Intellectual Property: Virtue or Vice?

Intellectual Property often leads people to two polarized conclusions: (1) incentive to create; (2) privatization of knowledge.

Those in the first group perceive Intellectual Property as a tool for development that allows them to make progress in technology, science, and the arts. Thanks to its existence and multiple manifestations, innovators have at their disposal an instrument to commercialize their innovation. At the same time, they have, in many cases, the possibility of sharing it with the rest of humanity.

Those in the second group see Intellectual Property, and consequently, its owners, as those who prevent the free flow of information and hinder the free enjoyment of innovations. In their reasoning, they focus on the extreme cases in which some owners have taken advantage of the grey areas, typical in all systems, to perpetuate or extend specific legal protection.

We find Intellectual Property in works and inventions. Some works, such as artistic ones, feed the spirit. At the same time, some inventions like the electric light bulb illuminate our homes.

To avoid its vices and enjoy its virtues, let’s learn to use it.

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