This paper discusses basic concepts and recentdevelopments in intellectual property ownership in theUnited States. Various philosophical arguments havepreviously been put forward to support the creation andmaintenance of intellectual property systems. However, in an age of information, access toinformation is a critical need and should beguaranteed for every citizen. Any right of controlover the information, adopted as an incentive toencourage creation and distribution of intellectualproperty, should be subservient to an overriding needto ensure access to the information. The principlesunderlying intellectual property regimes in the UnitedStates recognize and embody this. In addition, thephilosophical/ethical dimensions of this debate couldalso be structured to support this attitude as well. Intellectual property is fast becoming digitalproperty. New technologies allow owners to extendtheir control of both legitimate uses and misuses ofthe intellectual property. Recent trends demonstratethat the access principle has not always beenparamount in judicial or legislative applications. Thetrend rather is to allow a proprietarianism factor todominate the analysis. Finally, several principles areforwarded which would assist adjudicators and policymakers in reaffirming the basic purpose of theintellectual property law, which is to benefit thepublic at large.
Keywords access  copyright  ethics  intellectual property  new media  ownership  patent  trademark  trade secret
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Reprint years 2004
DOI 10.1023/A:1010064313976
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Justifying Intellectual Property.Edwin C. Hettinger - 1989 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 18 (1):31-52.
Social Justice. [REVIEW]John Rawls - 1965 - Philosophical Review 74 (3):406-409.

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Singular Justice and Software Piracy.Lucas D. Introna - 2007 - Business Ethics: A European Review 16 (3):264-277.

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