Property is a human, social construct. You can’t take something to a lab to run a test to determine it’s “property” qualities. Humans have simply made up a system to reduce conflict between one another and called it property.
So if we use property as a mean to reduce conflict, then we have to ask ourselves if we need conflict reduction in regards to intellectual things. I think it’s obvious that people get upset over immaterial, intellectual claims just as much as they do over physical things, so there does seem to be a need for something to reduce conflicts. Hence the need for IP rights.
Does that mean that the government has created the perfect means of rights enforcement? No, but that doesn’t mean that some other mechanism might not be found one day.
I think everyone can recall a situation where they got upset when someone else stole their idea. Hence the need for the word plagiarism.
Plagiarism is stealing on idea. It doesn’t operate the same way that physical theft occurs, but humans have worked out ways to decry plagiarism through the centuries.
Let me say this, one under-discussed idea is abandonment. If you buy a house in the middle of a forest and allow it to fall into disrepair over decades of time, shouldn’t that house be considered abandoned? If you throw a piece of trash onto the ground, isn’t that trash abandoned? If you make footsteps as you walk across an empty field, aren’t you abandoning those footsteps? The point here is that we take for granted that physical property can be abandoned and we don’t really discuss it.
Well IP can be abandoned even easier. So the act of copying a piece of IP is really just a means of picking up a piece of abandoned IP. That doesn’t mean that IP doesn’t exist, it just means that it’s much harder to protect than physical property. As technology advances, then we will see better ways in which owners can protect their IP. Bitcoin for example uses encryption to protect peoples ownership.