Guy Pessach: Beyond IP – The Cost of Free

Research Seminar

Wednesday 22 February, 16.00, Room F306 (Fusion Building)

Critical copyright scholarship rightly emphasizes the social costs of ordering cultural production through proprietary intellectual property law regimes. This scholarship also celebrates the virtues of free content and free access, particularly in digital domains. The purpose of this paper is to question this critique, which tends to pair proprietary intellectual property protection with informational capitalism and the commodification of culture. This paper argues that the drawbacks of cultural commodification and informational capitalism are also apparent in market-oriented media environments that are based on free distribution of content. The paper makes a novel contribution by untying the seemingly Gordian knot binding proprietary IP to capitalist structures of corporate media. Media environments based on free distribution of content are no less vulnerable to market powers. This analysis has significant normative implications for the desirability of contemporary approaches that advocate mobilization towards non-proprietary “beyond IP” legal regimes.

>> The paper is available for the participants to the seminar. Please email Maurizio Borghi to request a copy.

Guy Pessach is Law Professor at the Faculty of Law, Hebrew University Jerusalem.