E. Richard Gold on the Magic Dust of Intellectual Property


We know [that] in the 1980s there were a large number
of firms that were entering into developing countries and finding that their products were being distributed without them —
and that means loss of revenue. And they got together and said, This is a problem, how do we fix it? And they were very smart about it, and they created the simple idea
that intellectual property leads to innovation, leads to growth. And it was in their interest to convince people of this. The former secretary general of the World Intellectual Property Institute
had this little booklet that he put out that was the bible of intellectual property, and in it he compared intellectual property to the dust that Cinderella’s godmother
spreads on, you know, the pumpkin and turns it into a carriage. And [he] said the princes of industrialization come in with this intellectual property,
which is the dust, and transforms the economy from lacklustre into this marvellous thing. That’s the type of language we saw for many decades and it’s only
really recently that we see some significant challenge to that story.

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