For the same reason that arguers for God's existence always carry full burden of proof, proponents of the legal restriction of natural freedom always carry full burden of proof. This is not a matter of "terms of debate," but rather a matter of the question being contended in the debate.


Ethical/Natural Rights Argument

I maintain that the distinction between scientific truths and ideas worthy of patent is very arbitrary. And this arbitrariness is a serious issue with the notion of patent law, a branch of intellectual property law, because it means that some people have a right to receive benefits for the use of their ideas, while others do not. I gave the example in the previous round of a man who created a new way to calculate a number representing the shortest path between points, which is an incredibly useful application that will, without a doubt, rake in a lot of money for those who use it for their benefit. [1] The only reason this man does not get rights to profits from the idea he came up with is because of an arbitrary decision.

My opponent seems to misinterpret the "lawnmower inventor/Einstein" example. He claims that the clear-cut difference between something that is patentable and something that is not is the "creativity of the application." Does an inventor who recreates a red lawnmower as a blue lawnmower get a patent? Of course not. Even stronger differences in aesthetic structure are irrelevant to whether or not a product is chosen to be patented. The specific facet of a product that is relevant to the "novelty" and "nonobvious" requirements of patenting [2] is the originality of its function. My opponent says that E=MC^2 should not have been patented, because another scientist could have discovered the same thing. Well, in the same way, a lawnmower that applies the theory of relativity (hypothetically), unlike any other lawnmower in use in modern times, would most likely be given a patent, even though another inventor could have discovered the same novel function that would improve a lawnmower in the same way.

The arbitrariness of the duration of time a patent or copyright lasts is an issue. My opponent argues that the arbitrariness of IP and copyrights does not justify its removal from the system, comparing it to arbitrary sentencing in the prison system. But although the arbitrary sentencing structure of the prison system is not ideal, there is a case-by-case judgment that allows for variation on a spectrum, up to a lifetime of imprisonment or death—and it is judged on nameable criteria, such as severity of crime. Unlike this, the copyright and patent duration is a one-size-fits-all rule, and if it were not, then there would be no way to create a spectrum of relative durations, since the criteria would not be nameable and the spectrum of variation would have no end, so no maximum could be established.

If I recreate a book by J.K. Rowling by re-typing all of the text within it and printing it out, why can I not sell it? It is not that the "item" is protected. The thing that is protected is an idea. If we decided to take "intellectual ownership" of individual words and sentences, in the same way that authors now take ownership of poems and books, then it would be to virtually impossible to write an original piece of literature or add any text to products. If I sold signs that said "Warning" on them and were hypothetically able to copyright "Warning," then no one would be able to sell literature or products with that word. Such a system would fall apart. When we expand the analogy of owning the word "Warning" or the phrase "Thank you for visiting" into ownership of the contents of a poem or a book, we see that we have the same flaws


Economics

My opponent argues that property rights are not dependent on scarcity. This is, of course, patently absurd.

Prominent economist Hanns-Herman Hopps explains it well when he says this in his book Theory of Socialism and Capitalism: "To develop the concept of property, it is necessary for goods to be scarce, so that conflicts over the use of these goods can possibly arise. It is the function of property rights to avoid such possible clashes over the use of scarce resources by assigning rights of exclusive ownership. Property is thus a normative concept: a concept designed to make a conflict-free interaction possible by stipulating mutually binding rules of conduct (norms) regarding scarce resources." [3]

My opponent then claims that, in a world of no scarcity, my "stealing" his car would be wrong. "Stealing," however, by definition, is the idea of stealing another person's property; and let us not forget that property would not exist in such society without scarcity. In a society without limitations on factors that are currently scarce (such as land, food, bodily ability, and time), property would not exist and "stealing" would not occur, since ownership of property would not be necessary.

