- Feb 2014
The U.S. social contract establishes a utilitarian basis for protection of intellectual property rights: protection as a means of encouraging innovation.
The social contract of the US Constitution provides a utilitarian basis for protection of intellectual property rights.
As intellectual property lacks scarcity, and the protection of it fails the Lockean Proviso, there is no natural right to intellectual property. As such, the justification for intellectual property rights arises from the social con tract, and in the case of the United States, the Constitution.
The justification for intellectual property from the social contract established by the US Constitution; it otherwise has no justification by natural right because it fails the Lockean Proviso.
As such, the conclusion is that intellectual property is not ‘property’ in the Lockean sense. If it were, then intellectual property protections would deserve no mo re policy debate than whether police ought to chase thieves. As it is not, the justification for intel lectual property must be sought in the social contract. As noted above, the social contract for the United State s, the Constitution, specifies in Article I, Section 8, Clause 8 that Congress may pass laws “ To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respec t ive Writings and Discoveries.” This background clarifies the discussion considerably : • There is no natural law basis for intellectual property rights • Thus, intellectual property rights must be provided for by the social contract. • The U.S. social contract as elucidated in the Constitution specifies a utilitarian basis for intellectual property rights (“to promote the progress... by securing for limited times...")
There is no natural law basis for intellectual property rights
Intellectual property rights must be provided for by the social contract
The US Constitution as a social contract specifies a utilitarian basis for intellectual property rights.
U.S. intellectual property law originates (as law) from the Constitution: Article I, Section 8, Clause 8 of the Constitution makes copyright and patent law possible (“To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY: POLICY FOR INNOVATION 4 respective Writings and Discoveries”) ,
Article I, Section 8, Clause 8 makes copyright and patent law possible.
The U . S . Co nstitution firmly grounds the proper role of intellectual property policy as utilitarian .
Identify where/how this ground is established.
- US Constitution
- Lockean Proviso
- intellectual property
- social contract
- utilitarian basis
- US intellectual property law
- natural right
- utilitarian theory