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La privatisation de l'information par la propriété intellectuelle


  • Michel Vivant


This paper deals with the seeming paradox that intellectual property is not meant to allow full and direct appropriation of information, this being a « message » aimed at communication, but only to in some way reserve its exclusive use for specific purposes while maintaining free communication to and by others (the basis being the form/content dichotomy in copyright law, and the disclosure requirement in patent law respectively). Contract law may reach further, but only inter partes; intellectual property may be and frequently is stretched so as to enable the owner to control the information itself. In addition, the limits of intellectual property may be circumvented with a view to directly privatise otherwise information non subject to protection. This may be the effect of remedies of unfair competition law aimed at acts of misappropriation of knowledge, or of technical protection measures, and this is also the case of “borderline” protection of databases by a sui generis right. The law in these respects is, like information itself, of a certain fluidity, which possibly it would not be wise to consolidate too strictly.

Suggested Citation

  • Michel Vivant, 2006. "La privatisation de l'information par la propriété intellectuelle," Revue internationale de droit économique, De Boeck Université, vol. 0(4), pages 361-388.
  • Handle: RePEc:cai:riddbu:ride_204_0361

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