Friday, September 7, 2012

Access to Knowledge - A Primer & Thought Leadership

Access to Knowledge in the Age of Intellectual Property edited by Gaëlle Krikorian and Amy Kapczynski — A discussion of how intellectual property and access to knowledge collide, intersect, and compete.

Access to Knowledge (A2K) is a term used to cover many of the issues that impact the changing world of digital knowledge — copyright, creative commons "copyleft" protection of traditional knowledge, patent rights intellectual property and trade.  A2K has many aspects and many constituencies.  Here the discussion brings into sharp contrast how intellectual property collides with everyday life.  This is the latest selection from the Way Better Patents Intellectual Property Reading List.

Consider some of the goings-on in the IP world.  Publishers of technical journals suing patent attorneys for making unauthorized (read uncompensated for) copies of their copyright protected work to attached to patent applications to document prior art.  College students who found cheap copies of expensive text books during their semester abroad and shipped them home to sell on eBay are now being sued by the publishers because they believe reselling a used book that was printed overseas in the US market violates their copyright.  Medical researchers attempting to patent treatments that use the same compounds documented in century old Sanskrit.

Access to Knowledge in the Age of Intellectual Property defines the core issues on how the digital world calls for new thinking on the issues and provides insightful thought leadership on the complex legal, regulatory, educational, and human issues.  I was introduced to the A2K folks as "progressive IP advocates."  The progressive moniker made me predisposed to think this was going to be a sermon on why patents are bad and why copyrighted works should be free for the taking.  You will be surprised at the discussion and how the authors have framed the discussion.  The progressive IP advocates have a lot to say.