Intellectual Property From Below

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Article: Intellectual Property “from Below”: Copyright and Capability for Education. Margaret Chon, 2007 (journal or monograph source n.a.)



Global intellectual property regimes reflect a top-down approach to global intellectual property regulation, following from the interests and needs of intellectual property-rich states.2 This approach fails to generate the full range of policy choices for both developed and developing countries to maximize global social welfare with respect to human development needs such as education. To address this bias, I propose an approach of intellectual property (hereinafter “IP”) “from below,” which links IP to distributive justice. This approach responds to the imbalance that observers in both the North and the South are identifying in both domestic and global IP policymaking settings. After outlining the approach, I describe how it might make a difference in building capacity for basic education in countries lacking adequate access to textbooks and other educational materials. In an earlier work, I posited the need for a substantive equality principle3 in global IP norm setting and interpretation.