Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

Friday, August 16, 2013

An Essay On the Lockean Foundations of the IP Clause

Randolph J. May and Seth L. Cooper, The Free State Foundation, have published The Constitutional Foundations of Intellectual Property in volume 8 of The Free State Foundation, "Perspectives From FSF Scholars, (May 10, 2013). Here is the abstract.

This is the first in a series of relatively short papers exploring foundational principles of intellectual property. This essay explores the Lockean natural rights philosophical premises upon which the foundation of the Constitution's IP Clause rests. The American constitutional order is premised on the idea that government exists to protect life, liberty, and property, and our Framers were influenced significantly by John Locke's assertion that individuals possess a natural right to the fruits of their own labor. The essay shows that James Madison, principal drafter of our Constitution, embraced the Lockean view concerning property rights protection. 

Download the paper from SSRN at the link.

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