Earlier this week, the Financial Times – the go-to news source for entrepreneurs and global capitalists – published an opinion piece that rethinks privatization of intellectual property.
In “Who steals the gene from off the common,” Duke law professor James Boyle considers arrangements outside the current patent system that would create a “pre-competitive commons, a pool of information from which all can draw” and would benefit both science and commerce. Boyle has written extensively about the public domain, arguing that it has been seriously eroded by the current system of intellectual property laws.
With such a perspective being featured in the Financial Times, perhaps such ideas are becoming legitimate even in the eyes of science entrepreneurs and biotech venture capitalists. While the pending appeal of ACLU v. Myriad Genetics gives these arguments renewed relevance, the seventeenth century protest poem that opens Boyle's piece demostrates their time-tested importance.
The law locks up the man or woman
Who steals the goose from off the common
But leaves the greater villain loose
Who steals the common from off the goose.
Previously on Biopolitical Times:
Posted in Jillian Theil's Blog Posts, Patents & Other IP, US Federal
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