"The libertarian challenge to the legitimacy of “intellectual property” has created some confusion. It’s understandable. For one thing, there’s an apparent inconsistency: If one favors property rights in tangible things, why not in intangibles? Pro-property IP opponents reply that the tangible/intangible distinction is decisive. When you take someone’s car without permission, not only do you have use of the car, but the owner does not. But when you engage in an IP (copyright or patent) violation, you have not literally taken anything. This is disputed, so let’s look more closely."