Access and Use: Open vs. Proprietary Worlds
10 Pages Posted: 17 Jun 2014
Date Written: April 29, 2013
There are good reasons to assume that an open world, which allows broad access to existing knowledge, is a better and more social world. But non-open, proprietary systems like patent or copyright laws do also have their legitimacy – particularly with regard to providing incentives for innovation and creation. The paper shows that open and proprietary worlds are not mutually exclusive but rather dependent on each other. Instead of replacing the propriety world by an open world, it is rather crucial to find a balance between both systems. In search for the right balance, it is apparent that the risk of imbalance is rather one-sided. IP rights as a matter of principle are of an exclusive nature. Hence, the risk of over-exclusiveness is more likely than over-openness. The tools to safeguard a certain degree of openness already exist. In this respect often overlooked is the importance and effectiveness of compulsory licenses.
Keywords: open world, proprietary world, compulsory licenses, creative commons, open innovation
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