Sunday, 5 December 2010

PIIPA Explores the Relationship between IP and Human Development

PIIPA, the Public Interest Intellectual Property Advisors, which Afro-Leo has mentioned on a few occasions (here, here and here), has recently released a new book entitled Intellectual Property and Human Development: Current Trends and Future Scenarios.  From the Overview, the purpose of this book is to examine the social impact of IP laws.

“Going beyond Anglo-American analyses of IP (particularly copyright and patents) as mainly providing economic incentives for innovation, or the natural rights arguments for protecting IP as an extension of the ‘personality’ of creators (Fisher 2001), this book explores how different cultural values and contexts shape the motivations and capabilities of individuals and communities in their innovative endeavours.”

The book begins by analyzing the rational behind existing models of intellectual property protection.  It then explores the relationships between IP and basic human needs: health and food security.  From there it moves onto spreading of culture and information: traditional knowledge, traditional cultural expressions, education and access to information.  The last two chapters again take up the analysis of how current IP laws and policies fit with cultural diversity and what’s desired for human development.  There are also several informative appendices exploring new ways of both creating innovation and measuring development. 

Portions of the book, including the prefaces, appendices and first two chapters are available on PIIPA’s site.  Do be sure to check out the acknowledgments page.  There’s a nice shout-out to Afro-IP’s own Paul Asiimwe.

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