Science and technology provide many societal benefits, such as the enhancement of economic growth or quality of life. They also can produce negative, unintended consequences. Most societies promote science and technology, but this can be costly. Establishment of IPRs that protect new works and give innovators the right to profit from their creations provides incentives for expensive innovation without the need for direct government subsidies (Posner 2004). At the same time, IPRs may maintain or aggravate wealth inequities.
Rights have little meaning unless they can be enforced and modern technology has made IPRs enforcement increasingly difficult. Photocopiers make it possible for anyone with access to a machine to reproduce works entitled to copyright protection and the Internet allows anyone to make literary or musical works available to the world.
Science and technology challenge intellectual property systems, particularly patent laws. New fields such as information technology and genetic engineering force courts … Read More