Table of Contents

Intellectual Property, Entrepreneurship and Social Justice

Intellectual Property, Entrepreneurship and Social Justice

From Swords to Ploughshares

Elgar Law and Entrepreneurship series

Edited by Lateef Mtima

In the Information Age, historically marginalized groups and developing nations continue to strive for socio-economic empowerment within the global community. Their ultimate success largely depends upon their ability to develop, protect, and exploit their greatest natural resource: intellectual property. Through an exploration of the techniques used in social entrepreneurship, Intellectual Property, Entrepreneurship and Social Justice provides a framework by which historically marginalized communities and developing nations can cooperate with the developed world to establish a socially cohesive global intellectual property order. The knowledgeable contributors discuss, in four parts, topics surrounding entrepreneurship and empowerment, education and advocacy, engagement and activism and, finally, commencement.

Chapter 7: Intellectual property training and education for social justice

Peter K. Yu

Subjects: business and management, social entrepreneurship, law - academic, intellectual property law, law and society


Social justice issues have been present in the intellectual property debate for as long as intellectual property rights have existed. Their longstanding presence is unsurprising considering that intellectual property rights have always been designed with authors, inventors and other rights holders in mind. What is different today, however, is the increased public attention devoted to the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights. Although this subject was once considered arcane, obscure, specialized and highly technical, the mass media, consumer advocates, user communities and civil liberty groups have now actively participated in the intellectual property debate. The past decade alone has seen a large and ever-growing number of public protests against the use of intellectual property rights to protect medicines, textbooks, seeds and computer software. Only three years ago, the signing of the secretly-negotiated Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) brought hundreds of thousands of people into the streets in major European cities in the middle of winter. Across the Atlantic, individuals were equally concerned about the introduction of highly controversial copyright legislation, such as the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). These concerns eventually led to an unprecedented, massive service blackout launched by Wikipedia, Reddit, WordPress and other Internet companies in the run-up to the US presidential election. If social justice issues rarely came up in the intellectual property debate a decade ago, these issues have now been heard loud and clear.

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