Ronald Cass on intellectual property

Ronald A. Cass

February 19, 2013

Ronald A. Cass, Dean Emeritus of Boston University School of Law, discusses his new book, Laws of Creation: Property Rights in the World of Ideas, which he co-authored with Boston University colleague Keith Hylton. Written as a primer for understanding intellectual property law and a defense of intellectual property, Laws of Creation explains the basis of IP and its justification. 

According to Cass, not all would-be reformers share a similar guiding philosophy, distinguishing between those who support property rights but nevertheless have specific critiques of the intellectual property system as it currently stands, and reformers who do not see a place for property.

Cass explains that the current intellectual property system is neither wholly good nor wholly bad, but is a matter of weighing tradeoffs. On the whole, he argues, intellectual property benefits society. Cass also argues that intellectual property law in the U.S. is still more functional than that in other countries, such as Italy, and that, while it would benefit from some reform, it is fundamentally a workable system.

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