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NewsForge: Why the Term ‘Intellectual Property’ is a Seductive Mirage

“It has become fashionable to describe copyright, patents, and
trademarks as ‘intellectual property.’ This fashion did not arise
by accident–the term systematically distorts and confuses these
issues. Anyone wishing to think clearly about any of these laws
would do well to resist it.

“One effect of the term is a bias that is not hard to see: It
suggests thinking about copyright, patents and trademarks by
analogy, with property rights for physical objects. (This analogy
is at odds with the legal philosophies of copyright law, of patent
law, and of trademark law, but only specialists know that…)”

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