Should Intellectual Property Rights be the New Civil Rights in America?
Well, in the last thirty years, there has been a shift from a labor economy to a knowledge economy. Consequently, intangible assets (with IPR being chief among them) have emerged as the most powerful asset class, overtaking more traditional capital assets such as real estate, plant and equipment. … Thus, if the civil rights movement is to continue – a movement that was about righting economic disparities – focusing on IP as the 21st century economic rights makes sense.
I’ve noted and written about this before, and interestingly, after Obama’s re-election, there was this interesting blog entry by Chris Bickerton and Alex Gourevitch about the disconnect between Obama’s crafting of identity politics and the economy. Indeed, the rebirth of identity politics is disturbing enough, highlighting at best a regression to 1993 and, at worst, a championing of the “victim” mentality.
What is interesting to note about Raymond Millien’s article, The Real McCoy: Should Intellectual Property Rights be the New Civil Rights in America?, is that it doesn’t look to simply reignite the definitions of “minority” for social, cultural, and political gain. Rather, it addresses what Bickerton and Gourevitch observe by connecting the economic and socio-cultural disparities via intellectual property. By doing so, it indirectly attacks the pro-free culture movement, unveiling what is to most either unseen or, if seen, too disturbing to address: the fact that the pro-free culture movement is in fact a neo-liberal crusade willing to trade economic parity for cultural pipe dreams.