Natural rights and intellectual property will be appealing to law students and intellectual
property researchers It will also be a welcome contribution to the expanding corpus of
literature devoted to critically addressing policy concerns in IP. The book also includes a
collection of conceptual tales to help readers understand the notion of rights and obligations.
Should copyright holders be able to assert property rights in news headlines? When
considering trade mark infringements, how should courts treat similar products? Is there a
need to limit the conditions under which IP owners can deny persons access to and use of
information? There is, however, one little fault in what is otherwise a superb, daring, and
intriguing work. As one closely considers Breakey’s diagnosis of and ongoing protest against
IP rights holders’ overreach, one becomes concerned that a far deeper issue appears to be
disguised in the discussion. This is not to argue that the work fails to accomplish its goals.
Yes, it does. One basic issue with the IP framework is the ease with which notions such as
proprietary entitlements, exceptions, public interest, and the public good are perceived to be
easily adaptable to market norms and values. This is a complicated field of public policy, and
it is difficult to create viable and durable organizations. How can we solve the actual
economic and societal concerns created by intellectual property? What must we do to
guarantee that markets, property, and political systems assist us in realising the benefits we
consider as inherent in the right to intellectual property? As academics such as Breakey have
pointed out, markets, regulations, and institutions cannot solve the various challenges created
by intellectual property on their own. For better or worse, markets and the notion of property
are symbolic emblems of our expression of liberty, choice, and aspirations. Should
policymakers prioritise Betty’s classmate Diana, who has agreed to pay for the content?
Should one type of “intellectual liberty” be treated differently than another? This book
presents a compelling argument for reconsidering John Locke’s views and the issues raised
by unquestioning acceptance of the realm of intellectual property rights and interests. Locke’s
views have left a permanent imprint on our institutions and laws. Breakey is correct in
reminding us that an unquestioning attitude to IP may result in the marginalisation of core
social and cultural values, transforming us into information consumers.