Protect or Plunder?: Understanding Intellectual Property Rights

Protect or Plunder?: Understanding Intellectual Property Rights

Paperback Global Issues

By (author) Vandana Shiva


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  • Publisher: ZED BOOKS LTD
  • Format: Paperback | 144 pages
  • Dimensions: 18mm x 198mm x 5mm | 113g
  • Publication date: 9 February 2002
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 1842771094
  • ISBN 13: 9781842771099
  • Illustrations note: tables, references, index
  • Sales rank: 1,122,372

Product description

Intellectual property rights, TRIPS, patents - they sound technical, even boring. Yet 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. Vandana Shiva shows how the Western-inspired and unprecedented widening of the concept of intellectual poperty does not in fact stimulate human creativity and the generation of knowledge. Instead, it is being exploited by transnational corporations to increase their profits at the expense of the health of ordinary people especially the poor, and the age-old knowledge of the world's farmers. Intellectual protection is being transformed into corporate plunder. Little wonder popular resistance is rising around the world to the World Trade Organization, 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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Author information

VANDANA SHIVA is a world-renowned environmental thinker and campaigner. A leader in the International Forum on Globalization, recipient of the Alternative Nobel Peace Prize (the Right Livelihood Award) and of the Earth Day Award, she is the author of several influential books, including: Staying Alive, The Violence of the Green Revolution, Monocultures of the Mind, Biopiracy, and Stolen Harvest, all published by Zed.

Review quote

"One of the world's most prominent radical scientists." --"The Guardian" (UK) "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"

Table of contents

Introduction - patents - an ethical crisis. Part 1 The role of patents in history: patents as instruments of conquest; patents as rewards for inventiveness; patents as instruments for technology transfer, catching up and import monopolies; patents and control over the global economy. Part 2 The myth of patents: the myth of stimulating creativity; the myth of technology transfer, innovation and R the myth of knowledge generation; of spies, crime and IPRs. Part 3 Threats to biodiversity: the enclosure of the commons. Part 4 Biopiracy: what is biopiracy: stealing from the pharmacy of the poor; stealing from the farms of our farmers; stealing nature's pesticide; resolving biopiracy. Part 5 Can seed be owned?: seeds - the ultimate gift; seed legislation; patents on plants; patents on seed - terminating germination. Part 6 Profiteering from disease. Part 7 Democracy or dictatorship?: trade related intellectual property rights (TRIPS); TRIPS and patents on plants; TRIPS and biodiversity; TRIPS and patent laws in India. Part 8 The way forward: TRIPS reform and review; farmers' rights as community rights - the sui generis system; intellectual property rights reform.