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From Goods to a Good Life: Intellectual Property and Global Justice Hardcover – June 26, 2012


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From Goods to a Good Life: Intellectual Property and Global Justice + Moral Panics and the Copyright Wars + The Knockoff Economy: How Imitation Sparks Innovation
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press (June 26, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 030014671X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300146714
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #808,406 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Sunder's book is a bold challenge to scholars—and citizens—to push intellectual property policy beyond debates about innovation and efficiency into arguments about justice and well being.  Highly recommended."—James Boyle, author of The Public Domain: Enclosing the Commons of the Mind
(James Boyle)

“Madhavi Sunder's passionate and fascinating book should be required reading for everyone concerned about the future of cultural property in
our increasingly globalized world.  With her deft use of examples, her rich knowledge of many world cultures, and her broad vision of how law
can enhance human freedom, Sunder argues that one traditional focus of intellectual property law, economic efficiency, is too narrow. Efficiency is one important goal, but we should also consider how law affects people's capacity to participate in cultural production, to criticize tradition, and to pursue values of autonomy and mutual recognition.  Equally valuable for experts and the general public, this book will reshape the entire debate about culture as property.”—Martha Nussbaum, Law School, Philosophy Department, and Divinity School, The University of Chicago
(Martha Nussbaum)

“In this engaging book, Madhavi Sunder shows us why the ability to participate in culture is so important to human freedom, and why we must reform intellectual property to help everyone on the planet live a good life. This is a powerful argument for fair access to culture as a crucial component of global justice.”—Jack M. Balkin, Knight Professor of Constitutional Law and the First Amendment, Yale Law School
(Jack Balkin)

 "An imaginative reworking of the purpose and function of intellectual property law designed to go beyond efficiency and incentives to the plural values associated with freedom, equality, democracy, dignity, participatory culture, group formation, and simple joy. A pleasure to read with evocative examples of the ways the law can enable more of us to participate in collectively making meaning of our lives."—Joseph William Singer, Bussey Professor of Law, Harvard Law School

(Joseph William Singer)

About the Author

Madhavi Sunder is professor of law at the University of California-Davis School of Law. She lives in Davis, CA.


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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A. J. Sutter on September 17, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This book is a passionate, even romantic, book about the importance of intellectual property law not just for innovation, but for justice. Its author (MS) sincerely believes both that current IP laws have been misused to stifle "participatory culture," and that stronger home-grown IP protection can benefit developing countries. She deeply questions the usual economic narrative about the sole purpose of IP laws being to incentivize inventors, authors and other creators, i.e. the idea that without being able to rely on the financial benefits of a temporary or partial monopoly, creators wouldn't create.

The point of the title is that IP laws should help people to have a good life. MS shares the vision of a good life implied by the "capabilities approach" (CA) of Nobel economist Amartya Sen and eminent philosopher Martha Nussbaum, who in turn based their ideas on Aristotle's. The CA is quite popular in social science these days; the basic idea is that a government should guarantee or provide its citizens with certain "capabilities" to enjoy certain aspects of life, such as physical security, health, political involvement, being able to work "as a human," and even being able to play, laugh and enjoy leisure.

The book is clearly written compared to much other recent legal scholarship, especially IP scholarship. It's also filled with real-life anecdotes and examples. If you believe that economic incentives are the true purpose of IP, or if you've never thought about the connection between IP and justice, then it's worth reading this book -- it may show you that IP has much deeper significance than you thought. That's why I give it four stars.

That said, I do have some reservations, which I'll describe in the rest of this review.

1.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Malia McCarthy on August 27, 2012
Format: Hardcover
The author masterfully weaves together historical, philosophical, legal, and contemporary cultural ideas to create a compelling narrative. She re-examines the very meaning of "culture" and goes on to confront questions regarding "the good life," and the implications of intellectual property law on the just distribution of such. With her clear and concise style and use of remarkable anecdotes, the author takes the reader on a fascinating journey, effortlessly bouncing between the first and third worlds. The author is a most knowledgeable guide who gently but confidently leads her readers into new terrain.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Anjali Dalal on July 22, 2012
Format: Hardcover
As someone who has been interested in this field for the past few years, I loved this book because it articulated an alternate theory of intellectual property law. It moves us beyond the current hyper focus on economic efficiency to a more robust theory that captures the multitude of values embedded in the way we regulate the production and dissemination of culture. Sunder writes clearly and persuasively, punctuating the book with examples that vividly illustrate her point. Sunder's holistic approach to intellectual property law is especially timely in the wake of what seems like a global outcry against increasingly severe and unjust intellectual property laws. For those who have been engaged in or intrigued by the SOPA/PIPA battles in the U.S. and the ACTA/TPP battles internationally, this is a must-read!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 29, 2012
Format: Hardcover
What an important topic for our world. This is important to discuss with our children, our friends, and at our jobs. A breath of fresh air. Highly recommend.
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