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Le Monde diplomatique: Defining The World’s Public Property – Who owns knowledge?

“Far from being a mere technical adjustment to the “information
society”, the changes to intellectual property law are a political
matter. Using the “multimedia revolution” as an argument, some
interest groups have in fact mobilised to get intellectual property
law revised, strengthening it in the rights holders’
favour….”

Most innovations and inventions are based on ideas that
form part of the common property of humanity. It cannot therefore
be right to restrict access to the information and knowledge that
make up this common property by making the law too keen to
safeguard individual interests….

“Consider, for example, the ownership of raw data and facts.
Everywhere, the state is “pulling out” and having countless public
databases managed by subcontractors who then get the rights to
exploit that data. Thus, the Securities and Exchange Commission
(SEC, the American stock market watchdog) has been obliged to buy
back its own data from a commercial enterprise which now “owns”
it.”

Complete
Story