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Mar 22, 2010

Renee Marlin-Bennett's Knowledge Power : A review

Looks like I am turning my blog into a collection book reviews as this is the third book review in a single row. Anyway, since i am halfway through translating an article about public policy principles, and have not yet completed writing my viewpoint on the position of Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) on our new constitution, and as I just finished reading this wonderful book on Intellectual Property Rights, it's all I have to post in my blog.
I got interested into intellectual property rights after learning about piracy of music, movies, software and other stuffs. I had always wanted to delve deeper into the realm of intellectual property rights and after reading Knowledge Power, I think I couldn't have had a better guide than this for an unknown territory. Knowledge Power is a comprehensive and entertaining introduction to three important and interrelated and yet different aspects of intellectual property rights, i.e. intellectual property, information and privacy. The excellent feature of the book is it's very comprehensive. In it's 273 pages volume, it has all the issues and controversies surrounding intellectual property rights along with the short history of development of these rights, the ongoing policy debates about such rights. Ranging from patents and copyrights to issues of information flow control, the book is a product of an excellent research and knowledge of the subject matter.

Another nice aspect of the book is that it is neither too technical nor too simple. But it surely demands a little bit of knowledge and interest about intellectual property rights from the readers.

The author has done their best to take a neutral stand in the debates that surround the intellectual property rights, information ownership and privacy controls but I noticed a bit biased viewpoints towards the conclusion of the book. The author has tried to present a bit pro-public (anti-IPR) views but with the overshadow of the neutral viewpoints throughout the whole book, it is hardly noticeable.

Overall, a very comprehensive and interesting introductory book on intellectual property rights, information and privacy, issues that are going to be of utmost importance in this information age.

Nepal happens to have one of the poorest records of protecting intellectual property rights, mostly in case of music, movies and software. But being a least developed country, implementing these rights maybe like opening Pandora's Box for us. After reading the book, the reader will be more able to identify and analyze both the pros and cons of having strong intellectual property rights.