Intellectual Property Has No Personality

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Radu Uszkai


The moral analysis of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) has been dominated in the past couple of decades by American and Anglo-Saxon academic literature. As a result, great weight has been given to either utilitarian or Lockean natural rights justifications for copyrights and patents. The purpose of my article is that of expanding the current debate by critically taking into account the personhood theory of Intellectual Property. My first objective is defining IPRs and providing a conceptual ethical map of the arguments in favor of them, highlighting the particular place occupied by the personhood theory. I proceed to reconstruct the Kantian and Hegelian arguments in favor of a system of copyrights and patents. The main part of the paper is dedicated to a series of problematic aspects of this approach in justifying copyrights and patents. If my arguments are correct, then it would be legitimate to cast some doubt on this approach and maybe employ personhood arguments in relation to other aspects of artistic and scientific creation. My paper ends with such a normative proposal.

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How to Cite
USZKAI, Radu. Intellectual Property Has No Personality. Annals of the University of Bucharest - Philosophy Series, [S.l.], v. 66, n. 2, p. 181-205, feb. 2018. ISSN 0068-3175. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 22 nov. 2019.