Information Feudalism: Who Owns the Knowledge Economy?

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New Press, 2007 - Business & Economics - 253 pages
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The definitive account of how multinational corporations have seized control of intellectual property rights.

In a few short years, the battle over intellectual property rights has emerged from obscurity to become front-page news. The continent- hopping, three-year court battle fought by activists to bring cheap versions of desperately needed AIDS drugs to South Africa is but one example of how this seemingly arcane area of international regulation has become a crucial battleground in the twenty-first century and is animating activists the world over.

This powerful book is the definitive history of how the new global intellectual property regimethe rulebook for the knowledge economycame to be. Drawing on more than five years of research and more than five hundred interviews with key figuresincluding negotiators for First and Third World countries, leaders of multinational corporations, and public-interest experts, Information Feudalism uncovers the story of how a small coterie of multi-national corporations wrote the charter for the global information order.

Information Feudalism is an authoritative history of the demise of the world's intellectual commons, and a potent call for democratic property rights.

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About the author (2007)

Peter Drahos is a professor at the Research School of Social Sciences at the Australian National University. He is the author of A Philosophy of Intellectual Property and, with John Braithwaite, Global Business Regulation.

John Braithwaite is a business regulatory scholar who is an Australian Research Council Federation Fellow at the Australian National University. His major works include Corporate Crime in the Pharmaceutical Industry and Corporations, Crime and Accountability.

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