The Open UniversitySkip to content

Towards a critique of the moral foundations of intellectual property rights [1]

Papaioannou, Theodoros (2006). Towards a critique of the moral foundations of intellectual property rights [1]. Journal of Global Ethics, 2(1) pp. 67–90.

DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link:
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


Research in recent history has neglected to address the moral foundations of particular kinds of public policy such as the protection of intellectual property rights (IPRs). On the one hand, nation-states have enforced a tightening of the IPR system. On the other, only recently national government and international institutions have recognised that the moral justification for stronger IPRs protection is far from being plausible and cannot be taken for granted. In this paper we examine IPRs as individual rights founded upon natural-law, personality development, just reward and social utility. We argue that these foundations cannot be philosophically sustained. IPRs constitute morally indefensible political developments which aim to reproduce the capitalist division of knowledge and labour at national, international and global levels. The need for such a critical approach to the moral foundations of IPRs has increased in importance as a consequence of their role in justifying corporate power, globalisation policies and harmonisation of such.

Item Type: Article
ISSN: 1744-9634
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Politics, Philosophy, Economics, Development, Geography
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
Interdisciplinary Research Centre: Centre for Citizenship, Identities and Governance (CCIG)
Innovation, Knowledge & Development research centre (IKD)
OpenSpace Research Centre (OSRC)
International Development & Inclusive Innovation
Related URLs:
Item ID: 3369
Depositing User: Theo Papaioannou
Date Deposited: 26 Jun 2006
Last Modified: 09 Feb 2017 13:22
Share this page:


Scopus Citations

▼ Automated document suggestions from open access sources

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   + 44 (0)870 333 4340