Unlocking IP 2006


'Freedom and Diversity: A Defence of the Intellectual Commons'

Peter Drahos, Professor in Law and the Head of Program of the Regulatory Institutions Network at the Australian National University. He is the Director of the Centre for the Governance of Knowledge and Development and a Director in the Foundation for Effective Markets and Governance

Use rights over cultural and scientific information are of fundamental political importance to citizens everywhere. These use rights will be deeply affected by the kinds of intellectual property rights we allow to develop over information.

The paper argues for positive intellectual commons as a means of increasing freedom and diversity in information societies. The public domain is less useful and sometimes antithetical to the goals of freedom and diversity.

Self-organized, positive intellectual commons will become more prevalent as citizens conclude that governments will not deliver the institutions of knowledge that citizens want.