Information is not scarce, because it cannot be consumed after it is generated. If I have a house and I transfer ownership to you, I no longer have ownership to a house. If I write a book and give you a copy, then I can have a copy of it and somehow maintain ownership over the contents of the copy of the book in your possession. It is a non-scarce good; it has has no inherent zero-sum-game contest for its ownership, since it can be easily replicated. Imagine if we had a magic donut that replicated itself whenever we handed it to another person; there would be no natural competition for ownership of it, because it simply replicates itself and is not scarce. They do not need to be economized; there is no price to the production of a self-replicating bagel, in our analogy. In the same way, there is no price to the idea that contains the recipe to the bagel; hence, there is no reason to artificially economize it.


Utilitarianism

The opponent chooses not the pursue the utilitarian argument for IP. His dropping of this argument is justified, since the burden of proof is on him and what I had presented is simply a counter-argument to a possible case he would make.


Trademarks

I would argue that the use of the "trademark," as it is used, is not justified by any concept of IP, but rather as a concept that prevents a breach of contract and fraud. It is not justifiable to say that McDonald's has a right to its name that is founded on intellectual property; rather, it is the consumer's right to not be tricked into being told that a business is the same as another. Trademarks cannot be justified by IP ownership, as they often are.

---

The resolution is affirmed, and the opponent has yet to meet his burden of proof.

---


[1] In re Trovato, 33 USPQ2d 1194 (Fed Cir 1994).
[2] http://www.bitlaw.com...
[3] http://library.mises.org...
bladerunner060

Pro

"If those who wish to enact laws to restrict freedoms have no burden of proof, then all of the freedoms we possess, by default, should be illegal until defended to be otherwise."

I am not the one who is proposing to limit freedoms. I am arguing that the freedoms currently in place are correct, and you are arguing that they are not.

Currently, the "rights" of the bootleggers are limited, while the "rights" of the creators are protected.

You wish to invert that; YOU are the one proposing a change, a claim that creators have no rights, and a limitation on the rights of creators to control their creation.

As such, the burden of proof rests on YOU. You could argue that the burden of proof is EQUALLY SHARED, and perhaps make that a case I would have accepted, but to try to claim that it rests solely on me is to shift the terms of this debate AFTER ACCEPTANCE. And frankly, I wouldn't accept the equally shared term at this point either, since I am under no obligation to, and you have been disingenuous.

"For the same reason that arguers for God's existence always carry full burden of proof, proponents of the legal restriction of natural freedom always carry full burden of proof. This is not a matter of "terms of debate," but rather a matter of the question being contended in the debate. "

No. Again, you have a fundamental lack of understanding of the burden of proof, and of the nature of rights in society. Rights are always a balance between separate parties' interests. You propose limiting rights, with an aim of expanding them in a different direction. As that is YOUR proposal, the burden is on you to establish why that should be. You are advocating the position that "intellectual property rights in the US should be abolished", the fact that you've set yourself up as "con" is immaterial to the point that you are actually arguing in FAVOR of the motion: "Intellectual property rights in the US should be abolished."

You are advocating for the abolishment of a right. The fact that it would expand the "rights" of bootleggers is immaterial to the motion as presented.

That is the term of the debate, and the burden is on you to establish why these rights which currently exist should be abolished.

As it is both dishonest and incorrect, as previously stated I do not accept your demand.

You have given multiple complaints about current IP laws, such as your perception of the arbitrariness of the rules. These are not reasons to abolish the system, necessarily, particularly as I have already noted that I am of the opinion the laws need to be changed.

Your example: "If I sold signs that said "Warning" on them and were hypothetically able to copyright "Warning," then no one would be able to sell literature or products with that word" Shows a complete lack of understanding of how copyright works. You would not be able to get a copyright on the word "Warning"; the fact that you do not understand that shows that you do not understand the issue as well as you think you do. This is not really the place for an overview of copyright. You should have this basic knowledge before proposing it be abolished. However:

"Typically, a work must meet minimal standards of originality in order to qualify for copyright...it has been held that a single word is insufficient to comprise a copyright work. However, single words or a short string of words can sometimes be registered as a trademark instead. Copyright law recognises the right of an author based on whether the work actually is an original creation, rather than based on whether it is unique; two authors may own copyright on two substantially identical works, if it is determined that the duplication was coincidental, and neither was copied from the other." [1]

My opponent failed to address the fact, in his scarcity argument, that IP Laws are laws of commerce. To repeat: The money involved in the sale of IP may be argued to be the scarce item. Or the creativity involved may be the "scarce item".

