Explaining Criminal Sanctions in Intellectual Property Law

1 Journal of Law & Innovation 16 (2019)

Hofstra Univ. Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2019-10

22 Pages Posted: 29 Oct 2019 Last revised: 21 Nov 2019

See all articles by Irina D. Manta

Irina D. Manta

Hofstra University - Maurice A. Deane School of Law; St. John's University School of Law

Date Written: October 5, 2019

Abstract

This symposium piece first seeks to unpack the relationship between intellectual property infringement and property offenses, and then to understand how the connection between the two has informed when the former is criminalized. The piece examines the porous nature of the boundary line between intangible and tangible resources, showing the at-times uncomfortable fit of the non-rivalrous label to intellectual property. An analysis of the respective harms of the two types of violations follows. This symposium contribution shows how lawmakers have treated patents differently from other forms of intellectual property by choosing not to criminalize their infringement, due both to utilitarian reasons and public choice rationales. While historically the entities who pushed for harsher sanctions for copyright violations in particular have often not encountered resistance, a combination of large tech companies’ and grassroots organizations’ activism has thwarted attempts at strengthened enforcement in recent times. The political landscape of copyright lawmaking, however, may be on its way to the greater degree of equipoise between support and opposition to greater sanctions that one observes in the patent legislative context.

Keywords: intellectual property, copyright, patents, trademarks, criminalization, SOPA, PIPA, Aaron Swartz, property

JEL Classification: K11, K14, O34

Suggested Citation

Manta, Irina D., Explaining Criminal Sanctions in Intellectual Property Law (October 5, 2019). 1 Journal of Law & Innovation 16 (2019); Hofstra Univ. Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2019-10. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3464725

Irina D. Manta (Contact Author)

Hofstra University - Maurice A. Deane School of Law ( email )

121 Hofstra University
Hempstead, NY 11549
United States

St. John's University School of Law ( email )

8000 Utopia Parkway
Jamaica, NY 11439
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.stjohns.edu/law/faculty/irina-d-manta

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