A new version of the book Against Intellectual Property by Michele Boldrin and David K. Levine is out now (download it here). The print version will be published by Cambridge University Press (around July 2008).
It is common to argue that intellectual property in the form of copyright and patent is necessary for the innovation and creation of ideas and inventions such as machines, drugs, computer software, books, music, literature and movies. In fact intellectual property is a government grant of a costly and dangerous private monopoly over ideas. We show through theory and example that intellectual monopoly is not necessary for innovation and as a practical matter is damaging to growth, prosperity and liberty.
Chapter 1: Introduction (pdf)
An overview of the central theme: intellectual property is in fact intellectual monopoly and hinders rather than helps innovation and creation.
Chapter 2: Creation Under Competition (pdf)
Would the world be devoid of great or lesser works of art without copyright?
Chapter 3: Innovation Under Competition (pdf)
What would happen to innovation without patents?
Chapter 4: The Evil of Intellectual Monopoly (pdf)
Why are patents so bad anyway?
Chapter 5: The Devil in Disney (pdf)
What is the big deal with copyright?
Chapter 6: How Competition Works (pdf)
How would artists and innovators get paid without copyrights and patents?
Chapter 7: Defenses of Intellectual Monopoly (pdf)
What is the conventional wisdom and why it is wrong.
Chapter 8: Does Intellectual Monopoly Increase Innovation? (pdf)
This is the heart of the matter: there is no evidence that intellectual monopoly serves the purpose that both the U.S. Constitution and economic logic dictates. There is no evidence it “works” to increase creation and innovation.
Chapter 9: The Pharmaceutical Industry (pdf)
But what about life-saving drugs?
Chapter 10: The Bad, the Good, and the Ugly (pdf)
A look at various policy options.