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This book focuses on the question of how much control innovators should be given over their works. The first parts examine the trend to increase control: first, by expanding the scope of intellectual property rights to add new subject matter; secondly, through increasing transactional autonomy.
The former issue represents the key concerns of the intellectual property community; the latter issue is currently before both state and national legislatures.
The question that these groups are debating is the subject of the next part: whether strong intellectual property rights, coupled with a high degree of transactional autonomy, promote innovation or chill interchange. One view is that the current legal regime should not be altered because it represents the right balance between the needs of information producers and the requirements of users.
The contrary view is that stronger rights would allow potential collaborators to find one another, bargain for beneficial exchanges, and reallocate rights. The final sections explore the bases in constitutions, laws, and treaties for protecting the public domain. Four judges from the US federal courts and the UK high court then debate the practicalities of the frameworks proposed.
The follow up volume, Working Within the Boundaries of Intellectual Property, is due to be published by OUP in March 2010. ISBN: 9780199573608