Intellectual Property and the Prisoner’s Dilemma: A Game Theory Justification of Copyrights, Patents, and Trade SecretsAdam D. Moore*Article - Fordham Intellectual Property, Media & Entertainment Law Journal
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Intellectual Property and the Prisoner’s Dilemma: A Game Theory Justification of Copyrights, Patents, and Trade Secrets
Adam D. Moore*
Article

  The full text of this Note may be found here.

28 Fordham Intell. Prop. Media &Ent. L.J. 831 (2018).

Article by Adam D. Moore

ABSTRACT

[I]

n this article, I will offer an argument for the protection of intellectual property based on individual self-interest and prudence. In large part, this argument will parallel considerations that arise in a prisoner’s dilemma game. In brief, allowing content to be unprotected in terms of free access leads to a sub-optimal outcome where creation and innovation are suppressed. Adopting the institutions of copyright, patent, and trade secret is one way to avoid these sub-optimal results.


*Adam D. Moore is a Professor in the Information School at the University of Washington and examines the ethical, legal, and policy issues surrounding intellectual property, privacy, freedom of speech, accountability, and information control. The basic idea for this paper was informally discussed at the Center for the Protection of Intellectual Property (CPIP) conference on the philosophical foundations of intellectual property, Jekyll Island, May 19–20, 2016. Thanks to Chris Newman, Eric Claeys, Adam Mossoff, Matthew Barblan, and the other conference participants for their comments about game theory, the prisoner’s dilemma, and intellectual property. Special thanks goes to Jennifer Rosenblatt and Matthew Hershkowitz for comments, suggestions, and editing assistance.