4.13 Summary and SAQs

This section has looked at the need for balance, both in intellectual property law and in the deployment of valuable resources. Intellectual property should balance the needs of the creators with those of the consumers of their work, the public. There should also be a balanced mix of privately owned (controlled) and free (commons) resources to allow innovation to flourish. There is an implicit idea in the material in Chapter 7 of The Future of Ideas, borrowed from the earlier part of the book, that before we ask who should control valuable resources we should be asking whether those resources should exist as a commons.

We also looked at some examples of those revolutionary innovations that we referred to earlier in the course – the World Wide Web, My.MP3 and Napster being just three. We briefly touched again on the importance of thinking critically about the ideas being put forward in the unit, and the importance of using reason rather than unfair tactics to persuade. Lessig's perspective on Napster as a celestial jukebox was a good example.

4.13.1 Self-assessment Questions (SAQs)