• Peter Drahos
  • John Braithwaite
Year 2002


An interesting but frustrating case for what boils down to a theory of conspiracy: US multinational corporations linked trade policy to expanding intellectual property laws in order to benefit themselves.

Some really good anecdotes, and some interesting framing, but constantly hobbled by the authors' ham-handed use, reuse, and abuse of the word "corporate" (as pejorative) and their own coinages like "knowledge game", "information feudalism", and more. The last few chapters veer away entirely from the foundation laid by the rest of the book to make dog-whistle arguments about the institution of the university as font of all innovation and last bastion of socially conscious regulation.

Easy to recommend to other intellectual property wonks, but almost entirely for its factoids, rather than its central thesis or other glancing points the authors attempt. One gets the odd feeling that the authors only just discovered that legislative and multinational organizations are not Platonic ideals of public service described by philosophers, but competitive battlegrounds staffed by mere men.

Reading Notes