I’d been solidly libertarian for many years the first time I gave thought to "intellectual property" (copyrights and patents) at all. Someone mentioned the protection of property, including intellectual property, as the root of prosperity and freedom. I agreed without hesitation.
It just seemed to make sense. Now and then I would read or hear someone reiterate this position and it always seemed right to me. I had spent a lot of time working through the arguments in favor of private property – both philosophical and economic – and I didn’t think IP required any special arguments to augment what I already believed about other forms of property.
Then a quote by Thomas Jefferson that caught my eye: