Protect or Plunder?

Protect or Plunder? : Understanding Intellectual Property Rights

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Intellectual property rights, TRIPS, patents - they sound technical, even boring. Yet, as Vandana Shiva shows, what kinds of ideas, technologies, identification of genes, even manipulations of life forms can be owned and exploited for profit by giant corporations is a vital issue for our times. In this readable and compelling introduction to an issue that lies at the heart of the socalled knowledge economy, Vandana Shiva makes clear how this Western-inspired and unprecedented widening of the concept does not in fact stimulate human creativity and the generation of knowledge. Instead, it is being exploited by transnational corporations in order to increase their profits at the expense of the health of ordinary people, and the poor in particular, and the age-old knowledge and independence of the world's farmers. Intellectual protection is being transformed into corporate plunder. Little wonder popular resistance around the world is rising to the WTO that polices this new intellectual world order, the pharmaceutical, biotech and other corporations which dominate it, and the new technologies they are foisting upon us.

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Product details

  • Paperback | 144 pages
  • 17.78 x 198.12 x 5.08mm | 113.4g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • tables, references, index
  • 1842771094
  • 9781842771099
  • 1,222,871

Review quote

One of the world's most prominent radical scientists' - The Guardian 'The South's best known environmentalist' - New Internationalist 'Vandana Shiva is a leading physicist who abandoned an exciting career in her country's nuclear energy programme because she felt ... that arrogant late 20th century science now poses such a threat to the "web of life" (of which we are merely a part) that a committed scientist should take the side of Nature against further artifice and destruction.' - The Observer 'Shiva has devoted her life to fighting for the rights of ordinary people in India. Her fierce intellect and her disarmingly friendly, accessible manner have made her a valuable advocate for people all over the developing world.' - Ms. Magazine 'Vandana Shiva is a burst of creative energy and intellectual power.' - The Progressive 'A leading thinker who has eloquently blended her views on the environment, agriculture, spirituality, and women's rights into a powerful philosophy.' - Utne Reader

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About Vandana Shiva

Vandana Shiva is a world-renowned environmental thinker and campaigner. A former physicist, feminist and philosopher, she is prominent in citizens' actions against environmental destruction, and critical of the latest agricultural and genetic engineering technologies and the giant corporations which control them. A leader in the International Forum on Globalization along with Ralph Nader and Jeremy Rifkin, Vandana Shiva won the Alternative Nobel Peace Prize (the Right Livelihood Award) in 1993, and the Earth Day Award. In India she is Director of the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology. She is also the founder of Bija Vidyapeeth which offers conference and seminar facilities in an ambiance which reinvigorates our vital link with Nature at the Navdanya Biodiversity Conservation and Agroecology Farm in the foothills of the Himalayas. Her numerous influential books include: Staying Alive: Women, Ecology and Development (Zed Books and Kali for Women, 1989) The Violence of the Green Revolution (Zed Books and Third World Network, 1991) Monocultures of the Mind (Zed Books and Third World Network, 1993) Biopiracy: The Plunder of Nature and Knowledge (South End Press, 1997) Stolen Harvest: The Highjacking of the Global Food Supply (South End Press and Zed Books, 2000) Protect or Plunder? Understanding Intellectual Property Rights (Penguin Books India and Zed Books, 2001)

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Table of contents

* 1. Introduction: Patents - an Ethical Crisis * 2. The Role of Patents in History * 3. The Myth of Patents * 4. Threats to Biodiversity * 5. Biopiracy * 6. Can Seed Be Owned? * 7. Profiteering from Disease * 8. Democracy or Dictatorship? * 9. The Way Forward * References * Index

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