I was writing a post defending Roark’s demolition of Cortlandt (ref. The Fountainhead) from what Oliva at the Mises blog called the “Roark Doctrine” and wanted to clarify a small matter relating to contracts and how it affects third parties. In doing so, I stumbled over some very heated arguments on “intellectual property” on the blog. For example, this and this. A comment from the second post, this one, is priceless-

OK. What about your rights under your property (underground)? According to Rothbard, you have no such rights. He states: “If my neighbor drills for oil in his back yard and finds an untapped pool that extends under my land, I have no claim to the oil, so long as his drilling doesn’t disrupt my use of my property. If I tap into that same oil deposit, I am violating his property. But I can drill down into non-contiguous deposits next to his and they become my property even if they extend beneath his land.”

This is the argument that Saddam Hussein used when he invaded Kuwait….

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