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Reading Analysis #4

594 words - 3 pages

This reading for this week was From Goods to a Good Life: Intellectual Property and Global Justice by Madhavi Sunder. The reading I chose to put into convocation with the first article was The Public Domain: Enclosing the Commons of the Mind by James Boyle. In Sunder’s chapter on “Fair Culture”, she specifically references Lessig’s Free Culture, saying that it is insufficient, thereafter extending its claims. Sunder attempts to extend and slightly modify Lessig’s idea by incorporating a thorough analysis of culture and the inequalities in people’s ability to claim intellectual property rights into her argument. On the other hand, Boyle’s article gives a history of what “property” is, the reach of intellectual property rights, and views on intellectual property rights. Like Lessig, Boyle also assumes a largely economic perspective, which differs from Sunder’s cultural perspective.
Sunder’s cultural perspective on intellectual property rights illustrates ideas not fully developed in Boyle’s work, as well as introduces new ideas. Sunder asserts that the solely economic approach to intellectual property rights fails to recognize the inequalities between people in capital, knowledge, health, and power that can influence someone’s ability to create and claim intellectual property. These inequalities and their interactions with the law influence how different people or groups of people are represented (or misrepresented), which in turn alters the person or group’s social and economic power. Sunder mentions information technologies such as the Internet and their usefulness in permitting niche cultures to thrive and allowing many people to create their own, collaborate on, and consume cultural works. Moreover, increased access to these technologies would aid in creating a fair culture.
Even if it’s not obvious in Boyle’s article, both articles paint education as crucial to improving intellectual property law. Boyle hints at...

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