Intellectual Property in the Information Age: The Politics of Expanding Ownership Rights

By Debora J. Halbert | Go to book overview

erty, authorship, the production of knowledge, and our identities as citizens. How new technologies will be protected and defined in an information age has much larger implications than who will benefit. How boundaries in intangible property are defined, how we are defined as citizens, what is defined as ethical and unethical behavior, and the extent to which we wish to see our ideas and minds commodified stand in the balance of this debate.

There has never been universal consensus about the extent of intellectual property protection, despite government and business attempts to tightly control it. However, the tension between ownership of information and freedom of information is intensifying as information becomes commodified and the object of an international economy. The rhetoric about individual ownership is heated as new technology makes it easy to copy information and freely share it. This is a contest that transcends a boring recounting of the history of copyright. This contest is about how we will be defined as citizens, what will be owned, and how we will produce and exchange knowledge in the future.


NOTES
1
A. Branscomb, Who owns information? From privacy to public access ( New York: Basic Books, 1994).
2
"Everyday life invents itself by poaching in countless ways on the property of others". See: R. Coombe, "Objects of property and subjects of politics: Intellectual property laws and democratic dialogue", Texas Law Review, 69 ( 1991): 1853.
3
T. M. Horbulyk, "Intellectual property rights and technological innovation in agriculture", Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 43 ( 1993): 259-270.
4
Just look on any can of Pepsi with the "uh-huh" slogan and you will see the TM sign. This means "uh-huh" is now the equivalent of any brand name and cannot be generically used by other companies.
5
"Ducking the issue of the little black duck", Honolulu Advertiser, 21 February 1995, p. B1.
6
J. O'C. Hamilton, "Who told you you could sell my spleen?" Business Week, 23 April 1990, p. 38.
7
J. Bennet, "Who owns ideas and papers, is issue in company lawsuits", The New York Times, 30 May 1993, p. 1, 27.
8
"Presley's relatives, however, are not necessarily realizing the profit or controlling the uses to which the image is put. Prior to his death, Presley had conveyed the exclusive right to exploit his name and likeness to a corporation controlled by Colonel Tom Parker, his manager, in exchange for royalties. Factors Etc., Inc., is an assignee corporation controlled by Parker who is presumably free to exploit the Presley image in any manner. Once exclusive rights to attributes of the persona are assigned, they may be utilized without regard for the sentiments and sensibilities of heirs." R. J. Coombe, "Author/izing the celebrity: Pub-licity rights, postmodern politics, and unauthorized genders"

-xvi-

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Intellectual Property in the Information Age: The Politics of Expanding Ownership Rights
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • Introduction ix
  • Notes xvi
  • 1 - The Historical Construction of Copyright 1
  • Notes 19
  • 2 - Controlling Technology: Political Narratives of Copyright 25
  • Notes 45
  • 3 - Controlling Technology: Legal Narratives of Copyright 49
  • Notes 70
  • 4 - International Piracy: Finding External Intellectual Property Threats 77
  • Notes 94
  • 5 - Hackers: the Construction of Deviance in the Information Age 101
  • Notes 114
  • 6 - Authors in the Information Age 121
  • Notes 138
  • 7 - The Future of Intellectual Property Law 141
  • Notes 159
  • Bibliography 165
  • Index 181
  • About the Author *
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