"Why is IP so unloved?"

The Intellectual Property Institute (IPI) has posed the question “why is IP so misunderstood or unloved by so many people?” Those who work with IP know how valuable IP is in so many dimensions. So, in marketing terms, the IPI asks, why is IP “a tainted brand” and, more importantly, what can be done about it?

Last autumn the IPI commissioned some research into public understanding of, and attitudes concerning, IP. The results of this research, which are to be the baseline for further discussion and analysis, will be presented by the lead researcher, Dr Roya Ghafele, in London next week. She will be introducing her findings on Monday 10 March at the office of Olswang, solicitors (90 High Holborn, London WC1V 6XX), from 2pm to 5pm.

There are still a small number of places available for interested participants. If you'd like to be considered for one of them, email Anne Goldstein here at the IPI as soon as possible. If you have any relevant expertise, please let Anne know. The IPKat adds, there is no charge for admission.
"Why is IP so unloved?" "Why is IP so unloved?" Reviewed by Jeremy on Thursday, March 06, 2008 Rating: 5


  1. The IP-world lacks a democratic viewpoint. It governed by technocratic elitism and cultic worship of IP. Patent attorneys hide their commercial interests. IP stands for parasites on the intellectual achievements of others. IP means: We don't listen, we tell you what to believe.

    Persons who don't understand the IP cult need to be "taught" and baptized. Businesses who want IP reforms "don't understand the benefits".

    A fundamental principle of a liberal society is 'normative individualism'. Personal preferences are no subject of governmental interference. Crowds are considered to be wise.

    However, in the IP world the cult driven by its commercial interest of the legal industry thinks markets are stupid.

  2. IPKat, this is a good spoof, but a little too obvious. You should have left out the bit that says the IP world thinks markets are stupid.

  3. The reasons IP are loved are down to quite simple psychology, and there's no need for ridiculous comments about commercial interests and religious zeal - I'll laugh for quite a while at the idea of a crowd being wise. When was mob rule ever successful?

    Anyway, back to the reasons.

    IP is unloved by the average guy on the street because IP prevents them from doing things. They can't copy music; they (think) they can't write computer programs. It's a big brother telling them "no".

    For years this particular "no" didn't matter to the average person on the street because only industrialists with manufacturing plants and hordes of cheap labour could infringe an IP right in any meaningful way. But now technology has moved on to such an extent that said average guy can massively infringe copyrights, patents and trademarks from the comfort of their living room with nothing more than a computer and an internet connection.

    IP is unloved because infringing it is now so very very easy - just "one-click" :) can email a million copies of an MP3 to your favourite facebook friends - and anything that someone can do easily they feel they should be able to do freely whatever the law has to say about it. "I paid for my computer and it has a copy function, so why can't I use that copy function how I want?"

    But it's still all very new to most people, this idea of IP, because it's only recently started affecting their lives. So it's no surprise that people don't quite understand what it all means.

    And you can't educate people because they don't want to be educated. They just want this perceived oppression to go away and the more you tell them they're not actually being oppressed, the more they'll hate you and everything they think you stand for. "Help, I'm being oppressed"... you know how it goes

    Me, bitter? You have no idea...


  4. It's also unloved as it is seen as the weapon that large corporations use to beat smaller operations over the head with.

    There's something in our psyche that always favours the underdog; whether it's the sandwich seller who, by accident of birth, happens to be called "McSomething", or the football team whose nickname just happens to be 'Posh' for the last hundred or so years.


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