Plato Got No Stock Options

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Hendrik Speck
European Graduate School

This presentation will confront the notion of intellectual property on different areas, structures and cultures. The presentaiton will dispute the right and existence of intellectual property and claim that it never existed.


The historical section will look into the past of Intellectual property, going far back into the history of protective authorship, the Statute of Anne, the censorship of stationers, the ideas implied inthe constitution of the United States, the wishes of the pilgrim fathers and the development of Anglo-Saxon law. It will analyze the growth in scope and scale of intellectual property law and will expose the national, commerical and strategic interests. Intellectual property is a rather new phenonmenon without historical roots that has been promoted with certain ideas in mind.


An international review and national comparison of the notion of intellectual property will uncover significant differences in meaning and understanding in different cultures and nationals. It will further underline that the entire notion is not shared worldwide. More, upcoming conflcits are not only based on technological advances but also on new methods of communication and information and on the differences of a networked distribution structure compared with hierarchical authorities. Also, educational institutions will have to consdier and adapt to the changed function of culture and intellect, its "revenue streams," attention spans, business models, Chomsky icons and heroes.


The presentation will demonstrate with an European perspecitve how propagation and virus-like distribution of such ideas through networks, search engines, alumni, affiliate networks and offices are the first steps to free society again from the claws of corporate management, marketing campaigns, pageviews and attention vulptures.

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