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On the value of the intellectual commons

Wilson, JGS; (2012) On the value of the intellectual commons. In: Lever, A, (ed.) New Frontiers in the Philosophy of Intellectual Property. (pp. 122-139). Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, UK. Green open access

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Philosophers have so far contributed little to these debates on the optimal regulation of ownership of intellectual property (IP). This chapter analyses what contribution philosophy can expect to make. I begin by distinguishing two tasks that philosophy can attempt when it comes to the optimal regulation of IP: first, philosophers can devise a high level regulatory model for IP, explaining how, for example the ontology of ideas makes a difference to how we should regulate them, and what the overall goals are that we should have in an IP policy. Second, philosophers can attempt to make cogent and concrete policy suggestions on the basis of such a high level regulatory model. I argue that it is often extremely difficult to draw cogent and concrete policy proposals from even extremely good moral and political philosophy; and given the paucity of philosophical theorising so far about IP, it would be especially ambitious to expect philosophers now to construct theories which will have concrete and cogent policy implications. Hence this chapter focuses mostly on the first task.

Type: Book chapter
Title: On the value of the intellectual commons
ISBN-13: 9781107009318
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511920837.006
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511920837.006
Language: English
Additional information: This chapter has been accepted for publication and appears in a revised form, subsequent to appropriate editorial input by Cambridge University Press, in New Frontiers in the Philosophy of Intellectual Property published by Cambridge University Press.
Keywords: Intellectual property, Justice, Commons, Innovation
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Dept of Philosophy
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1325659
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