Walmart warning us about China


I think the person is certainly entitled to say that he observed classes at Harvard, and make the argument that this makes him just as qualified as an official degree-holding student. But of course, Harvard is under no obligation to grant him an official degree or recognition. And if he were to claim an official degree from Harvard, when they have not in fact granted him an official degree, then he would be committing a type of fraud. After all, getting a degree is a lot more than just sitting in a classroom listening to the professor. It’s also about doing coursework, getting grades and feedback, demonstrating competence in the subjects both objectively and relative to one’s peers. Recognizing a person with an official credential or certificate is not “intellectual property,” or at least, not in the same morally problematic sense as, say, claiming ownership over an idea that exists as knowledge in the minds of many others.

Harvard isn’t claiming to own the ideas or the knowledge they’re teaching. They’re claiming to own their certification and degree granting programs. I don’t see the problem.


Here is the crux of the moral issue, as I see it. A lot of people in this thread are rightfully pointing out that there’s something wrong about taking another person’s invention or idea, and then using it to make and sell my own product.

I’m not debating that there might be something morally wrong about this behavior. What I’m saying is that the behavior doesn’t violate anyone’s rights. Thankfully, not every instance of moral wrongness is regulated by state goons. I’ll clarify.

Let’s go back to my ipud—the copy of the ipad that I made using my own knowledge and materials. Selling the ipud is clearly not a violation of Apple’s rights…Apple has no right to control my knowledge or property. But a lot of people are going to think—in my view correctly—that my selling the ipud is morally shady. So even if it’s not something the government can prevent me from doing by force, there are plenty of other voluntary means for Apple to fight back against this. Apple can run ads about how there are lots of imitators out there, but you should still want an original ipad.


If you don’t respect their patent rights why would you respect their copyrights? Label it an iPhone instead of an iPud … same situation. Why stop there? Copy the packaging down to the last detail. That is what is currently being done in China on a widespread basis, for example the “silver” one ounce coin pictured by sendgop a few days ago. The same thing is done to high end American made knives, made by craftsmen with premium materials and sold on alibaba, ebay and gun shows as genuine.

It is a maxim of the common law: for every wrong there is a remedy.

PS If anyone reading this forum is thinking about buying a knife made by Spyderco, Emerson, Benchmade, Microtech or Extrema Ratio; but from a reputable dealer, they are extremely deceptive.


That’s a trademark issue not copyright.

Trademark is literally an identifyer – unlike Taylor Swift trademarking “1989” phrases but like real trademarking, like, oh, say, the “Kleenex.” Swift’s trademarking is the case against even trademarks, since the government recognizes her idiotic claims.

Calling it an iPhone is something like identity theft. It is a fraudulent claim if J. calls his iPud an iPhone. It’s like claiming you have an official Harvard degree when Harvard never gave you one. Trademark protection is worthy of discussion, but it’s not in the same camp as copyright or patent regulations.


What RWNJ said.

But just to repeat: the latter is a rights violation (i.e.: consumer rights against be defrauded), the former violates no one’s rights (i.e. Apple does not own my knowledge or my property).


Let’s try that quote again, slightly altered:

Apple owns their research and development programs and facilities, don’t they? By your logic why would it be problematic for me to use my own property and knowledge to print up a near exact copy (changing the font on a couple of letters just slightly, perhaps) of a Harvard degree certificate and let people make what assumptions they will?

Ads are not free to run, though; I believe they are, in fact, quite expensive. Would apple not be financially harmed by your ‘morally shady’ behavior? Is protection from the harmful ‘morally shady’ behaviors of others not the point of law and government? If it isn’t, why have a government at all?


There are Rolex copies out there. Superficially, they LOOK the same, but if you look closely, the word “Rolex” is spelled “Rollen” instead. They are NOT made with gold and the movements are quartz. If you watch a real Rolex, the sweep second hand is smooth and even. The knock-offs’ sweep second hand ticks over one second at a time. They cost about $20 each to build and sell for anywhere from $250 to as much as $800, marketed as real Rolexes, but at substantial price reductions. People buying them are being defrauded.


Your re-written example doesn’t match the Excludability and rivarly test.

A degree is Excludable, but it is not rivalrous.

My having a degree, doesn’t prevent you from having one. A copyright/patent however does work this way.

So we’re not comparing equivalent things here. Something that is also shown by this:

Because that’s fraud; misrepresenting what you are.

Building something that is a copy of something else without the patent, is claimed to be theft.

