A Portal for the Philosophy of Intellectual Property

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This website has been established as a portal for information and resources on the philosophy of intellectual property.

Click on the tabs above to find links to:
  • Resources: an interactive bibliography of books covering various perspectives on the philosophy of intellectual property (including history, economics and intellectual property concepts).
  • Issues in IP: an interactive bibliography of books covering various issues related to intellectual property, and covering policy issues affecting or affected by intellectual property law. 
Extra pages with links to other useful resources will be added in the future.
What is the philosophy of intellectual  property about?

'Intellectual property' is a catch-all term that describes a variety of legal doctrines including copyright law, patent law, designs law, and trademark law. Related legal doctrines such as passing off, geographical indications, traditional knowledge, and moral rights are also referred to as 'intellectual property' laws.

The philosophy of intellectual property examines these areas of law in various ways. These include:
  • metaphysical questions: what is intellectual property?
  • historical questions: how and why did intellectual property come about?
  • normative questions: how is intellectual property law justified? Is it justifiable?
  • theoretical questions: how can intellectual property be explained? (eg. politics, economics).
These are interesting questions, and they are useful to understand when considering 'policy' issues about how intellectual property laws should be developed or amended so as to produce beneficial outcomes. 
Would you like to join the
Society for the Philosophy of Intellectual Property?

This is a group where academics, students and others with an interest in the philosophy of intellectual property can network and share their ideas. The Society welcomes lawyers, philosophers, inventors, artists, musicians, designers and other creative people, as well as sociologists, cultural theorists, anthropologists, and anyone else with an interest in philosophical perspectives on intellectual property and the law that regulates it.

The Society currently operates as a Yahoo! Groupwhere members can discuss the philosophy of intellectual property. There are no joining or membership fees at this time. 

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If there is sufficient interest, the Society may hold seminars, conferences and other events where members can present, share and discuss their ideas.
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