“Auction houses and auction websites make markets out of common objects that would be trash except for a celebrity having owned or used or once touched it. A set of golf clubs or a box of golf balls is worth far more in a pro shop if the brand name “Tiger Woods” is on the label, because by affixing the name of the golf legend the buyer is being told that Tiger Woods had personal input into the quality of the products. Anyone who copies that box of golf balls with the Tiger Woods label on it — without proper authorization — is committing an act of forgery.”
He certainly has an unusual way of looking at IP. This issue is messing with my head. A few weeks ago, I read Tim Sandefur’s lucid take on the matter, and took the view that whatever else can be said about it, it is hard to see how I could make a “natural rights” claim for IP in the same way as some classical liberals can do with physical property. But a few days later, talking to an old friend who is a professional arbitrator, my view swung more favourably to this sort of argument, as presented in favour by the late, great Lysander Spooner.
I fear that with IP, this is going to be one of those “I haven’t really made up my mind yet” positions. I suspect I am not alone.