Collected thoughts on Intellectual Property: Copyright vs. Open Access

The purpose of copyright law, according to the Constitution  (Article I, Section 8,Clause 8) is to "promote the progress of science and useful arts" and not to "compensate the creator of the content." Copyright law should therefore be evaluated by the degree to which it facilitates innovation and creative expression.

Economists Michele Boldrin and David Levine have been making these same points for years. In their book Against Intellectual Monopoly, they point out that the pace of innovation in industries without patent and copyright protection has historically been extremely rapid.

In their book, Boldrin and Levine argue that 'intellectual property' is not like ordinary property at all, but constitutes a government grant of a costly and dangerous private monopoly over ideas.  Boldrin and Levine specifically use the term "monopoly" rather than "property" to characterize patents and copyrights.

Bottom line, copyright and patents aside, the revolutionary global 'Open Movement' continues to grow and strengthen. We have moved from 'open standards', to free and 'open source' software, to 'open access' research & journals, to 'open data', and have now even seen the birth of 'open hardware'.  What's next?

Collaboration + Open Solutions = Innovation


* Visit the Collaboration, Open Solutions, & Innovation (COSI) web site at