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The Case Against Intellectual Property

  • Boldrin, Michele
  • Levine, David

According to a common argument, the presence of strong intellectual property rights spurs innovation, which then leads to fiercer competition, higher economic growth and increasing benefits for the average consumers. We argue that, in the case of intellectual property rights, this has lead to misconceptions and abuses. Current legislation on intellectual property confuses the protection of property rights on objects in which ideas are embodied with the attribution of monopoly power on the idea itself and, furthermore, with restrictions on the usage of such goods on the part of the buyers. This implies that both patent and copyright laws should be dramatically altered. To back up our claim we provide theoretical arguments, even for the most extreme case in which goods are produced at a positive fixed cost and zero marginal cost.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 3273.

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Date of creation: Mar 2002
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3273
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  1. Michele Boldrin & David K Levine, 2002. "Perfectly Competitive Innovation," Levine's Working Paper Archive 625018000000000192, David K. Levine.
  2. Paul Romer, 1990. "Are Nonconvexities Important For Understanding Growth?," NBER Working Papers 3271, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Joshua S. Gans & David H. Hsu & Scott Stern, 2000. "When Does Start-Up Innovation Spur the Gale of Creative Destruction?," NBER Working Papers 7851, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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