Ska intellektuellt ägande skyddas?

Magnus Wiberg hävdar följande:

Med utgångpunkt från ovan anförda exempel och nationalekonomisk forskning menar jag att den intellektuella äganderätten inte är nödvändig för att öka mängden innovationer.

Hans slutsats får stöd av tre artiklar i maj-numret av American Economic Review:

  • spinning jenny”A Model of Discovery” av Michele Boldrin och David Levine: ”Overwhelming empirical evidence shows that strengthening patents has little, or no, positive effect on innovation, which is most puzzling for standard theory. We argue that, even if it ‘looks like’ there is a fixed cost of creation, in fact there is none. We argue instead that the discovery activity is best represented by a decreasing returns technology in which the first few units of new knowledge are so valuable that, for a while, they are optimally invested in producing further knowledge instead of making copies of themselves or producing consumption.”
  • ”The Empirical Impact of Intellectually Property Rights on Innovation: Puzzles and Clues” av Josh Lerner: ”This paper examined the impact of changes in patent policy on innovation. Rather than analyzing a single case, I studied 177 of the most significant shifts in patent policy across 60 countries and 150 years. Adjusting for the change in overall patenting, the impact of patent protection–enhancing shifts on applications by residents was actually negative.”
  • ”Intellectual Property Rights, the Industrial Revolution, and the Beginnings of Modern Economic Growth” av Joel Mokyr: ”The importance of the patent system in the British Industrial Revolution has to be scaled down. Inventors were not all motivated primarily by a desire to maximize income income … Much of the reward was indirect, through ‘honor,’ which was clearly a reflection of the importance of signaling and reputation in this world. Nor can we altogether rule out any role for altruism, as well as a direct utility from being able to solve hard problems—what could be termed the ‘crossword puzzle’ motive.”

Det förefaller alltså tveksamt om den intellektuella äganderätten bidrar till innovationer och ekonomisk utveckling. Det finns t.o.m. tecken på en negativ effekt.

Se även de tidigare inläggen ”Splittring om fildelning” och ”Behövs upphovsrätt för musik?” samt Jesper Roine i denna fråga.