• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

This Handbook brings together scholars from around the world in addressing the global significance of, controversies over and alternatives to intellectual property (IP) today. It brings together over fifty of the leading authors in this field across the spectrum of academic disciplines, from law, economics, geography, sociology, politics and anthropology. This volume addresses the full spectrum of IP issues including copyright, patent, trademarks and trade secrets, as well as parallel rights and novel applications. In addition to addressing the role of IP in an increasingly information based and globalized economy and culture, it also challenges the utility and viability of IP today and addresses a range of alternative futures.

Audiences and Sharing
Audiences and Sharing

Intellectual property is a non-rivalrous good. By this, it is meant that whilst two people cannot use a hammer at the same time, two (or any number of) people can use the idea of using a hammer. Even sharing a hammer would potentially wear it out, whereas sharing the idea of using a hammer has no detrimental effect upon the idea itself. By extension, informational goods can be shared without reducing the utility of the informational content. What is lost in such sharing is the scope to sell such information to each successive/simultaneous user. It is precisely the fact that intrinsic scarcity is not a characteristic of informational goods that requires the legal imposition of restrictions on sharing if ...

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