Intellectual Property and the Public Interest

By Mark Addis.

Published by The International Journal of the Book

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper is concerned with the application of selected considerations from ethics and political philosophy to issues about copyright. An objective is to identify some of the underlying causes of major disagreements about the moral aspects of copyright. Views about what should govern the framework of an ethically justified copyright regime are fundamentally related to questions of how intellectual property rights in general should be justified. It is briefly reviewed whether current copyright regimes and trends are in the public interest. The idea that copyright is a property right and utilitarian justifications for copyright are considered. Several major kinds of ethical conflict about copyright, namely, those about rights, the public interest, and distributive justice are examined. Assessments of whether the current copyright regime is in the public interest need to take account of ethical concerns.

Keywords: Intellectual Property, Copyright, Public Interest

International Journal of the Book, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp.121-124. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 458.346KB).

Dr. Mark Addis

Reader in Philosophy and Cultural Theory, School of English, Birmingham City University, Birmingham, UK

Dr. Mark Addis is a Reader in Philosophy and Cultural Theory at Birmingham City University. He primarily focuses upon Wittgenstein and related areas but also has active research interests in the philosophies of language, mind, and religion. Mark has published Wittgenstein: Making Sense of Other Minds, Wittgenstein and Philosophy of Religion and Wittgenstein: A Guide for the Perplexed. He is the General Editor for the Philosophy Insights series at Humanities-Ebooks ( In 2005 he was a Visiting Scholar at the Department of Philosophy at Georgia State University. From 2007 onwards Mark has been a Visiting Professor at the Institute for Philosophy and History of Ideas at Aarhus University. He is Treasurer of the British Philosophical Association and a member of the Arts and Humanities Research Council Peer Review College.


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