Mark Lemley, ‘Faith-Based Intellectual Property’

The traditional justification for intellectual property (IP) rights has been utilitarian. We grant exclusive rights because we think the world will be a better place as a result. But what evidence we have doesn’t justify IP rights. Rather than following the evidence and questioning strong IP rights, more and more scholars have begun to retreat from evidence toward what I call faith-based IP, justifying IP as a moral end in itself rather than on the basis of how it affects the world. I argue that these moral claims are ultimately unpersuasive and a step backward in a rational society.

Lemley, Mark A, Faith-Based Intellectual Property (March 30, 2015).

First posted 2015-04-02 06:26:01

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