International intellectual property law has extended so far in scope, both substantially and geographically, that it plays a role in aggravating poverty, creating crises in access to medicine and in the exploitation of indigenous peoples’ resources, to cite a few of its impacts. This expansion of intellectual property law has been extensively criticised, most famously by “cultural environmentalists”, who compare the public domain to a natural resource which is being depleted by intellectual property rights. While this criticism aptly brings into question the international intellectual property regime, the binary it relies on, between the public domain and intellectual property, does little to address the nefarious human impacts of the regime. Instead, bringing intellectual property law within the ambit of international human rights law allows for a more comprehensive evaluation of ethical concerns and human consequences, bringing nuance that the cultural environmentalists’ public domain rhetoric lacks.
Keywords: intellectual property, human rights law, legal theory, traditional knowledge
How to Cite:
Lafay, A., (2023) “From Defending the ‘Opposite of Property’ to the Fundamental Right to Property: The Case for the Application of Human Rights Law and Philosophy to the International Intellectual Property Regime”, Journal of Law and Jurisprudence 12(1), 24-41. doi: https://doi.org/10.14324/111.444.2052-1871.1572