Indonesia | Economics

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

A free book!

I love free books. So, I'm happy when I found out there is one here (it's not really free -- you still have to pay for paper, ink, and internet connections. Well, some of you, that is...!). Entitled Against Intellectual Monopoly, it's about intellectual property rights:
It is common to argue that intellectual property in the form of copyright and patent is necessary for the innovation and creation of ideas and inventions such as machines, drugs, computer software, books, music, literature and movies. In fact intellectual property is not like ordinary property at all, but constitutes a government grant of a costly and dangerous private monopoly over ideas. We show through theory and example that intellectual monopoly is not neccesary for innovation and as a practical matter is damaging to growth, prosperity and liberty.

Here, Greg Mankiw dares one of the authors to put his arguments into practice, and he refused (though this comment by Guan Yang has a nice explanation for it). For an older (and also free) book with a similar argument, see Free Culture by Lawrence Lessig.

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