In the last DRM article, I discussed Incentive Theory as it applies to the debate over DRM. In this article, I will focus on Locke's Labor Theory and DRM.
Originally applied to real property, Locke’s theory of labor has since gained a strong foothold in intellectual property, especially copyright law, and especially in Europe.
The Labor Theory consists of 3 general principles and 2 caveats.
The 3 principles are:
- an individual owns his body;
- an individual owns his labor; and
- an individual owns the fruits of his labor.
The first two principles combine to produce the third.
Locke believed that people have a natural ownership right in their bodies, and by extension in the labor of their bodies to create or produce. As applied to copyright, this means that people have natural ownership rights in their creative works.