The Economics of Intellectual Property in a World without Frontiers: A Study of Computer Software

The Economics of Intellectual Property in a World without Frontiers: A Study of Computer Software

The Economics of Intellectual Property in a World without Frontiers: A Study of Computer Software

The Economics of Intellectual Property in a World without Frontiers: A Study of Computer Software

Synopsis

Focusing on computer software, this book explores the problems arising from dynamic information technology in its application to intellectual property rights. The work analyzes the legal and political implications of investment in the software programming industry and the near futility of monitoring protection of intellectual property. It begins by exploring the current state of copyright laws for computer software. It then analyzes the economic theories of demand elasticities, public choice, clubs, and the concept of public goods as those theories apply to intellectual property. This analysis is followed by a discussion of legislation in the United States, Europe, Japan, and China.

Excerpt

The principal objective of this work is to explore the problems arising from dynamic information technology (hereafter referred to as IT) in its application to intellectual property rights. In the context of a global marketplace of ideas, it appears as if political boundaries and the sovereignty of the nation-state are disappearing, making it increasingly difficult to scrutinize infringement on the many facets of intellectual property closely. This is particularly true in the case of computer software, the focus of this study. In a world of "computer hackers" and instantaneous transborder data flows (TBDFs), how successful are the laws to protect the owners and producers of computer software? As this work shows, there are legal and institutional factors that both constrict and facilitate the free flow of computer-based information.

For the free flow of transborder information, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) developed guidelines to promote access to data and to seek transparency in regulatory policies relating to computerized communications and thereby promoted harmonized solutions. No such guidelines are present to prevent piracy of information. There is no institutional framework in existence to guide international trust in generating and producing software programs that are not open to domestic and international piracy.

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