Intellectual Property Rights in Software-Justifiable from a Liberalist Position? Free Software Foundation's Position in Comparison to John Locke's Concept of Property

Intellectual Property Rights in Software-Justifiable from a Liberalist Position? Free Software Foundation's Position in Comparison to John Locke's Concept of Property

Kai Kimppa (University of Turku, Finland)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-576-4.ch002
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Abstract

This chapter offers a new view on how justifiable the current liberalist view on intellectual property rights (IPRs) in software actually is if based on Locke’s Second Treatise and especially on Chapter V, “Of Property” (2002), which has traditionally been seen as the starting point of liberalist argument for property — be it immaterial or material. This chapter will show how in Locke, the possibility of property in the immaterial is denounced and how that, in fact, fits the position of the Free Software Foundation for both patents and copyright in software, GNU General Public License (GPL) being the main example of this.

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