Trademarks are IP. By conceding that there are valid reasons for trademarks, my opponent concedes the point of the debate.

The motion "intellectual property rights in the US should be abolished" has not met its burden of proof, and therefore the resolution is not affirmed.

[1] --http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 3
the_mitchster084

Con

I am arguing for a freer freedom than my opponent's. The opponent carries the full burden of proof for the same reason that anyone who wishes to restrict natural freedom carries the burden of proof. Rights are normative; they are relative to a standard of freedom only bound by what is out of our reach (i.e., natural forces.)

Now imagine if our society, as it is, became lawless (without any government-mandated restrictions on natural freedom.) Those who propose laws that restrict the freedom (even laws as simple as those against murder, which would likely get quick support) have full burden of proof. No one will assume, by default, that the right to brush your teeth is equally legal and illegal; that would make no sense, because an act can either be legal or illegal. If you brush your teeth and there is no law that calls for a punitive response, then it is LEGAL and you have the RIGHT TO DO IT, even though it has not yet been addressed by the law. And even if brushing your teeth were illegal now, the burden of proof is on the proponents of its prohibition (e.g., government officials); its current legality is irrelevant to the issue of which side carries the burden of proof.

My opponent makes this claim: "Currently, the "rights" of the bootleggers are limited, while the "rights" of the creators are protected." If there were no law against it, the right to bootleg would be unlimited; if there were no law, the right to "intellectual property" would not exist. The former is a law that enforces natural freedom, and the latter is not intertwined with natural freedoms at all. (By "natural freedoms," I mean the freedoms that one experiences simply through existing, without the law.)

---

My opponent then makes an argument from ignorance:"If I sold signs that said "Warning" on them and were hypothetically able to copyright 'Warning,' then no one would be able to sell literature or products with that word" Shows a complete lack of understanding of how copyright works."

This is a hypothetical (hence why I wrote "hypothetically"), since it is meant to display the absurdity of claiming rights to words, in the case of copyright. If I can claim a right to a pattern of 50 words, why can I not claim a pattern of a single word? Rather than answer this fundamental question, the opponent simply assumes that I lack knowledge about the subject matter.

---

"Trademarks are IP. By conceding that there are valid reasons for trademarks, my opponent concedes the point of the debate."

My opponent doesn't understand the concept of intellectual property, apparently, and decides to use a silly semantic argument.

Under intellectual property law, owners are granted certain exclusive rights. I am arguing that trademarks, as justified by intellectual property law, are invalid. However, consumers should be able to differentiate between different companies; this is NOT AN INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHT of the company, but rather a right to the consumer to determine which services/goods are being provided to him/her. Name differentiation among companies, used solely for the purpose of consumer rights, does not inherently give companies the "right" to the names.

---

I remind my opponent not to make any new arguments in the last round, since there is no way I could refute them.

My opponent failed to understand why he carried full burden of proof (solely due to the nature of the debate resolution), my opponent failed to meet his burden of proof, andeven if the burden of proof were somehow shared—he did not win the debate. Also, note that many points were completely dropped.

Thank you. Vote Pro.



bladerunner060

Pro

A "Natural law" argument has its place. But if you wanted it to be a premise, it was on you to require it. You cannot simply assert it after the debate has started.

"My opponent then makes an argument from ignorance:"

I did not make an argument from ignorance. An argument from ignorance is a specific "fallacy in informal logic. It asserts that a proposition is true because it has not yet been proven false". [1]

Arguing that YOU are ignorant is, technically, an ad hominem, an argument "to the man". You have previously stated that you are "new to debating", and I having been trying to bear with you. My point was, however, that when you demonstrate a fundamental misunderstanding of basic concepts like copyright, it makes it hard to have a rational debate with you. That didn't prove your point wrong, however, it was my citation that did.

