Front Page Titles (by Subject) SECTION IV.: What is the Right of Property? - The Law of Intellectual Property; or An Essay on the Right of Authors and Inventors to a Perpetual Property in their Ideas
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SECTION IV.: What is the Right of Property? - Lysander Spooner, The Law of Intellectual Property; or An Essay on the Right of Authors and Inventors to a Perpetual Property in their Ideas 
The Law of Intellectual Property; or An Essay on the Right of Authors and Inventors to a Perpetual Property in their Ideas (Boston: Bela Marsh, 1855).
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What is the Right of Property?
The right of property is simply the right of dominion. It is the right, which one man has, as against all other men, to the exclusive control, dominion, use, and enjoyment of any particular thing.
The principle of property is, that a thing belongs to one man, and not to another—mine, and thine, and his, are the terms that convey the idea of property.
The word property is derived from proprius, signifying one’s own. The principle of property, then, is the principle of one’s personal ownership, control, and dominion, of and over any thing. The right of property is one’s right of ownership, enjoyment, control, and dominion, of and over any object, idea, or sensation.
The proprietor of any thing has the right to an exclusive ownership, control, and dominion, of and over the thing of which he is the proprietor. The thing belongs to him, and not to another man. He has a right, as against all other men, to control it according to his own will and pleasure; and is not accountable to others for the manner in which he may use it. Others have no right to take it from him, against his will; nor to exercise any authority, control, or dominion over it, without his consent; nor to impede, nor obstruct him in the exercise of such dominion over it, as he chooses to exercise. It is not theirs, but his. They must leave it entirely subject to his will. His will, and not their wills, must control it. The only limitation, which any or all others have a right to impose upon his use and disposal of it, is, that he shall not so use it as to invade, infringe, or impair the equal supremacy, dominion, and control of others, over what is their own.
The legal idea of property, then, is, that one thing belongs to one man, and another thing to another man; and that neither of these persons have a right to any voice in the control or disposal of what belongs to the other; that each is the sole lord of what is his own; that he is its sovereign; and has a right to use, enjoy, and dispose of it, at his pleasure, without giving any account, or being under any responsibility, to others, for his manner of using, enjoying, or disposing of it.
This right of property, which each man has, to what is his own, is a right, not merely against any one single individual, but it is a right against all other individuals, singly and collectively. The right is equally valid, and equally strong, against the will of all other men combined, as against the will of every or any other man separately. It is a right against the whole world. The thing is his, and is not the world’s. And the world must leave it alone, or it does him a wrong; commits a trespass, or a robbery, against him. If the whole world, or any one of the world, desire anything that is an individual’s, they must obtain his free consent to part with it, by such inducements as they can offer him. If they can offer him no inducements, sufficient to procure his free consent to part with it, they must leave him in the quiet enjoyment of what is his own.