chapter  7
Private Knowledge, Public Domain: The Politics of Intellectual Property in Higher Education
Pages 30

Current economic trends make consideration of intellectual property imperative to a broad understanding of social and political forces (re) shaping higher education. Such property has become a vital component of the American Gross National Product, and it is becoming the object of increasing international attention.1 As Kamil Idris, Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization, states, “Intellectual property is increasingly a fundamental element of modern economies. In an extremely competitive global environment, more countries are finding tangible benefits in supporting innovation and creativity.”2 The increasing importance of intellectual property is due to fact that the United States, and perhaps all developed countries, have been transformed from industrial societies to “information societies.”3 In the “information age,”

it seems, “ideas have become prized commodities,”4 and universities and other corporate owners of such commodities are not sharing them, at least not for free.