Front Page Titles (by Subject) SECTION VIII.: Objection Eighth. - 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 VIII.: Objection Eighth. - 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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It may be urged that, however just may be the principle of the right of property in ideas, still the difficulty of determining who is the true author of an invention, or idea, after that invention or idea has become extensively known to mankind, interposes a practical obstacle to the maintenance of any individual right of property in any thing so subtle, intangible, and widely diffused, as such an invention, or idea.
This was unquestionably a very weighty and serious objection, in ruder times, when letters were unknown to the mass of the people, and when a thought was carried from mind to mind, unaccompanied by any reliable proof of the first originator. The facilities and inducements thus afforded to fraudulent claims in opposition to those of the true owner, and the difficulty of combatting such frauds, by the production of authentic and satisfactory proofs, must have made it nearly or quite impossible to maintain, in practice, the principle that a man was the owner of the thoughts he had produced, after he had once divulged them to the world. And this, doubtless, is the great reason, perhaps the only reason, why the right of property in ideas was not established, in whole, or in part, thousands of years ago.
But this obstacle is now removed by the invention of records, whereby a man can have his discovery registered, before he makes it public, and thus establish his proprietorship, and make it known, both to the people, and the judicial tribunals.