many property transfers of private rights-of-way to ..
private property rights tend to work well.
If the scholars and poets of England, since Milton’s time, had inherited a tithe of his spirit, with but a tithe of his genius, no such body of usurpers as the House of Lords would have ever taken it upon themselves to adjudge, either that authors had no right of property in the products of their labor, or even that, if they had such rights by nature, parliament had authority to destroy them. In fact, there would, in 1774, have been no such judicial or political body as the Lords in existence.
The Law of Intellectual Property; or An Essay on the Right ..
If he mean that science and learning ought to be as free or made private property, as air or water, neither authors nor inventors can object to the principle; for that is the very principle they themselves are contending for. They admit that the boundless fields of knowledge, like the boundless fields of air and water, are open and free to all mankind alike; and all they claim is, that each individual shall have an exclusive property in all the knowledge that he himself, by the exercise of his own powers, and without obstructing others in the exercise of theirs, can take possession of; that they have the same natural right to an exclusive property in their exclusive acquisitions of knowledge, which they and all other men have in their exclusive acquisitions of air, of water, of land, of iron, of gold, or of any other material commodities, which, so long as they remained were free and open to all mankind—that is, free and open but which, when appropriated, are no longer free and open to all mankind, but are the private property of the individuals who have appropriated them. Can Lord Camden, or any one else, deny that the principle is as sound, or as applicable, in the one case, as in the other?