Intellectual Property is Common Property

Arguments for the abolition of private intellectual property rights

Andreas Von Gunten

There are many good reasons to question the justifications for intellectual property rights and therefore it is time to start the political discussion about the abolition of these rights to create a world in which intellectual property is common property.

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Defenders of intellectual property rights argue that these rights are justified because creators and inventors deserve compensation for their labour, because their ideas and expressions are their personal property and because the total amount of creative work and innovation increases when inventors and creators have a prospect of generating high income through the exploitation of their monopoly rights.

In this essay, I will show that the classical arguments for the justification of private intellectual property rights can be contested, and that there are many good reasons to abolish intellectual property rights completely in favour of an intellectual commons where every person is allowed to use every cultural expression and invention in whatever way he wishes.

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