Information Feudalism: Who Owns the Knowledge Economy?

Front Cover
New Press, 2003 - Law - 253 pages
2 Reviews
How multinational corporations are patenting life itself. Uncovering the story of how a small coterie of multinational corporations came to write the charter for a new global information order, Information Feudalism demonstrates why the world of intellectual property rights, patent regimes, and anti-trust laws is an urgent concern for ordinary citizens. As an ever wider range of everyday activitiesfrom swinging in a swing to traditional farming techniquesare identified and commodified as intellectual property, struggles over the control of information are destined to become crucial battlegrounds in the twenty-first century. A telling example is the five-year courtroom battle fought by a coalition of activists to bring cheap versions of desperately needed AIDS drugs to South Africain which time one million people died of AIDS in that country alone. Information Feudalism traces the rise of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), the little-known charter that now governs intellectual property disputes across the globe, through inside accounts of the backroom deals that gave birth to it. Along the way, the book provides a mini-history of piracy, detailed accounts of the political involvement of multinationals like Pfizer, and a thorough set of proposals to establish democratic property rights.

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Review: Information Feudalism: Who Owns the Knowledge Economy?

User Review  - Kim - Goodreads

On one hand, some of the info about certain legislation is out of date. On the other hand, with the TPP and revisions to DMCA, the information about how these processes work and how corporations and government instill a state of contemporary feudalism, is as important as ever. Read full review

Review: Information Feudalism: Who Owns the Knowledge Economy?

User Review  - elizabeth - Goodreads

this book is amazing... the author spent years interviewing people who negotiated treaties that have impacted the economy of information, and essentially determine who can have access to what ... Read full review

About the author (2003)

John Braithwaite is a business regulatory scholar who is an Australian Research Council Federation Fellow at the Australian National University.

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