25 March 2007

India's Intellectual Commons

Here's an interesting perspective from India on intellectual monopolies:

The term "intellectual property" reduces knowledge into a tangible product. In international trade negotiations, when India negotiates on the basis of the term "intellectual property," we implicitly accept that intellect can be reduced to property and all that remains is to dot the i's and cross the t's. We buy into the rhetoric that without the "propertization" of knowledge, there will be no innovation. And in doing so, we ignore our own history where astonishing innovations flourished over thousands of years. In accepting the term "intellectual property," we implicitly accept a playing field that is dominated by the commercial traditions of the West, rather than the spiritual traditions of the East.

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