Your hypothetical made no sense, since it is impossible. It wasn't a plausible example used to illustrate your point, it was something you made up that has already been addressed by copyright law. I didn't address the question you NOW ask, "why can I not claim a pattern of a single word?", because you didn't ask it.

However, to answer the question that you now ask, I respond that the fact that "a work must meet minimal standards of originality in order to qualify for copyright" addresses it neatly. It is the creativity which garners the copyright.

"My opponent doesn't understand the concept of intellectual property, apparently, and decides to use a silly semantic argument."

The difference between when I pointed out your ignorance and when you are, now, trying to point out what you perceive to be mine, is that I backed myself up with a source and made a point. You are making an ad hominem AND an assertion fallacy, in that you're asserting that I don't understand something, while never proving that I have said anything incorrect. You argue for the abolishment of all rights to IP. Trademark is IP. You have stated you recognize the validity of Trademarks at least in some circumstances. To break it down:

P1: Trademarks are IP.
P2: There are some circumstances where the protection of trademarks are valid.

Conclusion: Therefore there are some circumstances where the protection of IP is valid.

That is not a semantical argument. It is a logical one. It is, in part, why I asked in the comments initially how far you went with your argument. I asked: "Does your proposition include all trademark and patent law, as well?", you responded "yea... those are types of intellectual property, dude". You cannot back away from that now unless you also want to modify your proposition.

"I am arguing that trademarks,"as justified by intellectual property law, are invalid."

Trademarks are intellectual property, as you conceded. Any law to protect a trademark is by definition an intellectual property law.

My opponent has failed to understand the burden of proof, and the nature of logical argument. But that doesn't necessarily affect his point.

However, he has made no valid points that have not been already refuted, and has acknowledged at least once circumstance where there is validity to intellectual property law.

This debate was predicated on the existence of intellectual property rights. My opponent has given no legitimate reason that those rights should be removed, no reason that intellectual property rights in the US should be abolished.

Please vote Pro.

[1] " http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 4
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by bladerunner060 4 years ago
bladerunner060
I didn't see the period from the voter; I totally thought you had just set up the debate to not require a RFD somehow, and shrugged on the logic for his vote.

I suspect this will wind up as a tie for a host of reasons...but I wouldn't want to win on a VB.
Posted by the_mitchster084 4 years ago
the_mitchster084
Counter-VB anyone?
Posted by the_mitchster084 4 years ago
the_mitchster084
Lol, I meant vote Con. :P
Posted by bladerunner060 4 years ago
bladerunner060
Says the person who clearly does not understand it. Trying to place it on me, when YOU are the one proposing the motion, was disingenuous.

It is akin to creating a debate that was "free speech rights should be abolished", then, after acceptance, attempting to claim that it was up to your opponent to establish their existence in the first place.
Posted by the_mitchster084 4 years ago
the_mitchster084
you should research how burden of proof works. :)
Posted by the_mitchster084 4 years ago
the_mitchster084
yea... those are types of intellectual property, dude
Posted by bladerunner060 4 years ago
bladerunner060
Does your proposition include all trademark and patent law, as well?
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Chuz-Life 4 years ago
Chuz-Life
the_mitchster084bladerunner060Tied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Con does a good job arguing that IP laws are sometimes confusing and very tedious to navigate. Pro does a good job of not only placing the BOP on Con but also showing that Con basically wanted Pro to make the case for him. In short, Con wanted to challenge the status quo without shouldering the BOP. Arguments to Pro.
Vote Placed by famer 4 years ago
famer
the_mitchster084bladerunner060Tied
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Vote Placed by M4sterDeb8er 4 years ago
M4sterDeb8er
the_mitchster084bladerunner060Tied
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Total points awarded:25 
Reasons for voting decision: Reason for vote: All arguments from Con appeared to have been negated and countered by Pro. However, Pro used no sources when he argued against Con, and for that, I give Con the points for having better sources.