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Copy Fights

The Future of Intellectual Property in the Information Age

About the Book

The Internet has often been labeled a disruptive technology, and nowhere has that been more clearly the case than in the field of intellectual property (IP) law. Although debates over IP policy have raged in academic circles and law and economics journals for decades, with the rise of the Internet, IP issues have captured the public’s collective attention like never before.

Suddenly, the teenage creator of file‐​swapping sensation Napster appeared on the cover of Time magazine as the mass media took notice of an explosion of interest in digital downloads, CD burning, and widespread peer‐​to‐​peer file sharing among the general public. But the mass movement to share songs and other digital content online was met with a firestorm of criticism from copyright and patent holders, who struck back with a vengeance, filing lawsuits and pursuing legislative and regulatory remedies for what they regarded as intellectual property piracy on a scale never before envisioned.

This debate has sparked a newfound interest in timeless questions about the nature of intellectual property and how it should be protected, including:

  • Why do we protect intellectual property at all?
  • Do we really have “property rights” in our intangible creations the same way we have property rights to our homes and our land?
  • Aren’t there better ways to encourage artistic creation and scientific discovery than through the use of copyright and patent laws that protect a limited monopoly?

    Copy Fights: The Future of Intellectual Property in the Information Age presents a thought‐​provoking exploration of these questions.

    Press Release: Copy Fights

About the Editor

Adam Thierer is director of Telecommunications Studies and Wayne Crews director of Technology Studies at the Cato Institute.

What Others Have Said

“…a provocative and balanced collection that examines both the current theories and the practice of intellectual property protection.”
Foreign Affairs

“It is critical that we begin to evaluate the health of the intellectual property landscape. Who benefits from recent trends in copyright aggregation and extension, and how do these functioning models compare with the vision of the founders? Do these changes have an impact on innovation, imagination, and competition, and, if so, is that impact a positive or negative one? As we move forward it is critical that artists and citizens publicly engage these questions so that legal campaigns brought forth in their names serve the ultimate goals of creation and reward. This book serves as a starting point for that investigation.”
‘Jenny Toomey, Executive Director, Future of Music Coalition

“A timely and ideologically balanced collection, containing essays by some of the top scholars working in the field‘ an indispensable resource for those who want to hear all perspectives on the raging intellectual property debates.”
‘Eugene Volokh, Professor of Law, UCLA School of Law

“The Cato Institute has performed a terrific service for anyone interested in the future of technology. It has assembled a provocative, beguiling, and thoroughly engaging collection of essays on the law and policy of intellectual property.”
‘Declan McCullagh, Chief Political Correspondent, CNET​.com