It is commonly believed that intellectual property law in the form of copyright and patent is necessary for innovation and the creation of ideas and inventions such as machines, drugs, computer software, books, music, literature and movies.
But Michele Boldrin and his coauthor David K. Levine argue that intellectual property laws are costly and dangerous government grants of private monopoly over ideas. Their book “Against Intellectual Monopoly” seeks to show through theory and example that these legal regimes are not necessary for innovation and are damaging to growth, prosperity, and liberty.
The argument that intellectual property laws actually retard progress is a fascinating challenge to conventional beliefs about their foundations and utility. At the onset of the Information Age, the role of copyright, patent, and other legal regimes in the progress of science and arts is centrally important.
The Cato Institute will be hosting a forum on Monday, November 10th that will surely be an interesting discussion of the book with coauthor Michele Boldrin, featuring commentary from Robert Atkinson, founder and president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation.