It is too often assumed that the West is locked in a zero-sum game with emerging economies, in which it must either lock up its assets or have them stolen. The metaphor of intellectual property has likewise led to confused and confusing representations of the purpose of copyright and patent laws, and their function within the economy. Economic logic is warped where the interests of one industry are presented as identical to the interests of the economy overall. There is a shortage of reasoned economic analysis of IP, and careful consideration of the evidence surrounding the UK's own knowledge economy.
This paper attempts to plug this gap, by representing a set of fundamental economic arguments in layman's terms, collected together from a range of credible sources. In doing so it weaves together theoretical economic justifications for IP with empirical evidence for its significance in our economy today.
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