Over the past decade, the scope of copyright and patent law has grown significantly, strengthening property rights, even when such rights seem to infringe upon other, more basic, priorities. This book investigates the ways in which activists, scholars, and communities are resisting the expansion of copyright and patent law in the information age.

Debora J. Halbert explores how an alternative framework for understanding intellectual property - including about how we ought to think about the issues, the development of social movements around specific issues, and civil disobedience - has developed. Each chapter in the book discusses how resistance is developing in relation to a particular copyright or patent issue such as:

  • access to patented medication
  • access to copyrighted information and music via the Internet
  • the patenting of genetic material.

This controversial book examines the ways in which the idea of intellectual property is being re-thought by the victims of an over-expansive legal system. It will appeal to students and researchers from a range of disciplines, from law and political science to computer science, with an interest in intellectual property.

chapter |11 pages


chapter 1|30 pages

Theorizing the public domain

Copyright and the development of a cultural commons *

chapter 2|23 pages

Licensing and the politics of ownership 1

End user licensing agreements versus open source

chapter 3|21 pages

I want my MP3s

The changing face of music in an electronic age *

chapter 4|25 pages

Moralized discourses

South Africa's intellectual property fight for access to AIDS medication *

chapter 5|23 pages

Patenting the body

Resisting the commodification of the human

chapter 6|29 pages

Traditional knowledge and intellectual property

Seeking alternatives

chapter 7|5 pages