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December 14th, 2009 8:02 pm
Tiger Woods Inspires Libertarian Case for Legalizing Blackmail
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Here in Los Angeles, talk radio guru Bill Handel conducted a provocative interview today with Stephan Kinsella, an intellectual property lawyer from Texas who is also a libertarian legal theorist associated with the Ludwig Von Mises Institute.

Kinsella is an interesting guy. He is a patent lawyer, yet doesn’t believe in the legitimacy of intellectual property rights.  But his current cause is making the case that blackmail should be legal.  Kinsella points to the recent sex scandals surrounding Tiger Woods and David Letterman and notes that Woods bribing former paramours to keep quiet would be legal, whereas Robert Halderman’s attempt to solicit a bribe from Letterman in exchange for his silence got him arrested. 

Kinsella is in favor of extortion laws that seek to deter the use of force, but sees no reason to prohibit seeking money for the preservation of someone’s reputation (making the interesting case that no one has a right to what other people think of them).  Many (maybe even most) listeners will disagree, but there’s plenty of interest to listen to here.

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