So different things.

And the odd thing again about patents, is that they expire. No other “property right” works this way, hinting at their artificial nature.


You’re spinning it; it comes down to you cashing in on the fruits of their LABOR (research). That’s a property rights issue, not mere moral shadiness.


You can have that theory of government if you like. I’m a classical liberal, so for myself, I believe the government’s proper function does not extend too far beyond bare protection of rights. It’s not the job of government, on my view, to protect companies from harm to their profits, unless rights are being violated in the process. I’ve argued extensively that no one has any rightful claim over my knowledge and property, therefore, no rights are being violated in the examples I’ve given.

Classical liberalism is extremely hostile to any view that sees government as an enforcer of morality, as it sees this as a path to authoritarianism (where does it end?). Rawls, who was admittedly no classical liberal, nevertheless came up with an extremely eloquent statement of the basic classical liberal theory of government responsibility: “Each person is to have an equal right to the most extensive total system of equal basic liberties compatible with a similar system of liberty for all.”

In the intellectual property cases discussed above, there are rights being violated for sure: viz. my right to ownership over my own knowledge and property. So while copying the ipad and marketing it as an ipud might be tacky, no one’s rights are being violated, and any attempt to stop me from doing this would be a violation of my own property rights, which the government is, on my view, bound to protect.

You’re correct that this is a property rights issue. My own property rights over my own knowledge, materials, and labor, none of which are owned by Apple.


Apple would be forced to compete. Its iPhones might suck less and cost less than $1,000. Apple is absurd. Fortunately, it does still have one competitor – the widespread Android.

Tricking people about what you’re selling, however, is fraudulent. It’s criminal, and it ought to be treated as criminal. Trying to masquerade as Apple is not cool.

But as I respond to another comment you made below, it may not be quite as scary as we might initially think.

Let’s not forget how much we consumers lose to the constant patent battles among the cell phone manufacturers. Samsung sues Apple sues Nokia sues…etc. Yest, they do it to each other. We end up paying the lawyers to protect their hard-won patents.

But there is an industry where outright ripoffs occur every single day – and the fakes even copy exactly the originals down to the logos – Vaping. It’s all Chinese-produced, and well, we know what the Chinese think of intellectual property. Counterfeit stuff is apparently the norm. Somehow, these companies are not going broke. They sell their authentic products all the time. The piracy is worse than that.

One company does something, new technology or a new application, and everyone else copies it. I am ever so grateful. The tanks, the new mesh coils, the various mods and software, they all keep advancing at a pace that’s hard to keep up with. Something new comes out every day, and if it’s awesome, it sells.

Mesh coils are new this year. I own a mesh tank from the first company to make them and a mesh tank from the second company. They weren’t the big players in the business. But the big players are offering mesh coils, some for existing tanks. The sheer amount of choice is awesome, and it is literally a testament to the idea of a capitalist free-for-all.

As for the counterfeits, we all know they exist. We sometimes choose them depending on the product. Certain products are highly overpriced. The actual companies have developed ways to authenticate your devices. Curious about whether I had accidentally purchased counterfeits, I have checked and confirmed they are authentic.

If this is what a world without IP law looks like, it’s good for consumers and suppliers. Everyone wins! At the very least, we should return to the original U.S. law governing patents and copyright. Disney by all rights should have lost its rights to Mickey Mouse long ago.

It’s a bit like counterfeit vaping stuff – although it’s not the same scale of fraud as with a Rolex, and in some products, counterfeit is as good as the original.


Good replies, J. And Nutjob, deserving of my full attention… But I’m at Hooters drinking beer and admiring… the view, shall we say? So, esoteric philosophical political discussion or beer and… the view :laughing: Ima tell ya, just the beer would win out at this point in the week! The discussion is diverging just a bit, too, and I’m not at my best for replying on two separate but related lines. So I must beg your indulgence, but I have MY priorities straight@


Enjoy! :wink:


Thanx :blush:


Qix, you are such a typical male! I love it!


I take it as nothing but a compliment! :kissing_heart:


No, property rights over their own knowledge, which they paid for through their research, upon which (in your hypothetical scenario) you are freeloading.



You’re going to have to make more of an effort in keeping up with the arguments and making cogent replies. Otherwise, you’re just wasting peoples’ time.


If you look at a thing and know how to make it, you have the knowledge. You cannot unlearn a bit of knowledge. It’s in your head.


You’ve obviously never met a recently “graduated” college student…