Napster, AIDs and Intellectual Property
by David K. Levine
Controversy surrounds the downloading of music over the internet,
and the aggressive response of the RIAA to protect their copyrights.
Included in this is the lawsuit against Grokster, and the
bringing of lawsuits against individual music lovers. Also
controversial is the patent protection afforded AIDs drugs, resulting
in such high prices that they are unavailable in Africa, the area most
devastated by AIDs. Copyrights and patents are justified in the
U.S. Consitution by Article I Section 8: "The
Congress shall have Power To... to
promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for
limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their
respective Writings and Discoveries." The goal of this seminar is to
examine from an economic perspective to what extent modern intellectual
property law does in fact "promote the Progress of Science and useful
Enrollment limited to 15 freshmen.
TEXT: We will use the online draft of Against Intellectual Monopoly
by Michele Boldrin and David K. Levine. Classroom discussion/lecture will use slides that you can download. There are also sample presentation slides.
class will meet four times. Meetings are on Thursdays beginning at 1 pm. The first three meetings will last two
hours; the fourth meeting will last four hours and meets in Bunche 9383 9294.
- First Meeting - introductory lecture; organization
of groups for projects (April 6)
- Second Meeting - chapters 1-4; choice of group
projects (April 27)
- Third Meeting - chapters 5-9 (May 4)
- Fourth Meeting - project presentations round 1 (May 18)
- Fifth Meeting - project presentations round 2 (May 25)
- [last day of classes - June 9]
PROJECT: You will be divided into four
Each group will choose a topic, and make a 1/2 hour oral presentation.
Tentative topics this quarter:
- Digital aspects of copyrights
- Drug patents
- Legal aspects of copyrights
- Alternatives to copyright
MIRROR SITES: There are a number of mirrors of the
class website which you may want to record in case one is unavailable.