Protect or Plunder?

Understanding Intellectual Property Rights

By Vandana Shiva  

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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 property does not stimulate human creativity and the generation of knowledge. Instead, it is being exploited by transnational corporations and used to increase their profits. This is done 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 Organisation, the group that polices this new intellectual world order, and the pharmaceutical, biotech and other dominate corporations. This resistance is also being directed towards the new technologies foisted upon us.

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  • Vandana Shiva

    VANDANA SHIVA is a world-renowned environmental thinker and campaigner. A leader in the International Forum on Globalization, recipient of the Alternative Nobel Peace Prize (the Right Livelihood Award) and of the Earth Day Award, she is the author of several influential books, including: Staying Alive, The Violence of the Green Revolution, Monocultures of the Mind, Biopiracy, and Stolen Harvest.

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