Human Rights in the Digital Era

IP vs Innovation

James Firth, CEO for the Open Digital Policy Organisation, explains the connection between intellectual property and innovation.

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“Intellectual Property versus Innovation” – James Firth, CEO Open DIgital Policy Organisation

In our scramble to protect creators it’s all too easy to lose sight of the fact that copyright is a market intervention, and there comes a point where protecting the rights of the creator comes at a cost to consumers and society.  James Firth examines how digital technology threatens to push some concepts of IP protection to breaking point.
He suggests that copyright over-reach especially has focused on protecting the publishing industry at the expense of public interest; pointing to market monopolies strangling newer, innovative businesses
and threatening online freedom.

But he believes some form of IP protection must survive to ensure investment in innovation and creation, balancing the needs of the publisher, author and public. He considers the special case of the software industry, where the number of distinct constituent “packages” in common software products regularly exceeds a thousand, how the number of patentable “inventions” in jurisdictions allowing software patents can far exceed this count, and how neither copyright protection nor patent protection seem particularly suitable for
protecting such works

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