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Against Monopoly

defending the right to innovate

Public Goods and IP

Monopoly corrupts. Absolute monopoly corrupts absolutely.





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Hacking the WTO

Peter Suber's Open Access News draws an interesting parallel between copyright laws and the World Trade Organization. The General Public License is a way to "hack" copyright laws so as to put the licensed items out of reach of copyrights. In a similar way, the General Agreement of Trade and Services, which tries to regulate the trade of services and thus expand the reach of copyright and patent laws, could be hacked to specifically put some services out of reach of such laws. The GATS lays out rules within groups of countries to commit them to agreements. The same rules could be applied to free some services from intellectual property and define rules to enforce this. Public goods, which suffer the most from patents and copyrights, are obvious candidates for such agreements.

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