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A Response to Julio H. Cole

Controversy

Abstract

Professor Cole argues that copyrights are essentially equivalent to patents in that they confer monopoly privileges that undermine social welfare. However, I find that his argument fails on a number of points. First, like Murray Rothbard, I argue that there is a clear difference between the copyright and the patent. Second, I take issue with Professor Cole’s use of the term monopoly as applied to copyrights and the utilitarian morality he implicitly attaches to that inappropriate use. Finally, I reject the idea that we ought to abandon the copyright simply because technological advancements have made it more difficult to defend.

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