Issues in the Moral Grounding of Intellectual Property Rights
This chapter returns to the question of legitimacy of intellectual property rights (IPRs) with which this book begins. Can IPRs be legitimately claimed as rights? In the absence of moral principles that support such a claim, do IPRs derive any legitimacy at all from their ability to support or conjoin with other rights? Do IPRs fit in with a framework of rights, which unites welfare, well-being, equal access to advantage with autonomy? These are questions which emerge out of the contestations relating to intellectual property. These questions explore the broader challenges that collective claims pose to the liberal theory of rights. It is one thing for international covenants to recognize and felicitate these rights, and quite another for them to become justifiable tools for renegotiating both lost spaces of autonomy and protected future choices.
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