Who has rights over property and why?
To respond only to one part of it:
Scepticism towards the moral robustness of an affirmative answer to these questions, of property rights resting on an entitlement to the \’fruits of one\’s labour\’, may suggest that the real principle at work is, rather, one of reward-for-effort. I made the sculpture and it cost me time and energy to do so – that\’s why it\’s mine. The same argument doesn\’t work in the case of my surprising the herd or altering a tiny bit of the face of that newly-found continent. However, once ownership is to be decided on the basis of desert, things become more complicated. For there are different bases of desert than merely effort, and there are other reasons for assigning things to people than merely desert – need being one of these. And should two people who have to expend different amounts of effort to achieve the same result be rewarded differently?
Sticking with the point about the rights that a creator has over a creation, it\’s nothing to do with deserts or rewards. That would be perilously close to the labour theory of value fallacy.
No, creators have rights over their creations because we want to encourage the next creator to create. Nobody gives a damn how much effort goes into creating something, the labour used or indeed any other resource used. All we actually care about is encouraging more people to create more things: and to do so we reward those who have created.
We pay the maker of a spade because we wish to encourage more spade making. We pay the inventor of a new drug because we want to encourage more drug invention. We pay the songwriter because we want to encourage more songs to be written. The same is true for carpets, loo roll, airplanes, leeks and Uncle Tom Cobbley and All.
Property rights are the same as shooting Admirals. Pour encourager les autres.