So a friend and myself got into a heated debate over IP law. He thinks it should not exist, and I’m on the fence, but leaning towards privatizing such law and its enforcement (in my ideal society). I think one of his best points is that you can’t steal what isn’t scarce, or something to that effect. So ideas are not scarce, no one has a ‘right’ to an idea. Words are not scarce, so you don’t have a right to own them either.
My argument is that the man who devotes 3 years of his working life to writing a book is not losing non-scarce “words on a page”, but rather he is losing the time he spent working (WORKING, his labor) on ordering those words in a specific way as to make them meaningful, and into a finished product, the sale of which would pay compensate him for the time and labor he devoted to its creation. That’s why we need some kind of copyright or other IP law (although I don’t think it needs gov’t force or action to have such a thing).
Books and music are areas I have a slight sympathy for some kind of protection. But ultimately if your worth duplicating, your work will get in more peoples hands and you’ll be more popular anyways for future projects. There has to be a thousand other angles to it as well.