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Technological Innovation and Intellectual Property

The current issue of Technological Innovation and Intellectual Property is out…including this comment: “However, they go on to point out an often overlooked feature of copyrights and patents: these systems do not simply confer rights to own and sell intellectual property; they also confer rights to control the subsequent use of that property. “When you buy a potato you can eat it, throw it away, plant it, or make it into a sculpture. Current law allows producers of CDs and books to take this freedom away from you. When you buy a potato you can use the ‘idea’ of a potato embodied in it to make better potatoes or to invent French fries. Current law allows producers of computer software or medical drugs to take this freedom away from you.” The authors consider this discrepancy a distortion of basic property rights, a kind of “intellectual monopoly.”"