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The Perils of Property Speak in Academia

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Bollier, David
Conference: Controlling Intellectual Property: The Academic Community & the Future of Knowledge
Location: Ottawa, Ontario
Conf. Date: October 29, 2006
Date: 2006
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/5487
Sector: Information & Knowledge
Social Organization
Subject(s): public policy
intellectual property rights
Abstract: "The challenge that we face is not just about lawsuits and public policy. It’s also about a larger cultural pathology – the idea that knowledge and creative works should be owned outright an absolutely. I call this political and moral orientation Property Speak. It a belief that knowledge ought to be enclosed in tight little envelopes of property rights. The idea, of course, is that copyrights and patents reward people for their creative labors, encourages their work to be sold in the marketplace, and thereby generates wealth. What’s not to like? The premise is that knowledge cannot achieve its true value without being propertized. After all, if knowledge is free to share – if it has no price -- how could it possibly be valuable?"

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