I was at my public library the other day and found a new book called Hot Property: The Stealing of Ideas in an Age of Globalization, by Pat Choate.
I recommend the book for your summer reading list on intellectual property because it tells so well the stories that led to the evolution of today’s approaches to intellectual property protection.
Although I suspect that most peoples’ reaction to this book will reflect their political persuasion, this review in Business Week strikes me as a fair one, even though I think that the reviewer underestimates the final third of the book, in which Choate suggests that the U.S. textile industry (and perhaps a million jobs) was sacrificed to an attempt, as yet unsuccessful, to bring the world to a more United States-like regime of intellectual property protection.
I’ll note the following:
1. You’ll be hard pressed to find a more thorough and well-stated defense of strong intellectual property laws. The most interesting question is, given that, will you find it convincing?
2. You’ll get just a hint that our IP laws favor businesses that own IP rather than individual inventors.
3. You’ll notice that the stories of inventors we got in school left out all of the most interesting parts of the stories.
4. You’ll question the sanity of an approach to IP law that throws lots of resources and effort at high school and college students sharing music files when billions of dollars worth of IP is systematically pirated in other countries.
5. You’ll wonder, if just for a moment, whether our government has been involved in the biggest giveaway of this country’s intellectual property legacy while our representatives busily work to earn the contributions of the entertainment industry.
It will make you think, and that’s a good thing. Put this one on your summer reading list.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]