I am a firm believer in property rights, but I struggle with intellectual property rights. Here are a few of my issues...
1) It creates less knowledge. The first to discover something, can enforce their protections to the point of preventing someone from other discovories in the same chain of knowledge. This is the biggest one for me because I believe that knowledge should be free to better society and the economy as a whole. Instruction should have a cost but knowledge should be free.
2) It creates monopolies. If you are the only one that can produce a widget, you can charge whatever you want for it. You can have poor customer service if you are the only provider and a consumer that needs your product has no recourse.
3) It can create insurmountable barriers for competition. For example Astra Zeneca has trademarked the color purple for use in pill capsules like Nexium. What's to stop them from trademarking all the other colors in the spectrum and preventing someone making pill capsules at all. You can argue that authorities may step in to prevent unfair competition and only allow 1 color per manufacturer, but there are more manufacturers than colors and any company can argue if they are allowed to have purple then I should be allowed to have green.
4) It can be abused by making the application as vague as possible. If I'm Amazon and I can patent the 1-click purchase, whats preventing me from suing every company that sells anything on the internet. The last click in the purchasing process in just 1 click after all. You can argue that there were other clicks before the last click and I can argue that the same thing happens on Amazon. You normally have to click a few links to find the product to buy and you normally have to click at least a bookmark to get to Amazon.
5) It allows patenting laws of nature. If I can patent a sequence of DNA, I am able patent life itself. What does this mean? Well I can create pestilent bio-organism and another bio-organism to stop it. Since I'm the only one to sell the cure, I have an incentive to spread the disease. Good luck trying to catch me spreading the disease anywhere around the globe. Biological processes propagate on their own.
6) Creators of content are abused by corporations because contract law allows the transfer of control of content from individual to corporation. You can argue here that corporations can promote content better than individuals and therefore deserve the transfer of ownership, but I'll argue that this dissolves the whole purpose of intellectual property.
There are a lot more things than this, but this is a good primer to why I have a problem with intellectual property. I have a piecemeal solution that I would like to post later, but I'd like to hear the thoughts of others to help me develop something more concrete
Thanks for the input ahead of time,