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Menell, “Intellectual Property and the Property Rights Movement” (2007)

Should intellectual property be accorded the same protections as tangible forms of property?. One law professor wants to know.

No endorsement implied. But still.

Peter S. Menell, “Intellectual Property and the Property Rights Movement,” Regulation, Vol. 30, No. 3 (Fall 2007) [PDF]

The somewhat mealy-mouthed but cautiously leaning in the right direction Conclusion:

The property rights movement is too limited and grounded in absolutist ideology to support the needs of a dynamic, resource-sensitive intellectual property system. It is not particularly helpful to think of real and intellectual property as “structurally unified.” To the contrary, the landscape of intellectual property itself is quite variegated. Functionally-oriented property rights analysis can be useful to legal and policy debates, but property rights rhetoric is misleading philosophically, historically, and functionally. Suggesting that “intellectual property” must be treated as part of a monolithic “property” edifice masks fundamental differences and distracts attention from critical issues.

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