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Protect or Plunder?
Understanding Intellectual Property Rights (Global Issues)

By Vandana Shiva

Intellectual property rights, TRIPS, patents – they sound technical, even boring. Yet what kinds of ideas, technologies, identification of genes, even manipulations of life forms can be owned and exploited for profit by giant corporations is a vital issue for our times. Vandana Shiva shows how the Western-inspired and unprecedented widening of the concept of intellectual poperty does not in fact stimulate human creativity and the generation of knowledge. Instead, it is being exploited by transnational corporations to increase their profits at the expense of the health of ordinary people especially the poor, and the age-old knowledge of the world’s farmers. Intellectual protection is being transformed into corporate plunder. Little wonder popular resistance is rising around the world to the World Trade Organization, that polices this new intellectual world order, the pharmaceutical, biotech and other corporations which dominate it, and the new technologies they are foisting upon us.



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