Content-type: text/html ~ Stephen's Web ~ Promoting and Disseminating Knowledge: The Public/Private Interface

Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community
An important and extensively researched document, this paper looks at what it calls the "question of triage" - given that governments cannot afford to fund all the research that society needs, "When should society 'buy' additional research at the cost of intellectual property rights?" The paper looks mostly at developements in biotechnology (not surprisingly, since most recent activity is in that sector) and in particular at the NIH and the Bayh-Dole Act, which allows universities to own intellectual property rights. Among numerous other recommendations, he calls for a repeal of the act. In addition, he observes that, to some extent, "intellectual property rights have become a drag on the dissemination of taxpayer-funded public knowledge" and have "created a 'lottery mentality' that encourages academic scientists to patent more inventions than they should." Though a large and cumbersome PDF to download, this paper is required reading for anyone interested in the field of intellectual property in scientific research.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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Last Updated: Jul 20, 2024 06:56 a.m.

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